Achieve Freedom From Stress and Anxiety Naturally so You Can Handle All Your Many Responsibilities Effectively and with Ease!

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Are you a busy overwhelmed professional who is feeling run down and burnt out?  Does high stress and anxiety negatively impact your productivity, performance, health and relationships?

What would your life look like if you were completely free of your stress and anxiety AND handling all your many responsibilities effectively and with ease?  

I’m here to tell you, it IS possible.  Let me tell you how.

The truth about stress

Prolonged stress and anxiety can impact the body in many negative ways such as weight gain, fatigue, diminished immune function, elevated blood pressure, disrupted sleep and digestion to name a few!  It can ALSO have a negative impact on your mind…making it hard to focus and remember important tasks, stop you from pursuing big goals and dreams because of the worry and fear, and leave you feeling resigned and depressed about your life.

Stress leads to increases in a hormone called cortisol, and elevated cortisol levels over time can lead to other issues such as:

Stress > Increased Cortisol  > Causes Increased Appetite, Blood Sugar & Stored Fat; Lowers Testosterone

Although you cannot always remove the stressors in your life, you can change the way your body responds to it.

Understanding Your Nervous System

When your body or mind is stressed, your “sympathetic nervous system” is activated. It is better known as the “fight or flight response.”  What happens to our bodies when we’re in this “stress” mode is our heart races, pupils dilate, we sweat, and our blood pressure and cortisol rises.  It’s an important system to have to be able to exercise or handle dangerous situations.  However, the problem is, if we are ALWAYS in this “stress mode,” it overworks our adrenal glands, which is responsible for the output of the hormone cortisol in our bodies.  Eventually the adrenal glands will be depleted over time, which can lead to the brain fog, fatigue, sleep disturbances, weight gain, and it make us more susceptible to getting sick.

The opposite of the “sympathetic nervous system,” is the “parasympathetic nervous system,” which is responsible for “rest and digestion.”  In this state, our heart rate and breathing slow down, our blood pressure lowers, and our fingers and toes can become warm because your blood is pumping through the whole body rather than mainly to your heart (in stress mode, blood pumps to your heart to be able to run away).  The “parasympathetic nervous system” mode is where our bodies need to be the majority of the time, but the high demands of work and life make that challenging for many people.  However, it is possible to train your body and mind to enter the “parasympathetic” state even in the most stressful situations. It does take time and commitment to achieve this but it’s entirely possible with the right tools and support system.


What have you done so far to address your stress and anxiety?

Maybe it helped a little, but not as much as you would have liked.  OR it helped in the beginning but after a while, it just stopped working. OR maybe it does help a lot but you don’t want to be on meds for the rest of your life.

Maybe it helped a little, but not as much as you would have liked.  OR it helped in the beginning but after a while, it just stopped working. OR maybe it does help a lot but you don’t want to be doing therapy for the rest of your life.


What if I told you there were MORE than those 2 options to tackle your stress anxiety? Not only are there other options, but BETTER and MORE EFFECTIVE options!

I will share about a 5-step holistic approach called the AMOUR system that will help you…

✔achieve freedom from your stress and anxiety without medications in 6 months or less so you can be more productive, effective, and focus on what matters to you!
✔feel good in your body and mind
✔improve health concerns that are exasperated by your stress or anxiety

✔be a source of calm for the people around you

AN OVERVIEW OF THE AMOUR SYSTEM – A 5-Step Holistic Approach to Optimal Wellbeing

Amazing Foundation – Nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits are the foundation of health.

Mindfulness –  This could be psychological inquiry, therapy, meditation, self development.  Anything to bring more awareness to your body and mind and explore how your thought processes contribute to the stress and anxiety.

Order Labs – Bloodwork and labs give you valuable information about your body and brain.

Uncover Root Cause –  It’s important to look at any underlying medical conditions that contribute to your stress and anxiety such as thyroid and/or adrenal problems, autoimmune conditions, hormone imbalances, and digestive problems. Addressing the root cause is how we resolve our symptoms in the long term.

Revitalize Putting all the pieces together and taking the right actions WILL renew, re-shape, and re-energize your body and mind. It is not just about giving your relief from stress and anxiety, but it is also about creating a life that you love and enjoy.  Breathing life back into your fullest potential.


Helpful Tips and Resources for Each Step of the AMOUR system

Amazing Foundation

You would not want to build a house on an unstable foundation.  We have to make sure the foundational components of health are strong and in place before we do anything else.  That would include good nutrition, exercise, getting enough sleep, and drinking enough water. Nutrition plays a huge role in mental wellbeing. The food you put into your body can significantly impact your mood and energy levels.

  • Focus on whole, non-processed foods
  • Stay away from the SUGAR!
  • Lean meats, veggies, fruits, seeds, some nuts, and healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, and fish. A little bit of rice and quinoa are okay too.
  • Focus on QUALITY food, not calories
  • Some paleo recipe books I like include: Practical Paleo, Make Ahead Paleo
  • Some workout apps I like include: 7 Minute Workout, Freeletics, BeachBody
  • A general rule of thumb for how much water to drink, is half your weight in ounces.
    • Example: A 150 lb person should drink 75 ounces of water a day
  • Have a consistent morning and bedtime routine. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get a nutritionist and/or personal trainer
  • We have a 6-Month Survive to Thrive Program that includes a customized nutrition and lifestyle plan that a licensed doctor will guide you through


Developing self awareness is crucial for you to achieve freedom from stress and anxiety.   It’s important to look deeper into your relationships, job stress, and self worth issues that influence your thought patterns because it can help you discover the source of the negative or stressful thoughts, where they come from and how to free yourself from those thoughts.  Having a regular daily mindfulness practice can help you stay relaxed and calm in the long term.  Or do some personal development or go into a psychological inquiry with a trained professional.

  • Some mindfulness apps I like include: Insight Timer, Breathing Zone, Headspace, Calm, Muse
  • Some personal development books I like include: Loving What Is: 4 Questions That Can Change Your Life; The Four Agreements, Untethered Soul, Power of Now, Miracle Morning, Feeding Your Demons
  • My favorite personal development course: The Landmark Forum
  • Get a therapist or counselor
  • Go to meditation or yoga classes
  • Some mindfulness tools I utilizes in the Survive to Thrive program include biofeedback, hypnotherapy, meditation, coaching, and counseling.
    • Biofeedback is the process of becoming aware of our physiological (aka biological) responses and learning how to regulate these processes (such as breathing and heart rate) through the use of machines or people who offer feedback about those responses. Once we learn to regulate these, we can generalize it to our whole life to where it can impact our mood and autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system involves your sympathetic (fight or flight; stress response) and parasympathetic nervous systems (rest and digest; relaxation). Balancing our autonomic nervous system will allow us to better cope with the many stressors of daily living and ultimately improve our health and immune function. There are many various modalities within biofeedback.
    • Hypnotherapy or Neuro-Linguistic Programing (NLP) is somewhat of a blend between counseling and meditation; I will put you into a relaxed state and converse with you over your areas of concern, as well as guiding you in visualizations. It involves accessing the subconscious mind to help your healing process. Very useful for stress and anxiety management, confidence and motivation, relationship issues, performance, inner conflict, personal growth and change. You will be in control the whole time. You will be aware of what is said and done during the session and continue to remember it afterwards. It is safe and powerful tool in working towards mental and emotional wellbeing.

