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​​The Benefits of Naturopathy

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Like many other forms of complementary medicine, naturopathy has risen in popularity in recent years thanks to growing recognition of the potential of natural therapies to improve our health and well-being. Naturopathy’s holistic focus and fundamental belief in the ability of the body to heal itself make it well-suited to a wide range of health conditions.

Naturopaths are consulted by 6.2% of the adult population in Australia, and approximately 1 in 10 Australians with chronic diseases such as sleep disorders (13.6%), type 1 and 2 diabetes (11.9%), mental health disorders (9.0%) and asthma (8.7%) consult with a naturopath.

This guide dives into naturopathy treatment to help answer some common questions about naturopathy, including ‘What is naturopathy recommended for?’ and ‘What are the benefits of naturopathy treatment?’

What is naturopathy?

Naturopathy is a distinct system of complementary medicine based on the fundamental principle that the body has an intrinsic ability to heal itself. It emphasises the promotion of health, disease prevention, patient education and empowering self-responsibility through the diversity of treatments, tools, and natural remedies used. Rather than focus solely on the area of the body that is affected, or only on the symptoms a person is experiencing, naturopathy treatment involves the entire body and aims to address the root cause of health issues.

The principles of Naturopathic medicine have developed from a diverse historical background including traditions of Hippocratic health, herbal medicine, nature cure, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, nutrition, and manipulative therapies.

The naturopathic profession is based on two fundamental philosophies of medicine (vitalism and holism) and the six core principles of practice:

  1. First, do no harm (primum non nocere)
  2. The healing power of nature (vis medicatrixnaturae)
  3. Treat the cause (tollecausam)
  4. Treat the whole person (tolletotum)
  5. Doctor as teacher (docere)
  6. Disease prevention and health promotion

What treatment does naturopathy involve?

The diversity of therapeutic systems and modalities underpinning Naturopathic medicine form a cohesive framework, that acknowledges the biomedical model of health and illness, whilst also supporting the whole person and the psychological, spiritual and social aspects of their health and wellbeing.

The philosophy, theory, and principles of Naturopathy are translated to clinical practice through a range of therapeutic modalities, and a highly individualised treatment plan is prescribed to the patient.

The WNF (World Naturopathic Federation) has identified seven core modalities within Naturopathy:

There is a growing body of evidence supporting some of the core treatment tools used in naturopathic medicine, including dietary and lifestyle interventions and specific botanical medicines and nutritional supplements.

What is naturopathy recommended for?

Naturopathy is grounded in the belief that it’s essential to treat the whole person, rather than focus solely on one condition or one part of the body in isolation.
This is reflected in the ‘whole-system’ approach that sees Naturopathic practice as a holistic system that simultaneously addresses the multiple dimensions of an individual patient including physical, mental, spiritual, family, community, and environmental factors.

Naturopathy is a complementary healthcare intervention for a broad range of conditions:

According to a 2019 study that examined the results of 33 published studies of naturopathic treatments, naturopathy was found to be effective in treating a wide variety of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal pain, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, depression, anxiety, and a range of complex chronic conditions.

What are the benefits of naturopathy treatment?

A Naturopath’s ability to appropriately apply and recommend natural methods of healing to a presenting patient, is of considerable benefit, particularly in the modern-world landscape and the growing burden of internal and external stressors.

Naturopathy is an authentic model for integrative health, particularly in the modern world, combining an evidence-based model for health alongside rich traditional knowledge and influence. In its essence, it promotes a patient-centred relationship and fosters collaboration with other health care practitioners to support the patient’s best interests and optimal health outcomes.

Whether you want to take a naturopathic approach to treat a specific illness, or you’re simply looking to boost your overall health, there are numerous benefits of naturopathy treatment.

These include:

What training do naturopaths have?

The majority of naturopaths operating in Australia have tertiary qualifications from a registered university or college.

Naturopathic Practitioners are also members of professional bodies, such as ANTA. These bodies typically only accept members with Bachelor’s Degree tertiary qualifications in the field of naturopathy.

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