Eric Bakker N.D.May 8, 2022

Naturopathic medicine is a type of primary health care that stresses self-healing and prevention through the use of natural remedies. While naturopathic medicine has origins dating back to the 1890s, it has seen a surge in popularity in recent years as a result of a growing consumer movement to solve the health care puzzle through prevention, wellness, and respect for nature's natural healing potential.

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What Is A Naturopath?

Naturopathy is a system of primary health care that is based on a philosophy that distinguishes it from current mainstream or orthodox medical practice. The goal of naturopathic practice is to treat any underlying disorders and to seek the cause of illness as well as to restore normal body function by enhancing the body’s own inherent healing abilities.

Today more than ever, many people are looking for a more natural medicine and holistic approach to health-care. The more enlightened person is looking for a CAUSE of their health problems, not just a treatment for symptoms, an approach many are all too familiar with when it comes to seeing a health care professional.

Please be clear that Eric is not recommending against use of pharmaceutical drugs. Rather, he asserts that “the best medicine” first addresses the causes. Drugs are should only be used as a last resort if addressing the causes does not produce the desired clinical results or patient safety requires transient use. According to Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, a founder of Bastyr University: “The only cure for the health care system is to address causes, not only symptoms.”

The naturopathic physician views symptoms of disease as warning signals of improper functioning of the body and unfavourable lifestyle habits. Knowing this, you can appreciate why treatments are individualised to each person. The cause has to be found if possible and dealt with, whether it be structural, nutritional or emotional.

When Eric was practicing as a naturopath, he was committed to delivering to our patients the highest quality natural medicine care, using a holistic, preventative and educational approach to empower people to achieve and maintain their optimal health, wellness and vitality.

Eric retired from clinical practice in 2019 but remains active online through his You Tube channel and many websites, including this website.

In Australia and New Zealand, there does not appear to be a singular definition of the philosophies that underpin naturopathic practice, but essential to most is the unshakeable belief in the healing power of nature that is, living systems have an inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health.

The role of the Naturopath is thus to recognise and remove barriers or impediments to the healing process. Naturopathy can provide people with the tools to take charge of their health and well-being and offers the best hope of preventing some of most serious and life-threatening diseases.

Because naturopathy deals with the whole person, encompassing both physical and social-emotional issues, it is the most effective prevention for lifestyle-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, which rate as this country’s three biggest killers.

Whereas conventional Western medicine tends to deal with physical complaints only, often in isolation, naturopathy takes in complete physical condition plus lifestyle factors such as nutrition and exercise and emotional or stress concerns.

In the last twenty years, public desire for greater control in the health care process and a growing dissatisfaction with high tech solutions to health problems has renewed interest in the natural methods of preventive health care. This trend has increased demand for naturopathic services as people seek ways to improve their health, cope with day-to-day stresses and avoid illness.

Your health, vitality and well being permeate every aspect of your life, not just your physical body, but particularly the quality and quantity of your life. By providing a holistic, less invasive and more natural health system, naturopathic medicine holds the enormous potential to change people’s lives for the better.

Is Wikipedia a Reliable Source Of Information

According to Wikipedia: “Naturopathy is considered by the medical profession to be ineffective and harmful, raising ethical issues about its practice. In addition to condemnations and criticism from the medical community, naturopaths have repeatedly been denounced as and accused of being charlatans and practicing quackery”.

Thank goodness for Google, because you are only a few clicks away from countless studies that would argue this biased information.

A study published in 2019 somehow appears to disagree. You can click on this link to read the study and its conclusions, clearly in favour of naturopathy as a model for healthcare:

“If optimized, the model of health care represented by naturopathy has the potential to surpass allopathic care (in its current form) as a dominant model of primary care by representing patient- and family-centered values in care delivery, a focus on prevention, and the de-emphasis on pharmaceuticals and elective surgery in favor of pragmatic self-care behaviors, lifestyle practices, and natural treatments. Notably, promoting healthy self-care behaviors, de-emphasizing costly technologies that do not improve outcomes, and becoming more judicious in the use of prescription drugs are all known opportunities to achieve the triple aim. Thus, naturopathy may contribute to wider-ranging health service goals.”

Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information, they even state so themselves: “As a user-generated source, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time, and any information it contains at a particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or simply incorrect.”

