What is a Naturopath or Nutritionist? Monique Kelly ND
What is a Naturopath?
A qualified Naturopath is someone who has trained at a nationally recognised teaching institution which is approved by the Australian Government for at least 4 years to gain a Bachelor of Health Science, Majoring in Naturopathy. A Naturopaths goal is to educate their clients in their own health and well-being so they they can take control to manage health and prevent illness and disease for themselves and their families. A good Naturopath does not reject the wonderful capabilities of modern medicine, rather they work in and around it with your other Health Professionals as the overall aim is to reduce the need for any medical intervention what so ever – whether that be surgery, medications or supplements through the amazing art of prevention. Naturopaths believe that prevention is better than a cure and so they will focus most of their time to finding out the causes and triggers of your health concerns, instead of using band-aid options. The perfect example here is when a patient presents with a rash on the skin, this does not automatically mean that the cause is external or something you have touched where a topical cream is your only treatment option. Rather it is often likely triggered by something internal which a Naturopath can help to identify and then create a plan with you about how you can go about managing that. They will often use natural tools to do this which help to re-balance the body, tools such as Herbal Medicine, Nutritional supplements, Diet and Lifestyle change, which will help you start to rebuild, repair and regenerate your self. Education is empowering and the more you can understand about how your body works, the more likely you and this body that you are planning to have for approximately 80+ years are going to be friends and function well together.
What is a Nutritionst?
Much like a Naturopath, a qualified Nutritionist is someone who has trained at a nationally recognised teaching institution which is approved by the Australian Government for at least 3 years to gain a Bachelor of Health Science, Majoring in Nutritional Medicine or Dietetics. A Nutritionist is also trained to investigate underlying causes to illness and to be able to recognise signs in the body, however a Nutritionist gains further expertise in the fields of individual dietary planning, clinical nutritional supplementation, weight concerns (loss and gain), food qualities and complete dietary reprogramming.
Why would I visit a Natural Health Practitioner?
The goal of a good Natural Health Practitioner is to educate their clients to the point that they eventually end up knowing themselves how to maintain their own health and well-being with minimal-to-no interference from medications, surgeries and supplements. A Natural Health Practitioner will generally use natural remedies to bring the body back into balance, such as diet planning, herbal medicines, nutritional supplementation and homeopathic remedies, however these are all tools to bring the body back to a state of balance and are not to be heavily relied on long term unless necessary. The goal is to get you back to feeling well and teach you how to stay there.
The reason many people will see a Natural Medicine Practitioner (Naturopath) is so they can find natural, safe and effective solutions to their health problems, whilst increasing their overall health, vitality and education with how to keep themselves and their families happy, running on all cylinders and healthy!
The 6 Rules Naturopaths live by:
First do no harm –Primum Non Nocere
Illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician’s actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis mediatrix naturae — the healing power of Nature. Therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing the underlying causes are considered harmful and to be avoided or minimized.
The healing power of nature –Vis Mediatrix Naturae
The body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to establish or restore a healthy internal and external environment.
Identify and treat the cause – Tolle Causam
Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms express the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease. Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment. Causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes rather than at symptomatic expression.
Heal the whole person –Tolle Totum
Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving the complex interaction of many factors. The naturopathic physician must treat the whole person by taking these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects are essential to recovery from and prevention of disease. This requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.
The physician as teacher –Docere
A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for their own health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing. Teaching with hope, knowledge, and understanding, the physician acts to enable patients to heal.
Prevention – Prevention is the best cure
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention of disease. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health. The physician learns to assess risk factors and to sharpen their deductive reasoning, and understand the patient’s circumstances. Appropriate interventions are then sought to avoid further harm or risk to the patient. Building health works better and more surely than fighting disease.