Who Can Benefit from Natural Therapies?
Because natural therapies use gentle, strengthening approaches that supply vital nuitrients, rectify imbalances and help our bodies to heal themselves, they are appropriate for all ages from infants to the elderly - and even your pets. Many a horse, cat or dog have been helped by herbal and nutritional interventions. Another benefit is their suitability as both stand-alone treatments and safe additions to orthodox medicine. Acute and chronic ailments alike can benefit from their preventative and therapeutic strategies.
What's so Great about Herbs?
Leonardo da Vinci once said,
"May we ever have joy and gratitude in our hearts that the Creator of all things, in his love for us, placed the herbs in the fields for our healing."
Herbs and spices have been used for centuries for their culinary and medicinal properties. They heal wounds, improve health and serve as nutritional supplements. At times they seem like wonder drugs. Their range is vast, they are well assimilated, and they are effective.
One of the best things about herbal remedies is their ability to cure without harsh side effects. Used against infections, for example, they can be powerful and fast acting while being well balanced and suited to the human body. In contrast, antibiotics can have a long list of sometimes serious side effects.
Garlic, for instance, has been used for infections for at least 5,000 years and has been the subject of over 2,000 studies. Olive Leaf was used in ancient Egypt for preservation, and in the 1800’s it was used with success against malaria. Tea tree, oregano and lavender oils and other botanical products have been used against infections for thousands of years and continue to be prescribed by medical doctors in France to this day.
Of course there are also poisonous herbs that can harm or even kill, but fully trained herbal practitioners know their plants and plant derivatives well. They have not only studied the philosophies, principles and practices of herbal medicine but have also been examined on their knowledge of associated medical sciences such as biochemistry, herbal pharmacology and pharmacognosy.
In short, herbs are natural, safe and synergistic healing agents that help our bodies recover from imbalances, traumas and infections without inducing secondary symptoms or leading down the path of induced chronicity.
Food Is Your Best Medicine
As the old saying goes,
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
In 1965, long-term practicing medical doctor Henry Bieler wrote a book by this very title and introduced it with the following words:
"My conclusion is that in almost all cases the use of drugs in treating patients is harmful. Drugs often cause serious side effects, and sometimes even create new diseases... Disease can be cured through the proper use of correct foods. This statement may sound deceptively simple, but I have arrived at it only after intensive study of a highly comples subject: colloid and endocrine chemistry... My conclusions are based on experimental and observational results, gathered through years of successfully treating patients. Occasionally I have resorted to the use of drugs in emergency situations, but those times have been rare. Instead, I have sought to prescribe for my patients' illnesses antidotes which Nature has placed at their disposal."
God has created many 'superfoods' for healing and wellbeing. Garlic is a powerful antibiotic and hypotensive, certain mushrooms have great healing properties, and then there are oats, chilli peppers, apples, coffee (yes!), cinamon, strawberries, beetroot, alfalfa, kiwi fruits, eggs, onions, ginger, and the list goes on almost ad infinitum. I think you get the message. There are many great books that explain the healing properties of foods.
What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy identifies the underlying causes of illness and restores wellbeing by using nutritional therapies and/or life style changes such as dietary adjustments, exercise, stress management, or whatever else may be indicated. By treating each person as a unique individual, naturopaths take into account the patient’s physical, emotional, biochemical and social aspects. Your first visit requires a full health analysis, which incorporates iridology and/or other methods of analysis so that you can be treated in a wholistic manner rather than symptomatically. On the basis of this assessmen,t the practitioner will formulate a treatment plan that may include herbs, homeopathics, nutritional therapy, massage or other therapies. Margaret can also advise you about hydrotherapy, aromatic oils, colloidal minerals, tissue salts, homoeopathy and Bach flower remedies as they relate to your condition.
How to Choose an Alternative Health Practitioner
Training standards of natural medicine practitioners are high, and in order to obtain professional indemnity, all practitioners are required to maintain full membership with one of the professional associations in their field. In most cases, therefore, you will encounter practitioners with high ethical standards and continuing professional education.
But don’t be afraid to ask anyone about their qualifications and/or spiritual practices! Transparency is part of our moral obligation, and if the practitioner is honest and adheres to professional ethics, s/he will be happy to tell you whatever you want to know. And if you don't like what you hear, you are always free to choose someone else.
When you are looking for a practitioner in your particular area, you could either check with Yellow Pages, or you could contact the associations by phone or on the web: www.atms.com.au and www.nhaa.org.au
Apart from professional qualification, personal attributes are also important because they help you to establish a good relationship with your therapist. So look for a person who is genuinely caring, truthful, warm, open, friendly and respectful, and who is concerned for you as a unique individual. And remember, you don't have to accept every therapy that is offered to you.
Considerations for Christians
Not sure whether Christianity is compatible with natural medicine? Not sure which therapies are suitable and which ones are not? Read my article Counselling and Christianity on the For Christians page.
If you are looking for a Christian practitioner, find out what to look for in a therapist and check the referral network that is being built on the For Christians page.
Margaret's Qualifications and Experience
Margaret has been practicing natural medicine since 1980. Her career began when she received her Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy in 1979 (if you're a Christian, don't jump off here...keep reading!) followed by advanced studies in hypnosis and a Diploma of Natural Medicine & Nutrition. In 1980 she opened the doors to her own clinic based on New Age philosophies, but three years later became a Christian and decided to re-evaluate her therapeutic methods.
She then stopped using hypnotherapy and any dubious alternative therapies, and instead continued in a more scientific manner as a practitioner of naturopathy, botanic medicine, homoeopathy, remedial massage, and a few years later as a counsellor. To see all of her qualifications, click here.
- Accredited by examination as a full member of the National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA) in 1981
- Elected as an Associate of the Australian Institute of Homoeopathy (AIH) after completing advanced studies in this field
- Full membership of the Association of Remedial Masseurs (ARM) in 1983
- Accredited by the Australian National Therapists Association (ANTA) in 1984 for Botanic Medicine, Homoeopathy and Remedial Therapy
Transferred all memberships to the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) in 1986, with whom she has remained to this day.
Margaret has conducted many different health related workshops for community organisations, community colleges, and at her clinic.
Currently she conducts only one workshop in the context of Christian ministry and presents all material from a Christian perspective. Her aim is to build healthier families based on natural principles and the treasures of God's medicine chest.
More workshop info on the Speaker page.
All health related information on this website is made available for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Also, the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information are not guaranteed. The author and producer of this website does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health professional! Any and all actions you may take based on the information supplied on this website, you do so entirely at your own risk.