Hello and welcome to Olive Branch Wellness Center in South Elgin. We’re an alternative medicine clinic in South Elgin serving Bartlett, Geneva, St. Charles, and the surrounding communities. Dr. Ray is an experienced naturopath with a doctorate in naturopathy degree from a national program.
We’re excited that you would like to learn more about us, so we’ve put this information together to answer some of your potential questions about alternative medicine.
First, though, let’s talk a little bit about that term, “alternative”. At Olive Branch, we’re always happy to work with conventional medical doctors to provide holistic care for our patients — leaving all options open. Rather than being an alternative to conventional medicines, we provide an alternative approach to wellness.
With that in mind, the rest of this page should answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from new and prospective patients. If you don’t see yours in this list, feel free to give us a call at 630-370-7290 or reach out to us here.
- What Treatments Are Available at Olive Branch Wellness Center?
- What If I Don’t Live in the Western Chicago Suburbs?
- What Can I Expect During an Appointment?
- Why Do People Go to Alternative Doctors?
- What is Naturopathy?
- Are Naturopaths Doctors?
- Does Alternative Medicine Really Work?
- Can You Use Alternative and Conventional Medicines Together?
What Types of Care Are Available at Olive Branch Wellness Center?
At Olive Branch Wellness Center, we offer natural, gentle holistic care. The goal is to empower your body to achieve the highest level of wellness you can achieve. Beyond that, your exact treatment regimen depends a lot on your exact situation. Here are some examples:
- Botanical and herbal therapy
- Massage therapy
- Exercise plans
- Nutritional and diet plans
- Infrared sauna
We follow a distinct order of care, which we will go into in more detail in another section of this post. Basically, though, it means that we attempt to remove barriers to wellness — we don’t just treat problems.
This means you will probably get to take an active role in restoring your own vitality. Your journey will also be unique to you — we are here to guide and advise you as you progress. We will also apply our active care methods as necessary, but that’s really only part of restoring and maintaining wellness.
What If I Don’t Live in the Western Chicago Suburbs?
We have plenty of patients who are outside of Bartlett, Geneva, South Elgin, and St. Charles. Whether you’re thinking of moving out of the area or you’ve heard about Dr. Ray through a news outlet or publication, rest assured that you can access our services wherever you are.
The main way we do this is through video appointments. These might not be the types of face-to-face consultations you think about when it comes to natural alternative medicine, but they work very well for many of our patients.
With some guidance, many people can take control of their own wellness and activate their body’s own desire to maintain peak vitality. If it turns out you could benefit from in-person care, such as massage therapy, we can describe exactly what we think would help. Then, you can seek that precise treatment or therapy from a local provider near you.
What Can I Expect During an Appointment?
One of the first things you should prepare yourself for is having someone actually listen to you. This might take you by surprise, especially if you’re used to a typical doctor’s office.
Conventional medicine tends to view you as a set of quantitative data first, an approach that can often lead to you feeling a little dehumanized and ignored. Prioritizing data makes sense from some perspectives, but we believe it is not always the best approach for promoting overall wellness.
Sometimes, in addition to cold, hard data, it’s also important to have someone who will listen to what you’re saying, try to understand you, and treat you as a whole person. That’s what we strive to do here.
Beyond that, we have two different types of appointments at Olive Branch Wellness Center: initial consultations and regular sessions. The first meeting will be longer — about an hour — and we’ll take some time to get to know your unique situation.
Then, the continuing sessions will be us checking in, seeing how you’re feeling, and making any adjustments as necessary. These subsequent appointments may also include herbal care, massage therapy, or any other techniques we had planned.
Why Do People Go to Alternative Medicine Doctors?
People go to alternative medicine doctors for a lot of reasons here in South Elgin. Each and every reason is completely valid — they all come from a deep desire to increase wellness and vitality.
