Thursday, September 19, 2013

What Exactly IS a Naturopath Anyway?

Anyone out there ever been to a naturopath?

I haven't.

In fact I'm not totally clear on what exactly a naturopath does. I know that they can order tests to check for food allergies. I know they look at a person's overall health, lifestyle, eating habits etc and can make recommendations of things to start doing or to stop doing. I know of people who have had food intolerances or allergies diagnosed by a naturopath when no one else could figure it out.

There's a bit of a void in my knowledge however and I have to work hard not to let words like 'tincture', 'garlic pills' and 'remove all sugar, caffeine and alcohol from your diet' prejudice my thinking.

There has been some naturopath talk around the office this week. We do have coverage under our work benefits but none of us have ever gone to see one. The more I think about it, the more I'm intrigued. I mean really, what's the worst that can happen?

I bring in three days of food and drink intake and the naturopath gasps in horror? Recommends that I cut down my one cup of coffee per day? My afternoon chocolate fix? My glass or two of wine after work?

I'll probably say thank you for the advice and head home to my coffee, chocolate or wine depending on the time of day.

They might, however, notice other things that I have not picked up on. Perhaps I'm low in something I didn't know I was low in. Maybe the little ridges in my nails don't mean that I have nails with ridges. Maybe they mean I'm missing something in my diet. Maybe the constant dark circles under my eyes aren't there because I get up before 5 many mornings per week but because something is off in my digestive system.

Maybe I eat too many fruit in the morning and should spread them out a little more. Maybe I'm overdosing on chia seeds or bananas.

Maybe they'll discover I have a tapeworm?

Or an allergy to Aero bars.


And, for the record, by Aero bars I mean these:

Not these:

I don't actually have any reason to go see a naturopath. It's not like I am experiencing digestive issues or food intolerances. I'm not in the habit of making appointments with medical professionals out of curiosity. Heck, I don't even go for a massage unless there's a medical reason for it (like my shins are tight...again).

I am sufficiently intrigued by the idea that I may find myself making an appointment in the near future.

Any of you nice folks ever been to one? What did you think? Is it worth exploring?

And what about the whole Type 1 thing? How did they handle that? Did they understand the fact that sometimes we need to eat when we don't want to and sometimes we can't eat even when we're hungry? Or the fact that refined sugars can play a pretty important role in our diets whether we want them to or not?

Let me know what you've experienced and I'll let you know what I learn.



  1. Interesting...I've never heard of one before...I'd be interested to hear how your visit goes if you decide to go. I've always wanted to go to get tested for allergies just because I have no idea if I have any (I think I'm allergic to mold but that's a self diagnosis).

  2. Never been to a naturopath, primarily because it's pricey and my husband's work insurance doesn't cover it. I do go to a constitutional homeopath, though...if the word 'tincture' sounds dodgy to you, you ain't heard nothin'! Interested to hear of the results if you do go off wine, chocolate, and coffee. I have a deep intimacy with all three of those things. I'm really afraid to take a break from them, because I bet I'd find my body prefers to be off them permanently, and my mind is just not there yet.