Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing natural treatment modalities to help you recover from illness, restore balance to your body, and promote optimal health. It focuses on encouraging and supporting the bodies innate ability to heal while treating the underlying cause of disease. It is an art, science, and practice of preventing, diagnosing, educating and treating the patients’ mind & body through the use of safe and effective therapeutic methods and substances.
The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:
- The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
- First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
- Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process
- First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
- Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
- Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
Naturopathic Medical Education
Naturopathic doctors are educated and trained as primary care physicians with an emphasis on natural medicine and modalities. As a licensed naturopath, it is required to attend accredited post-graduate training after receiving a bachelor’s degree with required prerequisites. The four-year medical program includes intensive training in basic sciences, clinical and diagnostic sciences as well as naturopathic therapeutics. Clinical and diagnostic training entails utilizing conventional labs, images and diagnosis. Naturopathic therapeutic training includes; naturopathic philosophy, nutrition, botanical medicine, pharmaceuticals, homeopathy, physical medicine and clinical psychology. The training also includes two years of clinical rotations. At the end of four years’ graduates receive a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree (ND) after passing a rigorous national medical board examination.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine have been used to successfully treat many common acute and chronic health disorders as well as maintaining optimal health and wellbeing. Most common disorders treated include pain/muscular complaints, gynecological issues including fertility, irregular menses and menopausal symptoms, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture are complete systems of healing that have been practiced for over 5000 years. The focus of this type of medicine is to treat the root cause of illness. It views every aspect of a persons’ body, mind, spirit, and emotions as part of the whole being. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical therapy using very fine, thin stainless steel needles to stimulate/treat specific points and organ systems. The treatment is based on stimulating points on certain meridians or channels empirically discovered in ancient times to promote health and treat organic or functional disorders.
Acupuncture regulates, unblocking and redirects the flow of energy by stimulating certain points promoting the movement of energy through specific channels and/ or meridians. Keeping the meridians clear is imperative for the body’s self-regulating action to occur. Through the movement of energy and blood from one area to another and nourishing yin and yang the body is able to create a balance allowing for better function and healing.
Chinese herbal medicine is based on the same concepts of acupuncture yin, yang, qi, and blood. Acupuncture moves these substances throughout the body creating balance within the channels/meridians. Herbal medicine though it can move substances throughout the body it also can build these substances when we are deficient. Herbal medicine can treat deep rooted illness and deficiency. The combination of the herbs can work to nourish, build, and move all these vital substances in our body creating synergy throughout our organs and channels.
Dr. Squires has been trained in traditional Chinese medicine and has a special interest in 5 element acupuncture and constitutional acupuncture. When there is an imbalance between the five elements, (fire, earth, air, water and wood) this can cause a blockage in the flow of your qi (or vital energy) traveling through your body along meridians. She will use acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help unblock and nourish your qi and bring your body back into harmony and wellness.
All needles used in this clinic are disposable. This means that only pre-packaged, sterile needles are used on a patient, one time only. Once used, they are discarded appropriately as indicated by law.
As a naturopathic physician, I am trained in physical modalities including joint manipulation, visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy, and dural attachment therapy. I have taken extensive training and courses beyond the required training in physical medicine. I specialize in dural attachment therapy. This involves releasing the dura, which is the tissue surrounding the spinal cord. The alignments of the spine correlates to the alignments of the 22 bones of the cranium. The misalignment of the spine or cranium can impact our muscles and organs effecting optimal function of our bodies. The cranial system can have effects on all systems of our body including blood or lymphatic circulation, digestion and endocrine. This treatment successfully treats alignments from back or neck pain to energy issues. This treatment will relax your nervous system and align your skeletal/muscular structure promoting your bodies innate ability to heal itself.
