What does a naturopath do?

Naturopaths aim to provide their clients with an alternative to interventions based on clinical Western medicine. Naturopaths communicate with their patients to find out what their ailments are, perform physical assessments of symptoms and prescribe an appropriate course of treatment. They may provide advice on diet and exercise regimes, herbal treatments and supplements and other treatments to be administered at the clinic or performed at home. Clients may approach naturopaths seeking treatment for a variety of physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual ailments.

Tasks:

  • Analyse symptoms and lifestyle factors
  • Prescribe holistic remedies
  • Perform in-clinic treatments
  • Update documentation on patient progress
  • Provide general lifestyle advice

What skills do I need to be a naturopath?

Naturopathy is becoming increasingly popular as a form of complementary medicine, used in tandem with Western clinical medicine to achieve better patient outcomes. Being so involved with the healthcare regimes of their patients, naturopaths must be able to communicate with their patients the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment and ensure that it won’t interact in a negative way with current medication or programs recommended by their doctor. You must have a thorough understanding of how natural medicines and traditional techniques affect the systems and functioning of the body, staying up to date with advances in the field.

Skills/attributes
  • Diligence with record keeping
  • Superb communication and listening skills
  • Sympathetic and patient
  • Interest in natural therapies

Specialisations

The world of naturopathy provides many career paths, allowing you to tailor your professional journey to your personal interests. You may choose to focus your studies on a particular area of complementary and alternative medicine.

Aromatherapist

Aromatherapists specialise in the healing properties of essential oils. Using scent as a means of therapy, aromatherapists will tailor their recommendation of essential oils to their specific health benefits. Essential oils are used in massage, therapeutic baths, diffusion and inhalation.

Homeopathy

A homeopath prescribes natural therapeutic medicines and activities based on the belief that the body is capable of healing itself given the correct stimulation. A homeopath makes diagnoses and recommendations based off the reported ailments of their patients, taking into account lifestyle factors.

Herbalist

A herbalist has a thorough understanding of plant life and the therapeutic and medicinal qualities they possess. Herbalists prescribe natural plant-based remedies and medicines to patients seeking an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and other clinical medicine interventions.

Study pathways for naturopaths

There are many options available to you if you are considering a career path in naturopathy. You will need to undertake a course of accredited study to become a recognised practitioner of alternative medicine and therapies.

Getting Started

Centre your studies around a personal interest in naturopathy and healing.

Skill Building

Gain an understanding of the philosophical and practical underpinnings of complementary medicine.

Professional Development

Choose an accredited course to get up-to-date insight into the world of naturopathy practice.

Industry Recognition

Contact the Australian Traditional Medicine Society or Australian Natural Therapists Association on completion of your studies to apply for membership and increase your profile in the community.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your naturopathy career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

The forecasted level of future employment growth is considered high for naturopaths, likely due to an increased public profile and awareness of alternative medicine.