integrative medicine

How seeing a naturopath can better your health.

As a naturopath, we often see patients that have suffered years of ongoing, unresolved complaints and have been searching for answers without any luck. You may have a feeling that 'something more can be done', looking for a natural approach or are sick of getting prescribed antibiotics for the common cold. What about a desire to understand your body or wanting to have optimal, thriving heath and not feeling like you are just surviving? Does any of that sound familiar? If so, naturopathy may be for you. 

Naturopath's have the exciting, complex and rewarding job of looking and treating you as a whole person. What does this actually mean? This means that when you come in with a concern, for example you feel tired all the time, we will look beyond how much sleep you are getting. We will also consider your personal health history, family history, blood tests, medications, stress levels, physical examination, diet, allergies and so much more. We do this because we want to understand your unique situation as we appreciate the many causes that contribute to you feeling this way. An understanding of who you are is so important in giving you the best treatment.

The beauty of naturopathy is that the therapies we use are well tolerated and can actually be a support to conventional medicine. Although our remedies have traditional beginnings, many of them have substantial scientific evidence that support there use and efficacy. Naturopathy is also wonderful and unique in that there is no 'one fix' approach to a problem. It has a broad scope of treatment and can use the following remedy options according to your circumstance. 

  • Herbal medicine as liquids, tablets and teas
  • Dietary advice to promote food as medicine and nutritional supplements
  • Lifestyle and environmental advice to promote mindfulness and wellbeing
  • Flower essences have an energetic basis and can enhance the emotional aspects of healing.   

Using the example above, if your 'feeling tired all the time' was caused by high levels of stress we could look at using one or a combination of diet modification, herbal medicine, nutrient supplementation and mindfulness techniques. Interestingly this means that if your friend were to need help because they also felt tired all the time due to stress, we may actually consider completely different herbs, nutrients and dietary advice because we would consider their unique circumstances.  

In essence, naturopathy is based on the principle that the body has an inherent ability to heal itself. We follow these six philosophies when treating you:  

  1. The healing power of nature  (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
  2. Identify and treat the cause (Tolle Causum) 
  3. Treat the whole person (Tolle Totum)
  4. Do not harm (Primum Non Nocere)
  5. Doctor as teacher (Docere)
  6. Prevention (Preventare)
Herbal Medicine in melbourne

At Narayani Wellness, your naturopathic experience is truly unique as we have a supportive community of passionate naturopaths and integrative doctors working together. We believe more can be achieved by having these two approaches as it has greater potency and efficacy than doing things separately. Our approach to patient care embraces the combination of traditional philosophy with functional testing, and we find we get better results with our patients with the addition of functional testing. Functional testing allows us to look at the finer processes that occur within our bodies. This includes looking at how our cells function, our energy production pathways, how we clear toxins, how we make our brain chemicals, hormone profiles and how we can achieve healthy bowel functions. Our focus is to put you first and we realise the best relationship is one built on trust. All of this keeps us on our toes which motivates us to do professional development and stay current with research to continually benefit you.

We realise that Spring is a time we focus on our health and 'recover' from Winter woes. For some, this means the annual struggle of hay fever or a time to address old health issues that flared up from a change in your diet and exercise. With Spring well and truly here and the excitement of warmer days coming, maybe this is the right time for you to see a naturopath and regain your health. 

Integrative GP’s - Helping you to restore balance

Have you ever wanted a knowledgeable, trustworthy GP who shares your desire to have your health treated holistically? Did you know that was even an option? Maybe you did. Perhaps you have noticed the options you have to address your health are evolving. The words ‘integrative’ and ‘holistic’ are used frequently these days, but what do they mean, especially when describing a GP? To help you understand how a GP can have an integrative approach, here are the answers to a few questions you may have floating around your head! 

 

What is integrative medicine?

Let's break it down. Medicine is not just a science, but it is also an art. Medical knowledge comprises the science. It is the skilful application of this knowledge to you, a unique individual, that is the art of medicine. Integrative medicine draws from both Western medicine and natural, complementary medicine. It marries the two to provide complete and holistic care, tailored specifically to you.  

Integrative medicine in melbourne

What is an integrative GP?

An integrative GP is a fully qualified general practitioner with additional expertise in areas including nutritional and environmental medicine, herbal medicine and mind-body medicine. The integrative GP is also supportive of various complementary therapies. We appreciate that these alternate forms of healing can be incorporated into a holistic model of care to support you in your journey to full health. Basically, you get the best of both worlds.

 

Dr. Fi and Dr. Elsa are integrative GPs… what is their philosophy?

We believe that the body instinctively wants to function the way nature intended it to - in balance and in harmony with itself and the world around it. When your body is out balance in some way, that is when illness occurs. Our aim is to pinpoint and address these imbalances, to return your body to its natural state of balance and thus health.

 

The Illness-Wellness Continuum:

There are degrees of wellness, just like there are degrees of illness. Wellness is not merely the absence of illness, and is a dynamic and continuous state. Another way to put it is that health is not black and white; rather we understand there are shades of grey in between. With this understanding, integrative GP’s are different in that we treat beyond a point of black and white, even if there is no medically recognisable “disease” present - we address the shades of grey. For example, you may complain of tiredness, but in the absence of an obvious disease, you are seen as “well” by your doctor and sent on your way. Yet you are still tired. Integrative GP’s recognise that you are indeed not “well”. We seek to help you achieve wellness by digging deeper into what might really be going on.

Wellness continuum.png

What can an integrative GP offer me?

If you are seeking a comprehensive and holistic analysis of your health from a caring, accepting and non-judgmental doctor, as well as a thorough, holistic explanation of your symptoms, then you will benefit from seeing an integrative GP. We aim to help you achieve optimal wellness by seeking to understand and address the root cause, or causes, of ill health. Effectively addressing the root cause of illness is crucial to sustained healing and full recovery. Close attention is always given to nutrition, exercise, sleep and your psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

 

What can I expect from seeing an integrative GP?

Unlike a standard 10-15 minute GP consultation, you can expect your first consultation to run for typically one hour. This allows a holistic assessment of your health including your symptoms, lifestyle and current health status. Additionally your integrative GP will discuss with you some likely causative factors leading to health concerns as well as what can be done about them. You may be referred for testing and investigations, which may include functional testing (for example, cell function, hormonal analysis or gut integrity and flora) to help us understand your unique situation and treat your most effectively. Your personalised, holistic management plan will then be developed, with a large focus on diet, exercise, sleep and stress. It may also include the prescription of medication, nutrients and herbs. It is important for you to realise that at all times, you are in control and remain central to your care – we are here to serve you.

 

My health issues are complex, will an integrative GP be able to help me?

You may feel like you have a very complex situation, with complex medical histories and multiple existing conditions. Luckily for you, we are very familiar with seeing these types of people. You may also have multiple symptoms, conditions and diseases that seem unrelated and have been seeing multiple specialists, who care for those individual body systems. One of our strengths of an integrative GP is our unique perspective – we tend to step back to look at your overall picture in a truly holistic manner. It is often the case that seemingly unrelated symptoms, conditions or diseases within you may actually be linked with a common cause.

 

Final word:

We recognise that the true champion in your wellness journey is you. Contact us today, and get the support you deserve.

 

Dr Elsa Gladigau

MBBS (HONS) BMedSci (HONS) DCH FRACGP