- Written by Carina
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Carahealth clinic combines the case history taking and diagnostic skills and treatment approaches from the three major modalities of natural medicine, naturopathy, acupuncture & homeopathy
Natural Medicine (CAM) Consultant, Carina Harkin Carina holds 3 internationally recognised and transferable Australian Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), with a degree in acupuncture (TCM & Chinese herbal medicine), naturopathy (nutrition and herbal medicine) & classical homeopathy. Each degree is recognised as level 8 on Australia's AQF by the Australian government and also as level 8 on the Irish NFQ through the UK NARIC. The NARIC is the designated United Kingdom national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, on behalf of the UK Government. Carina is presently studying a Master in Public Health on the back of her CAM qualifications
A good naturopath is taught we do not need machines to test. I describe myself as an old school Naturopath who relies on the symptoms derived during a consultation to diagnose. Particular symptoms indicate an underlying naturopathic cause including a specific vitamin or mineral deficiency. In order to ascertain a naturopathic diagnosis, I use questioning skills from each modality to take a more comprehensive case history. To confirm my diagnosis, I combine Chinese diagnostic techniques including tongue and pulse diagnosis, in combination with iridology and nail analysis.
A Naturopathic Diagnosis is holistic and assesses the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of a person. For example from a Western Medical Perspective you may be medically diagnosed as Hypothyroid however, from a Naturopathic Medical Perspective your diagnosis might be;
Decreased Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) due to "Functional Hypothyroid".
Poor breakdown of fats and increased visceral adiposity due to a "Sluggish Liver".
Excess cravings for carbohydrates due to “Insulin Resistance” and "Functional Hypoglycaemia".
Long term stress leading to "Adrenal Exhaustion", cortisol spikes and resultant weight gain
Long term stress leading to “Nervous System Exhaustion” and emotional eating
Nutritional deficiencies of Iodine, EFAs, selenium
Treatment Principles would thus be
Tonify the thyroid to boost BMR
Improve insulin sensitivity
Balance blood sugar
Tonify the adrenal gland
Nourish the nervous system
Replace nutritional deficiencies
Treatment in the terms of dietary, lifestyle, supplement and herbal medicine recommendations are then derived from these treatment principles.
As an Acupuncturist, I will also diagnose your Pattern of Disharmony according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. In obesity, it may be something like Cold Damp Accumulation due to Spleen Qi and Yang Deficiency. I will prescribe Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chinese Dietary Therapy to treat your Pattern of Disharmony. Rather than prescribing Chinese Herbal Patent Formulas, I specialise in preparing Traditional Chinese Herbal Formulations in organic tincture form as these are superior quality
Once I have confirmed a Naturopathic Diagnosis, I will then explain the Naturopathic Causes of your condition from a Naturopathic Perspective so that you will hopefully remove these causes to the best of your ability and have a better chance for cure, depending also, on the strength of your Vital Force. As the "Stress-Less Naturopath" I tailor a Health Management Solution to suit your lifestyle.
My goal in treatment is not to see you (except for occasions like weddings, births and seasonal flu). If you keep booking consultations then I am not doing a good enough job. I want you to get better and, once we get over the hurdle of managing your presenting symptoms, I can teach you how to maintain your health with natural remedies.
I am trained in pharmacology, herbal and supplement contraindications and drug/nutrient, drug/herb interactions. I can prescribe safely if you are pregnant and breastfeeding or on medication. As a Herbalist and Nutritionist I specialise in matching the pharmacological actions of drugs with natural alternatives using compounds found in food and herbs. I will always give dietary advice and assess your diet for nutritional deficiencies.
Whilst I am not opposed to Western Medicine, I wholeheartedly believe that Natural Medicine is a real alternative. As a naturopath I believe in supporting the natural healthy expression of disease hence I don't believe in suppressing symptoms as this damages the Vital Force/Qi. I don't believe that "artificial immunity" is in any way superior to natural immunity and always aim to strengthen your Vital Force and boost your natural immunity. As in this age of pandemic drug resistance it is the only way forward.
What to expect during a natural medicine consultation?
At either a consult in person or an online consultation I will;
- Discuss your presenting symptoms
- Discuss any medications that you take to ensure that there are no drug/nutrient or drug/herb contraindications with proposed or current treatment
- Discuss your past health history
- Discuss your family history
- Ask you questions about relevant body systems to gain a better understanding of your condition
- Perform nail analysis and tongue and pulse diagnosis to asses for mineral deficiencies (For online consult you will need to email photo of tongue)
- Perform Iridology (for online consult you will need to attach photo of left and right iris)
- Take your blood pressure
- May recommend blood or other tests
- Explain the Naturopathic Causes of your health issues from a Naturopathic Medical Perspective
- Provide a diagnosis from a Chinese Medical Perspective
- Give you an Acupuncture treatment based on your presenting Pattern of Disharmony (or Cosmetic Acupuncture for Facial Rejuvenation)
- Prescribe Treatment in the terms of diet, (including Chinese Dietary Therapy), lifestyle, herbal medicine, homeopathy and supplements.
- Provide ongoing support through www.carahealth.com Online Naturopathic Health Resource and Consultant Services.