23 Jun 2020
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What even is naturopathy?

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By Kirra Morrill of Sunshine Coast Natural Health

First things first, no I am not a witch doctor. Seriously, people actually ask me that. And I think the stigma around Naturopathy has led to this. Media claiming that Naturopathy is not science based, that you are wasting your money and that people only need medicine.

I can understand where this comes from. Too often I see clients who have read blog posts, or who follow influencers on social media that really do claim that the supplement , or diet will cure all. I don’t just hear about these stories either, I see them myself on my social media and stand back and cringe- how can these people claim to be ‘health experts’ when a lot of the time they haven’t done a day of study in their life, that is the problem with social media I think. And Naturopathy has been lost in this.

I challenge all those out there to question whether these people on their social media really have the best intentions for you and your symptoms- or are they trying to sell you their MLM supplement that has (a lot of the time) absolutely no value at all.

But, what about Medicine?
People don’t always trust medicine. I often hear clients mention that medicine has failed them in one way or another. I’m in no way saying that medicine doesn’t have its place, not by any means. However I have seen clients come into clinic and burst into tears because their doctor or physician won’t listen to them, won’t understand them, won’t look further than a medication for their symptoms.

Another myth is that it is one or the other, with Naturopathy and Medicine, and that is in no way true. They work together perfectly- we have ways to support you when you are on medication, with clear safety data. We have contraindication information that gives us clear outlines on what not to use when you are on certain meds, together we can work in the best way to support you.

How do you become a Naturopath?
I studied a Bachelor of Health Science to become a Naturopath- a 4 year degree, not just some online course. We spent countless hours learning key topics – biochemistry, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology. Many people don’t know this, but we are bound by Insurance and Registering bodies to obtain hours and hours of updated study each year to maintain our qualification. How great is that?

My whole degree was science based- research article after research article. And that is why I loved studying it- I have an analytical brain, a science brain-I love reading research (yep you read that correctly).

What does a Naturopath actually do?
Time and time again I get people asking me – ‘so do you ..like make me eat healthy or whatever?’

Yes that is part of my goal, because research has shown us that certain aspects in a persons diet can lead to health issues, certain foods in their pantry may cause toxic effects.

But that is not all we do. My aim as a Naturopath is 3 things;

  1. To educate the patient. Why they have been feeling this way and what or how can it get better from here.
  2. To find the underlying causes of their symptoms. Not to treat the surface, treat the foundations, because this is where longstanding benefits lie.
  3. To always support the individual. Never use reproduced protocols or supplement regimes for every person with similar issues - everyone is different.

What else do we do?
I also use functional and pathology testing- maybe through your GP, or maybe through reputable labs who analyse these tests- it depends. But this can be a powerful tool if used correctly- and it can shorten treatment periods, because we can get down to what is really going on underneath everything.

I can analyse genetic information, to support your genes and how they function, to further understand why you may be feeling this way- something that I find extremely interesting.

Some practitioners will use Iridology, Flower Essences and Tongue analyses- I see the value in these extra tools, but I don’t use them myself. I don’t personally resonate with these tools, but I understand why practitioners use them- and they do hold value.

As for our herbs and our nutrients (my personal fave)- they all have scientific evidence to support their actions, and the quality of supplements we use are high, much higher than you will find in your local pharmacy- ones that can only be prescribed by a qualified practitioner. And they work- if in the correct dose, if given the correct prescription for that person.

This is why I am so passionate about Naturopathy - because I have seen it work. It is amazing when you see a client come back to you with regular menstrual cycles, reduced pain, regular bowels or whatever it may be. I have seen it work time and time again - for many different types of people and many different symptoms.

That is not to say it is the be all and end all though- whether that client is on medication, or seeing a psychologist or visiting their chiropractor alongside a naturopath, it doesn’t matter- as long as that persons health professionals have one thing in common... to make that person feel better.

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