We live in a time of space age and nuclear medicine, mapping genes and other modern marvels.
Yet some medical pioneers are looking back instead of forward and turning to age-old treatments and remedies.
Dorie Muttart, a registered nurse and naturopathic physician, is one of those pioneers.
Following a long career in nursing, she decided to go back to school and earn a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the Southwestern College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe. That was six years ago. She graduated in 1999 and began her practice in Payson in January 2002.
"The practice is developing slowly. Getting an office started is a big challenge," Muttart said.
To get her business going, she is putting out fliers and participating in various activities in the community. She had a booth at the Women's Wellness Forum earlier this month and at this past weekend's 5K run. She also plans to be at the dog show in June.
The most rewarding aspect of the work?
"The smile on someone's face when they feel better," she said.
Muttart said she decided to change the focus of her medical work because she was burned out as a nurse. She said she hated to see patients suffering from the side effects of mainstream medicine and still not getting well.
She has retained her nursing credentials and is part of Cigna Health's nursing pool, stepping in when the company's nurses are out sick or on vacation.
During the 20-plus years she worked as a nurse, she took on a variety of assignments. She started by working in hospital orthopedic and neonatal care. Muttart also was a traveling nurse, helping intensive care patients for about 15 years. She spent several years on the Navajo Reservation, at Tsaile, as a school nurse and also served in the community health field.
Naturopathic medicine treats the whole person. It uses a variety of treatments and remedies. Muttart said naturopathic medicine uses herbal treatments, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, acupuncture, manipulation (something similar to the work of chiropractors), energy work, partial massage, mild counseling and relaxation therapy, nutritional counseling, hydrotherapy, IV therapy and cold laser work.
Some naturopathic physicians even specialize in such things as obstetrics, becoming nurse-midwives. She knows of one who uses naturopathic techniques with cardiac patients.
Muttart is taking classes this summer to expand the treatments she can offer patients. She plans to study acupressure facelifts and face reflexology, plus salt glow techniques, a skin exfoliation method using salt.
When someone first comes to her, or any naturopathic physician, at least an hour or two is spent taking patient input, which allows the physician to get to know the person and their concerns. She also will do home visits if necessary.
Muttart said she will re-evaluate her decision to open a practice in Payson in about a year. She hopes it does well, because this is where she wants to live. Making a home in a rural setting is part of her retirement dream.
Muttart's office is at 616 S. Beeline Highway. She is available in Payson every other Friday, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. She also will be available Sundays as needed.
To contact, her call (928) 468-2426 in Payson, or (602) 431-8741 in Phoenix.