Philosophies of Naturopathic Medicine | Dr. Erica Steele’s DNM ND CFMP
If you have yet to meet me, I welcome you. I would like to introduce myself and in this blog I would like to share more about my background and some of my naturopathic medicine philosophy. My name is Dr Erica Steele, and I am a practicing naturopath. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I always knew I was suppose to be a doctor from an ealry age as a little girl. My task was to understand what type of doctor I was suppose to become. I saught high and low researching all of the many generes of practice. I looked at medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, even nursing, yet always came back to naturopathic healthcare practice. It made sense to me. I can feel it, experience it, adn I could teach others. Prescribing pills to people, without addressing underlying biochemical factors did not make sense to me. Healing did make sense. I grew up in a world, where nature was important to me. My Dad took us hiking, enjoying the outdoors, rock climbing, swimming, and living an active lifestyle. My mother emmersed us in spirituality and having faith beyond what our two eyes where able to see, experiencing and feeling things instuictually. I can understand how I came to be the practicing naturopathic doctor that I am now because of my childhood experiences. I celebrate them all, as they have provided me with a unique perspective and wisdom to teahc others. I wanted to spend some time explaining some of my bleifes as a naturopath to help you better decided if this is the right path for you. Hopefully this answers any additional questions that you may have, if not I am happy to answer them.
To begin, I believe we are all responsible for our own health and wellbeings. With that being sad we have adopted a philosphy of calling people that come to our practice either guests or practice members. Guests are peoplet hat have never been to our practice before, or perhaps they only come to our practice for detoxification services only. Practice members are people that have chosen to embark on their own personal jounrey of healing using me as their guide. I am truly honored to help all of our practice members find health and wellbeing beyond their wildest dreams.
Teacher, I am a teacher. I had a mentor that once told me if you cannot teach a four year old the information than you do not know it. Surely, this may come as a challenge at times especially when dealign with complicated cellular activities, however I find a sense of empowerment comes from having a greater understanding of ones body. Otherwise, it is easy to not follow through or value the care received, because it doesnt makie sense. I often hear people say things like, no one has ever explained my blood work to me before or wow that really makes sense. These statements make me so happy because it makes me feel as though I am truly doing my job.
Emotional health and wellbeing. This is what really makes me different and not everyones naturopathic doctor. People do cry in my office, they feel vulnerable, they grieve, they come to terms with emotions they have buried for years. We work to uncover core beliefes in which hold people back from healing. In my opinon, you ahve to do this otherwise the physical body will never heal. Why? Because thoughts, create feelings, whcih resonate energies. All of our cells are made up of energy. As Einstein taught us energy cannot be created nor destroyed but that can be transformed. The stagnant ill, low frequency emotions are capable of creating dis-ease int he body if we are unwilling or fearful of looking at them. It is a part of our process fo healign that we unearth these emotions and teach you tools to clear them to higher frequency emotions, such as joy, love, happiness, success, and peace, just to name a few. This process in an of itself is an incredible discovery.
Loading of supplements. I do not beleive in the philosphy of loading, meaning I do not believe in putting people on 25 supplements at a time. One, I feel compliancy goes down with every pill you add, and two it is really just too much to keep up with, as a naturopathic client myself in the past I noticed that downing that many supplemetns everyday, made my throat raw and somtimes I wouldnt even feel a difference. What a dissapoitnement. I also beleive that you cannot supplement a poor diet and most of our quality nutrition must come from our food sources, period. We start with the diet, using our food for healign and then we grow and expand from there. All new practice members are required to participate in at least one Food for Healing Class in our practice, so they get general education about nutrition and we debunk many of the myths of what is healthy and what is considered unhealthy. I truly love to share this information to see all the light bulbs go off over people’s heads.
