What is naturopathy?
When you don’t feel well it’s a challenge to fully enjoy life. Nagging physical problems impact our energy and state of mind, just as stress can influence digestion or sleep.
Naturopathy is about working with you – a unique being – rather than focusing on “curing” a disease. What makes your migraine, gut disturbance or tiredness better or worse may be different to another person with the same condition. So too, the best way to remedy your health issue can differ to another person’s treatment.
The cornerstone of naturopathy is about nurturing the body, mind and spirit. Over many decades of clinical practice, I’ve never lost sight of these basic beliefs. Often the best and longest lasting results occur when you take that extra step to change aspects your life that are making you unwell or unhappy.
To help this process along, or to treat an acute health issues, naturopaths sometimes prescribe supplements or individual herbal formulas.
As naturopathy is an umbrella term covering many ways of working, the way each naturopath operates is also unique.
In the following information I focus on my individual approach to working with clients, which has evolved through decades of naturopathic experience.
Why work with me?
With over 25 years’ clinical experience, I’ve had the pleasure of working with thousands of people to improve their wellbeing. In a “general practice” clinic, my clients have ranged across all life stages: from pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, childhood, adulthood and later years. I’ve been fortunate to work with up to four generations in the same family. I see clients with a wide variety of issues from simple/lifestyle-based conditions to complex health problems.
Many new clients know of me by reputation, from the radio (Health Trip on 3RRR) or my previous practice City Natural Therapies in Melbourne. While some clients are referred directly by their GP or health practitioner.
Due to my training and experience, I don’t hesitate to refer to medical professionals if further investigation is needed. Effective healthcare is usually a collaborative process, so it can be helpful to work with a naturopath who provides an overview of you as an individual (rather than a collection of diseases), and health advocacy if required.
Working with a knowledgeable and experienced clinician can save you both time and money.
After the initial consultation, it’s advisable to fine tune your treatment plan with a follow-on session every 2 to 6 weeks, over the next couple of months. Through these consultations I can monitor your progress, adjust your treatment or refer you for further investigations if required.
Do I need to see you in person?
I’ve drawn on my years of clinical experience to adapt my naturopathic approach to be able to work with most clients over distance. As part of the Wellbeing Plan, new clients respond to a questionnaire before the initial consultation. If a distance session is not appropriate, you will be informed of this and offered a full refund.
A lot of clients prefer the convenience of taking consultations out of the clinic and into the comfort of their home. Distance consultations can save time and money, with no travel, parking or public transport hassles. This can also be a bonus for home-based carers or where location or state of health can limit you options. For convenience, out of work hours’ appointments are also available.
Sometimes when working in person or distance, a health coaching framework is useful to help you stay on track with your goals. These tools can be helpful when used alongside (rather than instead of) traditional naturopathy.
Do you prescribe remedies?
While I believe that in many cases our lifestyle holds the key to good health, sometimes minimal, well-prescribed herbs or nutrients can help bridge the initial gap between your current state of health and how you’d like to feel.
I’ve been attracted to herbs since childhood, so becoming a herbalist was a natural fit. Having been a senior lecturer in herbal medicine, as well as a long time clinician, I understand both the traditional and scientific rationale of herbal prescribing
When necessary I dispense tailored prescriptions to suit your current health needs. Each prescription is short-term, aimed to use the minimum intervention required. Ultimately the goal is for you to stay well as possible, without remedies.
In February 2017 I established my Probert St clinic with a small dispensary in Sydney’s Inner West, so that I can provide herbal remedies as part of your treatment if needed. For distance consultations within Australia, there are a variety of options for accessing remedies, when necessary.
My approach to prescribing natural remedies is “less is more”. I rely on my knowledge and experience, not dozens of remedies or unnecessary consultations.
How does your approach differ from other naturopaths or health coaches?
Each naturopath’s approach is shaped by their initial education, ongoing learning and clinical exposure. Our life experience can also enhance this process.
My initial naturopathic education (a four-year Diploma of Applied Science) provided a thorough grounding in medical sciences, herbalism, nutrition and naturopathy. It was one of the first naturopathic courses in Australia to combine science without compromising traditional knowledge. Since graduating from the Southern School of Natural Therapies in 1991 I’ve had the privilege to work with thousands of people, lectured Advanced diploma and Bachelor of Health Sciences students (SSNT 1992 – 1998) and mentored a wide variety of complementary health practitioners.
I’ve observed that most health coaching programs have a limited focus and usually lack a broad grounding in both complementary and conventional medicine. Without comprehensive face-to-face education and experience, it’s easy to miss the signs of a serious medical condition or get sidetracked by symptoms rather than investigating underlying causes.
Distance consulting requires great skill to be safe and effective. I believe that many years of in-person consulting and exposure to a wide variety of health presentations, should be a prerequisite.
Over the years I’ve worked naturopathically with many clients recovering from conventional cancer treatment or facing other life-challenging conditions. In recent years I’ve personally experienced conventional and complementary healthcare from a patient’s perspective, when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. My own health journey has given me even greater empathy and understanding of this process, including further training in health advocacy. With my return to excellent health, it’s increased my passion to help people physically and emotionally recover from their diagnosis and treatment.
While living with or recovering from cancer (and other complex health conditions) is a special interest, my practice is not limited to this. I continue to work with people with a wide variety of health issues.
Do you work with children?
I love working with children, as they usually respond to lifestyle changes faster than adults. However, I only offer consultations with babies and children in-person (not by distance). Please email me before booking a face-to-face consultation for your child in Sydney or Melbourne, as a shorter consultation may be more appropriate.
How do I book a session?
For your convenience, all Skype and Sydney consultations are booked online.
If we’ve never had a naturopathic consultation together before, please choose the initial naturopathy session/Wellbeing Plan.
A naturopathy follow-on session is for existing clients (including those who previously saw me at City Natural Therapies) and can be purchased as a single session or a discounted three-session package.
The booking site is straight forward, providing up-to-the-minute availability for a consultation time that suits you. Please be aware when booking that the times are set for Sydney/Eastern Australia, if you live in another State or country use this handy guide to find your local time.
I can’t log into your booking site or use credits from a three-session package
If you’re a new client, you’ll need to create an account when you book your first session. This is straight forward and only takes one to two minutes. Keep a note of your password, as you’ll need this to make any changes to your consultation and future bookings. You can reschedule online, up to 48 hours before your consultation.
If you’re an existing client, go directly to the customer area to sign in.
If you’ve already purchased a three session package, remember to book a single session. The charges (on the right side of the page) should be zero.
If you’ve forgotten your password, from the customer area simply click the “I forgot my password” link. Bookeo will email you directly.
If the above suggestions don’t work, please email me directly.
Is Naturopathy covered by health insurance?
Most Australian health insurers offer rebates on naturopathic in-person consultations. Rarely insurers cover distance sessions or remedies. Please check your policy to clarify your coverage. If you have an appropriate policy, please request a receipt at your consultation so you can lodge a claim directly with your insurer.
As a Fellow of the NHAA, I’m a registered provider with a number of different health insurers. Please check the association’s current list. If your fund is not included, before your consultation, I may be able to apply directly to the company to gain a provider number (this process may take time and is not usually retroactive).
For clients outside of Australia, please consult your insurer directly.
Note: The Australian government is currently reviewing rebates offered for complementary medicine through private health insurers, which could change the conditions of your policy.
Do you have gift vouchers?
Would a wellbeing session be perfect for someone you know? You can purchase a gift voucher through this link.
I look forward to working with you. If you have any further questions, please contact me.