What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is an approach to health care that uses natural, non-toxic therapies to treat the whole person and encourage the self-healing process. Naturopathic clinicians treat a variety of conditions, including digestive issues, sleep disturbances and chronic fatigue syndrome.
As part of the supportive therapy services we offer, our naturopathic oncology providers may recommend therapies to help support normal metabolism and digestion during cancer treatment and help manage side effects, such as nausea or fatigue.
As part of the intake process, you may choose to meet with a naturopathic oncology provider, who will review your history and make recommendations from a wide variety of natural therapies. Your naturopathic oncology provider also will review current supplements to identify potential herb-drug-nutrient interactions.
Cancer is one of the most pervasive medical concerns of Americans, with it rating near the top of the list when it comes to natural causes of death in adults and children. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the prevalence of cancer in the U.S. can be measured by geographical location, the disease is a concern in every part of the nation. Treatment is an important element in the process of engaging what may be considered a health epidemic when it comes to certain types of cancers. There is a growing trend of cancer patients seeking naturopathic options for treating many types of cancers. While naturopathic oncology care may not yet be mainstream, many health care experts suggest that the industry will consistently grow.
Other natural therapies our naturopathic medicine team may recommend include:
- Herbal and botanical preparations, such as herbal extracts and teas
- Dietary supplements, such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids
- Homeopathic remedies, extremely low doses of plant extracts and minerals
- Physical therapy and exercise therapy, including massage and other gentle techniques used on deep muscles and joints for therapeutic purposes
- Hydrotherapy, which prescribes water-based approaches like hot and cold wraps, and other therapies
- Lifestyle counseling, such as exercise, sleep strategies, stress reduction techniques, as well as foods and nutritional supplements
- Acupuncture, to help with side effects like nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, hot flashes and insomnia
- Chiropractic care, which may include hands-on adjustment, massage, stretching, electronic muscle stimulation, traction, heat, ice and other techniques
Experienced care team
Our naturopathic oncology providers have extensive knowledge of the impacts of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, in addition to their expertise in the effects of natural therapies. As a part of your care team, they are in regular communication with your oncologists and other clinicians to help offer input on your treatment plan.
Personalized treatment approach
We personalize treatment plans to the individual based on each person’s goals and experiences. Your care team is available to help you decide which naturopathic medicine therapies may help achieve your goals. You may have one or more of the above therapies during the course of your treatment.
Patient Empowered Care
One of the advantageous elements of naturopathic oncology care is the fact that it allows the patient to participate directly in their treatment. When people are considering naturopathic treatment for cancer, one of the first things that they do is place the option juxtaposed to more traditional treatment options, such as radiology and chemotherapy. While some of the obvious benefits of naturopathic oncology care, as opposed to chemo and radiology, include fewer negative side effects and risks, there are some psychological benefits that cannot be ignored.
One of the primary reasons that experts are projecting that the industry will grow in the coming years is that naturopathic treatment programs are more inclusive when it comes to the patient’s role during the treatment process. Not only does the patient get to participate in the development of the treatment plan, but they also have a role in ensuring that the plan is executed. They participate in specifically-designed nutritional programs, fitness plans and mental management modalities, all of which have the potential to positively impact their healing process.
Individualized Programs and Plans
Where naturopathic oncology care seems to transcend more traditional or conventional methods of treatment is in its ability to facilitate more personalized treatment plans, allowing the treatment team to take into consideration multitudinous variables that have the potential to impact the effectiveness of the treatment.
One area that these individualized programs have shown a substantial amount of progress in is in the area of increased energy. Lethargy and fatigue have been a major concern with conventional treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy; however, naturopathic alternatives not only reduce the assault on the body’s energy capacity, but it actually works to improve energy consistently throughout the treatment process. Most naturopathic treatment models help to reduce many of the side effects that are common with conventional treatment plans. This leads to a better quality of life when it comes to working through the treatment. Patients are able to enjoy many of the activities that they are used to, without any limitations or inhibiting factors.
As more cancer patients continue to look for ways to take control of their fight against cancer, the naturopathic oncology care industry will continue to grow.
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