Welcome to our first blog post! Have you been wondering what a rural naturopath can do for you? What is a rural naturopath and how do they work? You have come to the right place. Let us begin by demystifying naturopathy. There is a great deal of mysticism out there about naturopathy because it is a self regulated profession. This means that anyone can call themselves a naturopath and this leads to a lot of variability in the kind of services you find. That’s why it’s key to ensure you select a practitioner that has a 4 year Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy. It’s also important to check that your practitioner is an accredited membership with a professional association, such as the Australian Traditional Medicine Association (ATMS).

To be an accredited member of the ATMS, practitioners need to meet a professional standard. This includes a minimum requirement, professional indemnity and public liability insurance, current first aid certification and continuing professional education (CPE). Accreditation also requires practitioners to adhere to a code of ethics. Naturopathy isn’t magic, aromatherapy, woowoo, voodoo, astrology or tarot readings! Qualified naturopaths study anatomy and physiology, pathology, clinical diagnosis, biochemistry, nutritional biochemistry, advanced human nutrition, advanced herbal medicine, pharmacology, basic counseling skills and research methods for 4 years full time at university. Modern day naturopaths are trained in evidence based and holistic practice that combines traditional use with clinical trial data from the scientific literature.

How does it work?

Naturopaths look for signs and symptoms of nutritional deficiency (and insufficiency/toxicity), consider the tone and vigor of your body tissues and body systems, such as digestive and liver function, and target underlying causes that may be driving imbalance. We focus heavily on foundational diet and lifestyle education, stress management, environmental factors as well as nutritional and herbal medicine prescriptions. We also refer for pathology testing to assess liver and kidney function, immune function, nutrient status, hormone levels and screen for infections.

A rural naturopath can work alongside your GP and specialists/psychologist, to provide an integrated model of health care. At Highlands Naturopathy we look for opportunities to collaborate with your care team and can help you manage a range of chronic health conditions naturally and alongside your medications. Highlands Naturopathy is located in the heart of Glen Innes NSW, and services Armidale, Inverell, Guyra, Emmaville, Deepwater, Tenterfield, Uralla and Tamworth. Anyone in Australia in a rural and regional area can access our telehealth service if you have a good internet connection.

What are nutraceuticals?

The most important thing to understand, is that there is a difference between naturopathy and nutraceuticals! Anyone can walk into a supermarket, chemist or health food shop and buy over the counter pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals these days. Often times these products also contain herbal medicines. The benefit of seeing a naturopath, is in knowing that a qualified practitioner has assessed your individual health case and formulated a treatment plan individually tailored just for you.

Your practitioner will also consider the potential for drug/herb/nutrient interactions and monitor your kidney and liver function during treatment. Essentially, there is a huge difference between naturopathy and netraceuticals. This is where the art of practice comes in. A skilled practitioner will combine the evidence base with traditional use and apply it to your individual presentation. After all there is no one size fits all solution, and there is no silver bullet in naturopathy. A naturopath will carefully assess your health history and symptoms for an hour before beginning to formulate your health plan.


Are you interested in reading the latest on the evidence base for naturopathy? Find out more here. Please note that nothing found on this website is intended as individual health advice. We always recommend to have an individual assessment with a qualified naturopath before adding a supplement or herbal medicine to your regime. Natural medicines can and do interact with each other and with pharmaceutical medications and can mask underlying illnesses if not assessed appropriately.

To conclude, a rural naturopath can help improve the tone and function of body tissues, look for the driver of the imbalance and prescribe a bespoke holistic health plan to get to the root of the problem. Work with us and book online today wherever you are in rural Australia. We are passionate about making natural health care more accessible particular in Rural NSW. We look forward to seeing you soon at the Highlands Hub if you are in or near Glen Innes NSW.