Natural Wellness Center

The Nature of Naturopathic Medicine

(808) 988-0800

"Thank-you for considering naturopathic medicine as part of your healthcare. I view patient-practitioner relationships with a deep sense of responsibility. A major part of that responsibility is to help you understand and plan for your health. I strive to give each individual the best quality care in every respect. To ensure this level of care I am constantly updating my knowledge and skills.

Please take the time to read the following information as it will help you better prepare for your visit. "

Naturopathic practice blends centuries-old natural, nontoxic therapies with advances in the science of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care.

Conventional (mainstream) or allopathic medicine, as it is sometimes referred to, generally treats symptoms with drugs. Allopathic medicine attempts to create a force opposite to the symptom. For example, a runny nose might be treated with a drug to dry the sinuses.

Natural medicine concentrates on the whole-patient wellness, centers around the patient and emphasizes prevention and self-care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patient's condition rather than focusing on symptomatic treatment. For example, a runny nose might be caused by a food allergy or environmental factor.

What Are Naturopathic Treatments? These are the major therapies used and taught in Naturopathic medical schools.

Ayurvedic Medicine - Some Naturopathic Physicians have a specialty in Ayurveda (the medicine of India), using pulse diagnosis, revitalization treatments, Ayurvedic botanical medicine and diet to achieve health.

Botanical Medicine - Many plant substances are powerful medicines, effective and safe when used properly, in the right dose and in proper combinations with other herbs or treatments. Naturopathic physicians are the only licensed health care providers fully trained in the use of botanical medicine.

Colon Therapy - Water and natural solutions are introduced into the colon to stimulate the body's detoxification process.

Counseling - Counseling on diet, life-style, exercise, and occupational and environmental hazards is an integral part of the naturopathic treatment program.

Diagnosis - Naturopathic physicians use many conventional diagnostic tools including a thorough health history, physical examinations, X-rays, and comprehensive laboratory tests when indicated.

Homeopathy - This powerful system of medicine is based on the "law of similars" (like cures like). Specially prepared dilutions of substances are carefully matched with the patient to stimulate the body's innate ability to heal.

Natural Childbirth - Some Naturopathic physicians have a specialty in midwifery, offering non-invasive prenatal care, natural unmedicated birth (usually at home), and postnatal care for mother and infant.

Therapeutic Nutrition - Nutritional therapies have fewer complications and side effects than pharmaceutical drugs. Many conditions are treated successfully with nutrition alone. The therapeutic use of foods has always been a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine.

Prescription Medicines - Sometimes the least possible intervention includes the use of antibiotics or other pharmaceutical drugs. Your naturopathic physician can and will prescribe these when appropriate.

Physical Medicine - Various physical therapies are used to treat the body including manipulation of the muscles, bones and spine. Heat and cold, gentle electric impulses, ultrasound, diathermy, hydrotherapy and exercise therapy are also used.

Oriental Medicine - Many naturopathic physicians have a specialty in Oriental medicine, and use pulse diagnosis, acupuncture, acupressure and Oriental botanical medicine.

Clinical Nutrition - That food is the best medicine is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects. Naturopathic physicians use dietetics, natural hygiene, fasting, and nutritional supplementation in practice.

Psychological Medicine - Mental attitudes and emotional states may influence, or even cause, physical illness. Counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, and other therapies are used to help patients heal on the psychological level.

Minor Surgery - As general practitioners, N.D.'s do in office-minor surgery including repair of superficial wounds, removal of foreign bodies, cysts, and other superficial masses.



What To Expect During Your Naturopathic Visit

Initial consultation: 15 minutes. During this session we will discuss your immediate or primary health concern(s). If required, a complaint-oriented exam may be performed. Towards the end of this session, I will briefly discuss possible treatment approaches. You will then be given comprehensive forms regarding health history and lifestyle that are to be completed before your next appointment.

First naturopathic visit: 30 Minutes. Prior to this session, I have received your completed forms and have prepared a preliminary treatment plan. In some cases, special instructions will be given to you in order to prepare for this appointment. During this session, I will ask further questions based on the information from the forms. I will also perform a physical exam using standard diagnostic instruments and laboratory tests and may refer you for blood and urine tests if necessary. At the end of the visit, initial recommendations and prescriptions will be given.

Follow up visit: 15- 30 minutes. This session may include treatment, further prescriptions, recommendations, and lifestyle counseling etc. Frequency of follow up visits is dependent on your needs.


Are Naturopathic doctors opposed to drugs and major surgery?

 No.  Naturopathic doctors are not opposed to invasive or suppressive measures when these methods are necessary.  They make referrals for such treatment when appropriate.  Naturopathic medicine has both safer and less expensive alternatives to many kinds of non-emergency surgery.


Is naturopathic medicine covered by insurance?

In some instances.  The most important thing to do is check with your provider to see if naturopathic medicine is covered in your policy.  If naturopathic medicine is not covered - request it!  Hopefully as more policy holders request naturopathic coverage the insurance companies will start to listen and offer this as an option.  The state of Washington (and to some extent Connecticut) requires insurance companies to cover naturopathic care.

