What does it involve?
Seeing a Naturopath for the first time can be a completely different experience from a visit to your GP. Your initial consultation will take at least one hour and will involve many questions regarding your current health concerns, past medical and health history, family health history, current eating patterns, lifestyle habits and possible exposure to environmental toxins.
Basic physical examinations always include a blood pressure reading and possibly others depending on each case. Most importantly the initial consultation is a chance for you to express what it is you hope to achieve and what outcomes you would like to see eventuate.
After all the required information has been collected a treatment plan can be developed and will almost always include a combination of nutritional recommendations and herbal and/or nutritional supplementation to correct any deficiencies that may be apparent.
In some cases there may be a need for further testing including blood tests and/or pathology testing before a full treatment plan can be developed. Further testing will only be recommended if deemed absolutely necessary.
Further testing may involve a referral to your GP or more specific functional testing such as food allergy/intolerance testing, hair mineral analysis, comprehensive stool analysis, salivary hormone profile, salivary cortisol levels and more.
Follow up appointments will typically take between 30 - 45 mins and are an important part of the whole process. This is a chance to touch base regarding how treatment is progressing, ask any more questions you may have and for Melanie to make any necessary changes along the way. The number of follow up appointments needed will vary between each person and their situation however as a general rule, the more chronic (long term) your health issues are the longer it will take to treat.
Most people will benefit from a detox even if you have a fairly healthy diet and lifestyle. Toxins are unavoidable, we are constantly exposed to pesticides, chemicals, drugs (recreational and prescription) and heavy metals. Our bodies are also continuously producing endogenous toxins as a bi-product of normal daily metabolic processes. It's when our capacity to detoxify these toxins becomes overwhelmed that we can be left feeling tired, sluggish and rundown.
Detoxification is an important part of naturopathic medicine as it allows the body to gently cleanse and eliminate these toxins that accumulate over time. Undertaking a detox helps to refresh and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. It is a great way to precede a weight loss programme, prepare for a healthy conception, improve digestive function, improve hormonal health and increase energy levels. Committing to a detox programme leaves you feeling fresher, brighter and revitalized.
If your feeling apprehensive about starting a detox there is no need to worry. The Whole Life Vitality Detox is a short term 3 week programme based on real foods with no fasting or weird foods. You will be eating regular meals and snacks based around delicious wholefoods, fruits and vegetables and you'll be provided with delicious recipes and eating plans for each week.
You will also be prescribed specific nutritional and herbal supplements to support the whole process and to ensure the main detoxification organs (liver, kidneys, bowel and skin) are performing at their best. Supporting balanced and effective elimination of toxins throughout the detox will minimise uncomfortable side effects commonly experienced including headaches, cravings, bowel changes, nausea and fluctuating energy levels. Supporting a healthy digestive system is imperative in any successful detox and is therefore a central focus of the detox program.
Healthy Weight Management
Refresh & Renew - Whole Vitality Detox
Are you committed to losing weight but are confused about which approach to take?
Weight loss occurs when there is a deficit between the amount of energy you take in (food + drink) verses the amount of energy you expend. Although this sounds simple enough, many would agree that it is not as easy as this and even if food intake is reduced (quite drastically in some cases) weight loss is next to non existent, or not sustainable (sigh…)
A naturopathic approach to successful weight management takes the focus away from calorie counting and restrictive eating and focus’s on quality, nutrient dense healthy foods which are delicious and satisfying.
An evidenced based naturopathic approach to weight loss ensures you are working with your body, not against it. Providing your body with quality protein, healthy fats and the right type and quantities of carbohydrate foods will help support safe and long term weight loss.
Specific nutrients and herbs are used to support a healthy metabolism, stabilize blood sugar levels (imperative for successful weight loss), increase energy levels and increased satiety (feelings of fullness). However for some there may be underlying issues which can hinder successful weight loss including;
sluggish liver function,
sluggish thyroid function,
gut flora imbalances,
chronic pain which restricts physical activity and
This is why a one size fits all approach does not work with weight loss. Our bodies all work differently and identifying any areas where extra support may be needed can make all the difference.
A thorough case history taken at your first appointment helps to identify these area’s and allows an individualized plan to be created that takes your needs into account.
Recommended eating and lifestyle guidelines are aimed at educating you to make life long changes that will see you maintain a healthy weight for life and most importantly have you looking amazing and feeling fabulous!
Functional Pathology Testing
"Melanie was instrumental in supporting my son Charlie when he was diagnosed with many food allergies just before his first birthday. Her advice and knowledge on gut health, probiotics and eczema care was professional and well received by Charlie. Melanie was our naturopath provider for around five years and I would highly recommend her"
My husband and I had tried to conceive naturally for two years, and we were then referred to fertility specialists who told us that we had about an 8% chance of conceiving naturally and that we should go on the IVF waiting list which would be the only option if we still wanted to conceive. We decided to see Mel for an assessment and she was able to prescribe us with specific herbal treatments and suggested foods to increase our chances of conceiving naturally. After three months we finally received our first positive pregnancy test! We have a wonderful 18 month old boy and another soon to arrive to us, again naturally :)
I felt amazing after doing the 3 week detox. I had lots of energy, slept better and received lots of comments on my clear skin. An added bonus was that I lost a couple of kilos also!
The food plan was easy to follow and included lots of yummy recipes. I didn’t feel deprived at all. Mel offered lots of support throughout the program and gave some great tips and more recipes also.
