Olive Branch Wellness Center: A South Elgin Naturopathic Clinic

Welcome to Olive Branch Wellness Center, a home for naturopathy in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Located in South Elgin, just across the Fox River from St. Charles, we are extremely convenient for people in Bartlett or Geneva too.

But what is naturopathy, anyway? This article will help you understand what we do as naturopaths, how we help people achieve their wellness goals, and how our services might fit with your lifestyle (or with your company’s health and happiness plans). We’ll take a look at the following:

  • Naturopathic Care For Depression
  • Naturopathic Care For Anxiety
  • Naturopathic Techniques: Some Examples
  • Naturopathy Vs. Functional Medicine
  • The Path to Becoming a Naturopath
  • How Do I Find a Naturopathic Wellness Provider Near Me?

The short version is that naturopathy focuses on coaching and developing wellness plans. We want to root out the cause of symptoms and strengthen the body’s natural ability to be well. We do not prescribe synthetic drugs.

More About Naturopathy

Let’s go into a little more detail about what naturopathy is. The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges calls it “a distinct health care profession that combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science”. Please note that although a degree from an AANMC school is an excellent indicator of naturopathic knowledge, it’s not a license to practice medicine. That’s a government issue, and it depends on state law. Government aside for a moment, naturopaths follow six principles:

  • Do no harm
  • Nature’s power to restore wellness
  • Naturopath’s ability to teach
  • Treat the whole person
  • Identify and treat causes
  • Prevention

We also follow a distinct order of techniques. We always start with the least invasive, such as establishing a good foundation for wellness through education. Here’s an overview of what we call our “therapeutic order”:

  1. Prerequisites for wellness: We start by identifying anything that might be standing in the way of your body’s natural ability to establish wellness.
  2. Stimulating the body’s mechanisms: Once any obstacles are gone, your body might need a little push before it gets back on track.
  3. Strengthening systems: Sometimes, even with a push, your body, spirit, or mind need to be strengthened in order to keep going towards a sustainable level of vitality.
  4. Correcting structural integrity: Some chronic issues benefit from realignment, so we recommend things like physical therapy and exercise to promote joint and muscle wellness.
  5. Using natural options: Alleviating discomfort is usually not the best way to re-establish vitality in the long run, but sometimes it helps. We use gentle natural options when it doesn’t undermine the body’s natural ability to be well.
  6. Using pharmaceuticals: In Illinois, naturopaths are not licensed MDs and won’t prescribe pharmaceuticals. However, if a serious pathological issue is standing in the way of general wellness, we recognize the benefit of conventional medicine.
  7. Using invasive treatments: Similar to pharmaceuticals, naturopaths in Illinois do not perform surgeries or invasive treatments. There is a clear connection, though. For example, we often help post-surgical patients who want to restore their vitality during their recovery processes.

As you can see, the priority is on general wellness and natural vitality. Naturopaths accept that synthetic symptom relief is sometimes necessary. However, sometimes all this does is mask the underlying cause of a problem, letting it keep going even if the symptoms are gone.

This approach is modern and systematic, but it isn’t anything really new. In fact, it came from an in-depth analysis of the body’s natural ability to restore vitality — in addition to a long history of traditional wellness practices.

Naturopathic Care For Depression

Naturopathic care is all about strengthening the whole person. That’s why many people turn to naturopathy when they get diagnosed with depression by a traditional doctor.

It makes sense — depression commonly makes you feel weak and powerless. Psychoactive medication might work for some people, but it can also end up making those with chronic depression feel even more helpless.

Acute, severe depression can be an immediate risk to someone’s life. The powerful effects of prescription antidepressants have been shown to help people get better. In the long term, for milder depression, many people feel like the benefits of these medications don’t really make up for their side effects.

The only side effect of naturopathy is feeling better about yourself in general. As a naturopathic wellness center, our approach is always to try the least invasive type of care first. To start with that, we look at what might be causing your depression — there are so many possible contributors and so many easy, natural treatments for each.

Depression is a complex condition. It deserves more attention than it often gets in a doctors’ or psychiatrists’ office. In fact, that’s why many doctors and psychiatrists refer people out to naturopaths for long-term wellness planning.

Seeking Naturopathic Care For Anxiety

Anxiety and depression share a lot of the same causes. It makes sense that many treatments would work for both.

Again, naturopathic treatment is concerned with strengthening the whole person against anxiety. That often involves identifying root causes and treating them consistently. By promoting general wellness, we often remove many of the causes and aggravators of anxiety — the things that cause attacks or make them worse.

Acute, severe anxiety often benefits from synthetic medications. However, most people don’t have that type of condition all of the time. For the rest of the time, naturopathy seeks to use the least invasive method possible to do the most good.

