Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 30, 2003

Naturopath specialist says 'heal the cause' in medicine

By Lynda Jensen

"Heal the cause," is the theme of a different approach to medicine taken by naturopath specialist Laura Robideau of New Germany.

Robideau is on staff at the Montrose Chiropractic Center, and has been practicing naturopathic medicine for three years.

Naturopath specialists are sometimes referred to as "drugless doctors," although they are not medical doctors. They do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.

Instead, Robideau looks at the overall picture of her clients' health, taking into account lifestyle, diet, and the emotional well being of a patient, as well as traditional medical issues, she said. This is better than simply treating a symptom, she added.

Naturopath specialists believe in purely natural ways to treat pain and disease; finding balance in a person's physical health.

For example, headaches would be thought of as an imbalance in the person's body, and the specialist would suggest making changes in lifestyle, nutrition, or emotional changes to alleviate the condition.

Recently, Robideau taught a class through Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Community Education called "PH cell balancing, blood type diet and nutrition." She's also taught "Happy hormones," among other classes.

She has helped people with everything from obesity to fertility, she said.

Robideau has between 400 and 500 clients from South Dakota, Minnesota, and other states.

What is naturopathy?

"Naturopathy is based on the belief in the body's innate God-given natural ability to heal itself when given an appropriate internal and external healing environment," Robideau said.

There are about six naturopath specialists in the state, she said.

Naturopath medicine is non-invasive natural healing, which may incorporate the following:

· counseling

· reflexology

· electromagnetic study

· acupressure

· herbology, muscle relaxation

· homeopathy

· nutrition

· oxygen and thermal therapy

Among other subjects. Reflexology is about feet massage, she said. "The feet are a map to everything in the body," she said.

Other states have certification boards that grant certificates for naturopathy, she said.

In Minnesota, naturopathy is governed by a state board that was only recently formed in Minnesota by former Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Robideau spent four years attending classes for anatomy, herbology, and many other subjects.

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