Fast and Easy Mindfulness Exercise for Stress Relief

6 steps to breathing more optimally to promote parasympathetic nervous system activity:

  1. Use your diaphragm (belly) to breath instead of your chest.*  You can put your hand on your belly to feel it moving in and out to help with this.  Placing a hand on your chest can also help you assess whether it is moving or not (the goal is to not move the chest). Watching yourself in a mirror can also be a helpful tool.
  2. Breath slowly.* The standard medically defined breathrate is 12-20 breaths/min, but the optimal breathing rate for parasympathetic nervous system activity (rest/relaxed state) is 4.5-6.5 breaths/minute.
  3. Breath through your nose
  4. Do NOT take deep breaths, take SHALLOW breaths.  If you can’t inhale or exhale the length of time on the CD, just pause and hold the breath until it indicates for you to breath out.  Do NOT strain your diaphragmatic muscles when breathing (it defeats the purpose of relaxing!). People confuse deep breathing with belly breathing.  We want shallow belly breathing.
  5. Make your exhale (breathing out) longer or equal to your inhale (breathing in)
  6. Sit comfortably and upright (back straight to get good airflow)

* Indicates most important components

Watch the breath training video here.

Purpose of Respiration

  • Saturate blood with oxygen
  • Saturate blood with CO2- dissolved as carbonic acid
  • Maintain blood pH ~ 7.4 (7.35 – 7.45
  • Remove and retain alkaline and acidic kidney by products
  • Maintain breathing drive at optimal levels


  • Hypertension / Cardiovascular disorders
  • Asthma
  • Hyperventilation syndrome
  • Lung function – increase stamina in COPD
  • Anxiety/Panic Disorders
  • Pain Management
  • Relaxation/Stress Management

Practice this breathing exercise for 10 minutes a day for at least 5 days/week (ideally every day though).  The goal is to breathe at a slower rate on your own eventually with enough practice, it starts to feel more natural.

Learning how to breathe in a new way is a process in itself and takes time.  We are forming new habits/behaviors which requires continual training.  Keep a log of breath practice and record the date/time you practiced, and how you felt before and after the practice.

Order Labs

Bloodwork and labs give you valuable information about your body and brain.  We can measure your cortisol and other stress hormones to see how well your adrenal glands are functioning.  Other valuable measures in assessing our overall health and wellbeing include looking at food sensitivities/allergies, vitamin/mineral/antioxidant deficiencies, hormones, and neurotransmitters.

There are 3 incredibly useful labs I order when working with highly stressed individuals.  All 3 are included in the Survive to Thrive Program.

The NeuroHormone Complete Profile

  • This profile is the best starting point for initial assessment of hormonal status, adrenal functionand neurotransmitter balance. This profile is important for both men and women, providing baseline and monitoring information for patients of all ages. It is especially useful in individuals who are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
    • Mood disorders, depression, anxiety
    • Addiction, dependency
    • Fatigue, lack of stamina, insomnia
    • Chronic illness, immune deficiency
    • Cognitive confusion, learning challenges, declining memory
    • Weight issues, appetite control
    • Low libido, sexual dysfunction
    • PMS, menopause, andropause
    • Fibromyalgia, chronic pain
  • Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that facilitate the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across a synapse. Neurotransmitters work with receptors in the brain to influence and regulate a wide range of processes such as mental performance, emotions, pain response and energy levels. Functioning primarily in the Central Nervous System (CNS), neurotransmitters are the brain’s chemical messengers, facilitating communication among the body’s glands, organs, and muscles. Numerous clinical studies have shown that inadequate neurotransmitter function has a profound influence on overall health and well-being. In fact, imbalances in certain neurotransmitters are associated with most of the prevalent symptoms and conditions seen in practitioners’ offices today.
  • This is a non-invasive urine and saliva test that you can do in the convenience of your home
  • Learn more here.

Micronutrient Testing for Nutritional Deficiency

  • The micronutrient test provides the most comprehensive nutritional analysis available by measuring functional deficiencies at the cellular level. It is an assessment of how well the body utilizes 33 vitamins, minerals, amino/fatty acids, antioxidants, and metabolites, while conveying the body’s need for these micronutrients that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones, and other substances essential for proper growth, development, and good health. This test provides the basis of a personalized, functional approach in addressing a broad variety of clinical conditions.  The micronutrient deficiencies that can contribute to anxiety and stress include: Vitamins D, E, B3, B6, zinc, selenium, magnesium, copper, serine, choline, inositol, folate, chromium and carnitine. Rather than shooting the dark with what supplements to take, this test lets you know exactly what your body is deficient in so we can treat accordingly based on the results.
  • This is a blood draw. I will send you to lab to have this test complete.
  • Learn more here.

Food Allergy and/or Sensitivity Testing

  • Certain foods could be contributing to your stress and anxiety. Knowing how food impacts your body and mind can make a big difference! This test will check for IgG antibodies for 96 or 184 different general foods. IgG reactions can occur later in life and are generally more chronic long term reactions that are not typically life threatening, but can still cause great distress or discomfort on the body in various ways such as mood changes, fatigue, sleep or digestive problems, headaches, and skin issues. IgG reactions can also be delayed reactions that make it more difficult to figure out which food a person may be reacting to, whereas IgE reactions tend to be more immediate. IgE reactions are the life threatening anaphylactic reactions, that typically are present from birth/childhood and require immediate treatment with an epi pen.
  • This is a finger-stick blood test that you can do in the convenience of your home.
  • See what foods we look at here.

Uncover Root Cause

When the check engine light of your car lights up, you have 2 options: get your car checked to figure out what’s wrong or ignore it.  It might be nothing or it could be an issue that will progressively get worse if you continue to ignore it.  Maybe you can figure out how to fix it yourself with YouTube to save a couple bucks, but what if it’s a bigger problem than you realize?  Do you want to take that risk on such a high ticket item like your car or would you rather have a mechanic look at it, run some diagnostic tests, and get to source of the problem?  Because sometimes if you just let the problem get worse, it ends up costing you more.

Now, are you willing to value your body and mind as much as you value your car? I hope so!

The results from the lab work give us a direction in how to best optimize both your mental and physical health.  More importantly though, it’s critical to look at any underlying medical conditions that contribute to your stress and anxiety such as thyroid and/or adrenal problems, autoimmune conditions, hormone imbalances, and digestive problems. Having a doctor on board as part of your diagnostic team is invaluable. Addressing the root cause is how we resolve our symptoms in the long term.


