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What Is Naturopathy?

Updated: 3 days ago

Sometimes when I tell people that I’m a Naturopath, they look at me as if to say, “a-what-a-path” ? I usually follow it quickly by saying that I help people get healthy naturally without drugs. I’ll then either get a “ah ok..she’s one of those crazy quacks looks” or they’ll ask me what I think of X, Y or Z symptom or condition currently experienced by them or little Johnny at home. But anyway, what actually  is it?


So back in the day before the 1920s, if you were sick you’d go to your local village healer, herbalist, naturopath or homeopath. Doctors back then often were a combination of all of this as they didn’t (or rarely) prescribe drugs, unless you count mercury (a-whole-nother blog) , blood letting or leeches. In the 1920s conventional western medicine abolished many of these practices, so that the Rockefellers could make money from the pharmaceutical drugs that were just being created (they needed an outlet for chemicals used in both wars…eeek!). A naturopath was a healer who used many different (tried and tested) methods, protocols, often including herbs, to help their patients heal. When allopathic medicine took hold, may of these traditional health practitioners were either outlawed, kicked to the curb or ‘fooled’ into submission. However they made a resurgence in the ‘hippie’ 70s and have been going from strength to strength ever since. So ultimately natural medicine is the time-tested traditional medicine, with 'modern medicine' being the 'new alternative'.

Naturopathic Principles


Most naturopaths use different methods, however the principles should be:


-First do no harm

-Cure from the inside out, top down and reverse order that the symptom appeared

-Allow the body to heal itself

-Get to the root cause of the problem/ condition

-Understand and utilise the terrain model for healing (as opposed to germ theory which was 'pushed' to enable Big Pharma to make money)


Let’s Dig into These Principles a Little More!


-First Do No Harm- the vast majority of methods and protocols employed by naturopaths are completely safe, compare to allopathic (modern medicine) methods which are no.3 on the ‘what kills people’ list, after cancer and cardiovascular disease.


-Cure From Inside Out. Most people feel better if their digestive and mental helath problems are alleviated. Often the symptoms that have been around the longest are the last to disappear.


-Allow the Body to Heal Itself. The body is amazing and will heal itself if you give it all the tools to do so. It wants to heal!


True healing only comes from addressing and allowing the root of the probem to heal and not applying a sticky plaster to mask and suppress symptoms as pharmaceutical drugs do.

-Utilise Terrain Model For Healing


The terrain model understands that our bodies strive to be in balance not only with ourselves but also with nature. Nature has rules and we cannot break them. If your fish tank is full of sick fish, do you first clean the water and the fish tank (the terrain) or do you give antibiotics?

What Makes Individuals Sick?

This is a question that we rarely ask these days. We often presume that it's 'a bug' we've picked up. But actually illness is caused by one (or a combo) of the following:



b)Lack of nutrients 



We have 30 billion human cells and 37 billion bacteria/ microorganisms which generally live in harmony. Bacteria, viruses etc do not ‘cause’ disease, they all have functions within each body, often to help keep the status quo, but sometimes to help in decay and degradation if the situation necessitates (think about a dead animal in the forest that is broken down by bacteria, to enable it to rot and finally become part of the forest floor and subsequently food for other living organisms).


Allopathic medicine teaches us that we need to be worried about picking up bacterial and viral infections, however these have never been proven to be the cause of disease, in fact, no virus has ever been isolated, ever. Germ theory, is just that. A theory.


So what does make people sick? You only need to look around or think about your own health history to know that people DO get sick, so what causes it?


Well let’s revisit the list above:


1)     Toxins

Toxins are everywhere in our modern world. Examples are:


-Heavy metals, drugs, fluoride, chlorine etc in water

-Pesticides and GMOs in food

-Air- our air is often polluted by factories, cars or by geo-engeneering practices

-Ether-think electromagnetic pollution from WiFI and everything electrical 

-Drugs and vaccines

-Toxic feelings and emotions

-Alcohol, recreational drugs, nicotine


2)     Lack of Nutrients

-Processed food is usually devoid of nutrients

-Non organic food has less nutrients than its organic counterpart

-Toxins leech nutrients from our bodies

-Alcohol and drugs leech nutrients

-Dysbiotic digestive systems often cannot absorb all nutrients

-You could have a lack of sunlight, fresh air, grounding or even love in your life


3)     Trauma

-Past trauma- physical, psychological, emotional or sexual often create a trauma response in the body that ‘sticks’ and creates a number of physical and metaphysical concerns.


And yes, I totally understand that you can pick up parasites from hiking in the jungle or eat a dodgy prawn and get food poisoning. You could pop these into the toxin category, however if the body is strong enough it will not succumb to these toxins either at all or not for very long.


And that is it. Bacteria or viruses flying around have as much chance of infecting us as unicorns!

But What About Contagion?

Everyone has been in the presence of somebody else who is sick and has become ill soon after. The mainstream tells us that we heve been infected by bacteria or viruses, but the fact of the matter is, the root cause of contagion has never been proven. Experiments have occurred where people have purposefully tried to get sick by ingesting or inhaling mucus from sick people and failed to get sick.

So What Actually Causes It?

Humans and animals are energetic, electrical beings. There is much about the human body that we do not know. In nature and physics however, entrainment exists. This is typically seen when women hang out together and their menstrual cycles synch up. In contagion, the theory is that if my body needs to detox and your body is detoxing next to me, it gives my body the signals that it's ok to detoxify. That it's safe, that we are not needing to run away from a sabre toothed tiger. Then you come down with a cold or flu and we dump built up toxins. This theory is borne out when an individual goes on holiday or stops working (and enters their parasympathetic (rest/ digest) system) rather than in the sympathetic (fight/ flight) response. Let's be honest, most of us live everyday in our fight/ flight responses because of constant stress.


Naturopathy vs Western (Conventional) Medicine

From this you should be able to see the difference in approach of naturopthy to conventional western (Allopathic) medicine. Allopathy will seek to select a disease that fits from the symptoms that the patient presents with, so that the individual can be prescribed a drug to ‘cure’ also known as suppress the symptom. Most drugs however do not cure any condition. Naturopathy seeks to learn about the patient, his/her health history and looks to find the root cause of the symptoms that s/he presents with to help them heal and ultimaltely feel better.


Allopathic medicine can be very useful for life threatening and  trauma situations. These often do require suppression of the body’s response and I would certainly want an anesthetic if I needed an operation for a broken bone. However for many conditions and symptoms, allopathy approaches it in the wrong way. Sometimes doctors will ask about diet and lifestyle (including toxins), however having the germ theory at the heart of their business model, they will always be barking up the wrong tree. Most doctors also see the human body chopped up into little pieces (dermatology, endocrinology, neurology etc etc) and do not see the holistic connection which naturopathy has at its heart.


The Benefits of Naturopathy Are That It Is:


-Uses natural methods and substances and not chemicals

-Works with your body

-Seeks to find and heal the root cause


Ultimately, this means that a total cure can be found, however it’s often an education process and can be a longer process than just taking a course of antibiotics. I typically find that people feel better within weeks and this feeling helps to motivate towards more life changes towards total health. It also puts you back in the driving seat of your health as you learn how to look after your health.

Ally van de Pol is a Naturopathic Practitioner, Certified Healing Diets Coach, Certified Iridologist, Naturopath and Herbalist in Training (Graduating 2024). She consults in person in Sai Kung, Hong Kong and via Zoom anywhere in the world.



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