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Arts and Entertainment Friday, Sep. 21, 2012 9 years ago

First of all, do no harm

by: Kimberly Braun


I walk into the waiting room of Thrive and am greeted by soothing colors, comfy pillows and a trickling wall-mounted stone fountain. What is this place of respite from heat and traffic? It is the office of two naturopathic physicians. We are getting ready to interview one of them, Dr. Jessica Lipham, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Naturopathy. The very office tells my senses much about the style of medicine of which we are about to learn. With raw herbs in large glass jars, loose Chinese teas filling shelves, vegan cookbooks on the counter next to burning aromatherapy candles, we are definitely in a unique place for health and wellness. Even the woman at the front desk exudes joy and ease, sure to set anyone entering the office with stress into a place of reassurance.


The medicine of naturopathy, like nature itself, is a weaving of many interdependent elements into a creative plan honoring the unique history of each patient. The primary principle upon which the system is built is, "First of all, do no harm." The medical approach reinforces the belief that the body has within itself all it needs to create health, and naturopathy works in harmony with this innate ability, enhancing it, finding it, and repairing it.

What does that all mean? It doesn’t sound very concrete, does it? Yet, it is….

A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.

Your first appointment with Dr. Lipham will likely surprise you. Ushered into a sunlit sitting room and offered a tea of your choice, you can relax into conversation for about two and a half to three hours as you share your history, your present needs and your hope for the future. With you as a respected participant in the diagnosis and the treatment, Dr. Lipham will assess what you have shared and create an integrative plan. Working with nutrition, supplements, lifestyle and various therapies (such as acupuncture, cupping, craniosacral and more,) Dr. Lipham will show herself to be a true advocate for your health. They can even order traditional tests and scans as needed and ask you to bring any records or medications you presently have.

In the office of Thrive you will not only find private session rooms, but also a yoga/workshop space with a soft wood floor, mats, pillows and sheer curtains to provide a community approach to your growth in understanding the body and how to care for it. How interesting it is that we need skills to understand something as close to us as ourselves, yet it remains true.

Check out Thrive's website or visit them on Nov. 10 at the fifth annual Sarasota Naturally.


This article is brought to you by:
- Kimberly Braun, Empowerment Guru and Director of Sarasota Naturally and Celebrate Wellness Fest. Visit for more info.

- This Week In Sarasota, a media sponsor of Sarasota Naturally and Celebrate Wellness Fest.


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