“After being hospitalized for ulcerative colitis (UC) in 2012, my GI doctor prescribed prednisone and a bunch of other very expensive drugs and told me that ‘diet has nothing to do with UC’. Working with Dr. Murphy, I was able to stop the hormones and drugs by focusing on diet, stress reduction, use of herbal medicines and probiotics and a lot of encouragement. The flare ups slowed and then stopped, today I am symptom free and can even enjoy a beer once in a while!”Gerard A., Mission Viejo, CA, 2014*
“Thank you Dr. Murphy for helping my son clear his eczema naturally. After struggling for months with different doctors and pharmaceutical approaches, your treatments turned out to be the most effective while introducing our family to a world of healing that we knew we wanted, but just didn’t know how to get started with.”Mary-Anne A., Laguna Beach, CA, 2016*
“It is an honor to provide a testimonial to Dr. Murphy. We brought her in for a second opinion for my mom’s cancer diagnosis and she ended up treating my whole family while helping my mom to endure the side effects of chemotherapy. Every one of us is better thanks to her and we now have a doctor we can all work with that we trust.”Jessica E., Lake Forest, CA, 2015*
“I knew right away that scheduling my gyn exam with Dr. Murphy was the right decision. I as able to ask a bunch of questions that have been on my mind recently and left with some concrete things I can do to manage my symptoms before things get out of control. I actually enjoyed my visit and I have never said that before for any medical appointment, especially with a OB/GYN.”Juliet G. Laguna Hills, CA, 2016*
*Disclaimer-all reviews are from actual patients who have allowed us to publish their comments. We welcome your contribution. As treatment is highly specialized to the individual, your results may vary and Natural Medicine Works cannot guarantee any specific treatment results. Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. If you suspect you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider immediately.
Case Study-Naturopathic Treatment of Pediatric Eczema
Naturopathic Treatment Plan by Dr. Coleen Murphy ND, LAc.
Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are fairly common in children and are often treated with pharmaceutical interventions such as cortico-steroids, anti-inflammatories and immune suppressants. Families looking for holistic solutions to eczema will find that naturopathic doctors have the diagnosis and treatment capabilities to treat the root cause of eczema in a way to supports and builds the immune system while calming the inflammation response.
In this case study of one of my patients, a 5-year old boy presents with a moderate case of eczema which is painful and itchy. The child is having trouble sleeping and the family MD has prescribed cortico-steroids both orally and topically. The family is concerned this is a systemic issue since there are known food allergies in the child and the family has a history of auto-immune conditions. They want to treat this naturally and want to get to the root cause of the problem since they know that external skin manifestations are often signals to deeper, constitutional health challenges.
Diagnosis and Treatment
At the first appointment, existing labs were reviewed, IgA/IgE food allergy panel and stool analysis was ordered. The tests showed sensitivity to gluten and dairy and the stool sample showed dysbiosis in the intestinal flora with significant candida overgrowth.
The treatment plan included:
- Diet modification
- Pre-biotic and pro-biotic supplementation and diet recommendations
- Vitamin and mineral supplementation
- A custom herbal tincture blend to take internally
- An herbal topical healing salve to reduce itch and heal the skin damage
- Custom bath recipe
- Homeopathy-acute and constitutional
- Review and modification of externally used home products that may be irritants
As you can see from the pictures, the results speak for themselves. These results did take six months but in that time frame we were successful to nurture a growing immune system, implement the naturopathic principle of ‘treat the cause’ all while respecting the bodies innate self-healing mechanism.
Auto-immune conditions like eczema and psoriasis arise from within, when the body attacks itself. Treating autoimmunity with anti-inflammatory drugs does not address the root cause of the problem and weakens the immune system today, and in the future.
The naturopathic treatment plan for this patient is unique to the individual and is not presented as a quick fix. Sticking to the plan can be tough for a 5-year old, especially the diet modification, but when the child begins to see the results they are motivated to follow through and learn a valuable life lesson.
It is possible that once the source of inflammation is removed and the GI tract is completely healed, this child may eat wheat, gluten and/or dairy again in some form without problem in the future.
Skin conditions are often a sign that we need to improve our diet, and increase the amount of good fats in our diet such as coconut oil, olive oil and omega/EPA/DHA rich foods including avocados and fish is good for everyone, but especially for psoriasis and eczema sufferers.
Copyright 2017 Dr. Coleen Murphy ND, LAc.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a unique and distinct system of health care that emphasizes the use of prevention and natural therapeutics. The doctors who practice naturopathic medicine, called naturopathic doctors (ND’s), are trained to serve as primary care general practitioners who are experts in the prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of both acute and chronic health conditions.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
A Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) has completed a postgraduate medical education specializing in primary care natural medicine. Naturopathic doctors are distinct from acupuncturists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and medical doctors. We are uniquely trained to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to assist your body’s innate healing processes.
