Sophia Gerontakos ~ Naturopath | Herbalist | Researcher
🌿 Please introduce yourself in a few words?
I’m a newly Northern Rivers (NSW) based naturopath (formerly Brisbane-based). I have a passion for community health and increasing the reach and accessibility of naturopathy, and in the last few years I have been experimenting with free community-clinic type offerings as part of my practice, and examining the services of naturopathic community clinics around the world through a project with the World Naturopathic federation. Currently, I’m less focused on 1:1 clinical practice and more focused on the research side of things while I complete a PhD in public health at Southern Cross University in the field of naturopathy for women and gender-diverse people with endometriosis. I’m planning a trial program using group consultations instead of 1:1 consultations. The group model works really well with conventional medicine for chronic diseases – it is empowering and brings a sense of connection and peer support into healthcare, so its worth examining in the context of naturopathy. I think it would be wonderful if turned out to be a way for more people to utilise naturopathy and get good health outcomes, especially for people with endometriosis – and if it was a rewarding way for naturopaths to practice!
🌿 How/why did you become a naturopath?
I became a naturopath because I could see a missing link in the only type of medicine I knew at the time (conventional) and I felt strongly that there was more to healing than simply taking a medicine to manage a symptom (which wasn’t working for me). Somehow I stumbled across the naturopathy degree which resonated with me so I decided to pursue it, and it turned out to be my path!
🌿 How long have you been a NHAA member and what do you love about it?
I have been an NHAA member for about four years now and I really love and appreciate the association. The NHAA works really hard to advocate for and advance our profession with local issues, and also on the global stage, and by providing great CPD opportunities. I always feel like both myself as a naturopath and our profession more broadly are well supported by the NHAA with the way they interact with and respond to issues and developments relevant to our profession.
🌿 Any favourite herb of yours? Why?
I think many people are aware one of my all time favourite herbs is Eleutherococcus, as I have done a lot of talking and sharing research about it. It’s a hard herb not to love, as there is not much Eleuthero isn’t good for! However, this little herbalist of course has lots of favourite herbs.