When you think of Harley Street, plastic surgery and high-tech medicinal treatments might spring to mind. However, along the prestigious street there is also room for prominent experts and practitioners of alternative therapies and Naturopathic Physician Katie Ruane is one such expert. Rather than treating the symptoms of health complaints, Naturopathic Physicians like Katie look at the cause of the problem and improves a client’s wellbeing with a selection of chosen therapies. These include reflexology, nutritional therapy, hydrotherapy and breathing techniques to name but a few. TreatNOW were fortunate enough to speak to Katie about her practices, her ethos and why she thinks doing a spring detox is worthwhile.
Talk us through some of the most popular treatments that you offer as a Harley Street Naturopath.
As a Naturopathic Physician I do not offer my treatments as individual options when you come to see me. I take a detailed case history in the initial consultation and then devise a scientifically validated treatment plan based on research. As everyone is treated as an individual, two people who present with the same complaint will have different treatments in the consultations depending on what’s appropriate for them. I do offer two of my therapies as individual treatments if someone specifically asks for them, therapeutic massage and reflexology. Due to more people having experienced or heard about massage, that is the most popular.
If a new client has never tried Naturopathy before, how you would you encourage them to start and what therapy would you recommend first? Would it depend on their needs?
I encourage someone to try Naturopathy with me as anyone can call themselves a Naturopath as it is not regulated by the government and is not defined by therapies used such as with acupuncture. A true Naturopath is defined by their approach to treating the person- to treat the person as a whole, an individual and to use natural means to help get their body into balance so it can heal itself. Most importantly one of the principles a Naturopath should follow is to do no harm and to refer to the GP when that is the correct action to take. Another aspect that is appealing to potential clients is that I do not want to treat you forever. It seems to be between 6 and 8 sessions is enough to get to the cause of the problem and treat that, not the symptoms. Symptoms are the body telling you something is wrong, I work to find out what is causing them, I also educate you with techniques you can do at home so when a symptom flares up, you know what to do without needing to come and see me. Of course, if you want to come back for a few top up sessions, that is always possible. I encourage people to see me by telling them about my training. I completed a 3 year Batchelor of Science with Honours degree with a foundation year in science gaining over 400 hours clinical experience observing and treating patients before graduating. Due to this I can call myself a Naturopathic Physician as I am a member of the General Council and Register of Naturopaths; not all Naturopaths can join. I am part of the elite in the country which may come across as arrogant, however, I did this so I have been properly trained and am safe to treat you.
I also explain about why Naturopathy is so brilliant. Treating you as an individual and treating the cause not the symptom. Due to this I can help your body find balance and then hopefully it will regulate itself again so you feel better. The big tool box of therapies also means that I have variety so I can truly tailor the treatment plan to what is best for you. I also don’t want to treat you forever. I want you to feel better and to be in a place where you can look after yourself with tools and techniques that I teach you. As stated above, I do not recommend a specific therapy for you to try first, rather in the second consultation I explain my treatment plan, the therapies chosen and why. I then get verbal agreement before starting any of the treatments. Everything I do is for the individual and what’s best for them. It may seem at first glance for example that an essential oil massage would be perfect, but then you discover that they are on medications that might interact with the oils I wanted to use or that they in fact, don’t like to be touched. Due to this the essential oil massage would actually be the worst thing that could be done and reflexology would be better. Or breathing techniques taught.
In your opinion, what is the selling point of your brand? What makes you different from other therapists/Naturopaths?
As mentioned above I am different due to the intense training I have had in my Complementary Medicine: Naturopathy degree. Which is also the selling point. I have obtained a science degree alongside a therapists training. I understand how the body works in terms of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. All the treatments I use in the consultation are used after making sure that there is scientifically validated research that the treatment is of benefit. As mentioned above I have over 400 clinical hours experience from my degree on top of experience obtained since. In every therapy I use as well as most of the modules I studied I had to write course work on it, take a written exam and pass a practical assessment to be deemed competent.
Can you give us some tips on how you can develop a brand and grow your customers?