Naturopathic doctors are skilled in diagnosis and treatment of disease utilizing natural therapeutics including clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and hydrotherapy. We tailor these approaches to the needs of each individual patient. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches within the medical field, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.
How are ND’s Trained?
Naturopathic physicians are trained at accredited, four-year, post-graduate, residential naturopathic medical programs. Presently, there are four accredited four-year naturopathic medical programs in the United States, and two programs in Canada. The training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc, as well as detailed study of a wide variety of natural therapies.
In the United States, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, peer review, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
What Therapeutic Modalities Do ND’s Use?
Naturopathic physicians use a variety of natural and non-invasive therapies listed below. Some ND’s have additional training and certification in acupuncture and natural child birth. Naturopathic treatments are effective in treating a wide variety of conditions without the need for additional intervention. Naturopathic doctors are also able to function within an integrated framework, and naturopathic therapies can be used to complement treatments used by conventionally trained medical doctors. The result is a patient-centered approach that strives to provide the most appropriate treatment for an individual’s needs.
Botanical Medicine-This is the use of plants to heal naturally. Scientific research has proven that plant substances are often superior to synthetic drugs for clinical conditions because they are gentler on the body with less side effects. Herbal remedies are compatible with the chemistry of the human body and allow the body to use the inherent power of nature to maintain and restore health.
Clinical Nutrition-This is the therapeutic use of food and nutritional supplements to maintain health and treat illness. Many conditions can be treated effectively with food and nutritional supplements. The key is to provide the body with nutrients and healthy food choices, so that the body can be strong and resilient. The focus is on building a healthy lifestyle while fighting disease.
Physical Medicine-This includes naturopathic manipulation of muscles, hydrotherapy, hot and cold water treatments, exercise therapy and a number of advanced bodywork techniques such as CranioSacral therapy and neuromuscular therapy.
Homeopathy-Homeopathy is a powerful system that employs highly diluted substances to treat conditions according to the principle that “like cures like”. First pioneered by Dr. Hahnemann over 200 years ago, homeopathic remedies act to enhance the body’s innate vital force which represents the immune system. Homeopathy is particularly effective when treating emotional and psychological conditions and for conditions that don’t respond well to conventional medicine.
Naturopathic Counseling, Education and Stress Management-This service can address the mental attitudes and emotional states that contribute to disease. We believe that each person can identify and remove obstacles preventing their recovery. By recognizing and removing obstacles to health; the body, mind and spirit is supported and the self-healing process can begin. The Naturopathic Doctors major role is to educate and encourage the client to take responsibility for health, and to be a catalyst for healthful change. It is the client and not the naturopath who ultimately creates and accomplishes healing.
How are ND’s Licensed?
Naturopathic medicine has an independent accrediting agency, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is the recognized authority for establishing and maintaining the educational standards for the profession. A nationally standardized licensing exam (NPLEX) has been established, which is used in nearly all of the states which currently license ND’s.
Currently, twenty states license ND’s (California is among the states that license ND’s along with Puerto Rico and four Canadian provinces). In licensed states, NDs practice as independent primary care general practitioners, with the ability to diagnose and treat medical conditions, perform physical exams and order laboratory testing. In these states, many health care consumers specifically choose NDs as their primary care providers.
In the state of California, Naturopathic Doctors are primary health care professionals, licensed by the Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine, Department of Consumer Affairs.
What Professional Organizations Exist for ND’s?
The national organization representing naturopathic physicians is the AANP, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. They are the driving force for the development of the profession and are instrumental in setting educational and practice standards. The AANP is committed to expanding awareness of the vital role naturopathic medicine has to play in the future of the health care system in the United States.
California Naturopathic Doctors Association (www.calnd.org) is the professional association of naturopathic doctors in California. Members are graduates of accredited four-year, graduate-level, naturopathic medical programs. The CNDA is dedicated to advancing the principles of naturopathic medicine and expanding California consumers’ access to this important natural, prevention-based form of healthcare.
What are the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine?
The Healing Power of Nature-The body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain and restore health. The naturopath’s role is to identify and remove obstacles preventing recovery and to provide services that support the inherent self-healing processes.
Treat the Whole Person-The harmonious function of all aspects of the individual (body, mind and spirit) are essential to good health. Imbalances in one area affects the whole, so remedies must be based on a comprehensive understanding of the unique individual.
Identify and Treat the Cause-The naturopath seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than merely eliminate or suppress symptoms. Symptoms are the body’s attempt to heal and should not be suppressed with treatment.
First Do No Harm-The doctor must be mindful of the consequences and side-effects of treatment. The more gentle and natural the remedy, the less disruptive and invasive it is to the patient as a whole.
