Role of Naturopathy in dealing with lifestyle diseases
Naturopathy believes that a person is born healthy and strong and that they can stay that way by living in accordance with the laws of nature. A proper diet, fresh air, exercise, sunshine, meditation and the right mental attitude, all play their part in keeping the body and mind fit.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Vaidya Shakuntala Devi, Ayurveda expert revealed, “Naturopathy follows a route of ‘self-healing’ as it believes in the power of human bodies to fight diseases without medicines. As we know, lifestyle diseases are mostly caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. People can ward off lifestyle diseases and live a healthier life by altering their diet to improve the digestive system. Naturopathy advises you to include seasonal raw fruits and vegetables or their juices more than cooked food, which in turn helps you reach your ideal weight and helps improve your natural immunity.
Elaborating the same, Dr Mohd Sufiyan Khan, Medical Officer at Urban Pulse Herboceuticals, said, “Naturopathy is based on the belief that the human body has an innate capacity to help itself heal, if obstacles to health and healing are removed. It is also believed that disease is a manifestation of the loss of harmony in the natural processes of body and mind. The causes of disharmony may be multifarious including physical, mental, emotional as well as psychological."
Since Naturopathy is a drugless and non-invasive art of healing, it relies on a series of natural remedies to help the body heal itself. Dr Mohd Sufiyan Khan added, "These remedies in combination with a series of lifestyle modifications and herbs facilitate the body’s return to a harmonious state, thereby healing it. Naturopathy takes into consideration some techniques and treatments which were written about in the Vedas. If you want to live life to your fullest, enjoy the little pleasures it offers, then forget the colourful tablets and switch over to naturopathy. After all, a healthy life is only when your body remains fit and your soul remains clear!”
Health experts believe that more people are now aware of health and immunity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and with more people searching for ways to improve their well-being beyond traditional medical science, holistic methods like Naturopathy may be the solution for them. Shivani Gupta, Founder of HelloMyYoga, asserted, “The human body has a wonderful built-in healing mechanism. We manifest ailments when our body's constitution is unbalanced. We have corrupted our way of life, which has resulted in lifestyle ailments. We do not have a Dincharya (Daily Routine)."
Highlighting that Dinacharya, if followed properly, helps to establish balance in an individual's constitution and thereby helps in regulating the biological clock, Shivani Gupta stressed, "Naturopathic medicine, which encompasses acupuncture, massages, detoxification treatments, yoga, meditation, diet and herbal medicine, is a non-invasive drug-free treatment that restores, balances and reboots the human system to heal on its own.”
According to Dr K Shanmugam, Assistant Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Naturecure Institute, “Naturopathy is one of the most effective systems of alternative medicine. It is based on the principle that it is possible to prevent and treat disease without drug intervention, using holistic techniques that take into consideration all factors affecting a patient instead of just treating the symptoms. Naturopaths understand the influence of physical, environmental, social, and psychological factors on the patient and prescribe lifestyle changes using a well-researched combination of exercise, diet, natural remedies, and detoxifying methods."
He added, “They integrate medical diagnostics with a wide range of natural therapies. Naturopaths can successfully pinpoint if a patient is predisposed to a particular medical condition. Their treatments include exercise therapy, diet therapy, education and counselling on lifestyle changes, hydrotherapy and mind-body techniques such as meditation and yoga.” Given that as we age, our body faces greater oxidative stress and free radical damage even as its ability to repair and replenish itself slows down, Dr K Shanmugam suggested:
• It is important that our diet and daily intake boosts our immune system and fight diseases.
• Vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts are rich in nutrients that keep the immune system healthy. Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale support good liver function, which is essential for natural detoxification.
• Chronic stress can also adversely affect physical and mental wellbeing, and even weaken the immune response. The use of calming agents such as natural fragrances and herbal teas can significantly help curtail the effects of stress. For example, chamomile tea, rosemary tea, Ashwagandha, holy basil and curcumin (the main component in turmeric) are natural remedies with powerful stress-busting and relaxing effects that can induce calm and improve sleep. Turmeric extracts are also known to prevent certain kinds of cancers.
• Studies have also shown that certain mushrooms, such as oyster, shiitake and Japanese mushrooms help boost immune cell production. They are also rich in antioxidants and help combat the harmful effect of free radicals.
• Similarly, raw garlic contains powerful cancer fighting and antimicrobial agents while ginger is one of the most effective remedies for nausea, flu and cold symptoms.
• It is also important to spend time under the sun which is the best source for vitamin D. It helps produce antibodies that help fight infection.