Free Press Article – March 9 , 2012
Julia Gullotti, N.D.
“Naturopathy is a philosophy which encompasses a view of life, a model from living a full life. The word naturopathy is a Latin-Greek hybrid which can be defined as ‘being close to or benefiting from nature.’” — Stewart Mitchell author of Naturopathy: Understanding the Healing Power of Nature
Natural therapies have been utilized to treat various health conditions since the beginning of man. All ancient people around the world have shaped their traditional medicine and health systems based on their cultural beliefs; however, one trend is universal — traditional Chinese medicine, India’s Ayurvedic medicine and European Naturopathy, along with indigenous healers, have all integrated nature with their health care systems and philosophies. These medicinal systems still exist today, and though through modern techniques and research they have evolved greatly, they still hold on to the fundamental belief that there is an intimate relationship between our “selves” and nature.
Naturopathy’s history: In the times of the early Greeks there were two different philosophical approaches to healing, health and what caused disease. One school of thought considered health as a normal state and believed life should be lived full and in harmony with nature and that ill-health serves as a reminder to live a more balanced life. This connection to nature and living is the basis for “Nature Cure” and naturopathy.
The second school held that life’s imperfection was manifested in disease and the approach to healing was “doctoring.” While these philosophies worked harmoniously for the Greeks; the later philosophy has become the theme in the Western medical model we are familiar with today. As a society in the modern world, we have veered off course from connecting our health with that of the importance of living in accord with nature and the environment. It is not to say that either philosophy is better or worse than the other, or that one should replace the other, but yet, develop a more complementary and integrated relationship.
In America we have not had the benefit of naturopathy until recently, though it has been thriving in European countries for centuries. In the 19th century, Nature Cure was the system of healing and utilized water, air, diet, herbs and sunshine. Naturopathy was developed through the combination of nature cure, homeopathy, spinal manipulation and other natural therapies to allow the body to heal itself. The “healing power of nature” became the central theme in naturopathic philosophy. Naturopathy portrays a more conscious life: one with confidence in our strength, and an increased understanding of the process of self-healing.
In naturopathy there are different types of practitioners: Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) also known as Naturopathic Medical Doctor (N.M.D.) in Arizona. Both are licensed health-care practitioners (in some states) and can diagnose the way medical doctors (M.D.) do — yet, they focus on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.
A Doctor of Naturopathy or Traditional Naturopath is also referred to as (N.D.) and functions under a different scope of practice. Traditional Naturopaths do not diagnose, cure or treat health conditions, yet work holistically with the client to educate and make recommendations for lifestyle and diet modifications.
What to expect from a visit with a Traditional Naturopath: An initial visit with a naturopath involves going over health goals, concerns and your health history to work together to devise a plan for achieving your highest level of wellness. Making goals and learning how to implement the tools to achieve them, is what the relationship involves. To bring about mind and body health, the Nature Cure philosophy is applied to a wellness plan and may include modalities and recommendations such as nutrition and diet education and recommendations, exercise, herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, cleansing and detoxification programs, and lifestyle coaching. As a practitioner, I also incorporate yoga and massage therapy for a body, mind and soul approach to a naturopathy wellness plan. Utilizing tools such as individualized meal plans, food logs and health coaching, one can take steps toward reaching their health and fitness goals.
There is a paradigm shift occurring, though subtle, in our society where the complementary and holistic approach to health and healing is becoming more accepted. I believe many of the chronic and debilitating dis-eases that currently plague our society could be prevented or eliminated through the approach of integrative health solutions. I believe that living harmoniously with the earth and respecting our place on it will positively impact each dimension of our being.
My mission as a Traditional Naturopath is to promote grounded wellness by employing a variety of modalities to approach health holistically to support the body, while recognizing each individual’s uniqueness. I wish to take part in the growth of a healthier lifestyle and well-being through the body, mind and spirit by utilizing this holistic approach that can work in complementary fashion with other modalities. My commitment is guided by living simplistically in conjunction with the earth and helping provide the client with the information and tools they need, so that they can take responsibility for their health and create a life full of vitality.
Dr. Julia Gullotti is a traditional naturopath and registered yoga teacher. She can be reached at Healing Horizons Integrated Health Solutions, 2139 N. 12th St. #7, 970-256-8449.