Many clients and consumers are not aware that unfortunately in Australia, Naturopathy is an unregulated profession. Meaning there are no strict guidelines or rules in Australia to regulate Naturopaths like there is for medical practitioners, chiropractors, osteopaths, pharmacists, etc.
This means it is up to you, the client, to ensure that when you are looking for a Naturopath you investigate their qualifications and ensure they are registered with a Naturopathic, natural medicine, or complementary medicine association. Although no regulatory bodies, there are self-regulating associations that Naturopaths can pay to join that require a certain set of standards to be met to be accepted such as minimal qualifications and continual upskilling. Many of these associations require new members to have a Bachelor of Health Science degree in Naturopathy to be accepted, not a 2 month online course that’s called ‘Become a Naturopath’. Your practitioner’s qualification and association information should be readily available to view on their website or via direct communication. If it is not, or they refuse to disclose that information with you – it is a red flag, and you should seek another practitioner.
So what are the benefits of seeing a qualified Naturopath?
We have a bachelor’s degree base of knowledge (human biology, biochemistry, nutritional biochemistry, pharmacology, herbal pharmacology and pharmacognosy, diagnostic investigations, clinical herbal, and nutritional prescribing, and MORE)
We are educated on nutraceutical safety – contraindications and interactions with conditions and/or pharmaceutical drugs. Just because something is natural, does not mean it is safe.
We focus on the pillars of health first and ensure they are strong. And then dive in further to find the root cause and target that directly.
To keep our association memberships, we must continuously upskill meaning, our knowledge always continues to grow, and we stay up to date with the latest research
We can order and interpret diagnostic testing that is not commonly used by GPs but can provide us and you with many answers.
We combine evidence-based practice with traditional medicine meaning you get the best of both worlds and reduce bias.
So now you know why it’s important to see a qualified Naturopath, here is a simple and easy checklist to determine if the Naturopath you want to see is legit and qualified in Australia.
1. Qualification - Look for a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy ideally. Or Advanced diploma in Naturopathy with large clinical experience.
Is this readily displayed in their socials/website/contact details?
Or do you need to contact them for further clarification?
2. Association membership – Are they a part of an association? Although not required, if they are not, it may be an indicator of inadequate education or malpractice. Look for or request proof of their association membership, commonly displayed on websites/contact details/email sign-off/business cards.
If you are feeling unsure about your practitioner, the best thing to do is contact them and speak to them about your concerns. Or seek another practitioner that meets your standards and has this information readily displayed.
The most common associations for Naturopaths in Australia include ANTA, CMA, ANPA, ATMS, IICT, and NHAA.
I hope this blog enables you to seek the right practitioner for you that is adequately qualified and therefore able to support you exactly how you need it.
As a client and consumer, do you find this information helpful?