Naturopathy: Five phase optimal health program
How do you view health? In order to choose a plan of health, you must first have a clear understanding of where you believe health comes from. In a world full of natural remedy “cures” and a medical system warning you to avoid them, and instead take “researched” drugs, society shows a behavior of seeking the easiest path looking to take some pill or concoction to bring “health.” In trying to help you understand the origins of health, classical naturopathic medicine provides a path that will bring you what you seek. The catch is that it requires a lifestyle and choices that go against the grains of society.
The first principle of Naturopathic Medicine is Vis Medicatrix Naturae, or the healing power of nature. My Christian beliefs define where I believe this power comes from, but when you look at biological science, the basic cell concept defines a process of homeostasis. Homeostasis shows that every cell works 24 x 7 to be as healthy as that cell can be based on the given environment of that cell. So the first step to health and question you must ask is “what is my personal cellular environment?” More importantly, “can I change that environment to promote optimal health?”
Your body is composed of fat, protein, carbohydrates, water, and minerals with a twist of God to make it all work together in a balance we may never quite understand. Every molecule you eat, drink, absorb through your skin or mucous membranes, and inhale into your lungs creates the “environment” for your cells. All these molecules, whether good or bad, must be identified, broken down, and processed to either be used as building blocks, food, or waste. The waste serves as burden to your liver, kidneys, or immune system and is eliminated as best to each cells ability, or stored in fat if the burden is too heavy and the cells don’t have the nutrients or energy needed to process the load. You must efficiently pee, poop, sweat, and excrete toxins in your hair more readily than what you absorb and store them in order for your cells to function optimally. All this must happen with the support of adequate and balanced nutrient intake to support the process to occur.
It is that simple, yet that difficult. When choosing your health approach, you must have a foundational understanding of what you are trying to accomplish in the process of finding or restoring health. You literally are what you eat, along with everything else thrown into the mixture in today’s toxic world. Your cure is not found in a pill or concoction, it is found in a health promoting lifestyle.
To incorporate the foundational principles of Naturopathic Medicine into your life sets the stage for health to occur. The six primary principles are: 1) Vis Medicatrix Naturae – the healing power of nature. 2) Tôlle Cáusăm – treat the cause. 3) Primŭm Nô Nôcére – first, do no harm. 4) Dôcére – doctor as a teacher. 5) Tôllé Tôtŭm – treat whole person. 6) Prevention – a well thought out plan. The Five Phase Optimal Health Program© defines itself with these principles in mind. When this program is applied by a trained physician, to observe the physiological patterns of health and modify the approach accordingly, this program shows consistent time honored health restorative patterns.
The basic template of the Five Phase Optimal Health Program© is to create a healthy cellular environment. Phase I sets out to change the environment around you. On a mental and spiritual note, you must define your health goals, identify obstacles and make a commitment to choices that support your beliefs and desires. On a physical level, this Phase focuses on pure air, food, water, and electromagnetic field protection for your cells. Additionally, you bring into focus the products you use that come in contact with you and affect your environment. You can change your physical environment in your primary work and living area, thus decreasing the cellular stress load in an overall way.
The goal of Phase II is to identify the cause. Using modern methods and tools to better understand the body and identify potential body burdens is the key to the cure. Modern medicine prides itself with the ability to identify and explain pathology through diagnostic testing. The focus of Phase II is to use testing procedures that focus on “why is this happening,” not “what is happening.” I strongly believe in the use of controversial electro-dermal techniques that detect subtle electrical changes in the body as a response to electrical stimuli found associated with environmental factors. In a quantum physical universe, all matter has an electrical “frequency” or imprint, and in the last 50+ years we have only began to understand the implications of this technology.
Phases III and IV is what most people view as naturopathic or alternative medicine. These phases focus on support (Phase III) and detoxification (Phase IV), which plays right into the social thought process of “what can I take” or “how should I detoxify?” I encourage you to change your thought processes to a different view. Most people look to support the apparent system that seems to explain their symptoms. I have people come into my office with self diagnosed, or other alternative practitioner diagnosed, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, estrogen dominance, hormonal imbalance, etc., with a nutritional or herbal protocol to address that diagnosis. So why are they in my office? It doesn’t work and requires that you take a supplement for life to prevent symptoms.
Support in Phase III focuses on the body as a whole to increase its efficiency in dealing with the personal burdens placed on it as identified in Phase II. What is your cause of illness? How do I eliminate it from my environment and body, if need be? How do I feed my body to work optimally in coping with my environment and restore internal balance? As you apply this generalized approach, all the previous so called “diagnoses” correct themselves (Vis Medicatrix Naturae). A basic functional support, with focused attention on systems with greater need and observed imbalance, takes into consideration Tôllé Tôtŭm and results in generalized recovery and repair.
Phase IV is defined as detoxification and lifestyle change. Detoxification is a natural process that occurs when your immediate cellular load is less than its stored burdens, and the cell eliminates waste to the best of its ability. Your cells constantly work to remove waste and take in nutrients to support optimal function, within its given environment. If adequate nutrition is present to process the toxin load, the cell will optimize waste excretion. It is that simple. Phase IV provides traditional naturopathic techniques to stimulate optimal waste excretion. Some of these include colon cleansing kits, far infrared sauna therapy, constitutional hydrotherapy, and many other techniques with historical success. Additionally, this phase focuses on lifestyle education and habit formation to maintain your health progress.
Two points to be made within natural laws of cure are this: 1) If you clean up your environment (Phase I) then identify and remove your personal cellular burdens (Phase II), you will naturally enter into a detoxification (Phase IV) pattern of health, and 2) You will never achieve your optimal health goals if you start with support (Phase III) and detoxification (Phase IV), you must remove the obstacles to cure first (Phases I and II). The goal we should all have is Phase V, optimal health maintenance.
Phase V is a time of reflection and wisdom growth. You change who you are by the books you read and the CD’s you listen to. At this point you have experienced and begun to understand your body and how it is affected by spiritual, mental, emotional and physical stressors. You have learned to look forward and prevent negative health consequences with the choices you make. You have leaned that the choices you make towards health have a greater impact on other people and the world around you than you ever imagined. You will begin to learn that the same principles in health can be applied to your daily life and a whole new world of possibility and goal setting will follow. You will see that you do make a difference in this world.
So, how do you view your health?
Source: Dr Gowthaman, Medical Director, Dr Gowthaman’s Ayurveda Panchakarma Center, Chennai