What is Naturopathic Medicine? Benefits & Overview
We are often asked in our practice, or when Dr Erica Steele DNM ND CFMP, is out speaking in public, what is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a system of healthcare designed to support the bodies natural ability to heal itself. Naturopaths often seek to find the cause of diseases rather than addressing symptoms. Naturopaths do not diagnose and manage conditions, but rather believe that the body will heal itself if given a healthy environment. A healthy environment for a body includes decreasing toxic loads in the system and increasing nutrients to bring the immune system into balance.
Since majority of the immune system is housed in the gut, the naturopathic practitioner often works to balance the digestive system. This may include working with a patient on improving their diet, decreasing toxic loads on the liver, and/ or healing the bodies ability to digest and assimilate nutrition. Quite simply, if you do not heal the gut the rest of the organ systems will not heal long term. Naturopathic Medicine looks to create long lasting changes biochemically in the system rather than suppressing the symptoms. Because of this treatment plans are often looked at as long term strategies rather than acute or short term symptom relief. Based on Herrings law of Cure, it takes one month for every year the body has been ill, and illness includes includes time periods that were asymptomatic as symptoms most often arise only after the body has been out of balance for sometime.
Being a naturopathic doctor requires medical knowledge, training, skill, as well as intuition because the practice of natural healthcare is not an exact science and every body is different with different biochemical makeups, genetic dispositions, perceptions, beliefs, and lifestyles. There is no form of healthcare that is an exact science, which is why they call it a practice. Dr Erica Steele DNM ND has immersed myself with the study of the human body and human healing for her entire life having earned many degrees, designations, and certifications to practice. It fascinates her why one person manifests disease while another person does not. The understanding she has come to is that it is not only the breakdown of health, but the absence of awareness of self as well as the love of self. This lack of self love fuels self sabotaging behaviors that in turn snow ball into symptoms and then disease processes. It is through being conscious of one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that one can create a long lasting change in health.
As a holistic doctor, Dr Steele DNM ND works with children all the way up to elderly and those with ear infections all the way up to stage four cancers, with many health conditions in between. Some patients come to me for preventative healthcare, yet more often than not, patients come with a diagnosis. Naturopaths work integratively with allopathic medical doctors and we do not look to replace a medical doctors care. In fact, we often find that we work synergistic with an allopathic medical doctor because we do different things. Allopathic doctors diagnose and manage diseases using pharmaceuticals and surgery, while naturopaths find causes of disease which could be a single or combination of immunological challenges, heavy metal toxicity, parasitic infection, emotional toxicity, chemical burdens, hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, etc. We offer a different perspective than your allopathic doctor, neither perspective is better or worse, it is merely a difference in opinion. Sometimes the opinion is similar.
Naturopathic doctors also are teachers of health, especially Tradtional Naturopaths. There are two types of naturopathic doctors, Naturopathic medical doctors who are eligible for licensure in some states who have the ability in those states to prescribe pharmaceuticals. Traditional Naturopath, such as Dr Erica Steele DNM ND CFMP, believe that the body is a self healing organism and stay true to the original bases of naturopathic principals, only using nature and naturally occurring substances to support and heal the body. There is an uprising of naturopathic medical doctors who would like to serve the place of an allopathic medical doctor, also incorporating minor surgery, and IV therapies into their practice. Again, there is no right or wrong way to practice and it is up to the individual practitioner to decide what resonates with them and their practice. In her study and her calling, Dr Steele desired to help people connect back with nature, finding self empowerment through education, and incorporating non invasive lifestyle changes to cultivate healing of the body. Dr Steele works with and has relationships with many types of doctors and believes that we are all working to advance healthcare from our own perspective.
Dr Steele’s practice is unique in the fact that she is a traditional naturopath that incorporates intuition, as well as advanced functional medicine and laboratory sciences in her practice. She truly believes that science and metaphysics marry nicely, finding the common ground between the two. In her study of homeopathy, she learned that physical manifestation of disease is indeed the last manifestation. Patient’s that truly want to heal in depth must first heal spiritually, then mentally, emotionally, before healing physically. Otherwise, the person will continue to address symptoms, and never truly heal the soul on a deep level. After all, our desire for a human experience is to heal on a soul level, which transcends our physical experience. The depth to which Dr Steele goes with her patients is truly dependent on the patient, some patients will choose only to address physical ailments in her practice while others will utilize the full capacity of the work and find the bravery to face themselves on a deep level, finding self love on the other side.
Dr Steele offers a 15 mins wellness exam in order to see where you currently are at with your health. This brief 15 mins session allows for initial thoughts about your health unlike a one hour consultation which provides in depth analysis of a persons current health concern. Included with the one hour consultation is a medical record, as well as blood work review, and treatment plan. Either session may be scheduled via telephone to our practice, email, or internet. We return initial new patient requests within 48 hours in the order to which they are received. We ask that if you do not hear from us within 48 hours that you reach out again to check on the progress. Our office hours are a mix of morning, afternoon, evening,as well as weekend appointments to meet anyone’s schedule. We are available 6 days per week; the first appointment at 8 am and our evening appointments available until 8 pm at night. We also encourage new or prospective patients to attend classes in our practice. We teach classes on detoxification, essential oils, emotional healing, raw food as medicine, and more to help inspire people to live a more long lasting healthy life. We look forward to serving you at Holistic Family Practice to help you and your family live naturally.
If you are interested in having Dr Steele DNM ND CFMP, speak with your group, corporate event, or participate in your companies health fair, please reach out via email to our practice.