The following article was written for our newsletter at the American Council of Animal Naturopathy to our students. I hope it helps readers and clients understand the nature of the work we as animal naturopaths do (promote health) in contrast to a veterinarian (who diagnoses, prescribes for and treats disease):
Knowing is not enough; we must apply; willing is not enough; we must do. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The quote above is one I live by. It is on my website. So with the changes I am about to share with you, I invite you to consider embracing that and all it entails.
This is a short message on how to support your clients (or as students learning how to do so) as a non-licensed consultant. We are hard-pressed on every side by the government (especially as natural health guides) but we are not defeated by any stretch of the imagination.
The language we use is not only their tool but if we look at this differently it is also our best asset! What do I mean? Well as natural animal health coaches/animal naturopaths we are not allowed by law to diagnose, prescribe, or treat animals. We are also not allowed to imply we can cure, heal or prevent any type of illness or disease.
I actually feel this is great news because this takes the focus off of disease, symptoms, and illness and refocuses the attention on whole health, wellness, and a healthy lifestyle using non-prescriptive, non-diagnostic, educational language.
When working with clients it is our role to help them learn to refocus onto health and wellness using the empowerment model which naturopathy has always been.
It is all about choice and attitude. If we have the attitude that this is liberating and empowering then it is – it sure has been for us. We don’t focus on illness, disease, treating, prescribing, diagnosing or curing anything (which is what the majority of people are doing these days when they ask and then are told what to use, how often and how much for __________ (insert name of any disease or symptom treatable by pharmaceuticals here).
Interestingly enough many people are waking up to the fact that only licensed practitioners are allowed to do that – no one else. Not even if you are not in a healthcare profession!
Our role with our clients is about empowering them with the knowledge and information to make their own informed decisions about the health and well being of their animals. We teach them about supporting their animals’ body systems through a whole health lifestyle in order for them to be wholly and truly well following the laws of health. We teach them how to eliminate toxins that are major contributors to ill health and replace them with natural, healthy alternatives. We guide them into a mindset that is focused on wellness over the reductionistic mindset of disease, dying and death which is certainly a lot more positive and definitely a lot better for their animals when we accomplish this goal.
“The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.” ~Albert Schweitzer
Until next time, have a NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!
Featured graphic is of my Neapolitan Mastiff, Shadrach – he was the reason I became an animal naturopath.