Since ancient times, herbs have been prized for their pain-relieving and healing abilities. It is estimated that 70 thousand plant species, from lichens to towering trees, have been used for medicinal purposes. Today, Western herbal medicine makes use of approximately 1,000 indigenous European plants, as well as thousands of species native to the Americas, Africa and Australasia.
Herbal medicine can complement conventional treatments and provide safe and effective treatments for both acute and chronic illnesses. Medicinal herbs are potent; thus some herbs can cause side effects if used incorrectly or in high doses. Certain herbs should be used under the supervision of an herbalist or naturopathic doctor.
In my practice, I custom blend tincture (alcohol extracts of plants) and teas (dried plants) for a variety of health conditions. I make special tea formulas for insomnia, anxiety, coughs, anemia, pregnancy, post-partum, and hormonal imbalances. I use high quality, organic or wild-crafted herbs from farms in Oregon and Washington.
Homeopathy is an effective system of medicine developed in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor. Like Hippocrates (the father of medicine) two thousand years earlier, Hahnemann discovered that there were two approaches to treating ill health: the way of opposites- allopathy, meaning “different suffering” and homeopathy, meaning “similar suffering.”
Homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars – similia similibus curentur or “let like be cured by like.” A substance administered in large dosages to a healthy person will produce specific symptoms. When this same substance is administered in minute doses, it will stimulate a healing reaction in the body to relieve those same symptoms. An example is a person with insomnia. The allopathic approach is to treat this by giving a drug to bring on sleep artificially. This frequently involves the use of large or regular doses of drugs which can sometimes cause side effects or addiction. The homeopathic approach is to treat insomnia by giving the patient a minute dose of a substance (such as coffee) which in large doses causes sleeplessness in a healthy person. Surprising, the homeopathic medicine, such as coffea made from diluted coffee, will enable a person to sleep naturally.
Homeopathic treatment stimulates the innate healing capacity of an individual so that all physiological systems function at optimal levels. When a homeopathic treatment begins to act, localized symptoms improve and the body’s defenses become strengthened. The homeopathic medicine does not directly treat a single symptom or condition. Instead, it simply stimulates a deeper healing process in the body. Unlike many conventional treatments, homeopathy leaves a person healthier and stronger after treatment.
Hydrotherapy is an effective treatment with origins in ancient Greece, when cold bathing was utilized to enhance healing. The application of hot and cold to the body results in increased circulation. This, in turn, improves elimination/ detoxification and functioning of the immune system.
Examples of hydrotherapy include: an ice pack applied to an injury or a hot foot bath with a cold washcloth to the head for a headache. I teach my patients how to use hydrotherapy to relieve conditions from colds and flus to enlarged prostate, vaginal infections and immune system dysfunction.
Mental attitudes and emotional states can influence, or even cause physical illness. I address mental/emotional and spiritual causes of illness while I take the client’s medical history. In my practice, I teach stress management techniques to help bring the body back into a parasympathetic (rested, non-stressed) state. In addition, the two forms of bodywork that I utilize bring clients into a relaxed state.
The deepest level of healing can take place on the spiritual level. I encourage my clients to follow a religious or spiritual practice, which provides a philosophy to help them adapt to life’s circumstances.
The concept that food is our best medicine is the cornerstone of naturopathic medical practice. All of my clients receive an individualized dietary plan to facilitate healing. I have witnessed clients with fibromyalgia, cancer, high cholesterol, acne, PMS, hay fever, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus and bladder infections improve significantly by making dietary changes.
Unfortunately, due to poor soil quality, extensive use of pesticides and herbicides, and processed foods, it is difficult to obtain balanced nutrition solely from our diet. Therefore, in conjunction with a dietary plan, I prescribe nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and digestive enzymes. I may also prescribe a liver or gastrointestinal cleanse/detoxification program to remove harmful toxins from the body. As a life-time vegetarian, I specialize in nutritional counseling for a vegan diet.
Body Work/Physical Medicine
Bowen technique is a soft-tissue modality developed in the 1940’s by Tom Bowen of Australia. Originating in Australia, Bowen is now widely practiced in Europe and was first taught in the United States in 1995. These gentle, yet powerful movements send a neurological impulse to the joints and muscles, increasing circulation and encouraging detoxification. Many of the points are located along acupuncture meridians which are known to stimulate and balance the body’s qi or energy.
Bowen is used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal problems and sports injuries, as well as other conditions such as asthma and hay fever. I have had success treating shoulder pain, low back pain, plantar fascitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, migrane headaches, hay fever, and TMJ with Bowen technique. A Bowen technique session can last 20-40 minutes and leaves you feeling relaxed.
CranioSacral therapy is a gentle bodywork technique developed in the 1970’s by John E. Upledger, an osteopathic doctor who first witnessed the rhythmic movement of the craniosacral system during a spinal surgery. CranioSacral therapy is performed on a person fully clothed. Using a light touch, the practitioner monitors the rhythm of the craniosacral system to detect potential restrictions and imbalances. The practitioner then uses delicate manual techniques to release those problem areas and relieve undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord.
CranioSacral therapy can help alleviate a range of illness, pain and dysfunction, including: migranes and headaches, learning disabilities, temporal mandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), chronic fatigue, stress, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances and infantile disorders such as poor breast feeding, colic or head injuries. A CranioSacral session lasts 20-60 minutes and leaves you feeling relaxed.