What does a Nutritionist / Naturopath do?
Nutritionists / Naturopaths are specialists who coach and educate clients on the benefits of natural approaches to diet, nutritional supplements and other natural modalities that can prevent disease and strengthen the body, mind, and emotions. We do not focus on symptoms but look to the underlying cause of illness preventing optimal health. We look at the totality of a person's health experiences, believing in the interconnectedness between the
different systems of the body and the biochemical individuality of each person.
When you visit a consultant, we will first interview you about your health history, reasons for the visit, and lifestyle practices (such as typical diet, stress, sleep, and exercise habits). We then partner with you to customize a plan addressing your health concerns using natural approaches including dietary recommendations, lifestyle changes (sleep, stress, exercise, etc.), detoxification, supplements, herbs, better choices for cookware, personal care and cleaning products, cleaner ways of living, etc. Nutritionists / Naturopaths also teach ways of living that can contribute to health and prevent illness such as clean air, rest, exercise, proper nutrition, sunshine and more. We emphasize food as a most powerful tool because diet profoundly prevents disease, helps the body to heal, and impacts overall health.
How do you choose a Nutritionist?
You should expect to have someone listen to your individual concerns, take into account your lifestyle, tastes, and preferences. Your consultant should be experienced in working with people with similar concerns to yours. A plan should be customized for you, based on the best scientifically sound health information (not on the diet book of the month) and be realistic and sustainable.
Which types of issues are best addressed by a Nutritionist / Naturopath?
Reasons for consulting a Nutritionist / Naturopath range from optimizing health to addressing current health concerns. Many come with chronic conditions and symptoms for which conventional medicine did not offer a satisfactory cause or treatment. A list of routinely addressed issues would be quite lengthy; however, some examples include:
autoimmune disorders (arthritis, cancer, etc.)
candida albicans & yeast infections
corporate health (in the workplace)
diabetes and blood sugar imbalances
digestive issues and disorders (colitis, gas, irritable bowel, etc.)
eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
environmental health (at work and home, etc.)
fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome
food allergies or sensitivities
food processing (GMO, agricultural practices, etc.)
healthy shopping and cooking
headaches, migraines & chronic pain
high blood pressure
special diets (detox, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc.)
toxicity / detoxification
weight loss or gain
Principles of Naturopathy
The practice of naturopathy is based on six key principles:
Promote the healing power of the body
First do no harm. Naturopathic practitioners choose therapies with the intent of keeping harmful side effects to a minimum and suppressing symptoms.
Treat the whole person. Practitioners believe a person's health is affected by many factors, such as physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, and social ones. Practitioners consider all these factors when choosing therapies and tailor treatment to each client.
Treat the cause. Practitioners seek to identify and treat the causes of a disease or condition, rather than its symptoms. They believe that symptoms are signs that the body is trying to fight disease, adapt to it, or recover from it
Prevention is the best cure. Practitioners teach ways of living that they consider most healthy and most likely to prevent illness.
The Practitioner is a teacher. Practitioners consider it important to educate their clients in taking responsibility for their own health.
Naturopaths emphasize education in naturopathic approaches to a healthy lifestyle, strengthening and cleansing the body, and noninvasive treatments. Prescription drugs,
x-rays, and surgery are several of the practices that traditional naturopaths do not use.
Qualification and Training
Nutritionists / Naturopaths are qualified to address natural approaches to your health needs but are not qualified to make medical diagnoses or provide medical care. Training for nutritional consultants include the study of physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, biology, chemistry and nutrition. Holistic nutrition further includes training in areas such as digestion; nutritional approaches to diseases; biochemical individuality; food, vitamins, drugs, and herbal interactions; clinical nutrition; community nutrition; and integrated weight management approaches. Naturopaths additionally study various natural modalities such as herbology.
How does a Nutritionist / Naturopath differ from a Medical Doctor?
The approach and philosophies of Nutritionists / Naturopaths differ from those of medical doctors. Nutritionists / Naturopaths do not practice medicine and therefore do not diagnose, prescribe, treat, administer, cure, heal or otherwise perform a duty that is reserved for those who are licensed to do so. Also see the article:
Conventional Medicine vs. Natural Health Practitioners: What is the difference?