The definition of “Revitalize” is to give new life or vigor to.

Putting all the pieces together and taking the right actions WILL renew, re-shape, and re-energize your body and mind. However, it is not just about giving your relief from stress and anxiety, but it is also about creating a life that you love and enjoy.  What would it look like if you breathed life back into your job, your relationships, AND your health?

I want to explore what you live for.  What are you passionate about?  What would make your life more fulfilling and purposeful?  What would make you excited to wake up in the morning?  If this piece is missing from your life, then you are still just living to survive, rather than living to thrive.

I get it, you’re super busy. You feel like you don’t have the time to do all those things you used to love. Maybe it was playing guitar, or dancing, or shooting some hoops with your friends.

How often does the thought “I don’t have time” come up for you? Frequently, yes?  If that’s the case, I want you to shift your mindset and take FULL responsibility for why you don’t do the things you love.  Rather than being at the affect of your circumstances (aka time), acknowledge that you are not making yourself a priority and not giving it the time. When you take responsibility for your situation, THAT is when you regain your power, because now you can do something about it.   Even if you can only set aside 5 minutes a day for that activity you love, it’s better than nothing. That 5 minutes will give you life and energy and propel you through the rest of your day.

Giving yourself new life and vigor ALSO requires self care and self-love.

Practice the art of Amour de Soi…

It is a french term for love of self. A concept developed by philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to describe the instinctive disposition of self-preservation which human beings have in the state of nature. Acts out of amour de soi tend to be for individual well-being. They are naturally good and not malicious because amour de soi as self-love does not involve pursing one’s self-interest at the expense of others. It is related to an awareness of one’s future and can restrain present impulse. The sentiment does not compare oneself with others, but is concerned solely with oneself as an absolute and valuable existence.

You know how on planes, during the in-flight safety demonstration, they always tell you that if in the rare scenario the oxygen masks get deployed, you should always put on your own mask first before helping children, the disabled, or any persons requiring assistance.  Do you know why? Because you can’t help anyone if you’re passed out or dead!

I know you have a lot of responsibilities, and perhaps a lot of people are counting on you. But if you are barely alive and not breathing yourself, you cannot be of much help or contribution to others.

So what is one act of self-love or self-care you can do TODAY?  Squeeze it into your busy calendar, even if it can only be a few minutes.

And each week, when you’re figuring out your schedule, PUT in that SELF CARE time NO MATTER WHAT and treat it AS BIG of a PRIORITY as a really important work deadline or meeting with a VIP client.  TREAT IT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!  When you start treating your self care time like that, that’s when you can feel like you handle everything that you have to do.

If you read through this entire post, congratulations! Seriously. That was an act of self-love in itself.  If you only skimmed it, that’s okay too. Pick just 1 step or recommendation to try out!

If you feel like need more support or guidance on how to navigate through all 5 steps of the AMOUR system, consider joining my 6-Month Survive to Thrive Program that will give you TWO 45-minute virtual telemedicine consultations with me EVERY month to walk you through the whole progress, so by the end, you’ll be a brand new human being!

Why Try a Naturopathic Doctor to Treat Your Anxiety or Stress?

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) focus on a holistic, proactive prevention using natural methods in combination with the rigors of modern science.  Rather than trying to mask symptoms of a condition with pharmaceuticals, naturopathy tries to find the root cause, remove those barriers to health, and help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal wellbeing.

Dr. Alice strongly believes that the mind-body connection is an essential component of health. Mental and emotional wellbeing can contribute to one’s physical health, and vice versa.

She can act as your doctor, your nutritionist, your counselor, and your coach – ALL IN ONE!

Schedule a FREE discovery session with me if you would like to take it a step further in freeing yourself from stress and anxiety!





Transforming Relationships

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I want to share one of the most significant things I have gotten out of my work with Landmark and the Curriculum for Living… an amazing relationship with my father that I didn’t even know was a possibility a couple years ago. I think it is important for me to share it because I’m going to guess I’m not the only person here who has had a difficult or just non-existent relationship with a family member that you would like to see change…and I’m here to tell you…it is possible. My relationship with my father for most of my life was just superficial conversations about school or work. We never talked about our problems or anything of much depth or substance. That has completely changed and he has told me that even though we now live on opposite ends of the country, he feels closer to me than when we used to live under the same roof many years ago. 

I’m writing this on the plane on my way to Los Angeles to support my Dad as he goes through the Landmark Forum for himself and there’s a good chance I could cry on this plane as I’m writing this because of how significant this is for him, for me, and for our whole family. I’ll let you know by the end of this, whether or not there were waterworks and if the people sitting next to me look at me like a complete weirdo. 

For my entire life, I viewed my father as a stoic, emotionally unavailable man. The traditional Chinese father. And my perception of him was that he was a ghost father, that he was there, but he wasn’t really there. He didn’t participate in my life, such as going to my swim meets, or taking me shopping. He didn’t seem to care. But that was the story I created about him, which might not have been the real case. And I blamed him for why I was attracted to emotionally unavailable men and why I had issues sustaining a long term relationship, which I thought I had overcome in therapy a long time ago and was able to to have a long relationship of 3.5 years. 

Years ago before my work with Landmark, I established in therapy/EMDR that when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, an event happened in my life that made me feel like a disappointment of a daughter. My father wanted me to take this Chinese waterpainting class. I didn’t want to do it and I avoiding telling him that until the very last minute and when I finally worked up the courage to tell him, I thought he was sooo disappointed in me. And that was just the beginning of the end for us. We didn’t have much of a relationship after that. And that was the root of all my own problems with men…or so I believed.

It wasn’t until I went through the Landmark Forum, that I realized that was just a story I created about him being emotional unavailable but it was also a story about myself. The story I told myself was that I was a disappointment of a daughter, I was unworthy, unloveable…a story, a 7-year old created in her naïve little head, that I was still carrying with me well into my adulthood. A lie I believed for a very long time until I did therapy/EMDR. It was so deeply seeded in me that and I was completely unaware of it and I probably sabotaged myself in a lot of ways in many MANY dating experiences in my 20s.

When I did the Forum back in June 2017, one of our homework exercises was to write a letter, so I decided to write a letter to my father and rather than blaming him for our lack of closeness, I took ownership of the situation and explained how I created this story about him being emotionally closed off. I told him about the water painting class and how it affected me and do you want to know what he told me? He didn’t care that I didn’t take that class I thought he really wanted me to take. I was like, oh shit, the root of my problems never even existed, it was all in my head. He never saw me as a disappointment. I just thought he did. And because I thought I was a disappointment to him, I pulled away. And I realized that perhaps I was the emotionally unavailable one, not him. When I act closed off around a person, guess what, they will probably act closed off towards me. Mind blown.

