What should I expect from a Naturopathic Consultation with Erin?
Each individual person is a unique structure made up of many levels of complexity. In order to best understand you, the whole you, I do an extensive fact gathering exercise. Each of the following steps represents a piece of the puzzle that makes up you. The more I understand what makes up you, the more effective and precise my treatment can be.
At your initial consultation, we will spend 1 – 1 ½ hours talking about you! I want to know about your current health, symptoms, worries, fears, frustrations, wants and aspirations. I will ask lots of questions about your health, different body systems (as they are all inter-related), your lifestyle, what excites you, what stresses you out and any other areas I feel is relevant to your current health.
I ask that you please bring a 3-day food diary along to your initial appointment. It should outline your typical choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, along with water, caffeine and alcohol intake. Including any symptoms will also provide me with an understanding of any aggravating foods. Please be as detailed as possible! This information tells me about the level of nutrition you are getting, where you are getting your energy and if you are consuming a balanced variety of foods. Being honest with your diary is important, there is absolutely no judgement and we will work together to make any necessary changes at a rate that is best suited to you. Food is such an important part of our lives, I have no intention of taking it away from you. (I’m likely to do some substitution though!)
Medications and other supplements
A list of all supplements and/or medications you are currently taking or have taken in the past year (eg. antibiotics). I will need this information to safely prescribe nutritional and/or herbal supplements if needed. There are also extra nutritional needs associated with some prescription medication that could be important to your health.
Blood Test Results
I ask that you bring in your latest blood or other investigative testing. Blood tests, in conjunction with the other information I get from you, can provide me with valuable information about possible nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, infection, and digestive issues such as your ability to breakdown and absorb certain foods.
Our bodies provide physical signs and symptoms to alert us to dis-ease in our body. Whether it is a nutritional deficiency or inflammation, your body is trying to let you know in some way or another. The basic physical assessment I perform includes blood pressure, pulse, basic iris analysis, saliva pH, , Biological Impedance Analysis (VLA). Depending on the complexity of your needs, I endeavour to perform some or all of the testing at your initial appointment.
I may request that you have other tests performed to help direct the treatment. This may be other pathology tests that may be covered by Medicare. I can provide a letter to your GP explaining the tests that would be helpful and why. My experience is that GP’s are extremely helpful in agreeing to order these tests for you. I may also request functional testing to rule out conditions or to determine the best course of treatment. These tests look at areas such as digestive health, liver detoxification, food intolerance, genetic conditions affecting metabolism (eg. MTHFR) or toxicity.
Your Treatment Plan
During your consultation, we will discuss what goals you have for your health (eg. more energy, weight-loss, better sleep, a winter without antibiotics, etc). We will then develop a treatment plan together that will include diet and lifestyle recommendations. Some health plans may include specific diet information, recipes, new rituals, meditation, exercises, skin brushing and so on. It will also include any recommended nutritional or herbal supplements.
My philosophy is that food is our best medicine. However, if our body is not running optimally, there can be an underlying cause for this. Using nutritional or herbal supplements therapeutically to support the body can stimulate it to return to balance and to start doing what its supposed to, to nudge it into action. I recommend only ethically sourced, practitioner-only nutritional and herbal supplements and carry a fairly extensive range of quality products within the clinic, or they can easily be ordered for home delivery or pickup.
Follow Up Consultations
At your follow up consultation, which is typically 30-45 minutes, we will review changes to your symptoms, your health goals, your prescription and any questions or concerns you may have. Where necessary, we will adapt the treatment protocol. It is quite common for presenting symptoms to disappear and new ones to appear, or in some cases, you may experience what we call a “healing crisis”, where your symptoms actually get worse before they get better. It may sound crazy, but this is an excellent sign. It means that we are on the right track and that your body is responding to the nudge! I also use Biological Impedance Analysis (VLA) to monitor changes. Testing at each appointment allows me to see how your body is responding to the treatment.
If you have any questions about what to expect at your first appointment, or after, please do not hesitate to contact Erin.