The second last naturopathic principle is DOCERE or ‘doctor as teacher’. Educating and inspiring people to take responsibility and control of their health without having to continuously rely on any form of medication should be one of the main goals of a naturopath.
At the core of most chronic health concerns is some form of deficiency, emotional instability or the overindulgence of health altering substances. Sometimes the three go hand in hand and can often go on for a life time and effect the next generation.
I am continuously surprised by the lack of knowledge that people have regarding smart health choices. However individuals can not be entirely blamed for their lack of knowledge. We are constantly bombarded with clever marketing and advertising telling us to eat sugar laced cereal, deep-fried everything and to wash it all down with alcohol or an artificially sweetened brown syrup. We are conditioned to believe that we need, want and deserve these foods. But when was the last time you saw an ad for broccoli, kale or an apple. It is no wonder the poorer choice is continuously made. The key is educating people and empowering them to make the necessary changes.
Throughout naturopathic consultation diet is one of the first things always addressed through education. Diet is the simplest way to achieve results and is one area patients are often confused and misguided. Many people often think that diet is just related to weight, but this is far from the truth. A naturopath will take the time to explain what a certain nutrient does in the body and the essential chain of events that can only occur when the required nutrients are available. They will also explain the potential health implications of deficiencies giving their patient vital information needed to encourage them to make the better choices.
If you are prescribed a form of medication your naturopath will inform you of what it is, how it works in the body and the expected outcome. This allows the patient to make an informed choice about what they are purchasing and putting into their body. It is concerning when I see patients who present with a problem that is the side effect of their medication and that they were never informed of the potential side effects. People should be and should want to be informed about the medical interventions being prescribed to them.