3 Reasons Naturopathy Is Good for Emotional and Mental Health
Imagine being diagnosed with a mental or emotional health issue only to be put on prescription medications for the rest of your life. Those medications may or may not offer you the hope you’ve been looking for, and they may only serve to manage your symptoms to a limited degree. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is all too common in the arena of mental health. The good news is that naturopathy offers alternatives that can truly help.
Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a kind of medicine that treats patients in ways that promote natural healing of the body rather than using external methods. For example, where a medical doctor may prefer to use prescription medication to treat hypertension, a naturopathic doctor would start by helping a patient modify his or her diet, exercise program, and consider how much stress the patient may be under. A similar mindset applies to mental and emotional health issues.
Naturopathic medicine is showing itself very worthy to be part of the discussion about mental health. Here are three reasons this is the case:
1. Naturopathic Medicine Seeks Root Causes
At the core of naturopathic medicine is a desire to discover the root causes of a patient’s illness, regardless of what that illness is. Naturopaths understand that the body has a natural way of functioning in every aspect. When that natural function is interrupted, illness results. Therefore, it’s important to understand the root causes of the illness in order to know whether natural functioning has been interrupted and when it has been, whether restoring natural function can bring healing.
This way of looking at medicine is valid in the arena of mental health. Mental and emotional problems are often the result of chemical imbalances in the brain or abnormal thought patterns influenced by some circumstances or health issues of the past. It is possible, in many cases, to treat such problems using only naturopathic means or by combining naturopathy with medical treatment.
2. Naturopathic Medicine Prefers to Avoid Drugs
Naturopathic mental health practitioners tend to avoid drugs whenever possible. The reason is simple: drugs are used to control symptoms rather than actually promote individual healing. The problem with this approach is that drugs come with side effects that can sometimes be worse than the problem being treated. Furthermore, the kinds of drugs prescribed for mental health issues can create additional mental health concerns.
3. Naturopathic Medicine Encourages a Different Outlook
It is amazing to observe how self-defeating mental illness can be. For example, a person suffering from clinical depression can eventually lose all hope of ever feeling better. Once hope is lost, it only makes the depression worse. A vicious cycle develops that sends the patient spiraling downward.
Our approach to all mental and emotional health is very different than many practitioners. There are certain biochemical imbalances that are often seen in a patient experiencing anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations and other mental emotional disturbances. More severe manifestations of certain chemical imbalances are often found in patients with attention deficit problems, autism, bipolar, and schizophrenia.
Finding out these chemical imbalances and working towards correcting them can interrupt the downward spiral of deteriorating mental emotional health. How? By encouraging a whole new outlook on life in addition to working towards replacing deficient nutrients in the body that are important in balancing brain neurochemistry. Because naturopathy focuses on total wellness and healthy living, the patient’s outlook can be transformed from negative to positive through different lifestyle changes, nutrient support, and other means.