Naturopathy is the practice of using natural treatments to help the body to heal itself. Naturopaths use a range of methods including; nutrition and dietary advice; breathing exercises and stretches; hydrotherapy (hot and cold baths, mineral spas and douches), herbal compresses and dry skin brushing are used to stimulate circulation and the lymphatic system and physical therapies such as massage therapy.
At the first consultation, a naturopath will ask you about your medical history and test your blood pressure and lung function. You might also need to have a blood test or other medical tests. The naturopathy will use this information to plan a programme of treatment for you. They will also give you some diet recommendations, or suggest a short cleansing diet or a fast. A fast is a planned programme where you eat certain foods only for a short period of time.
The practitioner will usually want to work with you over a period of time, and you will be asked to come back for regular consultations, every 2-3 weeks, for an agreed period of time.
It is important to have proper supervision if you try a fast or a special diet. Sudden changes to diet can cause physical changes, so it is important to keep in touch with your practitioner if anything concerns you. Fasting is not advisable during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.