I am very, very lucky. My health benefits cover up to $500 of naturopathy appointments. The downside of this incredible privilege is that the remedies that a naturopath suggests are not covered by my plan, so B12 injections, probiotics, fish oils, etc. come at a price. That said, this small proportion of what I have to pay for opened by eyes to how expensive the process can be. And goodness, I love the naturopath and would recommend it for virtually anyone. However, I recognize that the appointments and products are out of budget for many people.
Here’s some wisdom I will suggest that I learned from my naturopath when I used to go regularly:
1. Learn when to take your vitamins and supplements. It’s good to consult with a doctor or naturopath about the best time of day to take supplements. I learned from the naturopath that the calcium/magnesium supplement I was taking in the morning would be much more effective at night. Who knew?
2. Dry brushing. Oh my goodness, I can’t recommend this enough…. spend $5 on a pair of exfoliating gloves. Before you turn on the water in your shower, scrub your skin in light circles, starting at the soles of your feet, all the way up to your heart. Dry brush your whole body (except your face). Then shower (and wash your exfoliating gloves regularly). Your skin will feel so soft, and the regular practice of dry brushing is good for circulation. This is especially recommended in the winter, with all that dry skin you’re carrying around!
3. Elimination diets can tell you a lot, but they might not tell you everything. It’s definitely a good thing to try once, because you will learn a lot about how your body reacts to different foods. Unfortunately, I was sick through a lot of my elimination, so I didn’t learn as much as I would have liked to. I should have done the right thing and started the process again, but it’s a really hard regime to follow. I plan on doing one again when summer patio drinks aren’t calling my name.
4. It’s really lovely to be heard by a medical professional. If you’re like me, you don’t have a consistent physician. It was so nice, in my intake appointment, to spend an hour with someone answering questions like “how often do you sneeze?” and “do you ever see circles around lights?” My naturopath made me feel heard, and also empathized with how frustrating day-to-day crummy symptoms can be.
5. Check out elimination/candida diet recipes! There are so many great foods that you can eat on these diets that are so clean and nutritious! I lost a fair amount of weight on the elimination diet, and though these diets are not intended for weight loss, it was good for me to see that I am capable of controlling my weight after putting on some excess pounds.
6. PROBIOTICS! I swear by these little miracles. Especially before travelling, I am certain to double dose on probiotics, a trick that my naturopath taught me. I also travel with a lot of probiotics. My stomach takes some time to adjust to novel foods and to jet lag, so I loved trying to tackle pains with probiotics before I turned to alternatives like Pepto.
I’d love to hear about people’s experiences of visiting a naturopath. I find these medical professionals so wise, and they certainly have a lot to share. Check your health benefits- if you’re able to go visit one AND have it covered, then what are you waiting for?