Salamat Dok: Naturopathy - The healing power of nature

by Yam dela Cruz, Multimedia producer, Salamat Dok

Posted at Feb 15 2011 12:35 AM | Updated as of Feb 17 2011 08:10 AM

We’re in the digital age and scientists never cease to amaze us with the latest medical breakthroughs. Yet, with the technological advancement and wide use of conventional or western medicine, people still seek alternative healing options. That’s why many still queue at alternative healing centers, in spite of the fact that some of them can afford consulting with private doctors.

Apart from acupuncture, therapeutic massage, medicinal plants, reflexology, now even naturopathy is gaining widespread attention. In fact, people who are afflicted with terminal illness but still alive up to these days affirm the effectiveness of naturopathy.

What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is medical system which believes in healing power of nature. An expert in naturopathy is called naturopathic doctor or ND. Naturopathic doctors base their practice on six timeless principles founded on medical tradition and scientific evidence.

The development of naturopathy can be traced to 18th and 19th century. Today, naturopathy is one of the most popular alternative healing methods. In the Philippines, it has become an important component of medical tourism; foreigners are gradually being attracted to naturopathy’s holistic approach.

Tam Mateo, Philippines’ first naturopathic doctor and a Cancer, Nutrition and Health advocate shares,” We often forget that our body has natural healing abilities. Almost all people stricken with illnesses have nutritional deficiency. If it is not given for a certain period of time, the patient feels exhaustion and deteriorates until the body can’t repair the damage. What we do is fill up those deficiencies through nutritional therapy.”

Most patients who never give up with dreaded diseases try other treatments. Some try the go abroad. Others flock to alternative healing centers like what Tam Mateo offers. Patients with dreaded diseases all affirm they’ve found a new lease in life when they underwent naturopathic therapy.


Surviving Cirrhosis

It was June 2006 when Maxwell Lanot was diagnosed with Cirrhosis – a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates, and gradually malfunctions due to chronic injury, and scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partially blocking the flow of blood through the liver.

Maxwell was featured in our program on November 7, 2009. Back then, he said there was no hope for his case. He was in agony and wondering about the cause of his illness since he’s never had any vices.

A friend recommended him to Tam Mateo. There was drastic change in his diet. From cooked to eating raw foods. He said it was not easy but his family was quite supportive.
“I’m now a vegetarian. I feel well whenever I eat fruits and vegetables. I can move fast, before I was sluggish,” says Maxwell. 

He was inspired to share his new lifestyle. He joined the seminar and has been speaking before the many hopeful patients.  He shares his regimen. “Discipline in food intake, enough attention to yourself, don’t think too much of your illness, just remain positive,” Maxwell adds. 

Stage 3 Prostate Cancer survivor

Robert Mata was featured in our program on January 14, 2007 as a prostate cancer patient.  Four years have passed. Our team paid him a visit and this is what he said. “I cried when the doctor told me about the findings – cancer positive. I thought it was the end of my life. Good thing that the idea that there’s no cure for cancer is eventually being disproved. Now, cancer doesn’t scare me anymore.”

Our team noticed a big change in Robert. He said it was because he completely changed his lifestyle. When he was diagnosed with his prostate condition, he said he consulted a well-known Naturopathic doctor. He was taught to eat raw fruits and vegetables based on a strict food plan.

“I no longer eat chicken, meat and fish. My taste buds have changed. Now seeing bell pepper or a carrot makes me hungry! My sleeping habit normalized and went back to 9:00pm. Even my urination habits went back to normal,” says Robert.

Good news indeed! Robert also added that when he underwent prostate specific antigen or PSA Test, the results went down from 8.93 to 2. He even admitted that he had no erection for 2 years due to his condition but now he feels 30 and sex life is going strong.

Robert is happy and grateful. He believes this is already his second life. “I don’t want to waste what I have learned from the nutritional program. It’s not only for the reason of living longer but for me to enjoy the good life that I have now,” exclaims Robert.

Diabetic Breast Cancer survivor

Mary Teves was diabetic when she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 1997. She refused cancer surgery for the fear of its consequences.   “I tried to bear the pain. I never stopped looking for remedies but I didn’t find any. I was bedridden for 2 months. My nails turned violet. That was the time when I lost hope,” shares Mary.

After 5 years, she discovered the naturopathic approach by Tam Mateo. She learned to eat up to a kilo of raw food daily.  Mary admits she cheats the recommended food plan from time to time. But she concentrated on her all-vegetable diet because of its good effects. “I became more beautiful and youthful-looking. I promise to stick with it. Even my family is shifting to my vegan diet,” adds Mary.

Things to remember
Naturopathy not only offers nutritional therapy. Depending on the case, a patient may undergo diuretic treatment, steam bath, or herbal supplementation. As part of the requirements, Tam Mateo encourages his patients to do the following while undergoing his treatment: 

•    Indulge in physical activities. Exercise is not just about burning calories. It’s a must for our daily living to prevent us from illnesses. It also promotes a healthy state of mind and helps us with our social capabilities. 

•    Sleep at 9:00 pm. Experts always remind us that a person needs to sleep before 11:00 at night because those are the times when most of our hormones are released and when the body does its recharging and repair of damaged cells.

•    Live in an appropriate environment. We must live in areas where there is fresh air coming inside your house. Poor air ventilation is one of the causes of some health conditions. High elevated areas are recommended especially for those who are in the recuperating stage. 

•    Drink water properly. Having 8 to 10 glasses of water a day is not enough. Water should be taken very slowly for proper assimilation especially those are sick.

•    Release negative emotions.  Others wonder why they get sick or do not heal from sickness in spite of trying all resources. We must have forgiving spirits as it hinders our healthy living. “If you are full of hate, it will kill you,” says Tam Mateo.

“I also work with medical doctors. I can’t go on my own. I have these people who work with me. They give updates on the patient’s condition.  My advice to those who want to try naturopathy, consult your doctor first,” Tam Mateo concludes.

(December 12, 2010 episode)