Conditions We Treat
Integrative Primary Care
Integrative Medicine is a holistic approach to primary care that bases its treatments on the whole person and considers all of the physical, mental, environmental, social,emotional and spiritual influences that contribute to health. Naturopathic Doctors are licensed primary care providers in California who are trained to diagnose and treat the root cause of the disease, and not just treat symptoms. While conventional medical training focuses on pharmacology and ‘drugs’, Naturopathic Doctors receive extensive training in the use of natural therapeutics to treat and prevent disease.
Dr. Murphy provides integrative medical services such as check-ups, second opinions, wellness exams, care for acute and chronic conditions, annual gyn/pap exams, well baby exams and a wide array of hands on therapies. Each new patient will receive a unique and detailed treatment plan that addresses your chief complaint and all of your health concerns. A typical treatment plan will draw from many treatment modalities and include the following focus areas:
- Functional Lab Testing
- Medication Review
- Supplement Review
- Herbal Treatments
- Drug-Herb Interactions
- Physical Medicine
When time allows and with your input, hands on treatments can be included in your visit such as naturopathic manipulation, massage, acupuncture, and energy work. We empower you to prevent and fight disease for yourself but also counsel you as you decide how to best care for your children, parents and other loved ones. Naturopathic primary care is appropriate for all ages and stages of life, we look forward to helping you and your family achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being.
Women’s health starts with taking the time to review your personal and family health history, diet, lifestyle and risk factors for disease. Dr. Murphy will evaluate your previous tests and medical history, address breast health, and discuss in a non-judgmental way any personal and reproductive health concerns.
In addition to offering annual exams and GYN/PAP , Dr. Murphy provides comprehensive women’s health services and employs bio-identical hormones to address a wide range of issues including:
- Breast Health
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Cervical Dysplasia
- Dysmenorrhea (cramps)
- Low Libido
- Irregular Menses
- Menstrual Problems
- Pregnancy Support
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Vaginal Yeast Infection
Your care will be tailored to your unique needs, with many natural treatment options available, we will work with you to craft a treatment plan that addresses the root cause of the problem while strengthening the body’s innate healing ability.
You can call our office or submit your information through our contact form to schedule a free 15 minute phone introduction with Dr. Murphy.
Many people turn to alternative medicine when they receive a cancer diagnosis, this can be a scary and stressful time. Others have high genetic and familial risk factors and want to focus on prevention and some seek naturopathic treatment once cancer free in order to rebuild their immune system.
No matter where you are in this spectrum, naturopathic medicine has solutions for you to:
Prevent cancer by naturally boosting your immune system and organs of detoxification
Understand your diagnosis and all treatment options
Inform your decisions
Fight cancer by working as part of your healthcare team
Reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments
Increase the efficacy of your cancer treatments
Restore your immune strength and vitality post cancer
Support you and your family
Working with a naturopathic doctor provides you with a skilled advocate who works with you and your family at every stage of your cancer fight. The natural therapies provided, such as herbal medicine, nutritional support, diet modifications, acupuncture, and IV nutrient therapies can improve the success of cancer treatments, while helping to mitigate the side effects. Natural Medicine Works uses an integrative approach to cancer treatment, the customized treatment plan provided will detail methods by which you can increase your chances of beating the disease, improve quality of life during treatment and restore good health.
We are here to advocate for you and guide you and your family through this challenging time, please call our office to schedule a free phone consultation to find out how Natural Medicine Works can help you.
Naturopathic Doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of food and environmental allergies. We use IgA and IgG food allergy testing and food challenges to help you get to the root of your food sensitivities/allergies. Environmental allergies such as mold, dust, dander and pollen do not require extensive testing to diagnose, the symptoms often result from an over-active immune system and there are natural therapies that can modify your bodies response to the allergen to reduce the severity and frequency of the body’s overactive immune response.
There are many diagnostic tests that seek to attempt to diagnose specific food allergies and sensitivities.
We provide IgA and IgG food allergy panels and then work with our patients to eliminate offending foods from the diet, restore gut health and possibly re-introduce these foods back into the diet when they can be properly digested.
Many of our natural treatments focus on healing the intestinal lining to prevent food proteins from crossing into the blood stream. The quality and diversity of gut microbes plays a large role in this and we can test and improve your gut flora which yields many positive health results.
Often, people find that they do not have allergies to foods, rather a ‘leaky’ lining of their intestines which produces symptoms such as gas, bloating and pain in the abdomen. Improving gut health will allow you to eat a varied diet and not force you into a restrictive diet.
