What is a Naturopathic Wellness Plan?


Having just submitted my final and biggest assignment of the year, I thought I’d share a post about it.

This is my first Wellness Plan and probably took me well over 20 hours to write with 54 references and over 8500 words!

I really enjoyed doing this assignment and found myself subconsciously thinking continuously about the case. Considering every influence on health from every angle – dietary, lifestyle, psychological/emotional, environmental, personal history and even the individual’s character and personality!

A wellness plan is basically exactly what it sounds like – a plan help my client get well.

It culminates in 3 S.M.A.R.T goals accompanied with handouts for extra information on how to implement them. The client will then attempt to accomplish all 3 goals in the duration before the next consultation.

Sounds easy right? Anyone could easily come up with three goals after listening to a client for 1.5 hours.

Well if it were so simple, I wouldn’t have to spend 3 years learning all about anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and how to differential between various diseases or identify Red Flags for urgent referrals or about various drug-herb-supplement interactions, side effects or precautions!

Sadly there are many unqualified ‘naturopaths’ without such training prescribing treatments without going through this thought process.

Here’s a brief summary of the entire thought process:

  1. Translation of case take notes from the consultation – client’s background, narrative, health goals, presenting concerns, signs and symptoms
  2. Summarizing medical history, past medication & treatments
  3. Documenting validated clinical outcome measures
  4. Documenting all physical & holistic general examination
  5. Documenting current medication and supplements including ingredients, interactions contraindications, precautions and side-effects
  6. Documenting all environmental influences on health from sleep to chemical exposure
  7. Family medical and social history
  8. Dietary analysis using a validated software such as FoodWorks by Xyris
  9. Analysing all assessments and findings against evidence of validated norms
  10. Summarising most important points from the case, linking and synthesising all information
  11. Describing interrelationships between signs and symptoms and all information gathered
  12. Performing a differential diagnosis of all possible conditions – why they are likely or unlikely
  13. Discuss client’s expectations in relation to my assessment of the case
  14. Discuss client’s readiness for change according to Prochaska et al. (1976) model of Trans-theoretical Stages of Change
  15. Link understanding of the case to the tenants of Naturopathic philosophy
  16. Choose 3 most important aspects of the case, for each citing primary sources of evidence
  17. Form a naturopathic diagnosis and 7 naturopathic goals
  18. Finally come up with a Wellness Plan consisting of 3 S.M.A.R.T goals accompanied with handouts for extra information

Honestly, I don’t think many experienced naturopaths have the time to spare to do all this in practice however it is definitely worth learning this well as a student as it teaches us the full, comprehensive and holistic thought-process/framework of thinking to better serve our clients safely and effectively.

Another thing I love about what I am learning is how client-centred Naturopathy is.

You’d be hard pressed to find a doctor willing to spend 1.5 hours in a consultation, listening and investigating the root causes of illness and then many many more hours pondering on the case, researching and writing up a 5000 word WELLNESS PLAN with dozens of peer-reviewed research to back up!

But I sure hope I can do them a lot faster in the future though! 🤞🏻

The novice relies on processes until it becomes second-nature.
With experience comes intuition
Jahn Tang

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