It can be confusing for the general public to find a Naturopathic Practitioner that will have the knowledge and clinical expertise that is required to treat their health problems and help them prevent future disease. So what’s the best way to find a practitioner that you can put your trust in?
Answering the following 7 questions may help you to choose the best Naturopathic Practitioner to help you achieve optimum health, high vitality and disease prevention:
1) Is the Naturopath Well-Qualified?
Well-trained Naturopaths are usually proud to display their credentials in their clinic; on their business cards and/or on their website so be cautious of those that do not include these details publicly because chances are they won’t have many qualifications to display. In addition, find out if they only obtained their credentials from a correspondence course or whether they physically attended lectures and student clinics on campus. Ask if they also have university health science degrees or similar university degrees in addition to their naturopathic college qualifications as university study in the science field is incomparable to a basic advanced diploma in naturopathy, which unfortunately is all many Australian Naturopaths have. integrated wellness clinic Also, find out if they have provider numbers with all of the major health funds. If they do – this can be a sign that they have the appropriate qualifications (although not always) but if they don’t have provider numbers it means their credentials do not meet the minimum standards required by the health insurance companies which should be a red flag to not consult them for health advice.
2) Have They Only Recently Graduated?
If the Naturopath has only recently graduated from college or university they would lack the clinical experience that may be necessary to be truly effective practitioners. Do you really want to be their guinea pig? It can often take several years of clinical experience to develop the necessary expertise to identify the underlying causes of people’s health problems and to know which the best treatments are to resolve each condition. The same applies to other forms of health care too – from medical doctors and dentists through to physiotherapists. I wouldn’t want a newly graduated surgeon operating on my body the same as I wouldn’t want advice from a health practitioner – naturopathic or otherwise – if they lacked the clinical experience.
3) Are They a ‘Jack of All Trades and Master of None?
Does the Naturopath specialise in a few areas of health or are they trying to be a ‘Jack of all Trades’? Some practitioners will try to treat everything from heart disease and cancer through to autism, skin problems and childhood illnesses but, chances are, they won’t have the required knowledge to treat any condition very well. It’s just not humanly possible to keep up with the latest research in every aspect of health so it would be best to find a naturopath that specialised in the fields of health that you are seeking help with, rather than a ‘general’ Naturopathic practitioner. For example, I specialise in women’s health and these days I only consult in the following areas: Mental health (and the underlying causes), fatigue, hormonal problems, digestive system problems and auto-immune disease. It’s always best to consult a practitioner that is skilled in the areas of health you need help with as it’s more likely they will be reading the latest scientific data and text books on these particular problems and attending seminars and conferences that are specifically related to these issues. The practitioner should also be able to draw upon years of clinical experience in the fields they practice in – which means you should benefit from their clinical insights.
4) Do They Keep Up With the Latest Research?
Following on from the last section, the science is changing all the time in the health field so it’s vital that Naturopaths keep up to date with the latest research in the fields they practice in, for the best possible treatment outcomes for their patients. However, Naturopaths also need to try and keep updated on what’s happening in pathology testing (in case there’s a cutting-edge test that their patients should know about) and in pharmacology – to ensure they have advanced knowledge of potential medicine or supplement interactions. A practitioner may be well-qualified and have years of clinical experience but if they do not take their work seriously enough and fail to attend annual seminars and don’t read the relevant health industry journals on a regular basis – then they probably won’t achieve high success rates with the treatment of disease in their patients.
5) Do They Practice What They Preach?
Does the Naturopath have a normal weight? Great skin? Are they hardly ever sick? Do they have high energy levels? If they are over 40, do they look young for their age? If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, it may be a sign that the Naturopath is passionate about living a healthy life and is more likely to be practising what they preach. I don’t mean to sound harsh but why would you trust someone with your health unless they were actively seeking excellent health themselves and were following the naturopathic health philosophy?
6) Are They Familiar With Clinical Pathology Testing and How To Interpret Your Results?
If the Naturopath doesn’t have a thorough knowledge of the pathology tests available from the various labs and what the tests are able to identify, they would lack the necessary skills that are essential to resolve their patient’s health problems. It is equally important that the Naturopath knows how to interpret those results for the patient and that they are aware of the most effective treatments, based on the test results provided.