Living Well

Naturopathy looks to treat the root of the problem

lw naturopathyBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

As a doctor of naturopathy, Michelle Sanderbeck said one of her main concerns is finding the underlying cause of her patients’ problems rather than just treating the symptoms. 

“Naturopathy is wellness,” she said. “It means working on bringing the body back into health through different kinds of natural modalities.” 

She said much of this revolves around making sure, not only that the body gets the nutrients it needs, but also that it has the necessary enzymes to break down those nutrients. 

“If the carpenter doesn’t show up to build the house, the raw material can’t do what it is intended to do,” she said. 

And so it goes with digestive enzymes. If they are not functioning properly, then the body will not be properly nourished.  

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Sanderbeck said there are simple principles people can apply to promote a healthier lifestyle.

• Get clean, pure water. “That doesn’t mean the water that comes from the tap that has chlorine and fluoride in it,” she said.

• Examine your food choices. Shopping at grocery stores, buying organic and preparing your own food instead of eating out can help you avoid pesticides and other chemicals your body will have to filter out.

• Get plenty of rest. Sanderbeck recommended eight hours of sleep every night. 

• Exercise. “You don’t have to go to a gym … Walking is good,” she said. 

• Minimize your intake of stimulants. 

• Do an annual cleanse. This helps keep your organs young, she said, but she suggested not doing a cleanse on your own if it is your first time. 

• Reduce stress in your life. Stress comes in many forms. The body can face mechanical stress from structural issues, such as having one leg longer than the other, Sanderbeck said. Chemicals from the foods people eat and the products they use also places stress on the body. Then there is emotional stress. “It’s learning how to set your boundaries and not allowing the toxic relationships to create stress on you emotionally,” Sanderbeck said. 

To make an appointment with Sanderbeck at Be Well Western Carolina, call 828.734.7702. For more information visit

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