imgAlice Fong is a naturopathic doctor (ND) and licensed massage therapist (LMT). She uses an integrative approach to health and wellbeing. Naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention using natural methods in combination with the rigors of modern science. Rather than trying to mask symptoms of a condition with pharmaceuticals, naturopathy tries to find the root cause, remove those barriers to health, and help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal wellbeing.

Dr. Alice strongly believes that the mind-body connection is an essential component of health. Mental and emotional wellbeing can contribute to one’s physical health, and vice versa. She specializes in stress management and helps people develop more awareness of their minds and bodies to give them the power to heal themselves. Some signs of prolonged stress include depression, anxiety, pain, overeating/poor dietary choices, decreased immune function, high blood pressure, and insomnia. The healing modalities she implements include biofeedback, hypnotherapy, nutritional consulting, and wellness counseling.

Dr. Alice is originally from Northern California, but moved to the Seattle area to study psychology at the University of Puget Sound. After college, she went on to acquire her massage therapy license, and then onward to attend Bastyr University, a 4-year accredited graduate program, where she received her naturopathic degree. She relocated to Southern Maryland in July 2015 and is excited to be living on the East Coast. Hobbies include kickboxing, yoga, dancing, strength training, cooking, and travel. She is looking forward to working with you to meet your health goals. More information about Dr. Alice is on her website: dralicefong.com.

Stress is a major component of nearly everyone’s life, but it is often disregarded or not handled as well as it could be. Numerous studies have shown that prolonged stress can have a negative impact on person’s physical health and mental and emotional wellbeing. Signs can include, but are not limited to: fatigue, depression, anxiety, pain, decreased immune function, high blood pressure, and insomnia. Perhaps you cannot always change the stressors that come up in your life, but you CAN change the way you respond to stress. And Dr. Alice’s job is to show you how you can handle your stress better using a wide variety of tools, such as: teaching you to train your body to relax more naturally when you need (using biofeedback), or talking you into a relaxed peaceful state and giving you the motivation and confidence to achieve your goals (using hypnotherapy), or physically relieving and/or eliminating the stress your body carries (using massage).

Some other conditions Dr. Alice can help with include (but not limited to):
• Acne
• Adrenal deficiencies
• Allergies
• Asthma
• Cancer support
• Common cold and flu
• Constipation
• Cough 
• Diabetes
• Fatigue
• Fibromyalgia
• HIV/AIDs support
• Heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension 
• Hypothyroidism/Hyperthyroidism
• Infections
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Insomnia
• Menopause
• PMS 
• Weight loss and management

Education, Training , and Background:
Naturopathic doctorate (ND) from Bastyr University, B.A. in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound, Licensed Massage Therapist in the state of Maryland, Certified Hypnotherapist with the International Hypnosis Association.

Modalities: Nutrition and Supplement Consulting, Hypnotherapy, Counseling (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing), Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Visualizations, Meditation, Breathwork, Emotional Freedom Technique, Biofeedback, Massage, Craniosacral Therapy.

What is naturopathic medicine? 
Naturopathic medicine is based on 6 principles: 

First Do No Harm – primum non nocere
The Healing Power of Nature – vis medicatrix naturae
Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect -tolle causam
Treat the Whole Person – tolle totum
The Physician is a Teacher – docere
Prevention is the best “cure” – praevenire

The naturopathic approach believes that the human body has an innate ability to heal itself and it’s a matter of finding the underlying cause to support this healing process. There are many ways in which people can help support the process such as with counseling, nutrition, herbal medicine, and physical manipulations.

A simple example in understanding naturopathic medicine is to imagine a patient coming in with chronic headaches. Almost everyone has experienced a headache at one time or another, but how they respond to the headache varies widely. The common allopathic (aka. conventional medicine) solution to the problem would be to take an Ibuprofen or aspirin. There is nothing wrong with this approach, it takes away the headache usually, and sometimes in that particular moment, that’s what people need. However, if someone using this solution EVERY time they have a headache, they are not looking at the root cause of the problem which may continue to grow to the point where it’s significantly damaging to your health and the Ibuprofen doesn’t help anymore.

The naturopathic approach would be to look deeper at what is causing the headaches, and work on removing those obstacle to cure. It may take longer, but in the end, the patient will no longer suffer from headaches and will not need to use the Ibuprofen as often. The Ibuprofen is simply masking the symptom of the headache, not curing it. What is causing the headache? Perhaps the patient has significant muscle tension in their neck and they need regular bodywork to relieve the tension. Or perhaps the only beverage they drink is coffee and alcohol and they need to add water into the equation. Or perhaps they are majorly stressed at work and need to find better ways to cope with stress. The last one is particularly common. Everyone has some sort of stressor in their life and the added effect of all this stress can manifest itself physically as a wide array of symptoms and/or diseases (some far worse than just headaches). Naturopathic medicine looks to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.

