Why natural health?
The basic premise behind natural health (as I see it) is to restore balance and health to the body. If you can restore health to the body by changing the diet and taking nutritional supplements, it stands to reason that some of your dietary choices must have something to do with being unhealthy. I think that every action that we take in our day to day life either make us healthier or tends to break down our body over time. My personal goal is to help educate myself and others so that we can make better decisions for our own health and be healthier in the long run.
The natural perspective tends to view the body as a whole and tries to understand what the body is trying to communicate through the symptoms it presents. Is the symptom relating a deficiency? Some of the simpler deficiency signs are: white spots on the nails are a sign of zinc deficiency; numbness in the extremities, tense head, neck and shoulders and sometimes ringing in the left ear are signs of vitamin B12 deficiency; problems with night vision tend to be vitamin A deficiency.
Or is the symptom related to a ‘condition’ such as a liver or gall bladder problem. Symptoms like this can be varied and sometimes are easy to relate, but not always. For example, symptoms that point to liver or gall bladder problems include pain in the area of the liver or gallbladder, burning feet, dry itchy skin, blurred vision, metallic taste in mouth, pain in the big toe or ball of the foot, and dark circles under the eye.
There are many signs and symptoms, but the real success of natural health comes when you can go beyond the signs of the deficiency or condition and find the reason or reasons it is there. Is it diet? More than likely it is. However some of the more insidious problems relate to exposure to environmental toxins or to heavy metal toxicity from metal dental fillings. Many natural practitioners are having success with degenerative neurological conditions by addressing heavy metal toxicity, particularly lead and mercury. With chronic health problems, it is rarely just one issue.
There are several steps involved when taking a natural health approach to almost any condition. First and foremost, change your diet. There are many good books that talk about dietary changes. They include "The Maker’s Diet", "Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About, and What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You".
After you change your diet, restore mineral balance. The right minerals will make almost any condition better. Be sure to include trace minerals. The next step is to restore digestive health. Proper digestion is essential for assimilation of nutrients that make us healthy. The next steps vary based on the condition. For example, with toxicity the next step would be to remove the toxin; with hormonal problems, the next step would be to strengthen the glands that produce the hormones; etc.
If you truly want to be healthier, a natural approach may work for you. If you would like to hear more about natural health, I am speaking at the Methodist Church at 7 p.m. on this Thursday, the 19th.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.