How my faith affects my practice
PLEASE NOTE: This post is predominately for the benefit of my Christian clientele. However, if that is not you, I hope to assure you that I understand that my role is as a practitioner and a health adviser, not a pastor or chaplain, and I will not discuss my faith and beliefs unless I am invited to do so. I most definitely do not want to alienate those who do not agree with my religious world view or to force my faith onto anyone.
One of my considerations when choosing to train as a naturopath was what I saw as a general need in Perth for more Christian naturopaths. I observed that some of my church family and Christian friends were apprehensive about seeking naturopathic help for fear that they might be confronted with eastern or new age spiritualism. This is probably a justifiable fear, because there are many naturopaths who do incorporate these elements into their practice. I find this a great shame, because I believe that regardless of their origins, most natural remedies are effective in their own right, and that what may have been interpreted by the traditional users of the herb as a spiritual phenomenon can now generally be explained scientifically. As such, I hope that my career may fill a need, and provide Christians with an environment where they can come and benefit from natural remedies, with the knowledge and security that I seek to actively avoid any non-Christian spiritualism in my practice.
My faith also affects my practice in the following ways:
I believe that God created all things, and that He knows best. This is one of the key reasons why I recommend eating food that is as natural, whole and unprocessed as possible. In their whole form, many foods and herbs have an internal synergy - one part of the food helps the other parts absorb better, be utilised better, or be more therapeutically active. For example, the fat in full fat dairy is essential if we wish to absorb all the fat soluble vitamins which naturally occur in the milk. When we pull the fat out, we lose the vitamins.
I believe God is absolutely sovereign over all things, including health and healing. God has given me the opportunity to study and learn, and wonderful creation-derived herbs and foods with which to treat. However, I believe that ultimately, it is God who is in control, and healing only occurs if it is His will. As such, I frequently pray that God will guide me, give me insight and use my treatments, and do not hesitate to give Him the glory when my patients' health improves.
My prayer is, and will continue to be, that God will use me to help others to be in the best physical condition possible, to enable them to serve God and others with the lives that he's given them.