Often people ask me "what would people come to you for?"
And I'm usually stumped because the list is endless!
On one hand, any thing from acute (like the flu) to chronic illness (diabetes) but on the other hand, are you just interested in keeping your general health in check? Majority of the patients I've seen so far have come to me with gut related issues (bloating, cramping, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea etc) which is the bread and butter of naturopathy and a topic about which I could talk your ear off!
As a young, naive student, I pushed the idea of "prevention is better than cure" onto any one who ever asked for advice...
"So what would you give for headaches?" Well, prevent your headache from happening and you'll be fine! "How do you treat a cold?" Keep your immune system strong and you won't get a cold!
But I've come to realise that, no matter how strong you keep your immune system, or how much water you may drink, you still will get headaches and colds. And although prevention IS better than cure, we usually decide to seek treatment once we're sick because we live in a world where (unfortunately) it isn't convenient to be sick so we shove any "warning signs" under the carpet.
I think I got sidetracked...
Recently someone told me that before they met me, they didn't know this whole world of naturopathy and natural medicine existed and it’s true, we aren't well-known and neither are our services.
I wrote this old post about "what is naturopathy" which briefly details what to expect and how naturopathy works. But in this post I want to get more personal in how *I* work!
I have been officially practicing for a year and a half and I can't vouch enough for how true it is when you get told that the most learning you do is in practice. Case studies at university can't prepare you enough for taking on real patients! Even though we had a clinic at university, you were always supervised, and more so, I have a colleague and mentor who I regularly check in with and discuss our treatment plans but ultimately when I see a patient, it’s my baby to nurture.
In general, I would describe naturopathy as a therapeutic diet and lifestyle based medicine, which makes use of herbs, supplements and physical therapies (like acupuncture) as an aid to treatment. On top of this, it has an individualized, holistic approach, where you really have to personalize your treatment to suit your patient.
! JUST TALK !
My consults run an hour long. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. It’s hard to have a set amount of time - some patients are very talkative and I can’t get a word in (NOTE, this really is a good thing!), and sometimes I have to coax info out of them little by little. More so, we get deep and personal, and it’s hard to open up to a stranger... even if they’re your doctor. Be open and honest. I’m not there to pass judgement on you or to make you feel bad. I just want to know what you’re feeling and what’s going on inside. I *LOVE* it when patients go into detail about their periods, or bowel movements or literally anything else. Within the consult, I cover medical history, family history, allergies, nutritional assessment (inlcuding beverages), emotions, supplement assessment. I also do some physical assessments - usually whatever is indicated - and some body work techniques to help relax the body and aid healing.
! CONFIDENTIALITY IS KEY !
Doctor-patient confidentiality is real. Anything that is said in consultation stays within those four walls. If I speak to a colleague about a patient - I have a mentor who I consult with when I feel stuck - I don’t mention any identifying information (name, surname, address, company etc).
! INDIVIDUALISED TREATMENT PLANS !
After a consult and physical assessment, I work through a comprehensive plan for the patient. Within this, I outline the goal of treatment, which supplements are to be taken (and for how long), dietary changes/additions and lifestyle factors. I give recipes and resources, and go over my plan with the patient to make sure they understand everything. Here they bring up anything - if they’re not okay with something, if they don’t understand, if they can only do 50% of what is written... anything. And I work with them to make sure they understand the changes I’m making and for it to be doable.
I often see patients weekly for four weeks. This is so I can check in and see how the plan is working for them, as well as to make any changes necessary. These can be done in person or telephonically.
If you want to keep your general health in check, or want to know how to hop onto the health train, book a personalized health and lifestyle assessment with me by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in health,
~ Love Health & Wellness ~