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What is Naturopathy and how does it differ from conventional medicine?
Naturopathy in essence is a system of alternative medicine based on the theory that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented without the use of drugs. Considering health covers such a broad spectrum, defining naturopathy in a single sentence is somewhat difficult.
That being said however, Naturopathy is based on six foundational principles, which gives you an idea of what we do and how we do it:
- The healing power of nature
- First do no harm
- Find and treat the cause, not only the symptom
- Always treat the whole person, not only their disease
The healing power of nature
The body has the ability to heal itself. By harnessing the body’s natural healing process and making positive changes to your lifestyle or diet, naturopathy focusses on the healing power of nature.
First do no harm
First do no harm is a foundational principle which refers to using the least invasive means possible to treat the patient. It’s a harm avoidance principle, which includes:
- The avoidance of harmful drugs or remedies which have side-effects.
- Not suppressing symptoms (i.e. no headache tablets, only a cure) and,
- work together with the patient as a team.
Find and Treat the Cause, not only the Symptom
Symptoms are your body’s response to something that is out of balance. While treating the symptom can help temporarily, the cause of the problem often remains. Naturopathy maintains that given the right circumstances and conditions, the body can heal itself – so by understanding what condition the body is really in, we’re able to assess the cause, help you make the correct lifestyle, diet etc. changes, and let your body heal itself.
Always treat the whole person, not only their disease
Naturopathic treatment takes a holistic view of the patient – not just the symptom presented. We assess physical, emotional, mental, occupational and environmental side of patients to find imbalances.
Many people who have previously undertaken conventional medicine have found that there was a focus on the symptoms of disease, and treatment of the disease with drugs.
Despite their effectiveness, natural, dietary, nutritional and lifestyle based solutions aren’t as regularly recommended by medical doctors, and many patients prefer to seek a natural alternative to helping their body heal itself.
A good Naturopath is more than just someone to treat your illness, they are a source of positive change, educating patients on why illness occurs and how to prevent them using techniques such as exercise, diet, lifestyle or even occupational health.
In the same sense that educating the poor takes them out of poverty, educating the sick takes them out of sickness.
Naturally, the best way to heal is by preventing the illness in the first place. With a poor education and constant marketing, many people are simply unaware of the pressure they’re putting on their body.
By working together with the patient, we advise on how best to prevent problems from arising. This could mean reducing risk-factors, simple dietary or life style changes, and even addressing occupational issues.
Typically, the first consultation is a comprehensive assessment to determine how your health is currently, and where your body may have imbalances. Along with specifically tailored treatments and compounded medicine, we also arm you with the knowledge of your condition, allowing you to take control and address the problem, preventing illness in the future.
What can I expect from my first appointment?
Your first naturopathy appointment will include a detailed discussion and thorough medical history and assessment of your current health issues.
In your assessment we’ll cover things such as your diet, nutritional status, activity levels, physical ability and how your body is actually functioning.
Depending on your individual situation, tests may be taken and sent off to a lab for assessment. These help to define the underlying cause of your symptoms and/or imbalances.
After your assessment, your practitioner will write up an individual treatment plan, may prescribe you tailored natural medication (specifically compounded to your body’s needs) and set you on the road to optimal health.
What do Naturopaths treat?
Naturopaths treat a range of acute and chronic conditions such as fatigue and lack of vitality, stress, insulin resistance and diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), hormone imbalances, detoxification and much more.
With two practitioners specialising in different areas, a integrated approach to your health, over 30 years of experience in practice and the science of compounding medicine, we’re able to successfully treat a wide variety of health concerns.
Treatments for your condition vary from herbal medicines to physical exercise, counselling, nutritional advice and many other methods. Naturopathy is surrounded by principles of looking at the symptoms and root cause to provide natural treatment and preventative care. We aim to help your body heal itself and educate you on the imbalances or pressures your body has so you can enjoy long term relief and vitality!
Is Naturopathy safe?
Naturopathy is based on six principles designed to help your body heal naturally. This means we look at your body’s current state and determine how we can help your body heal itself with the help of things such as lifestyle and diet changes (or nutrition).
Unlike other naturopath clinics in Melbourne, Empowered Health encourages an integrated approach to medicine, linking in with clinical medical practitioners (such as your GP), and many other specialists, such as Physiotherapists, Psychologists and more.
I'm not suffering pain. Should I still see a Naturopath?
While you may not be in pain currently, no doubt you’ve suffered from some pain in your life due to imbalances or illness. Just like you should see your dentist regularly to avoid corrosion of your teeth (hopefully before they start to hurt or fall out!) or service your car before it breaks down and regular exercise to maintain good blood flow, immune system and overall health, it’s important that you check in regularly with a naturopath.
In many cases, illnesses will slowly develop and do not show symptoms until your illness has reached a critical point, causing you distress, time off work and physical pain.
In many cases, these things can be picked up early by your naturopath and treated accordingly. Small shifts in your diet or exercise will result in a more balanced and energetic body, helping you to live life to it’s fullest!
How many treatments do I need?
This depends on your condition. Patients with acute symptoms or injuries, often only take 3-5 treatments to resolve their problem. In some cases patients might feel instant gratification, however the body still requires more treatments to consolidate the good result. For chronic conditions, it is expect to take more than 3-5 treatments before the issue be resolved.