When it comes to alternative and complementary medicines, the information people have (or, rather, the accurate information people have) can vary. We see a lot of misunderstanding about what certain treatments involve, and even what they are called. A common one is the difference between naturopathy and nutrition. Nutrition, generally, is known for its connection to the food we eat. But, when applied in a complementary medicine context, the two can be conflated. So, we thought we’d clear up the differences between a naturopath and anutritionist, and how each can help you in your health journey.
What is Nutrition?
Nutritional therapy is focused on using foods to manage current health issues, and mitigate or eliminate risk of future health issues. Very often, nutrition is seen as a means for weight loss or weight gain, with each of their subsequent health benefits depending on your particular body composite and health status. However, it can be a lot more than that. Nutritional therapy from a nutritionist helps you shift your lifestyle, mindset and can change and save your life. The health issues poor nutrition can create or inflame are diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and a myriad of mental health issues. While, yes, nutrient-dense nutrition will likely have a bearing on a weight outcome, it’s as much about a mindset change as it is a physical one. The aim is to have you not be ‘dieting’, but rather eating intuitively for energy, vitality, heart health and gut health.
It helps you understand your body, and consume foods that are going to work best for you so that you can live life the way you want to, feeling the way you want to. Nutritional therapy is sought for a multitude of initial issues, from major weight gain/loss/fluctuation, to bloating or any number of ailments, both physical and mental.
What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy, while including nutrition, is a holistic approach to health and wellness that also supports a healthy lifestyle through movement and stress management, sometimes with the assistance of herbs and supplements.
The aim with naturopathy and of a naturopath is to create a greater education around looking after your body, specifically, and retaining a healthy lifestyle for the short and long term. It’s as much about treating an existing ailment as it is ensuring the minimised risk of exacerbating it, an ailment returning or contracting subsequent ailments.
Naturopathy includes a range of supporting, non-invasive, therapies such as herbal medicine, massage, acupressure, nutrition, in combination with each other. It sets your body up, holistically, for strength and protection in a more natural, intuitive way than you have likely experienced with traditional medicine alone.
While nutrition and naturopathy are very different therapies, they are also complementary to each other, and have some overlapping components. Understanding each on their own, and how they work together, is important for ensuring you are getting the greatest benefit from your alternative or complementary therapy.
If you are interested in nutritional therapy and/or naturopathy, talk to our friendly CK Health team today.