Some patients have chronic conditions, such as anxiety, depression, back pain, or disease. They’re usually looking for something beyond or in addition to the synthetic symptom control medications that their conventional doctors prescribe.
Other people want an alternative medicine primary care doctor who understands their personal priority on a natural lifestyle. Some just are curious about their friends’ stories and would like to experience alternative medicine for themselves.
If you want to pursue wellness in your life, then please reach out. We would be happy to chat about how our services might fit your unique situation.
What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a unique and distinct focus in alternative medicine. The core principles are:
- Respect the healing power of nature: Empowering natural healing processes
- Looking for the causes: Seeking out root causes rather than just treating symptoms
- To do no harm: Minimizing risk and using the least force possible
- Teach the patient: Helping you understand how you can take control of your own wellness
- Treating the whole person: Looking at your whole situation, including personal and spiritual wellness
- Preventing problems: Trying to reduce your risk factors based on your unique case
Naturopaths, such as our own Dr. Ray, also follow a specific order of care called the therapeutic order. Here is how we seek to promote wellness in our patients:
- Foundations: The biggest part of naturopathic therapy is establishing the foundation for wellness. We believe that, with the right foundation, the body naturally will restore and maintain the highest level of vitality possible. The main work here is often removing barriers to wellness.
- Stimulating self-healing: Setting the foundation is not always enough, so we might also use gentle techniques to nudge the body’s natural power into action.
- Supporting and restoring weakened systems: Simple stimulation might not be effective if the body’s systems are not strong enough to keep going on their own. In these cases, some reinforcement is often helpful.
- Correcting structural alignments: When self-strengthening does not have the desired outcome, or when structural misalignment is preventing this type of progress, naturopaths use corrective techniques to enable the body’s natural healing power.
- Natural therapies: Finally, naturopaths sometimes use natural, gentle holistic care techniques to relieve patients. This can be harmful, however, as this type of relief can stop someone from making real progress towards long-term, sustainable wellness.
Are Naturopaths Doctors?
Whether naturopaths are doctors is a tricky question, mostly because of the wide range of definitions and state laws. The short answer is that naturopaths are licensed in many states, but not here in Illinois.
There are many types of alternative medicine doctors — that is, caregivers who don’t prescribe synthetic medication. In some states, naturopaths even prescribe all of the medicine that you’d expect from a conventional primary care doctor. Again, this is not the case in Illinois.
Since licensing law is divided across these political borders, things can get confusing. We would suggest you look for experienced, dedicated, and educated naturopaths such as Dr. Ray if your state does not have a formal naturopathy license option yet.
Does Alternative Medicine Really Work?
As far as the effectiveness of alternative medicine goes, please be wary of any care provider who promises any sort of outcome. This includes conventional doctors. Even the best-researched medicines and procedures can have different outcomes based on the patient’s unique situation.
This may seem like an evasion, but the fact is that it’s simply not ethical to promise a specific outcome. What we can promise is that you’ll love the treatment you receive here and that we will work with you to pursue your ideal level of wellness and vitality.
Can You Use Alternative and Conventional Medicines Together?
Many people are nervous about using conventional medicine and alternative medicine at the same time. The good news is that you don’t have to choose.
One of the primary tenets of both naturopathy and conventional medicine is to do no harm. That means we’re always on alert for any type of side effect or adverse reaction. We’ll have an open, honest conversation about your medical history, your current treatments, and all other relevant aspects of your life before we even begin to think about recommending any therapeutic options.
In short, we’re always happy to work with people who are also seeing conventional primary care physicians or specialists. We believe our services complement conventional medicine, and that all medical focuses have something to contribute in most cases.
Your Place for Alternative Medicine in South Elgin
We’re here for you in South Elgin if you’d like to learn more — or if you’d like to get started with your first appointment. Our office welcomes individuals and families alike. We also offer consulting, seminars, and wellness-plan services for larger groups and corporations.
Give us a call at 630-370-7290 or contact us here. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon!