The Theory of Naturopathic Cures may have originated from the works of a Spanish Naturopath, José Oriol Ávila Montesó in the 1980s .
In “How Naturopathy Works”, he outlined a therapeutic approach involving 4 key stages: detoxification, revitalization, stabilization and regeneration.
For each of these, he highlighted the importance of both the physical and mental aspects of healing.
This is reinforced by the importance of treating the person, not the disease. For example, no one can heal fully if they are unwilling to change.
One’s mental attitude is so important, it can be said that “there are no incurable diseases, just incurable patients“.
1. Research and Eliminate Harmful Habits
Let’s look at your overall health as analogous to a health bar in a video game.
At this stage, it’s like you’ve been fighting monsters and your health is really LOW.
In real life, this may manifest as disease.
What do you do?
I know I would run away from those monsters and give my video game character some time to heal and rest up.
In the real world and in the context of healing, these monsters come in the form of harmful habits that only hinder the healing process.
In line with Tolle Causam (Treat the Cause), we have to start here and work on minimizing or eliminating these harmful habits.
Some examples of harmful habits (physical):
- Physical inactivity, laziness, poor posture
- Indulging in refined / processed / convenience foods and treats
- Relying on stimulants (coffee / energy drinks)
- Addictions – drugs, alcohol, games, pornography, sex, foods, etc
Harmful habits (mental):
- Negative self-image and self-talk
- Excessive ambitions or drive; perfectionism
- Inability to forgive or forget; holding grudges
- Unnecessary worry, anxiousness or fear
- Negative emotions like Jealousy, Hate, Lust
- ‘Harmful’ relationships or people
- Unsatisfying or unfulfilling job
What is detoxification?
Put simply, detoxification is “a process of removing toxins”.
Toxins are “harmful substances that cause ill health”. I would also add to that the effect of harmful thoughts on our mental health as well.
Therefore, this step involves removing physical and mental toxins that have been accumulating and causing ill-health.
In the video game analogy, it’s like you’ve been poisoned by a monster and now need to take an antidote to stop the poison from slowing draining your health over time.
- Trophotherapy (applied nutrition)
- Cleansing foods
- A low allergenic, anti-inflammatory, clean and toxin-free diet; elimination diets
- Nutraceuticals (supplements)
- Phytotherapy (Herbal Medicine)
- Saunas; Chelating agents
- Colonic irrigation/colon hydrotherapy; Enemas; Hydrotherapy
- Physical exercise
- Reduce exposure to environmental toxins
- Exercises to release trapped or accumulated emotions
- Counselling; autosuggestion; group therapy
- Appropriate readings
- Confession; spirituality; prayer
- Reduce exposure (social or psychological ‘toxins’ such as bad relationships or “toxic people”)
My understanding of the word ‘Revitalization’ is “to bring back one’s vitality“.
After removing toxins that have been draining your vital force, this step involves therapies that re-vitalize your vital force.
Kind of like taking a healing potion to restore some HP (health points) in a video game, bringing your character’s health bar out of the danger orange-red zones and into the green.
Physical therapies for Revitalization include:
- Sunshine, watching sunrises and sunsets; Light therapy
- Being out in nature; Forest bathing
- Phytotherapy (herbal medicine)
- Diet and Nutrition
- Nutraceuticals (supplements)
- Acupuncture; Massage or Body work
- Appropriate exercise or sport
Mental therapies include:
- De-stressing; taking a vacation or work-break
- Taking steps to pursue your passions
- Finding your purpose/mission and meaning in life
- Positive self-talk and affirmations
- Creative hobbies, Music/art therapy
- Social work
- Meeting new people; creating positive relationships
- Mending broken relationships
As the name suggests, this stage of healing involves stabilizing the individual.
He/she is out of danger or pain however they may be susceptible to slipping back into disease.
Stabilization of health may be an ongoing and prolonged process so the timeline should be viewed in months or years.
Physical therapies include:
- Appropriate and individualized diet and exercise regimen
- Ongoing nutraceutical supplementation and/or herbal medicine
- Adequate hydration
- Proper posture, breathing
- Lymphatic drainage, body-work etc
Mental Therapies include:
- Cultivating good habits
- Creating a routine
- Pursuing your passions, purpose/mission in life
- Practising mindfulness
- Having a positive outlook and attitude
- Affirmations and self-talk
- Continued counselling support
Regeneration is the process of “replacing or restoring damaged or missing cells, tissues, organs, and even entire body parts to full function in plants and animals“.
Basically, regeneration is the definition of healing.
The end goal – becoming healthy again.
Physical therapies for regeneration include: herbal medicine, good nutrition, nutraceuticals, homeopathics, tissue salts, etc.
Mental therapies for regeneration aim at increasing a patient’s resilience to future stressors, neuro linguistic programming, cognitive behavioural exercises, meditation and counselling.
To return a person to health, the theory of Naturopathic Cures involves 5 ‘cures’:
- Research and eliminate harmful habits
Although the 5 aspects of this theory have been laid out as “steps”, it may not necessary be in sequential order.
It depends on the Naturopath’s assessment of the case and on the current stage of healing of the individual.
I hope this post has helped you understand a little more about the Naturopathic process of healing.
Next up, I will be writing on the Naturopathic Theory of the “Value of a Fever”
Until then, stay well.
Posts in this series:
- World Naturopathic Federation. (2017). WNF White Paper: Naturopathic Philosophies, Principles and Theories. Retrieved from http://worldnaturopathicfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/WNF_White_Paper_June-2017.pdf
- Allen, J., Montalto, M., Lovejoy, J., & Weber, W. (2011). Detoxification in naturopathic medicine: a survey. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 17(12), 1175–1180. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2010.0572
Want to receive updates on latest posts? Subscribe below!