Why Consult a Naturopath?

Why consult a naturopath

Naturopathy is a holistic approach through the art of things natural to address health and wellbeing of both body and mind as well as your soul. More scientifically, according to the General Council and Register of Naturopaths, “Naturopathy is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies including: dietetics, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, fasting, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, exercise, lifestyle counselling, detoxification and chelation, environmental assessment and adjustment, spiritual healing, health promotion and disease prevention.” Quite a lot to get your head around, but just think of it as a holistic approach to all aspects of your wellbeing.

Naturopathy is based on six key principles and any advice given will follow these principles:

  • The healing power of nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae) ...
  • Identify and treat the causes (Tolle Causam) ...
  • First do no harm (Primum Non Nocere) ...
  • Doctor as teacher (Docere) ...
  • Treat the whole person (Tolle Totum) ...
  • Prevention (Preventare)

The principles drive how a naturopath thinks about medicine, how they make clinical decisions and importantly how they treat you as a client. Each one of the principles is essentially self-explanatory, but I would like to draw your attention to “Doctor as teacher”. This approach is about compliance to the healing process by you as the client. In traditional medicine, non-compliance to the treatment approach is quite common. This often comes from a lack of clarity around the treatment plan and strategy or the inability to understand “doctor-speak” and either lack of time to ask, due to the doctor’s schedule or feeling a lack of confidence to ask.

Naturopaths aim to answer all your questions so that you fully participate in your treatment plan encouraging an active part in the healing process. Consequently, you feel educated and informed and as a result are more likely to follow the plan.

Why would you consult a Naturopath?

Naturopaths take a holistic view on your health and wellbeing and in so doing help to get to the root cause of health issues. Having understood the cause a naturopath would then guide and support you in making any necessary changes in order to restore vitality and wellbeing. Advice likely includes dietary and lifestyle changes as well as guidance on any emotional issues that are influencing your health. Often a naturopath is able to support their advice with other treatment modalities that they practice, such as kinesiology, herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture, to name a few.

As part of your consultation a naturopath may prescribe natural remedies and nutritional supplements to support gradual return to health and vitality. Remedies might include herbs in tincture, dried and powder form, homeopathic remedies, orchid essences and Bach flower remedies.

Naturopathy can help with many forms of health concerns from acute, sudden onset conditions to chronic (long standing) illness and from the physical to the emotional. It can very successfully be combined with conventional medicine to minimise side effects of surgery, drugs and other medical treatments. It equally lends well to improving quality of life for anyone who wants to prevent disease and remain healthy throughout their life with advice changing according to life issues and age.

As the principles indicate in order to get the most from naturopathic advice, it is first important to understand that significant changes to health happen over time. It is unlikely that significant positive changes would be achieved in one consultation. Advice from a naturopath is based on natural approaches, supplements and lifestyle working with and through nature. Your opinions, questions and thoughts about your state of health will be considered by the naturopath before recommending a particular direction of treatment. Naturopathic advice is based on the principle of first do no harm and therefore if the naturopath feels that your condition should be discussed with a doctor first, they will advise you accordingly. While the naturopath cannot force you to see a doctor this advice will be documented on your file.

A Brief Case Study

Female, Miss C age 14, accompanied by her father who was already my client.

Parents broke up very suddenly with the mother taking her older sister leaving Miss C with her father. This caused severe stress and anxiety. She was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and possible M.E by her doctor due to pain mostly in her legs which felt very heavy, pain in her thighs and stomach in varying degrees. She found it impossible to relax. Prescribed Amitriptyline by her doctor and NSAIDs for the pain. Also suffering from heavy, irregular periods, severe migraines that were worse during her period, and Reynauld’s disease, especially in the autumn through spring, all of which existed prior to the splitting of her parents. Prescribed Rigevidon a birth control pill to help regulate heavy bleeding.

Poor sleep quality waking at night approximately every 30-60 minutes. Missing school due to the pain which made her feel even more stressed and anxious.


Breakfast - cereal with milk and either tea or coffee. Might be replaced with a bagel or crumpet with jam, cheese.

Lunch – pasta with some kind of sauce and cheese, biscuit or cookie. Could also be a bagel with fried egg or toast and fried egg.

Dinner – fajita with salad, lasagne, or stir fry with chicken.

Snacks – banana milkshake, cream soda, crisps, biscuits, squash, diet coke, cereal bar, tinned fruit, chocolate.

2-3 glasses of water daily.

Naturopathic advice

The following is an overview only of the advice she received over 2.5 years with consultations every 6-8 weeks.

  • Increase water to between 6-8 glasses daily.
  • Avoid all carbonated drinks.
  • Decrease wheat and replace with buckwheat, pearly barely, salads, beans, brown rice.
  • Decrease sugary foods and drinks – cut out cereals, squash, cookies and replace with fruit, porridge (buckwheat, spelt, barley or oat flakes) add berries or stewed apple and cinnamon.
  • Replace milk chocolate with plain chocolate, minimum 75% cacao.
  • Increase fresh fruit and vegetables with lunch and dinner.
  • Keep a daily food diary to record foods and identify if anything in particular triggers migraines.

Additional treatment tested through kinesiology:

  • Use homeopathic remedies to address grief due to loss of her mother and sister.
  • Use flower formulas and orchid essences to address emotional underlying factors to painful muscles and fatigue.
  • COQ10 taken daily to improve mitochondrial function.
  • Multivitamin taken daily to support healing of the physical body as well as vitamin D3 and K2.
  • Positive affirmations, for example: “I am fit and healthy.”  “I am loved.”
  • Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) with Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum) as tincture to improve circulation.
  • Walk outside, in nature, for 20 minutes daily, increasing over time to 20 x 2 daily.
  • Sit out in the sun.


Over time, the panic attacks decreased and eventually stopped. She became more self-confident and returned to school. She caught up with all her missed lessons and passed her exams to go on to do what she wanted to do. With removal of sugar from her diet her migraines stopped. She identified that sugar was the trigger as when she ate a doughnut, triggering a migraine within 30 minutes. Diet overall more balanced with less wheat and more fruit and vegetables. She would meet up with her sister on a regular basis and the anger that was there dissipated. The chronic fatigue – pain in her muscles went away and she became more positive and active, leading a normal teenage life without the need for any medication, which her doctor agreed to take her off. Reynauld’s symptoms lessened but did not completely go away. Menstrual cycle became regular with the occasional heavy bleed. Birth control was no longer required.

This client attended consultations every 6-8 weeks for almost 2.5 years. Final outcome, a healthy, happy teenage girl with greater self-confidence and self-esteem to lead her life.

From this case, I hope you can see the value of a naturopathic approach and how the principles of naturopathy are applied holistically to restoring health and wellbeing.

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