The Naturopathic Consultation

Naturopathic consultations involve listening to each individual’s health story. During an initial consultation, an in-depth and detailed case history is taken, including detailed medical, diet and exercise history, as well as lifestyle and occupational habits to gain a holistic sense of a person’s health picture.

An initial consultation is generally one hour in length, depending upon the case.  At the conclusion of the initial consultation, a treatment plan is recommended.  Naturopathic medicine recognises and respects that each person is unique and therefore the healing plan (program) that is developed must be reflective of each person’s individuality – one size does not fit all.

The naturopath’s recommended program is based on each individual’s goals, abilities, as well as limitations. The program is also designed so each person feels comfortable with it and is ready to integrate it into his or her daily life.  A person’s program will change and develop as they continue to improve their health and well-being.

You will find that the more experienced naturopaths who have worked with many patients previously will be able to design and customise a diet and lifestyle program just for you. In comparison, when you go to your medical doctor, all you’ll most likely get is a prescription for drugs (to treat the symptoms), with little attention paid to any diet, lifestyle habits or potential cause.

Follow-up consultations with your naturopath to gauge any changes that may have occurred in a person’s health generally will last 20 – 30 minutes but often blow out to 45 minutes.

The frequency and number of follow-up consultations is dependent on each individual case as well as the practitioner. Generally, I preferred to see a patient monthly, but this may change to fortnightly or even weekly in certain circumstances.

Naturopathy is ideal for those who want to improve their health and are interested in implementing the necessary changes necessary to allow the body to self heal.

Naturopathy is not an ideal therapy for those who wish to just take medicine and expect their health to recover, without consideration for the necessary lifestyle or dietary changes required. Naturopaths spend time with their patients.

Rushing a patient through a consultation is more the realm of the medical doctor, many today are simply “too rushed off their feet” and spend as little as 11 to 14 minutes with a patient.

Naturopath Eric

When I was a practicing naturopath has was always committed to always delivering the highest quality professional natural health care and education. With clinical experience spanning more than 30 years, I’ve always been in favour of integrative medicine, and have worked alongside and referred to other health-care professionals when required since I started to practice.

Many health care professionals have been kind to me and even given me an endorsement.   Eric’s Linkedin

My clinic preferred to work with leading health-care professionals in their respective fields, who shared my vision, passion and philosophy. When I was working with patients, I would always take the time to listen and for the first consultation typically would schedule more time for a very good reason. To truly understand the patient and to be able to assist with healing, it takes time in order to understand their story.

Our patients told us they enjoyed their visits because they felt unhurried, and could relax and explain how they felt. Getting to the bottom of somebody’s problems can hardly be achieved in a hurried 12 minute consultation, is it any wonder the current evidence based health care model is in dire straits.

Always Treat The Cause

Conventional medicine tends to deal with physical complaints only, generally in isolation, and often has difficulty in establishing or treating the actual cause of the disease. Naturopathic practitioners takes in account your complete physical condition plus lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, emotional and behavioural issues, habits, stress or poor postural concerns.

We look for, identify and treat the underlying causes of the disease, and not just the presenting symptoms. If you are still going to a conventional doctor, are they really treating the underlying cause of your illness? Perhaps you have been told that you are “incurable”, or that you need to take a pharmaceutical drug for the rest of your natural life, then consider naturopathy. Do you have an open mind?

Naturopathic clinics can authorise functional medicine tests such as specialised blood tests, hair analysis, urine analysis, food allergy tests and some US clinics also perform radiology to help establish the cause of the condition.

We can also authorise conventional blood testing, but test for more than a GP generally would, for instance Homocysteine and Lipoprotein A, important markers which fall outside the scope of general medical practice. Unconventional blood tests to determine heart disease are nevertheless important predictability markers to more fully assess your risk of heart and vascular disease than cholesterol alone. Heart disease in many cases can be turned around under naturopathic care.

