Origin of the Word 'Naturopathy'
The term Naturopathy was first coined by Dr John Scheel of New York in 1895.
Its body of knowledge derives from the rich heritage of writings and practices from western and non western nature doctors since Hippocrates c.400BC.
Hippocrates looked for the cause of diseases, in the patients' relationships with air, water and food, not just at the disease effect (Micozzi, 2011).
Conventional medicine cites Hippocrates as the father of modern medicine, although rejects his belief in vitalism and instead focuses on the assertion that doctors should 'take the art of healing out of natures hands'. Whilst this is essential when a life threatening disease, illness or traumatic injury has occurred, in more every day or ongoing circumstances the natural healing mechanisms of the body may be encouraged by assisting them to return to their most healthful homeostasis.
A cut or wound will heal itself naturally over time and science documents the extraordinary mechanisms of the body that exist in cells, structures and physiology that it relies on to maintain its own life. This vital action, vitalism or vital life force within the body is recognised by Naturopathy and endeavours are made to assist the body to heal itself by nurturing natural structure and function processes.
In a moment of inspiration recently I wrote on the subject of vitalism that...
“Vitalism doesn’t describe something other than what is. It describes the synergy of action within a living organism. It is the very function of the organism as a whole. The activity of interrelated systems, that combines to animate matter. It is another word for Life, the life force, the positive balance of energy that is used and produced when cells are alive. Life = vitality and vitality = life. In fact Vitality is vital to life“ (Shairin,2015).
So assisting the vital force of the body, as is done by Naturopaths, is the very act of working with the cells and whole system to propagate, nurture and maintain the positive energy balance that ensures the continuation of life and the vitality of the body.
Benedict Lust Purchased the name Naturopathy, also known as Nature Cure, in 1902. He described it as
“both a way of life and a concept of healing that used various natural means selected from various systems and disciplines of treating human infirmities and disease states” (Micozzi, 2011).
Benedict published a monthly journal and promoted a new way of thinking of health care. In the editorial of the first journal, titled The Naturopathic and Herald of Health, he wrote:
“We believe in strong pure beautiful bodies … of radiating health. We want every man woman and child in this great land to know and embody and feel the truths of right living that mean conscious mastery” (Micozzi, 2011).
Micozzi, M. (2011). Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Missouri: Suanders Elsevier
vitamin and mineral Supplements, Prescriptions and practitioner only medicines - a balanced perspective
Vitamins and Minerals are found in foods and many of them we get enough of when we eat a balanced and varied diet.
They are not optional they are ESSENTIAL for Human biological function because the body cannot make them within itself. They act as structural elements, cofactors and coenzymes in many molecules and biochemical reactions.
The reason we eat is because we need these molecules to live.
A balanced and varied diet is the right amounts of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats (the Macronutrients), Water and the Micronutrients – Vitamins and Minerals gained from eating all different kinds of foods daily.
These days we have a huge range of vitamin and mineral products that we can choose to supplement our diet with. They aren’t the same as getting nutrients from your food, they are processed products. Not meant to replace foods but as a supplement to your diet (daily food intake) when your body is not getting enough or when it needs more. That is why they often have that on the label and why some people scoff at the very notion of taking supplements.
The balanced perspective is that Vitamins and Minerals are essential to human life and deficiencies or low levels (status) reduce the body’s ability to perform biochemical functions that require those molecules. Yet consuming amounts over the scientifically determined Upper Limit (UL) causes another set of problems related to how the body uses, stores, transports and excretes the vitamin or mineral. At best your body will release the excess in urine as is the case with most water-soluble vitamins (the Bs and C) thus causing the much-emphasised expensive neon wee.
At worst overconsumption of Vitamins and Minerals can cause a severe adverse reaction and the ultimate demise of the life that one was trying to maintain the health of. [Aside: the authors avid HHGttG reader status shining through here.]
When buying yourself supplements stick to the dose on the label.
The risk of adverse reactions from vitamin and mineral supplements is deemed as low by the Therapeutic Goods Authority of Australia (TGA) [and equivalent regulatory bodies across the globe] if taken within the recommended guidelines and Authorised label instructions. This is why these products are listed as Aust L medicines or Food Products whereas pharmaceutical drugs and some over the counter medicines are Aust R (regulated because the risk of harm is greater).
Prescription and Practitioner Only Medicines
You’ll notice that prescription medicines don’t have a dose on the packet as the Doctor makes a clinical decision on the dose right for you. Similarly 'Practitioner Only Products’ prescribed by Natural Health Practitioners also don’t have a dose or instructions on the label because similarly these are required to be tailored to the individual and must have an affixed label with patient name, credentials and dosage instructions, as required by law via the Therapeutic Goods Act and overseen by the Therapeutic Goods Authority.
When they say Always read the Label and Follow Directions they are not kidding. Products are tested to work and be safe within the use outlined on the product or in the dose and period of use prescribed by your Health Professional. Going outside of these directions puts you at risk
Your Health Professional will prescribe your dose based on many different factors including your health status, age, weight, requirement, the clinically proven therapeutic dose, the upper limit including food sources and taking into account the other medical conditions you have and any pharmaceutical, herbal or nutritional medicines that you are taking.
