A Healthy Balance: Natural medicine in real life

New column

Have you ever wondered if there was an alternative to prescription drugs and their side effects? Do you swear by your grandma’s home remedies? Are you interested in alternative medicine but unsure where to go or who to trust? Do the miracle cures online sound too good to be true (they are!) but still peak your interest?

We’re all looking for ways to save money, get healthier and find more meaning in our lives. This column is going to take a look at natural options, what wellness means, and ways to achieve it in the midst of our busy schedules.

Health has physical, psychological, mental and spiritual aspects that are different for each person. It is my hope that this column can provide some suggestions that are applicable to most of us, that my readers can take some new piece of information from each column and use it to make their lives healthier.

As a student at Bastyr University, the seven pillars of naturopathic medicine were drilled into my head from day one. During clinical-level classes, we were not only supposed to learn pathologies and their medical treatments, we were also expected to use our knowledge of these seven pillars as well as our hierarchy of treatment options to address these illnesses.

The hierarchy of treatment options begins with first doing nothing, the wait and see approach. Then there are lifestyle changes and physical medicine, supplements, botanical and homeopathic medicines, even “Western” medications and surgeries (where necessary and performed by qualified professionals).

The seven tenets are First Do No Harm, Doctor as Teacher, Treat the Cause, Treat the Whole Person, the Healing Power of Nature, Prevention, and Wellness. In future columns, I will answer questions submitted by readers in a general way utilizing these seven tenets and the hierarchy of treatment options.

So, dear readers, I am seeking health-related questions to answer weekly in this column. Because of the nature of writing a column, I cannot give specific dosing information or advice, but rather I will offer suggestions for you to take up with your own naturopathic doctor.

I strongly suggest that everyone have one on their healthcare team because we are very focused on wellness matters, drug-herb interactions and lifestyle changes. Most naturopathic doctor's are covered by major insurance plans and can offer a wide array of primary care and specialty care services in the manner of any family practitioner while still maintaining the view of each patient as a complete individual. I look forward to hearing from you all.

Dr. Katie Baker is the owner of Stone Turtle Health, a naturopathic family clinic here in Ballard on 8th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 62nd Street (www.stoneturtlehealth.com). She can be reached at info@stoneturtlehealth.com.

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