Naturopathic Doctors claim that their treatments do not suppress but rather treat the root cause of illness. What exactly does this mean?
Both in conventional and some alternative forms of medicine, reduction of symptoms and alleviation of suffering are viewed as the ultimate goals of treatment.
The clinical philosophy of naturopathic medicine holds, in contrast, that a symptom is an expression of inner disharmony rather than a problematic thing in itself, and that the disappearance of a symptom may or may not be an indication of cure when health is considered holistically.
In very simple terms, when you have a headache, an ache in the tummy, an injured limb, and on and on, the pain phenomena lets you know that there’s something wrong and that it needs your attention. If you were to only quiet down this nagging ache you would never get down to figuring out its cause. The suppression of this very important symptom in turn may lead the disease to linger and worse, be the cause of more harm as it begins to disrupt the harmonious functioning of the body as a whole while affecting other organ systems, etc.
Suppression can also be used to describe illnesses that arise on the mental and emotional sphere and eventually manifest on the physical plane or vice versa without proper treatment; there is no distinction between our mental, emotional or physical aspects when health is concerned (eg. a single thought/emotion can give rise to a whole range of hormones and neurotransmitters that can cause us to either get stuck frozen by fear or gain so much power and energy as to be capable of things we never dreamt possible). If you were to continuously ignore your body’s signals or worse to suppress them by treating them superficially -not addressing the root cause- they will eventually manifest in greater degree as a sure way to get your attention.
Symptoms of disease are not the enemy. Naturopathy recognizes that symptoms are merely the evidences or manifestations of the disease. Therefore, challenging the underlying disease in order to achieve cure becomes the goal.
Cure is a profound overall improvement in health and enhanced well-being. The disease is removed in its entirety -with all its signs and symptoms. The patient’s mental and emotional well-being is increased, and behavior returns to normal.
I’d be leading you to falsely believe in a wonderful, easy, and quick fix if I didn’t tell you that this may be a very challenging process for some. It takes time, patience, perseverance and much effort from the patient and of course, the practitioner who is aiding the patient along in this process. If you decide to take on this route, beware, it can be full of innumerable stumbling blocks (or stepping-stones/growth opportunities, depending…) and that it will, in no way, be a quick fix!
It should also be noted that Naturopathic Doctors do not believe in suffering, as in, “hmm, just take the pain ’till we figure out how to blast this thing from its root”! No, due to our very extensive tool set (naturopathic modalities), we are able to palliate until such time as a battle campaign against the cause can be devised and carried out.