8 Naturopath Modalities

by Julie Tran

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Naturopathy.

Highlights

  • The 8 modalities are Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nutrition, Acupuncture, Herbalism, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Blood Type Diet, and Ayurveda.
  • The 5 branches of traditional Chinese medicine are useful for restoring the body's natural balance.

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

The five branches of TCM are: Acupuncture, nutrition, qi gong, Chinese herbs, and tui na.

TCM focuses on living according to the dao, the law of nature. It centers on the belief that we each have a vital energy called qi. Qi circulates through our bodies, gives us energy, and drives our physiological functions.

Complete 10-second survey to read full article!

Highlights

  • The 8 modalities are Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nutrition, Acupuncture, Herbalism, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Blood Type Diet, and Ayurveda.
  • The 5 branches of traditional Chinese medicine are useful for restoring the body's natural balance.

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

The five branches of TCM are: Acupuncture, nutrition, qi gong, Chinese herbs, and tui na.

TCM focuses on living according to the dao, the law of nature. It centers on the belief that we each have a vital energy called qi. Qi circulates through our bodies, gives us energy, and drives our physiological functions.

People get sick when qi is stuck or imbalanced. Once that free flow of qi returns, health returns to the body.

Naturopaths help patients eat by according to the seasons and day/night cycles. Chinese dietetics looks at the energetics of food. There are “warming” foods and “cooling” foods.

For example, chicken and beef warm the body. Bananas and tropical fruits are cooling. If a patient has a hot constitution, the doctor will tell him to eat more cooling foods, and vice versa.

Naturopaths use the 5 branches of Chinese medicine to bring back the body’s natural balance.

2. Nutrition

Food is medicine. Nutrition is looking at what a person needs and getting him or her to eat that food. If you know that celery can help with blood pressure, tell the patient to eat more celery (instead of taking celery supplements).

Naturopaths look at nutrition on the micro and macro levels. On the macro level, are patients getting enough protein, carbs, and fiber? On the micro level, are they getting the minerals they need? If a patient is low on selenium, for example, he may show hypothyroid symptoms.

Practitioners guide the body to correct itself. Some practitioners say that they can do more with nutrition than they can with acupuncture.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves thin, hair-like needles that can be 3 to 5 inches long. Acupuncture stimulates certain areas and points of the external body to improve the flow of qi and blood.

There are 12 pairs of meridian points throughout both sides of the body and 2 extra major meridian points along the midline of the abdomen and back. There are about 300 acupuncture points (acupoints).

The World Health Organization has a full list of symptoms that acupuncture has been proven to cure. These include hypertension, knee pain, depression, morning sickness, stroke, and many more.

More info here: apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html

4. Herbalism

Herbalism is the natural form of prescribing drugs. A drug is just the chemical component taken out of the herb. In Chinese medicine and in naturopathic medicine, we use the whole plant.

Different parts of an herb can help with different symptoms. One herb’s root may stop bleeding, while its leaves may help with digestion.

Naturopaths commonly use a combination of acupuncture and herbs. Acupuncture is more external because you’re physically manipulating the qi. Herbs work internally. Herbs “tonify”—they strengthen and build up the body.

Some herbs serve similar functions in Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Western medicine, dandelions are a diuretic and can clean out the blood. In Chinese medicine, dandelions clear heat toxins from the blood. Hawthorne helps with heart problems in both Chinese and Western medicine.

No matter how effective herbs may be, the question remains, “Are your patients willing to take the herbs?” Some might be skeptical or may already be taking too many other medications. Naturopaths have to meet the patient where he is.

5. Homeopathy

The philosophy of homeopathy is: “like cures like.” Naturopaths practicing homeopathy use remedies. If you’re a healthy person and you took a remedy, it would cause the symptoms the remedy is supposed to treat. That’s called a “proving.”

Boiron (www.boironusa.com) remedies look like little white pellets, and they can be bought at Whole Foods. Arnica is used for any major trauma or bruises. If you take arnica internally, it works on an energetic, mental, and emotional level. If you take it topically, it works on bruises and muscle aches.

Homeopathy delves into the mental and emotional aspects of a person. A naturopath will prescribe different remedies for a person who is capricious and one who is loquacious.

6. Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is an umbrella term for using water in treatments.

One of the hydrotherapy techniques we use is the “magic sock” treatment for kids. If a child is getting a cold, a naturopath can soak a pair of cotton or wool socks in very cold water and put the socks on the child’s feet. Then another pair of socks go on over the cold socks.

Because the feet are cold, they constrict, and the body has to warm them up. In the process of warming, the body releases more fluid. The fluids from the face move down to reach the bottom, and the face opens up a little.

Contrast hydrotherapy is another common technique. Wet and cold towels help stimulate the immune system. The patient lies on the table, and a warm towel is placed on the body. Warmth causes the blood vessels to dilate, allowing for better blood flow.

Next, a very cold towel is placed on the patient, and you wait for the body to warm up. Because the towel is so cold, the blood vessels begin to constrict. The body acts as a pump to move the fluid that was stagnant.

Contrast hydrotherapy can be used for elbow or knee injuries as well. When the body moves that fluid on its own, injuries heal much faster.

Russian steam is a hydrotherapy treatment in which the patient sits in a steam cabinet. The patient’s head remains above the cabinet, and the body sweats out toxins. Naturopaths use Russian steam as a detox treatment.

Sitz baths are baths with clay and other herbs steeped in water. Patients sit in the bath and soak.

7. Blood Type Diet

Dr. D’Adamo wrote a book called Eat Right 4 Your Type (www.4yourtype.com). You should feed your body according to your blood type. The diet recommends foods that contain the lectins best for your blood type.

It was voted one of “Ten Most Influential Health Books Of All Time.” Dr. D’Adamo’s plan is backed up by medical and genetic research, and it has become popular among naturopaths.

He recommends lean, high protein diets for Type O. Type A bodies function best with vegetarian diets. Type B people should eat a diet of meat, fish, and dairy. Type AB should eat modified vegetarian diets.

8. Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an alternative system of medicine practiced in India. It focuses on balance of 3 humors called dosas. The three dosas are vata (wind), pitta (bile), and kapha (phlegm).

Like Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda includes a scope of therapies and a diet of herbs to balance the body.
Price: $5.99 Add to Cart
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 100% refund
  • Free updates