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Perth Naturopath Warns: Unregulation in Naturopath Industry is Putting People at Risk


PERTH Australia, July 2014 – Recent research undertaken by the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists reveals that one in ten Australians see a naturopath.  The study also revealed that one third of these patients used their naturopath as a primary care provider, making naturopathy the “largest unregulated ‘primary care’ health workforce in Australia”.*

While the unregulation of the naturopathy sector doesn’t seem to be impacting the utilised therapies or testing, it does mean that practising naturopaths currently don’t need to adhere to strict training guidelines.* Naturopaths are supposed to be formally trained as practitioners specialising in natural medicine, who cooperate with all other branches of medical science, and refer patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.** And although there are bachelor degree curriculums in naturopathy, there is no official hurdle to overcome before establishing a natural medical practise. In fact, the last naturopathic workforce survey found that 10 per cent of naturopaths had no qualifications whatsoever.*

Perth naturopath and herbalist Shannon Burford N.D. holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, and practises evidence-based nutrition and herbal medicine from his Perth natural medical clinic, Cura Integrative Medicine. Shannon, along with many other medical professionals believes that the greatest danger to patients trusting an unqualified naturopath isn’t what will happen during a consultation, but rather that some health problems and risks won’t be identified.

“Technically just about anyone can set up a clinic or wellness centre and start making natural health recommendations to the public, and the patient may not be aware that the suggestions might actually be coming from an inadequately trained practitioner,” says the Perth naturopath Shannon Burford. “It’s easy to feel that if something is natural then it is safe, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many common herbs and nutrients that can cause death and major health issues if given in the wrong dosages.”

Shannon urges people seeking a naturopath to look for a practitioner with a minimum degree level education, to ensure they have studied the interactions between pharmacology, herbs and nutrients.

Business director Paul Curtis sought naturopathic help from Shannon’s Perth natural medical clinic after suffering from a tumour in the brain. Now fit, healthy and tumour free, Paul says, “Shannon knows what you don’t know that you don’t know! He also knows a lot of things your doctors don’t know either. I’ve been amazed by his insights and the humble manner in which he discovers and recommends health solutions. He is someone who truly cares for your situation, who communicates really clearly and always finds a constructive way forward.”

Discover how Perth naturopath Shannon Burford can use his qualifications and experience to explore natural health solutions through Cura Integrative Medicine at


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