This article on naturopathy explains natural health medicine and how naturopathy can benefit the health of your family and what to expect of your treatment.

What is naturopathy?

Naturopathy is the study of Natural Health Medicine and a Naturopath is a Natural Health Practitioner.

The fundamental basis of naturopathy is the practice of preventing disease by assisting the body to remain healthy, or to regain health in a natural way that can cause no harm. A naturopath is a highly trained professional who will act professionally at all times and respect your confidence.

As part of your treatment a naturopath may:

  • treat you with natural remedies
  • adjust your diet using supplements
  • advise organic natural foods.

They might also be trained in other natural health therapies – such as Bowen Technique, Homeopathy, Herbal Medicine and Massage.

Some naturopaths specialise in one or more fields such as fertility, allergies, pregnancy, iridology, reflexology, childbirth, baby massage, aromatherapy or nutrition.

A naturopath can refer you for laboratory tests, or to your medical practitioner if appropriate. Some naturopaths work alongside medical practitioners.

If you are interested in a healthy lifestyle for you and your family and if you believe that prevention is better than cure, naturopathy could be of interest to you.

How can naturopathy help my child?

You may feel your child could be out of balance somehow or they may have been ill, or be coming down with something, or you may just want to make sure everything is okay (there is a lot of truth in those old clichés – “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”) – a reputable Naturopath can help in many ways.

Naturopathy has its roots in the belief that the body can heal itself, provided it has clean water and air, sunlight, exercise, the right food and not too much stress – and most parents would agree these factors are vital to ensure optimum health.

Naturopathy can also help combat the many toxins our children come into contact with every day: traffic fumes, household chemicals, additives in our processed foods, over-exposure to ‘entertainment’ options such as TVs and computers, excessive weight gain and exposure to smoking.

Suggestions from a qualified Naturopath can help parents to take control of their child’s health and also empower them to remain firm in the face of relentless pleading for refined and fast foods!

How can naturopathy help me?

Some of the common discomforts of pregnancy, such as heartburn, can be alleviated by naturopathic remedies. It is advisable to get individual advice when you are pregnant and to ensure the practitioner knows that you are pregnant.

Naturopathic remedies are becomming more popular and readily available, for conditions such as the common cold, physical and emotional stress and skin disorders.

What should I expect during our first visit to a naturopath?

The Naturopath will need to take a complete case history of your health. This will include any past illnesses, any medication or supplement you may be taking, the general health history of your family and any emotional events that have occurred in your life.

The naturopath will provide information on the natural health solution they are recommending, whether this is in the form of:

  • dietary changes
  • supplements that will hasten the recovery time
  • any herbal tonic or medicines
  • treatments that can be applied or administered at home.

Suggested solutions/ treatments will be specific for your needs. A follow-up visit may be required.

How do I find a reputable naturopath?

The New Zealand Society of Naturopaths has a list of qualified practitioners. Visit www.naturopath.org.nz to find a Naturopath in your local area. As you will see, most naturopaths specialise in other modalities as well as naturopathy.

Some tips to remember when choosing your natural health practitioner:

  • Make sure they have current qualifications, a diploma in naturopathy and a current practising certificate.
  • A qualified naturopath is bound by a code of ethics and rules of practice.
  • A naturopath should belong to a society/association that monitors ongoing standards and continuing education hours for their specific qualifications.
  • Ask questions – you need to feel confident that your choice of health professional is right for you.

How much does it cost to visit a naturopath?

As many professional Naturopaths are also trained in other natural health modalities, costs will vary depending on the treatment and prescriptions you receive. It is advisable to enquire about the costs of consultation prior to your appointment.

As a guide:

  • Initial consultations can range from $50 upwards (approx 1 hour)
  • Follow up appointments from $30 (approx ½ hour)
  • School age children from $30

Helpful naturopathy websites

This website is the national website for New Zealand Society of Naturopaths. It has a list of qualified practitioners as well as information on Complementary Healthcare Services

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