Naturopathic Techniques: Examples

Naturopathy focuses on strengthening the whole person — and that means something different for everyone. Some of the things in your wellness plan here at Olive Branch might include:

  • Our famed infrared sauna
  • Herbal therapy
  • Dietary planning
  • Physical activity planning
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy from a licensed massage therapist
  • Nutritional supplementation (vitamins and minerals, based on medical tests)
  • Hydrotherapy

We also work closely with other types of care providers. If your overall wellness could benefit from acupuncturists or conventional medical doctors, for example, we would do our best to help find someone for you.

The most important part of naturopathy isn’t the technique. It’s the attention. We have to get to know your general state of wellness so we can help you make the best possible plan — and follow through on it. We can’t promise cures here at Olive Branch Wellness Center — in fact, not even conventional doctors can or should do that. What we can promise is that you will be satisfied with our services.

Naturopathy Vs. Functional Medicine

If you’re interested in naturopathic care, you’ve probably already heard of functional medicine. Functional medicine is a concentration in the alternative medical world — that is, doctors who focus on treatments other than prescription medicines.

Functional medicine doctors tend to follow a very similar therapeutic order as do naturopaths: Choosing the gentlest treatment first and addressing wellness from the inside out. The difference is that functional medicine specialists tend towards the conventional side of the profession.

The difference between naturopaths and functional doctors is an issue of training type, academic focus, and licensing — and it can also vary from state to state. We’re lucky enough to live in a time when this approach is becoming more accepted in the professional medical world, but things are still fractured

In any case, most naturopaths have specific focuses or backgrounds that influence their practices. The best naturopaths will also usually have degrees. This level of specialization and medical background lets naturopaths develop wellness plans that work with conventional medicine.

Naturopaths and functional medicine doctors have a lot in common. We both seek to address the root cause of illness and promote wellness — we just do it in our own unique ways.

The Path to Becoming a Naturopath: Naturopathic Professional Credentials

Holistic approaches still need focused training. Providing great naturopathic care often requires years of education — not to mention many more years of experience in listening to people and understanding how to lead them towards their wellness goals.

Naturopathy is becoming more standardized and regulated every year, but it still differs from one community to the next. For example, state rules vary much more for naturopathy than they do for physicians who prescribe synthetic drugs.

At Olive Branch Wellness Center, our main doctor is Dr. Ray. From a childhood gathering herbs with her grandmother to a graduate degree in naturopathy, Dr. Ray has had a life of continuing a long-standing tradition of herbal and holistic wellness.

You’ll find that most of the best natural wellness centers have similar leadership. The people guiding the care are doctors who have refined and focused their traditional callings with the help of modern academic programs.

This type of training helps in creating wellness plans, but there’s another reason it’s important to have a naturopath with a credible degree — your wellness care needs to be integrated with any other programs or treatments you’re using.

Naturopaths with medical knowledge can communicate with conventional medical doctors, massage therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. They can understand medical charts from other providers and refer you when necessary. Every type of provider might have value, so it’s important to be able to get a holistic view of your situation.

How Do I Find a Naturopathic Wellness Center Near Me?

One of the wonderful things about modern technology is that you can communicate wherever you are. Olive Branch Wellness Center has corporate and individual clients from across the country — we can work out a phone or hybrid care plan for you.

To meet us in person for your appointment, you’ll come to 465 Briargate Drive in South Elgin, Illinois. We’re off of Randall Road, which means you can take the Randall Road exit off of I-90 coming from anywhere in Chicagoland.

Our Naturopathic Clinic in South Elgin is also served by a bus line that connects with Metra’s Milwaukee District West Line — take the train to Elgin and the bus leaves almost directly from the station. We’re always available to give exact directions — just give us a call and tell us where you are.

If you’re out of town and you need to meet in person with a naturopath, know that there are different standards in different places. The level of accreditation, licensing, and experience varies from one state to another — and, frankly, from one naturopath to the next in some cases.

We’d probably suggest looking for wellness centers led by naturopaths with graduate degrees, with a focus on collaboration across medical disciplines. You’ll want a care provider who’s able to understand the big picture of your health. If there’s any doubt, remember that naturopathy and conventional medicine often work very well together — make the most of that synergy!

Contact Us Soon to Get Started With Naturopathic Wellness

Olive Branch Wellness Center serves the northwest suburbs and beyond. Dr. Ray consults with and develops naturopathic wellness plans for:

  • Individuals
  • Families
  • Corporations

You might be looking for a different insight than your conventional physician is providing. Maybe you want someone to take a holistic view of your family’s complex emotional, psychological, and physical wellness. Alternatively, you might be searching for a partner to help add unique value to your organization’s health and wellness benefits.

Give us a call at 630-370-7290, register as a new patient, or reach out on social media. We welcome clients from across the country to our South Elgin Naturopathic Care Center, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.