Treatment Modality Information


Naturopathic medicine is based on six main principles: first, do no harm; treat the whole person; doctor as teacher; identify and treat the cause; prevention; and the healing power of nature. Naturopathic physicians are trained in basic medical sciences, such as Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry; more specialized medical sciences, such as Gynecology, Cardiology, and Pediatrics; and conventional diagnosis, such as physical examination, laboratory testing, and diagnostic imaging. In addition, naturopathic physicians learn a variety of natural healing modalities, including nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and manipulation, as well as pharmacology and minor surgery. This combination of philosophy, traditional medical training, and alternative healing modalities provides the best opportunity to find and treat the true causes of disease.


Because we are whole beings, the state of our mental and emotional health can greatly impact our physical health. In many cases, there are correlations between thought patterns or specific emotions and the types of symptoms a person may experience as certain emotions tend to be associated with certain organs. For example, unresolved grief is often present in those suffering from asthma or other lung related symptoms and grief is considered to be the emotion of the lung.

Unresolved emotions can block health and healing and can be as toxic as physical toxins. Even looking at general emotional tendencies can help identify patterns in health and disease. Sometimes old emotions simply need to be expressed rather than consciously understood, and working with an empathetic person who creates a safe and trusting environment can facilitate releases on these deeper levels.


The expression "you are what you eat" is very true in terms of a person's ability to achieve and maintain health. A whole foods diet tailored to an individual's needs provides the greatest amount nutrition, the fewest potential allergens, and forms the basis of a healthy lifestyle. There are some elements of good nutrition that are true for everyone, such as avoiding sugar or processed foods. However, some elements of a diet need to be tailored to different individual needs, such as the amount of protein or the combination of different food groups.

A healthy diet often needs to be supplemented because of higher needs or to treat specific conditions. All of the nutritional supplements I recommend come from food sources because they are closer to actual food than synthetic forms, and therefore, tend to be easier to digest and absorb.


According to hydrotherapy, health requires proper circulation, and hydrotherapy treatments seek to restore the natural amount of blood flow and improve the quality of the blood in the body. Because blood carries nutrition and oxygen to all the cells and removes wastes from every cell, good blood circulation is essential to life.

Hydrotherapy can be used to treat acute health concerns as well as improve overall health. Acutely, hydrotherapy is used to change circulation to a specific area to alleviate pain, stimulate immunity, or promote healing. When used over time, hydrotherapy improves the quality of the blood by increasing blood flow in two areas: through the organs of elimination, which promotes blood filtering and detoxification; and through the organs of digestion, which improves absorption and assimilation of nutrition.

Because water is such a good conductor of hot and cold, it is used as the basis of hydrotherapy, even though the temperature differences are actually creating the therapeutic effects. There are many hydrotherapy techniques, and most can be done at home simply using water of different temperatures.

References and Additional Reading: Dr. Wade Boyle, ND and Dr. Andre Saine, ND. Lectures in Naturopathic Hydrotherapy. (Eclectic Medical Publications: Sandy, 1988).



There are many forms of bodywork available and the main form I use is a soft tissue technique called Somatic Re-Education. This technique is a gentle, non-manipulation method of touch and movement to alleviate tension and pain. Each muscle, tendon, and ligament in the body has self-balancing reflexes, and Somatic Re-Education helps the body tissues remember and realign in their proper positioning. By always working within and toward the direction or area of most comfort to the patient, the soft tissues can reset their internal balance points.

Unlike more invasive forms of body work, Somatic Re-Education is always done "with" a patient not "to" a patient, so a healing relationship based on respect is established. As physical tension is released, mental stress and emotional tension held in the soft tissues of the body may also be released. Therefore, an environment of trust and safety is established so that patients can relax into new patterns of self-awareness and posture and feel more comfortable in his/her own body.

Flower Essences

Flower essences were first developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s, and are used to address mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, growth, and development. The essences are prepared from a sun infusion of an individual flower in water, which is then diluted and potentized. Flowers are harvested at specific times during the growing cycle and prepared under specific climate conditions so the flower's vibrational properties are transferred to the water. Like homeopathy and acupuncture, flower essences are energetic medicines and work on our more subtle layers of mind, heart, and soul.

