Naturopathic Medicine Week – Establish the Foundation of Health

Hey everyone, it is Naturopathic Medicine week from October 10-16th!

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One of the amazing things about being a Naturopathic Physician is the wide array of modalities (treatment options) that we have to choose from to help our patients become the healthiest versions of themselves. Today I have been spending most of my day on one of our most basic, but arguably the MOST important treatment modalities, NUTRITION!!!

Nutrition would fall under the therapeutic treatment order category of ‘establish the foundation of health’, which essentially means to help the patient build his/her health foundation without any additional supplements, herbs, medications, etc. This category also includes items like sleep hygiene, basic hygiene, exercise, stress reduction techniques, and more.

To learn more about the Therapeutic Order and Naturopathic medicine, check out the AANMC (Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges) website.

One nutritional assessment I like to have people do, is a self reflection on their feelings surrounding health, nutrition, and food. Often times we have underlying feelings about food/nutrition/health/body image that prevent us from obtaining our ultimate food/fitness/health/weight goals. Some example questions I have people fill out are listed below.

  • What is your food philosophy?
  • What routines do you have for food and eating?
  • What dietary goals or changes do you wish to make in your life?

After that, I then recommend people complete a diet diary (track everything they consume for 3 days to 1 week). I then use this date to do a comprehensive dietary analysis on the person and help them see where they are meeting their dietary goals and where they are missing the bar. Having this data is helpful before going into a large dietary change and people are able to track their own dietary changes overtime, seeing their nutritional improvement with their own eyes.

If you are interested in working on your diet or other foundations of your health, then find a local Naturopathic Physician in your area and schedule an appointment! You can also track your own diet at home using one of my free online diet tracking tools such as: Cronometer, My Fitness Pal, or any others you may find.

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio or my LinkedIn. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
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