Food allergy testing can be done by food challenge and no test is required. Through our 21 Day Detox program, you can learn the proper diet to keep for 21 days to clear the body and digestive system of allergens and create a clean slate for which suspect foods can be introduced to better understand how they impact your health.
More info on food challenging can be found on our Allergy Elimination webpage.
Environmental Allergies and Asthma
The naturopathic approach to inhaled and environmental allergies is to modulate the body’s immune response, which contrasts with the conventional medical approach of prescribing anti-histamines and steroids that weaken the immune system and are fraught with side effects.
Naturopathic protocols for allergies and asthma focus on looking at the body’s deficiencies and reasons why the immune system is over-reacting. Natural therapeutics including herbal medicine can address both the symptoms and cause of your allergies. We will look at food sensitivities, liver and adrenal gland function, and GI health. We may prescribe diet changes, vitamin and nutrient supplements, probiotics, a variety of Chinese and Western herbs, acupuncture, and hormone balancing techniques to help address the root cause of the problem.
Our goal is to provide you with an easy to follow treatment plan that will bring you lasting relief from your allergies.
Each person is unique and so is our treatment. You can manage your allergies drug free and we are here to help you to understand your treatments options. Give us a call today to see how naturopathic medicine and acupuncture can help you to live allergy free.
Depression and Anxiety
About 8-10% of Americans are on anti-depressants and another 8-10% take anti-anxiety medications. We know that natural therapeutics and lifestyle can be just as effective as pharmaceutical interventions to treat depression, anxiety and a host of mental health issues.
Our first step to understanding your mental health needs is to look at your medical history and current state of health with a sharp eye on some key metrics that can contribute to anxiety and depression:
Neuro-transmitter levels such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA
Hormone levels such as thyroid, cortisol, testosterone and estrogen
Nutrient and Amino Acid levels such as Zinc, Tryptophan, and 5-HTP
Omega 3 Fatty Acid levels
Other Key Factors such as SAM-E
Once we understand your bodies unique chemistry, we can quickly address any nutrient and amino acid deficiencies with targeted supplementation and build up the positive hormones and neurotransmitters that help you to feel whole. We take the time to understand the diet, lifestyle and other factors that undermine positive metal health. You will likely be prescribed botanical medicine, in tincture form, that has been tested for purity and active ingredients. There are many herbs to draw from, we will make you a custom blend of Western and Chinese herbal medicines that have been clinically proven to have positive impacts on happiness, mood, sleep, anxiety and stress response.
Many of these herbs are familiar: St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo, Lavender, and Kava to name a few. The challenge is that these herbs are all not appropriate for long term use, and often present a high risk for drug-herb interaction.
A naturopathic doctor is a master herbalist who understands your primary care needs and can help you to harness the power of top quality herbal medicine for your own good and avoid the dangerous side effects of pharmacological drugs.
In addition to botanical medicine and supplementation, we can also provide homeopathy, acupuncture, bodywork and counseling to treat depression, anxiety and a wide range of mental health issues.
Bio Identical Hormones
At Natural Medicine Works we have been on the forefront of bioidentical and natural hormone therapy since our founding in 2003. Our first-hand experience combined with a keen understanding of the latest research in the field provides you with an expert framework to decide if bioidentical hormones can help you.
Bioidentical hormones are similar to the body’s own hormones which makes them superior to the synthetic hormones used in conventional medicine. Synthetic hormones do not come in precise quantities and their usage can lead to long term health risks. The bioidentical hormones prescribed are plant derived and mimic the exact structure of the body’s own hormones, so are taken up by the body without adverse reactions or side effects. We are able to dose in specific micro quantities to help you achieve hormonal balance.
Some of the bioidentical hormones that we prescribe are: estradiol (e2), progesterone, estriol (e3), testosterone and DHEA.
Bioidentical hormones are not risk-free, they can be harmful when not chosen and dosed correctly, naturopathic doctors have the specific training in their use to help you to realize this powerful medicine safely.
What are the benefits of Bio-identical hormones?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is very effective in replenishing deficient hormones when the body’s production is lacking. Potential benefits include:
- Manage menopause symptoms
- Reduce hot flashes
- Increase bone strength
- Improve sleep, mood, concentration & memory
- Manage Andropause aka “Male menopause”
- Improve libido (sex drive)
- Improve skin health
At Natural Medicine Works, we work with you to decide if bioidentical hormones and hormone replacement therapy are right for you and provide expert guidance to help you reach your health goals. Feel free to schedule a free fifteen-minute phone consult to discuss your concerns with a naturopathic doctor.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition defined by symptoms that include lethargy, poor concentration and/or memory, sore throat, headaches, tender lymph nodes, and muscle pain that persists for 6 months or longer. CFS symptoms will vary among patients and may resemble fibromyalgia or adrenal fatigue which results from over burdening the body with stress and exertion.
