What is a Naturopath?
Naturopathy is a form of therapy that encompasses both scientific knowledge and traditional theory So what is a naturopath is an approach based on the principle that the body has an inherent ability to heal itself. Naturopaths strive to find the cause of disease rather than just a symptom.
The Naturopath views each person as an individual and treats the whole person and not just an individual organ or symptom.
Naturopaths believe that wellness encompasses optimal physical, psychological, spiritual, social and environmental aspects and not just the absence of disease.
Naturopaths may use any of the following to assist you on your path to wellness:
- Dietary intervention and using food as medicine
- Lifestyle recommendations- addressing areas such as work-life balance, stress reduction, getting you to do more of what you enjoy in life and what brings you fulfilment
- Herbal medicine- Many herbs have been used traditionally for centuries, some herbs have much scientific research to support their use
- Soft tissue manipulation
- Nutritional supplementation- Usually used to address deficiencies and known imbalances
- Counselling support
You do not need to actually be unwell to see a Naturopath, many people visit to formulate what we call a “wellness plan”. We prefer to take a preventative approach, with the aim of preventing illness from developing.
Many people like to see a Naturopath because the methods used are non-invasive and have fewer side effects than orthodox medicine. Our Naturopaths, however, believe that medical professionals have a very important and vital role to play in our health care.
The history of Naturopathy
Naturopathy dates back to the 18th – 19th century, however, its vital roots go as far back as 400BC with Hippocrates School of Medicine. In 1902 Benjamin Lust introduced Naturopathy to the USA and founded the American School of Naturopathy. It was following this that dietary and lifestyle advice became very popular in the treatment of illness. Between 1920-1940 there was a rapid increase in technologies and pharmaceuticals, and so naturopathic medicine declined. However, over the past 40-50 years its practice has steadily increased, particularly in the area of evidence based complementary medicine. Naturopathy in Australia in 1977 was reasonable in their coverage of basic biomedical sciences on paper.
There is a very strong history of Naturopathic medicine globally. It is time proven, however, most Naturopaths now days must complete years of education to be eligible to practice as a Naturopath, very different to even a few decades ago, where regulation of the profession was very low. Today most Naturopaths are qualified with a Bachelors level University degree, often in Health Science or Complementary Medicine.
Naturopaths are trained to use only natural products, lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments to balance health issues. Naturopaths are trained in pathology testing and use minimal invasive treatment plans. Doctors tend to use pharmaceuticals and dietetic support. All can work together. Naturopaths are not to take the role of a medical doctor. Our Naturopaths prefer to work in conjunction with your Medical Doctor.
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