We are proud to present an engaging interview with Tia Trivisonno ND, LAc, whose path to naturopathic medicine was inspired by personal family experiences. At the age of 20, while in college, Dr. Trivisonno witnessed her father struggle with kidney disease and high blood pressure, leading her to a profound realization about the need for holistic health care.
Dr. Trivisonno is also on the Board of Directors for the NYANP and serve as the Chair of the fundraising committee as well as the emcee of educational events. She served two terms (4 years) as the NYANP President.
In this conversation, Dr. Trivisonno shares her journey from this pivotal moment to pursuing an education at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. There, she earned both a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a Master of Science in Classical Chinese Medicine, equipping her to “treat the whole person” – a philosophy that deeply resonated with her from her family’s experience.
Join us as we delve into Dr. Tia Trivisonno’s commitment to health education, patient empowerment, and her approach
1. Could you share with us your journey into naturopathic medicine and how your personal experiences have shaped your approach to patient care?
I began my journey into naturopathic medicine when I was in college at the age of 20. My father was suffering with complications from kidney disease and high blood pressure, and the medications and surgeries he was prescribed failed to offer a solution. I recall my mother at the time expressing the sentiment that she wished there was a specialist on his health team who could “treat the whole person.” At that very moment I became dedicated to the pursuit of health education and empowerment for patients and their families emphasizing prevention and minimally invasive therapies. I attend the graduate level program at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and received a Doctor of naturopathic medicine and Master of Science in classical Chinese medicine.
2. You blend various traditional and modern approaches in your practice. How do you decide which combination of therapies like herbal medicine, acupuncture, and homeopathy are right for a particular patient?
A typical new patient appointment in naturopathic medicine is 90 minutes in duration. Through a detailed case history it becomes possible to take a multi-systems approach to care that aims to treat the symptoms the patient presents with, as well as get to the root cause of any disease or imbalance. While there are many different modalities such as acupuncture, herbs, and homeopathy to choose from, each treatment is patient specific. The treatments are selected based on the information provided by the patient, including case history and lab work, as well as additional energetic assessment techniques such as autonomic response testing.
3. In your experience, what are some of the most effective naturopathic treatments for managing chronic diseases?
Naturopathic treatments usually combine dietary and lifestyle interventions that can remove any obstacles to better health. Homeopathy, bio-therapeutic drainage, hydrotherapy, herbs, vitamins, minerals and physical medicine techniques like acupuncture are all highly effective ways to address chronic disease because they promote restoration holistically. These treatments are designed to assist the patient wherever they are on the spectrum of illness to optimal health, and then prevent further illness and degeneration in the future.
4. Candida overgrowth is a common concern. What are your insights on its causes, impacts on health, and naturopathic ways to address it?
When working with patients, I often describe the micro biome that exists within us as a diverse ecosystem that can be described like a garden with a variety of different plants. In modern times there are a number of reasons that this internal landscape starts to be taken over by opportunistic microbes like candida. While candida does exist in a healthy environment, the overgrowth of this fungus causes a multitude of unwanted symptoms from the gastrointestinal system to the skin.
Much of the bacteria that populate our G/I tract are given to us at birth via the birth canal and through breast-feeding. When we don’t receive enough of the good bacteria in the first few years of life, or are treated frequently with antibiotics for infections, this can later create the right environment for candida to overgrow. Stress and hormonal changes can also contribute to fungal overgrowth.
Diets high in sugar, or refined carbohydrates can disrupt the microorganisms in the gut and contribute to proliferation. Candida overgrowth can also occur to buffer the neurotoxic effects of heavy metals such as mercury.
It is important to establish any of the above underlying causes of candida overgrowth in order to address it properly. There is both an art and a science to restoring health.
Castor oil packs over the liver and abdomen as well as homeopathic remedies to encourage detox and elimination are a first tier approach that can be followed by herbal formulas to eliminate the overgrowth and rebalance the gut.
5. Mental health is a key area of your practice. How do you integrate naturopathic medicine and acupuncture in treating conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD?
In naturopathic medicine healing takes place at the level of body, mind, and spirit. When treating conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD it is very important to view the patient in front of you as a whole person. It is essential to look for physical causes of mental emotional illness such as chronic infections, toxicity, hormonal imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies. There are many natural remedies that can be prescribed to reduce anxiety and depression and promote relaxation and better sleep. Supplements are also very helpful with reducing side effects from medications.