Sunday night after I get home from the forum, I read him this letter to him over the phone. He cries. He is more expressive than I could of ever imagined or thought possible. And in that moment, I realized wow, this man is not emotionally unavailable at all. It’s been there the whole time. I just needed to open my eyes and realize that I just needed to create the space for it and learn the skills to become more emotionally open myself. 

Time goes on, and we do start to talk on the phone more frequently. And somehow, we actually get into 2 major conflicts, which proved to have a positive impact on our relationship. We never fought before, but the conflicts had come out of some clear misunderstandings about each other. He thought I was insulting him, when in my mind, I was just standing up for my mother. But in talking through it and understanding each other’s perspective, we were able to quickly work through and come out of it feeling closer than ever. 

Over the course of the past year, I have been strongly encouraging my father to do the Landmark Forum for himself…with a side caveat…that my mother said she would do it if he does it (and how huge and amazing would it be if my mother did it). He made excuses. “I don’t have the time right now.” “I don’t have the money right now.” “I don’t want to do it just so your mother does it. She needs to do it independent of me.” “My life is fine.” I of course told him it also took me 9 months to sign up for the forum after I first heard about it. I thought my life was ‘fine’ too…I liked my relationship, I liked my job, why did I need to do it? I had done my share of personal development work for years. I thought I was in a good place in my life. It was not until I saw the transformation of my own brother from a somewhat depressed, low self-confident person into a happy, positive, inspiring one…that moved me to try it out for myself to see what I could get out of it. And I am so thankful I did. And I feel happier and more alive now than I ever have because I have learned to let the baggage go.

In June of this year 2018, I was in LA for a few days and it was my first opportunity seeing my father in person since I had completed the Forum in June 2017. So of course I talked it up more to him and shared many of my stories of what I’ve accomplished in the past year for myself. And I listen to him as he shared things about his own life. Even still, he made excuses to put it off. But on that trip, I did have a major breakthrough with him in that he finally admitted it wasn’t about time or money, those things could always be figured out if you want it enough. He told me he was afraid it might make him do something he doesn’t want to do. I was like, Dad, it’s not about forcing you to do what you don’t want to do, it’s about getting whatever you want out of life for yourself. Still didn’t sign up. Oh well.

On July 2nd, my father texts me, “Urgent. Can I call you right now?” I call him back immediately. He’s in a complete breakdown. He’s extremely distressed about another conflict he has had with my mother. So stressed out that it has significantly raised his blood pressure. I talk to him and somewhat calm him down. And again I push Landmark on him because I know it will help him deal with these vicious cycles of conflict he has her. He’s like, no thanks. Next day, he calls me again. I’m sitting in the parking lot of Target and talk to him for a half hour. Then I call my mother and talk to her for a half hour. Call my father back, and talk to him for another 20 minutes. I help them understand each other better and understand that both are acting in a way that makes sense based on what they are feeling. Both of them feel better. My parents have been separated for 10 years (though not divorced…that’s another can of worms), and I know they still care about each other, but honestly I’m fully in support of them getting divorced, but it’s been a long standing struggle for various reasons and causing a lot disharmony in our whole family, which I was getting tired of. I was kind of yelling at both of my parents that night (but in a loving caring way because I want them both to have peace and happiness). This was super invigorating because I was so worked up from standing for both of them. Pushed Landmark again because it’s fucking breaking my heart that there is so much pain and suffering they are experiencing, and if they both did it, they could find some peace of mind and freedom from it. Both of them are like…NOPE. Uggghh… my parents are soo stubborn. It had been easier convincing perfect strangers into doing the Forum than my own parents.

The next day, on the 4th of July, my mother texts me this: “Alice. I talked to your dad this morning peacefully. Now both feel much better. He is okay from ER and I worried about his health so much these few days. He never told me about the credit line, now I understand. After talking with you last night, I start to see things different. Both Dad and I always blamed each other for wrong things in the past. I have depended on him so much and now I should less because I have Jimmy around me. Now he and I can talk it out is a good start and try to make our relationship better even if we are divorced or not in the future. I am happy now and won’t get made and let my health go down hill. Your dad and I have seldom such good talking. Thanks Alice.” 

And same day, I email my father this:


I’ve been thinking so much about our conversations yesterday, and I just want you to think, what do you think my intention is by asking you and mom to do the Landmark forum so much?  I know both of you are getting tired of me talking about it, and I don’t care if you’re tired about me talking about it because the reason why is because I care and I don’t want either of you to suffer in the cycle of pain and hurt anymore.   I am standing for both of you to live a life full of peace and happiness and neither of you are right now.

And don’t just do the Forum because then Mom will do it too (although that would be huge and amazing if she does do it). DO IT FOR YOURSELF TOO.  This conflict that you keep having with Mom is going to KEEP happening until one of you is willing to break that cycle, and doing the Forum is how you can break the cycle of hurt.  You say your life is fine, but it’s not.  You’re suffering.  You allowed this last conflict with mom to raise your blood pressure.  This is not good for your health.  The stress of all this is HURTING you and I cannot stand to allow you to keep getting stressed out and hurt over this and again doing the forum will give you the skills to be able to handle your emotions around mom when she attacks you.   So yes, you can refuse and make excuses why you won’t do the Landmark forum now, but it doesn’t matter, I am still going to bug you to do it until the day you die (and I don’t want you to die anytime soon).

 Do it for yourself. Do it for your family.  It will help everyone, but you most of all.

Trust me on this. It will.

I love you.” 

He responds with this: 
“I promise to take it. I don’t want to be conditional take it.
I take it for my own willingness. I take it without any give force behind.
I decide my own schedule to take it.

I want independent and I would like to you to talk to mom she needs to independent.
Today happen to be independent day.  Please tell her be independent.
She want to be happy and start a new life she need to be independent.
For example, her life is control by herself.  She never will be happy if she wants to control other’s life.

Alice, I love you. You don’t know how much appreciate all the support from all 3 kids means to me. I want to cry.  Monday I am at a moment to see hopeless. I feel a lot better.” 

I write back this: 


I hear what you are saying. I want you to do the Forum only when you are ready to do it for yourself. I don’t want to force you.  I don’t want you to do it just so mom will do it.  

Regardless of if you do it or not, I’m committed to helping this family move towards becoming more peaceful so I may often bring up Landmark because that is the most powerful tool I know that will help get us there.  It is helping in ways you might not even realize, even though you haven’t done it yet. The way I am able to talk to mom and talk to you, are skills I learned from the work I’ve done with Landmark. I want you to have these skills too so you don’t have to keep going through me to get through to Mom.  This is paying a toll on myself, to be the peace maker in the family, I want everyone in our family to have the tools to create their own peace so they don’t have to use me to figure it out.  I WANT so much for both of you to be happy and at peace.  And it’s frustrating for me because I have the tools to create peace, but nobody else wants to learn the tools that I have that I know will make a difference.

