What does a Naturopath do? And every question in between answered
Oh you're a Naturopath?......What is it that you actually do?
This question comes up at almost every social gathering...and it still surprises me, because I guess I somewhat live in a little health bubble where everyone that I deal with knows exactly what Naturopaths do and what we are all about, what differentiates us from mainstream medicine and what conditions you would go to a Naturopath for.
I have been meaning to write this article for a while. To put into my own words what we do as Naturopaths, but more specifically how I work as a practitioner. Because like all of us, practitioners can be so varied in the way that we work, no two people will ever practice the same way and nor should they. That is the beauty of what we do, we can use totally different tools to bring about the same result in someone.
A Naturopath is a practitioner that uses natural herbs, nutrition, diet and lifestyle alterations to allow the body to ultimately heal itself. We believe that the body has this capacity, and when the body is out of balance it becomes more and more difficult for this healing to take place.
So what happens in a consultation?
It all begins in the initial consultation. I always joke with patients that we will be very well aquaintend by the end of this first consultation, because we go through EVERYTHING. We go through your entire case history, discussing everything from birth to now and everything in between. This consultation is the most important, because this case taking allows me, the practitioner to understand where this imbalance has occurred, what factors are maintaining your current state of health and what needs to happen next to help ease your symptoms.
Diet is discussed at great length and this gives me a great insight into what habits good or bad might have also contributed to your current state of health.
It is so important to be honest and forthright with information in this consultation, because everything can be important and be a piece of the puzzle when it comes to your health. And remember that everything is confidential and free from judgement. You have come to me for help and that is what I am trying to do.
From there I explain to you how I am seeing things. Explaining to you exactly what I believe is a contributing factor and how it is impacting your health. More often than not everything this is interconnected. If you come to see me for hormonal imbalance but you also have very high levels of stress and an poorly controlled thyroid issue- then I will explain to you how all of these influence one another. The more you can understand your body and what is occurring, the easy it will be to make changes to rectify these issues.
Naturopaths work to get to the root of the issue, rather than just treating the symptoms that are presenting. Everything that I have mentioned is how we get to the bottom of your symptoms and once we can correct the causes, then the symptoms should cease and hopefully never return.
If we need to we can also look at functional testing to answer some questions that might not seem clear through the initial case taking, or you might be referred back to your GP to get certain testing requested or something that might be more serious to be addressed sooner rather than later.
I will always put together a treatment plan for my patients, which outlines clearly exactly what we are going to do and how we are going to do it- this gives us a clear action plan with a timeline, allowing you the patient to