There are quite a few reputable places to learn about naturopathic medicine:
- American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
- Your state’s Naturopathic association. I’m in Oklahoma, so my state association is Oklahoma Association of Naturopathic Physicians
But what I plan to provide here is a more personal perspective and philosophy of naturopathic medicine means, as well as what partnering with me means for your health. Naturopathic medicine offers a new framework for healthcare that builds upon the conventional-insurance based system and goes so much further in order to empower patients to learn about their health and achieve their wellness goals
- Holistic health- the term “holistic” seems like all the rage, but what does it translate to practically with your relationship with a care provider? Naturopaths are often known for having the longest intake forms, usually around 4-5 pages on a wide variety of topics and a first appointment with a naturopathic doctor is typically 45-90 minutes. As naturopathic doctors, we understand that your health is not just based on a snapshot. We pay close attention to all aspects of health. What is your mental/emotional health like? Are you well supported? What about spiritual health? What are your goals for yourself? What motivates you? What’s your diet like? Are you getting enough sleep? How do you manage stress? These questions are just a few that we might go over in your first appointment, so that we may determine where to focus
, what your obstacles are to health and how best to be a partner in helping you achieve your goals.
- Foundations of Health- What are they? Why are they so important? As you may have guessed by the name of my practice, I think they are extremely important. Naturopathic doctors follow a therapeutic order of health and interventions. In the same way that you cannot expect a pyramid to stand without a strong base, your health relies on some basic necessities and without those you may find that ailments and diseases keep adding up. Some things that are included in the foundations of health are diet/digestion, exercise, hydration, stress management/rest, mental/emotional wellness, sleep quality and even very basic things like access to clean uncontaminated water and air are important.
- Modalities/ things we recommend- As a healthcare provider educated in primary care practice, licensed naturopathic doctors go through extensive academic and clinical training in order to safely and effectively use alternative treatments. Many of these treatments are research and evidence based and some draw on our teachers or colleagues extensive experience. We are uniquely positioned to help guide you on either safely treating your symptoms starting with natural treatments before trying conventional treatments or combining natural and pharmaceutical medications. Some options in the naturopathic tool kit include specific nutritional advice/diet guidance, herbs in various forms (liquid, capsules, whole herbs, topical), nutritional supplements, homeopathy, essential oils, counseling and depending on the state you are located in (more on this in a later post!) physical manipulations (Craniosacral therapy, adjustments, KT taping), pharmaceutical interventions, imaging or specialty referrals, annual physical exams and labwork.
- Education and empowerment- by teaching you about your health and providing education on the root causes of disease, naturopathic doctors look to empower you to not feel helpless when if comes to your own health. The healing process begins with your hard work and leverages my 4+ years of education and clinical experience to provide resources and support to allow you to heal. Additionally, I like to provide education behind what I am doing for two reasons. The first reason is that if you understand the treatment it makes it easier to follow and secondly because I encourage self care. For example, if you get headaches and we have a product or process that you learned helped before I want you to feel confident to take your care into your own hands when you can. My job is to work myself out of a job! I want nothing more than my clients to be healthy enough to not need me!