When I say I practice natural medicine; to some it creates visions of potions and spells, or flashbacks to “Kramer’s holistic healer friend from Seinfeld”;
Unfortunately, these sorts of clips (though fabulously hilarious!) highlight many misconceptions around what a naturopath actually does.
A naturopath has a few core beliefs:
1. The belief in the healing power of nature
Using plants and whole foods as a therapeutic tool for 100% health and vitality in the body.
Long before we made drugs and medicines in labs, people used plants for medicine and there are still many active ingredients in medicines available today that are originally derived from plants; e.g. aspirin. The active ingredient in aspirin is salicin, or salicylic acid, which originally comes from the bark of the willow tree.
The difference between herbal medicine and conventional pharmaceutical medicine.
- Pharmaceutical medicines will take a plant; isolate 1 active ingredient in that plant (in this case, salicin) and then make that 1 part, very very potent. This may increase medicines actions, however it can and does cause a number of side effects; e.g. stomach upset, or worse!
- In this instance, Naturopaths may suggest the use of herbal medicines – which use the whole plant; and using all of the parts of the plant are better for the body than just isolating 1 constituent, as with pharmaceutical medicines.
2. The healing power of the human body
That the body wants to be healthy and can actually heal itself if we give it the right environment.
However, modern life with its packaged and processed convenience foods, high stress (coming from things like pollution and deadlines, but also sugar and even gluten), our reliance on prescription drugs and alcohol is not really giving us the right environment, is it?
3. Prevention being better than cure
Ever heard the term, ‘a pill for your ill?’
Why wait to get sick, before doing something about it?
Why not work on the health of your body so you can potentially ‘breeze through menopause’, or dramatically reduce your risk factors for contracting heart disease, or osteoporosis?
My personal approach to Naturopathy
More than anything, I spend time getting to know each patient, and generally spend an hour at a time with each client!). I ask them about everything that’s going on in their lives - physically, emotionally, and often spiritually. For more information on what happens in a naturopathic consultation click to view my personal naturopath website.
When making a recommendation, whether it be food, supplement or a herbal medicine, I spend time explaining options and answering questions. My aim is to teach clients about their health, and most importantly; what they can do to protect it.
So yeah, some of us are a little “out there,” however our evidence based “hippie” medicine works, and what we do is becoming less “alternative” and more “main stream” every day.
If you would like to speak with me, I offer a free 10-minute initial Naturopathy consultation. Click this link to make a naturopath initial consultation booking.