analysis: a healing justice framework

 At the foundation of my work is a commitment to social justice, recognizing that healing our individual and collective body/mind/spirit is healing the planet, as we are each a cell in the great Mother Earth. Healing is a revolutionary act, and self-care and community-care are liberation work. Healing justice is an anti-oppression framework recognizing that cultural and historical trauma shape our lives and our health.

Naturopathic medicine is a practical and philosophical approach to healing which runs counter to the conventional medical model, which is framed by disease-management rather than health care and prevention. In the biomedical model, understanding of the human body is garnered through the study of non-living tissue, which is broken down into separate organ systems. Physicians are trained as specialists of these distinct systems and do not evaluate the body or the person as a whole physical being, to speak nothing of integrating a concept of the body with mind, emotion, spirit, and social identities. Further, the Western medical concept of 'health' is a fundamentally ableist construct that pathologizes difference in physical, mental and emotional personhood. The medicalization and pathologization of people based on body size, gender expression, neurological presentation, sexual orientation and mental health status has done great harm and resulted in medical trauma for many individuals of marginalized identities, leading to mistrust and adding barriers to access and exacerbating health disparities.

By contrast, naturopathic medicine is rooted in the healing power of nature, honoring a person's inherent wholeness and ability to heal with use of non-invasive natural medicines. The role of the practitioner is not a paternalistic authority, but rather a teacher of practices and modalities offered to assist the whole person in their capacity for healing, as self-defined. In my work I aim to create a brave, safer space for whole person care, centering POC and LGBTQIA+, with a commitment to disability justice and inclusivity. My role is to hold space, bear witness, assist with identifying the underlying causes of imbalances, and explore with you the many therapeutic tools available. This is a co-creative process rather than directive; my aim is to support your empowerment with information and resources.

Unfortunately, naturopathic doctors in the State of Michigan are not eligible to bill insurance due to licensing status and exclusion by insurance companies. Because I am unable to bill insurance, my practice is fee-for-service. Maintaining a fee-for-service practice is a constant balance of covering expenses while keeping fees accessible. My aim is to make the work as financially accessible as possible while at the same time being sustainable, which is why I offer a sliding scale and maintain additional very low-cost slots for clients. 

Healing Justice Resources:

Reflections from Detroit: Transforming Wellness and Wholeness by Cara Page

Healing Justice is How We Can Sustain Black Lives by Prentis Hemphill, Healing Justice Coordinator for Black Lives Matter

A Not-So-Brief History of the Healing Justice Movement by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Healing Justice podcast with Kate Werner

Rock Dove Collective: A lineage of radical wellness by Autumn Brown

Healing Justice Principles, 2012 Allied Media Conference Healing Justice Practice Space

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