Seeing a Naturopath – Frequently Asked Questions
Posted on 11 July 2015 by Leonie Satori
When seeing a Naturopath for the first time, many people are unsure what to expect. Below we have attempted to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. Do keep in mind that each Naturopath will have their own way of conducting their consultations and depending on their experience and specific modalities (nutrition, herbs, Ayurvedic medicine etc.) they may incorporate different healing therapies during your treatment session.
What is a Naturopath?
A Naturopath is a health practitioner who takes a holistic approach to health and healing and works on improving the body’s own inherent healing capacity. Naturopathy covers a range of modalities including nutrition, herbal medicine, massage, homeopathy, flower essences and many other healing modalities. Naturopathy not only looks at a person’s physical manifestation of symptoms, but also the influence of lifestyle factors and emotions on the person’s whole health.
How long will my Naturopathic consultation take?
A Naturopath is an holistic therapist, so unlike many GPs that may only have 10-12 minutes to discuss only one complaint, you can expect to spend between 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours with your Naturopath. You should anticipate being asked questions about everything from what you eat to how you sleep; this enables a Naturopath to form a clear picture of your whole health in order to properly guide you through your treatment therapy.
Do I need to stop taking my prescription medications?
A Naturopath looks at your health from a whole perspective; this includes any prescription medicines that you may be taking. You will need to discuss any medications or supplements that you are taking with a qualified Naturopath. A properly trained Naturopath will prescribe around your prescription medications and in some cases be able to help you to reduce any side effects of your medications. A Naturopath will not suggest that you change your medications and is the most qualified health professional to prescribe natural remedies to avoid possible interactions with your medication. You will need to discuss your prescription medicine with the practitioner that prescribed the medicine before you stop taking your medicine.
How long will it be before I notice a difference with my symptoms?
Progress and change in symptoms when seeing a Naturopath will depend on many different factors including how long you have had your health condition, your age, the severity of your symptoms and your overall vitality. While some people may notice symptoms subsiding within a few days after treatment, for some it may take weeks before improvement can be noticed. It should be noted that unlike pharmaceutical medications, many natural remedies are not a ‘quick-fix’ solution to a problem and work on healing the body and finding a long term solution to health complaints.
Will I need to be on the remedies for the rest of my life?
Naturopathy is not intended as a ‘magic pill’ solution to your health problems. The role of a Naturopath is to help guide you to your health goals, and education is part of that journey. Along the journey you may learn that there are certain nutrients that you require in higher doses to prevent illness or that certain herbal remedies are beneficial for your health, however, you should not be expected to take a remedy for the rest of your life and not think about how you became unwell or what factors contribute to your health condition.
I am seeing another therapist for my health condition, should I mention this during the consultation?
As a Naturopath works on improving your whole health, including any information about other therapies or supplements that you are using is always beneficial information for preparing your health treatment strategies. Your Naturopath may also wish to communicate with the therapist you are seeing to help to achieve your health goals and provide you with whole health solutions.
Is Naturopathy covered by private health insurance?
Unfortunately, as of 1st April 2019, Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy are no longer covered with private health funds in Australia.
If you have more questions about seeing a Naturopath or wish to book an appointment with our Naturopath contact our health centre in Lismore here.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her Naturopathic clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.