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Nature-cure, or the healing power of Nature, is the guiding principle behind naturopathic medicine. It is present in every living thing as the ability to restore health and balance: it keeps us alive. As inherent healing forces are not easy to measure using scientific instruments, this idea tends to be dismissed by science as a vitalistic concept, and as a result many of us have become distanced from the natural world.
For the innate therapeutic force to succeed, Nature should be free to work unhindered by the numerous barriers constructed by the human race. Depending on the vitality of the individual, Nature’s healing forces will be promoted by simple things that everyone should be able to take for granted: fresh air, pure water, sunlight, adequate exercise, rest and relaxation, correct thinking and a diet appropriate to the specific, environmental cultural and genetic needs of the individual.
These concepts sound simple enough at first, but to achieve them practically in today’s society may be virtually impossible: we breathe an atmosphere tainted by heavy metals and toxic chemicals; our water is polluted with dangerous contaminants either added by the water companies, by industrial processing or by consumers of cleaning materials, and then compressed in pipes until its vitality is destroyed; sunlight is dangerously high in radiation thanks to the destruction of the Earth’s protective ozone layer; exercise is a luxury when you have to subscribe to a gym or risk the polluted outdoor air and traffic in cities; most people’s idea of rest and relaxation is to slouch in front of a television or hunch by a computer games console. Even if our brains are not hampered by any of this, it is unusual to be able to think clearly in a materialistic Western society incessantly bombarded by media images of ‘normal’ and ‘desirable’ without being swallowed up by the tempo of the psyche of our times.
Nature has a lot to contend with these days: even from before birth, a deficiency in the diet of our grandmother during pregnancy may have influenced our nutritional makeup; the mercury in our mother’s teeth, along with the pesticides and PCBs accumulated in her body all become a part of us before we enter the world, and are accepted as normal; we may be bottle-fed from birth with pasteurised, denatured dried milk originally intended to supply the mucous production needed by calves; the multiple assaults on our immature immune systems by vaccination with toxic substances cultured on animal organs; the destruction of our sense of taste with sweet or salty foods and drinks in a culture of junk food; fruits and vegetables denatured by a forced growing environment; reliance on stimulant and relaxing drugs; the reductionistic overmedication of the population to suppress any symptoms that irritate or annoy us. There are numerous other travesties of humankind that deserve a mention here. Is it anything but a miracle that we are still alive in this jungle of modern society? I have often wondered how people maintain health in this environment without making it a full-time occupation.
If you have read this far without being distracted, disgusted or depressed, you are probably looking for the happy ending. Ultimately it is down to each individual to create his or her own future. Practitioners of natural medicine can help put people on the right path, but don’t expect a magic wand to be waved and suddenly everything will be all right. It is a full-time job keeping mind and body together in the face of all the barriers that humans encounter in daily life, and sometimes staying on the right track is not easy. Are you ready to share that journey?
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