Natural Health: General Info
What is natural health?
Natural health is a complex and widely varied field that includes everything from herbs to nutrition to homeopathy to the mind-body connection. While conventional medicine may focus more on pharmaceutical drugs or surgery, natural health practitioners prefer to improve and maintain health through diet, supplements, and changes in thinking and behavior. The underlying principle of natural health techniques is that preventing illness is just as important as curing it. Natural health methods are holistic, meaning they focus on the whole person rather than a specific ailment or part of the body that is afflicted. Natural health is concerned with improving the overall function of the body, and creating an environment inhospitable to illness and disease.
The food you eat is an important element of natural health
Nutrition is an important component of natural health. Modern food processing methods deplete foods of many of their vitamins and minerals, leading to deficiencies and poor health. However, by changing the diet or adding supplements, it may be possible to naturally replenish the body. Nutritionists often use sweat tests or hair analysis to determine what vitamins and minerals are lacking, and then use supplements to boost the body's intake. Or, they may formulate a diet tailored specifically to the patient's condition, such as chronic fatigue, cancer, or diabetes. Herbalists formulate medications consisting exclusively of plants in their natural state, maintaining they are stronger and safer than commercially-processed pharmaceutical drugs. Herbal remedies are commonly available in drug stores, health food stores, and even many supermarkets. They can be purchased as tablets, tinctures, infusions, compresses, decoctions, or poultices, depending on personal preference and the problem under treatment. Homeopathy uses the principle "like treats like," where practitioners administer patients a small amount of a substance that causes the symptoms the patient is suffering from; this is believed to help the body naturally adapt and fight off the illness.
Natural health: a combination of body and mind
Many natural health remedies focus on the connection between body and mind. Many people believe that encouraging relaxation or altering the way people think not only promotes inner tranquility, but also causes physical changes. Several studies have linked activities like yoga and meditation to better overall health and lower occurrence of many illnesses. Yoga uses breathing control and stretching exercises to promote relaxation and concentration, and helps develop flexibility and strength. Meditation and other relaxation exercises are thought to improve the immune system.