Heart Disease Reversal And Cure By Treating The Cause

An important study from 2019 (Geriatric Cardiology Journal) highlights how it is possible to reverse and even cure heart disease using a whole food, plant-based nutrition (WFPBN) with minimal intake of animal products. Here is the concluding paragraph from that study:

“In summary, current palliative cardiovascular medicine consisting of drugs, stents, and bypass surgery cannot cure or halt the vascular disease epidemic and is financially unsustainable. A whole food, plant-based nutrition with minimal animal products (WFPBN)  can restore the ability of endothelial cells to produce nitric oxide, which can halt and reverse disease without morbidity, mortality, or added expense. As powerful as the data are, it is unconscionable not to inform the cardiovascular disease patient of this option for disease resolution. To begin to eliminate chronic illness, the public needs to be made aware that a pathway to this goal is through WFPB

Naturopath Near Me

Are you looking for a naturopath near you? I’ve always found it best to hear what others say, if somebody is “OK” then you’ll likely hear favourable reports from other people. And, if they are not “OK” what then? Well, then you’ll probably hear the not-so-favourable reports about them.

Read: 10 things to look out for when visiting your naturopath.

When looking for a naturopath, ensure consultations are delivered only by a qualified, professionally registered and experienced practitioners.

For many years I assisted in training final year naturopathic students in our clinic to our high standards. It was common for the naturopathic or homeopathic student to sit in and observe a consultation.

Many patients have benefitted from our different natural medicine programs designed over many clinical years and carefully formulated to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Eric has many years experience in natural health, including the cultivation, preparation, cooking and preserving of all vegetables and fruit. He is an avid beekeeper in addition to the many nutritional, herbal medicines he has formulated over the years. Naturopath Eric is also experienced we most commonly prescribed pharmaceutical medicines, has learned the common side-effects, as well as their interactions with natural medicines after working in medical clinics in conjunction with GPs. There are many articles on this website that reflect Eric’s clinical philosophy. His straight-forward way of presenting information is the same as his clinical presentation of information to the patient, a common sense approach that just works!

Look For A Quality Naturopath

When you look for a naturopath, look for quality, a person who has your best interests at heart and who personally has an interest in promoting health and wellbeing themselves. Does your naturopath look healthy? Does your naturopath take his or her health as serious as yours?

Any consultations should represent quality and value for money. Some naturopaths may have a dispensary, if so they should stock only the best quality products that represent great value for money in terms of cost and results. Only by using the highest quality dietary supplements and herbal medicines, can you hope to achieve the quality results you’re looking for.

Science

Professionally qualified naturopaths believe in scientifically proven, clinically researched and well validated diagnostic methods and treatments. What we do is based firmly on science as well as the healing power of nature, and is validated by mainstream clinical research at the highest level.

Most naturopaths can arrange for conventional blood testing, and some also work with highly specialised testing laboratories in the United States, if you require specialised testing.

My clinic used to perform an in-depth laboratory analysis and medical history for each patient, we used a more accurate interpretation of the laboratory values from a functional perspective of your organs, as one may have “normal” values but normal does not always indicate “optimal.”

This is apparent particularly with conditions such as under-active thyroid, where the conventional results can come back as “normal”, even though you the patient may have all the signs and symptoms of an under-active thyroid. This is not an uncommon scenario, and if you feel that it could apply to you then do let your naturopath know.

Education

Your registered naturopath may have undergone as much as seven years of study and training, and (if in practice) will require participation in ongoing education. Many naturopathic clinics will  invest as much time in educating their physicians and staff as well as their patients.

I know all too well from personal clinical experience, that only by keeping ahead of the latest scientific developments in natural medicine, and by drawing on the vast knowledge of allied health experts in the health care field, that a practitioner can offer best possible patient outcomes.

Your naturopath should be willing to offer health and lifestyle education to patients who seek the latest natural health-related information, and are willing to apply it in their personal lives in order to achieve the best they can in their quest for optimal health and well being. This website has plenty of useful information to help educate those interested in adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Naturopathic Programs

Some naturopathic clinics offer naturopathic programs for specific problems, like irritable bowel syndrome for example. Some programs may be complete with informative handouts, you may receive diet sheets, recipes and more.

My clinic has made many different programs for specific conditions over the years, including psoriasis for example. Even though I no longer practice in the clinic, we achieve education through our free newsletter. Interested? Then join our newsletter list, and find out more!

Thanks for reading this page. If you considering visiting a naturopathic practitioner I can highly recommend it. Here is a list of some of the best links to get you started in your quest, these links can lead you to a naturopath near you.

All the best,

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