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What is Naturopathic Medicine?

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Learn how Naturopathy can benefit you and your family, how principles of healing are applied to medicine.


0:10 Dr. Brandie Gowey

Hi! This is Dr. Brandie Gowey. Thank you so much for tuning in to hear a little bit about what naturopathic medicine is. This is what my favorite things to talk about because a lot of people have an idea of what they think naturopathy is, but when I explain the principles and the ideas behind it, a lot of our conceptions about it change and so it is kind of an exciting things for me to talk about. I thought I would start by outlining what I hear in feedback from people when I do talk in the general public about what naturopathy is and some of you can probably relate to this. A lot of people think naturopathy is about using natural medicines or supplements or treating your condition with a supplement or a medicine that is not a drug, and that is partly what we do. But a lot of it is based on a couple of important principles and we might use something like a supplement to treat these things with the principles, but the principles are really what make naturopathy, naturopathy. So, the first one which is my favorite is treating the cause. If you came to me with an abdominal pain, the first thing that I am going to do other than a physical and taking a good history of that pain is to figure out what is causing it. A lot of different things can cause pain. Food can cause pain. Stress can cause pain. Appendicitis can cause pain. Endometriosis can cause pain. So, a lot of different things can cause pain and if I gave you a supplement to treat pain then I am really would not be practicing naturopathic medicine.

1:54 Dr. Brandie Gowey

If I determine that the pain was from a food for example, and then we work to eliminate that food or to change out that food in your diet, and that treats the pain and that is naturopathic medicine. So that is treating the cause and that is the first principle and I think the most important. I cannot put together a treatment protocol for patients until I know what the cause is of their symptoms. The second principle is the healing power of nature. Now, this is where most people think that it is all about treating with something all natural. But really what this principle means is that your body is what natural and so getting your body to heal itself is really what it is about. If again, we will go back to this example about abdominal pain, if you come to me for abdominal pain and I determined that something like acupuncture could benefit you, I would be doing acupuncture because it would be stimulating your body's healing process. If I took on a food as part of a cause of that abdominal pain, then I would might do a supplement that would work to heal your gut and we will just do it for a limited period of time until the lining of your gut begins to heal, and so that is putting together those two principles of treating the cause but then utilizing the healing power of nature which ultimately is your body. So, when you remove the obstacle to cure, which is another of the principles and the ideas behind naturopathy that you will get your body to heal itself, and so I really like to put the two of those together. Treating the whole person is technically the third principle in naturopathy.

3:45 Dr. Brandie Gowey

Treating the whole person means that again, if he come to me with an abdominal pain, I am not going to be just looking at the abdominal pain, I would be looking at you spiritually, emotionally, physically, all the aspects of your being and your psyche to come up with a treatment and you know it could mean that it leads down on tasks of personal growth, not just the physical, you know, the removal of the physical pain but also a shift in your life in different ways, you know what I mean? It might mean that you need exercise or that you need to make changes at your job or it does not really matter what it is, but I am going to look at you as a whole person. If I did look at just the abdominal pain, I would only do it for a short period of time to identify the cause. So, you might need an ultrasound to identify the pain or you might need a CT scan, and that is all valuable and that is to me is the value in conventional medicine as having a place to send you for those kinds of treatments and examinations. So, I would send you for that but that just give me another clue into what is going on overall and even when I diagnose people I might put the Western diagnosis, but I still tend to list out things like a food sensitivity or stressor in your life as the true diagnosis and the true cause. Prevention is cure, is another big principle in naturopathy. It just means that if I remove that food sensitivity or that food allergy from your diet it is actually going to be preventing a lot of chronic disease long-term. So, I am always looking for ways that you can shift your lifestyle or your habits that are going to prevent disease down the line. As another example, if I determine that you had a magnesium deficiency which can cause a lot of different types of pain, once I have work with you to restore those levels of magnesium you might be shift in other conditions. So, that is treating the cause, but it is also using prevention as cure.

5:54 Dr. Brandie Gowey

A really great example of this and a great story that a patient comes to me for fibromyalgia and I started doing vitamin IV drips on her. When the nutrient levels started to increase on her, her pain level start to come down, but then she also had a decrease in low back pain and other symptoms she was having not just fibromyalgia and so, you know, one little thing can have an impact in a lot of different areas. And then the last principle behind naturopathy is doctor as teacher. I think a lot of people do not realize that the word "doctor" actually is a Latin for "to teach". It does not mean to prescribe. It does not mean to dispense drugs. It does not mean to dispense supplements. That comes into our scope of practice, what it does mean is to teach. Though lot of what I do is educating people about their bodies, about how things function, how everything is put together that whole idea of treating the whole person. A lot of what I do is treating something called adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency and there is another talk under my Blog Talk account that you can listen to. They get into what is adrenal fatigue, but when you look at that in looking at the whole body and then I do a lot of education on how people can prevent themselves from getting that adrenal fatigue again. And so this is a really key part of what I do, of what all naturopathic doctors do is teaching education getting you to listen to your body more than you have before and feeling empowered to kind of be the director and being the driver seat of your health. And so if you ever have any questions about naturopathy or about how it can help you, please do not hesitate to call me, it is 928-214-8793.

7:54 Dr. Brandie Gowey

But again, I think once you start working with physicians that really put these principles into practice, you will see shifts in your health in incredible ways, ways that can even surprise you and amaze you and how good you will feel, but you know, you just got to look for the cause. We always want to start there and then really think about where you want to go with your health and how involved you want to get with it and then find someone that really wants to work with you where you starting and wants to help you reach your goals. So, I feel like that is what naturopathic medicine does and that is why I worked so hard to a medical school to learn all these things and I feel like treating the cause is a kind of my platform in life. I feel like that is so important. Never should treat symptoms, you should always treat the cause. Thank you so much for listening and if you have any questions again give me a call, 928-214-8793. I am Dr. Brandie Gowey, I am the founder of Naturopaths International and we do outreach. Right now, all over the state of Arizona, we have also been international in providing free care to people that cannot afford naturopathy. So, thank you so much.