What is a naturopathic doctor? (ND)
Naturopathic doctors (sometimes called naturopaths) are trained as primary care physicians and are currently licensed in 17 states (although in some states NDs can only be considered specialty providers rather than primary care providers depending on the regulations of the state). In licensed states, they can diagnose and treat many medical conditions. They can draw blood, run labs, request medical records, and perform physical and screening exams. After completing their pre-med requirements and receiving a bachelor’s degree, they go through a vigorous 4 to 6 year graduate program through an accredited school with over 1200 hours of training. The first 2 years are similar to allopathic or conventional medical schools in that it focuses on the basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology). The next 2 years focuses more on the clinical training aspect and treatment modalities, where it typically differ from allopathic medicine. Naturopathic treatment plans integrate both modern day science and research with more traditional natural medical approaches. 

Naturopathic doctors work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada. Qualified naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners. 

In unlicensed states, where naturopathic medicine isn’t regulated by the state, anyone can claim to be a naturopathic doctor (and some might even in licensed state who aren’t obeying the state laws). They might have received an online degree or went to an unaccredited school. However, to have a fully qualified naturopathic physician in North America, you should check if they have gone to one of the 7 accredited schools in North America, as listed by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC): Bastyr University, National College of Natural Medicine, National University of Health Sciences, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, University of Bridgeport – College of Naturopathic Medicine, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine.

What can a ND do in Maryland?
Maryland recently passed it’s licensure law in October of 2014. However, the bill will not be in effect until March of 2016. Which technically means, anyone can say they are a naturopath or naturopathic doctor until the bill takes effect in Mar 2016 when it will be regulated by the state like many other healthcare professions (massage, chiropractic, MDs, nursing, etc). Once licensure is in effect, qualified and licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) will be allowed to:
– Order and perform physical and laboratory examinations, including phlebotomy, laboratory tests, orificial examinations, EKGs, and physiological function tests
– Order diagnostic imaging studies and interpret the reports of the studies
– Dispense and order natural medicines (foods, vitamins, enzymes, herbs)
– Hydrotherapy
– Electromagnetic energy
– Therapeutic exercise for basic services
– Nutrition and health counseling
– Naturopathic musculoskeletal mobilization

However, NDs in Maryland will NOT be allowed to prescribe pharmaceuticals, accept insurance, or be considered primary care physicians.

What is Hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy is somewhat of a blend between counseling and meditation; Dr. Alice will put you into a relaxed (or trance) state and converse with you over your areas of concern, as well as guiding you in visualizations. This approach is called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). It involves accessing the subconscious mind to help your healing process. Useful for smoking cessation, weight loss, stress management, confidence and motivation, relationship issues, performance, anxiety, inner conflict, personal growth and change. There are many other uses also.

In a hypnotherapy session, you will be in control the whole time. You will be aware of what is said and done during the session and continue to remember it afterwards. Anyone is able to be put in a trance state. The level or depth of the trance varies from person to person, but usually it becomes easier to go deeper into trance after the first few sessions. It is safe and powerful tool in working towards mental and emotional wellbeing.

Biofeedback
Biofeedback is the process of becoming aware of our physiological (aka biological) responses and learning how to regulate these processes (such as breathing and heartrate) through the use of machines or people who offer feedback about those responses. Once we learn to regulate these, we can generalize it to our whole life to where it can impact our mood and autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system involves your sympathetic (fight or flight; stress response) and parasympathetic nervous systems (rest and digest; relaxation). Balancing our autonomic nervous system will allow us to better cope with the many stressors of daily living and ultimately improve our health and immune function. There are many various modalities within biofeedback, but I primarily focus on breathwork and meditation to help with emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. 

It is recommended to do weekly biofeedback sessions for a minimum of 4-6 weeks for optimal results. This is somewhat of a relaxation training program that will help you respond to stressors in a healthier manner. 

It does involve 10-20 minutes of daily practices and exercises, therefore requires a committed individual. 

Biofeedback is highly recommended for clients who have difficulty relaxing or reaching the “trance” state in hypnotherapy. 

Some conditions biofeedback can effectively treat include: 
• Relaxation and Stress/Pain Management 
• Anxiety and Panic Attacks/Disorders 
• Hypertension / Cardiovascular disorders 
• Asthma 
• Hyperventilation syndrome • Lung function – increase stamina in COPD 
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

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