Thousands swear by naturopathy for optimal health and wellbeing, and most health insurance companies provide optional cover for it. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Naturopath?
A Naturopath is someone who is qualified to consult and treat clients using naturopathy (a holistic approach to resolving illness and maintaining our wellbeing). The general aim of a Naturopath is to not only treat symptoms of sickness but to discover and resolve the underlying cause so that it does not keep reoccurring. A variety of naturopathic medicine and treatment methods can be used including herbs, vitamins, minerals, supplements, essential oils, homeopathy, massage and diet. Ultimately, the emphasis is in applying natural healing methods for achieving optimal health.
What does a Naturopath do?
While many people rely on medications to survive chronic illness or acute symptoms, a Naturopath will work on trying to reduce this requirement. Where certain prescription medications are part of the client’s case history there will be great care to ensure there are no potential contra-indications with other treatments offered (and in fact many Naturopaths work closely with GPs to manage a client’s health, working together to a common cause).
All Naturopaths work slightly differently, however today, there is an emphasis today to draw on modern technology, combining science and nature for the client’s best outcomes. Naturopaths review and monitor a client’s lifestyle, diet and genetic factors, and may offer diagnostic and functional tests to investigate their current health status and gauge any progress or decline in wellbeing. These investigative naturopathy techniques may be provided as in-clinic tests or sent away to pathology laboratories for more complicated testing.
Investigative naturopathy techniques and tests may include:
- Blood chemistry testing
- Bioimpedence analysis testing
- Comprehensive stool analysis
- Electrodermal screening
- Environmental sensitivity testing
- Food intolerance and additives testing
- Hair tissue mineral analysis
- Live blood analysis
- Lyme testing
- PET scans
- Real-age test
- Saliva hormone testing
- Nutritional deficiency test
Cell age (vs calendar age) testing
Oxidation and inflammation level analysis
And tests such as that for Candida, Coeliac, Helicobacter Pylori and so many more!
An added virtue of investigative techniques and testing is the ability to monitor any side effects of medications being taken, or in safely weaning off these when the client has requested this (or has a need to). At all times the client’s values and aims is the guiding post to decisions made in terms or treatment regimens and health plans.
Based on the clients’s health and needs, the Naturopath may recommend a plan of action for the patient or develop a health care plan that includes diet and lifestyle adjustments, dispense “practitioner only” grade supplements and remedies. These products are not available at a retail level and must be approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Association) after under-going rigorous testing and research on their therapeutic benefits. This brings the assurance that you have access to the very best avenues to wellbeing possible.
Naturopathy can help treat health conditions that are not life threatening and may also be a complimentary method to another health care program.
What do Naturopaths treat?
What is naturopathy used for? Or what is a naturopath good for you say? A Naturopath can assist with:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chemical sensitivities
- Childhood ear infections
- Diabetes mellitus Type 2
- Food or other allergies
- Liver disease
- Longevity promotion
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Recurrent acute illness
- Reflux (GERD)
- Many chronic diseases
- Vaccine reactions
Though really, if you’re asking “what does a naturopath treat?”, the list really can be endless. However this is a good example of some key areas of health that they may assist their patients with.
Benefits of naturopathy
Does naturopathy work? Visiting a Naturopath definitely can have a positive impact on your health. Whether you’d like advice on how to simply improve your current lifestyle and wellbeing status, or you have a specific symptom or issue you’d like to address, a Naturopath can help you. After working to identify the cause behind the symptom, or identifying areas for improvement with you, the Naturopath will take a natural and holistic approach in providing you with guidance, tools and tips to help drive optimum wellbeing. They’ll then work with you to monitor improvements in your health over time, and adjust your health and lifestyle plan accordingly. Naturopaths can provide a great alternative health care solutions on their own or in conjunction with a plan from your doctor, dependant on what’s most appropriate for the health issue at hand.