What is a Naturopathic Physician?
Dr. Soszka is an accredited, licensed Naturopathic doctor in Portland, Oregon who is trained as primary care physician with specialty in natural, holistic, and alternative forms of treatments, as opposed to standard pharmacological treatments. Naturopathic medicine focuses upon on treating the underlying causes of symptoms, and it uses a number of different therapies. All licensed naturopathic doctors have attended a 4-year medical school. See Dr. Soszka’s education and training.
There are several important aspects of Naturopathic medicine that differentiates how naturopathic physicians approach health care from the typical allopathic physician. Naturopathic doctors emphasize using therapeutic modalities that both strengthen and act in harmony with the body’s self-healing ability. There are six principals of healing that form the foundation for the naturopathic medical practice:
- Let nature heal. Our bodies have such a powerful, innate instinct for self-healing. By locating and removing the barriers to this self-healing—including such concerns as poor diet or unhealthy habits—naturopathic physicians can strengthen this process.
- Identify and treat causes. Naturopathic physicians understand that symptoms will only return unless the root illness is addressed. Rather than simply suppress symptoms, they seek to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.
- First, do no harm. Naturopathic physicians follow three principles to ensure their patients’ safety:
- Safe & Non-invasive Therapies. Use low-risk procedures and healing compounds — such as dietary supplements, herbal extracts and homeopathy — with few or no side effects.
- When possible, do not suppress symptoms, which are the body’s efforts to self-heal. For example, the body may create a fever in reaction to a bacterial infection. Fever produces an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria, thereby destroying it. Obviously, a Naturopathic physician does not allow the fever to get dangerously high.
- Individualized Treatment. Customize the treatment plan to fit each patient. We all heal in different ways and the naturopathic physician respects our differences.
- Educate patients. Naturopathic medicine believes that doctors must be educators, as well as physicians. That’s why naturopathic physicians teach their patients how to eat, exercise, relax and nurture themselves physically and emotionally. They also encourage self-responsibility and work closely with each patient.
- Treat the whole person. We each have a unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual makeup. The naturopathic physician knows that all these factors affect our health. That’s why he or she includes them in a carefully tailored treatment strategy.
- Prevent illness. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been truer. Proactive medicine saves money, pain, misery and lives. That’s why naturopathic physicians evaluate risk factors, heredity and vulnerability to disease. By getting treatment for greater wellness, we’re less likely to need treatment for future illness.
Furthermore, a Naturopathic physician spends significantly more time with each patient than an allopathic doctor. The average doctor visit in the U.S., for example, is about seven minutes. Typically allopathic doctors will only stay in the room long enough to get information on the most current problem. Focusing on the individual as a whole person as opposed to a “twisted ankle” or “irritable bowel” creates a strong working relationship between Naturopathic doctor and patient.
Naturopathic physicians can treat many conditions that may not respond well to allopathic medicine such as migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, diabetes, weight management, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Dr. Soszka has a wide variety of treatment modalities at his disposal. Multiple modalities allow Naturopathic physicians to customize treatment plans to suit the individual, which differentiates naturopathic health care from the allopathic “one size (or pill) fits all” approach to medicine. The holistic therapies that Dr. Soszka uses to create your individualized treatment plan include any of the following:
- Clinical Nutrition
- Botanical (Herbal) Medicine and Supplements Acupuncture
- Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong, and Herbs
- Stress Management and Counseling
- Exercise Therapeutics and Physical Medicine
- Women’s and Men’s Health Care
- Preventive Medicine
- Health Education
- Functional Medicine