Flower essences can be used singly or in combination and I work with patients to select the flowers that best fit him or her. Issues addressed by flower essences are organized into categories in a repertory. These categories may include emotions, such as anger, grief, or resentment; stages of life, such as childhood, motherhood, or dying; areas of life, such as eating, home life, or work; or positive attributes we wish to strengthen, such as appreciation, life direction, or self-acceptance. While many flowers may be listed under in a category, each one has a slightly different perspective on that particular issue, which is better understood by reading each flower's individual profile. By working together, a patient and I can select the flower essence(s) that touch the heart of what he or she is experiencing and create energetic shifts that are both gentle and powerful.

References and Additional Reading: Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz. Flower Essence Repetory: A Comprehensive Guide to North American and English Flower Essences for Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being. (The Flower Essence Society: Nevada City, 1996).



Homeopathy is an energetic form of medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the 1800's, and follows the principles of quantum physics more than those of chemistry. Homeopathic medicines are prepared from plant, mineral, and animal substances that are repeatedly diluted in water and potentized. This process allows the energetic signature of the substance to be imprinted on the water. The more times the dilution and potentization process occurs, the higher the remedy's "potency" and the lesser the amount of the original substance that is left in the remedy.

One of the key homeopathic principles is the Law of Similars: a substance which produces symptoms in a healthy person can cure those same symptoms when they appear as part of a disease picture. Homeopathic medicines can accomplish this because they stimulate a patient's own internal vital, healing force to facilitate a return to balance and healing to occur from inside out. Medicines can be prescribed for physical, mental, or emotional symptoms or acute illnesses, chronic conditions, or constitutional imbalances. Because homeopathic medicines are energetic remedies, they work safely and gently and can be used with other medicines.

Biotherapeutic Drainage

Many homeopathic practitioners find that cases now are highly complex and do not always respond to single homeopathic remedies, and this may be due to increased toxicity. Toxicity can come from pollutants in our environment, high levels of internal stress, poor diet and eating habits, lack of sleep, and/or medications. Biotherapeutic drainage can clear toxicity from any source so that other medicines can work more effectively, often at lower dosages, and work well in conjunction with other medicines.

Biotherapeutic drainage is a method of using homeopathic formulas to detoxify cells, improve elimination, normalize hormones, assist in stress management, recharge enzymes, and allow normal organ functioning. Drainage remedies were first developed by George Discri, Dr. Louis Reuter, and Dr. Anthoine Nebel in Switzerland in the 1920s and 1930s. The formulas were developed from knowledge of alchemical metallurgy and principles of anthroposophical, Chinese, and homeopathic medicines.

The remedies are produced by the UNDA (meaning undulating wave) company, which prepares all remedies using organic materials and maintains exceptionally high standards of quality and purity. Many "combination" homeopathic remedies consist of every remedy known for a specific condition and hoping that one of the remedies will work. Each UNDA remedy is developed with different individual remedies that work together synergistically to create a unique remedy that is different from any other single, combination, or formula remedy. The remedies combine homeopathic preparations of plants and minerals. The plants are often selected because they have special affinity for certain organs or systems in the body. The minerals are selected to affect the functioning of individual cells and enzymes. Because the UNDA remedies are homeopathic medicines, they work safely and gently while being very powerful and effective.

The UNDA remedies are prescribed based on assessing different organ systems, including structural changes, functional changes, or emotional/energetic associations with that organ. For example, a heart remedy may be selected for a patient with a heart valve defect, a patient with irregular heart beats, or a patient who has lost their joy and love of life. UNDA remedies can also be used for acute illnesses by helping make the body's reactions more efficient and the immune system more effective.

References and Additional Reading: Dr. Dick Thom, DDS, ND. Biotherapeutic Drainage using the UNDA Numbers. (JELD Publications: Portland, 2003).



Gemmotherapy is a highly active form of herbal medicine that uses whole fresh buds, leaves, shoots, rootlets, bark, and seeds, rather than adult plants. This form of medicine started in Belgium in 1950, when Dr. Pol Henri began studies on plant buds. In 1971, Dr. Max Tetau of France extended that research and introduced the therapy as "gemmotherapy". Young plant parts have a higher vitality than adult plants, and this vitality is imparted to patients along with the plant's functional and metabolic actions.

Gemmotherapy remedies are prepared as homeopathic medicines from the young plant parts. The medicines act to extract toxins from cells and facilitate their removal from the body to allow healing to occur from within the body. Gemmotherapy remedies are gentle and effective and by their clearing and cleaning action, bring about greater potential for health of the cells and facilitate greater utilization of other medicines, be they drugs, nutritional supplements, homeopathic medicines, or herbal medicines.

