What is Naturopathic Medcine?
Naturopathy is a distinct and complete system of health care. It looks at the person as a whole - treating the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of complete wellbeing.
Modern naturopathy utilises thousands of years of traditional herbal medicine knowledge backed by current scientific research which in combination offers the best of both worlds, determining the current best evidence based practice.
The main goal of naturopathic treatment is to treat the person as a whole, not just the disease or condition they have. Every person is different, so each treatment plan is tailored to suit the specific needs of the person at that point in time.
Naturopaths aim to treat ALL the underlying causes of a health issue – not just put a band-aid over the symptoms – and this can involve dietary changes, lifestyle recommendations and nutritional or herbal medicines.
"A distinct system of primary health care-an art, science, philosophy, and practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness.
What conditions can Naturopathy help with?
• Stress, anxiety & depression
• Digestive issues
• Female & male reproductive issues
• Allergies & intolerances
• Skin issues including eczema, acne and psoriasis
• Weight loss or gain
• Cough, cold, flu, respiratory infections
• Poor immunity
• Insomnia and sleep disturbance
• Preconception and pregnancy care
• Hormonal imbalances
• Autoimmune conditions
• Joint pain and arthritic conditions
• Fungal infections
• ........ all of your weird and wonderful symptoms
Six foundational principles underpin the practice of naturopathy:
First do no harm
The healing power of nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Find and treat the cause, not only the symptoms (Tolle Causum)
Treat the whole person
These six principles are kept in mind when a naturopath takes your case and develops a treatment plan for your short and long term health and wellbeing goals.
What happens in a Naturopathic consultation?
For the uninitiated a Naturopathic consultation can be quite a different experience. On the principles of 'whole health' and 'wholistic' treatment we have an initial consultation that will take up to 90 minutes to complete. We gather as much information as possible about you, your history and your current health and wellbeing.
We go through each of the body systems noting all of your symptoms in each. The respiratory, cardiovascular/circulatory, reproductive, renal/urinary, endocrine, nervous, muscular skeletal, lymphatic and immune, integumentarary, and gastrointestinal (be prepared for poo talk) systems are discussed at length. The minor nuisances you dont want to mention to other health professionals for fear of complaining or having too many, are gems for us. They provide clues, or threads to pull, on what the underlying cause of your health concerns are so that we can treat and remove them. You will be amazed how connected it all is. There is no symptom too small or insignificant to mention.
You will be asked questions about your general wellbeing, current medications and any medical history that you have. Ideally you will have brought your recent test results to undergo naturopathic review as we see results differently in terms of sublicinial clues to your underlying health. Some further diagnostic pathology tests maybe ordered, in consultation with you, to obtain a clearer picture of your health status.
With ears wide open, we will listen to all of your concerns about your health, whether it is a general health issue or a specific matter requiring attention. And then we formulate a plan.
Our tools of the trade can vary from naturopathic practitioner to practitioner however I am an evidence based practitioner so the tools you will find employed in your care are science-based liquid herbal and nutritional medicines, specialised pathology testing, combined with current best practice dietary and lifestyle change recommendations.
I have undergone further training in chemical compounding and stocked my clinic with the highest quality most bio-available base ingredient vitamins, amino acids and contingent nutrient factors which i can compound into single , patient-specific, monthly supplement blends. This allows me greater control in the quality of ingredients my patients ingest, provides patients with better quality ingredients than available from large supplement companies seeking to maximise their revenue by using cheaper or synthetic ingredients, eliminates any additive and filler ingredients the large manufacturers include, provides patients with one easy product to consume, is more targeted and specific to the individual health symptoms and goals, and saves money in the long run! no cupboards full of expensive half used supplements.
Further, I have undergone training in genetic DNA testing, which can be completed in clinic via cheek swab and send off to the laboratories. This further provides tools and capacities to support health and wellbeing or understand why you are presenting with a particular health picture with evidence and science based practice. Understanding your genetic variations and predispositions allows more tailored and focused treatment and nutritional compounding now, and to actively work on preventative health measures for the future. Genetic testing is the future of preventative medicine and is a wonderful tool to implement into treatment programs to help avoid predispositions to certain chronic disease states from eventuating.
What happens after a Naturopathic consultation?
Once we have determined the key areas of focus from the initial consultation and test reports, you will receive a Treatment Plan to commence your journey to complete health and wellbeing. You will also be given any supporting information mentioned in a neat little take home pack. You may have been prescribed liquid herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, and dietary and lifestyle changes, which will all be discussed and agreed with you in consultation. The aim is to make consistent small positive changes over a long period of time so you will not be left overwhelmed with information, changes, or many new pills and potions to take.
When do I need to see my Naturopath again?
After your initial visit, or during your initial consultation, we’ll arrange for you to come back in a few weeks for a follow up visit so we can take a look at your progress and look at how your health has improved.... and what we can tackle next.
We firmly believe in not just treating the symptoms of your ailments, but getting to the root cause of the issue, so we will adjust any treatments as necessary. And of course this takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day and years of symptoms, illness or unhelpful behaviors causing illness and symptoms, wont disappear after a meeting and a week or two of good behavior (how grand if it did!). But you continue to progress and see improvements as you take those small steps and make those necessary changes.
Wellbeing, health and naturopathic treatment is very much like car maintenance. If you regularly service your vehicle with attention, quality product and gentle care... its a much easier and enjoyable journey than waiting for it to blow up and then taking action !
The follow up consultation is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have about your wellness and the changes you are making towards a greater feeling of health and wellbeing.
Do I need to stop taking any medications prescribed by my doctor or stop seeing my GP to undergo naturopathic treatment?
Absolutely not. Naturopaths work in a supportive capacity to your doctor, specialists and other members of the allopathic medical system. We are 'complementary medicine' healthcare practitioners which mean we work with your healthcare team in a supportive capacity. We never seek to change your specialist health care plan and any practitioner who advises otherwise should be reconsidered and their association notified. This is a serious breach in scope of practice .
How do I know my naturopath is qualified, insured and holds industry association membership?
For your safety and protection you should ensure any professional providing healthcare advice and treatment is appropriately qualified, insured and is undergoing continued professional education and supervision through current industry association membership. Qualified naturopaths have extensive training in anatomy, symptomology diagnosis and pathology, herbal medicines, drug interactions, contraindications, chemistry, biochemistry, safety and first aid training, to mention a few. This training ensures you are treated safely and that appropriate referrals for care are promptly made for any symptoms requiring GP or specialist review.
Your Naturopath should hold at least an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy or Bachelor Degree in Naturopathy or Health Sciences from an Australian Government recognised training provider (RTO). They must hold current industry association membership at an Australian based association (CMA, ATMS, ANPA and others), which may be checked by calling the association at any time, to ensure continued annual further professional education is undertaken and strict professional conduct guidelines are adhered to. They must also be insured to provide healthcare through Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurances.
I myself have an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy and am finalising a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences, the certificate of which will be happily presented on request or can be viewed in clinic. I have industry association membership with The Complementary Medicine Association (CMA) membership #2115 who may be contacted at any time to confirm the currency of my association membership. I have Professional Indemnity Insurance (PI) to $1,000,000 and Public Liability Insurance (PL) to $10,000,000 with Dual Insurance Australia through Bizcover Australia, the certificate of which will happily be presented on request.