Perineural Injection Therapy
Perineural injection therapy specifically targets neuropathic pain and neurogenic inflammation meaning the nerve fiber itself is damaged, injured or chronically inflamed. This type of pain often develops after an injury and is usually chronic, unrelenting and diffuse in nature. The quality of pain is often aching, nagging or burning with fluctuating severity. Chronic pain is the bodies response to a disturbance in its tissues energy balance and pH resulting in dysfunctional physiology. The therapy involves superficial injections of dextrose along cutaneous nerve pathways. Injections of dextrose correct glycopenia restoring energy balance and raise pH creating a more neutral environment and restoring tissue physiology. The dextrose also opens ion-gated channels to decrease nerve signaling, which calms down the inflammation around the nerve allowing time for the nerve to heal. These injections are also used to treat conditions such as peripheral neuropathy. People often experience instant relief from their pain that can last hours to days and eventually years. Most patients will usually need 4-8 treatments done weekly resulting in gradual reduction of pain eventually resulting in prolonged periods of relief. Prolonged periods could be years to permanent relief from pain. Dextrose which is a form of glucose is extremely safe and widely used as an injectable and as an IV solution. There is minimal risk of infection or adverse reaction with the subcutaneous injection and there have been no allergic reactions observed.
Comprehensive prolotherapy utilizes various types of injections to induce inflammation in the joint in order to mimic an injury and bring the body’s own immune cells and healing factors to repair and rebuild injured and degenerated soft tissue or joints. The injection solution varies in its contents, but usually includes some form of dextrose, lidocaine/procaine, and sterile water.
Prolotherapy creates an inflammatory response recruiting fibroblast, growth factors, and other collagen building precursors to the area. In turn this helps with reinforcing connective tissue resulting in ligament/tendon thickening and stability. This therapy is used for chronic myofascial pain, back pain, osteoarthritis, and ligament/tendon injuries. Prolotherapy is also a great treatment for hypermobile tendons and ligaments that have a tendency towards strains and sprains. Ligamentous instability often results in areas feeling tighter or having increased pain in the area. Our muscles tighten in order to compensate for the instability. If healing does not occur as the injury or instability continue our bodies will continue compensating by increasing calcium deposits leading to bone spurs or osteoarthritis.
PRP Joint Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves using your own blood plasma and platelets as an enriched source of growth factors and cytokines. This concentrated source of platelets, growth factors, and cytokines stimulates healing of bone and soft tissue. Our bodies are constantly trying to find equilibrium between breakdown and regeneration of tissues. When we have an injury to a tissue or repeated stress on a joint resulting in osteoarthritis, tendinopathies, or rotator cuff injuries the more emphasis is put on breakdown than repair and equilibrium is lost. The goal of using regenerative medicine such as platelet rich plasma injection therapy is to shift the equilibrium back towards regeneration by helping the body repair and heal itself. This is a therapy can be utilized for minor tearing of ligaments and tendons, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, ligament instability, and overuse injuries.
Currently treatments for osteoarthritis are bracing, weight loss, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, viscosupplementation and arthroplasty. Unfortunately, these options all have vast limitations and/or severe side effects. A knee replacement on average last 15 years, which is why they are prolonged for as long as possible resulting in people resorting to chronic NSAID and corticosteroid use for pain management. Many papers show corticosteroids lead to soft tissue damage, cell death and tendon atrophy, reduced bone mineral density, inhibit collagen synthesis, lead to insulin resistance, atrophy of muscles/skin, and depression. Chronic NSAID use has been shown to lead to increased risk of stomach ulcers, acute renal failure and stroke/myocardial infarction. Studies have shown that Platelet Rich Plasma therapy as either superior or not inferior to viscosupplementation of hyaluronic acid, which is the gold standard for OA treatment at this time.
A PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma aesthetics is a remarkable and new non-surgical approach to facial skin rejuvenation and hair restoration. PRP is an organic plasma with a concentration of platelets taken from one’s own blood and is an enriched source of growth factors. Your own blood is concentrated to create a plasma rich in growth factors.
The PRP is taken and applied to the face using a microneedling technique to stimulate growth and repair. The growth factors do the work to regenerate dry and aged skin. PRP promotes the formation of healthy collagen and the deposit of elastic tissue.