Managing CFS and Adrenal Fatigue starts with a review of your existing lab work and ordering test to look out for Epstein Barr Virus, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalance, and heavy metal toxicity.
Treatment will usually include diet modifications to reduce inflammation and identify hidden food allergies that are contributing to the fatigue and other symptoms,More detailed detoxification protocols may be necessary, depending on test results.
Nutrient and vitamin supplementation can address areas of deficiency and herbal medicines can help to modulate hormones and sleep patterns while restoring vitality. Your exact treatment plan will vary to meet your individual needs. In our experience, the modifications we make can quickly lead to an improvement of symptoms, and a positive feedback loop can be created to put you on a path to optimal health.
At Natural Medicine Works, we offer all potential new patients the opportunity to speak with a naturopathic doctor to see how naturopathic medicine can help you with your health concerns. Please call the office to schedule your phone consult.
Chronic digestion problems can greatly reduce your quality of life and lead you down a pathway of invasive medical tests and side-effect laden pharmaceuticals that don’t provide much relief.
Digestive health is an area where naturopathic and alternative healthcare excels. We have solutions for ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s and other digestive disorders by focusing on areas like gut flora, diet, food allergies, botanical medicine, supplementation and acupuncture that are often ignored by conventional medicine.
At Natural Medicine Works, we treat Crohn’s disease, acid reflux (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), food allergies with naturopathic protocols.
It is without question that diet plays a large role in these disorders, but that does not mean you need to eliminate your favorite foods forever. It is possible to restore your digestive strength by healing the lining of the intestines, cultivating positive gut flora, removing food allergies, balancing hormones and addressing nutrient deficiencies. We perform a number of unique test to help zero in on the cause of your problem. We can gauge your gut health by a breath test, or test for bacterial overgrowth or gluten sensitivity with a stool test. More info on our functional lab testing can be found on our Advanced Lab Testing page.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or “multiple ovarian cysts” is the most common endocrine
disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS can be a frustrating, and sometimes painful condition,
which could lead to fertility problems. I have successfully treated PCOS in my practice using
naturopathic treatment protocols that address the root cause of the problem.
What is PCOS and what causes it?
- PCOS is a set of conditions related to increased androgen (male hormone) levels in women.
- PCOS is caused by hormonal imbalances in the pituitary, ovaries, pancreatic and adrenal hormones.
- Insulin resistance (a lack of responsiveness to insulin in the cells of your body) is an important factor
in the development of PCOS.
- PCOS also has a genetic component – if a family member has it (your mother, aunt or grandmother)
then you are more likely to develop it.
How do I know if I have PCOS?
The presence of ovarian cysts alone is not enough for a diagnosis of polycystic ovaries and you can
have PCOS in the absence of a positive ultrasound. A diagnosis of PCOS must be accompanied by
the presence of certain symptoms such as:
- No menstrual cycle, irregular or infrequent menstrual cycles
- No ovulation
- Hair growth on the upper lip or chin
- Hair loss from the head
- Body fat around the waistline
- Dark skin under the armpits, neck, groin or breasts
Testing for PCOS
- Laboratory tests
- Saliva Analysis-to identify your personal hormone levels and imbalances
- Bloodwork-Glucose tolerance, lipid levels, thyroid panels
Six Naturopathic Treatment Options for PCOS
The goals for PCOS treatment are to balance hormone levels naturally, decrease insulin resistance
and maintain a healthy body weight.
1. Start Taking an Herbal Tincture Blend
There are many herbs such as Licorice, Black Cohosh and Saw Palmetto that have been clinically
proven to modulate hormones and boost metabolism.
Some important botanicals used in PCOS treatment include:
Saw palmetto (Serenoarepens) is a very effective hormone balancer for PCOS. Saw palmetto
decreases the conversion of testosterone to its more biologically active form (dihydroxytestosterone
or DHT). This results in lower levels of circulating testosterone. Saw palmetto is effective in
addressing symptoms of acne, hair loss, and facial hair growth.