I am so thankful for Landmark because it has given me an amazing relationship with you that I didn’t even know was possible. That fact that you were able to call me and open up to me about the conflict you are dealing with right now means so much to me.   Before Landmark, my relationship with you was just talk about school or work. Now we have a great relationship where we can talk about anything. And you can always talk to me about anything. But if both you and Mom just want to talk to me to complain about each other, that is not productive for anyone here. I only want to talk if you are open to hearing ways I think might help make this family more peaceful, to take action…maybe that action might be Landmark, but maybe not, we can try other ways and I’ll think of other options, but you know Landmark is my favorite tool so I will always suggest this.

But it seriously pains me to see you feel hopeless and suffer when Mom attacks you. You can have the skills to deal with and communicate with mom in a more effective way if you did Landmark.   Your conflicts with mom are killing BOTH of you and I can’t stand it sometimes. I want you both to live a long and happy life.  

I’m here for you. I will support you. I will listen.  However I can’t be the peacemaker all the time. You have to take action to find your own peace and happiness.  I can’t do it for you. You have to do it for yourself.

I love you so much.” 

He writes back: 


I raise my hand I like a small student say to the teacher, “I want to learn”.  

Love you,


Yeah…I totally tear up every time I read that email. And yes, right here, right now, on the plane as I write this…it’s happening. 

I FINALLY broke through to him. My heart swells up with so much joy and pride. I’m so proud of him for being so open and vulnerable with me to tell me when he was struggling. I mean it was not an overnight occurrence. Building and strengthening our relationship was work but now he confides in me all the time. And now we are one step closer to having a transformed family, one of peace and harmony. And none of this would have been possible without Landmark: The conversations I have with him. A closeness with my father that I never dreamed of (which DOES NOT happen typically in a Chinese family…we were sooo NOT the expressive type before). So when the time comes when he’s no longer in the world, I can feel at peace knowing that we had built something that defies what a stereotypical Asian family looks like (and maybe what a lot of families look like). 

What I really hope people get out this story is to help redefine masculinity. That true strength lies in the ability to be vulnerable and to reach out to others for help when there is an emotional or mental struggle. Our society and culture is so geared towards men not showing emotions, to “tough it out.” And I honestly feel like that is so detrimental for their own wellbeing, as well as everyone around them. To be silent sufferers does not solve anything. Male suicide is the number one killer of men under 50. And it is NEVER too late to learn these skills. If my father, a Chinese immigrant in his 60s, can do it, so can you. I have talked to a lot of men and I like asking them if they have ever done any personal development work like counseling, meditation, courses like Landmark, etc. Most are like…NO. OR they say something like, “Oh I just like to reflect on my own. Figure it out myself.” I’m like, yeah that’s what my brother did for a long while and that didn’t get him to where he wanted to be, he still struggled with his own self worth. It would be like trying to learn how to fly a plane on your own with zero guidance. Yeah maybe you could do it on your own, the self awareness thing, but you’d probably get more accomplished if you got help with classes or therapy. And Landmark, of course, is my favorite course of all time. And it’s only a 3 day weekend, plus one Tuesday evening session! There’s no shame in it. And it can open up things in your life that you didn’t even know was possible. It can help you with any area of your life that just isn’t quite working for you the way you want whether that is a romantic relationship, family issue, work, business, health…any of it. 

And I just don’t want men to start becoming more vulnerable and emotionally open and expressive, I want EVERYONE to. It has opened up so much for me in my own life. I feel more connected with people. I feel more connected with myself. I am way more expressive, excited and happy than I used to be. I feel like I can process my emotions more easily and quickly.

I write about these experiences because I just hate to see people suffering as they try to navigate their own life, when it doesn’t have to be. As a doctor, I know depression and anxiety is running rampant in this country, maybe the world too. I truly want everyone to win at the game of life. Thanks for reading.

If you feel inspired to try out Landmark, here’s the website:

If you do it, I hope to hear about it and what opens up for you. They are in most major cities. I’m not saying everyone needs to do it. If you are perfectly happy with your life, you don’t need it. But if one person who reads this says to themselves, “I’d like to have that type of relationship with my own father. Or mother. Or sibling. Or child. Or significant other. Or myself.” Then consider it. 

Even though I finished the Landmark Curriculum for Living in May of this year (it’s 3 parts: Landmark Forum, Advanced Course, and Self Expression and Leadership Program), I want to further my impact in the world so I have decided to coach the Self Expression and Leadership Program starting August 25th! Oh boy, new challenges, but new skills. Guest event opportunities for this program if you’re interested will be on October 6th and/or November 10th, 10am-1pm. I’m excited to get back into playing a big game of life and I have already starting thinking about my next project, which will be redefining masculinity. My father has been a huge inspiration for this project.

Love to all,

Dr. Alice


UPDATE: What my father got out of the Landmark Forum….

Even though he resisted going to the Landmark Forum for over a year, once he was finally enrolled…he did not walk, he RAN with what he discovered for himself. The forum leader told us last night, that my Dad would ALWAYS sit in the front row with a huge smile on his face…such a good student…eager to learn. One of his biggest breakthroughs that he had was realizing that he was pretending to be a nice guy because he kept saying he never said anything mean to my mother, when in fact..he was lying and hiding, being inauthentic. He finally owned up to the fact that he was a big part of what caused her to act “crazy” and angry. He also discovered that he has not been self expressed most of his life because he didn’t want to lose face, or “look bad” to other people so never told anyone about his problems and struggles, but he realized that it made him feel disconnected and isolated. HE HAS DISCOVERED THE POWER OF SHARING! The Monday morning after the Forum when he was sharing with me, I was so moved and inspired. He is now the abundance of love and light. And he wants to help heal the world too now. This was WAY more than I ever expected from him doing the weekend course, and I am filled with so much happiness. My father has been unleashed and he is going to have a HUGE impact for SOOO many people!! 🎊😁


Creating Possibilities

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Hello Everyone,

One of the major experiences I had this summer was called the Landmark Forum. I did this workshop in the beginning of June and was completely amazed by the experience. And I’ve wanted to share my experience with all of you for a while, but I have procrastinated. Part of the reason was because I have been super busy this summer, juggling many different things, but to be fully honest, another reason for me putting off this task for a while was that it required a certain amount of vulnerability on my part that made me feel somewhat exposed to some extent. As a doctor, I let my patients tell me about themselves; it is somewhat critical for my job. I may give a few tidbits about myself, but nothing quite as detailed as what I’m about to tell you now. But I have made a commitment to myself and to a few others on telling my story about Landmark, and I intend to keep that commitment. So here’s my story:

A year ago, I joined Toastmasters, a club focused on improving our public speaking ability. A fellow member invited myself and the other new members out to lunch with the rest of the club. As we were all sharing more about ourselves, John told us about this workshop he participated in called the Landmark Forum. It is a program that occurs worldwide that focuses on intense personal growth. It is about making transformations in any area of life in which you are unsatisfied with or feel as though it is holding you back, whether it’s business, work, health, or relationships with family, significant others, or co-workers. It is 3-day long weekend seminar that includes a Tuesday evening session. What could be accomplished in these 3 days could maybe take a year, possibly even longer, to accomplish in therapy or counseling.

John mentioned how he initially decided to go to grow his business, but what he really got out of it was the understanding that he had been being a jerk in his marriage. He admitted if he continued with his behavior before the Landmark Forum, his marriage could of possibly ended in a divorce. But instead it saved and strengthened his marriage to a level he didn’t even know was possible. He also told us of another story about a 60-year old man who had never been married before, and after the forum, the miraculous happened…he got married. This sparked the flame of interest for me. Because my brother, Jimmy, who was about to turn 27 at that time, had never had a girlfriend before, and I knew it was because he had self-confidence issues holding him back. So after hearing John’s stories, I went home and emailed my brother about it with the link to their website. 

No response.

We carry on with life as usual. Then in late December, my brother calls me to tell me that his friend who did the Landmark Forum told him more about it, so he decided to finally sign up. He does the Forum in January of this year. In the midst of his forum, he calls me to tell me he has been inauthentic with me. And the fact was that when I suggested he do the forum back in September, he hated me for it. It made him feel like a failure because thus far in his life, he has not been able to figure out what he needed to do to have a romantic relationship. But he realized that I was only coming from a place of love and caring and that I wanted him to find happiness in his life. From that moment on, I could tell that something shifted in him. His energy and mood changed over the months and became more positive, excited, fearless and completely open to possibilities. He loved the forum so much that he went on to do the Advanced Course and the Self Expression and Leadership program. 

Even though his main goal was to have a romantic relationship, he also committed himself to working on improving the relationship dynamic within our own family. In my family, we don’t really talk about our feelings nor do we talk much to each other in general. And somehow Jimmy has been improving the communication and connection between each member of the family. 

In April, Jimmy asked out a girl, whom he had actually met in his Toastmasters club in California. She was a guest. She said she had other plans for the date he suggested. The old Jimmy, would have crept back into his cave feeling rejected and too afraid to put himself out there again. However, the new Jimmy is focused on just having fun and adventure and creating new possibilities. So when a new possibility arose where he had an extra ticket to a concert, he knew he could invite one of his many friends, but who he really wanted to invite, was that girl. And so he mucked up the courage, to ask her out again and sure enough, she said YES. They had a wonderful time and they continued to go out and have more fun adventures. What was even more amazing and magical was their ability to have deep authentic conversations. We’re talking like 8-hour dates of just talking. However, the biggest fear Jimmy had was telling her how he’s never had a girlfriend before but he knew he needed to find out what was on the other side of that fear, so he told her. Do you know what happened? She appreciated it and was perfectly okay with that. Girls like it when guys are open, vulnerable and authentic. And Jimmy felt completely free after getting that off his shoulders so now they can continue to create fun adventures. 

After Jimmy told me about his experience, I was so excited and happy for him. However, secretly I was also jealous (which I did admit to him when I went through the forum). There he was having deep authentic conversations left and right, and here I was in a relationship for the past several years and we would have a deep conversation once in a blue moon. So I decided to finally register myself, and twisted my partner’s arm, so he registered too. We did the forum together in June.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful loving relationship. I also enjoy my job and business. So for a while, I didn’t exactly feel like I needed Landmark. I had already made a ton of revelations about myself and did a lot of work and self-growth through counseling, therapy, meditation retreats, etc. years ago. I felt like I was in a pretty good place in my life so I didn’t really pursue Landmark until I saw the massive transformation of my brother, and thought who knows, maybe life could get even better than I knew was possible, and it did.

One of the things we discuss in Landmark is how everyone knows what they know. For example, I know how to drive a car. I know that I know that. I’ve been doing it for years. People also know what they don’t know. For example, I know I don’t know how to perform brain surgery. I know I don’t know that so I’m not even going to attempt something like that in the slightest. However, people don’t know what they don’t know, which is a whole giant spectrum out there, full of possibilities. And Landmark did bring to light some of the things I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

I had to set my ego aside and acknowledge that there is could be more I could learn and gain from participating in the Landmark forum, and it was absolutely true. 

Day 1, was going great. I raised my hand and got up to speak. Listened to stories. But slowly through the day, I became irritated with Andrew. We weren’t sitting next to each other because the forum recommended changing seats each session to sit next to different people. I would glance over at Andrew frequently.

Not once did he go up to speak. And when the forum leader would ask a general question to the audience, he would barely raise his hand. In my head, I was thinking, “He is making no effort to participate. He’s not enjoying himself because I dragged him here. He doesn’t care about strengthening our relationship. He’s not going to get the most out of the forum.” After the long day, the forum ends at 10pm, so Andrew and I go to Chili’s to discuss our experience. I tell him what I noticed about his behavior and he gets annoyed and says, “I was actually enjoying myself. I don’t like to feel pressured to raise my hand when you are looking at me, and now that you say that, it makes me feel less inclined to get up and speak.” So I’m like, okay fine, you don’t have to, whatever. I don’t like being a nag.

Day 2. In the morning, I sit next to this woman and we get the opportunity to share about conversations we had the night before. I tell her about how Andrew and I came here together and how I was getting irritated with him for not speaking because he won’t get as much out of the forum. And she says, “He sounds like me. I might have to do this forum a few more times before I get the courage to speak up.” 

Light bulb clicked. Wow. I realized, I had no judgment around her not speaking up, but I was judging Andrew left and right because of the story I created about him over the years. “He doesn’t do this and that. He’s not trying. And so on and so forth.” So that evening, after the forum, I tell him my realization and how I understand he needs to learn things at his own pace, and there is no right or wrong way to learn. And we do get in a deep authentic conversation and it might have been one of the best conversations we had ever had.

The other major realization I got of the forum is when you take off the filter you have about a person, such as ‘he’s mean and rude,’ ‘she’s a b*$@h’, ‘he’s emotional unavailable’ it opens the door for endless possibilities and allows those people you perceived in a certain way to be something different, to have other ways of being. Because we all have different ways of being. We all exist on a spectrum. Sometimes I’m nice. Sometimes I’m not so nice. If someone catches me in my not so nice moment, and has no other background information about me, they might call me jerk. And if they see me again, they might be thinking, ‘oh that jerk.’ And in turn, I can see that person being stand-off ish around me, so I begin to act cold around that person, even though most people who know me, know that’s not who I am most of the time.

