Naturopathic medicine is a form of medicine that combines a variety of natural medicines and treatments with western medical diagnostics and care. Naturopathic medicine is based on the principle that the body has the ability to heal itself by using the supplementation of herbs, nutritional therapy, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and lifestyle management. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) promote wellness using safe, effective and least invasive therapies available. Naturopathic doctors are primary care doctors who attend accredited four-year naturopathic medical schools. They are trained in the same sciences as MDs with a focus on natural approaches to treating diseases. When deemed appropriate, NDs may resort to prescription medications as they can prescribe limited pharmaceuticals in California. NDs gladly work with other health care providers and advocates for a collaborative approach to patient health.
Chinese medicine refers to a range of ancient medical practices developed in China over 2000 years ago. It includes herbal medicine, acupuncture, bodywork and dietary therapy. It is based on the theory of harmonious energy flow or qi in our bodies. If the qi happens to be blocked then symptoms and disease manifests. In order to determine which organ systems in the body are affected the Chinese medicine practitioner will look at the appearance of your tongue and feel your quality of your hand pulses to properly treat your condition.
Acupuncture is a treatment based in Chinese medicine that uses fine needles inserted into specific points along the body. According to Chinese medicine, there are energy pathways along the body called meridians that flow to all the organs. When the meridians are blocked, your body’s energy or qi, will become imbalanced and cause disease. The insertion of the acupuncture needles will restore balance to the qi and depending on your health condition, a series of acupuncture sessions may be necessary. A more scientific explanation of how acupuncture works is that needling of acupuncture points will release certain chemicals to be released from the brain, spinal cord and muscles. These chemicals are called endorphins which will change the perception of pain or cause a signal to trigger other chemicals to be released from the body to optimize health. Some common conditions besides pain commonly treated with acupuncture include chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, menstruation issues, headaches, fibromyalgia and asthma.