Naturopathy is a holistic health system that considers the whole person to achieve optimal health and mind-body balance.
Naturopaths use a range of natural therapies including herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutritional medicine and lifestyle advice to support and educate clients.
Selph Naturopath, Sarah Benna Doyle, creates customised treatment plans to help her clients reach their health goals. We sat down with Sarah to learn more about how naturopathy helped her and led to her career in helping others.
Hi Sarah, tell us about your journey to becoming a naturopath.
For me, it really started with the pursuit of weight loss. I had been at war with myself for as long as I can remember, like so many of us growing up in diet culture equating self-worth with a fractured body image.
At 28 years old I lost a close friend to cancer that presented as bloating, she passed away within 3 months of diagnosis. I would say this was when I really realised that if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything and that this diet culture is so pervasive, superficial and damaging.
Health is so much more than an aesthetically pleasing exterior.
I decided to start studying naturopathy to help myself and others learn how to look after themselves, tune in, listen to and understand their symptoms. I believe most of us do not know how good we are supposed to feel, just because things are common doesn’t mean its normal.
How can naturopathy help?
Some of the most common issues I currently see are stress, anxiety, low mood, skin conditions, hormonal issues, digestive complaints, sleep issues, body composition, low energy and fatigue.
What do naturopaths consider when creating a treatment plan?
First and foremost, we consider what the clients’ goals are and what’s important to them. Secondly, I always consider what they can handle – where are they starting from as well as what suits their lifestyle and preferences. I want the plan to be collaborative, it’s about educating and supporting clients.
What tests can naturopaths order?
I offer a range of testing from many different labs. Testing always comes back to a thorough case taking – so much can be learned from listening to the client story and asking the right questions. I believe testing should be done when it will inform and change the treatment.
Some examples of functional testing that I order are; cortisol profile, hormonal profile, pyroluria and food intolerance testing.
Gut health has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry. What are some tips for improving your gut health and how can it affect your overall wellbeing?
Hippocrates said it first, “all disease begins in the gut”.
It’s amazing what we are learning about the microbiome, the gut-skin axis, gut-brain axis, gut-liver axis, the majority of our immune system resides in our gut as well as being the manufacturer of many of our neurotransmitters including serotonin. Rightfully so gut health is getting its time to shine, but it’s definitely more than a fad, it’s science and progress.
Top tips for improving your gut are absolutely to cut out the big offenders – processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol and watch your stress levels. Eating whole foods, complex carbohydrates rich in fibre and fermented foods is a good place to start. Having said that, our microbiome adapts to what it is exposed to over time and what’s good for your gut may not work for someone else.
Sometimes these dietary changes may cause some symptoms such as bloating or flatulence and we may need to have look at altering, restoring, healing and/or sealing your gastrointestinal tract.
Do you engage in any other holistic practices to improve your wellbeing?
I absolutely do! Yoga and meditation were instrumental in repairing my fractured relationship with myself. Selph Yoga and Pilates are the cornerstones of my exercise regimen. I also have a daily morning ritual where before I do anything I have a morning meditation where I pause and check in, slow the mind- or at least attempt to!
Want to learn more? Call us on (02) 8313 8983 to chat with our Wellness Practitioners about how we can help you. We can take bookings for initial consultations over the phone, too. Mention the code SARAH20 for 20% off your initial consultation.