I could not recommend Mel more highly! She has extensive knowledge of a range of health issues, a truly holistic approach, as well as a beautiful nature. Being treated by Mel has really turned things round for me, and I feel fortunate to have her so close by! Thanks Mel
After seeing a number of Doctors with no diagnosis or result for continued gut issues, I stumbled upon Melanie who had suspicions that i could be suffering from the condition SIBO.
By following a particular protocol that Melanie has put together for me, I and my digestive system are now in a better place and on the road to recovery.
Melanie is knowledgeable, professional, caring and supportive throughout and I highly recommend.
Blessing the day we crossed paths, thanks Melanie"
Debra K Wagner
Mel healed my skin issues which were caused from underlying gut issues after extensive amount of antibiotics/steroids (from pneumonia) over the years. The day after I saw her I stopped taking the contraceptive pill which I thought was bound to break me out but after 2 days of herbs I didn't get any new breakouts. With the help of her herbs and gut powder my skin healed, vertigo stopped (I was getting frequently which is uncommon for someone who is 21) my weird vision stopped and I didn't feel irritated emotionally anymore. I didn't know at the time why I was breaking out but it was my gut signalling me that something was wrong on the inside. I had now stomach pains etc so I didn't think it was to do with my gut but I guess your body is good at alerting you in some way or another and if it wasn't for Mel I'd still be breaking out and more importantly I wouldn't be feeding my gut with good bacteria and what I like to call my happy herbs. I syringe mine into gelatin capsules because they're quite strong in flavour :) 1 1000 times recommend her, she is very understanding and warming to whatever you're talking about and she doesn't make you feel awkward one bit.
Holistic health doesn't bandaid your problem rather fixes it and I believe Mel can do that for you"
I have been seeing Mel for a while now for my PCOS and she has been amazing. She gave me great advice on diet and lifestyle changes as well as recommended supplements to help. I am now having more regular periods and feeling great. She is such a nice and wonderful woman!
In some situations more in depth testing may be needed to gain a clear understanding of the underlying drivers of some health conditions. Functional pathology testing can provide valuable information which may be missed with usual routing testing through your GP or other health practitioner.
Some of the more common testing used by Melanie in her clinical practice include;
DUTCH Complete Comprehensive Hormonal Test.
DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. It is an advanced hormone test done in the comfort of your own home. Four urine samples are taken over a 24 hour period and then sent to the lab. The urine samples are used to measures sex hormones, adrenal hormones and melatonin along with their metabolites and can identify areas of hormonal imbalance. This test can be extremely useful in those cases where there is a more complex hormonal picture such as fertility problems, irregular cycles, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), PMS, PMDD, moodiness, anxiety and insomnia. It also provides valuable information on hormone detoxification and can identify undesirable estrogen metabolism.
DUTCH Complete (including shipping and handling) - $381.00
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Breath Test
It is thought that SIBO is the underlying cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in close to 80% of cases. Bacteria levels in the small intestine should remain relatively low however in SIBO bacteria levels are much higher than they should be. High bacteria levels in the small intestine create an excess of gas which can be measured with a breath test.
The SIBO breath test is carried out over 3 hours. Breath samples are taken at regular intervals after a challenge solution of lactulose is swallowed. Levels of hydrogen or methane that climb above normal levels within 90 minutes are indicative of SIBO.
The SIBO breath test is carried out in your own home after a 24 hour preparation diet.
SIBO lactulose breath test - $189.00
Do you suspect SIBO? Take the SIBO quiz here.
Kryptopyrrole Urine Test (Testing for Pyrrole Disorder)
Pyrrole disorder occurs due to abnormally high levels of a chemical known as hydroxyhaemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL or pyrroles for short) that build up in the body. High HPL levels have been linked to a wide range of mental health disorders including anxiety and depression as well as learning and behavioural disorders in children. Pyrrole disorder is thought to affect up to 35% of the population already diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
A simple urine sample is used to test for HPL levels, this can be done in your own home. Learn more about Pyrrole disorder here.
Kyrptopyrroles urine test - $90
Food Detective in-clinic Food Intolerance Testing - Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Elisa Principle
Identifying a food intolerance can be difficult. Unlike a true food allergy which often presents as an acute set of symptoms quickly after ingestion or exposure to the allergen, a food intolerance can be much harder to detect due to the delayed onset of symptoms. The gold standard for identifying a food intolerance is an elimination and re-challenge diet, however this can be tricky to follow and confusing. The Food Detective tests for an IgG reaction against 59 commonly eaten foods. The test is carried out during your consultation in the clinic with your results back within 40 minutes. This requires a finger prick to acquire a spot blood sample. Suitable from 2 years and up.
Food Detective Food Intolerance testing - $260.00
MTHFR is short for an enzyme in the body called Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of folic acid from the food we eat (and supplements) into its active metabolite so it can then be used in an important biochemical pathway known as methylation. However, it is believed that up to 40% of the general population has a genetic mutation (SNP) that affects how well this methylation process happens.
Unfortunately impaired methylation can have many negative consequences over the long term, including reduced capacity to detoxify chemicals and heavy metals, impaired neurotransmitter production affecting mental health, reduced fertility, higher risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and increased risk of cancer.
MTHFR Blood spot or Buccal swab test - $50.00
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
Click here to find out more about the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis.