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Why Should You Consider a Career in Naturopathy?

Last Updated Jul 21, 2023

Why Should You Consider a Career in Naturopathy?

What can be more rewarding than earning a living doing what you like while helping other people achieve their health goals? Providing naturopathic care is unlike any other job because it promotes health through the use of natural medicine. Although naturopathic medicine does not entirely bar the use of conventional medicine, as a naturopathic doctor works alongside other health professionals, whether they practise a medical or holistic approach to health care, nutritional medicine and lifestyle advice are the main components of this form of complementary therapy.

There's no better time than now to learn about naturopathic principles and their natural healing mechanisms, whether you're exploring new career paths or fresh out of high school and considering becoming a qualified naturopath.

What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy, a time-honoured system of natural healing, has been practised for centuries and continues to gain popularity as individuals seek alternative approaches to their health and wellbeing. Let's look into its rich history, fundamental principles and numerous benefits of naturopathy, highlighting why it is an attractive and rewarding career path for aspiring healthcare practitioners.

History of Naturopathy

The roots of naturopathy can be traced back to ancient healing practices from various cultures, including traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda from India and Native American healing techniques. However, the modern concept of naturopathy as a distinct medical philosophy emerged in the late 19th century in Europe and North America.

Dr Benedict Lust, often referred to as the "Father of Naturopathy", introduced the term "naturopathy" in the United States in the early 1900s. He emphasised the body's innate ability to heal itself and advocated for natural remedies and therapies to support the healing process.

Over time, naturopathy evolved and integrated various healing traditions, including homoeopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, therapeutic massage and flower essences. Today, naturopathic medicine is recognised as a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to healthcare, blending traditional wisdom with modern scientific advancements.

Principles of Naturopathy

Naturopathy is built on a set of core principles that guide its practice and philosophy. These principles form the foundation of a naturopath's approach to patient care:

  1. The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopaths believe in the body's inherent ability to heal itself. Their role is to identify and remove obstacles to healing, supporting the body's natural processes through holistic and individualised treatments.

  2. Identify and Treat the Root Cause: Naturopaths focus on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of illness, rather than merely treating symptoms. By addressing the root cause, naturopathy aims for long-lasting, sustainable healing.

  3. First, Do No Harm: Naturopaths prioritise the use of safe and non-invasive therapies to minimise the risk of harmful side effects. They also consider the potential interactions between natural remedies and any conventional medications the patient may be taking.

  4. Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathy recognises the interconnectedness of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of an individual. A comprehensive approach to patient care considers all these facets to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.

  5. Doctor as Teacher: Naturopaths view themselves as educators, empowering patients to take an active role in their health. They provide information and guidance, enabling patients to make informed decisions about their wellbeing.

  6. Prevention is the Best Cure: Naturopaths emphasise preventive healthcare measures, encouraging patients to adopt healthy lifestyles and habits to avoid illness before it occurs.

Benefits of Naturopathy

The holistic and patient-centred nature of naturopathy offers a myriad of benefits for individuals seeking alternative healthcare options:

Comprehensive Care

Naturopaths take the time to understand each patient's unique health history, lifestyle and environment. This personalised approach allows for comprehensive and tailored treatment plans that address the whole person.

Minimal Side Effects

Natural remedies used in naturopathy are generally well tolerated by the body, reducing the risk of adverse side effects often associated with pharmaceutical medications.

Integration with Conventional Medicine

Naturopathy can complement conventional medical treatments, offering a complementary approach to health care that enhances the overall effectiveness of patient care.

Emphasis on Prevention 

By focusing on preventive measures, naturopaths help patients build robust immune systems and make healthier choices, reducing the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses.

Promotion of Long-Term Wellbeing

Naturopathy aims for long-lasting results, seeking to resolve health issues at their root to prevent recurring problems.

Natural Pain Relief

Naturopathic treatments like acupuncture and herbal medicine can provide effective pain relief for various conditions, from musculoskeletal issues to headaches and migraines.

Patient Empowerment

Naturopaths empower patients to take an active role in their health, fostering a sense of responsibility and ownership over their wellbeing.

The Versatility of Naturopathy Specialisations

Naturopathy is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a range of specialisations for aspiring practitioners. These specialisations allow naturopaths to focus on specific areas of natural healing and tailor their services to meet individual patient needs.

Herbal Medicine

One popular specialisation in naturopathy is herbal medicine, which involves using plant-based remedies to promote health and well-being. Herbal medicine has a rich history and is known for its effectiveness in treating various ailments, from common colds to chronic conditions.


Another essential aspect of naturopathy is nutrition. Naturopathic nutritionists help patients develop personalised dietary plans to improve their overall health and manage specific health conditions. This specialisation recognises the vital role that food plays in supporting the body's natural healing processes.


If focusing on the energy body is your goal, acupuncture is a popular naturopathic specialisation worth exploring. By stimulating specific points on the body, acupuncture aims to restore the flow of energy and promote balance within the body. It has been widely recognised for its effectiveness in relieving pain and treating various health issues.


This modality is a unique area within naturopathy that uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. Practitioners believe that "like cures like," meaning a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person.

Other complementary therapies, such as aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and mind-body medicine, further expand the opportunities for naturopaths to provide holistic and individualised care.

Aspiring naturopaths should explore these specialisations to discover which aligns best with their interests and career goals. Embracing a specialisation in naturopathy allows practitioners to make a meaningful difference in the lives of their patients while following their passion for natural healing.

Can a Naturopathic Doctor Perform the Job of a Medical Doctor?

Attending naturopathic school teaches students about many natural treatments in addition to several fields of life science that are taught and learned in medical school. Naturopathic physicians, like medical doctors, can diagnose and prescribe treatments, but they do so in a more holistic manner.

The way a naturopath addresses a health condition is grounded in the concept of treating the whole person. They assess and treat the root cause of the symptoms manifested by an individual as opposed to treating the disease itself. The core of naturopathic practice is educating patients on the value of living a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a balanced diet, exercising frequently and maintaining a positive mindset.

The healing principles of naturopathsSource: AANMC

The Growing Demand for Naturopathic Services

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in health care as more people seek natural and holistic approaches to wellness. This trend has led to a growing demand for naturopathic services, with an increasing number of individuals turning to naturopaths for their healthcare needs.

One of the main reasons for this surge in popularity is the emphasis on individualised care that naturopaths provide. Unlike conventional medicine, which often adopts a one-size-fits-all approach, naturopathy focuses on treating the whole person and addressing the root cause of health issues. Patients appreciate the personalised attention and comprehensive approach to their wellbeing.

Moreover, the integrative nature of naturopathic medicine has gained recognition among medical professionals and the general public. Naturopaths work collaboratively with other healthcare providers, bridging the gap between conventional and complementary medicine. This integrated approach has resulted in better patient outcomes and improved patient satisfaction.

The rising interest in preventive healthcare has also contributed to the increased demand for naturopathic services. Naturopaths educate their patients about healthy lifestyle choices, nutrition and stress management, empowering them to take charge of their health and prevent future illnesses.

Furthermore, the focus on natural remedies and treatments has drawn many individuals seeking alternatives to pharmaceutical interventions and their potential side effects.

With the demand for naturopathic services continuing to grow, aspiring naturopaths can be confident that they are entering a field with promising career prospects and opportunities to make a positive impact on the health and wellness of their communities.

Clinical Trials and Studies Show Naturopathy's Efficacy

As interest in alternative and complementary medicine grows, so does the need for rigorous scientific research to assess the efficacy and safety of naturopathic treatments. We summarise some of the recent clinical trials and studies that shed light on the effectiveness and potential implications of naturopathy.

1. Study on Herbal Medicine for Stress Management

A clinical trial conducted at a reputable research institution explored the impact of herbal medicine on stress management. The study enrolled a group of participants experiencing chronic stress and anxiety. They were given a standardized herbal formula consisting of adaptogenic herbs known for their stress-reducing properties.

Results indicated a significant reduction in stress levels and anxiety symptoms among the participants who received the herbal treatment compared to the control group. The findings suggest that herbal medicine may offer a safe and effective adjunctive therapy for individuals dealing with stress-related issues.

