So what exactly is naturopathy??
We are so so so excited to announce that we now have naturopathy at Connective Healthcare. We believe in the importance of a holistic approach to health and we aim to provide a wide range of services which complement one another, and which all work together to help you achieve and maintain health. Steve and I are always looking for additional services to offer our clients, and we are both firm believers in the benefits of naturopathy. I have been seeing a naturopath for years to assist with my digestion, skin and stress levels and have found that the dietary and lifestyle changes I’ve implemented are making a big difference to my overall health.
Laura Gale (www.lauragale.com.au) is our new naturopath and she has put together the information below on naturopathy.
What is Naturopathy and what can it offer to a patient?
Fundamentally, naturopathy is an holistic approach to health and wellness that seeks to promote optimal health, assist in disease prevention, and treat pre-existing disease by addressing causative factors. Naturopathy involves the use of dietary and lifestyle adjustment, as well as nutritional and herbal medicine, in order to promote health and resolve disease. Naturopathic principles are based on treating each person as an individual, and treating the whole person, not just the affected area.
Naturopaths are educated in a similar way to GPs in regards to body physiology and, essentially, how the body works. At the core of naturopathy is the belief that, if given the right tools, the body has the innate capacity to heal itself. In saying that, a naturopath is educated about the importance of drug-nutrient, or drug-herb, or even drug-drug interactions and can be relied upon to prescribe safely, without undue risk to a patient’s health. A naturopath can also work alongside general medicine, the two are not mutually exclusive and should be thought of as complementary, as opposed to alternative practices.
A naturopath is trained to treat a wide range of health complaints, large and small, acute or long-standing, however can also be trusted to refer to another treatment modality when outside the scope of practice. The patient/practitioner relationship when seeing a Naturopath is very much that of a team, whereby the patient must ultimately take responsibility for their health journey. Along the way, however, the naturopath provides continual and evolving education, guidance and support to empower the patient to do so. Education is central to naturopathic treatment, and as such patients will often be given hand-outs or information sheets to accompany information gained during a consultation.
Naturopaths utilise longer appointment times to develop a comprehensive picture of current patient health, as well as individual and family health history, in order to fully understand what might be going on for a particular patient. The comprehensive information gathered is used to then devise a Health Plan based on short, medium and longer-term health goals of the patient and practitioner.
What can a patient expect during an initial appointment and what happens next?
To obtain the level of detail required, an initial appointment should be scheduled for an hour. During this time, the patient will answer questions regarding their current health concern, as well as a brief overview of all relevant body systems, current diet, and family history of relevant health concerns, (i.e. cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer etc.), and finally what they hope to achieve with naturopathic treatment. Following this, the naturopath will likely perform some in-house testing that is both standard (i.e. blood pressure, pulse, BMI, waist circumference etc), and naturopathic, i.e. assessments of iris, tongue, nails as a starting point.
Generally, a patient will not be given any specific treatment in this initial consultation. This is to allow the naturopath sufficient time to prepare a suitable Health Plan that the patient is then involved, and invested, in.
A follow up appointment is suggested for the following week and although appointment times should be determined on a case by case basis, more often than not will be scheduled for 30 minutes.
We hope this has given you some more insight into what our naturopath can do for you. You can read more on naturopathy here.
Laura is available for appointments on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings. For the month of May, if you make an appointment with Laura you will get a 30 min Shiatsu massage with Mari for free! This is normally valued at $60 and can be used at anytime.