by Dr Girinathan Panicker, Doctor of Acupuncture and Yogic Sciences
NATUROPATHY: A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO WELLBEING
Naturopathy offers a holistic approach towards achieving and maintaining wellbeing in conjunction with the laws of nature. Naturopaths consider lowered vitality due to the violation of nature's law as the root cause of many ailments. Naturopathy therefore strives to maintain a peaceful and harmonic relationship between the individual and their environment in physical, emotional and spiritual planes of being.
The human body is evolved to process short-term goals and employ short-term de-stress tactics, yet the modern world increasingly drags us into situations where we place the body and mind under much longer term stresses to achieve longer-term goals. When we are exposed to such a chaotic lifestyle, we often miss the opportunity to connect with nature's healing forces. Chronic fatigue and intellectual dullness are just two of the symptoms that result from this failure - and the ensuing impact on our immunity is huge, even before we add an unhealthy diet as well.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING IN ACCORDANCE WITH NATURE
Our health outcomes if we fail to live in accordance with the principles of nature will, simply put, be catastrophic. Oxidative stress will rise abnormally, leading to the body’s immune system - an otherwise excellent and vigilant self-checking entity - failing to identify and prevent trouble-making particles from entering the body. Not following a fresh and healthy diet only compounds this failure. Although our life expectancy has increased considerably, our modern lifestyles prevent the normal harmonious vibrations of the elements and forces within us from finding a peaceful, balanced existence. Hence, although Naturopathy was developed as a practice centuries ago, its role is only becoming more important in the present-day world, given these internal disruptions.
YOGA & NATUROPATHY
Physical exercise, sleep and diet are important pillars of health. Balancing them is an art requiring patience, hard work and passion. While Naturopathy assists individuals seeking to cultivate health by balancing these three pillars, using Yoga as an additional tool makes the journey even more thrilling and the results more impressive.
Apart from its various physical benefits, practising Yoga makes an individual think beyond the horizons of physical health. The key features of Yoga are its effects on our spiritual and intellectual levels of existence: it relaxes body and mind simultaneously; it cleanses not only thoughts but, when moving deeper into the practice, can even purify our actions; yoga is even powerful enough to change our way of looking at the world. Practising Yoga is not just about doing postures: when practised correctly - and initiated by the right practitioner in the right place - it blends body movements, breath and thoughts with nature.
To conclude, there is no more effective and powerful a healing system than one that combines both Naturopathy and Yoga: an approach that allows us to truly experience our existence in this world in a state of balance, and at the same time explore the world that exists within.