The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other large health institutions are slowly but surely shifting their attention to Whole Person Health.   

Whole Person Health involves looking at the whole person—not just separate organs or body systems—and considering all the factors that influence one’s health. It means empowering individuals, families, communities, and populations to improve their health in multiple interconnected area – biological, behavioral, social, and environmental.  


Health and disease are not separate states – they occur on a path that can move in two different directions, either toward health or toward disease. On this path, many factors can lead to dysfunction of more than one organ system—e.g. genetics and family history; unhealthy behaviors like poor diet and sedentary lifestyle; chronic stress; and poor sleep. It’s important to recognize and address the factors that are supporting, lacking, or hurting one’s health. Instead of “fighting disease”, whole-person health focuses on restoring health, promoting resilience, and preventing diseases across the lifespan. 

Naturopathic Care is better Primary Care

Both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association’s latest guidelines recommend that all patients should have physician-led discussions about medication-free options to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, including healthy diet and physical activity. However, very few conventional medical providers receive even the most basic training in nutrition or counseling to be able to intelligently speak on the subjects with their patients. Naturopathic doctors, on the other hand, have several dozen hours of advanced clinical nutrition and counseling woven into their medical training. Getting to the root cause and treating the body as a whole, is an integral part of our scope of care. Patients at Link Community Clinic experience this difference when establishing primary care with us.  

Recognizing the health impacts of Social Inequalities

Social factors may have the largest impact on chronic disease—the systemic conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and ageIt does not work to tell someone with food insecurity that they should simply eat more fruits and vegetables. Treating the Whole Person also means recognizing the health impacts of social inequalities and trauma that one may have experiencedand eventually intervening where it will make the most impact on one’s health.  

By focusing on community care, disease prevention, healthy behaviors, and mental health, the Whole Person approach works to build resilience and sustain health throughout the lifespan. This is the approach we take to primary care at Link Community Clinic. Our physicians are trained in naturopathic medicine, which by philosophy and real-world approach is almost synonymous with Whole-person health, especially when it comes to primary care.  

Naturopathic Primary Care is empowering

Naturopathic primary care is effective in its whole-person health approach. Several research studies have shown naturopathic doctors to be successful at lowering patients’ risk of cardiovascular disease, treating depression and anxiety, and improving chronic conditions like diabetes, low back pain, and recurrent urinary tract infections. 

According to the 2012 National Health Interviews Survey, 67% of individuals who visited a naturopathic doctor were motivated to make one or more behavioral changes for their health, including quitting smoking, reducing alcohol use, increasing physical activity, and eating organic foods. Our doctors spend time with patients to explain evidence-based strategies for long-term health, including diet and lifestyle changes, in addition to all of the normal aspects of a primary care visit. We use every tool at our disposal to prevent disease or stop disease from worsening, including supplements, medication, and referrals to therapists or specialists. We understand that change is hard, so we make sure patients have the support they need to make their health changes sustainable.   

Patients of naturopathic doctors are more satisfied with their care than the status quo. Naturopathic medicine is effective and well-liked by patients because the doctors listen – they take their time, they see the full picture, and they intervene where it’s most needed. 



National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Whole Person Health: What You Need To Know.” 

Sadowski A, Garofalo L, Welsh A, Bradley R. Naturopathic Doctors: An Underutilized Resource of Whole Health Delivery in Primary Care. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. January 2022. doi:10.1177/2164957X221079787