Naturopathy is an integrative approach to health care, combining traditional natural medicine philosophy with a scientific evidence-based understanding of healthcare. The core principle of naturopathy is healing through nature, to stimulate the body’s own innate healing process.
A naturopath’s intention is to identify the underlying cause of the patients’ illness by assessing the patient as a whole. Health and wellbeing are affected by multiple external and internal factors, some of which lead to functional disorders and chronic disease. A naturopath takes into consideration the mind, body and emotions, and how these elements interact with one another and effect overall health. As these can vary from person to person, naturopaths emphasise the importance of developing and implementing individually tailored health plans.
Naturopath’s work to educate and empower the patient to understand their health manifestation, and to work together to address and treat these presenting aliments in order to facilitate healing. They take time to listen to and understand your story and health concerns, to optimize treatment options for you, while monitoring your progress so you can achieve your health goals.
Naturopaths can work alongside your GP or other health professional to offer you the best patient-centred care.
Naturopathy can be used for acute or chronic conditions in all age groups.
Naturopaths commonly treat:
A naturopathy consultation can take up to a 1 ½ hours for the first consultation. Follow up consultation may only need 30-45 minutes. This is so the naturopath can gain an in-depth understanding of you and your current state of health, covering questions regarding all the relevant systems of your body, in order to develop a treatment plan best suited to your needs.
The initial and subsequent consultations will be a set price. As treatment is individualised, the cost for each patient will be based on what therapeutic supplements are potentially required. Supplements are not always necessary, as diet and lifestyle counselling may be all that is needed to facilitate healing in some patients. Costs to the patient will always be kept to a minimum, so the patient doesn’t feel like they walk away spending a fortune, this is something Sarah is very focused on.
Both naturopaths and dieticians practice evidence-based medicine and hold a Bachelor of Health Science degree, where they have studied nutrition extensively. They share a common vision for optimising health and wellbeing through the patients’ diet. The two practices do however differ substantially in their philosophies.
Naturopathic/nutritional medicine, with a holistic approach, recognise that disease is complex and is caused by a combination of factors. This constitutes individualised care which is the cornerstone of holistic practice. Naturopaths work mostly in primary and secondary healthcare, a preventative or acute illness intervention approach. Naturopaths can educate patients on how to use food as medicine and tailor individualized health plans, but can also prescribe practitioner only nutritional supplements when required.
Dieticians are primarily trained to give evidence-based dietary advice to treat a wide range of conditions. They use this scientific nutritional information to tailor an appropriate diet plan, including food preparation and menu planning, to treat or manage nutrition-related disease. Dietitians can work in private practice, in tertiary care in hospitals, nursing homes and community settings.
Naturopathic supplements are practitioner only, therefore can only be prescribed by the clinician. Practitioner only supplements have been formulated using the highest quality ingredients, and use comprehensive testing to ensure the ingredients are in therapeutic doses and are safe for use. Although over the counter supplements can sometimes be cheaper, the herb or nutrient levels are often low and not in the therapeutic dosage range, or they may have poor bioavailability. This means your body may absorb very little of the ingredients, therefore they may not provide desired results. They also may not have undergone adequate testing to prove their benefits or safety.
You will need to discuss any supplements or medications that you are taking with your naturopath. A naturopath is a trained professional in prescribing natural medicines, and will prescribe around your medications, making sure there are no interactions or adverse effects with anything you may be currently taking. A naturopath will not suggest that you change or alter your prescribed medications, this can only be done by the practitioner that prescribed your medications.
Depending on the person and the condition, you may notice relief of symptoms quite quickly, or for some it may take a little longer. Each person will be completely different to the next, therefore change and progress in symptoms will depend on many different factors such as how long you have had your health condition, the severity of your symptoms, your age, constitution and your vitality.
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