If you are taking any prescription or over the counter medicine it is essential that you read the Consumer Medicines Information (CMI). It used to come as a leaflet with the medicine and now is available online: https://www.tga.gov.au/consumer-medicines-information-cmi
Supplement Safety Resources
Some other Websites to check for suitabiltiy of your medication with Nutritional Medicines:
NPS MedicineWise has searchable CMI's which list things to avoid while taking your medication
Better is the Medscape drug interaction checker which will cross reference supplemental herbs and nutrients with medications:
During your Naturopathic Consultation I will note all your medications and am able to prescribe Herbs, vitamins and Minerals that are safe to take with them. Often Foods can be a great and delicious way to increase nutrient intake and avoid any risk of interaction. Contact me, Book your session or Purchase and complete a totally online Supplement Safety Review form which will provide you with a report of current supplements to avoid or explore for optimal health.
Herb is a description given to any flora that possesses aromatic, culinary or medicinal properties. This includes a wide range of well-known trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, often used in everyday life.
The true beauty of herbs is shown in their simplicity of use. The addition of herbal materials such as leaves and flowers to our daily meals and environment can have profound long-term effects, without straining our bodily system already working hard to filter the constituents of air, water and soil pollution.
Common botanicals such as lavender can be beneficial in therapeutic ways, such as aromatherapy, to treat light ailments in the home for little economic cost.
An herbal tea is a gentle way to ease a headache or mild indigestion, with side effects tempered by the full benefits of the plant's chemical makeup. Plants contain a number of individual substances (constituents), that work together, synergistically when used in their whole form.
For example dandelion leaves, when taken as a tea produce a diuretic affect, cleansing the urinary system. The body loses a lot of potassium with frequent urination and the leaf, taken as a whole, contains high amounts of potassium, compensating the nutrient loss from the body. This creates a natural state of balance that is in line with an individual’s own molecular harmony. Using herbs to relieve minor suffering, can improve quality of life and perhaps help to stave off the more drastic states, of dis-ease.
To continue with the above example, dandelions grow commonly in lawns and pasture lands throughout Australia. The edible European Dandelion has a single flower on each stem and finer, light green leaves making it easily distinguishable. Collecting herbs from the garden or in the wild can be a most pleasure some task. Out for a walk in the countryside or spotting a new bloom in your garden can change your mood in an instant, creating a natural quality of peace.
Dandelion greens are a nutritious addition to a warm salad, perhaps with pumpkin, sundried tomatoes, walnuts and spinach. Lightly cooking dandelion leaves removes their bitterness. Bitter herbs are regarded as digestive healers because they activate gastrointestinal juices.
Perhaps it is easy to forget that we are eating the plants and foods of the earth for health, yet, I believe that it is easier to remember daily, the integral part that nature has played and is playing in our lives.
As a qualified Naturopath I have access to the best Herbal extracts in Australia. These liquid extracts are standardised which means that the levels of active compounds are both continuous and within therapeutic ranges. The raw material is tested and again tested during processing and at final product level. A multitude of herbs are available and each one is processed to retain the true active parts in a standard dose preparation. These liquid herbs are a therapeutic tool that can have definite effects on improving and maintaining health. An herbal formula is created for each unique individual based on their specific and current health needs. A medicinal dose of 5-10mL twice or three times per day is a magnificently natural approach to any health problem.
Naturopathic Consultations are Available Mondays to Saturdays at Namaste Naturopathy or Online.
With the Covid19 Pandemic under control for the moment in Australia and as a Professional Health Care Clinic Namaste Naturopathy is OPEN.
Online and Telephone Consultations are preferred while we all ease back into social life with Care and physical distancing measures in place.
Namaste Naturopathy COVID19 Clinic Update
You are welcome to book a face to face appointment at the Clinic here in Upper Mount Gravatt.
Attending by yourself or with one other family member or supportive person is preferrable to adhere to social distancing measures and retain the personal and confidential time to discuss your health concerns and needs.
We have implemented an appointment time gap between client bookings to ensure that the previous client/s have left before your appointment and the next client will not arrive until you have finished your appointment and left the clinic.
In order to maintain this safety interval, please arrive on time to your appointment and phone ahead if you need to change your appointment time. We are happy to rebook you. Our hours are 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday.
If you have any symptoms of cold, flu or Covid19 (including; fever, sore throat, cough or running nose), please call ahead to rebook your appointment.
Namaste Naturopathy Clinic provides:
Your clinician will also check their temperature each morning and reschedule your appointment if they have a temperature or any cold, flu or Covid19 symptoms.
Namaste Naturopathy Practitioners have all completed the Infection Control Module offered by the Department of Health and will always adhere to Government legislation and implement appropriate precautions in clinic to ensure that our clients and ourselves remain safe.
Online Supplement Review
I also have a Supplement Safety Review that is available online. This is an analysis of your food intake, medical conditions and medications which will give you a report outlining medicinal foods that you can use to improve your nutritional status and alleviate symptoms, the best supplements for you if you choose to include those and any Vitamin or Mineral supplements that are indicated or best avoided for you unique health conditions and medication regime.
