What Is A Naturopath and What Do They Treat
With so many alternative health therapies available to us these days it can be confusing to know which therapist is the right one to choose for your own health requirements. So I thought I would start by getting the lowdown for you on exactly what is a Naturopath and what do they treat, straight from the correct source – a certified professional Naturopath – Andrew Boxer from Restore Naturopathy. Have a read…
NATUROAPTHY- WHAT IS IT? – Andrew Boxer ND – BHSc (Naturopathy),CPT
If the leaves of your plant were turning brown, you wouldn’t fix them by painting them green! You would go to the root of the problem and water the plant. It makes sense to approach your health in the same way.
How Does a Naturopath Treat Me?
Naturopathic medicine focuses on a combination of conventional medical practices combined with holistic naturopathic methods, to find the root cause of your health condition.
Your naturopath will ask lots of questions about your life, to get to know you, your habits and how your conditions first manifested. A tailored treatment plan is then prescribed that will optimize your body’s capacity to heal and eliminate your obstacles to health. Common naturopathic modalities include herbal, nutritional and energetic medicines, as well as comprehensive diet and lifestyle advice.
When should I Go And See A Naturopath?
A Naturopath can treat most conditions that you would see your GP for. When people ask me ‘what is a naturopath?’ I tell them to think of a combination of a GP + nutritionist + herbalist, with a sprinkling of ‘hippie’ dust.
A good naturopath will work alongside allied health professionals and know their limitations and when to refer. (See below for a list of commonly treated conditions.)
When developing a treatment plan for each patient, a good naturopath should take guidance from the founding principles of Naturopathic Medicine. (see below.)
THE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE
– Identify and treat the cause, rather than just the symptoms
– When in balance, the human body has the natural capacity to heal
– First, do no harm
– The doctor’s role is to be a teacher
– Treat the whole person
– Prevention is the best medicine
COMMONLY TREATED CONDTIONS BY NATUROPATHS:
Allergies- food and environmental based.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Coldds and Flue
Cancer- Adjunctive care
plus many more…
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT MY APPOINTMENT WITH A NATUROPATH
A TYPICAL APPOINTMENT:
Initial appointments can vary from 20 minutes to 1½ hours depending on the naturopath. The most common length would be around 1 hour. This is where the naturopaths get to know you, your body and your health. The first 40 minutes usually involves a discussion about your body, any supplements or medication you’re currently taking, and your life style. Then the following 20 minutes involves designing a treatment protocol. A good naturopath will design a treatment plan that will achieve results but at the same time feels comfortable for the patient within their lifestyle.
PREPARING FOR YOUR 1ST CONSULTATION:
The naturopath may ask you to bring along any medication or supplements you are currently taking. A good idea is to write down the names and dosages or bring the boxes with you!
They may also e-mail you a confirmation of your appointment a day or two before, along with some forms for you to fill out.
A good naturopath should get you to fill out a ‘food diary’. This would be a diary of all the food you had for several days before your appointment, and allows the naturopath a ‘snapshot’ into your nutrition. This is important as it allows more time to concentrate on your presenting symptoms rather than spending precious time asking you about your diet. You should also be truthful when filling this out, as it will help support the consultation and outcomes you’re looking for. Sometimes a small diet change can be the key!
PREPARING FOR YOUR SECOND AND FOLLOW UP CONSULTATIONS:
Follow up consultations normally last 30 minutes and is where your progress will be discussed and assessed. This is where any further information, questions and an evolution of your treatment will take place.
It’s important to note changes to your condition and the treatment since your last appointment and be ready to report them.
There are many different ways to practise naturopathy. Some are more traditional while others prefer only scientifically founded treatments. So it’s important to see a naturopath that compliments your belief systems because when you feel more comfortable & trust your practitioner, you will achieve the best results!
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