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Naturopathic Medicine

In Washington a Naturopathic Physician (N.D.) is a licensed primary care physician. Our education includes standard pre-med undergraduate studies, followed by 4-5 years of academic and clinical study at an accredited school, which offers a degree in Naturopathic Medicine. Bastyr University, where I earned my degrees, is recognized worldwide as a leader in science-based natural medicine education and research. N.D.’s are licensed and trained to diagnose, through history taking, physical examination and ordering lab and other diagnostic tests such as X-rays. We can prescribe certain drugs, but tend to treat using natural therapies. These include nutrition, lifestyle counseling, exercise, detoxification, homeopathy, herbal medicines, and therapeutic supplementation with nutrients.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I adhere to the following 6 Naturopathic Medicine Principles:

(1) The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)

The healing power of nature is the inherent self-organizing and healing process of living systems which establishes, maintains and restores health.  Naturopathic medicine recognizes this healing process to be ordered and intelligent.  It is my role to support, facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery, and by supporting the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.

(2) Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)

Illness does not occur without cause.  Causes may originate in many areas.  Underlying causes of illness and disease must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. Symptoms can be expressions of the body’s attempt to defend itself, to adapt and recover, to heal itself, or may be results of the causes of disease. I seek to treat the causes of disease, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

(3) First Do No Harm (Primun Non Nocere)

I follow three precepts to treat you:

  • I utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health.
  • Whenever possible the suppression of symptoms is avoided as suppression generally interferes with the healing process.
  • I respect and work with the vis medicatrix naturae in diagnosis, treatment and counseling, for if this self-healing process is not respected you may be harmed.
(4) Doctors As Teachers (Docere)

The original meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher.  A principal objective of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility for health.  I also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

(5) Treat the Whole Person

Health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors.  Since total health also includes spiritual health, I encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.  Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual as being essential to health.  The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and diagnosis and treatment. I treat the whole person taking all of these factors into account.

(6) Prevention

Naturopathic medical colleges emphasize the study of health as well as disease. The prevention of disease and the attainment of optimal health are primary objectives of naturopathic medicine. In practice, these objectives are accomplished through education and the promotion of healthy ways of living. I assess risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and make appropriate interventions in partnership with you to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine asserts that one cannot be healthy in an unhealthy environment and is committed to the creation of a world in which humanity may thrive.

I also adhere to the following 7-steps Therapeutic Order in treating you:

  1. Re-establish the basis for health. Remove obstacles to cure by addressing the determinants of health (i.e. family medical hx, personal medical hx, lifestyle, etc).
  2. Stimulate the general Vis Medicatrix Naturae (the healing power of nature). I use the following main modalities: nutrition, botanical, acupuncture, homeopathic, hydrotherapy, psychological-spiritual medicine.
  3. Tonify weakened systems. All modalities:
    • Strengthen the immune system
    • Decrease toxicity
    • Normalize inflammatory function
    • Optimize metabolic function
    • Balance regulatory systems
    • Enhance regeneration
    • Harmonize with the life force.
  4. Correct structural integrity. Therapeutic exercise, manipulation, massage, other.
  5. Prescribe specific natural substances, modalities or interventions for pathology.
  6. Prescribe pharmacological substances for pathology. I can prescribe certain drugs but tend towards natural therapies.
  7. Use Surgery, suppressive drugs, radiation and chemotherapy. I will refer to a specialist accordingly.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical therapy using very fine, thin stainless steel needles to stimulate/treat specific points and organ systems. Acupuncture points have been “mapped” out by the Chinese for about 2,000 years. This treatment is used to promote health and treat organic or functional disorders. According to the World Health Organization, many common acute and chronic health disorders lend themselves to acupuncture treatment based on clinical experience such as:

  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Eye disorders
  • Neurological and muscular complaints
  • Gynecological disorders
  • Any type of local pain, strain or sprain
  • Aid in stopping smoking or other addictions

A single acupuncture appointment may include any combination of acupuncture and these other Chinese Therapies as part of the patients treatment.

  • Moxa: heat therapy using the herb, mugwort directly on the skin or needle topromote circulation of qi and blood
  • Infrared therapy: gentle heat therapy to increase microcirculation and loosenfascia
  • Tui Na: a type of massage
  • Cupping: warmed “cups” that slide across the skin or stay stationary
  • Earballs: tiny metal balls that are taped to acupuncture points in the ear
  • Chinese herbal medicines and nutrition
What is “qi”?

In Chinese qi (pronounced “chee”) translates to mean vital energy and is considered to flow through channels called Meridians that traverse the body in a manner similar but not identical to the nervous and circulatory systems. Acupuncture can regulate the flow of energy by moving it away from areas that have too much to create a balance by moving to areas that are deficient for the patient.

What Will I Feel?

Acupuncture is considered to be relatively painless, however, with stimulation, the movement of qi for a patient may cause a sensation that has been variously described as heaviness, distention, tingling or electric. This sensation may only be at the location of the needle or may travel up or down the meridian (energy pathway) that is being affected. This sensation is what the acupuncturist wants to happen for the patient as it is a sign that the patient’s qi is adjusting towards balance.

 

 

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