A healthy body is designed to adapt to challenges in its environment. These include exposure to harsh physical conditions, unhealthy diet, sleeplessness, emotional stress, chemical toxins, and acute illnesses. The immune system, endocrine (hormonal) system, nervous system, detoxification and elimination systems, and circulatory system are all mechanisms upon which a body relies to stay well in the face of these challenges. Since these all have to operate harmoniously to maintain health, they are recognized as one well-orchestrated system. In naturopathy we call this system the “life force.” When the life force is not equal to its challenges, disease sets in.
My job as a naturopathic doctor is to stimulate optimal function of the life force and to identify and minimize those challenges as listed above.
The initial visit
I will generally spend two hours with you on your first visit for a chronic condition. I do so to understand your entire medical history in detail. We’ll review your conventional medical tests and treatments as well as any non-conventional medicine you’ve used. At the end of that visit, we’ll discuss your plan, which is based on what I think is the root of your problem. That plan may include some or all of the following:
- Homeopathic medicine
- Vitamins and herbs
- Other lifestyle factors (stress, sleep, exercise)
- Lab tests, if needed.
Healing doesn’t happen at a point in time – it happens over the course of time. My job is to get you moving in the direction of better health and then keep you moving in that direction. To that end, I tend to visit with patients about once per month early in the course of treatment. In more acute situations, we may follow up more frequently. As time goes by, and you get healthier, we need to meet less and less.
Follow up visits allow us to measure progress and refine your treatment plan. The long term goal is to get you as healthy as possible and dependent on as few drugs and supplements as possible.
One of the things I do for my patients is research between visits, especially if we are having trouble finding an effective plan. While I have vast experience in natural medicine, I don’t know everything! In fact, in the internet age, my patients often know something about their disease that I don’t. So I am committed – to the extent that time allows – to reviewing medical literature on behalf of each patient between visits.
It is not legal in North Carolina for me to take you off a drug that has been prescribed by a licensed physician. It is often not a good idea either. However, over the long term, we are trying to reduce or eliminate your need for prescription drugs. A healthy body does not need them. We will work on reducing medications as your health improves, and with the cooperation of your medical doctor.
Collaboration with other health care professionals
Naturopathic medicine is an important part of your overall healthcare, but it isn’t everything. Other practitioners – conventional and otherwise – have valuable knowledge and experience. I aim to collaborate with other professionals you work with, either by communicating with them directly or by customizing my treatment plans to work with other modalities you use.