What exactly is a naturopathic doctor? This is one of the most common questions I get asked regarding my naturopathic medicine private practice located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
As a naturopathic doctor, I work with my patients to restore and establish optimal health by incorporating holistic therapies to support the body’s natural healing process. Rather than just suppressing symptoms, naturopathic doctors work to identify the root causes of illness.
This approach provides a path to discover the underlying cause of conditions, create individualized treatments to resolve symptoms, and restore a state of vibrant health.
To accomplish this, I start with an in-depth consultation to truly understand your wellness concerns, assess your level of optimal health and balance through physical exams, testing, and questionnaires, and then create your personalized naturopathic medicine treatment plan. In order to get the most effective results and reach a state of vibrant health, I utilize the following principles:
- Remove obstacles to health
- Stimulate the self-healing mechanisms
- Strengthen weakened systems
- Use natural substances to restore and regenerate
Naturopathic medicine therapies excel at preventing and improving chronic health conditions like thyroid and hormonal imbalance, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune disorders.
Incorporating safe, natural modalities with lifestyle education is a successful recipe for long-term vibrant health! Common therapies that can be integrated into your holistic health plan at Vibrant Natural Medicine include:
- Lifestyle modification and goal setting
- Dietary recommendations tailored to your health goals (weight loss, reducing inflammation, addressing digestive distress, etc.)
- Herbal and homeopathic remedies
- Vitamin and mineral supplementation
- Stress management techniques
- Acupuncture, acupressure, and cupping
While discussing the role of a naturopathic doctor, I also explain the field of naturopathic medicine. The official definition of naturopathic medicine is that it is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.
A simpler explanation would be that naturopathic medicine integrates natural therapies into treatment plans to address the root cause of diseases and symptoms. “The Healing Power of Nature” has been a tenant in the natural health field for thousands of years and this concept has been a core principle of naturopathic medicine philosophy, which also includes these additional five principles:
- First Do No Harm
- Doctor as Teacher
- Treat the Whole Person
- Identify and Treat the Cause
- The Healing Power of Nature
Since this form of medicine is less mainstream, some think it is new, however, naturopathic medicine was a form of mainstream healthcare over a century ago. In North America, naturopathic medicine was founded in the early 1900’s by Dr. Benjamin Lust.
He used the term “naturopathy” to describe a healthcare model which integrated natural healing modalities like clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, lifestyle counselling, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture into treatment plans.
Naturopathic care was popular during the early 1900’s. In the 1920’s there were over 20 naturopathic medical schools in existence in the United States and most states were licensed for naturopathic doctors. However, by the 1940’s, with the era of pharmaceuticals on the rise, there was a sharp decline of naturopathic medicine with only one naturopathic medical college remaining in existence. We have seen a great re-emergence of naturopathic medicine in the last several decades and are continuing to get more states licensed for naturopathic medicine every year. We are aiming for Oklahoma to be one of the licensed states in the next few years!
Natural treatment options are becoming more popular every year. Since the title naturopathic doctor and the term naturopathic medicine isn’t well-known, I find other terms being used to search for or describe this profession which include holistic health practitioner, herbalist, or natural medicine expert.
Naturopathic doctors do fit under these categories as we are trained in holistic health, natural medicine, and herbal medicine, but there is a difference between a naturopathic doctor and these other professions based on the level of training. Naturopathic doctors attend a four-year, doctoral level naturopathic medical program consisting of a minimum of 4,100 hours of class and clinical training. The training program includes education in the biomedical sciences and standard medical curriculum, along with natural approaches to therapy. Other popular terms naturopathic medicine encompasses includes functional medicine and integrative medicine.
As a brief overview, naturopathic doctors are experts in the field of natural medicine, whether we use the term holistic health, functional medicine, CAM (complimentary and alternative medicine), functional nutrition, or integrative medicine. My foundation as a naturopathic doctor focuses on incorporating natural and holistic therapies into your daily life to restore balance and prevent chronic disease.
If you are interested in learning more about holistic health or integrating naturopathic medicine into your healthcare routine, then call my office at 918-995-7001. Those living in the Tulsa or Oklahoma region can visit my office in Jenks, Oklahoma or I can set up phone consults for those living out of state.
Let’s work together so you can reach your state of thriving health!
In Vibrant Wellness,