Who wants to go to a developing country, sleep on a dirty floor, fend for clean water, and spend their whole vacation working days & nights? There's amazing, passionate people out there, like my friend (and soon-to-be doctor) Beebe, who is willing to give so much of herself to the people that really need it.Read More
It seems like if you don't live on the West Coast or a large city people have absolutely no idea what naturopathic doctors are or the training they have. They will probably confuse a ND with a nutritionist, homeopath, health coach, witch, or some weirdo selling snake oil. ND's are definitely the underdog in the medical system with roughly 5,000 practicing in the United States while there are 893,851 practicing MD's. But that's no reason to give up... some of the most inspiring people in the world came from situations that bet against them. The solution is education, if people really knew the training and education that naturopathic doctors have they would be lining up at their clinics begging for a fresh perspective on their health. That is where Naturopathic Medicine Week Comes in!
ND's might be considered the underdogs based on sheer numbers, but these passionate men and women are part of an ELITE group of physicians with the best training in the world in natural medicine that fulfill a unique niche in the medical system and are transforming healthcare!Read More
Take a minute, sit back, and visualize your ideal visit to the doctor
- Do you wish they would have talked to you longer?
- Did they ask you about your stress level or your support network?
- Did you discuss your diet and lifestyle?
- Was the doctor's office a warm and inviting setting?
- Did you feel cared for?
- Were you looking for more treatment options than pharmaceuticals?
Well, I have news for you... It already exists!!!
Naturopathic doctors are a rare breed of physicians that have deeply thought about those questions and created a model of medicine that integrates nature, values connection, and combines it with the standard of care.
Most people have never heard of a naturopathic physician (ND) simply because there are only 5,000 ND's practicing around the U.S while there are well over 200,000 primary care MD's in the U.S (and over 700,000 total).
Watch this inspirational video to learn about creating more access for naturopathic medicine across the U.S. & be part of the change by donating $5 today
I love the endless options and fresh perspective that naturopathic medicine offers.
Check it out for yourself!
At-home constitutional hydrotherapy is a simple way to build immunity while pushing your body from the ultra stressed sympathetic (fight or flight) mode into the calmer parasympathetic (rest and digest) mode.
How does it do this? the hot and cold is focused on the torso which shunts the blood from the extremities to the abdomen creating more attention on digestion.
What you need:
Try it !
1. Take a hot bath or shower for 5 minutes.
2. Get out and dry quickly.
3. Take a towel wrung out in cold water and wrap it around the trunk of the body, from the armpits to the groin.
4. Cover with the sheet and then 2 wool blankets.
5. Leave in place at least 20 minutes, or longer, until the towel is warmed.
After the treatment you will find yourself more relaxed and vibrant!
Did you finally get that cold that has been going around the office? The wet sock treatment is an old traditional remedy that is highly effective at relieving upper respiratory symptoms and stimulating the Vis. This treatment may seem a little odd but it works!
So, how does wearing wet socks at bedtime treat colds?! The cold socks stimulate the body to reflexively increase blood circulation which helps to decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head and throat. The increased circulation supports lymphatic movement in the cervical region and stimulates the immune system to begin fighting the cold. It is also effective to relieve pain and support the body's own healing response. The wet sock treatment is actually considered a 'warming treatment' because it allows the body to heat itself during the night and you will wake up with less congestion and dry socks!
It has been proven to help with...
- Sore throats
- Neck pain
- Ear infections
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus & upper respiratory infections
- Take a pair of thin cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water. After wetting the socks, wring them out thoroughly so they do not drip.
- Place them in the freezer for 10-20 minutes to enhance the cooling effect.
- While the socks are cooling, warm your feet in a warm bath for 5-10 minutes.
- Dry off feet and body with a dry towel.
- Remove the cotton socks from the freezer, and bend or thaw them to the point where they can be worn.
- Place socks on the feet and cover the cold socks with a second pair of thick, dry wool socks.
- Go directly to bed. Avoid getting chilled.
- Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry by the morning.
- Repeat the first 3 nights of a cold
Gosh, do you think Hippocrates might have been on to something when he said "let food be they medicine" over 2300 years ago?!
In naturopathic medicine we look at food as one of the best ways to prevent, treat, and even reverse disease. Food is very powerful medicine and can have dramatic effects on the mind & body. Since we are in the height of cold and flu season, I thought it only proper to provide a great immune boosting recipe.
Dr. Bill Mitchell's Immune Boosting Soup
(co-founder of Bastyr University and an naturopathic physician, click here to read more)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1-5 cloves garlic. chopped or crushed (to taste)
- 1 tsp-3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root (to taste)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 qt miso broth or mushroom broth
- 3 Tbsp fresh minced parsley
- 1 grated carrot
- Combine the broth, onion, ginger, garlic and mushrooms.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice, carrot and parsley.
