HomeoPathy? Naturopathy? What’s the Difference Anyway?
(Here’s an article I wrote for VIVA Magazine)
In our ever changing environment we have become increasingly aware of natural alternatives to our once thought, only option of conventional medicine and treatment. Illness and dis-ease now have more than one nemesis in the battle for health. New found awareness has lead us to the door step to the practice of prevention through nutrition, and alternative health treatments such as: Homeopathy, and Naturopathy. These two completely different forms of alternative health care have become somewhat commonplace as debates regarding this choice have resonated in political arenas, school forums, and let’s not forget the plethora of alternative health care books that have been spilling over the shelves in your local bookstore. But, what exactly is Homeopathy? and Naturopathy? And what alternative treatment is right for you?
Homeopathy from the Greek word “Homoios” meaning similar, and “pathos” meaning disease, was developed in the late 1700’s based on work by Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy delves into the thought of “Simila Similibus Curantur” or “let likes be cured by likes”. According to the Homeopathic College of Canada: Homeopathy is a system of medicine which treats disease by the use of natural substances which will produce the symptoms of the illness when administered in a high dose, but when this substance is administered to the patient is such a small often infinitesimal dose it will stimulate the body’s own healing abilities to effect a deep and long lasting cure. In simple terms, homeopathy heals the condition by stimulating the body’s immune system to react and develop antibodies against the disease or illness. The preparations will have had the toxic effect of the substance removed by dilution (usually with sugar, water, or alcohol) and shaking process but retaining the essential qualities of the preparation. Homeopathic remedies are assigned not only the basis of the physical symptom but also the physiology of the patient. Remedies are quite safe with little to no side effects therefore, have become increasingly popular among expectant mothers, the elderly, and children. The World Health Organization publication in 1999 stated: “homeopathy is one of the most widespread non-conventional approaches to treatment known to the world” With this knowledge and understanding a Homeopathic Doctor may have exactly what you’re looking for. However, keep in mind a Homeopath does not diagnose but will treat symptoms.
Naturopathy covers the arena once and still practiced by a variety of indigenous peoples. It is designed to treat the whole person through more than one modality. Naturopathic Doctors (ND) aim to uncover the root causes of the illness, and provide treatment accordingly. This treatment may include: (according to The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine) acupuncture, botanical medicine, massage or hydrotherapy, clinical nutrition, and lifestyle counseling. “It supports your own body’s healing using an integrated approach to disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.” Most health care plans will cover Naturopathic visits however; it is your responsibility to known what type of education your Naturopath has received.
Disease,or symptoms of disease are viewed as alarms to the ND and the individual that there is an improper function of the system. Naturopathy aims to uncover and treat these issues with the primary goal being treatment and prevention to the whole. Naturopathy has been successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.
For more information please contact the Homeopathic College of Canada, and The Canadian Collage of Naturopathic Medicine.
Tania Geetika Ibrahim RHN
Steps to Healthy Digestion
Eating & Proper Digestion
Simple rules to aid in the digestive process: (proactive approach)
- Take a moment to breathe in the aroma of the food your about to enjoy. Notice how your mouth begins to water. This will increase the amount to saliva produced, as well as the enzyme Amylase.
- Chew food properly: let the saliva in your mouth have an opportunity to assist the breakdown of carbohydrates. Get those Salivary Glands working! Again, this will increase the enzyme Amylase which breaks down those carbohydrates
- Avoid over eating: eating only until 2/3 full. It takes 20 mins for your brain to receive the message that it’s full.
- Eat portion size meals & and eat more often: this will get your metabolism going, and give your body the nutrition it needs.
- Relax: eat slowly; your body does its best digesting in parasympathetic mode.
- Remember: “it’s far better to eat anything with a friend, than a salad with an enemy.”
- Fast: Fast for 12-13 hrs/day.
8 am – 7pm ingestion
4am-8am elimination and detoxification
- Order your food: Foods that digest quickly should be eaten first
- Have mono meals: Do not over complicate your meals, eat simply – one or two offering per meal is enough variety and less taxing on your digestive system.
- Practice Food Combining – It really works!
- eat fruits alone
- do not combine heavy starches with heavy proteins
- do not drink with meals (this decreases your very important stomach acid HCL)
- Drinks: 5-10 mins before meals or ½ -3hrs. After meal (depending on size)
- If suffering from digestive disorders: try incorporating acidophilis, and Digestive Enzymes (or) Organic Apple Cider vinegar before meals (one tablespoon in a half a glass of water, 10 mins prior to eating) this is an exception to the liquid rule.
- Bless your food be grateful for your food!
* Remember* Food fuels your body it gives you life, pay attention to what your eating and always enjoy it healthfully.
Putting Your Best Face Forward: The Quest for Perfect Skin
In the constant quest to look and feel our best, most of us have slathered, masked, exfoliated, and spritzed ourselves to death. But, do any of these lotions & potions actually deliver? Or does acne & skin health really stem from the inside out??
Acne has plagued most of us from our tween years, teen, and well into adult adulthood. Some suffer from the embarrassing pimple that inevitably shows up right before a hot date. And others from chronic acne that leaves us feeling uncomfortable, awkward, and self conscious. Either way it’s never a feel good moment.
Synthetic acne treatments & products are a billion dollar industry yet, not a sure bet that they’ll work, or address what lies beneath.
Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and the most exposed to environmental toxins so, it’s no wonder what we put on our skin is just as important as what we feed our skin.
Treating acne from the inside out is not something most people are willing to do after all, we want results, and we often want them NOW. But thinking of treatment & prevention is worth its weight in expensive beauty creams.
Following these simple steps can save you time, money, and the stress your perfect skin quest certainly leaves you with. These steps also work wonders for other skin conditions like: eczema, psoriasis, and inflamed skin.
Step one: Stay Hydrated – keeping your skin & body hydrated will keep toxins on the path out. Your skin can be used as a way to release toxins when your bowels & liver cannot do the job. Water can help keep things moving, as well as assist with attaining the perfect glow. Anything living needs water to look & feel beautiful! You can also include healthy fresh pressed juices (70% green vegetable: 30% other vegetable or fruit, this will keep your blood sugar balanced, and contain good levels of chlorophyll for cleansing)
Step Two: Take a Good Probiotic – Probiotics are “good” bacteria. They play an essential role in keeping your immune system, intestines, and bowels healthy. Good digestion plays a bigger role than most people know and, good bacteria are vital. Look for something that contains over 6 billion active bacteria.
Step Three: EFA’s – Essential Fatty acids are crucial for skin health. They not only protect the delicate cell membrane and matrix, they keep water in, and inflammation out. They also keep your skin’s oil production balanced. Look for EFA’s in Organic Fish, walnuts, seaweeds, Sprouted Chia/Flax, and Fish oils supplements ….. A word of caution, not all fish oils supplements are created equally, fish oils are usually distilled at high temperatures, rancid, and often of poor quality. Look for higher quality, higher priced, and cold pressed (not distilled) oil that is hexane free.
Step Four: Remove Triggers – triggers can be many thing to many people however, there are basic triggers that affect all people. Some of these include: pasteurized dairy, hydrogenated oils/fats (found mainly in processed foods), white sugar (including bread, cereals, pasta, and snacks), nitrates, and sulphates, mould found in peanuts and other nuts. (Try soaking raw nuts for 2 hours before enjoying them)
Step Five: Cleanse – Cleanse your skin twice daily. Morning & evening. Do not over wash your face or use abrasive scrubs. These tend to irritate the skin and cause further breakouts. Invest in a good quality organic facial cleanser with calming agents such as rose, camomile, or lavender essential oils. Do not skip the moisturizer even if you have oily skin. For oily skin types use a lotion as opposed to creams.
Pat dry after cleansing, never rub even where dry.
One final quick tip: carry your own spritz bottle filled with good quality organic steeped & cooled green tea. Green tea has amazing antioxidant healing properties, and can protect the skin against environmental toxins you may pick up daily.
Our facial skin is more delicate than we treat it so incorporating these steps will put you well on your way to keeping your best face forward.
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis have a tendency to mimic other more serious conditions. Always contact a health care professional to address concerns. Keep a watchful eye out for changes in your skin, or if you notice spots, discolorations, or lesions this could be something more serious and will need to be addressed by a professional.
Beauty is never simply skin deep but why not keep that looking healthy too.
Tania Geetika Ibrahim
The Wild World of Antioxidants
Our daily lives have been consumed with talk of health and wellness, in the never ending pursuit to stay on top of the health
game. The information age is proving to be more mystifying than informative. Our health lingers in the wind as we contend to balance it all. Well, antioxidants aren’t the answer everything, but they are proving to be a force to be reckoned with. There is no disputing it, fresh, seasonal, locally grown, organic foods are the best way to enjoy these nutritious
wonders, and benefit from optimum absorption. However, it begs the question, Are some fresh foods better than others?
Free radicals are what antioxidantsare after. These free radicals are responsible for damaging, deforming, and pulling electrons away from healthy cells. When a cell loses an electron it fights to steal another one away, the only place to
get one is from a healthy cell, thus the numbers in unhealthy cells grow. This is how cellular damage begins. Antioxidants combat free radical damage by destroying damaged cells, while keeping existing healthy cells healthy. Antioxidants in some instances can even provide a damaged cell with a missing electron needed to balance the cell. Free radicals can be produced by our own
metabolic functions (digestion/assimilation), as well as processed/refined foods, environmental pollutants, household chemicals, and physical/emotional/mental stress. If these gangs of free radicals aren’t stopped they can prove quite damaging.
Free radicals have been linked to cancer, inflammatory discomforts, suppressed immune functions, circulatory health, and degenerative aging. Incorporating foods rich in anti-oxidants offers a real solution to these misgevious damaging
Anti-oxidant rich foods include: blueberries, cranberries, kidney beans, raw cacao, sprouted Chia, artichokes, black beans, apples, greens, cherries, alkalizing algae, pomegranates, green tea, pecans, oregano, turmeric, clove,
grapefruits, olives, and russet potatoes.
Vitamin C, Selenium, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A. (whole food brands are best – ask your community nutritionist), CoQ10, & Spirulina (just to name a few)
Lifestyle (body, mind & spirit):
get plenty of rest, exercise in the sunshine daily, drink 8-10 glasses of pure water/green juices, eat smaller meals more often, and most importantly learn to deal with stress in a relaxing way. This
can include meditation, yoga, walking, and laughter.
Incorporating these steps into your
daily routine will prove you well on your way to Radical change!!
Tania Geetika Ibrahim