What they do
Naturopaths focus on the connection between the structural, biochemical and emotional components of a patient's body in order to treat a range of conditions. They may analyse a patient's diet and lifestyle and develop personalised plans, including prescribed natural medicines and herbal treatments. They also manually stimulate muscles and bones to correct specific bodily ailments, and use a range of other organic techniques to stimulate the body's defence and immune systems.
Naturopaths work in natural health clinics, private practice, health-food shops and pharmacies. They may also work from home or travel to their clients’ homes. They need clean and comfortable environments that are warm, well-ventilated and quiet.
Tools and technologies
Naturopaths may use traditional medical equipment such as stethoscopes and thermometers, as well as specialised alternative therapy equipment such as acupressure machines, acupuncture needles, magnifier and iris cameras and electronic diagnostic equipment. They may refer to natural health reference books, and may need to be familiar with natural remedies such as herbs, minerals, vitamins or other homeopathic remedies.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a naturopath, you usually need to complete a qualification in the therapy you wish to specialise in.
Private registered training organisations offer relevant VET courses and bachelor degrees in alternative therapies in Western Australia. Contact the Australian Natural Therapists Association or the Australian Traditional Medicine Society for more information.
There are currently no university courses available in alternative therapies in Western Australia. Charles Sturt University, in New South Wales, offers a four and a half year Bachelor of Heath Science (Complementary Medicine). The University of Technology, in Sydney, offers a four year Bachelor of Health Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology offers a five year Bachelor of Health Science/ Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine). Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Required registration and licensing
To practice in Chinese medicine in Western Australia, you must be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. Members are required to obtain a degree to practise Chinese medicine.