Welcome to Olive Branch Wellness Center, a naturopathic clinic in South Elgin. In this article, we’re going to talk about the foundations of naturopathy and why people choose it when they want to increase their overall level of vitality.
Overall, the goal is to treat the whole person. We use individualized plans to guide people towards restoring their own vitality. The best part — you can usually take an active role by learning techniques and behaviors that could contribute to your general wellness.
Does Naturopathic Medicine Work?
The first thing you should know is we can’t say naturopathy cures a specific ailment or illness — that would be unethical. In fact, even conventional doctors don’t claim certain procedures or approaches are 100 percent effective. If someone is telling you this, it might be a good idea to be skeptical.
Rather than promise miracle cures, what we can do is rely on our own training and the research of our peers to come up with the best solution possible to promote wellness and vitality. That’s right — naturopaths use conventional scientific research methods and get degrees from accredited programs.
Naturopathy is a gentle, natural alternative and complement to conventional medicine. We focus on herbal treatments, physical exercise, nutrition, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, and behavioral/lifestyle therapies. It’s about uncovering what natural treatments might work for you in your specific situation, increasing your overall level of wellness.
The Principles of Naturopathy
As naturopaths, we work in a specific order when it comes to our patients’ wellness plans. We start from the gentlest, least invasive options and then go from there. For example, we might suggest dietary changes before we move towards something like massage therapy.
It all happens on a case-by-case basis, but there is a guiding set of principles that we follow. We call this the Therapeutic Order. In the next few sections, we are going to take a look at how Olive Branch Wellness Center approaches each step in this order.
1. Removing Obstacles
As naturopaths, we work guided by the idea that a person’s overall level of wellness comes from a wide variety of different factors. Nearly everything in your life either contributes to or detracts from your total vitality. This first step is designed to help you identify and eliminate the types of behaviors or influences that might be reducing your wellness or keeping you from reaching your full potential.
2. Stimulate Your Own Power
Sometimes, just removing a negative factor doesn’t automatically increase your vitality. That is why we need to move on to step two, which is stimulating your body and mind’s natural desire to be well. We believe the body has an innate ability and desire to be in the best shape it possibly can, so we use things like hydrotherapy, herbal treatments, homeopathy, and nutrition plans to stimulate this ability.
3. Restoration of Systems
Step three is relatively similar to step two, except that we use restorative techniques when the organs and systems in your body need more than minor stimulation. Here, the idea is to help your body strengthen itself and regain its natural ability to restore its own vitality. In step two, that ability was already there, intact, and we were just giving it a little nudge.
4. Correcting Structural Issues
In step four of the therapeutic order, we start to take a more hands-on approach. Olive Branch Wellness Center has a licensed massage therapist, and we also use exercise and movement therapy techniques. The goal is to return your body to a good level of structural wellness.
5. Rejuvenate and Revitalize with Natural Substances
Sometimes a specific issue is standing in the way of making progress in the previous steps in the Therapeutic Order. In these cases, a naturopath might use a natural substance as a way of reducing suffering. Again, the goal is to promote general vitality and remove and barriers to wellness.
The therapeutic order is a general guiding principle of naturopathy, but the fact is that we have to apply it differently depending on the jurisdiction. Currently, naturopathy is licensed in many states, meaning some naturopaths prescribe synthetic medicines.
Although Dr. Ray has a graduate degree from a nationally accredited naturopathy institute, Illinois does not license naturopaths. Therefore, we don’t prescribe synthetics here at Olive Branch Wellness Center. It’s different all over, and it can get confusing, so please contact us directly if you have any specific questions about what we do.
Going Beyond the “Official Statement”
Getting information about naturopathy from professional naturopaths is great. However, sometimes this info gets technical — even from the most down-to-earth clinics. It can be nice to get another perspective on the experience of going to a naturopath and how their care changes people’s lives.
That’s why another good way to learn about naturopathy is to listen to what real people have to say about it. Remember these are just opinions. Other peoples’ experiences shouldn’t be used as medical advice — their treatment results will be unique to them. However, what these opinions can do is give you a great idea of how people feel about the treatment.
Check out the naturopathic wellness clinic you’re planning to visit. Look at the online reviews. Are they generally positive — do people appreciate the care they receive? If so, that would be a good indication that a visit would be worth your time.
Will Naturopathic Medicine Work for You?
Above everything else, naturopathy is a personalized approach. We take the time to get to know you — understanding your emotional, mental, social, and physical state is a prerequisite for promoting your general wellness. The real question isn’t whether it worked for someone else, but whether and how naturopathy will work for you.
To answer that question, make an appointment with us here at Olive Branch Wellness Center in South Elgin. Your first session will be an extended wellness interview (but people say the time flies right by). After that, we’ll usually have an excellent grasp of the necessary next steps to achieving the level of wellness you’re aiming for.
Go ahead and contact us at 630-370-7290 for more information, or when you’re ready for an individual appointment. We also have corporate services to promote wellness, vitality, and self-care throughout your organization. We’ll hope to hear from you soon.