Naturopathic medicine is typically not covered by insurance companies in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and most other states - but there are exceptions. HSA's (Health Savings Accounts) are now becoming more available and in many instances can be used to pay for naturopathic care.  Currently, most patients pay out of pocket for naturopathic services.


Is naturopathic medicine cost-effective?

Yes.  Because naturopathic doctors use a preventive approach that reduces the incidence of high-cost chronic conditions, naturopathic medicine reduces long-term health care costs.


Is naturopathic medicine safe?

Yes.  Safety records that are monitored in states with review boards are excellent.  Naturopathic doctors most often use gentle therapies with low risk for side effects.  A core principle of naturopathic medicine is to "first do no harm."


Is Naturopathic medicine scientific?

Yes.  Naturopathic medicine has its own unique body of knowledge.  It incorporates scientific advances from medical disciplines throughout the world with the wisdom from traditional medical models.

Many naturopathic medical therapies have been scientifically validated, especially in the areas of clinical nutrition and botanical medicine.  The research departments of naturopathic medical colleges conduct on-going research examining naturopathic therapeutics and practice.


How do ND's interact with other health professionals?

Naturopathic Doctors refer to a wide range of other health practitioners including physician specialists and other conventional and alternative providers as appropriate.  Most naturopathic practices have extensive cross referrals to and from other practitioners.


Are all naturopathic doctors trained to treat cancer patients?

Few naturopathic doctors are fully trained to treat cancer patients.  Currently, the most extensive training in oncology for naturopathic doctors is through the 2-year residency program at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  Some naturopathic doctors gain expertise in cancer care through observation or self-study.  Ask your naturopathic doctor about their level of training to treat cancer.


How do conventional medical doctors interact with naturopathic doctors?

Medical doctors have a wide range of opinions regarding naturopathic medicine.  Some medical doctors are very comfortable co-treating patients who receive naturopathic care.  Other medical doctors are unreceptive to alternative therapies.  Patients can ask their physicians if they are open to working with alternative medicine providers.  There are many physicians in practice who are willing to work in conjunction with naturopathic doctors.

Most naturopathic doctors have at least a few medical doctors that they work well with.  Some naturopathic doctors work more closely with medical doctors either through residencies, integrative care centers, or cross referral relationships.  The ideal patient care is an integrative approach combining the best of conventional and naturopathic medicine.



Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. Naturopathic Medicine is heir to the vitalistic tradition of medicine in the Western world, emphasizing the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the inherent healing capacity of the person. Methods of treatments are chosen to work with the patient's vital force, respecting the intelligence of the natural healing process. The practice of Naturopathic Medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis. It is these principles that distinguish the profession from other medical approaches:

The healing power of nature. vis medicatrix naturae
The body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician's role is to facilitate and augment this process, to act to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.

Identify and treat the cause. tolle causam
Illness does not occur without cause. Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness. Symptoms are expressions of the body's attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease. Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment. Causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes rather than at symptomatic expression.

First do no harm. primum no nocere
Illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complimentary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis medicatrix naturae. Therefore, methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing underlying causes are considered harmful and are avoided or minimized.

Treat the whole person. The multifactorial nature of health and disease
Health and disease are conditions of the whole organism, a whole involving a complex interaction of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account. The harmonious functioning of all aspects of the individual is essential to recovery from and prevention of disease, and requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

The physician as teacher. docere
Beyond an accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the physician must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with the patient. A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value. The physician's major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for health. The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing. The physician must strive to inspire hope as well as understanding. The physician must also make a commitment to his/her personal and spiritual development in order to be a good teacher.

Prevention. Prevention is the best "cure"
The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention. This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health. The physician assesses risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to the patient. The emphasis is on building health rather than on fighting disease.

Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what dis-ease(s) is/are being experienced. If wellness is really recognized and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given dis-ease than direct treatment of the dis-ease alone.


What is the Therapeutic Order?

The therapeutic order is the basic approach that naturopathic physicians use to guide their patients to wellness. They begin with least force and move to more invasive measures as necessary.

1. Re-establish the basis for health Remove obstacles to cure by establishing a healthy regimen

2. Stimulate the healing power of nature   Use various systems of health such as botanicals, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, nutrition, psychospiritual

3. Tonify weakened systems   Use modalities to strengthen the immune system, decrease toxicity, normalize inflammatory function, optimize metabolic function, balance regulatory systems, enhance regeneration, harmonize life forces

4. Correct structural integrity   Use therapeutic exercise, spinal manipulation, massage, cranial-sacral to return to optimal structural condition

5. Prescribe specific natural substances for pathology   Use vitamins, minerals, and herbs to promote health

6. Prescribe pharmacological substances for pathology   Use pharmaceutical drugs to return to health

7. Prescribe surgery, suppressive drugs, radiation and chemotherapy   Use aggressive therapies to attempt to maintain health


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Phone: 808-988-0800


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