References and Additional Reading:Dr. M. Greaves, MD, NMD. Gemmotherapy and Oligotherapy Regenerators of Dying Intoxicated Cells: Tridosha of Cellular Regeneration. (Xlibris Corporation, 2002).


Classical Chinese Medicine

Modern Chinese medicine embraces a tradition that has been practiced for over 2,500 years. In the Chinese view, health is achieved when all body systems are in balance, the mind and heart are calm and centered, and qi, or energy, is abundant and flowing smoothly through the body pathways, called meridians. Disease occurs when an imbalance occurs in any of these areas. The diagnostic process involves discussing symptoms with the patient, feeling the patient's pulse, and observing the patient's tongue and face. Treatment may include acupuncture, moxibustion (burning of herbs on or over the body), Shiatsu massage, exercise (Tai Ji or Qi Gong) and Chinese herbal formulas. Chinese medicine can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, always with the goal of restoring physical and energetic balance, and improving a patient's well-being.

Classical Chinese medicine is rooted in ancient Taoist medical texts, which recognize both physical and spiritual health and disease. Much of these texts are no longer taught in modern Chinese medical education. This change started with the rise of Confucianism in the 11th century BC. Confucianism was based on a highly organized social structure, and replaced Taoist ideas with more concrete ideas on health focused on observable natural laws. This change continued as reductionistic Western medicine was introduced to China in the 19th century. These influence of these forces and the rise of Communism removed the spirit from modern Chinese medicine, even though it was of central importance in the Taoist tradition. Ancient Taoist physicians also acted as shamans because spiritual health was required for healthy individuals and communities. While modern classical practitioners may not take on shaman's garb, they still recognize the original Taoist ideas regarding the central role of the spirit in creating and maintaining health. These ideas allow classical practitioners to look beyond the physical and recognize the influence of the spirit. This perspective teaches us to listen more deeply to our patients and to create genuine rapport to facilitate greater healing and develop a treatment plan that fit a person's whole being.


Acupuncture is a Chinese medical technique used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. It is based on the theory that energy, or Qi, runs through the body in channels, similar to underground rivers. Health requires the proper amount and circulation of Qi and blood, and stimulating certain points along those "rivers" can both increase Qi and blood and stimulate their movement.

Acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use stainless steel needles, and are very fine (about the width of a human hair). Insertion through the skin is usually painless or feels like a slight pinch- nothing like an injection! The needles are inserted until the Qi arrives at the point, which often feels like tingling, distention, pressure, a pleasant ache, or just an increased awareness in the area. Sometimes the sensation is felt at the point location or will travel along the channel.

Acupuncture is very relaxing, and many people fall asleep during treatments. It is highly effective for many conditions and results and treatment duration will vary based on the duration of the condition and the overall health of the patient. Acupuncture is often complimented by using moxa and/or Chinese herbs.

Seven Dragon Acupuncture Treatment

The Seven Dragon treatment, as it is practiced today, was first presented by J.R. Worsley, a British acupuncturist and developer of the Five Element system of acupuncture. Generally, the treatment is used in cases where people "check out" or shut down due to an overwhelming stressor; often people will report that they don't feel right in themselves or don't feel like they can truly engage in life afterward. People may then be stuck in one kind of emotional expression and their spirits can't respond freely in the present moment. Causes of this can include physical shock or injury; deep emotional loss or grief; chronic or severe infections; use of drugs and/or meditation techniques, especially those designed to create out-of-body experiences; or experiences in extremely severe, rigid, or controlling circumstances where the patient may have felt powerless or unable to be him/herself.

Clinically, patients needing the Seven Dragon treatment often do not respond properly or show no improvement even to well indicated treatments. This lack of improvement is due to the magnitude and severity of blockage and disharmony that occurs when a destructive force is acting on the person, disrupting his or her internal balance. Dr. Hindman completed an extensive thesis on the use, historical context, symbolism in the treatment, and background of the points as part of her Masters of Oriental Medicine degree, and uses the treatment regularly in her practice.

The treatment itself has several components. First, there is an intake with the patient to understand the patient's history and identify the causative factor element (wood, fire, earth, metal, or water) that is associated with the disharmony. The acupuncture starts with seven points, and these needles are allowed to remain in place until the patient senses that the treatment is complete. This generally takes between 30 and 60 minutes. The initial needles are removed and two additional sets of points are used to treat the causative factor element and complete the process. These needles are either inserted and immediately removed or allowed to remain in place for a few minutes.


