Naturopathic Notes

How many times have you picked up a magazine or newspaper and read the articles on natural health? It all sounds so simple – Vitamin C and Echinacea for colds; saw palmetto and zinc for prostate health, B vitamins for stress. The dietary advice also seems quite simple: avoid sugar, saturated fats, processed foods and focus on foods high in fibre. These suggestions are very basic and all with merit. What they lack is specificity. They may or may not help your complaint, but at the very least they will do no harm.

Over the course of the next few months, I will be introducing you to the concept of individualization of treatment.

The first thing to consider when selecting a treatment protocol is the constitution of the patient. Different terms are used to describe constitution you may have heard, immune reaction, miasm, reactional mode or reactive syndrome. They all describe the same thing: the individual’s ability to react to a stimulus and or expel an invading organism. During the course of this discussion, I will use the term reactional mode.

There are four main reactional modes, which are represented in the circle below:

The top half of the circle represents a disease state that relates to a functional change in your body but not yet any physical change. This is where your lab results show everything is normal, but you know that something is not right. The lower half of the circle represents that point at which a lesional change has occurred. This may be represented as a change in blood work outside of normal parameters or an actual physical change in your body represented by a growth or ulceration.

The most effective time to obtain naturopathic treatment is in R.M. 1 and R.M. 2. Once the body transitions into R.M. 3 and 4 it more difficult to reverse the condition. It can be done but, as with all things, prevention is the key to good health. The degree of healing that can happen is directly proportional to the depth of the disease state. The more advanced the condition, the less successful any treatment will be.

Next month I will introduce you to Reactional Mode 1 and its symptom picture.