LEISHA NOVY naturopath - Naturopathy
Naturopathy is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of natural therapies including herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, homeopathy and massage. A Naturopath will often specialize in one or two of these areas - for example I am first and foremost an herbalist and I also specialise in nutrition. We look to the cause of illness rather than just addressing the symptoms of disease.
What Does a Naturopath do?
A Naturopath is "Nature's Doctor" meaning that we use products found in nature to promote healing of a person's health. We are "wholistic" healthcare providers, who instead of just looking at a presenting condition or symptom, address the person as a whole entity. Naturopaths are governed by the philosophy of the 'healing power of nature' and know that the human body has the innate ability to heal itself. Sometimes it just needs a little help with diet improvement, lifestyle changes and natural medicines! Naturopaths follow the Hippocratic Oath, which outlines a set of rules for those working with people's health, as outlined by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Our main rule is, 'First, do no harm', and it is what drives Naturopaths to use only natural medicines that are gentle on the body and not harmful.
Modern Day Naturopath
Contemporary Australian naturopaths consider themselves 'complementary' medicine practitioners, rather than 'alternative'. They are trained in health science as well as in herbal medicine, nutrition and other natural remedies and understand that the best outcomes for patients are often via a combination of natural and orthodox medicine, with the two working together. Naturopaths, like all healthcare providers, must continually undertake training to maintain their memberships to professional associations.
A consultation with a naturopath may involve an extensive review of your usual diet, a discussion of your health and any illnesses or health complaints, and a thorough review of every body system. Where necessary, a naturopath may refer you on for diagnostic tests either through your GP or directly through a specialist facility. You may then be prescribed some modifications to your diet, any necessary nutritional supplements, and a herbal tonic or homeopathic remedy. Naturopaths seek to educate their patients to take responsibility for their own health, with the aim of preventing future illnesses through a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Always seek advice
It is important to note here that just because a substance is "natural" it does not mean it is safe in unlimited quantities, and a trained Naturopath knows which herbal medicines are proven to be safe for certain conditions as well as any possible drug interactions. This is why it is so important to seek advice from a qualified Naturopath before taking herbal supplements - though natural, they are still drugs that have an effect on the body.