What is the goal? Symptom management or finding the Cause?

In medicine throughout time the goal has been to help patients feel better and to reverse the cause of disease.  Many times in conventional medicine the treatment option involves suppressing the symptoms with chemical medications.  This model is called the Disease Model, because it is based on the idea that a symptom is the problem and the therapy chosen should eliminate the symptom.  This disease model does not allow the patient to return to optimum health because it often does not address the underlying cause.  It never allows the individual to remove accumulated toxicity and so while the patient may for the short-term feel some improvement in their symptoms they are never allowed to fully express their vitality. 

Naturopathic medicine prides itself in the search for the underlying causes of disease.  We do this by asking why and searching for patterns in the way the body is expressing itself.  The goal is not always to cure but to bring the individual back to a state of balance.  This is where the real healing occurs. 

How are you doing with managing symptoms versus finding your vitality and balance in your healing process?

In Health,


Five Allergy Minimizing Ideas

Allergy season is here again and from what I am seeing in the office it appears to be a bad time for many.  If you are one of the many who suffers from a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing you can follow some easy at home steps that will reduce the severity of your reaction.

1)  Add more essential fatty acids to your diet

Things such as fish and or fish oil, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds are great sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an oil that will fight inflammation.

2)  Minimize your food sensitivities and mucus-producing foods

It is thought that some foods such as dairy, wheat, and sugar will both increase the inflammatory response and stress an already taxed immune system.

3)  Water, Water, Water

Drinking 1/2 of your body weight  in ounces will help thin mucus and hydrate your tissue.

4)  Change your clothes when you get home

Pollen stays on our hair, skin and clothing, so, it is wise to take a shower and change your clothes immediately upon coming home.

5)  Use a Netti pot 

Most health food stores carry this little pot.  It allows you to wash out the allergens trapped in the nasal passages and encourages mucus release.  The Netti pot comes with directions and may take a little practice to get the hang of it.  

Alison Finger, ND 

Six Principals of Naturopathic Medicine

In educating about Naturopathic Medicine, I think it is important to understand the philosophy in which a Naturopathic Doctor works.  The six principals are as follows:

  • Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)- Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body's inherent ability to heal itself.  Naturopathic Doctors work to identify and remove the obstacles to recovery and replace and replenish needed vitamins or minerals for healing.
  • Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)- Naturopathic Doctors are committed to identifying and removing the underlying causes of illness rather than to eliminate or cover symptoms.
  • First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)- Naturopathic medicine utilizes methods and natural substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects. 
  • Doctor and Teacher (Docere)- Naturopathic doctors encourage their clients to take control of their health. 
  • Treat the Whole Person- Naturopathic doctors take into account physical, mental, emotional, environmental and genetic factors when assessing overall health.
  • Prevention-Naturopathic doctors believe that prevention is the best medicine. 

Alison Finger, ND