Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care-an art, science and practice of preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions of the human mind and body.
Naturopathic physicians follow these principles in practice:
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes (ToIle Causam): The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms
- Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual's self-healing process.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Prevention: Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease -assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.
Naturopathic physicians work with their patients to prevent and treat acute and chronic illness and disease, restore health and establish optimal fitness by supporting the person's inherent self-healing process, the vis medicatrix naturae. This is accomplished through:
Prevention of disease is emphasized through public health measures and hygiene as well as the encouragement and guidance of persons to adopt lifestyles which are conducive to optimal health.
Today’s main stream model of medicine does not address prevention in the way that it should. Blood work is not always properly analyzed, preventative measures are not always recommended or taken and diagnoses are missed or understated until a trial of medication is the stated as the only resort.
Diagnosis and evaluation of the individual's state of health are accomplished by integrated modern and traditional, clinical and laboratory diagnostic methods. Much lab work is similar to what an MD/DO might order, but the results are viewed slightly differently, attempting to address potential issues before they become health problems. There are also more specialized tests including adrenal stress testing, food sensitivity testing, neurotransmitters and vitamins/mineral profiles that are ordered to assist in identifying or preventing health issues before they arise.
Treatment and Care
Therapeutic methods and substances are used which work in harmony with the person's inherent self -help process, the vis medicatrix naturae, including: dietetics and nutritional substances, botanical medicine, psychotherapy, naturopathic physical medicine including naturopathic manipulative therapy, minor surgery, prescription medications, naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth), homeopathy, and acupuncture.
Here in Illinois, minor surgical procedures and prescription medications cannot be practiced/utilized.
A naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.
Dr. Avani Patel-Miller
Dr. Avani Patel-Miller is a chiropractic and a naturopathic physician who adopts a fully integrative approach to health and wellness. She believes that health care practitioners, of all disciplines, need to work with one another to achieve optimal patient results. She strives to work closely with pediatricians, endocrinologists, allergists, midwives/gynecologists, psychiatrists, gastrointestinal specialists and other chiropractors and naturopaths in the area to help address many chronic and acute conditions in the adult and pediatric populations. Dr. Patel-Miller has a solid background in naturopathic principles and her approach is based on re-establishing a basis for health through education and lifestyle changes. She combines her knowledge of the body and how it should function optimally with chiropractic principles and the use of natural remedies to effect change in both the chronic and acutely ill. Treatments include homeopathic remedies, western botanicals, vitamins/minerals, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, hydrotherapy treatments, exercise, stress management techniques, sleep hygiene, counseling and nutrition. She also has a specific focus on chronic gastrointestinal dys-function, autoimmune diseases, thyroid malfunction, lifestyle diseases (diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.), women’s health, pre and post conception issues (infertility, post-natal health), weight management and environmental toxic burdens.
Dr. Patel-Miller is a graduate of the National University of Health Sciences, a 100 year old institution renowned for its dedication to the health sciences and integrative medicine, and holds dual doctoral degrees in chiropractic medicine and naturopathic medicine. While at National University, she was actively involved in the student government as the athletic director and lobbied in Washington D.C. for chiropractic legislature with the Student American Chiropractic Association. Prior to attending National University, Dr. Patel-Miller attended the California State University, Long Beach, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in Chemistry.
Dr. Patel-Miller was born and raised in the Bay Area near San Francisco in California. She moved to Chicago in pursuit of her dream to study natural medicine. She is now a wife and mother and encourages healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices at home as well as in the office.
Dr. Patel-Miller enjoys participating in community events, especially if there is the opportunity to help even one person on their road to living a healthier, happier, pain free lifestyle. She enjoys observing and participating in sports, especially soccer as a leisure activity.
Dr. Patel-Miller focuses her post graduate continuing education in treating a variety of internal disorders including, but not limited to, auto-immune conditions, infertility, allergies, acne, digestive complaints, ADHD, anxiety and mental unrest, abnormal Pap results/women’s health and menstrual disorders. She is a firm believer that education is the most powerful tool with which to effect change. Dr. Patel-Miller is a member of the Illinois Chiropractic Society and Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians.