Dr. Sepúlveda’s interest in natural medicine goes back to 1986, when he started reading nutrition books written by the European naturopathic doctor Paavo Airola. His growing interest in nutrition and health eventually made him realize that medicine was his calling. At this point he decided to end a successful career in information systems programming and pursue studies in conventional medicine, for which he started preparing academically. However, being a firm believer in the fundamental importance of nutrition in human health, he became disillusioned with conventional medicine when he realized its lack of emphasis on nutrition and on the use of natural therapies for the prevention and treatment of health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and degenerative conditions of the nervous system. This led him to abandon the idea of studying conventional medicine, and instead he became focused on nutrition, which led him to take courses in this discipline at the University of Puerto Rico. However, he soon realized that focusing exclusively on nutrition imposes great limitations to what a healthcare provider can offer to his or her patients.
During this time, Dr. Sepúlveda progressively engaged in deeper readings about naturopathic medicine (which incorporates a diverse number of modalities for prevention and treatment in addition to nutrition) and started to meet people who, by means of natural therapies, had completely healed or very significantly improved from medical conditions that conventional medicine considers progressive and incurable. These experiences convinced him of the enormous potential of naturopathic medicine as an alternative treatment (instead of conventional medicine) or as a complementary treatment (in addition to conven-
Strongly believing that great challenges that we face in our lives make us better persons (which has led him to the summits of the highest mountains of North and South America, and to the Himalayas), Dr. Sepúlveda accepted the challenge of studying in one of the most prestigious naturopathic medical schools in North America, Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, where he earned a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. After graduation, he took and passed the national level naturopathic medicine core clinical science board exam (the “Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination” or NPLEX, which covers the United States, its territories, and Canada). Currently, Dr. Sepúlveda is licensed to practice naturopathic medicine in Puerto Rico.
Observing the fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine, Dr. Sepúlveda strives to identify the root cause of health conditions in his patients, and remove them whenever possible. To accomplish this, he considers physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual factors that may be contributing to such health conditions. He also prefers to use, whenever possible, natural treatments that have scientific evidence of effectiveness in humans, and emphasizes that the most important thing for prevention and treatment is for the patients to embrace lifestyle changes that will optimize their health and well being.
In addition to the enormous feeling of satisfaction from being able to help his patients to maintain their health, regain their health, or improve their health or quality of life, helping to improve the quality standards of the practice of naturopathic medicine in Puerto Rico also motivates him.
Dr. Sepúlveda is president of the Examining Board of Naturopathic Doctors of Puerto Rico’s Department of Health; professor since 2010 at Universidad del Turabo’s doctoral program in Naturopathic Medicine, where he currently teaches courses in clinical nutrition, botanical medicine and environmental medicine; and member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Summit of Mount McKinley
For information on coverage of naturopathic medicine by some health insurance plans, please call (787) 607-