Health Magazine

Do You ‘believe’ in Naturopathy?

By Staceycurcio @staceymccosker

Do you ‘believe’ in Naturopathy?

Last week, I was casually introduced to a friend of a friend. In the name of making conversation, he asked me what I do… to which I proudly replied… “I’m a Naturopath”. He smirked and said “I don’t mean to be rude, but I really don’t believe in all that natural new age cosmo-stuff”. Having dealt with this quite a bit in the past…I smiled back and asked “Do you accept that we need food to survive and thrive? And that sunshine, sleep, water and activity are all necessities of life?” He looked at me and said “Of course”. To that I replied “Wonderful, then you’ll realise that ‘belief’ doesn’t have a whole lot to do with it, and there’s really nothing ‘new-age or cosmo’ about what I do!”

There are many people who think that Naturopath’s are all about snake oil, crystals and fortune-telling. In this day and age, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The days of Naturopaths being called ‘quacks’ and natural medicine being nothing more than ‘placebo’ or ‘pseudo-science’ are fading fast. This being said, there are exceptions to the rule, and every industry has their cowboys! Unfortunately, there are many unqualified and unregistered ‘Naturopaths’ in Australia. To make sure you see a qualified Naturopath, always ask whether the practitioner is a member of a reputable association (such as ANTA, ATMS, or NHAA), quiz them about their qualifications, and look into private health rebates. For more information on what Naturopathy actually is, click here. 

Although the importance of optimal nutrition has been intuitively understood for generations, nutritional ‘science’ is one of the newest of the biological sciences… and it’s booming! The most convincing data (for most conditions) actually belongs to both dietary and lifestyle modifications. One of the things I adore about Naturopathic medicine is that there’s a really lovely mix of traditional and evidence-based knowledge. Now, although traditional knowledge may not be scientifically “validated” (according to our current scientific standards which have some major limitations!!)… this knowledge should never simply be rejected. Click here to read an article I think sums it up nicely.

In concluding, whether we ‘believe’ in nutritional medicine or not is beside the point, we all must eat to live. When I’m working, I’m not convincing my patients of things that aren’t real (such as the Tooth fairy or Santa)! I’m actually educating them about the fundamentals of wellness, the basics of human physiology, and the importance of things such as nourishing food, sunshine, clean air, quality sleep, physical activity and hydration… and there’s nothing more real than that! Until next time, Stacey.

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