Naturopathy: A Holistic Approach to Patient Care

Naturopathy: A Holistic Approach to Patient Care

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Naturopathic medicine is a holistic approach to patient care with a focus on treating the root cause of illness. There are more than 30 licensed naturopathic doctors from York to Penobscot counties. This type of multi-discipline practice is on the rise nationally.

At Wildwood in Portland, the naturopathic doctors look at the physical, mental and psychological aspects of a patient. Practitioners pride themselves on the luxury of time; they talk thoroughly with the patient and look at all the different factors that can affect someone's health and well-being.

"Rather than a band-aid approach, we look at the whole person and try to get to the root of the disease," said Dr. Sasha Rose, Naturopathic Doctor at Wildwood.

Dr. Rose and her husband Daniel Katz started the practice in Portland in 2005. Wildwood offers primary care, naturopathic medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture. It's a nice blend of Eastern and Western Medicine.

"Basically the tools are limitless and we really customize it for the patient," said Dr. Rose.

Naturopathy focuses on preventative care, but Dr. Rose said it's often the last stop when it should be the first.

"If somebody comes in and they know they're not living the healthiest lifetstyle and they want to and they're motivated, that's the ideal patient," said Dr. Rose. "They're usually here because they want something different."

In 2012, Wildwood opened the community acupuncture clinic. It's a walk-in clinic that offers affordable services, making naturopathic more accessible to everyone.

"This is the social justice of medicine," said Katz. "We literally have homeless people sitting next to doctors and lawyers in the community acupuncture clinic."

Licensed naturopathic doctors attend a four-year, graduate level naturopathic medical school. NDs are educated in all the same basic sciences as medical doctors, but also study holistic therapies.

Some states have laws regulating naturopathic doctors. In Maine, NDs must be authorized and licensed to practice. In other states, like Massachusetts, that is not the case.

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