Doctor as Teacher-The Naturopath’s major role is to educate and encourage the client to take responsibility for their health, and to be a catalyst for healthful change. It is the client and not the doctor who ultimately creates and accomplishes healing.
Prevention-The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention of disease, which is accomplished through working in partnership with the client to promote life habits that create good health. The emphasis is on building health rather than fighting disease. Naturopathic Medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
What is the History of Naturopathic Medicine?
While the profession by name is just a century old, the natural therapies and philosophy on which naturopathic medicine are based have been effectively used to treat diseases since ancient times. The use of herbal remedies, dietary interventions, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle changes have been used throughout history and in nearly every culture to inhabit the Earth. Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived 2400 years ago, first formulated the concept of vis medicatrix naturae “the healing power of nature”. This concept has long been at the core of medicine in many cultures around the world and remains one of the central themes of naturopathic philosophy today.
Naturopathic medicine was popular and widely available throughout the United States well into the early part of the 20th century. In 1920, there were many naturopathic medical schools, thousands of naturopathic physicians, and scores of thousands of patients using naturopathic therapies around the country. But by mid-century the rise of “technological medicine” and the discovery and increased use of “miracle drugs” like antibiotics were associated with the temporary decline of naturopathic medicine and most other methods of natural healing.
By the 1970’s, however, the American public was becoming increasingly disenchanted with what had become “conventional medicine.” The profound clinical limitations and its out-of-control costs were becoming obvious, and millions of Americans were inspired to look for options and alternatives. Naturopathy, and all of complementary and alternative medicine, began to enter an era of rejuvenation.
What’s New in Naturopathic Medicine Today
Today, naturopathic physicians are experiencing greater recognition as health care practitioners who are experts in the field of natural and preventive medicine, providing leadership in natural medical research, enjoying increasing political influence, and looking forward to an unlimited future potential. Both the American public and policy makers are recognizing and contributing to the resurgence of the comprehensive system of health care practiced by NDs.
Do ND’s Prescribe Pharmaceutical Drugs?
NDs are independently allowed to prescribe, furnish, order or administer all synthetic and natural hormones, as well as epinephrine.
Do ND’s Believe in or Prescribe Vaccines?
California has the most stringent vaccine mandate in the country. Senate Bill 277 requires every child to get every scheduled vaccination in order to enter daycare or public school.
At Natural Medicine Works, we work with families to determine how to approach this issue with respect to both sides of the arguments for and against universal mandated vaccinations.
ND’s are not allowed to provide SB 277 medical waivers, this can only be done by a MD. We choose to not provide vaccinations in the office at this time.
As stewards of public health, ND’s have a mandate to support public health initiatives which is sometimes at odds with our naturopathic oath that requires us to ‘first do no harm’. Vaccine injury is, sadly, not uncommon, and fears of autism may overshadow other legitimate concerns about vaccines such as the impact of the many possible metals, chemicals and proteins that are built into or contaminate modern vaccinations.
If you cannot or choose not to vaccinate, there are measures you can employ to boost immunity. If you choose to vaccinate, we can help you to devise an alternative vaccination schedule and determine when to and when not to give the shots.
If you need help with this difficult decision, please call our office. As a mother of two boys who attend public school in CA, Dr. Murphy has dealt with this issue personally and would like to lend her experience and expertise to help you and your family.
Dr. Murphy contributes to an article on Natural Medicine for The Columbia Chronicle.
Dr. Murphy is interviewed by Bay Area NBC 11 consumer editor Sloane Barnett for a news feature, “How Healthy are Detox Diets?” Dr. Murphy appears at 1 min 30 second mark. This aired on September 27, 2006. For the record: Dr. Murphy is not an advocate of diet regiments such as The Master Cleanse that limit protein and calories over a long period of time. She was interviewed for her expertise in detoxification that is safe, healthy and sane. Dr. Murphy developed and administers a 21 Day Detox which is not a protein restrictive cleanse.
Dr. Murphy contributes to article on easing jet lag the natural way in Virtuoso Life July/August 2007
Dr. Murphy graces the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer in a feature article about her practice and teaching of Thai Massage in Philadelphia in the late 90’s entitled “A Touch of the East”. The Philadelphia Inquirer, published on May 8, 1997 .
Dr. Murphy dives deep into the shared lineage of Thai Massage and Yoga to explain one of the many routes that these ancient practices bring forth health and wellness. “Stopping the Blood-The Use of Arterial Compression in Yoga and Thai Massage” Yogi Times, May, 2006 edition .
Dr. Murphy interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle medical editor, Erin Allday, for a story about the popularity of fad detox diets versus the naturopathic 21 Day Detox. Published in San Francisco Chronicle on August 13, 2006.
Eric Schmidt LAc.
Santa Monica, CA
Dana Cole, DC
phone (714) 388-8817
Huntington Beach, CA
School of Thai Massage
Chiang Mai, Thailand
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