Dr. Lai and Dr. Sinclair
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Giselle Lai, N.D., L.Ac. and Steven Sinclair, N.D., L.Ac. both received their doctorates of Naturopathic Medicine
as well as their degrees in Acupuncture from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Tempe, Arizona.
The Naturopathic physician has a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) from a four-year graduate level Naturopathic medical college. Naturopathic physicians are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine and preventative health care. N.D.s treat disease and restore health by implementing therapies based on the following Naturopathic principles as described by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
- Let nature heal. Our bodies have such a powerful, innate instinct for self-healing. By finding and removing the barriers to this self-healing—such as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic physicians can nurture this process.
- Identify and treat causes. Naturopathic physicians understand that symptoms will only return unless the root illness is addressed. Rather than cover up symptoms, they seek to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.
- First, do no harm. Naturopathic physicians follow three precepts to ensure their patients’ safety:
- Use low-risk procedures and healing compounds—such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts and homeopathy—with few or no side effects.
- When possible, do not suppress symptoms, which are the body’s efforts to self-heal. For example, the body may cook up a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection. Fever creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Of course, the naturopathic physician would not allow the fever to get dangerously high.
- Customize each diagnosis and treatment plan to fit each patient. We all heal in different ways and the naturopathic physician respects our differences.
- Educate patients. Naturopathic medicine believes that doctors must be educators, as well as physicians. That’s why naturopathic physicians teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
- Treat the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. The naturopathic physician knows that all these factors affect our health. That’s why he or she includes them in a carefully tailored treatment strategy.
- Prevent illness. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic physicians evaluate risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease. By getting treatment for greater wellness, we’re less likely to need treatment for future illness.
Naturopathic Medicine is a primary health care system founded on the honored medical principle that nature heals.
Our bodies have the inherent ability to maintain and restore health. Naturopathic Medicine supports this endeavor using remedies and techniques that are in harmony with natural processes, preferring noninvasive treatments which minimize the risks of harmful side effects.
Naturopathic Medicine was established in the United States over 100 years ago. Earlier in the century there were more than 20 naturopathic medical colleges, and naturopathic physicians were licensed in a majority of the states. Naturopathic Medicine experienced a decline in the 1940s and 50s with the rise and popularity of conventional medications, technological medicine, and the idea that medications could eliminate all diseases. It has experienced a resurgence in the past two decades, as a health conscious public seeks out alternatives to conventional medicine.
Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture successfully treat a wide variety of conditions.
The following provides a partial list of commonly treated disorders:
• Pain, including headache, muscle, joint and back paint, and sports injuries.
• Fatigue, depression, poor memory, difficulty in concentrating, lack of incentive.
• Digestive problems such as irritable bowel, stomach upset, intestinal dysfunction, constipation and diarrhea.
• Gynecological problems including infections, PMS, cramps and menopause.
• Weight reduction.
• Breaking habits/addictions such as smoking, medications or alcohol and caffeine.
• Lowered immune function and autoimmune disease.
• Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity.
• Chronic degenerative diseases, diabetes, hypoglycemia, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis.
• Environmental and food related allergies.
• Colds and flu chronic infections, sinusitis and asthma.