Moxibustion, or moxa, is the technique of burning Artemesia vulgaris or Chinese mugwort, over or on specific acupuncture points. As a single herb, Chinese mugwort is used to warm the channels, disperse cold, and alleviate pain and itching. Moxa comes in many forms, including loose herb that is hand rolled into cones, pre-rolled cones, or charcoalized sticks. The different forms have different advantages and are used over different parts of the body or with different conditions.

Moxibustion is used to warm the points and the body, nourish deficiencies of blood and Qi, and invigorate the blood. There are many different ways to use moxa and it is always used to patient's tolerance, i.e., a sensation of comfortable warmth. The goal of using moxa is to have a warming action without burning. Therefore, when moxa is used directly on the skin, a protective layer, such as salve, a slab of ginger, or a layer of salt, is placed on the skin first.

Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbs can be used singly, in two or three herb combinations, or as complex formulas. Individual herbs are classified according to many characteristics, including color, temperature, flavor, the area where the herb naturally grows, when the herb grows or is harvested, and the specific part of the herb used. These characteristics are used to then group herbs according to their functions, such as herbs that moisten, herbs that unblock the channels or regulate the movement of Qi or blood, or herbs that clear heat.

Herb combinations are developed based on the individual herb classifications to accentuate, balance, or neutralize certain characteristics. Each single herb has multiple functions, and certain functions can be enhanced or controlled by the other herbs in a formula, the dosages of herbs within that formula, how the formula is prepared, and in what form the herbs are taken. Herb preparations may include leaving an herb raw, dry cooking, or cooking with honey. Typical herb forms include decoctions (tea), pills, powders, liquid tinctures, and topical applications.

Within each herb formula, there is an "emperor" herb, which matches the main signs and symptoms or diagnosis. There are then "minister" herbs, which support the emperor herb and treat secondary signs and symptoms. The "assistant" herbs further support the emperor and minister herbs, but also reduce any toxicity of a single herb and help maintain the overall balance of the formula. For example, an assistant herb that is energetically "cool" may be added to a group of "hot" herbs to moderate the temperature. Finally, there are "servant" herbs, which are herbs with special affinities to certain channels or organs and are used to guide the formula to those areas. This structure allows the herbs to create synergistic relationships with each other to get the most of the energetic characteristics and physical functions of each herb. Chinese herbal formulas have been developed over thousands of years and are safe to use under the guidance of a Chinese medical practitioner who can select a formula to fit your Chinese diagnosis.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong translates as "working with energy", and includes shaking, walking, meditation, and working with sound. It can be used to improve health by regulating the flow of Qi through the body and harmonizing the body and mind. Many consider it to be a form of "exercise" but it is much more than that because it increases self-awareness and reestablishes internal balance. The moving forms open the channels and improve strength, while the meditation forms are used to cultivate the Qi in the body.

There are many complex Qi Gong forms which can be learned in their entirety or in sections that are most beneficial for a particular person. Even simple breathing patterns or postures can be beneficial and are easily done through the day.

References and Additional Reading: Cohen, Kenneth S., The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing. (Ballantine Books: New York, 1997).


Cranial Fluid Dynamics

Cranial Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was developed out of osteopathy and craniosacral therapy by Solihin Thom. CFD "is a year-long study that explores the life forces that exist within and around all humans and their impact on the cranial system. This revolutionary new approach expands upon conventional cranial wisdom and protocols by utilizing hand modes as a language, coupled with kinesiology (muscle testing) as a feedback mechanism. In this way, the client is able to accurately and precisely communicate to the practitioner the ontology-or sequence of events- that has brought them to their present state of dysfunction….CFD will teach (practitioners) how the bones, the autonomic nervous system and organs, connective tissue, and brain each hold a different type of force. (Practitioners) learn the nature of each of these forces, and their origin, sensation, action, or power; and discover how an understanding of these forces can help clients see their state and thus initiate change from within." CFD is practiced by creating a sacred space in an "atmosphere of openness and non-violation in which (the practitioner) acts as a companion, free from judgements, pre-conceived ideas." -Solihin Thom


Reiki is a laying-on of hands touch healing system that most likely originated in India and came to the United States through Japan. Reiki practitioners act as channels for the universal healing energy, and work with the receiver, not on him/her. The intention of Reiki is to allow the healing energy to manifest in the manner needed by the receiver at that time and stimulate his/her own inner vital force. Healing always comes from within the receiver him/herself and not the practitioner.


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