In short, our approach comes down to two major focus area’s: 1) Find the cause and 2) Treat the cause.
Find the Cause
1) In order to find the cause, we conduct a very thorough health history, encompassing all body systems. A physical exam and comprehensive lab testing may be employed to illuminate specific aspects of the case even further. An initial naturopathic consultation is approximately 1 – 1.5 hour long. Your complaints and general markers of health (diet, digestion, sleep, stress), will be reviewed in detail, in order to assess the root of your health concerns and formulate tailored treatment plans. If laboratory testing or a physical examination is required, it can be done during the visit or at a later time. Follow up appointments are usually between 30-45 minutes.
Treat the Cause
2) Once we know the cause of your symptoms we can initiate highly targeted treatment protocols, based on a 3-step weed, seed and refeed model:
Remove (“weed”) factors that interfere with healing (e.g. remove food sensitivities, candida, parasites; reduce toxin exposure, etc). This is also referred to as “preparing the terrain”.
Add specific modalities (“seed”) to support the healing process (e.g. nutrients, herbs, supplements, acupuncture, homeopathy).
Continue to nourish (“refeed”) the body & mind, and support its self-healing abilities (also referred to as Vital Force, Life Force, Qi, or Prana) by continuing to apply new found knowledge about your specific health needs (maintenance).
Like medicines and drugs, foods affect the biochemistry and way your body functions. Some foods help you heal, while others damage your body and contribute to chronic illness. A healthy diet — consisting of the right balance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants, fatty acids, fiber and amino acids –- is a vital tool your body can use to manage stress, and prevent and recover from illness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes acupressure, acupuncture, cupping and herbs, is a complete medical system that has diagnosed, treated and prevented illness for thousands of years. According to TCM, when your energy flow or Qi is out of balance, your body cannot adapt to stress, making you more likely to develop chronic illness and pain. A harmonious flow of Qi is achieved by balancing yin and yang and unblocking the meridians (along which Qi flows), and will help sustain your long-term physical, mental and emotional health.
Naturopathic doctors use herbs from all over the world to prevent and alleviate illness. Herbs work in two ways: First, they nourish your body with essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fatty acids, phytochemicals and antioxidants; also, herbs help your body get rid of toxins, microbes or inflammation. As natural, non-synthetic medicines, herbs are relatively inexpensive, accessible, gentle and easily absorbed by our bodies.
Using diluted doses of natural substances, homeopathic medicine gently stimulates your immune system and rebalances your body and mind. Central to homeopathic medicine is finding the root cause of your symptoms which are unique to you. The right homeopathic remedy is based on the totality of your symptoms and characteristics. For more information about the principles of homeopathy, read my blog on this topic.
Physical medicine includes manipulation, massage, hydrotherapy, and other physical therapies. Physical medicine works in two ways: First, it restores structural soundness to the skeletal system, joints and soft tissue; in addition, it builds immunity and supports healing and detoxification.
To achieve the best results from your naturopathic treatment, you need to understand and practice the principles of healthy living. By helping you identify and adjust the habits that contribute to ill health you will learn to maintain wellness over the long term. Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy strategies are employed to balance the mind and help develop and reinforce healthy habits.
Detox programs are tailored to your bodies needs. First the organs of elimination (liver, kidneys, lungs, bowels, lymphatics) are assessed – and if needed supported – for proper function. Only when proper elimination is ensured should toxins be mobilized from the tissues they are stored in.