THE NATUROPATH APPROACH
Ins & outs of seeing a Naturopath
So you’ve heard of a naturopath, and maybe you’ve even heard that naturopaths have helped people in amazing ways.
But what exactly does a naturopath do – and how?!
Lately I’m finding myself asking clients at their first appointment not only if they’ve ever seen a naturopath before, but if they have any idea what a naturopath does. Usually the answer is a chuckle and a resounding “no”.
(Luckily at this point I reassure them they’ve made an excellent choice and we’ll get their health back into tip-top shape)
I often forget that I live in my little ‘naturopath’ bubble and I expect everyone to be showered in health & support by their own naturopaths.
But the thing is, I didn’t even know naturopaths existed until I was 22 and only saw my first one when I was 24 – even then I was hesitant like crazy because I had zero idea what to expect.
So I wanted to take this opportunity to be 100% transparent with you and share with you what I do as a naturopath, what happens during an appointment and the Wellness Plan I put together for my clients to get them exactly where they want to be. So you can walk into a consult knowing 100% what lays ahead.
what kind of naturopath am i?
Yes I love nature & plants (I wish my clinic was an inside jungle), but I also love science.
I use evidence-based research about how your body works at a systemic and cellular level to understand your health condition and explore ways to enhance your health so it can operate like a total boss – long term.
My aim during your wellness journey is to support all aspects of your health, and work alongside other health professionals to give you the best results possible – physically, biologically, psychologically and emotionally.
This means looking into & addressing your root causes.
Those nutritional, genetic, biological factors that are causing your symptoms. Once we have identified your root causes, we can choose treatment options unique to you & those causes to restore your health for the better. Because no two people are exactly the same, so no two treatment plans will ever be the same.
This is where testing comes in. I use testing to help us get some definitive answers, but will always opt to work alongside your doctor first and get standard tests completed before branching off into functional tests not covered by Medicare. Usually I kick-start your healing journey, and if we are not getting the results you’re after then we can go down the path of functional testing – and this decision is always 100% yours to make in the end.
the ‘wellness haven’ approach
The way a naturopath practices is as unique as they are, so you could see 5 different naturopaths and will receive 5 different treatment plans.
This is how I help my clients:
THE WAY I PRACTICE NATUROPATHY INVOLVES A TWO PRONGED APPROACH.
Symptomatic – I want you to start feeling good NOW because life isn’t made to be suffered.
Root cause – we will investigate and address the big players (your root causes) and restore your health for the long term (this part can take time and depends on how your body responds).
For example: We treat your health like a random non-healing wound on your skin.
The symptomatic approach is the band aid & topical soothing cream that protects the skin and makes it feel good again on a surface level so you can carry on day to day.
The root cause is figuring out what’s causing the wound on your skin and addressing all those factors, providing the cells of your skin with the right nutrients to start the repair process, enhancing elimination pathways to remove any toxic build-up at the wound site, and controlling chronic inflammation and stress so that your body has the opportunity to heal.
Once the root cause has been fully addressed, all those cells have the perfect environment to replicate & repair and the damaging factors have been removed so the symptomatic band aid can come off and your health remains wound-free.
That is your body on a bigger scale.
Because until we address the root causes, your health can’t improve entirely.
your first appointment
This goes for 1.5 hours. Yes, 90 whole minutes. And let me tell you, time will fly.
For the first 40-60 minutes we are discovering everything to do about you.
- the nitty gritty’s of your main health concerns
- how your guts behaving
- how your mood is
- what your menstrual cycle is like (that is, if you have one!)
- how often you get sick and how it affects you
- along with every other body system…
- as well as breaking down what a general days diet looks like and all about your lifestyle – your job, what you love, how you relax.
This is followed up by conducting select in-house tests such as blood pressure, bio-impedance analysis, tongue/nail/iris analysis, skin integrity, dehydration and circulation checks, and any questionnaires that relate to your health.
Essentially, I want to know how your body is operating inside and out.
In the final 20 minutes we will be discussing what you want.
What you want out of this journey.
Then we put together your first treatment plan – together.
Maybe one dietary suggestion, or a lifestyle tip, or even a herbal or supplement if it seems suitable and all of this depends on what changes you’re ready to make and how fast you want your health to get better.
Remember, this is your health. You are 100% in control. I am here to guide you, and you let us know how fast you want us to go.
And finally, I get you to do one piece of homework. This part constitutes what I believe is THE most important part of your entire wellness journey:
To think about what your life would look like if you no longer had these health issues.
What you want it to look like. Where you will be once you have finished your wellness plan.
This can range from not needing to know where a toilet is all the time, to running a marathon, to leaving the house anxiety-free.
It’s your life and you’re in control now.
Depending how much information there is still to gather (I know! Sometimes 1.5hrs isn’t enough) will depend if we’ll go through your Wellness Plan in your second or third follow-up (outlined below).
Your follow-ups are to check how your health is progressing, how you’ve reacted to the diet/lifestyle/herbal/supplemental changes and to see if we are on the right track.
Ultimately to guide you through each stage of your Healing Plan and be able to assess how far you have come each step of the way.
The number of follow-ups varies for each person. A health issue that is more clear cut and has only been present for a short time usually requires far less (maybe 3-4) than a health issue that has been affecting you your entire life or is more complicated.
Naturopaths do generally work from the rule of thumb that it takes 1 month for every year you’ve had the health issue.
Your follow-ups will progressively get further apart, with the first follow-up generally occurring 1-2 weeks post the initial and then either 2-4 weeks thereafter until you are where you want to be.
your wellness plan
I am 100% for transparency and education. I want you to know what is happening with your body, why you may be experiencing what you’re experiencing, and what our plan is to rectify this and why.
Because we are in this journey together and you’re holding the reigns.
Your Wellness Plan outlines our plan going forward so you know what to expect and includes:
- Your priorities & aspirations
- A holistic assessment of what I believe to be happening – outlines your root causes
- The stages involved in your Healing Plan – how long each stage may take and what we will be doing in each stage to address these root causes
- Reassess & review – we will see how far you’ve come and discover if there may be an underlying issue that needs more attention to get you where you want to be
This journey focuses 100% on you
Our consults together will give you the chance to tell your story, and provide us with the time to figure out what’s going on so we can set you on the right path to rectifying or supporting your health for the better.
I will only ever provide suggestions of what will improve your health and life. We work together to find solutions that suit you – because this is your journey, my expertise is simply here to guide you down the right path.
So if your health feels stuck or seems to be getting worse, try a naturopath out. They may have the tools you’re missing to get you the answers and results you desire.
If you’d like to explore the Wellness Haven approach, make an appointment today! I can’t wait to meet you and see you achieve the life you’ve always wanted!