What is the Biggest Misconception About Seeing a Naturopath?

Naturopaths tend to get a little bit of a bad rap, understandable. Some of us don’t really fit into conservative ways of thinking, of being, of working. There’s a lot of misconceptions about when you go to see a naturopath, what’s actually going to happen. So in this video I’m going to address what I think is the biggest misconception about naturopathy in Australia.

When we’re talking about misconceptions with naturopathy, I think a lot of it is that we tend to view naturopathy in the same way that you would view visiting a GP or a specialist, looking at comparing a naturopathic medicine or holistic medicine to conventional medicine or allopathic medicine.

Often what happens when you go to a conventional practitioner, your GP for example, you go with the expectation that there’ll be a diagnosed medical condition, and there will most likely be a pharmaceutical medication that will be prescribed, if necessary. If not, they’ll look at surgery or something else along with along those lines. There’s this perception that once you take your pharmaceutical medication that that gets you’re healthy and you’re cured and all is well and good.

But when you actually see a naturopath and you book in for a consultation and you have an appointment with a naturopath, what happens is that you sit down for a longer period of time. So with a GP, you might be sitting down for 12 minutes or so. With a naturopath and in my clinic, first consultation is always 90 minutes and it’s never enough time to cover absolutely everything because in a consultation with my clients, what I’m talking about is their overall health, their mental, emotional health, their physical wellbeing, how they’re sleeping, what they’re eating, what their bowel movements are like, what their relationships are like with their families and their friends and all the rest of it.

So in saying that what happens is that a lot of people go to naturopaths and think, “Oh, they’re going to prescribe a particular supplement or a range of supplements, and that’s going to get me healthy.” But I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions with seeing a naturopath; is that a naturopath will prescribe something that will get you healthy. While this is partially true, that prescription can involve something a little bit more than a tablet or a capsule or a liquid herbal extract. So I think the biggest misconception is that people think that seeing a naturopath, you get a prescription of a supplement or a substance or a something that will get you healthy, when in actual fact good health comes from so much more than just a supplement.

So when people come to see me, I often give them a prescription that is a little bit different to the regular prescription. Their prescription might require that they meditate for five or 10 minutes a day. The prescription might require that they walk for a certain period of time or write in a diary or journal, or take notes on what they’ve been eating or their bowel movements. Their prescription can involve all sorts of types of assignments and projects. It can include changes to their mindset, to their lifestyle, to their relationships, to their communication style, to their food and nutrition. But also their prescription can involve a tablet or capsule or a homeopathic remedy.

So when you see a naturopath, the prescription is not cut and dry. It’s not as simple as a prescription of a substance to get you healthy because good health is more than just taking a tablet. Good health is about your interaction with your family and friends. Good health is more about your attitude, the way that you approach difficult situations, the foods that you eat, the way that you can digest foods as well. So this misconception that you can go to a naturopath and they’ll give you a prescription and that will be it, and that will get you healthy. It’s really using a template of allopathic or traditional or conventional medicine, I should say with something that is not quite the same. So in saying that it would be like using the rules of soccer to judge the game of Australian rules football. It’s similar, they’re both football, but it doesn’t actually make any sense to do something like that.

So the reason why I wanted to explain this is because I have people who come to me, who say, “Oh Leonie, you’re not prescribing this particular supplement for me, you’re not prescribing fish oil or a vitamin C or whatever it is.” Often I don’t prescribe those kinds of supplements, not in all situations, because the healing begins where the individual starts to take responsibility for their health and giving the responsibility to look after your own health, to something which is a small substance in a capsule or a tablet, doesn’t allow you to better take control of your health and to become independently healthy.

So good health is more than just taking a tablet.

That’s really what it comes down to. It’s about taking responsibility for your health. As a practitioner, that is my goal, to help you to understand what you need to do as an individual, to help with your own health, which is not something that you can Google either and also my responsibility as a naturopath is to work as a guide to help you to reach your health goals.

So when people come to me and they’re ready, they’re ready to indulge in a mind shift, think about things differently. Look at challenging situations with a clear mind, when they’re ready to accept and acknowledge a different way of thinking about things, a different way of eating, perhaps slightly different lifestyle habits, then they’re ready to actually challenge themselves to be able to move forward with their health.

So if you feel that perhaps you’re ready to move forward with your health, you’re ready to make changes and take responsibility for your health, book in for an appointment with me.

The information provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. We recommend you consult with a GP or other healthcare professional before taking any action based on this article. While the author uses best endeavours to provide accurate and true content, the author makes no guarantees or promises regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. If you rely on any information provided in this article, you do so at your own risk.

About The Author

Leonie Satori

Naturopath and Herbalist Leonie is passionate about women’s health, especially perimenopause and all that midlife encompasses for women - anxiety, gut health and hormones. Her holistic and down-to-earth approach to well-being incorporates wisdom from traditional healing practices, including Western herbal medicine and Ayurveda plus over a decade of clinical experience. In her free time, you’ll find Leonie bush-walking, gardening and living life slowly.

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