Have a simple, clear cut website, with solid easy to read fonts. I had some excellent advice from someone who is in marketing who helped me pick the fonts for my logo which is my company name and the font for the text on my website. They also advised me with my website copy and language that is appropriate to use alongside sentence structure. Before setting up my practice I knew where I wanted to be, the clientele I had in mind and what I was going to call my business. This has helped me develop my brand as I always had my customer in mind, rather than myself.
According to yourself, what is the newest health trend out there for men or women?
I would say it depends; new trends are often based on old ones. For example, the winter detox. Cultures have had fasting and detoxing in them for thousands of years; I think it’s more down to media and celebrities that makes it a new trend. Also, as the media releases ‘new’ information something else takes off. Recently the media has been stating that fat, specifically saturated fat isn’t as bad for you as previously thought. Udo Erasmus wrote a book over 30 years ago about the importance of fats in the diet and those that are harmful and those that are good for you. What is said today, he covered in the late 70s and early 80s.
What is a winter detox and why would you not encourage it? Is a summer detox more applicable?
A winter detox could mean a different thing depending on who is interpreting or marketing it. Judging by recent press, a winter detox is when for a few days or possibly weeks in January you cut down on your solid food intake and just have juices possibly with supplements alongside. Once again it’s dependent on who you do it with- a naturopath, a nutritional therapist, buying a plan from an online company or buying a book and following that. The idea behind it is to cleanse the body out and lose the weight gained over Christmas. In my opinion as a Naturopathic Physician a spring or summer detox is more appropriate as it seems a more natural time to cleanse and renew. Also, think of traditional and seasonal foods. In winter we eat more stodgy food – warming soups and stews with potatoes, pastry and dumplings. We need extra warmth and a bit of extra fat to insulate our bodies during the cold months. To eat raw food or just juices may in fact be a stress to the body. In spring and summer when it’s warmer and hopefully hot we naturally eat less in the day and eat more raw food in salads or soups such as gazpacho. This is the time to restrict your cooked food intake and have a few days of juicing to give your liver the chance to detoxify more than it normally would. However, I would not encourage everyone to do this. I would only suggest you do this if it is safe for you to. If someone takes a lot of medications, for example, I would be highly cautious of recommending this to as it could mean that a lot of stored toxins are suddenly released into the body which could make you ill. I would also, over a few weeks, help you prepare your body for a detox, to make sure you get full benefit. As a Naturopathic Physician, a detox is more than you just having three days of juices.
How do you make sure that your customers find you?
I am an avid networker and talk to anyone and everyone about what I do. As very people in this country know what a Naturopathic Physician is, it means that I can explain what I do with no assumptions or preconceived ideas. I also have a twitter account (HS_Naturopath), a Facebook page (facebook.com/harleystreetnaturopath), a LinkedIn profile, a blog (harleystreetnaturopath.wordpress.com) and sign up to websites that advertise therapists.
If a therapy business was setting up, what’s the best piece of advice you could give them?
I have only set up in the last year so may not have many pearls of wisdom. The things I have done are to join a networking group (WIBN). This means I am meeting new people all the time and have been offered so much valuable advice for free. I also spent money on my business cards so they are bespoke as I wanted them to reflect my abilities and did not hand out cards until my website was live. I also spent money on my website and tweaked it multiple times before it went live. I sent the text and pages to a variety of people to get feedback on what they thought as well.
What is next for the Harley Street Naturopath in terms of therapies ? What can we look forward to?
I have started an at home service for mothers with reflexology so they are able to have some time for them and not worry about travelling to a clinic with a new born on the bus or have to get childcare. Reflexology is a wonderful treatment as it is gentle, covers the whole body and is also very effective. The feet tell us a lot about the person.
I am also currently doing a baby massage course so I can teach individual or group classes at home for the parents and baby, After this, I will do a baby reflexology course so I can directly treat the baby. Once they are done I want to compete a diploma that also contains baby yoga and parenting support as I want my practice to specialise in baby/children /parents. If you have a happy, healthy baby/child you have a happy, healthy parent.
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