Natural Paths to Wellness : Getting to the Root Cause of Health Issues
Sep 01, 2014 07:25PM
● By Erin Lehn Floresca
Naturopathic consultant Jessica Shoemaker was preparing to become a traditional medical doctor when she discovered naturopathic medicine almost by accident. “I was so intrigued with naturopathy I flew out and visited the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, in Portland, Oregon,” she recalls. “Within minutes, I realized that was where I belonged.”
After graduating with honors in 2004, Shoemaker decided to bring this new passion back to her hometown, where she eventually opened up Natural Paths to Wellness, in Camp Hill. It is one of the largest naturopathic centers in the state, consisting of three naturopathic practitioners, including Heather DeLuca, BS, ND, and Leia Anderson, BA, MS, ND.
Natural Paths to Wellness accepts patients of all ages with a variety of health concerns ranging from digestive and female issues to cardiovascular problems, obesity, diabetes and everything in-between. “Naturopathic medicine is about getting to the root of health concerns,” says Shoemaker. “We see the body as a whole and treat the core imbalance.”
According to Shoemaker, naturopathic doctors like to connect the dots between symptoms that are showing up in the body—even seemingly unrelated ones. “We see symptoms as messengers. If we try to eradicate only the symptoms, we’ve shot the messengers,” she says. “When we can see how all symptoms are related, it’s much easier to determine the root cause of health issues.”
One of Shoemaker’s favorite aspects about naturopathic medicine is the amount of time she gets to spend with her patients. “Really getting to know each patient’s history is of the utmost importance,” she says. That’s why an initial appointment at Natural Paths to Wellness usually lasts an hour-and-a-half and follow-up appointments are 45 minutes.
Although Shoemaker is a licensed naturopathic doctor in the state of Oregon, there is currently no licensure allowed in the state of Pennsylvania. “Here, we’re considered alternative healthcare consultants,” she says. “But hopefully, that will all soon change. We’re just waiting on a bill to pass in the senate.” Once that happens, her patients will receive even more benefits from naturopathic care. “I’m just thrilled to be on the forefront of the expansion of naturopathic medicine in Pennsylvania,” she says.
Another reward for Shoemaker is witnessing so many sick people attain vibrant health. “I get ridiculously giddy when I see hope return to a patient’s face,” she confesses. “And that’s what I love about naturopathic medicine. In addition to promoting better health, it offers hope.”
Natural Paths to Wellness is located at 3601 Gettysburg Rd., in Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-494-4500 or visit NaturalPathsToWellness.com.
Erin Lehn Floresca is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings