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Naturopathic Medicine as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle



Our bodies are living organisms much like a flower growing in a garden, but remarkably we often treat our bodies like a box of cereal we buy off the shelf in the store. Our lives should be lived as though we have a shelf life however many live their life as if they have no expiration date, because there seems to be a prescription to treat every condition or aliment. Instead I invite you to explore your health naturally because it can help you understand your body and make you feel so much healthier. Many are not familiar with the term natural health, but if you listen, your body will show you the way to natural health if you are more mindful of the way you feel.  


What is natural health?

Natural health is a wholesome lifestyle approach that encompasses all areas of your life including eating, sleeping, movement, stress, and how and who you engage with to take care of your body. You have probably heard the term mind and body; well natural health heals the mind and body.


What is naturopathic medicine-how does it allow us to uncover our natural health?

Naturopathic medicine comprises many different treatment modalities that focus on improving the patients or populations in a more natural way through diet, lifestyle, supplements, seeking to heal the entire body, not just little symptoms, so the body can help heal itself.

I was fortunate to talk with Dr. Bret Wojciak, NMD, a naturopath from Mountain Medicine in northern Arizona. Dr. Wojciak meets with and educates patient’s every day on conditions and treatments in natural health. I will be sharing a little bit of our discussion with you. Take the time to watch the three-part interview to learn more.




The Principles and Education of Naturopathic Medicine  As part of the six principles of naturopathic medicine, the main principle focuses on doctors, as teachers, being an active participant in the patients journey of health, providing information and steering patients in the right direction to better health. Most importantly, a naturopath empowers patients to take better care of themselves. There are many educational programs in naturopathic medicine, but a naturopathic doctor would typically complete a 4-year accredited program, similar side-by-side to a medical doctor and learn both pharmaceutical treatments and natural treatments. Currently there are 19 states licensed for naturopathic medicine. I encourage you to visit amna.org and learn more about naturopathic medicine and find out if naturopathic medicine is licensed in the state where you live.

Why would someone want or need to see a Naturopathic Doctor? Naturopathic doctors treat a wide range of patients, including those with chronic conditions such as low back or arthritis pain or gastrointestinal issues, or patients frustrated with doctors because traditional medicine has not been successful in finding a cure for their condition.  Instead of living through pain or treating pain with over the counter or prescription medications, a naturopath spends time with patients learning and exploring ailments and body conditions to help patients get healthy in a natural way. Unlike with traditional medicine, naturopathic doctors spend a longer duration of time with patients to learn about what is causing the patient distress, considering body, mind, and lifestyle, to identify the root cause of symptoms helping patients solve their health concerns, restore balance and optimize their health. How to make natural health part of a healthy lifestyle? Living a natural healthy lifestyle centers on a healthy diet, moderate to vigorous activity daily, moderate intake of alcohol, no smoking and daily choices that move us towards better health and a better life. Eliminating unhealthy habits and choosing positive, life and health choices, helps restore the body’s natural energy. The natural approach offers individuals a greater personal power over their health.



How Naturopathic Medicine Fits into the Ecosystem of the Patients Healthcare Through perceived failures in modern medicine including a shortage of primary care physicians, shorter appointment times for patients and a one size fits all approach to treating chronic conditions, naturopathic medicine has become more popular over the years. Additionally, modern medicine mainly emphasis on treating the symptoms of disease where naturopathic medicine focuses on uncovering and treating the underlying root cause of a chronic condition and assists the patient become healthier naturally. In addition, a naturopath primarily offers more time for effective listening and communication; time to build a relationship and trust based on compassion; time to understand all the determinants of health for a patient and time to formulate a unique treatment plan. There is room for both a primary care physician (traditional medicine) and a naturopathic doctor in the ecosystem of a patient’s healthcare. For example, a patient could continue to see a primary care physician for routine healthcare visits including annual physicals. While seeking the guidance of a naturopathic doctor when experiencing chronic pain or discomfort. You should inquire with your health carrier if naturopathic medicine is covered under your benefit plan. In many cases, if naturopathic medicine is not covered, a patient may use their HSA (Health Savings Account) to pay for their visits with a naturopath. To find a naturopathic doctor in your area visit the www.daocloud.com or www.holisticchamberofcommerce.com. For more information on naturopathic medicine or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bret Wojciak in northern Arizona contact Mountain Medicine at info@mountainmedicine.com or call (928) 226-1556. Their website address is mtnmedicine.com. Candice Porten is an author, health consultant, fitness instructor, and speaker who has dedicated more than 25 years to corporate and lifestyle wellness. Her love of life, good health, and the outdoors, combined with a passion to help others find their motivation to live a long, healthy life—are what genuinely connect Candice with her readers. Over the past 20+ years Candice has dedicated her professional career to supporting both individuals and organizations in developing health and well-being programs.   Candice is currently an Assistant Vice President for a large health advocacy organization where she consults both local and national employers and plan sponsors, across a wide range of solutions to increase employee engagement and reduce overall healthcare costs. Candice is a member of the American Public Health Association and The Dao Cloud, the largest network of community wellness professionals. She also serves as Senior Vice President of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce of Northern Arizona, focused on creating healthier businesses and community. She received her B.A. from Columbia College in Chicago and earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Kaplan University. She is a certified fitness instructor through the International Sports Science Association.   Visit www.amileforeveryyear.com to learn more about and purchase A Mile for Every Year books and motivational greeting cards. You can follow Candice at @amile4everyyear.com, www.facebook.com/amile4everyyear. 


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