For my entire life, I viewed my father as a stoic, emotional unavailable man. And my perception of him was that he was a ghost father, that he was there, but he wasn’t really there. He didn’t participate in my life, such as going to my swim meets, or taking me shopping. He didn’t seem to care. But that was the story I created about him, which might not have been the real case. One of our homework exercises was to write a letter, so I decided to write a letter to my father and rather than blaming him for our lack of closeness, I took ownership of the situation and explained how I created this story about him being emotionally closed off. Sunday night after I get home from the forum, I read him the letter over the phone. He cries. He is more expressive than I could of ever imagined or thought possible. And in that moment, I realized wow, this man is not emotionally unavailable at all. It’s been there the whole time. I just needed to open my eyes and realize that I don’t know what I don’t know. Even though I live across the country from my father now, after the forum, I feel closer to him than I ever did when we used to live together when I was growing up.

After completing the forum, I went on to do a 10-week integrity seminar series through the Landmark organization. Since then, I have had both various breakdowns in my life as well as breakthroughs. But ultimately, I feel like my relationship with my significant other is stronger, as well as every relationship I have with each of my family members. It was an incredibly powerful and valuable experience. I highly recommend everyone do it at some point in their life. And in terms of health, because I am in the business of health, maybe you’re thinking how is this related to my health? Believe me, IT.IS. If you don’t think the relationships you have with the people around you doesn’t affect your health, think again. As you may know, I am a big believer in the mind-body medicine, and how mental and emotional wellbeing influences physical wellbeing and vice versa.

As part of my integrity series, I get to invite guests to join me and receive a free introduction to learn more about Landmark. The next one is particularly special and will be occurring on Monday, August 28th from 7-10pm. I highly encourage you to come, and if you do plan to, please RSVP to me. However, if you would like to come, but cannot make this particular date, I do have 2 more sessions left, occurring on September 11th and October 2nd. To be perfectly clear, I get absolutely zero rewards, perks, commission from you attend an introduction or registering for Landmark. From my own experience, and seeing the changes in my friends and family, I stand behind it completely. I would love for you to experience it and see the possibilities open up in your life.

If you want to know more about the program, you can go here:

Or feel free to ask me about it. I’m always happy to share more stories.

I recommend this program for all my patients, friends, family or anyone wanting more out of life.

In good health,

Dr. Alice Fong


Naturopathic Myths

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There are many misconceptions about what naturopathic medicine is, and there may be a variety of perceptions of what a naturopathic doctor does. Here is where I stand on certain issues commonly associated with naturopathy.

Myth #1:
 Naturopathic medicine is all about homeopathy. 
My stance: Although I have seen on rare occasion, homeopathy being helpful for some people, most of the time it does not work. I do not prescribe or endorse homeopathy in my practice. In addition to promoting dietary and lifestyle changes, I implement biofeedback, a scientifically proven, very effective modality that helps people develop awareness of their body’s physiology (e.g. breathing, heart rate, blood pressure) so they can learn to regulate these functions and retrain their autonomic nervous system to optimize their cardiovascular, digestive, and cognitive health. This subsequently can improve a person’s immune function. The conditions in which biofeedback has been incredibly helpful for include: hypertension, anxiety, panic attacks, irritable bowel syndrome, and insomnia.

Myth #2: Naturopathic doctors are big on medical marijuana use.
My stance: I have never prescribed or endorsed medical marijuana. Although a few of my colleagues do recommend it for various symptoms such as nausea or pain, and I do not oppose it, I prefer to use nutritional support and/or biofeedback to help. For me personally, from the patients I’ve seen use it, it tends to numb them from reality, whereas my focus is to help them engage in and take charge of their life and health by changing lifestyle factors such as eating better, exercising, and providing mental/emotional support.

Myth #3: Naturopathic doctors are anti-vaccine. 
My stance: Any qualified, fully-trained naturopathic doctor is pro-vaccine. I am fully in support of vaccines and it has been scientifically proven repeatedly that it does not cause autism. Unfortunately, there is a very small number of NDs (and most of those are probably fraudulent NDs) that do oppose vaccines. Rest assure, that if there is a scenario where a parent wants me to treat their child naturally so he or she can avoid being vaccinated, I will refuse to treat and encourage the child see a pediatrician to receive the proper protocol of vaccines before receiving any care from me. Similarly goes for a cancer patient that refuses to get their doctor recommended chemo/radiation therapy. The patient must be seeing an oncologist to manage their cancer, if they want to receive concurrent supportive care from me.

Dr. Alice Fong


5 Helpful Healthy Tips to Fight Holiday Stress

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The holidays are a wonderful time of year to spend with family, eat delicious food, put up bright lights and decorations, and engage in fun and festivities. However, on the other side of that can be the stress of traveling, shopping, cooking, and even spending too much time with family. Not to mention, the dark gloomy weather isn’t exactly helping you get into the holiday spirit. So in case the holiday season isn’t all joy, cheer, and laughter, and you need some help dealing with the not-so-fun aspects, consider these helpful tips to get you through the end of the year.

Get a Light Therapy Box

I think the holidays were purposely placed in the dead of winter to increase social interactions so people would be less depressed about the weather. However, if you’re one of those people that finds yourself a little more blue regardless of the number of tinsel and twinkly lights there are, yes maybe it could be the stress of dealing with the holidays, OR it could very well be the fact that you haven’t seen the sun in forever. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects millions of Americans every year, most of which are women. Some symptoms include extreme fatigue, loss of energy, depression, and increased appetite. Consider getting a light therapy box (widely available in many retail stores and online). Sit in front of it for at least 30 minutes every morning. Other ways to help improve mood and energy include going outside more (I know it’s cold, but just bundle up), or trying Vitamin D supplementation.

When it Comes to Food and Drinks, Cut Yourself Some Slack, But Not Too Much

I understand how extremely difficult it is to turn down all the wonderful sweet treats and other temptations that will be constantly in your face around this season. And as a doctor, I’m giving you permission to indulge a little for these special occasions. However, just because you slipped a bit on your healthy diet regimen, doesn’t mean you have to completely fall off the wagon. It doesn’t mean you are allowed to avoid all vegetables until January. Enjoy a slice of Aunt Sally’s famous pecan pie that you only get to try once a year. Forgive yourself, move on. Do not tell yourself, “Well now that I’m eating sweets again, might as well eat that brownie, 4 cookies, 9 truffles, and 3 more slices of that pie.” Sugar is a very addictive substance and a slippery slope. Yes, it is hard to stop after just one treat, but believe in yourself. Continue to be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. Help to avoid temptation by keeping it out of your house. Try diluting sugary drinks. Cut back on the adult beverages by drinking lots of water in between. And if you have to, consider keeping a diet diary by either writing it down or getting an app for your phone. You might start to notice you have been cheating a lot more than you realize. 