Radish is a great addition to your seasonal menu. It is high in some key nutrients and is clinically shown to improve some health conditions related specifically to it's chemical constituents and their biological actions on the cells and tissues of the human body.
Flower Essences – Gentle Energetic Medicine for emotional, mental and physical dis-ease.
Flower essences are the vibrational imprint of a flower’s energetic properties in water, preserved with a touch of brandy, apple cider vinegar or refrigeration.
To achieve this imprint, a flower is picked and placed directly into pure water and bathed in sunlight for several hours to infuse the water with its essence. It is then strained and bottled as the ‘Mother Essence’. Smaller treatment bottles are created by adding drops of the Mother Essence to more pure water and ‘fixed’ (preserved) as above.
Flower essences are diluted substances because we are dealing here with the ‘subtle body’ [we shall explore terminology and energetic fields in future articles], which requires just a subtle dose of vibrational nudging.
The first Flower Essence system, the Bach Remedies, was developed by Dr Edward Bach in England. Although based on Homeopathic principles the Bach remedies are made from Flowers and do not use toxic substances in their creation. You can read about his life’s work here at The Bach Centre.
There are also the Australian Bush Flower Essences developed by Ian White and a comprehensive system of New Zealand native flora healers in the First Light Essences.
“Disease of the body itself is nothing but the result of the disharmony between soul and mind. Remove the disharmony, and we regain harmony between soul and mind, and the body is once more perfect in all its parts.” - Dr Edward Bach
“They [the Bach Remedies] cure not by attacking disease but by flooding our bodies with beautiful vibrations of our higher nature in the presence of which disease melts as snow in the sunshine” - Dr Edward Bach
The well-known Bach Rescue Remedy can be used in any situation. It is the only combination essence that Dr Bach chose to create as he believed that everyone needs their own remedy mix to suit their situation.
Rescue Remedy contains the following Flowers that alleviate the associated feelings which are experienced in body and mind.
Star of Bethlehem shock
Rock Rose panic
Cherry plum fear of losing control
In a personal flower essence consult these or others of the 38 remedies can be used to specifically address your currently individual needs.
An example of the healing properties of Flower Essences from the Bach set is:
Aspen which is a remedy for;
fear of the unknown; vague anxiety and apprehension; hidden fears and nightmares.
The positive outcomes listed for treatment with Aspen Remedy are that it:
Quiets and subdues the astral body in order for the spiritual ego to gain the trust, confidence and strength it needs to meet the unknown.
Helps one to draw inner strength from the spiritual world.
Allows the conscious mind to receive and process more information resulting in a balanced use of soul forces.
Helps one develop personal boundaries.
For someone that experiences anxiety attacks, this essence may be of great benefit.
I have trained in both Bach Remedies and Australian Bush Flower Essences and have had the pleasure of creating individual treatments for my clients from the 38 Bach remedies that I keep in the clinic and recommend Australian Bush Flower Essences often.
As a naturopath Flower Essences are a common therapeutic tool and are prepared within your Naturopathic Health Care consultation. The conversation allows discussion of your experiences and unique needs that allow selection of one to four remedies that specifically suit your current emotional and physical needs. Holistically treating the causes and contributing factors as well as alleviating symptoms and trully listening to you are the benefits of Naturopathy.
The flower essence is taken upon the moment of waking and just before sleeping to access the subconscious state and brain wave pattern between activity and rest. The remedy mix is taken in this way for a period of two weeks to gently clear old energy patterns and activate, balance and repair vibrational/energetic balance within the whole body. The drops may be taken in water or directly under the tongue and for some situations such as the use of the Bach Rescue Remedy are taken whenever required.
It is said that the flowers of our homeland have the deepest effect and I had the opportunity to visit New Zealand with my Mum in 2014. As that is where she grew up I organized a Flower Essence consultation with a practitioner over there. It was a lovely session and Mum reported great results from her personalised First Light Blend.
I have many happy clients that have found relief of symptoms and an increased sense of wellbeing after completing their treatment. Continuing with Flower Essence therapy can address deeper issues and your unique constitutional Flower Essence helper can be discovered that will assist you in times of need and in maintaining daily balance and harmony.
Whether or not Flower Essences work just due to the ‘Placebo Effect’ is really irrelevant when such a safe and potentially profound healing tool can improve our emotional and physical wellbeing. The simplicity and harmlessness of Flower Essences gives them a place in the realm of Natural Health Care. Remembering that they are an Energetic Medicine like Usui Reiki and thus a different kind of therapeutic.
I have the full range of Bach remedies in my clinic and would love to hear your story with compassion and to prepare your gentle and empowering personalized Flower essence.
Namaste - Shairin.
There is a deeper exploration of sublte body, energetic medicine, 'placebo effect' and the holistic understanding in modern medicine here please share your thoughts on Flower Essences or any of these interesting avenues by leaving a comment.
Shairin is a Naturopath and Usui Reiki Master/Teacher with a Bachelor of Health Science in (Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Medical Systems).