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What is Naturopathy?

By Lawrence Tredrea Naturopath/Nutritionist.

What is Naturopathy?

One of the most common questions I get asked is “what is a naturopath/what is naturopathy?”. And to be fair, it’s not the common profession and there is a lot of misinformation out there about what naturopathy is.

In Hong Kong and other western countries, you need to have completed a minimum of a 4 year bachelor degree at an accredited education facility and be eligible to apply for registration at a governing association for accredited naturopaths. In Hong Kong the naturopathic association is the Integrated Association of Naturopaths Hong Kong (IANHK). They are a not-for-profit, governing organization for all qualified naturopathic physicians.

During naturopathic studies, subjects such as biology, chemistry, pathology, biochemistry, counselling, research skills, physical examinations, pharmacology, sociology of food, clinical diagnostic techniques, public health, herbal medicine and clinical nutrition are covered, plus more. In Australia the degree does not give a “Dr” title, unlike other countries such as the US, UK and Canada where practitioners can be called ND’s (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine).

The way naturopaths support healing is evidence based and guided by 6 core principles:

  1. Do no harm

  2. Treat the cause

  3. Treat the whole person

  4. The healing power of nature

  5. Practitioner as teacher

  6. Prevention

Imagine when you bruise your arm. There’s inflammation, redness and pain and yet, over time it heals. The body has an innate ability to heal. Naturopaths assist and support the biochemical pathways to ensure they function optimally. They go through a thorough health history, which involves asking a lot of questions about the different body systems (cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, respiratory etc) and when possible utilise conventional and functional tests to better understand the patients condition. Through the use of herbal medicine, nutraceuticals/supplements, diet, environmental considerations and lifestyle interventions, naturopaths aim to bring balance and healing within the body.

There can be a lot of misleading information about natural medicine. Always seek a qualified health professional that aligns with you and your health needs.e conditions and see naturopaths for weight loss, detox, thyroid conditions, skin complaints, auto-immune conditions, fertility, stress, sleep support, digestive complaints and much more.

Many naturopaths work in private practice, managing their own business and clients. Others tend to work in multi-disciplinary clinics, pharmacies, health food stores or day spas/retreats as practitioners. There is also room to work in different arenas like product development for food or nutraceutical companies, being an educator, professional writing and blogging or natural health research.

There can be alot of misleading information about natural medicine. Always seek a qualified health professional that aligns with you and your health needs.


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