By Megan Schlick, ND
Have you ever considered seeing a holistic medical provider or heard of a Naturopathic Doctor (ND)? Holistic medicine often brings up more questions than answers, as there are many misconceptions on what it means and what role it plays in your health care.
As a local ND employed by Shawnee Mission Medical Center, I treat patients using evidence-based natural therapy – including nutritional medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy and lifestyle modification. Patients come to me because they want to treat their health from the ground up, not just treating the symptoms. I truly believe this approach is the key to regaining and maintaining optimal health.
NDs look to answer the following questions:
- Why am I sick?
- What is the root cause of my illness?
- How can I stay as healthy as possible?
Everyone’s genetic and biochemical makeup is very different, and treatment must be individualized for each person – this is the beauty of naturopathic medicine. NDs take a look at the whole person, organ system connections, nutritional needs and life experiences to determine the best treatment. This often includes laboratory assessment and supplements on a case-by-case basis. I do not hook patients up to machines or wave a magic wand while meditating to diagnose and treat medical conditions!
An Example of How I Treat
A common condition I often treat is eczema. Usually, this type of rash is treated with a topical steroid. Naturopathic Doctors would work to uncover why the person has eczema – could it be caused by digestive health, food intolerances, stress or vitamin and mineral status? – and treatment is recommended based on those findings.
As with any medical provider, you want to be sure your ND received accredited training and is licensed in your state. For example, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University and doctorate degree from Bastyr University, an accredited naturopathic school in Seattle, Wash. I am also licensed through the state of Kansas. To find a licensed naturopath in your state, visit www.naturopathic.org.
NDs most often see patients in an outpatient setting, and the first appointment (usually an hour) is spent discussing your in-depth health history to help your provider determine the best treatment for your condition. However, it is important to note that health care is best provided by a team, and NDs are only one part of the team. We refer patients to surgeons, cardiologists and ERs when it’s clear their condition needs a higher form of intervention. I also provide a consultation letter to your other health care providers as requested, helping to ensure continuity of care.
This weekly sponsored Community Health Update is brought to you by Shawnee Mission Medical Center.
Megan Schlick, ND, is a Prairie Village resident and accredited naturopath at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. To learn more about her practice, visit ShawneeMission.org/HolisticCare. To find a doctor or for free health information, call the ASK-A-NURSE Resource Center at 913-676-7777.