We might all be familiar with the term naturopath – but do we really know how a naturopath is trained and the reason behind how they advise us?
Here, a beginners’ guide.
What is naturopathy?
Naturopathy is the study of natural medicine and offers a holistic approach to wellness.
Naturopaths believe it is the whole person that needs assessment, not just the symptom or condition. That means a naturopath will look at your life as a whole, rather than its individual pieces.
They will want to know about your diet, lifestyle, family history and living environment, as well as any current complaints.
Naturopaths can also use techniques like iris analysis, kinesiology (the study of body and muscle movement), functional testing (how the body functions at a molecular, tissue or organ level) and analysis of blood, stool, urine or hair.
Why would I see a naturopath?
Naturopaths focus on long-term health and prevention, though they can also help with acute and chronic conditions.
They can work with you to address a wide range of conditions including gastrointestinal issues, stress and nervous tension, sleeplessness, fertility problems, headaches, joint health, and skin conditions.
They can also create personalised programs that help increase energy levels, support your immune system and assist with weight loss.
What does a naturopath do?
What recommendations can they offer?
Naturopaths offer natural, non-invasive ways that focus on lifestyle changes, nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements. A poor diet and lifestyle factors like smoking and excessive drinking can have a serious impact on your health.
A naturopath can help you work out a nutritious meal plan and recommend herbal medicines or supplements to help support the body.
Are they qualified?
Yes. A professional naturopath will have, at a minimum, an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy and will often have a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science as well.
Naturopaths should have professional indemnity insurance and should be registered with one of the industry bodies, such as the Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association, Australian Traditional Medicine Society or Australian Natural Therapists Association.
Is naturopathy popular?
According to Charles Sturt University
, naturopathy is one of the most popular forms of complementary medicine in Australia.
There are more than 4000 naturopaths in Australia (predicted to grow to over 4600 by 2022) and they conduct 4.9 million consultations a year.
How can I consult with one?
You can get in touch with a qualified naturopath for free personalised advice at Blackmores Ask a naturopath
. Our naturopaths can help you with your questions via live chat, email or over the phone on 1800 803 760.
Or for a more comprehensive consultation, you can find a naturopath in your local area with a quick Google search or by getting in contact with the industry bodies.
Ooi SL et al. Naturopathy in Australia: Where are we now? Where are we heading? Complement Ther Clin Pract 33 (2018) 27–35