The PRP can also be taken and applied to the scalp to stimulate “new” and “denser” hair growth. There are over 30 growth factors in PRP that repair blood vessel damage, skin damage and provide nutrition to the cells in the scalp. PRP promotes new blood supply to hair follicles, and reduces inflammation of the scalp creating healthy, productive hair follicles.
Neural therapy involves injections target the autonomic nervous system, which consist of sympathetic “fight or flight” and parasympathetic “rest and digest”. After trauma, surgery or illness our bodies “fight or flight” nervous system may predominate for prolonged periods, which does not allow for proper healing. Injecting indicated areas such as scars can switch off the “fight or flight” and remove neurological inhibitions allowing the “rest and digest” to turn on. When our parasympathetic nervous system is activated we allow for are bodies innate ability to heal.
Trigger Point Injection Therapy
Trigger points are tight, sore areas in muscle tissue that are caused by trauma or injury, strains/sprains, chronic overwork, and poor posture.
They can results in discomfort and pain, muscle spasm, decreased range of motion, and can aggravate tension headaches, vertebral disc issues, pull vertebrae out of alignment, and leave you prone to further injury by encouraging you to favor another area of your body.
Trigger point injection therapy is a minimally invasive injection technique that uses homeopathic products and anesthetic to release areas of acute and chronic tension and pain.
Homeopathics stimulate the body’s natural healing ability, which is why people find these injections more therapeutic than a cortisone shot that suppresses the body’s natural functions and can significantly weakens tissue over time. By gentling stimulating the body to heal instead of blocking a pain message, repairs happen more quickly, with less irritation, and better, longer-lasting results.
Mind-body Medicine and Biofeedback
Mind-body medicine is a current buzz word in alternative or holistic healthcare. It encompasses a huge arsenal of modalities that all have the same goal or objective. That is to bring awareness without judgement making individuals conscious of connections between emotions and thoughts to our physical body. Biofeedback monitors voluntary and involuntary physiological responses to stressors. As we become aware of our physiological responses we learn to regulate these responses.
The definition from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative medicine is:
Mind-body medicine focuses on the interventions among the brain, mind, body and behavior, and on the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect health. It regards as fundamental an approach that respects and enhances each person’s capacity for self-knowledge and self-care, and it emphasizes techniques that are grounded in this approach.
Biofeedback can help regulate our autonomic nervous system. Often in our society we are in sympathetic “fight or flight” dominance and have trouble switching to parasympathetic “rest and digest”. By becoming aware of sympathetic physiological responses, we can learn to regulate the autonomic nervous system and shift to a parasympathetic state.
Modalities in mind-body medicine, but not limited to include guided meditation, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, tai chi, qi going, laughter therapy, various forms of counseling, and therapeutic touch. At this clinic, we offer biofeedback sessions and education on forms of breath work, meditations, visualizations and progressive muscle relaxation.
Indication and disorders that biofeedback may be helpful for include tension headaches, migraines, hypertension, hyperventilation, insomnia, anxiety disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ disorders, and chronic pain.
Drainage was invented in Europe where preventive and natural medicines are widely used for maintaining health and well-being. Drainage remedies include potent herbal extracts made from the young shoots and buds of plants with special healing properties and the highest quantity of healing constituents. Certain remedies and supplements are prescribed to open the body’s main pathways of detoxification including the liver, large intestine, lungs, kidneys and skin. Opening these pathways promotes the removal of toxins out of the intracellular space of the cell to the extracellular space and further out of the body. The word toxin can mean pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, heavy metals, by products of yeast or bacteria, biological toxins such as hormones or other metabolites. Toxins have the ability to bind to your body’s own enzyme systems, clogging up the works and preventing normal functioning. They can be poisonous to your nervous system, joints, gastrointestinal system, liver and other systems. They can reduce your energy and cause pain and disease. In today’s world our bodies can be overwhelmed by these pollutants and toxin and need additional help processing and eliminating them from our bodies. Drainage can help your body to process and remove these toxins. Reducing your toxic burden can lead to reduced pain, increased energy, improved digestion, elimination of allergies, healthier skin and hair, reduced pain, increased mental functioning and can reverse many diseases, restoring your body to balance and health.
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