2. Naturopathic Interventions for Cardiovascular Health

A systematic review and meta-analysis examined various naturopathic interventions for improving cardiovascular health. The study analyzed the outcomes of multiple randomised controlled trials involving patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia and other cardiovascular conditions.

Naturopathic interventions, such as dietary modifications, supplementation with specific nutrients and lifestyle counseling, were found to contribute significantly to the reduction of blood pressure, improvement in lipid profiles and enhanced overall cardiovascular health. The findings highlight the potential of naturopathy in promoting heart health and complementing conventional treatments.

3. Naturopathic Approaches in Managing Chronic Pain

In a multicenter clinical trial, researchers investigated the efficacy of naturopathic treatments for managing chronic pain conditions. The study enrolled participants suffering from conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and back pain.

The naturopathic interventions encompassed a combination of acupuncture, botanical medicine, physical therapies and dietary recommendations. The trial observed notable reductions in pain intensity and improvements in functional abilities among the participants following naturopathic treatments. These findings suggest that naturopathy may offer viable alternatives for chronic pain management, potentially reducing the reliance on pain medications.

4. Impact of Naturopathic Care on Quality of Life in Cancer Patients

A prospective cohort study examined the impact of naturopathic care on the quality of life of cancer patients undergoing conventional treatments. The study tracked a group of cancer patients who received naturopathic support alongside their standard cancer care.

Patients reported improved quality of life, reduced treatment-related side effects and enhanced emotional wellbeing after integrating naturopathic care into their cancer treatment plan. The study underscores the potential of naturopathy in providing supportive care to cancer patients and enhancing their overall wellbeing during the treatment journey.

What Skills Does a Naturopath Need?

To thrive in your naturopathic practice, you must have excellent communication skills in addition to science-backed clinical skills and an innate desire to help others. Because you'll be working with people who have a variety of health issues, you must be able to listen intently and understand their problems so that you can clearly explain how a naturopathic treatment can help and tailor their treatment plan to their specific needs. Aside from that, successful naturopaths are also:

  • Good problem solvers
  • Highly analytical
  • Self-motivated
  • Professional
  • Adept at working with an array of natural therapies

Challenges and Opportunities in the Naturopathy Industry

The naturopathy industry offers a rewarding career path, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges and opportunities for growth. Understanding these aspects can help aspiring naturopaths make informed decisions about their professional journey.


  1. Competitive Market: As the popularity of naturopathy grows, so does the number of practitioners. This increased competition means that new naturopaths may face challenges in establishing their practices and building a patient base.

  2. Regulation and Licensing: The regulatory landscape for naturopathy can vary significantly from one region to another. Obtaining the necessary licenses and certifications may require navigating complex and ever-changing regulations.

  3. Integration with Conventional Medicine: While integrative medicine is gaining acceptance, some conventional medical practitioners and institutions may still be hesitant to collaborate with naturopaths. Bridging this gap and fostering collaboration is essential for advancing the field.


  1. Growing Demand for Holistic Care: As more individuals seek alternatives to conventional medicine, the demand for naturopathic services is on the rise. This presents opportunities for aspiring naturopaths to establish successful practices and contribute to the healthcare needs of their communities.

  2. Focus on Preventive Healthcare: Naturopathy's emphasis on preventive care aligns with the growing interest in maintaining health and wellbeing proactively. As naturopaths promote healthy lifestyle choices, they play a vital role in preventing chronic illnesses and improving overall community health.

  3. Entrepreneurship and Specialisation: Naturopaths have the flexibility to start their own private practices and specialise in areas that resonate with their passions and interests. This entrepreneurial freedom allows them to create unique offerings and carve out a niche in the market. Naturopaths earn between $56,000 and $75,500 per year. According to, the highest-paying cities for qualified naturopathic practitioners are Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney.

