Naturopathic Medicine & Nutrition
Think of us as the GPs of natural medicine
Almost everyone is inherently capable of self-healing. It’s an entirely natural process that forms the basis of naturopathic medicine or naturopathy – a type of holistic healthcare that encourages optimal health through using natural therapies and high-potency nutritional supplements and herbal remedies. As the field of naturopathy and modern science has developed, more diagnostic tests are also available to better understand the underlying root causes of disease and illnesses. At IMI, our naturopaths follow this approach and maintain high standards through a programme of ongoing training and mentoring.
Disease affects the entire body not just a specific organ or system and as every person is unique they require individualised care. So, when treating the cause of any condition a naturopathic doctor carefully evaluates and addresses not only your physical symptoms but also your nutritional status, genetics, family history, lifestyle, feelings, environmental stresses, social status, spiritual outlook and other factors.
“We use the healing power of nature and functional medicine to treat the whole person”
Naturopathic medicine focuses on restoring and supporting the powerful and intelligent healing ability of the body, mind, and spirit. At IMI we identify the underlying root causes of disease and illnesses through clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing, including Functional Medicine. See the full range of tests
Diagnostic testing including the basis of Functional Medicine are sometimes used to help us to assess more accurately what may be going on. Unlike functional medicine, naturopathic medicine also includes the wider view and treatment of the whole person with natural treatments, herbs, remedies and supplements for deeper healing.
Nutrition also plays a key part in any treatment, which is why a naturopath often tests for alterations in a person’s gut microbiome (yeast, bacteria, parasites etc.), along with checking for food intolerances. Based on these results and by removing any obstacles to recovery, they then design a personalised treatment and diet plan in order to prevent problems in the future.
Additional healing treatments therapies practised as part of naturopathic medicine include:
- herbal medicine
- hormone and DNA testing
- motivational coaching and lifestyle practises
“Like a GP, naturopaths will often refer to other health-care professionals such as osteopaths, counsellors, psychologists, and acupuncturists. When needed, naturopaths will sometimes refer patients to medical doctors for treatment.”
In some cases, especially when a person wants to enjoy excellent health in the long-term, comprehensive hormone testing may be carried out before the treatment programme begins. This involves the naturopathic doctor examining a person’s DNA in order to assess possible risk factors and inherited genetic susceptibility to certain conditions. They can then intervene and tailor their advice accordingly on diet and supplements.
The balancing and rejuvenating effects of naturopathic therapies are effective for many acute and chronic health problems. Some of these include:
- Digestive issues: IBS, bloating, pain and constipation
- Anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress-related issues
- Skin problems: rashes, eczema, acne and blemishes
- Poor immunity: frequent infections, viruses, colds, cough, flu, migraine and headaches
- Poor sleep, insomnia, fatigue including chronic fatigue associated with infection
- Hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, PMS, menopause
- Infertility and sub-fertile couples
- Sinus troubles: sinusitis or hay-fever
Rather than simply managing or suppressing symptoms of disease and illness, a naturopathic doctor’s primary goal is to determine and treat the underlying causes and support the systems of the body and mind to heal.
Some factors include:
- diet and nutritional deficiencies
- food intolerances
- lifestyle habits and poor sleep
- previous medical treatments and drugs
- mental and emotional factors
We import potent herbal and botanical medicines for both short and long-term treatment for a wide range of illness. You can be reassured to know that all our herbal tinctures and liquids are independently-tested, clinical-grade and formulated to higher standards in purity and potency; made in Australia under strict, government-controlled GMP standards. We choose organic wherever possible.
We also use European and North American herbal capsules and high quality nutritional supplements, which are standardised in potency and in safe to prescribe dosages.
At IMI we never stand still. Our naturopaths meet regularly as a team to assess, review and learn about the latest diagnostic methods, herbs and medicines.
Is naturopathy licensed?
Did you know that while many therapists claim to be practicing ‘natural’ or ‘holistic’ medicine, there are only a handful of accredited institutions for naturopathic medicine? Certified naturopathic medicine practitioners are known as Naturopathic Physicians (N.D.) in North America and Europe, whereas in Australia, they are licensed as Naturopaths.
Under these rigorous programmes, they receive the same basic science education as medical doctors and must pass professional board exams. At IMI, our naturopathic medicine practitioners are qualified N.D.s or Naturopaths, and are all certified by the Integrated Naturopathic Association of Hong Kong – which is a full member of the World Naturopathic Federation.
In North America, certified naturopathic physicians can also perform intravenous therapy, minor surgeries, and prescribe prescription-only medicines.
The initial consultation is very thorough and takes about an hour. Your practitioner will examine for signs and symptoms of potential allergies, review your diet, stress levels and lifestyle imbalances. They will then prescribe tailored treatments that aim to remove any problems such as infection or toxicity.
Treatment may include an individualised liquid herbal extract preparation, nutritional supplements and changes to make to your diet. It may also be necessary to perform blood and urine tests as well as stool, digestive, hormone, or allergy analyses to pinpoint the exact health issues.
Follow-up sessions normally take half an hour. This is when the practitioner checks on how your prescribed treatment is working, and/or explain in some detail the results from any laboratory tests or diagnosis. They’ll take the time to explain the important role diet and lifestyle plays on your health and give you a realistic idea of how long any changes you make will take to work – to ensure that both they and you are happy with the results.
Along with being coached through healthy lifestyle changes, follow-up sessions will check on the healing effects of the therapies as they go through several stages to restore your body’s organs. These may involve detoxification, nutritional repair and restoring balance.
Depending upon your individual policy, you may be covered for certain tests or treatments. IMI’s medical doctors are especially helpful for this as they have some understanding of the range and type of tests that may be recommended from a naturopathic perspective. You can call our reception team for more information or to book a consultation with one of our medical doctors for referrals needed for diagnostic laboratory tests or specialist medical or healthcare services.
We have many articles on the topic of naturopathic medicine and nutrition – including the latest scientific research and treatments:
Infertility or subfertility is defined as an inability to conceive or carry a baby to term after one year of regular intercourse without birth control. Common causes of infertility include...
We asked four IMI Naturopaths for their views on the latest research into belly fat, how to shift it and reverse the pattern of central weight gain. The role of...
From a Naturopath’s point of view, the digestive tract is considered the cause of many health issues, not just those related to digestion. Aching muscles, fluid retention, weight gain, slowed...
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common digestive disorder, with data showing that about one in every eight persons suffers it at any time. Are you one of them?...
Gut instinct – eczema, arthritis, chronic fatigue or depression. Are your health issues caused by your gut?
Mary asked me how she could have developed food intolerances as an adult. As she told me about her health issues, it emerged that as a child she had been...
Veggie vibes – Kate Farr finds out how to nurture a plant-based family – an article featured in Expat Parent Magazine
Do you love pasta, bread, or ice-cream so much that you crave it frequently? This could be a case of food intolerance and the gut instinct going haywire. Many people...
About this time of year at IMI, we start to see more cases of colds, coughs, flu, and other illnesses that become increasingly common over the winter months. Living in Hong...
An allergy is an immediate reaction by your immune system to substances in the diet or environment that are usually harmless. The common allergens include dairy products, egg, wheat, soy,...
Behavioural Problems in Children: Could they be health related? Children’s behavioural problems can be one of the biggest challenges for a parent. It can be exhausting and a source of...