For Rebecca Lovejoy, naturopathic doctor at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, the recipe for a good day consists of getting a good night’s sleep, eating well, effectively managing stress, staying physically active, enjoying nature and spending quality time with her family. An even better day, however, is when she can help her patients do the same.
At Goshen Center for Cancer Care, we believe in empowering patients to take an active role in their health and well-being to live their best –– even in the midst of cancer treatments. That’s why we have an entire team of dedicated integrative care providers such as Lovejoy supporting patients during and after cancer treatment.
What is naturopathic medicine?
To answer simply, naturopathic medicine focuses on the healing power of nature. Naturopathic doctors empower patients both to understand the role their body plays in healing itself, and to engage actively in restoring and maintaining their own health.
According to Lovejoy, a common misconception about naturopathic medicine is that it can be used as an alternative to traditional cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. In fact, Lovejoy says, naturopathic medicine is typically used in combination with these therapies to minimize side effects and optimize the body’s response to treatment.
“We’re helping the treatments work as best as they possibly can,” says Lovejoy. “After or between treatments, we work to build the body’s defenses and recovery systems and support general health. We want to build the patient up so they’re ready for their next phase in cancer care. If that next phase of care is surveillance because the patient is cancer-free, then we want to guide them in the long term on how to reduce the risk of cancer returning. We don’t want to just see patients recover after a cancer diagnosis; we want to see them thrive! The health and wellness of our patients remain our priority long after cancer treatment has been completed.”
Naturopathic medicine uses many different strategies which might include natural lifestyle modifications to diet, nutrition, sleep and exercise, as well as stress reduction. Supplements, acupuncture, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy or other natural medicine methods may also be used. Naturopathic therapies help patients better handle a variety of common health issues, cancer-related symptoms and treatment-related side effects.
How does naturopathic medicine fit into cancer treatment at Goshen Health?
At Goshen Center for Cancer Care, we believe there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to cancer treatment. Every person is different; therefore every treatment plan should be, too. This is why our naturopathic doctors work to create a targeted, individualized supportive care plan uniquely tailored to each patient’s health status, goals and lifestyle.
“We come from an integrative place,” says Lovejoy. “When we pool our strengths together, we achieve the best outcomes in terms of both quality and quantity of life.”
This integrative approach doesn’t just mean better results for patients –– it means more compassionate care overall.
“We're focused on the whole person,” says Lovejoy. “It’s important for our patients to know that they’re not in this alone.”
For more information about Goshen Center for Cancer Care’s expert naturopathic medicine team, click here.