Words and phrases like organic, all-natural, and holistic may come to mind when you think about natural health. But, the most accurate answer to “What is Natural Health?” is significantly more complex and fascinating.
Natural health is a field of study, a philosophy, and a practice. It encompasses many different modalities and techniques aimed at achieving the same goal: cultivating wellness through non-invasive means that coincide with natural, organic substances and processes. In this sense, “natural processes” describe what happens to an organism when environmental, genetic, or lifestyle factors enact upon or influence it.
Natural health encourages the body, mind, and spirit to function at the highest capacity. For example, providing the body with nutritious food allows it to operate more effectively: mentally, physically, and ultimately, spiritually. Natural health is always used as a method of supporting the body. It should never be used in emergencies or to treat or cure. When disease, injury, or an emergency arises that requires medical intervention, conventional healthcare is best suited to address these concerns. However, natural health can help support the body during the healing process. This type of support offered by natural health practitioners and used in conjunction with conventional medicine is commonly referred to as complementary care.
To fully understand what natural health offers, it’s imperative to know a few practice techniques and their uses. A natural health practitioner can specialize in all these methods, a select few, or other modalities not listed. Read on to learn more about natural health and areas of study in this field.
Aromatherapy typically uses essential oils derived from plants to activate our sense of smell, which is closely connected with brain function and memory. A commonly used essential oil, lavender, is said to promote a sense of calm and may help bring about better sleep. Essential oils can be diffused or used topically with proper guidance. Our sense of smell is associated with the olfactory system, where sensory receptors within the nose connect to various areas within the brain. By activating this system, we can support mental, physical, and emotional processes through the power of scent.
Iridology focuses on the story the eye can tell. This modality studies the eye to determine what organs or systems may need support. According to this technique, different sections of the eye represent certain structures of the body. If there appears to be a spot or defining characteristic in the eye, then a practitioner may recommend corresponding natural support.
In natural health, nutrition represents a means to feed yourself down to the cellular level. Natural health practitioners emphasizing nutrition will typically recommend consuming organic whole foods, responsibly sourced meats, and drinking plenty of water. Supplementation may also be discussed to support missing or limited nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in one’s diet.
4) Flower Essences
Flower essences, not to be confused with essential oils, are a branch of natural health that uses the nature of flowers and plants to support emotions and personality traits. For example, Walnut is a Bach Flower Remedy that helps support the emotions associated with big life changes. It is classified as one of the flower essences for individuals that suffer from over sensitivity. The 38 Bach Flowers, created by Dr. Edward Bach, are closely related to homeopathic remedies.
Herbology relies on the use of herbs to support the body. In this field, herbs are used topically and orally to provide nutrients, encourage relief, and help to optimize the body’s functions at micro and macro levels. Its applications are vast and flexible enough to meet the needs of many. Herbs such as rosemary, sage, and peppermint are also accessible and relatively easy to incorporate into your daily life via supplementation, food, and teas.
6) Physical Activity
Natural health takes a whole-person, holistic approach to fitness. This means that a person’s mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical states are considered when supporting the person and their wellness. In a previous blog titled, “How Holistic Fitness and Traditional Fitness Differ,” we explain, “In holistic fitness, workout routines, exercises, food choices, and lifestyle choices are analyzed in an interconnected manner. By doing so, a fitness professional can best determine how to help the individual to make long-term lifestyle changes based on their individual needs and goals.”
7) Spiritual and Religious Practices
Belief in a higher power and connecting with the essence of life and creation is a powerful practice for promoting well-being. Religion and spirituality not only connect us to God and our creator, but also one another, nature, and ourselves. Prayer, meditation, service to others, going to church, and self-compassion are all practices we can participate in to promote a sense of well-being, connection, and peace. These practices can also provide us with relief from stress, strength, understanding, faith, trust in life, and resilience.
What’s Your Response to ‘What is Natural Health?’
We are all unique individuals, and natural health can be practiced in a variety of ways. There’s no “one size fits all” approach, making this field powerful and flexible. It allows us to discover what resonates with us, our bodies, and what does not.
With the guidance of a natural health practitioner, natural health can be even more fulfilling. We recommend that you seek a practitioner to work with either one-on-one or in a class setting to ensure that you’re safely and effectively practicing each modality of your choosing. To learn more about natural health, our programs, and join a community of Certified Natural Health Professionals and students, visit trinityschool.org.