Natural health care and alternative medicine are becoming popular topics of discussion around the country. Just as we interviewed Margo Marrone of Organic Pharmacy to learn the basics of homeopathy, we reached out to naturopathic doctor Dr. Holly Lucille to help us understand the fundamentals of naturopathic medicine. Dr. Holly is an nationally recognized licensed naturopathic doctor, author and educator. She has a passion for the individual wellness of all people and has a private practice in West Hollywood, CA. We asked Dr. Holly to break down the basics of naturopathic medicine for us by answering one very simple question: what is Naturopathic Medicine?
Dr. Holly: “First, as a comprehensive health care practitioner and patient advocate, I believe there is value in all system of medicine. Philosophies and methods utilized by different systems such as ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine and allopathic (conventional/Western) medicine all have deep and rich roots and are available in today’s world to people seeking assistance with their health care. I actually tend to see the word ‘alternative’, often used to describe anything outside our conventional paradigm as a descriptor deeming one system of medicine simply alternative to the next. It is focusing on the individual patient needs that are important, no matter what system of medicine is being utilized.
Naturopathic Medicine is a system of medicine rooted in a science called ‘Vitalism’. Vitalism states that our bodies have an inherent self-healing mechanism and are brilliant and built to stay in balance through the harmonious efforts of many interrelated systems that are constantly working on our behalf to take care of us. As a practitioner of this style of medicine, the art of practice comes in my ability to listen and ask deeper questions when involved with a patient who has become entirely out of balance and therefore symptomatic. Symptoms are the body’s way of talking to us, telling us that something needs attention. It is mainly through listening that one can understand where there might be ‘obstacles to cure’.
Naturopathic Doctors also use several guiding principles when partnering with a patient and delivering patient centered, not protocol oriented care. Principles such as ‘First do no Harm’ and Identify and Treat the Cause’ and ‘Doctor as Teacher’. In 2004 SB 907 was passed allowing Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s) to function as licensed primary care doctors in California.”
Have a question for Dr. Holly? Send them to us! We’ll be answering reader questions in an upcoming Q & A session with Dr. Holly!