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How We Treat

"Scope of practice" is specifically defined by legislation in the various states and provinces that license or regulate naturopathic doctors (NDs).  Practice varies significantly among states, provinces, and countries. The regulation program for Colorado was initiated in 2013. 

Currently, 22 states, five Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands all have laws regulating naturopathic doctors. Several of these jurisdictions regard NDs as primary care physicians and provide them with the scope of diagnostic and therapeutic privileges necessary to be the doctor first seen by the patient for general health care, for advice on keeping healthy, and for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions.  In the state of Colorado, Naturopathic doctors are registered, but not considered primary care providers.
The ND is defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as one who:

diagnoses, treats, and cares for patients, using a system of practice that bases its treatment of all physiological functions and abnormal conditions on natural laws governing the body, utilizes physiological, psychological and mechanical methods, such as air, water, heat, earth, phytotherapy (treatment by use of plants), electrotherapy, physiotherapy, minor surgery, mechanotherapy, naturopathic corrections and manipulation, and all natural methods or modalities, together with natural medicines, natural processed foods, herbs, and natural remedies. Excludes major surgery, therapeutic use of x-ray and radium, and prescribing of drugs, except those assimilable substances containing elements or compounds which are compounds of body tissues and are physiologically compatible to body processes for maintenance of life.

The therapeutic modalities used by the doctors at Sage Holistic Health are consistent with our scope of practice in Colorado.


Botanical Medicine

Many plant substances are powerful medicines. An herbalist generally utilizes the entire plant either singly or in combination with complimentary herbs as extracts, teas, or dried encapsulated preparations. When properly utilized, most botanical medicines can be applied effectively with minimal likelihood of side effects.

Many drugs commonly used in modern medicine were originally derived from medicinal plants. In these cases, an active ingredient of an herb was identified, isolated then chemically synthesized to form a drug.  It is thought that the use of a single component may be responsible for some of the adverse side effects commonly experienced because of the absence of other components found in the whole plant.

Both Chinese and western herbs are used at Sage Holistic Health and are combined to provide the best formula for each unique individual.

Clinical Nutrition

Food is the best medicine for both prevention and treatment of diseases and is a cornerstone of our naturopathic practice. Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with proper nutrition and targeted nutritional supplements than they can by other means, with fewer complications and side effects. We examine each patient’s diet in conjunction with their symptoms and suggest healthy changes. Though we do not believe there is one optimal diet plan that will fit everyone’s needs, we do promote whole, nutrient-dense food.

Food sensitivity testing may be considered when symptoms are not alleviated by upgrading the diet alone. A blood sample is sent to a specialty lab and results will show what foods are causing inflammation. We may also suggest testing to evaluate digestive function, intestinal health, or nutritional status.

Cleansing and fasting are other nutrition-based therapies that may be considered at the clinic with certain individuals. These involve eliminating many or most foods generally considered inflammatory for a specific amount of time, then slowly reintroducing them and tracking symptoms.

You are what you eat—and what you assimilate.  If your digestion is not optimal, symptoms as varied as constipation and bloating to extreme fatigue may occur.  Eating foods that are inflammatory in nature can lead to or aggravate pain syndromes or cause immune reactions.

When dietary recommendations are made, we often suggest the changes be instituted for the entire family so as to normalize the “new” diet plan.

Homeopathic Medicine

According to Merriam-Webster, homeopathy is:

a system of medical practice that treats a disease especially by the administration of minute doses of a remedy that would in larger amounts produce in healthy persons symptoms like those of the disease.

Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of "like cures like." Clinical observation indicates that homeopathy works on a subtle, yet powerful, energetic level, gently acting to promote healing on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels. It is a holistic, natural approach that is useful for both acute and chronic conditions.

Mind/Body Medicine

As a community, we no longer concur that the mind and the body are different entities, not affecting one another. Mental attitudes and emotional states may influence, or even cause, physical illness. Lifestyle counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management, and other therapies are used to help patients heal psychologically as well as physically. Thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning as well as our ability to heal.

A major focus of our practice is understanding the life experiences and challenges our patients face. We take the time to listen, identify stressors, and determine strategies for successfully navigating a path towards optimal health.

Physical Medicine

Naturopathic medicine has its own methods of therapeutic treatment of soft tissue, muscles, bones, and spine. In Colorado it is called, “Naturopathic Manual Therapy (NMT).” We also use exercise, therapeutic movements, massage, hydrotherapy (specific hot and cold applications), acupuncture, and gentle electrical therapies including microcurrent.

Dr. Plummer combines her massage background with NMT to perform Advanced Restorative Bodywork (ARB) on patients in need of physical restructuring to aid in the healing of their symptoms.

Dr. Koloski combines microcurrent and massage with acupuncture to elicit greater healing and pain relief.

Lisa Smuin, LMT, offers massage therapy for stress and reduction of pain.

Laboratory Testing

Naturopathic doctors are trained to use many available diagnostic techniques to uncover the cause of the patient’s presenting symptoms and then customize treatment plans to each individual. Specialty labs performing food sensitivity testing, stool analysis, hormonal assessments, conventional blood testing and diagnostic imaging are utilized on a case by case basis for further understanding of the dysfunction(s) and treatment of our patients. 

The doctors refer their patients to each other for specific treatments, and to other health care professionals for testing when appropriate. They have worked diligently to develop and nurture an extensive referral network amongst various health care providers to provide the ultimate health team for each patient.