Dr. Kunkel’s approach to therapy uses a unique blend of several synergistic modalities. They include naturopathy, functional medicine and orthomolecular medicine. Below is an explanation of the naturopathic principles in the way that Dr. Kunkel practices them.
Doctor as Teacher: Dr. Kunkel believes this to be the the primary tenet of naturopathy if service and empowerment are the highest goals of the physician. Knowledge is power and yet we find ourselves more and more disempowered in this age of information. This is why wisdom and understanding need to be used to direct the knowledge and give it purpose. All the other principles of naturopathy cannot be understood without first learning the nature of health and dis-ease. It is the duty of the physician to share this knowledge and wisdom in a way that others can learn how to live a healthy life without always being dependent upon the physician.
The Healing Power of Nature: The body has the ability to heal itself when provided with what it needs. The physician’s job is to facilitate this process and remove the obstacles that prevent the life force from reaching a healthy state of equilibrium.
First Do No Harm: In order for the physician to work with the intelligent life force that always seeks the healthiest state of balance, the physician must understand how the body heals itself. Symptoms are generally the body’s vital force intelligently responding. Therefore, to stop these bodily responses is likely to disorder the life force and may lead to suppression of the illness, rather than resolution. Pharmaceuticals, surgery, and radiation don’t generally help the body heal but rather suppress symptoms. Therefore, in order to prevent future long-term harm, these modalities should only be used in life-threatening situations.
Prevention: The naturopath understands that prevention of disease is the superior path. Once it occurs, it is always far more difficult to regain good health than it would have been to prevent disease in the first place. However, Dr. Kunkel believes disease is also a great teacher. His goal isn’t just the eradication of dis-ease, but to help his patients get the most out of the process of regaining their vitality. In this way, his patients often become more empowered and aware than they would have been otherwise.
Treat the Whole Person: Disease almost always involves more than just the body, even when the problem is defined or diagnosed as a physical issue. The naturopath understands this and looks at the mind, the emotions and the spirit as well. All of these components make up the unified being and do not exist separate from each other. Therefore, by understanding the individual on as many levels as possible, a unique and effective healing approach can be developed.
Identify and Treat the Cause: A good naturopath understands that the symptoms of a disease are not the cause of the disease, but are the body’s vital force reacting to the cause of the disease. Suppressing symptoms is not good therapy. This is where naturopathy excels when treating chronic disease states; for only in treating the cause can a beneficial resolution occur, rather than a continuous weakening of the life force through suppression.