Naturopathy and Yoga

Dr Simonette Fabri, Bologna, Italy

I chose to become a medical doctor essentially because I was interested in the study of the energy of man. My decision was based on my questionings about life and the meaning of man as a biological being who is also composed of energy and spirit. University studies gave me basic theory and practice but only partially answered my questions about man, health and disease. For this reason, after graduation and during my specialisation in medicine, I started to learn and practice naturopathy, treating disease with medicines composed of plants, and with diet.

Naturopathy and physiotherapy, which are studied and practiced in Europe, are very interesting and valid for the treatment of many disturbances, but they always remain at the level of symptoms. So I also felt the need to approach Yoga because of personal problems like stiffness and digestive problems, and I felt the beneficial effects directly.

When I came into contact with the teachings of Swami Satyananda through 'Satyananda Ashram Italia', I slowly started to understand that Yoga is a lifestyle, and this was responsible for a big change in my life both as an individual and as a medical professional. In Yoga I found a complete system for mankind. Yoga is causing me to grow because it is teaching me to live with more awareness. As a second stage I have started to introduce Yoga practices at the therapeutic Level, and I now realise how Yoga can bring about a deep cure, not only of the symptoms of a disease but of man's whole being on the physical, mental, psychic and spiritual dimensions.

I have also come to realise that regarding my own psycho-physical well being, it is essential to live a simple and disciplined yogic lifestyle. Recently I have become interested in ayurvedic medicine, feeling the necessity to combine Yoga and naturopathy with a new diagnostic and therapeutic method which incorporates the totality of the human being. I now realise that ayurvedic medicine, which is very ancient, is not only a science but also a way of life. In ayurveda I have come across many correlations with the system of Yoga (for example, the three doshas in relation to the tattwas and the three gunas) and that the two systems can coexist in my profession.

Yoga is helping me to understand many interesting relationships between human behaviour, disease, symptoms and balance of the central, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. I am finding out that, with the study, and more importantly with the direct experience of the nadi system and the chakras, it is possible to understand human physiology on a much deeper level than one can gain by simply studying books and forming an abstract concept.

Since I have started treating my patients with yoga for various disturbances I have a marked reduction and in some cases an elimination of drugs. The prescriptions I give have now diminished while I have increased dietary prescriptions.