You’ve probably heard a bit about naturopaths and heard this term “naturopathy” that you’re not quite sure how to pronounce.
So, let’s take a closer look at what naturopathy is and what a naturopath actually does.
What Is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a comprehensive system of healthcare that combines traditional healing approaches with contemporary health science knowledge.
This means naturopaths treat their patients based on traditional knowledge and clinical observations as well as staying up-to-date with the latest evidence-based research.
There is a myth that naturopathy is just pseudo-science. This is not true. Just like all fields of science, the research and knowledge is evolving and will continue to evolve. Naturopaths are taught evidence-based practice through their university degrees.
Naturopaths focus on disease prevention and healthy living and believe that in many circumstances, the body has the ability to heal itself in the right environment.
The practice of naturopathy follows 6 foundational principles.
- The healing power of nature
- Identify and treat the causes
- First do no harm
- Practitioner as teacher
- Treat the whole person
These foundational principles are core to how naturopaths are taught and how they treat their patients.
The healing power of nature
Naturopaths use herbal medicine, nutrition, vitamins and minerals, amino acids, probiotics and in some cases, homoeopathic medicine to treat patients.
We are not trained to prescribe pharmaceutical medicines. However, we do receive training in pharmacology and have an understanding of different types of medications.
Identify and treat the causes and treat the whole person
Allopathic medicine (conventional western medicine) focuses on the body as individual parts and aims to treat the symptoms you have.
For example, you see the doctor for a headache, so the doctor will give you a painkiller for the headache and not look further for the cause of the headache.
Naturopathic medicine views the body as a whole, rather than individual parts, and seeks to treat the whole person by identifying and treating the cause of the symptoms.
For example, if you see a naturopath for a headache, they will look for causes of the headache, such as hormonal changes, neck tension, allergies, etc. They will then treat the cause, aiming to eliminate the problem entirely, rather than just mask it.
First do no harm
A universal principle for all health professionals. I think this one goes without saying, we are in the business of improving people’s health and are healers at the core. I know every decision I make for a patient is based on whether it is the best outcome for them.
Practitioner as teacher
This is by far my favourite principle. A huge part of what I do as a naturopath is empower my patients to take charge of their own health.
Education is key! I want to give you the tools and knowledge so you can make the right decisions for yourself.
This is an area where naturopaths really shine. We’re great at catching problems at the subclinical disease stage.
This is when you don’t feel quite right, but all the testing and the doctors tell you that you’re perfectly fine. We get in early and correct the issue before it really becomes a problem.
Prevention also ties into practitioner as teacher. We educate you on how to live a healthy and well life, which prevents disease onset down the track.
What To Expect When You See A Naturopath
A consult includes details of symptoms, diet, lifestyle, and medical history. We will delve into all of your body systems to find out what’s really going on.
So, even though you might come to us for fatigue, we’ll still want to know about your daily bowel movements, your menstrual cycle and what you eat for breakfast. That’s because we treat the whole person, everything is connected.
Naturopaths might use conventional and functional testing in their quest to find the cause, for example blood, stool, urine and saliva tests, DNA tests, and hair mineral analysis.
Naturopathy works well alongside other medical and therapeutic techniques, but it’s important to ensure all health practitioners are aware of the range of treatments and medications you are using.
Your relationship with a naturopath is a two way street. The expectation is that you will have a conversation with your naturopath about your needs and expectations.
Our goal is for you to feel empowered about your health and get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Book in today for your comprehensive health analysis!