What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy aims to realign and reconnect people to their optimal health state using intervention like herbal medicine and nutrition. This is a holistic medical system that take the whole person; mind, body and spirit into account. In clinic we deal with a variety of cases from hormonal health, skin conditions, fatigue syndrome, stress and anxiety, sleep impairment, and all gut related issues.
No matter how small or complex the condition, a naturopath can help you on your health journey.
Plant medicines contain a large number of naturally occurring chemicals (constituents) that have some type of biological activity in the body. Herbs work in a similar fashion to many pharmaceutical preparations. In fact, some pharmaceutical medicines are still obtained from plants, such as aspirin which is sourced from white willow bark. Herbs however, are complex forms of medicine and often have therapeutic effects across many body systems with all the components of the plant working synergistically. While pharmaceutical drugs have their place in medicine, herbs can offer a wide range of medicinal effects, often with less side effects and adverse reactions. In herbalism we see that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Diet and Nutraceuticals
Addressing the diet is a key aspect of naturopathy. Optimal health is reliant on feeding and nourishing the body. Many diseased states stem from poor nutrition and can manifest as anything from mood disorders, infertility and digestive ailments to poor sleep, hormone dysfunction and stress. A naturopath may modify the diet to remove any triggers to poor health, and encourage the consumption of therapeutic foods depending on the individual case. Food as medicine is a key element of practice.
Nutraceuticals or nutritional supplements are also regularly used in naturopathy. This allows for optimal nutrient intake in a therapeutic dose that will directly target a deficiency, support a biological pathway, mechanism of action or enhance the functioning of a body system. Common nutrients to supplement include Iron, B vitamins, vitamin C, D and amino acids.
Another key component of naturopathy is addressing the lifestyle of each client. Identifying harmful behavioural patterns and encouraging exercise, fresh air, sunlight, sleep, healthy relationships, support networks, connection, and doing what you love. Naturopathy is a holistic medical system, and as such every aspect of life is taken into account in order to cultivate an optimal state of health. Counselling is a skill learned in the naturopathic degree and we are trained to help identify stress management techniques, mindfulness skills and refer onto other modalities when needed. Naturopaths may include exercises regimes, yoga practices and meditation as part of their treatment plan.