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When I decided to become a Naturopath I just assumed everyone knew what that was and how naturopathy worked. Then I started speaking to people and their perception of what a Naturopath did was very interesting.
There were definitely some very negative opinions around Naturopaths and how they worked with over prescribing and unattainable diets being two of the main criticisms, so with this in mind it’s probably a good time for me to clear a few things up.
When I think of why I became a Naturopath it has been to educate my patients about their ailments and their own personal health as well as being able to help them minimise or eliminate symptoms whilst maximising their body’s ability to heal and balance.
It’s about prevention being better than cure and taking a more Eastern Philosophy approach when it comes to health. The way I like to explain it is similar to the way we run our cars… rather than waiting for the engine to blow we tend to maintain and service our cars regularly. We make sure the tyres have air in them, we put the correct type of fuel in them and our mechanic keeps the engine running.
A Naturopath is a bit like your mechanic.. we keep your engine running, teach you to put the right fuel into your body and how to keep it running efficiently and effectively. We do this by taking a holistic approach to your health and looking at the entire body not just focussing on the symptoms you’re experiencing.
We ask the question why? Why are you feeling the way you are? Why is your body reacting the way it is? Why haven’t you had answers from your GP or Specialist? What else can be done? What else could be missing from your health puzzle?
Once we’ve asked the right questions, we look to find the answers.
We do this using a variety of methods which include different types of testing, if required, and then using those results to establish your own personalised plan.
This plan can include a variety of methods including supplements (where required), nutritional changes, which is an area I absolutely love and find to be one of THE most effective ways to achieve long term health success, and herbal remedies (where required)
Additionally, I have the added bonus of working in a clinic with some very talented GP’s, Integrative Doctors and Allied Health Practitioners. What does this mean to you as a patient? It means if you need to we can build your very own, unique healthcare team, all under the one roof and all communicating with each other so your care is holistic and focussed on the same goal.
I remember back when my son had been diagnosed with Autism and we were using a variety of practitioners to work on his health and development, the one thing that frustrated me the most was their unwillingness of practitioners to communicate with one another.
So if you’re wanting to take an alternative look at your health and one which will look at you holistically than you’ve come to the right place.
Western Herbal Medicine is a way of treating patients using a variety of herbs as either tinctures, tablets / capsules, infusions, creams or foods to strengthen and heal your body.
The power of herbs, being what they are, means many of them have such potent ingredients they need to be taken with the same level of caution and professional guidance as pharmaceutical medications.
You’ll also find that many pharmaceutical medications and treatments are a man made version of naturally occurring constituents found in plants.
For example, digoxin is a medication belonging to an overall class of medications called digitalis glycosides and are used to treat a variety of heart conditions. They’re also based on digitalis, a constituent of the plant Foxglove, traditionally used to treat heart conditions before the medications existed.
One of the big differences between using herbal medicines and medications is that when you’re using a herbal medicine the plant contains multiple ingredients which work synergistically to heal whereas, many of the medications are based on a single active ingredient so in some ways can lose their overall healing impact.
In other words, herbal medicine is designed to heal and work on the underlying cause, where as medications that use just a single active ingredient are usually designed to manage symptoms.
As a herbalist I know that the effect of the whole plant and even a blend of plants in a remedy will have a much greater effect than trying to just use one particular ingredient. It’s about returning the body to a state of natural balance / homeostasis so it can heal itself.
The patients I see are often struggling with a variety of ailments such as those listed below:
Having these skills to draw on allows me, as a practitioner, to work holistically with my patients and offer them multiple ways to achieve their health and lifestyle goals. If this sounds like something you may be interested then this is the place for you.