The Disease Tree

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on



This tree is the best explanation of an holistic approach to medicine. It is the Naturopath's role to find the root cause of your symptoms. Symptoms are the leaves and branches and the root cause are the roots and the soil is the environment. 


This is a major difference that you will see during the process of seeing a Naturopath.  We ask many questions regarding the different systems of the body and then connect the answers with symptoms that you are experiencing.  During your follow up appointments we assess what improvements have occurred with the different areas and adjust your treatment plan accordingly. 

My ultimate goal is to work on the root cause so that you are no longer having the same symptoms and you no longer need me to help your body and your body can do it on it's own. Basically my goal is that you don't need me except for yearly checkups and any sudden changes in health. I work towards this goal each and every day with all of my patients. This usually means that you will see me more frequently in the early stages and then less and less as time moves on and you move onto a maintenance program.

Between appointments many hours of research are completed to ensure that any treatment plan designed for you is up to date with the most recent evidence based scientific research and latest products and compounds and dosages.  Most of my new compounds have been designed because of creating a new formula for just one patient and this in-turn helps everyone.

Treatment usually involves liquid herbal tinctures and nutrients mainly through the compounds that I design to help give you symptomatic relief as well as simultaneous providing treatment of the underlying root cause. The reason for treating the root cause is that if only the symptoms are treated then the cause will always be there.  It's just like trying to put a fire by just squirt the flames with water instead of dousing the coals and wood with a bucket of water. If you just stick to the flames then the fire will continue to smolder. 

For example:

If antidepressants are prescribed for depression and nothing is done with correcting neurotransmitters then antidepressants will always be needed and the dosage usually gets higher and higher as time goes on.  There are several underlying causes of depression and they all need to be worked on for you to successfully come off antidepressants.  

If caffeine drinks are consumed to try to increase energy level or sleeping tablets are required for insomnia but the cause of these two problems are not addressed then fatigue and insomnia will continue and intensify.

If antibiotics are continuously prescribed for frequent colds and flu without making improvements to the immune system and the nutrient deficiencies that are causing this then frequent colds will continue.

If medication is prescribed for reflux instead of working on the problem then over the years the rest of the digestive system will suffer and can lead to conditions with no real understanding of why eg IBS.

If you just don't feel quite right then come in and see me and have your health assessed.

Time is very important for a practitioner. Spending time with a patient getting to know you and understand any concerns is part of the process.  This is why our consultations are longer than GPs. I want to understand where your signs and symptoms are coming from so that I can work on the root cause rather than just putting on a band aid.

Gut Health is a number one priority for general health and well-being

It is well documented in research that we have a Gut-Brain Axis and a Gut-Skin Axis meaning that if you are experiencing emotional imbalances such as panic attacks, anger outbursts, sadness, depression & anxiety to name a few or skin conditions such as rashes or acne, then chances are it has everything to do with your gut health.

Most of the time hormones are blamed for emotional imbalances and skin health when all along it is more than likely the imbalance in the gut. For example certain microbes in the gut are directly connected with the cause of oestrogen dominance leading to irregular periods, heavy periods, mood swings, PMS symptoms etc.

When we consider that most of our brain chemical such as serotonin & dopamine are made in our gut then it becomes clearer that if our gut is out of balance then there is a high chance that this is the reason we are experiencing mental health imbalances.

The same can be said for our skin health.  We spend so much on products to use externally for rashes and acne only to feel deflated all the time because nothing seems to work. Then we just blame hormones especially for acne and the GP puts you on strong gut damaging antibiotics for 6 to 12 months or even the oral contraceptive pill to prevent ovulation and the rise in osetrogen that comes before ovulation. However the gut can play a major role if there is an elevated enzyme there the creates the re-circulation of oestrogen that was meant to be eliminated. Taking the pill doesn't stop this from happening. Neither does it prevent oestrogen being detoxed through the cancer causing pathway in the liver which is connected to oestrogen cancers such as breast cancer and other conditions like endometriosis.

It's for these reason plus many many more that it is so important for your current and future health to get to the root cause of your health imbalance before you start taking a pill which puts a band-aid on it.

There are many tests available that I can request to help gain a greater understanding of the function of your body. Including

  • Gut microbiome mapping where we can exactly what is causing all the troubles in your gut and creating an effecting throughout the rest of your body. Even ones that are linked to the causation of autoimmune diseases.
  • Hormone testing to see if you have more of the good form of oestrogen rather than those that are connected with cancer.
  • Neurotransmitter balance to see if you are making enough of the right ones
  • Allergy and Intolerance testing to see if there are any hidden allergen that you immune system is reacting to.
  • Insulin resistance testing - to see if you are on a path to type 2 diabetes
  • Leaky gut testing - to see if you are potentially absorbing pathogens into you blood stream that can create a massive inflammatory response by your immune system.
  • Genetic testing is also available to find blockages in your methylation and detoxification cycle even testing that analyses over 40 genetic markers known to impact metabolism, exercise and energy use within the human body..

Testing helps to give you insight into what is happening on the inside and may or may not form part of your treatment plan. It's always helpful to know what is going on however as a Naturopath we are trained to listen to your signs and symptoms and create treatment plans from here. If during your appointment I feel that testing is needed I will always let you know.

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house. 

Melissa Callaghan BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath, Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Coach


To book an appointment click here 

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During your assessment, we'll explore your health history and begin to put some puzzle pieces together. We'll leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of understanding your unique biochemistry and finding the personalised solutions that will work best for you.

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