The wellness industry: the marginalisation of naturopathy and western herbal medicine

G. Connolly, L. Oates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction/background The lineage of naturopathic and western herbal medicine principles can be traced back to Ancient Greece where health was viewed as the harmonious balance of vital energies that sustain all living things. Implicit in these principles is the concept of wellness which considers health as not just the absence of disease, but a manifest harmony of the inner and outer world for each person. However, in contemporary society, the meaning of wellness has become a ubiquitous, distorted and poorly defined term. Focus of discussion This discussion will focus on the understanding and application of wellness within the principles of naturopathic and western herbal medicine care. The authors examine the increasing marginalisation of naturopaths and western herbalists within the $US4.4 trillion wellness economy. They discuss the major challenges facing the naturopathic and western herbalist profession within the wellness industry and explore ways to defend the valued traditions from being eroded by more powerful commercial and biomedical competitors. The authors also discuss four possible outcomes in attempting to establish our professional identity in the wellness economy – these outcomes are isolation, marginalisation, assimilation and integration. Implications The authors argue that integration is best for the profession. By better understanding our traditional role in the promotion of wellness we can more fully embody the core principles of our profession and reclaim our place as leaders in wellness. © NHAA 2022.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • commercial phenomena
  • economic aspect
  • herbal medicine
  • history of medicine
  • human
  • naturopathy
  • Note
  • traditional healer
  • wellbeing
  • acculturation
  • complementary medicine
  • consumerism
  • wellness


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