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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Alternative Health Care

DISCLAIMER: This information is general in nature and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional

In my experience, I have found that the finer points of some health issues - like weak digestion, skin issues, allergies, chronic fatigue, heartburn, or yeast infections - are often overlooked or ignored by allopathic or Western medicine. I didn't just want to react to symptoms; I wanted to proactively address the root of the issue.

I have found that taking a integrative, holistic approach has been most successful, and have been lucky to find a great network of healthcare providers from a variety of healing modalities. I owe a huge part of my healing to my naturopath and acupuncturist, as well as my chiropractor, kinesiologists, and a mind-body centering practitioner. These healing modalities look beyond symptoms. They address the whole person. We are not just a body, we are a mind-body-spirit. An imbalance in any one of these areas causes a ripple effect in the other two. In order to stop the ripples, you must find what is making the wave.

Am I suggesting that Western medicine is bad? Absolutely not. I simply believe that many conditions are better addressed through more holistic treatment modalities, the same way that Western medicine is the best choice for certain diagnostic methods and disease treatments. This is where an integrative approach is beneficial; by using the best of both worlds, you can customize your treatment any way you want.


I was told by one naturopath that at the end of the day, no matter how many doctors we see, we each need to be our own general practitioner. Listen to your body, and it will tell you what it needs. But once we learn to listen, we often need help learning to interpret what we hear.  This is when an alternative health care provider is most helpful. 

I've included information below on Naturopathy and Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and will gradually be adding basic information on other modalities and self-treatment practices that I've found helpful.


Naturopathy (also known as naturopathic medicine or natural medicine) is an eclectic alternative medical system that focuses on natural remedies and the body's vital ability to heal and maintain itself. Naturopathic philosophy favors a holistic approach and minimal use of surgery and drugs. Naturopathic ideology focuses on naturally-occuring and minimally-invasive methods, trusting to the "healing power of nature." Such treatments as "synthetic" drugs, radiation, and major surgery are avoided, and rejection of biomedicine in favor of an intuitive and vitalistic conception of the body and nature is common. Prevention through stress reduction and a healthy diet and lifestyle is emphasized.

In the United States and Canada, the designation of Naturopathic Doctor (ND) may be awarded after completion of a four year program of study at an accredited Naturopathic medical school that includes the study of basic medical sciences as well as natural remedies and medical care. [1]

Resources for Finding a Practitioner


Oriental medicine has been practiced for more than 2,500 years and includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, Oriental massage, Oriental nutrition, and other healing modalities. It is a system of medicine that categorizes body patterns into specific types of diagnoses with corresponding treatment plans.

Other aspects of Oriental medicine are:

  • Electroacupuncture - the use of fine microcurrent technology
  • Diet, Lifestyle and Nutritional Counseling
  • Cupping - this employs a glass or bamboo cup as a suction device to stimulate blood circulation
  • Tai Chi - a form of physical exercise
  • Qi Gong - breath exercise
  • Meditation
  • Various forms of therapeutic massage [2]
Licensed acupuncturists and doctors of Oriental medicine between complete 2-4 years of training, depending on the degree, and must pass national and state certification exams.
Resources for Finding a Practitioner
  • American Association of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine
  • Acupuncture Referral Service
  • Look for local schools of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Most schools have student and faculty clinics that offer services at a discount. Click here to find acupuncture schools in your area.
  • Word of mouth - ask friends, coworkers, or your other healthcare providers for referrals. Ask people that work at your gym or exercise facility, or a local yoga center, meditation center, or natural foods store. You never know who has seen a practitioner or knows someone who practices!


Alternative therapies are often not covered by insurance policies. Check with your insurance company before scheduling an appointment with a new practitioner so you are aware of the financial implications of your visit. Nothing hinders healing more than the stress of unexpected expenses!