- Put cover on pan and steam for 5 minutes.
- Eat 1-4 times a day.
Onions (Allium cepa): Great source of vitamins C and B6, folic acid, B1, and K biotin, chromium and fiber. It is in the same family as garlic and also contains organic sulfur compounds which support immune system function and help fight off bacteria.
Garlic (Allium sativum): There is too much to list when it comes to this great vegetable but most of its properties are derived from the volatile oils and sulfur-containing compounds (allicin, diallyldisulfide, diallyl trisulfide). It has strong antibacterial properties and is effective against colds, flu, and stomach viruses. Garlic has also been studied as an effective treatment against candida, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale): A great addition to any meal because it supports digestion by soothing the GI tract while eliminating gas and bloating. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory spice and reduces nausea.
Lemon (Citrus limon): An excellent source of vitamin C along with B6, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids, and the important phytochemical called limonene. Lemons are very alkaline which helps to balance out the body's pH and aid in digestion by simulating enzymes to break down food.
Shiitake Mushrooms: An great source of vitamins B2, B5 and B6, and B2 along with manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc. This mushroom is very good at strengthening the immune system from the compound called lentinan, which enables your immune system to fight diseases and infections more efficiently from the common cold to HIV.
Miso: Is a fermented soybean paste which has many minerals including zinc, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, along with B12 and B6.
Parsley (Petroseliunum crispum): Contains a large amount of chlorophyll and carotenes which help to balance the pH of the body and promote detoxification. Parsley also is a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium.
Carrots: Provide the highest source of provitamin A carotenes along with an excellent source of vitamin K, biotin, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and thiamine. This potent antioxidant is protective against cardiovascular disease and also promotes good vision.
This is an excellent resource called 'The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods' written by Dr. Pizzorno, ND (co-founder of Bastyr University and a practicing naturopathic physician) along with Dr. Micheal Murray ND . I have this book in my kitchen as always use it as a reference.
The Vis is our own healing potential within the body & soul which allows the body to heal itself. The body possesses an inherent ability to restore health and through specific modalities we can encourage that process.
How do we stimulate our Vis?
Well, it all depends on the individual but here are the basics:
1. Get out in nature: Getting away from the hustle & bustle of city life and feeling the calming vibe and beauty of nature is healing for the mind & body.
2. Go Barefoot: The earth has a negative ionic charge and when we go barefoot are bodies are able to ground that charge. Negative ions are proven to detoxify, calm, reduce inflammation, and even synchronise our internal clocks, hormonal cycles, and physiological rhythms.
3. Breathe fresh air: Our breathe is one of the most fundamental forms of life and yet usually taken for granted. Embracing the brisk fresh air and taking deep breaths soothes the soul.
4. Eat foods that are grown locally and organically with love
There are also specific treatments such as...
Constitutional Hydrotherapy: Which can boost immunity through a series of hot & cold compresses applied to the chest and abdomen along with a mild electrical stimulation.
Wet Sock Treatments: This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head and throat which is a great treatment for the common cold.
Peat Baths: Taking a bath with peat supports the body in several ways because the peat itself retains the temperature of the water which aids the body to sweat and further release toxins from the deep within the tissues. The warm bath, in addition to the properties of the peat, support the body by decreasing inflammation and pain while increasing circulation and sweat.
Water therapy: Hydrotherapy is essentially the use of water (hot or cold, ice or liquid) to treat and heal the body of aliments. The use of various water temperatures is very important to treat certain aliments for example; hot and cold contrast hydrotherapy stimulates circulation by causing increased constriction and dilation of the veins which in turn provides fresh nutrients while also stimulating movement of the lymphatic system to eliminate waste from the body.
What are you going to do to stimulate your Vis today?
In naturopathic medicine we always look for the cause of any imbalance in the body rather than simply treating any symptoms that arise. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal but when the origin of a disease is removed or treated the patient is able to recover.
How do we do this? we ask about all aspects of a person's life including lifestyle, stress, emotional issues, diet, spirituality, support, along with their chief complaint.
Some examples of how we look for the cause:
Acne can come about for a variety of reasons such as hormonal imbalances, decreased liver function, stress, and foods. Instead of simply giving our patients a topical cream or antibiotic we chose to address the underlying reason so that they can be free of skin issues for good.
Insomnia can be caused by many aspects of a person's lifestyle such as intense stress, constant worrying, drinking too much coffee during the day, and poor sleep hygiene habits (being on your laptop before bed, falling asleep watching TV). Instead of going directly to prescribing a sleep medication we teach the patient techniques to learn to relax before bed and address the stresses that could be preventing them.
Today is a reminder to look at any symptoms you might be having as your body telling you to look deeper!