We get a lot of enquiries about our naturopathy services, either by phone or email. Personally, I think it is very important and really helpful to have that no-obligation conversation up front to establish what the key issues are with your health, whether naturopathy is the right option for you at this time and are we the right people to help you. Usually this means that by the time you see me or Lee, we have the beginnings of a positive therapeutic relationship that increases our likelihood of a successful outcome for you, the client.
The prospect of seeing a naturopath can be a little daunting for some. You may not know what to expect, you may have had a bad experience in the past, and you may be copping some flak from family and friends for considering “alternative” therapies. I totally get that. Like any profession, there are some who are good and some who are not so good and we are all different so the choice needs to be right for you.
A positive relationship is important for a positive outcome.
Here are some things I want you to consider before you pursue naturopathic treatment.
I want you to have the life and health you crave
This is probably true for most health professionals and it is one of the key reasons we choose this vocation. In order to help you, I will work hard to understand your full picture including diet, lifestyle, relationships, family history, symptoms and more. This can take some time which is why my consultations can be long and I will probably spend time studying your information between consultations. The human body is complex and I’ve yet to find some “magic machine” or test that provides all the answers to achieving sustainable long-term change.
Trust your instinct when choosing your health allies and make sure they have your long-term best interests at heart.
You deserve to be healthy and happy
Some of our clients struggle to make changes for the better. Deep down they want to feel healthier and happier but they have become so used to their situation that the prospect of feeling different is a bit foreign and scary. It seems silly but it’s true. Sometimes, the devil you know feels “safer” even though part of you wants something different. It’s my job to help you with that transition and help you believe you deserve it.
I can’t fix your problems, only you can do that
There is no point in seeing me if you are not in a position to participate in the process. I can guide, advise and recommend but you have to be prepared to take responsibility for your outcomes. It sounds tough I know, and I will help you to find a path forward that works for you but ultimately the changes are yours to make.
To get better, you need to act
A combination of your genetics and the daily decisions you make around your diet and lifestyle have played a major part in bringing you to your current state of health. If you are not happy with the result, something needs to change. If you want something different, you need to do something different.
I expect the road to be bumpy…that’s not failure
Sometimes the way forward is straightforward and progress is linear, but in all honesty, that is often not the case. It’s more likely that the path will be bumpy with some detours and roadblocks along the way. It is best that you are prepared for that possibility. Our bodies are complex and take some working out. It’s my job to help you minimise the bumps, help you learn from them and keep you moving forward. It’s important that you understand little setbacks and hiccups are normal and not reasons to despair.
I need you to engage in the process and ask questions but allow me to support you
I don’t expect you to accept everything I say as gospel. I want you to ask questions and learn about your body to the point where you feel comfortable and trust in the treatment plan we make together. That dialogue helps both of us to gain a better understanding of what is happening for you. I will do everything I can to help you have confidence in my suggestions and recommendations but there is no point in proceeding if you are not open to trying something new.
I’m not here to tell you what to do, but to educate you on your options and support you in your choices
There are always options for what you can do (plan A, plan B etc.). Some options will be better than others but maybe they aren’t realistic at this point in time. For example, for some of my clients, as we go down their path to better health, the best thing they could do for their health is quit a job they hate. But perhaps that’s just not feasible at this time. That’s ok. We have to work within the confines of what’s realistic. Maybe making big shifts in eating patterns is not possible because it will affect the family or it creates even more work for you. My role is to help you explore all the options so that you can make an informed choice and then support you in whatever option you choose at that time.
I accept what you tell me as true for you, but I may challenge your beliefs
Trust is important. The more honest and open you are, the better I am able to help you achieve your goals. I will accept what you tell me as true for you and won’t be dismissive. However, from time to time I might challenge your beliefs to see if they stand up to scrutiny or whether there is a possibility that changing your thinking and behaviours might help you feel better in the long run. Be prepared for that.
If you aren’t open to natural medicine and making some changes, my options are limited
Taking a prescription pill is generally an easier and cheaper option. Sometimes they can take months to get the desired result and sometimes you need to try different medicines before you find the one that suits you best. But sometimes they don’t work or they come with unpleasant side effects.
Naturopathic treatments work to change the terrain with a view to restoring function and they are generally not as convenient as a one-a-day pill. If your health history is involved or long-standing, but you are reluctant to take herbal or nutritional supplements or make changes to your diet and lifestyle there will be a limit to what I can do for you.
Naturopathic medicines work best with dietary and lifestyle changes
If you are unwell, it is quite possible that your past choices with regard to your diet and lifestyle have contributed to some extent. In all likelihood, naturopathic recommendations to improve your health will include making some changes to what you eat and how you live. If these are things that need to be addressed, then it is in your interests to embrace some changes. It will reduce your need for supplementary medicines and help you get the most out of the ones that you do take.
So there you have it. Some of this might sound a little harsh but I find it is best to be honest. If you’ve been unwell for a while, the path to good health may not be easy. I suspect you already know that, and that’s why you’re here.