The terrain theory was the brainchild of French scientist, Antoine Béchamp (1816–1908). His philosophy was that disease occurs from within the body as a result of an acidic and poorly oxygenated ‘terrain’ (the body’s internal environment), not from external factors. Béchamp suggests that bacteria and viruses are simply ‘after-effects’, rather than the cause of disease. Although ridiculed at the time, modern technology and research now supports Béchamp’s theory as it is now known that opportunistic microorganisms (bacterium, virus, protozoan or fungus) are extremely common within the blood stream but usually cause no symptoms of illness. These microorganisms can also lie dormant in body tissues for many years, such as the human herpes viruses. When the immune system is weakened and cannot raise an adequate response, these microorganisms are activated, begin to multiply and soon overwhelm the body's weakened defences.
Béchamp believed that a healthy terrain is a result of a nutritious diet, healthy lifestyle practices, hygiene, fresh air, clean water and exercise. With a healthy terrain, pathogenic germs cannot flourish and, therefore, cannot manifest into disease states. An unhealthy terrain, on the other hand, makes a person not only prone to infections and diseases but provides an environment for them to flourish.
In our present day, we are currently in a massive paradigm shift within the scientific community. The new science of epigenetics and quantum mechanics (now being referred to as the most true science we have), also supports Béchamp’s theory in the respect that external factors (such as bacteria and viruses) are not the problem, it is the environment (diet, lifestyle and mindset) of the individual that is the problem/solution. We will discuss this science in more detail at a later stage.
These principles of the Terrain Theory, epigenetics and quantum mechanics are all in harmony with traditional and modern naturopathic practice. Naturopathy is a system of healthcare which encourages and promotes the human being’s own self-healing mechanisms. The body is able to heal itself given the right conditions, environment and treatment/complement.
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