Did you make some New Year’s resolutions you’d like to stick to this year? Learn how naturopathy, also referred to as naturopathic medicine, could help turn them into habits.
What is naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a form of primary health care that combines traditional forms of healing with current scientific research and is practised by naturopaths, or naturopathic medicine practitioners. Naturopaths focus on the body’s innate ability to heal itself when supported by a healthy diet, nutritional supplements such as vitamins or minerals, herbal medicine and lifestyle changes, including exercise and relaxation techniques.
What does a session with a naturopath involve?
An initial naturopathic consultation is generally 1-1.5 hours in length, as a naturopath asks extensive questions relating to various areas of your health. Your naturopath will then use this information to devise a treatment plan that is specific to you. It is important that you give as much information as you can to your naturopath, including any medication that you are taking, as there may be interactions with supplements that they prescribe.
Why should I see a naturopath?
Many people end up visiting a naturopath as a last resort, after they have tried ‘everything else’. But, this doesn’t have to be the case for you. Naturopaths are trained in both traditional methods of healing and principles of evidence-based medicine. Modern medicine is becoming more aware of how naturopathy can complement the treatment offered by your doctor. While the main focus of naturopathy is on preventing disease, naturopaths can also work alongside your doctor to provide treatments that support your body in its current state and can help it to heal faster.
It is important to be aware that your naturopath is not a replacement healthcare practitioner to your doctor or your current treatment for your particular condition – rather they are there to work with your doctor and offer complementary and supportive treatment.
How can it help me?
Since naturopathy emphasises and promotes disease prevention, and it’s most likely your New Year’s Resolutions targeted something related to improving your health, a naturopath can help you achieve the results you are looking for.
Want to lose weight, stop feeling so tired all the time or train for a marathon?
Whether you are after weight loss, increased energy, a diet and supplement program to help you train for a marathon, or a general health kick, your naturopath can guide you in the right direction, providing you with an individualised treatment plan which will work specifically for your needs and help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
Fleming SA, Gutknecht NC. Naturopathy and the primary care practice. Prim Care. 2010;37(1):119-36
Smith MJ, Logan AC. Naturopathy. Med Clin North Am. 2002;86(1):173-84