Sponsored by Steelsmith Natural Health Center
More and more people are exploring naturopathic medicine for acute and chronic conditions. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is with Dr. Laurie Steelsmith and Dr. Kristen Coles from Steelsmith Natural Health Center to talk more about the healing power of natural therapies.
In naturopathic medicine, natural medicines are used whenever possible, and doctors resort to prescription medications only if necessary. Naturopathic doctors differ from conventional medical doctors in their philosophy of health and healing and their therapeutic modalities. They also spend a lot more time with patients than conventional general practitioners.
Naturopathic doctors are described as “health detectives,” who focus on removing the obstacles to the cure. Their job is to find the causes that may be promoting imbalance in a person’s body. Symptoms are seen as the body’s messengers that something is out of balance, and a doctor’s job is to find what that imbalance is. Doctors do this through a long first office intake, physical exam, and laboratory testing. They also do acupuncture and look at patients through the lenses of Chinese medical diagnosis and treatment.
To support the innate healing mechanisms in a person’s body, naturopathic doctors prescribe lifestyle and dietary changes, botanical medicines, nutrients, and other natural substances. If a person has the acute onset of a cold or flu, instead of prescribing medicine that suppresses their symptoms, doctors give herbs and nutrients that boost aspects of their immune system to fight the infection. The patient would be steaming to open up airways, taking herbs that literally support the immune pathways that kill viruses or bacteria, and upregulate immune cell function.
Naturopathic doctors treat the whole person by taking into account their mental, emotional, nutritional, and psycho-social health. They ask them about a patient’s diet, how much sleep they get, whether they exercise or not, if they have good digestion. They also inquire about their mood and family life, if they like their job, and what their health and personal goals are. It’s important to consider all aspects of the individual.