In Australia, Dieticians are registered practitioners with the Australia Health Practitioners Regulations Agency (AHPRA). And yes, you may qualify for some free sessions on Medicare via your General Practitioner with their assessment.
Naturopaths are similar to Dieticians and Nutritionists in that we do discuss your food and diet, and many practitioners these days use the same types of software (shared by Dieticians, Nutritionists, Naturopaths) to analyse your macro- and micronutrient intake.
Nutritionists and Naturopaths are not “registered” practitioners, however these days, you will find a legitimately qualified practitioner is a member of a reputable association. Complementary health practitioner associations do require members to have proof of qualifications, be kept up to date with ongoing education, as well as have all the right paperwork for insurances, etc.
Naturopaths are qualified to prescribe practitioner exclusive formulas involving both nutritional and herbal extracts, however not every Naturopath necessarily feels a need to involve so many products as part of their consultation or advice.
The history of Naturopathic medicine is considered as far back as from the days of Hippocrates in Ancient Greece, when he first introduced the concept of “The Healing Power of Nature” in the West.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, using nature and herbal medicine goes back thousands and thousands of years (and personally I have been raised with both philosophies, Eastern and Western).
In my education as a Naturopath, we learned that Naturopathic medicine has 7 Basic Principles:
- First, Do No Harm (primum non nocere)
- Healing Power of Nature (vis medicatrixnaturae)
- Treat the Cause (tollecausam)
- Treat The Whole Person (tolletotum)
- Doctor as Teacher (docere)
- Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
It’s very similar to the principles and practices to those of Chiropractic as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Coming from a holistic approach towards optimal health.
By definition, the word ‘holistic‘ refers to “dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone, not just a part”. This is the difference between what can be referred to as “reductionist” medicine versus holistic. Modern medicine has been favoured in mainstream society due to its specialising of reductionist approaches to body systems; eg. A Gastroenterologist specialises in the digestive system, a Urologist specialises in the urinary (bladder) system, a Cardiologist specialists in the problems with the heart, etc.
Yet all organ systems in our bodies are connected. And of course Modern Medicine has its place and validity, and is still the most important channel to go through with medical emergencies.
Personally I see my role as a Naturopath in support of our current system, working alongside Doctors and Specialists to maximise the best possible outcomes of overall health. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a Doctor or Specialist, (which Naturopaths in Australia are not qualified to do), and then we can work together to spend more time on the various diet and lifestyle factors involved with your main health concern.
Having worked as a Pharmacy Assistant myself, and this was during my final years of study as a Naturopathic student, I do see the validity of certain medications in situations where you don’t actually have time to intervene “naturally” — everybody’s situation is individual and there are many options now these days for people to make their own informed decisions.
As a practitioner I have a patient-centred approach to your care. If you want to work out a program where you can go all in, whole foods, fully organic, do the lot (and you haven’t had complicated medical conditions or specific instructions by your Doctors or Specialists) then we can really nut it out together, the best optimal health plan for you based on fully Naturopathic principles of holistic, natural health care.
When there are other complications, I work with you and your Doctors and Specialists to navigate the multifactorial situation.
In modern Naturopathic medicine, there is also now a focus on a functional approach to care, which includes pathology testing and evidence-based recommendations. My chosen lab is the Nutripath labs, which is a private lab with a very large selection of testing options, including food allergies, intolerances, stool analysis, and hormone panels. There could be more thorough information than a standard bulk-billed blood test on Medicare, however yes there are extra fees involved which could vary from $50 up to more than $300 for some very in-depth testing.
For more ‘old school‘ Naturopathic assessments, you may be aware of such techniques as Iridology, which assesses “variations of colour and fibre structure to determine the constitutional strength of the physical body, as well as aspects of the personality, which can influence conscious and unconscious emotional patterns.”
I also like to incorporate a bit of Emotional Iridology (Rayid), which I also find really helps parents to better understand the emotional needs and tendencies of their child from a personality constitution point of view.
Sometimes, Naturopathic medicine may also involve Flower Essences therapy, which I have not focused on yet at Zen Childe however I am able to discuss some relevant flower essence formulas in consult if you are curious to learn more about them or try some readily available formulas.
Overall, initial Naturopathic consultations may take up to an hour, with follow-up consultations recommended at least once a month until we have reached specific health goals, and then ongoing monitoring and check-up’s are recommended every 6 to 12 months.
When there is a request for personalised meal plans, please allow for 3 – 7 business days to receive your detailed report.
If you are in the Brisbane area and would like to learn more or book in for any of the following consultations, please feel free to fill in the Contact form and I will be in touch with you shortly.