In today’s podcast interview, I had the chance to talk about naturopathic medicine with my friend and colleague Dr. Tia Trivisonno (@drttrivisonno)
Dr. Tia and I met about 15 years ago when she was a naturopathic medical student in Portland, Oregon and I went to lecture at the naturopathic medical school about the effort to license the profession in New York. That was when I was president of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians (NYANP). Subsequently, after Tia graduated as a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, she took a position at Transformational Healing Solutions in Glen Head, NY, where she has practiced for the past 12 years, and she is currently president of the NYANP.
Dr. Tia and I have several things in common: We both specialize in helping with mental health issues using naturopathic approaches, we are passionate about increasing awareness for naturopathic medicine, and we both love to travel.
Prior to getting her naturopathic degree, Dr. Tia studied Ayurvedic medicine in India and spent two years doing environmental work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. Through her travels she developed a love of service and a deep respect for cultural traditions and indigenous medicine.
Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine
In this professional conversation, Dr. Tia and I talk about how the philosophy of naturopathic medicine differs from that of conventional medicine. For example, naturopathic medicine aims to treat the whole person instead of addressing the human body as separate parts.
Naturopathic medicine uses scientific evidence and an understanding of how the body works with the benefits of using nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, and other natural approaches to support the body’s ability to heal.
Naturopathic medicine also includes the mind-body connection to address health issues related to anxiety, depression, and other stress-related health issues. Our minds are part of our bodies, and if we have mental health issues, we will probably suffer from another health issue somewhere else in our bodies, and vice versa.
And yet too often people end up being led to believe there is something “wrong with them” and that the problem is all in their heads. Dr. Tia and I both see that unfortunately, many people who suffer from mental health issues may be placed on a medication and yet could still be suffering from a lot of symptoms and never get to solve the actual underlying problem. They may be going to see a specialist, like a psychiatrist for example, but often the root cause of the issue is not identified or addressed.
For example, whenever a person is experiencing anxiety and /or depression, it is important to consider and address gut health, nutrient deficiencies, adrenal function, thyroid, and the endocrine system in general, as well as underlying infection(s) and food intolerances or sensitivities.
To learn more, listen to the full podcast episode here or in your favorite pod player.
With a naturopathic approach to mental health, we see our patients improve so much faster because we take into account the whole person, aim to identify all the underlying causes and address them, and rebalance what is out of balance. Not only that, but we find that patients are able to resolve issues such as anxiety and depression and be able to safely decrease the use of medications (with their psychiatrist). This can be life changing to be free of the use of medications that have many side effects and withdrawal symptoms.
As Dr. Tia summarizes: It’s all about balancing that mind-body connection. So, when we get to the root of that imbalance, we can address it and fix the whole situation.
How Surfing Influenced Dr. Tia
A few years ago Dr. Tia started surfing, so I asked her if that has influenced the way she understands health and how she helps her patients. She said absolutely! She realized that our emotions are like weather patterns. They are meant to be with us, and they do change. Feeling better and living a healthy life does not mean that you will never experience anxiety or that you will feel sad over a loss for example. But if we really work with all these different factors supporting the balance of body and mind, we can minimize their impact on our daily lives.
What a Naturopathic Doctor Does
Dr. Tia and I want to make sure everyone knows that you don’t have to choose between naturopathic medicine or conventional medicine. They can be combined so that you get the best of both approaches. Your naturopathic doctor will work as a detective, looking for the root cause of any kind of symptomatology. In some cases that may be multi-factorial, which may be why a person is been suffering so much and not finding so many answers because it’s not just the gut health, for example, it could also be connected to trauma and some other system like the endocrine system.
The naturopathic doctor will be a guide who teaches and helps you with basic treatment guidelines, like things that you can do at home, whether its hydrotherapy, castor oil packs, or other simple things to care for yourself that will support your overall general health and reduce symptoms and make the need for other more invasive interventions less likely.
Naturopathic doctors also understand all about the conventional medicine approach and different specialties like cardiology, gastroenterology, and dermatology. Often patients come in with a diagnosis, but their only option is a medication, and they would like to address the underlying cause instead of relying on a medication. Or they come in with laboratory results showing signs that there could be an issue down the line in which case a naturopathic doctor will help them prevent the health issue from getting worse.
Overall, naturopathic doctors who are licensed or qualified to be licensed in states that offer licensure, are trained to understand health issues and lab tests, and not just look at it as disease care, but look for patterns that could emerge and guide you in modifying your habits, like dietary changes or stress recovery activities, to get to a healthier life naturally.
To Learn More About Naturopathic Medicine
To learn more about naturopathic medicine, visit NYANP.org, Naturopathic.org and AANMC.org.
If you want to learn more about my approach to helping with mental health and other health issues, you can read all about it in my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health: https://doctordoni.com/master-your-stress/.
In the book, I share the quiz I developed to help you identify how stress has affected you specifically by knowing your Stress Type. You can also take the Stress Type Quiz online here: https://doctordoni.com/quiz/stress-quiz/
TAKE THE FREE STRESS QUIZ TO FIND OUT YOUR STRESS TYPE:
You can also reach out to me to set up a one-on-one appointment if you prefer here: https://doctordoni.com/work-with-me/
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More Resources from Dr. Doni:
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