The autonomic nervous system governs our stress response. It plays a key role in supporting our immune system’s ability to regulate illness. An imbalance in this system occurs after trauma, PTSD, and the demands of modern living. This system can be supported with homeopathy, acupuncture, and other lifestyle practices that promote deep relaxation.
6. You have a special interest in mind-body medicine via the gut-brain axis. Could you explain this concept and its significance in naturopathic treatment?
The gut brain axis is a bidirectional communication network that connects the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord, with the enteric nervous system in the gut. It plays a crucial role in regulating physiology including digestive function, mood, and immunity. The vagus nerve largely influences the communication between the gut and the brain. The bulk of neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA, that keep us happy and calm are produced in the gut. This axis is a great example of the importance of mind body medicine and the naturopathic approach to patient care. Stress will affect the health of the gut and an imbalance in the gut can actually affect the mood.
A healthy gut will contribute to a better mood and a relaxed mental state can positively influence the health of the gut. Many naturopathic treatments including herbs and nutrition will be aimed at supporting both systems at the same time to optimize wellness.
7. Can you tell us more about Dr. Nambudripad’s allergy elimination technique (NAET) and its effectiveness in your practice?
Dr. Nambudripad’s allergy elimination technique (NAET) is a therapeutic modality that combines applied kinesiology, or muscle testing, with acupuncture as a way to assess and treat allergies and sensitivities. It can be used to desensitize the nervous system from foods or substances that the body is reacting to in a hypersensitive way. It is a gentle technique that I use in daily practice with patients of all ages to support the autonomic nervous system’s ability to regulate chronic illness and promote health.
8. Given your mentorship in women’s health and gynecology, what are some key naturopathic approaches you recommend for women’s health issues?
Diets rich in brassica veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, bock choy, and cauliflower, support breast health, hormonal balance, bone health, and protection against cancer.
Adding ground flax seed to the diet can clean up toxic hormonal metabolites. Castor oil packs over the liver, pelvis, breast, and thyroid support lymphatic drainage, bowel and liver detox and can reduce PMS, and symptoms associated with peri-menopause. These are my favorite basic naturopathic tips for women’s health.
9. How has your experience in Ayurvedic medicine in India and environmental work in Paraguay influenced your naturopathic practice?
Throughout my travels to many countries around the world, I have developed a love of service and a deep respect for cultural practices that incorporate the medicinal benefits of food and herbal medicine, as well as techniques like yoga, meditation, and qi gong. I believe that contributing to the health of each individual can contribute to a healthier environment. My approach to patient care is to honor these traditions and bring ancient wisdom into the modern clinical setting for the best interest of the patient.
10. With your diverse background, how do you incorporate your personal wellness philosophy into your practice?
My personal wellness philosophy is to prioritize self-care through a process of self-discovery and teach my patients to do the same. I often emphasize the idea that good health has a lot to do with how we manage our time. Most of us have a tendency to take care of everything on the to do list before making time for the activities that sustain good health and reduce stress. Taking an honest look at how we manage our time can free up some space for personal wellness practices.
I start my day most mornings with either surfing (if the weather permits), a walking meditation outside in nature, or 15-30 minutes of yoga. I go for acupuncture every 3-4 weeks, and use hydrotherapy, castor oil packs and infrared sauna in my routine.
Self-discovery is about finding the things that motivate us to get going in the morning, and letting go of the things we don’t enjoy or that feel forced. A good health routine should be fun, and therefore easier to sustain over time.
11. Where do you see the future of naturopathic medicine heading, especially in terms of integration with conventional medical practices?
Naturopathic medicine has an essential role for the future in shifting the medical model from sick care to health care!
With complex chronic illness and side effects from invasive therapies on the rise, more people are turning to natural interventions to support better health.
Naturopathic doctors collaborate with other specialists to round out the treatment plan for the highest good of the patient. Trained as primary care providers, they prevent, diagnose, and treat acute and chronic illness to establish optimal health by supporting the person’s inherent self-healing process.
To find out more visit the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians visit our organization at: www.nyanp.org
Connect with Dr. Tia Trivisonno
To learn more about Dr. Tia Trivisonno’s work and to stay updated with her latest insights and offerings, we invite you to visit her website and follow her on social media:
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CanXida. The content provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Readers are encouraged to consult their healthcare provider for any health-related questions or concerns.