Tips on common naturopathy treatments

June 30, 2015

Practitioners of mainstream medicine are increasingly recognising that complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and herbalism, have much to offer in treating specific ailments. Anecdotal evidence can also be strong, but how can you be sure that they really work? The answer is that we don't know because the industry is less regulated and researched than conventional medicine. In the end, it's up to you to give natural therapies a go and then decide whether they are working. Here is a guide to a few common practices.

Tips on common naturopathy treatments

1. Vital signs

  • Iridology is founded on the idea that the iris contains a 'map' of the body. For example, a dark rim around the iris may indicate inefficient elimination. Those who want early warning of a condition before it gets worse, or who simply want to monitor their health, may also benefit from it.
  • Kinesiology is a system of diagnosis based on the testing of the muscles. Responses indicate how the body is functioning and whether there are any chemical or energy imbalances. It can help identify allergies and sensitivities, and benefit children with learning difficulties.
  • Biofeedback uses a computer to analyse heart rate, pulse and brain waves. The results are used to design a program for controlling the symptoms of any existing condition. For example, if your condition is worsened by stress, you will be taught stress-reduction techniques, such as deep breathing.

2. Gentle adjustment

Osteopathy and chiropractice have a common aim – to remove aches and pains by adjusting the spine – but different approaches. This is what to expect.

  • A chiropractor will endeavour to restore balance to the spine through gentle manipulation of joints and by making small adjustments that assist the spine's mechanical function. This in turn helps muscles, nerves, joints and ligaments to work better.
  • An osteopath will try to bring the structure of the body into balance through massage and manipulation of the spine and may also apply similar techniques to the limbs and skull.
  • A first visit can last up to one hour. A good chiropractor or osteopath will normally request X-rays of your spine and check your blood pressure.
  • In most cases, you'll be examined sitting, standing and lying down. Your reflexes will also be tested.
  • You won't just be asked about your skeletal or muscular problem – you will also be quizzed on your lifestyle, work and leisure activities.
  • Both types of therapist will apply gentle manipulative techniques to your joints and may also massage your muscles. They may also try a technique known as the high-velocity thrust – a rapid, painless movement that makes the joint move and click and the muscles around the joint then quickly relax.
  • You'll be given follow-up advice about exercises you can do to maintain the mobility of your joints.

3. Everyday aromatherapy

  • Place a couple of drops of energizing orange oil in the shower recess before turning on the water.
  • In the car, dot a few drops of lavender oil on the dashboard to help you keep calm while driving.
  • Burn geranium oil in a desk vaporiser to promote a peaceful atmosphere at work.
  • Sniff invigorating rosemary if your blood sugar plummets after lunch.
  • Light a vanilla-scented candle to soothe and relax yourself at the end of the day.
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