Chasteberry (Vitexagnus-castus) is another herb used for PCOS. Chasteberry inhibits prolactin
synthesis and raises progesterone levels restoring balance to two important hormones involved in
the menstrual cycle. Low progesterone levels are very common during puberty and are known to
contribute to the formation of ovarian cysts.
Drawing from a wide range of Western and Chinese herbal medicines, I custom blend herbal
tinctures typically combining 4-6 herbs meant to address your specific needs. Each custom blend
comes from wild crafter and organic sources, and has been tested for purity and active ingredients.
The challenge is that quality herbs are hard to come by and these herbs are all not appropriate for
long term use, and may interact with prescription medication. Over the counter herbal medicines can
be very powerful, and it is best to consult a licensed healthcare professional for advice prior to
starting new herbs, especially if you are currently taking prescription medications.
2. Improve your Supplementation
If you are like most Americans, you take vitamins but are not sure of their effectiveness or if you are
taking them in the right doses and proportions. Naturopathic doctors have access to high quality
supplements whose effectiveness and purity has been proven through research.
With PCOS, it is important to have the right ratios and quality of B vitamins and other nutrients:
- Vitamin B6 can help balance prolactin levels, which are often elevated in PCOS.
- B vitamins are also necessary for dopamine synthesis and adrenal hormone production.
- Chromium is necessary for proper blood sugar regulation. Taking chromium increases the uptake of
glucose into cells, decreasing insulin resistance.
- Inositol has many benefits for PCOS – it decreases insulin and insulin resistance, decreases
testosterone levels and can help promote regular ovulation.
- Omega 3-6-9 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) ratios are critical to maintaining proper hormone ratio’s
and weight control
- We can help interpret existing labs to look at your current vitamin, nutrient and EFA levels or order
new functional lab tests.
If you suffer from PCOS, you should have a good handle on your vitamin, nutrient and EFA levels,
understanding these key metrics can help you to take charge of your health and set goals for any
areas requiring improvement.
3. Maintain a Proper Body Weight
Because of the association between being overweight and having PCOS it is important to achieve
and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Losing as little as 5% of body weight can correct insulin resistance and decrease elevated hormone
levels (specifically testosterone).
- Healthy weight loss is best achieved through a combination of smart food choices and increased
There are many good weight loss programs out there, see below for specific dietary
recommendations for PCOS treatment. We provide functional weight loss guidance at Natural
Medicine Works and many people feel that more help is needed to lose weight when reducing
calories and increasing activity fails to lead to weight loss and ability to keep weight off.
4. Balance Protein and Carbohydrate Intake
For most people, a low glycemic diet is optimal.
- Seek to eat an equal amount of protein and carbohydrates. For example, by choosing whole grain
sprouted bread you will have 15 grams of carbohydrates to 5 grams of protein which is much better
than a slice of white bread with 20 grams of carbohydrates and no protein.
- The proper amount of carbohydrates and protein that one should consume will be determined by
5. Embrace Whole Foods
Select foods that are low on the glycemic index and high in fiber to decrease insulin resistance.
- Some examples are: beans, lentils, apples, grapefruit, kale, broccoli, asparagus, walnuts and
- Your naturopathic doctor can help motivate you to make better food choices through the use of a
6. Get Tested to Know Your Body
As your naturopathic doctor, I will set measurable goals and milestones for key areas of health and
work with you to evaluate progress.
- A simple saliva test can help you to monitor your hormone levels and help motivate you to see
proper changes in the hormone ratios that are responsible for the effects of PCOS.
- Regular insulin resistance tests can help you to monitor how your diet and exercise programs are
There is no cure for PCOS but that has not stopped modern medical practices from employing highly
invasive drugs, tests and procedures to treat the symptoms of PCOS. By applying naturopathic
principles, we insure that we first ‘Do No Harm” and move the body toward overall health with non-invasive
therapeutics, diet modifications and lifestyle education.
I produce a unique treatment plan for each patient that addresses the root cause of the problem
using the above recommendations as a starting point. I am happy to work with you on your journey
to wellness, please feel free to reach out today to discuss how we work together to treat PCOS and
any other health concern.
Natural treatment of PCOS can take some time, and a focused effort. A minimum of three menstrual
cycles is usually needed to allow for the hormones to become balanced. As your Naturopathic
Doctor, I will provide you with support and can modify your treatment plan as needed based on your
Contact Us Today...
The office is located on the second floor of the building and accessible via stairs or elevator. Ample parking is available in front of the building. The lobby doors are unlocked during regular business hours.
Address: 30320 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite 10
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Phone: (949) 667-4436