We live a fast paced life, constantly compromising and manoeuvring our day to day activities and habits to suit the surroundings and its expectations from us. We forget to live life for ourselves, and we forget to live in tune with nature. We live lives for the present as far as our health is concerned and conveniently forget or pretend to ignore our future. Any imbalances experienced during this phase receives no much thought, but is addressed through quick fixes. Most of the times, a proper medical advice is not sought, and one tries to fix it through OTC medications, simply for the want of time for oneself and to find time to fulfil responsibilities.
Where are we heading to? We invest the precious time into the job, expecting it to translate into a comfortable livelihood for now and future. Does this comfort involve only money? Are we guaranteed a healthy future? What is it of use, if the state of health does not let one enjoy it? Is a financially secure life an alternative to healthy life?
Life could be well lived only if the body as a whole, is in a state of balance. This balanced state of the physical body and the mind, could be achieved by bringing small changes into our routine. The key is to start loving oneself and to celebrate lives through healthy living. It’s never too late to start making these changes, though earlier the better.
Though Naturopathy and yogic sciences has emerged as a system of medicine, it is more “a way of life”. The teachings are of healthy eating and life style practices which promote well being, prevent disease formation and aid early intervention in the progression of disease. Disease progression does not happen overnight. It’s a process where the body gets into a state of imbalance, leading to illness and then ultimately disease, which is a pathological state. Recognising this shift of balance and addressing it through life style modifications will ensure better health.
Here are few tools, for healthy living.
1. Offer prayer at the beginning of a day and offering gratitude at the end of the day.
2. Eat healthy meals three times a day, with healthy snacks in mid -morning and mid- evening
3. Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
4. Exercise at least for 30 minutes, 5-6 times a week
5. Practice breath awareness for 10 minutes every day
6. Practice fasting one day a week.
7. Refrain from taking white flour, processed fats, aerated drinks, artificial colours, flavours and additives
8. Eat the food slowly, chewing it thoroughly. Refrain from eating when the mind is agitated
9. Spend at least 30 minutes a day with your family or pursuing your hobbies like music, reading, painting, swimming etc.
10. Give a gap of at least 2 hours between dinner and bedtime.
Regular practice of the above helps maintain a state of balance of the Mind, body and the spirit.
Disease management in Naturopathy is through drugless route, and healing is sought through 5 great elements of Nature, namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. There are treatment modalities or therapies representing these elements, such as Hydrotherapy, Mud therapy, Fasting therapy, Heliotherapy, Magnetotherapy, chromotherapy , Therapeutic massage, etc. Herbal packs and applications are widely used in Naturopathy.
Yoga therapy is a very potent tool used under Naturopathy, which helps in prevention as well as disease management. Unlike physiotherapy, where the exercises are used for limited spectrum of disease conditions, yoga therapy is widely used for physical as well as mental and emotional well being. It is a great tool in the management of life style diseases and in prevention of its occurrence. Yoga therapy has well proven its efficacy in management of stress and related disorders, in ante natal care, in treating hormonal disorders etc to name a few. Asanas, pranayama, meditation, Kriyas, breathing and relaxation techniques are all or selectively used in the treatment of diseases.
As mentioned earlier, Naturopathy is a drugless system of medicine. We believe that food is medicine. Hence nutrition and dietetics play a great role. Though traditionally, Naturopathy believed in vegetarian diet, modern practitioners are not averse to the inclusion of certain types of organic animal products, subjectively. Naturopathic diet is not calorie specific. It is purely dependant on the nutritional facts, the quality and quantity of intake. A well balanced, wholesome food intake can prevent and cure diseases.
Naturopathic approach fully complements the Modern medicine or Allopathy, as internal medications are not used, and so for the same reasons are exempt from drug interactions. This approach triggers the body’s innate healing capacity. Thus the body would be more receptive to the medications prescribed, and heals effectively and faster.
Naturopathy works wonderfully in the recuperation of post surgical cases, Oncological cases post surgery/ chemo/ radio therapy, Renal failure cases undergoing Dialysis, End stage liver disease, cardiac management post CABG, in Diabetes management, Management of GI disorders etc.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical approach, which is a part of the Naturopathic curriculum in India. Acupuncture works miraculously in pain management, Immunity disorders, Nervous system disorders, Addictions, treatment of infertility and menstrual disorders etc to quote a few.
Naturopathic principles and practice for centuries in India and abroad, has proven beyond doubt its efficacy in delivering Holistic well being for individuals and communities.
Thus Naturopathic prescriptions by a qualified physician, and the treatments, when administered judiciously, and followed sincerely, brings in Holistic well being.