  4. Public Awareness and Recognition: With the increased interest in natural and holistic approaches to health, naturopathy is gaining greater public awareness and recognition. This positive shift helps naturopaths gain credibility and influence in the broader healthcare landscape,

Education and Training for Aspiring Naturopaths

Embarking on a career in naturopathy requires a solid educational foundation and specialised training. The journey to becoming a qualified naturopath typically involves the following steps:

Bachelor's Degree

Most naturopathic programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as biology, chemistry or nutrition. This undergraduate education provides a solid scientific background essential for naturopathic studies.

Naturopathic Doctorate

To become a licensed naturopathic doctor, individuals must complete a rigorous naturopathic doctorate program. These programs typically take four years to complete and cover various subjects, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, nutrition and naturopathic principles.

Clinical Training

During their studies, aspiring naturopaths gain valuable hands-on experience through supervised clinical training. This practical experience allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world settings and develop essential patient care skills.

Licensure and Certification

After completing their naturopathic doctorate, graduates must pass licensing examinations to practise as naturopaths. Requirements for licensure vary by location, so aspiring naturopaths should research the specific regulations in their intended practice area.

Continuing Education

Naturopathic practitioners must stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in their field. Continuing development programs and workshops ensure that naturopaths maintain their knowledge and skills throughout their careers.

What are the Best Schools to Study Naturopathy?

There are many schools all over the country that offer courses for people looking to start a career in naturopathy. But one of the best is Endeavour College of Natural Health.

Established in 1975, Endeavour College of Natural Health has become one of the most reputable and preeminent providers of complementary health education in Australia. Today, the College is recognised as a centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high-calibre graduates.

In addition to the Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, Endeavour offers other Bachelor of Health Science courses, including Acupuncture, Myotherapy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, as well as a fully online Bachelor in Complementary Medicine.

Another reputable course provider is Health Academy Australia, which offers certificate courses and advanced programs in naturopathy.

It is essential for aspiring naturopaths to choose accredited programs and institutions recognised by Australia's naturopathic governing bodies such as the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH), Proper education and training lay the foundation for a successful and fulfilling career in naturopathy.

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Originally published on Jun 05, 2020

FAQs About Being a Naturopath in Australia

What are the career prospects for a naturopath?

Naturopathy offers a positive career outlook and jobs in this field are expected to grow up to 8,000 by 2023. Accredited universities in Australia provide courses that will help you become a qualified naturopath.

What can you do as a naturopathic doctor?

A certified naturopath performs a thorough assessment of their client's health to identify the underlying causes of their symptoms. They are also responsible for the prescription and administration of natural medicines.

How much does a naturopath make?

The ongoing rate of a naturopath ranges from $56,000 to $75,500 annually. These figures may go higher or lower depending on one's working hours and number of patients.

What do you learn in naturopathy?

In a naturopathy course, you will study about clinical assessment and various natural remedies. As a student, you may choose which areas to specialise in.

Does a naturopath have a medical degree?

Certified naturopaths have completed a 4-year degree from an accredited school. They studied a variety of modalities that are required in naturopathy such as nutrition and herbal medicine, homeopathy as well as counselling.

What qualifications do you need to be a naturopath in Australia?

To become a naturopath in Australia you need to complete a Bachelor Degree in Health Science (Naturopathy) and gain membership in the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH). In addition, you need to secure a first aid certificate and a Working With Children Check.

Are there any licensing or registration requirements for naturopaths in Australia?

Yes, in Australia naturopaths are regulated by the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) and other professional bodies. After completing your naturopathy degree, you may need to apply for registration or membership with these associations to practise legally and access professional benefits.

How can networking and professional development benefit naturopathy careers in Australia?

Networking with other healthcare professionals and attending industry events can help naturopaths build connections and expand their referral networks. Additionally, continuing professional development (CPD) workshops and courses ensure that naturopaths stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field and enhance their skills, which can boost their career prospects.

Are there any specialisations within naturopathy that one can pursue in Australia?

Yes, naturopaths in Australia can choose to specialise in areas such as herbal medicine, nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy or naturopathic counselling. By honing their expertise in a specific area, naturopaths can cater to the unique needs and preferences of their patients and enhance their career prospects within their chosen specialisation.

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A Career in Natural Therapies,  Studying Natural Therapies,  Naturopathy

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