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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Liver Cancer Treatment — Naturopathic Medicine

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine, also called “naturopathy,” is a distinct system of primary health care. A central goal of naturopathic medicine is to use the healing power of nature to maintain and restore health. It aims to use the least invasive, most physiologically supportive methods possible to diagnose illness and restore your health.
Naturopathic practitioners (NDs) are specialists in natural health care who use natural, non-toxic therapies to support the whole person and encourage the inherent self-healing process, with an emphasis on building health. Naturopathic practitioners at CTCA consult with our physicians to provide diverse techniques for your liver cancer treatment.
The following principles are the foundation for the practice of naturopathic medicine:
The Healing Power of Nature
Focused on the natural healing power of nature, naturopathic medicine centers on your body’s own inherent ability to establish, maintain and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The practitioner’s role is to facilitate and augment this process, to identify and remove obstacles to your health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment for you.
First Do No Harm
Naturopathic practitioners use methods and medicinal substances that minimize the risk of harmful side effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary when both diagnosing and treating cancer. Naturopathic practitioners respect and work with the healing power of nature in diagnosis, treatment and counseling. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process.
Practitioner as Teacher
Beyond an accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription, the naturopathic practitioner must work to create a healthy, sensitive interpersonal relationship with you. A cooperative practitioner-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value, helping to empower the patient to assume responsibility their health. The practitioner's major role is to educate and encourage you to take responsibility for your own health. The practitioner must strive to inspire hope as well as understanding.
Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic practitioners treat the whole person and not just the cancer. They recognize that health and disease result from a complex of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual and other factors. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the harmonious functioning of all aspects of you as being essential to health. The multifactorial nature of health and disease requires a personalized and comprehensive approach to cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention, and building health rather than fighting disease. This is accomplished through education and promotion of lifestyle habits that create good health. Naturopathic practitioners assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and makes appropriate interventions to avoid further harm and risk to you. Because it is difficult to be healthy in an unhealthy world, it is the responsibility of both you and your practitioner to create a healthier environment and lifestyle.

Naturopathic Practice at CTCA

Even though it has its own therapeutic specialties, naturopathic medicine incorporates the natural therapies of many different healing traditions. What makes select liver cancer treatments at CTCA part of the naturopathic scope of practice is the way they are applied (i.e., on the basis of the six naturopathic principles of healing).
The current scope of naturopathic practice includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Clinical Nutrition
That "food is the best medicine" is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than they can by other means, and with fewer complications and side effects. At CTCA, your naturopathic practitioner will consult with your dietitian to develop a customized nutrition plan to support you throughout your liver cancer treatment and beyond.
Botanical Medicine
Powerful medicines can be naturally derived from many plant substances. Where single chemically derived drugs are limited in scope and serve to address only a single problem, botanical medicines are often able to address a variety of problems simultaneously. Their organic nature makes most botanicals compatible with the body's own chemistry; hence, they can be gently effective with few toxic side effects than other cancer drugs.
Physical Medicine
Naturopathic medicine has its own methods of therapeutic manipulation of muscles, bones, and spine. Naturopathic practitioners use ultrasound, diathermy (the controlled production of "deep heating" beneath the skin in the subcutaneous tissues, deep muscles and joints for therapeutic purposes), exercise, massage, water, heat and cold, and gentle electrical therapies. At CTCA, your naturopathic practitioner will consult with your rehabilitation therapist to support you during your liver cancer treatment.
Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine is a healing philosophy that is complementary to naturopathic medicine. Meridian theory offers an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind and adds to the Western understanding of physiology. Acupuncture is one form of Chinese medicine that CTCA offers during your liver cancer treatment. Acupuncture aims to unify and harmonize the imbalances present in disease conditions, which in turn stimulates the immune system and the healing response.
Psychological Medicine
Mental attitudes and emotional states may influence, or even cause, physical illness. Counseling, stress management, hypnotherapy, biofeedback and other therapies are used to help patients heal psychologically during their liver cancer treatment. At CTCA, our mind-body therapists help care for your psychological needs.
Homeopathic Medicine
Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of "like cures like." Clinical observation indicates that it works on a subtle, yet powerful, energetic level, gently acting to strengthen the body's healing and immune response and triggering a healing process.
For more Information:
Contact Cancer Treatment Centers of America
As part of our whole-person approach to treating cancer, the physicians at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) facilities consult with naturopathic practitioners to incorporate naturopathic therapies into your traditional liver cancer care. Here, you will receive a customize treatment plan designed to help you maintain your physical well-being and lessen the side effects of your liver cancer treatments.

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