Written by Riannon Page | Monday, 11 September 2023
As a naturopath and a graduate in the field, Riannon Page has encountered numerous queries from individuals curious about the world of naturopathy. In this article, we will address ten common questions that shed light on various aspects of naturopathy, including the differences between naturopathy and modern medicine, as well as the roles and responsibilities of a naturopath. Whether you are considering a career as a naturopath or simply curious about the field, we hope to provide you with valuable insights and information.
Firstly, what is naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a holistic system of healthcare that emphasises the body’s innate ability to heal – with the right conditions and support. It encompasses herbal medicine, nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and places importance on individualised care and treatments.
Naturopathy promotes preventative care focusing on lifestyle modifications, stress management, and education to empower individuals to take an active role in their own health and wellbeing. Naturopaths may work alongside other healthcare providers, integrating natural therapies with conventional medicine when necessary.
What does a naturopath do?
Think of a naturopath like a herbalist and a nutritionist – we work with your body by using herbal medicine (the gross black liquid that does wonders for your health), potent nutrients, dietary and lifestyle techniques to get you feeling your absolute best!
What made you become a naturopath?
When I was 14, I started working in a health food store and saw the power of naturopathic medicine. This lit the fire inside me to start naturopathy! I kept hearing about Endeavour on the radio and online so took this as a sign to visit an open day on Sydney campus where I would be attending and never looked back. I now have my own successful naturopathic clinic called Mungbean Health with multiple naturopaths and we help thousands of people every year!
I didn’t do science subjects in high school– will I be able to do the course?
Yes absolutely! Speaking from experience myself, science wasn’t a favourite subject of mine in school and wasn’t something I carried across into year 11 and 12 but I was still able to get through it at Endeavour. I would suggest to get the recommended textbooks and revise a lot outside of class! Your lecturers can also be an amazing resource, so don’t be scared to ask questions!
Do you have to do a lot of clinic hours at Endeavour? What’s the clinic like?
There is so much opportunity at Endeavour. They ensure you are ready to start your own business after graduation (even if that’s not something you want to do fresh out of college, you are fully qualified anyway) so this means a lot of practice in student clinic with real clients. They have a beautiful space to practice in with a full herbal dispensary, many different practitioner-only products for dispensing. Plus, you also get time in the dispensary learning the products and dispensing while other students take cases.
What type of jobs can a naturopath do after graduating?
The world is your oyster! You can go out on your own and start your own practice, you can work for other large natural health companies doing many different things (product development, sales rep etc), you can work in a multi-modality practice working with clients directly, go on to do further studies or even work as a lecturer in a college or university like Endeavour.
What did you like most about your course?
The practical side of naturopathy. I really loved it once we were out of theory and more hands-on! I find it easier to learn this way and felt I gained the most out of the student clinic and practical subjects. If you are the same as me and in the early subjects of theory, do your best to stick with it, it will all be worth it in the end!
How do you normally start your day as a naturopath?
Being a mum of two, I am always woken up! My babies are ready to start the day between 6-7am meaning it is time for breakfast! I always try to get in a nourishing breakfast, rich in protein, for each of us to start the day and provide sustained energy throughout the day. Organic eggs from my auntie’s chickens or organic overnight oats with nut butter are my go-tos.
How does naturopathy differ from modern medicine?
Naturopaths are always looking for the root cause and our main aim is to stop the negative thing from happening (whatever that may be)!
So rather than just treating your symptoms, we take it one step further to find the root cause and treat that – that’s when the magic happens (as the symptoms may then go away and potentially won’t come back if completed correctly)!
How long does naturopathic treatment usually last?
This can vary hugely! It depends on many variables, the severity of your health complaint, how compliant you are at taking your supplements, if you have had the correct testing completed initially, and how committed you are to change contributing factors like diet and lifestyle.
The best thing to do is to book an initial appointment with a naturopath so they can map things out. I have many clients that will come to me for a certain reason e.g fertility. I will give them the support in the lead up to pregnancy, we will then work together throughout their pregnancy to support a healthy gestation, and set them up from a smooth postpartum. This can be regular check-ins or only once per trimester, depending on what pops up along the way. I’ll often be around to support your little one once they are born too (if needed) and if they have any issues as they grow, I’m practically always on call for an appointment once you have had your initial appointment.
Interested in Naturopathy?
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Riannon Page has over nine years' experience as a Naturopath and has worked in the health industry her entire career – starting as a young girl at the age of 14 working in a busy health food store.
She undertook a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) at Endeavour College of Natural Health in Sydney and has since worked for an international thyroid and hormonal clinic as a Head Naturopath and trained many other Naturopaths in her field. Now Riannon specialises in women hormones, thyroid conditions and all things fertility in her own online and bricks-and-mortar clinic and dispensary called Mungbean Health - based on the Central Coast of NSW.
With two Naturopaths, along with three additional dispensary hands working at Mungbean Health, plus seeing clients from all over Australia and caring for two young children, Riannon leads a very busy life!