WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?

Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) teach their patients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and cutting edge natural therapies to enhance their bodies’ ability to ward off and combat disease. NDs view the patient as a complex, interrelated system (a whole person), not as a clogged artery or a tumor. Naturopathic physicians craft comprehensive plans that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only address disease, but to also restore health.  They give patients a sense of hope and relief that they can achieve a return to total body wellness through identification and elimination of the causes of illness.

Naturopathic physicians base their practice on six timeless principles founded on medical tradition and scientific evidence.
  • Let nature heal. Our bodies have such a powerful, innate instinct for self-healing. By finding and removing the barriers to this self-healing—such as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic physicians can nurture this process. 
  • Identify and address causes. Naturopathic physicians understand that symptoms will only return unless the root illness is addressed. Rather than cover up symptoms, they seek to find and address the cause of these symptoms.
     
  • First, do no harm. Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to ensure their patients’ safety:
    • Use low-risk procedures and healing compounds—such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts and homeopathy—with few or no side effects.
    • When possible, do not suppress symptoms, which are the body’s efforts to self-heal. For example, the body may cook up a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection. Fever creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Of course, the naturopathic physician would not allow the fever to get dangerously high.
    • Customize each diagnosis and plan to fit each patient. We all heal in different ways and the naturopathic physician respects our differences. 
       
  • Educate patients. Naturopathic medicine believes that doctors must be educators, as well as physicians. That’s why naturopathic physicians teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
     
  • Address the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. The naturopathic physician knows that all these factors affect our health. That’s why she includes them in a carefully tailored health strategy. 
     
  • Prevent illness. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic physicians evaluate risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease.

WHAT TRAINING DO NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS HAVE IN NUTRITION?

- Macronutrients of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates- their biochemistry, role in a healthy body, and optimal amounts
- Micronutrients of vitamins and minerals- their bodily requirements, recommended daily intakes, food sources, toxicity sources, and how they are processed in the body from absorption, digestion, storage, to elimination
- Performing a dietary assessment to determine if an individual is getting enough macro and micronutrients or has nutritional deficiencies, dysfunction, or pathology
- Analysis of diet types: whole food, Mediterranean, food sensitivities, blood type, autoimmune, hormone specific
- Food attitudes, cultures, socio-economics, and preconceptions that impact an individual's nutrition choices and ability to successfully adopt and maintain healthy nutrition
- Clinical nutrition, diet and nutrient or nutraceutical therapy, including evidence-based use of vitamins, supplements, and diets as integral supports for the health and optimal function of all major body systems.  This includes training on how adverse effects related to individual body systems can impact a person's nutrition status, as well as how nutrition can be applied to optimize the health and performance of each system
- Advanced clinical nutrition, including the application of specific evidence-based diets and nutrients to support specific conditions such as autoimmune conditions, hormone issues, IBS, skin issues, chronic pain
- Supplement-drug interaction, including prescribed drug and nutrient interaction as well as nutrient-botanical interactions
- Specialized areas of nutrition including breastfeeding nutrition, sports nutrition, community nutrition, etc.
- Technology and nutrition- leverage leading and evidence-based websites, apps, and other technology resources to assist patients in nutrition planning and application
 
Many health symptoms and conditions have nutrition at the root of the issues.  Trained to address root causes, naturopathic doctors are experts at identifying illnesses and conditions with nutritional causes and tailoring recommendations to individual needs.  Naturopathic doctors understand how difficult it can be for individuals to change nutrition, regardless of how medically essential it is.  No two people are alike, and many individual and societal factors impact food choices and nutritional status including family life, finances, time, personal preferences, and more.  Understanding where the patient is and meeting them there can support success.  Naturopathic doctors work with patients in a step-by-step fashion to implement nutritional changes.  By doing so, they empower patients to play an active role in their nutrition, leading to better health over time.

Health For Life Clinic: Natural Medicine & Acupuncture 
112 N. Cornell Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 669-1050

M-F 9am-7pm EST, Sat-Sun closed