What can a naturopath do for you?
If you had asked me a week ago what a naturopath does, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you. I knew that they had a vested interest in your inner health, and that they could probably prescribe some wicked vitamins and give great food swap ideas, but that was about it.
But today, after visiting Rebecca Warren from the Radiance Healthcare Centre I could write a book on what I’ve learned from a naturopath. From the non-invasive tests that can tell you everything you need to know about what’s going on inside you, to the tailored meal plans they provide and the reachable goals they can help you set, a naturopath can provide a full scale approach to your health and wellbeing – and I’m pretty certain it’s going to change my life. Here’s what happened…
WHO NEEDS A NATUROPATH?
It’s a common misconception that only those with serious health concerns should be visiting a health specialist like a naturopath. The good news is that anyone who wants an insight into his or her inner health and wellbeing is welcome, and since no one is perfect, there is always an area of your health that can be improved.
WHAT WAS INVOLVED?
I presented Rebecca with the four-page questionnaire I had filled out the previous day. I tried to be brutally honest about my diet and exercise regime, and I mean brutally honest. Rebecca scanned through it while asking me some casual questions about my health, my dietary choices – even my sleep patterns – and got a deep insight into my life and how I function.
Once she had all the facts, Rebecca took my blood pressure, I had a weigh in, some measurements were taken and my height was recorded. Then I was asked to lie on my back on a table while Rebecca stuck small pads to my right foot and arm before connecting the pads to a handheld machine with wires. Electric pulses (that I couldn’t feel) were then released through my body (I assure you it was far less scary than it sounds). This procedure is called a ‘cellular health test’ and it works by measuring how fast electricity moves through your body fat and muscle.
COOL FACT: The cellular health test was initially used by NASA to measure astronauts’ body fat and muscle mass and is still widely used by athletes today!
WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS?
I must admit I was a little frightened about the findings. That was until Rebecca printed off my report and talked me through it in such a friendly and comforting way that all I was left with was the motivation to improve my health and fitness ten fold.
Basically, I was about 9 kilograms off my ideal weight for my height and build - but Rebecca was far more interested in the breakdown of my fat and muscle mass, which is what really matters when it comes to improving your overall health. It was my muscle mass that needed the real work – it seems these girly arms aren’t doing me or my energy levels any good. My hydration was also pretty poor – which means I have to up my water intake, quick smart.
Based on my report, Rebecca concluded that my carbohydrate intake was probably too high in comparison to my protein intake. Protein is the dietary component that assists with weight loss, and it works due to its ability to help tame your appetite by helping you feel fuller for longer. I needed more of that to curb the snacking (potato chips are my real weakness).
Rebecca then presented me with a ‘Kick Butt’ nutrition and diet guide that I’m to follow for the next six weeks. It’s jam-packed with easy-to-follow information that makes a change in my diet so much less confronting. Instead of being given a list of foods that I can’t eat, my diet guide shows me which foods I should go easy on and which I can enjoy freely. Rebecca also suggested that I take vitamin B supplements to help make up for any holes in my diet – that’s the magic of a naturopath, being able to spot deficiencies and prescribe a solution in a nanosecond. My personalised nutrition guide also lists ten super foods, three to four of which I’m supposed to consume daily (more on those soon!).
I also scored a dead set delicious sample meal plan, a sheet containing alternatives to my favourite naughty snacks, and even recipes for foods that I should be eating, but had previously never tried. Things like quinoa, which I’ve already stocked up on, as well as walnuts and LSA mix (a mix of ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds.)
I’ll be heading in for a check-up in two weeks, so look out for details on my progress, but for now, don’t take stress or that sluggish, tired feeling for granted; they could be your body delivering some serious warning signs. Nip problems in the bud before they arise and book yourself in to see a naturopath and get to the bottom of it.
Rebecca Warren, Scientific Naturopath
Radiance Healthcare Centre
02 9247 4633
Why do you think you should visit a naturopath? What are your biggest health concerns? What would you want to find out?