Testing everything you can at once and treating the test and not the person. I was very fortunate in my functional medicine training, that it was drilled into our head treat the person not the test. Reading labs is also an art form. I lvoe labs. Everythign about them. I love taking the speicmens, I love getting the results, I love reading them, I love creating treatment plans for them… I love.. I love.. I LOVE labs, however not every person needs to run all labs, at once. Labs can sometimes provide false positives, or false negatives. Some labs need special timing on them, meaning some may need you to load certain nutrients first before they will express the most. Some labs will inconclusive data, the list goes on and on, because a lab is nothing more than a picture in time. Remember the old school polaroid cameras? That is a lab, just a moment in time. So, I value timing and I also value practice members money; choosing to find the lab, the company, and the price that provides the most infomration for their buck. Some labs may be covered under insurnace and some not, ultimately we want the information that is going to serve our greatest outcome, whcih is the persons health and wellbeing.
Science. I love science. There is an argument that natural healthcare practice lacks science. I disagree wholeheartedly. Science is this; I have a hypothesis, I want to disprove or prove my hypothesis, I do this by testing variables and having one control. I then take the data collected, through assessment and I come up with a conclusion. That is a classic science experiment. This is how I apply the scientific model. A guest comes in, either on a wellnes sexam or a consult. They tell me what is wrong or what they would like to work on. I have a hypothesis or an idea of how to help the person. I run a basic lab (I run this lab on every new prospective practice member, this serves as my control). I assess the two, the information they gave me and the infomration I can prove or disprove in a lab. From these two peices of data I create a plan. I execute the plan and then I retest to see the results. This is a scientific method. Teh challnege lies is that healthcare is not an exact science because there are many variables. Not even two identical twins are the same, so we as practitioners use our intuitiion in order to assist our practice members. This is why I believe healthcare is equally an art and a science. You are not able to practice effectively if you do not use both. Art provides the freedom of interpretation and expression, while the science side keeps your care balanced, streamlined, and manageable. I just love this!
Lastyly, I use the therapeautic order in practice in order to stabilize, prevent, and if possible reverse disease process. It may not always be possible as we dig depper finding the cause rather than addressing the symptoms. We do not diagnose conditions, that is reserved for our allopathic medical friends, who appreciate the system of diagnosis. As a naturopath, I find a diagnosis to a be a distraction from uncovering an underlying cause. I alsways ask myself why and how did a person get to where they are now with their health. It did not happen sudden or voernight as initially perceived by the person. The therapeautic order goes as this, first we remove any obstacles for the bdoy to be healthy and well such as a lack of excercise, unhealthy food, not enough water, etc. The basic tenants for beign healthy. Second, we stimualate using the power of nature. We achieve this through detoxification in our practice. Practice members and guests come in for our basic detoxification services as they use the bodeis own ability to detoxify. Third, we support weakend or damaged organ structures and systems so they are able to operate efficiently. This typically begins with the immune system. Next we support the structural integrity of the system, ensuring that movement and fucntion is occuring in the person. Whever necessary naturally occuring substances are adminastered to support the body, while not doing the bodies work for it. We use a process similar to muscle confusion, termed nutrient confusion, where we support the body and then change the protocol to keep the bodies on it s toes. This looks like moving from detox to rebuild to detox back to food, as an example. LAstly, if a person needs to be refered out for a pharamocolgical agent or a surgical procuedure we send practice members to integrative professionals, that appreciate naturopathic care while still beign brilliant in their own field of study. We truly want to work as a collaboration for our practice members highest good.
These are just some of the philosphies that I carry and have adopted over my 15 years in natural health care. I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of individuals seeking health and wellbeing. I really am very passioante about my practice, and adore working with families all over the nation to help them become well. I am looking forward ot helping your family live more naturally as well. I use a variety of modalities in my practice to achieve optimal health from meditation, to detoxification, to herbs, homeopaths, steam, sauna, hypnotherapy, and more. I have dedicated my life to health and healing. I enjoy my own process and share from wisdom as well as practical knoweldge. It may not always be easy, but it is worth it in the end. We are all here for a purpose, mine just happens to be this. I would liek to discover what yours is as well, because uncovering your purpose, clearing out your dis-ease, and projecting you towards health is truly the fuel to which will take you to unlimited possibilites.
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