Looking for an expert in natural health, not sure who is the best choice for you? You will know what a naturopathic doctor is thinking about when talking about your health after reading this article.
Do no harm, "Primum Non Nocere"
As a naturopathic doctor we have guiding principles that show the difference in how practitioners think about cases, their patients, and the world. There are 3 guidelines to avoid harming a person under my care.
First, Use safe, gentle methods of healing and herbal substances that decrease the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. That means the gentle forces of change are used before drugs and surgery. There is a time and place for the higher force interventions but it is not where we start.
Second, Avoid suppressing symptoms. Symptoms are signals from the body that should not be ignored. Typically if symptoms are being suppressed it drives this imbalance deeper, and leads to a larger rebound eruption later. Managing that is so vital to good care.
Third we Acknowledge, respect and work with the person’s self-healing process. Our body heals if there is enough energy and building blocks there to heal.
Healing power of nature
Health: it's an inside job. I help people heal from the inside out using the healing power of nature. Utilizing the nervous system connecting the brain to every cell in the body, adjustments reconnect clear communication to and from the body and brain. This increases your ability to adapt to stress in any form, physical, mental, or chemical. What's beautiful is the blending with naturopathic medicine. The Viz, is the spark, the vital energy of the body, it animates each of us, is the part of us that organizes healing and growth. The healing power of the body has been referred to by many names, the viz, innate intelligence, chi. The point is, if you are not working on increasing this vital force in your body, you are missing out on an opportunity to be at your best.
Identify and treat the cause
Treating the root cause of an issue is key to overcoming any health challenge. We get sick when we are out of balance, a runny nose is a signal from the body that it is working to clear the nasal passages and return you to your healthy “normal” state. Pain and illness are reminders from the body that there is a problem. The symptom of pain or a runny nose are not the source of a problem, they are not the imbalance, they are a signal. Pay attention to these signals from your body. It is communicating to you. Don’t turn off the smoke alarm before putting out the fire.
Treating the cause gets to the bottom of chronic health conditions and allows them to heal, using gentle measures, and the effects are profound.
Healthcare works best when your doctor sees you as a whole person. Each of us has our own priorities, likes and dislikes, our own goals. Your healthcare should take notice and operate knowing what is best for you, not for someone with a similar condition. In my clinic we see each person as an individual, with a family, with personal goals. There are people coming in for digestion concerns but that issue does not present the same obstacles for them all. Some want to be able to eat their favorite foods without it causing them pain, others willingly cut out anything in an attempt to have clear skin, and others just want to have a daily 💩. The reason for getting treatment is just as unique as the goals they wish to achieve. What are your goals for 2021? As a doctor 👩🏻⚕️ I want to help you be healthy, as a naturopathic doctor I know the path to healing needs to reflect your life. ⠀⠀⠀
Doctor as teacher
Naturopathic doctors 🥼 teach their patients what it takes to be healthy, how their body works, and what affects their lifestyle has on their health. To do so means that when you work with a Naturopathic doctor, you spend a lot of time with them. It’s a partnership. You learn skills that last a lifetime.
In this photo Dr. Shaw is at a newborn home visit. Teaching parents what is happening with their child.See how engaged everyone is? See the care and trust there is? That’s what working with a Naturopathic doctor is all about.
It is better to prevent something from occurring than having to clear the wreckage after it has occurred.
It's true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
If you think about treatments for diseases they are costly, time intensive, and may not work. Prevention on the other hand is far cheaper and uses less resources over a longer period of time, plus you get the benefit of fewer health problems.
Natural medicine is looking for ways to prevent disease whenever possible. When I work with someone we look at their life up until this point, their family history, work, living situations, relationships, genetics, lifestyle, and personal risk factors.
If a problem is noted when it is just a pattern, an imbalance, and is corrected at that stage it prevents a chronic disease and many times lessens the larger issues that could have snowballed from that original imbalance. Makes me think of an avalanche, if preventive measures are not taken sometimes people end up with a bag full of medications, a list of diagnosis, and an empty bank account from the costs of it all.
This preventive idea is key to living a long healthy life. Many Medical Doctors (MD) are now noticing the work Naturopathic Doctors (ND) do and taking continuing education courses in functional medicine to try to get a better grasp of our highly effective preventative strategies in diet and lifestyle modifications. While this is a good first step, a weekend seminar or course is not the same as earning a doctorate in this paradigm. Functional medicine is the modern term for classic naturopathic medicine. They can get results, however the feedback I have gotten from patients who have come to me after seeing functional medicine practitioners, is not always great. The theory and strategy of working with patients for their health is typically left out of the equation and what is distilled out ends up being endless supplements and no maintenance plan or a way to return to normal life. Naturopathic doctors like Dr. Shaw are working to keep our style of care alive and well, if you are looking for a different kind of doctor who sees you as a whole person and meets you where you are its time to see a naturopathic doctor. Find one in your area by searching naturopathic.org. I wish you well in harnessing the power of nature.