Avoid the Mall
Okay, maybe go to the mall so your kids can get a picture with Santa. But THAT IS IT! The mall is particularly crowded and chaotic this time of year. It’s hard to not have a stress response in this kind of setting. And if your body is constantly in a stress state, it can have detrimental effects on your health such as weight gain, poor sleep, fatigue, and high blood pressure. Even if you’re determined to get that perfect gift at that perfect price, is it really worth the harm it could have on your body by going to the mall. Okay, that might be a little unrealistic. But if you MUST go to the mall (and I’m going to assume you tried to buy it online from the convenience of your home first and it wasn’t available. Because why wouldn’t you?), try to make a list of exactly what you plan to get, and get in and get out as fast as you can. Also try to minimize the number of trips you have to go to the mall. Or try convincing your family to go the Secret Santa route, where everyone only has to get 1 gift for another person in the family, instead a gift for E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Gifts are great and all, but quality stress-free time with each other is also nice. Consider instead going ice skating or caroling or maybe to the movies. Anything BUT the mall. 

Get Enough Sleep 
I know you might have lots to do, plans to make, commitments to fulfill, but sleep still needs to be a priority. Sleep deprivation not only makes you more irritable and fatigued, it can impair your judgment, make you more prone to accidents, and decrease your immune system so you are more susceptible of being taken out of commission by a cold or the flu (and then how will you get everything that needs to get done, DONE?) Chronic sleep loss also puts you at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems. Not to mention the possibility of weight gain due to the hormonal imbalances created from lack of sleep. Helpful tricks, give yourself a time limit to get things done. Make a commitment to yourself and your wellbeing that by 10pm (or whatever time feels appropriate to you) you’ll stop everything you are doing for the night, and start preparing for bed. Leave electronic devices outside of the bedroom. And if you still need a little help, try valerian root, an herbal supplement to help calm down your nervous system. It is relatively safe to take, but consult with a doctor before taking it if you are on a sedative medication or Xanax.

Treat Yourself
There is no rule against having to focus all your attention on getting gifts and treats for your loved ones. Showing yourself some love is just as important. So go get a massage or facial. Or take a nice hot Epson salt bath at home with perhaps some lavender essential oils. The Epson salts have magnesium that will help with your tired, achy muscles. Or curl up with a good book in a quiet space or go for a walk. Let your spouse or nanny take the kids off your hands for an hour or two so you can have some ‘YOU’ time. You deserve it. If you’re having trouble relaxing, consider scheduling a naturopathic consultation to learn how to train your body, particularly your nervous system, to cope with those stressors in a better way. 

Have a great holiday everyone!


Just Because I Said I’m a Naturopath, It Doesn’t Necessarily Mean I’m a Homeopath.

The following scenario happens to me way too often:
Random person: “What do you do?”
Me: “I’m a naturopathic doctor.”
Random person: “Oh so you’re a homeopath?”
…At which point, my brain explodes and I want to hop on my soap box of fury explaining the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy.

I’m not quite sure why when I say “naturopath,” people hear “homeopath.” I would be less offended by being called a homeopath, if people did not associate it with a sage-burning, rain-stick-shaking, quack of a doctor. To clarify, being a naturopathic doctor does NOT equal being a homeopath; and being a homeopath definitely does NOT qualify one to be a naturopathic doctor.

The misconception about naturopathic doctors (NDs) comes from a lack of knowledge. When I started my 4-year graduate program in naturopathic medicine (that was after completing a bachelors degree in psychology and pre-med), I knew basically nothing about homeopathy. Yes, homeopathy was integrated into our naturopathic curriculum, but a minimal amount in comparison to everything we learned. We’re talking 3 classes out of approximately 100. It was literally only 8 credits out of the 300+ credits we were required to take. Whether or not a naturopathic student wants to take their homeopathy training further is up to them. Some do, some don’t.

Frankly, homeopathy is as controversial in the naturopathic world as it is in the real world. I have had some instructors swear by it, and plenty of instructors who hated it. My personal stance on homeopathy is a neutral one. This article is not about discrediting homeopathy, it is about educating people about what a naturopathic medical education entails.

The profession of naturopathic medicine is small enough as it is, and because so much of the general population assumes it is the same thing, to bash homeopathy would probably reflect negatively on the whole field of naturopathy. And to be perfectly honest, I have seen some unexplainable cases where the only thing that worked (after trying many other treatments, both conventional and alternative) was homeopathy. I have also seen it not work plenty of times.

Regardless of whether a naturopathic student decides to pursue homeopathy or not, that student still has to go through hundreds of hours of lecture and training to get a degree in naturopathic medicine. It takes a minimum of 4 years to complete the program, but many need to do it in 5-6 years because the program is THAT demanding. I calculated from my transcripts, a total of 82 credits in basic sciences alone (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, etc). Then 90ish credits in basic clinical courses (endocrinology, gastroenterology, oncology, gynecology, and all those other –ologies). AND I spent an additional 1000+ hours working on clinical shifts/rotations and preceptorships. We learn how to perform physical exams, draw blood, run labs.…all the same standard procedures your typical primary care physician would do. That’s because we ARE trained to be primary care physicians, and in several states, we can practice as such. We receive a well-rounded and very thorough education.

Back to my earlier point, is that homeopathy played a small role in a very large and challenging education. Just because I took a few classes in homeopathy, I do not consider myself a homeopath. It’s an elaborate modality in itself and would require much more training if I wanted to be a proper homeopath. I mean, I also took a class in minor office procedures and learned how to do sutures (aka stitches) on pigs feet. But have I ever practiced doing sutures on a live person? Nope. And it’s probably in your best interest as well as mine, if I send you to someone else to do those sutures for you. Yes, I have some basic training in it, but it’s better to let the experts do it. My point being, is that if you are wanting to try homeopathy, go to someone who does it a LOT if you want to increase your chances of seeing a result. Don’t just buy a homeopathy remedy off the shelf based on what the label says because it’s probably not going to work.

Every ND finds the treatment modalities they tend to lean more towards. In my own practice, I don’t do much or any homeopathy (sshhh, don’t tell my pro-homeopathy teachers that). What I love to do is biofeedback (to be explained on another day, in another article), because it is highly effective for a variety of conditions and there is loads of scientific research to back it up. However, it’s not the only thing I do. All naturopaths are given a BIG toolbox of treatment options to choose from, but we do understand the importance of having standards of care. Often times, that can involve integrating our naturopathic modalities with conventional methods. A licensed naturopathic doctor from an accredited naturopathic school will NOT try to treat cancer with homeopathy alone. Perhaps as an additional support, but we will be damn sure that cancer patients are being seen by an oncologist (aka the cancer experts), and making sure that anything we might do as supportive care will NOT interfere with the treatments and recommendations of said oncologist.

In regards to health, I can understand why homeopathy appeals to people. They want that “magic pill” that fixes everything. Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Even if homeopathy works for you, it does not mean it will solve all your problems. You have to evaluate how important your health is to you and how willing you are to work towards being healthier. If you want to be healthier, you have to LIVE healthier. That might mean eating a vegetable from time to time, or getting out and exercising. Living healthy is not something that happens overnight; it’s a process, it’s a commitment. Magic pill or no magic pill, what are you willing to do for you?

Dr. Alice Fong