Moira Fitzpatrick, ND
How to find the right naturopath
Dr. Moira Fitzpatrick understands the frustrations patients have in the “pill for every ill” model. Here she gives advice on how to find a naturopath who can help you navigate additional options.
I certainly can understand you being upset with conventional medicine, because one of the things that happens is that they listen to your symptoms and have a medication for this symptom and that symptom. That can be frustrating because you can end up taking lots of pills and the original issue doesn’t get resolved. Do some research and interview some of the naturopaths in your area, and let them know what you’re interested in and ask them the questions that you’re concerned about, and then pick someone that resonates with you, someone who really listens to you.
Moira Fitzpatrick, ND
Integrative medicine is a two-way street
Dr. Tabatha Parker talks about the inviting space that integrative medicine offers patients who are frustrated with healthcare. Respect and understanding are valued by both patient and practitioner.
“A lot of people are looking for healthcare, like they’re not actually getting what they need in that limited system. For me, part of the beauty of integrative health and medicine is that there’s something for everyone.
You are really in a relationship with your patient. You are creating a space for them to share their health story, and they’re really a part of that. It’s not you coming as an expert telling people what they should do. You’re really engaging them in a different dialogue. Patients also kind of became enamored by the space that they were being invited into, like you want to know my story? My story matters? It’s such a respectful place and people love that.”
Jared Skowron, ND
It’s time for a better approach to child health care
Dr. Jared Skowron’s passion in life is treating children in ways conventional treatment alone does not. Dr. Skowron proposes a different path of integrating natural and conventional medicines to produce real results.
We were all raised to believe our doctors. Unfortunately, today, many pediatricians aren’t educated in nutrition, aren’t educated in the broad scope of different therapies that can be used in children. They go to what they’re taught. They go to the pharmaceuticals. They go to the drugs. When you take a step back and look at how health is for children, it’s getting worse. So if what we’re doing isn’t working, we need to do something different. And more and more people are using natural medicine, and it’s going to come to a tipping point. It’s going to become the standard to practice integrative medicine. I’m hoping as more and more people get involved and more and more people accept it, then integrative medicine will happen. So as this pendulum is swinging down through over the next 20 years, people are going to be okay with their conventional medicine and with their natural medicine and doing everything combined. I really think it’s a matter of time, but that time will move our consciousness exponentially.
Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
Taking health into your own hands
Choosing the right healthcare provider is important. Dr. Lise Alschuler stresses the importance of trust and relationship when exploring natural medicine, and explains how picking a practitioner is really creating a partnership.
As somebody who is thinking about exploring natural medicine, naturopathic medicine in addition to or instead of conventional care, I would encourage you to approach that exploration with a certain degree of skepticism. It’s your body and it’s your health, and you need to care take that with some level of responsibility. To put your health in somebody else’s hands, I would encourage you to make sure you feel confident in the provider whom you’re seeing, that you bring your questions and that you’re satisfied with the answers and that you engage in the process, that it’s a partnership between you and your practitioner. The more of you you bring to that relationship, the more you’ll take back with you.
Molly M. Roberts, MD, MS
Tapping into your own wisdom
Dr Molly Roberts believes no one is broken. Instead she focuses on helping patients believe in themselves.
When I see someone I don’t see anyone who is broken. There’s nobody broken, people have their challenges, but I see that sacred spark within them first, and really first and always. That’s what I’m honing in on. I’m not honing in on whether or not their blood pressure is ok, certainly we look at it, but my first and foremost interaction with them is to recognize that they have that wise man or that wise woman within themselves.
One of the things that I say is that, “This is really safe space, and the reason why it’s safe space is because I’m so clear that you own yourself. If there’s nothing else you can own in your life, you should be able to own your mind, your body, your spirit, your soul, and your decisions.” And I see part of my job is to help them to tap into that deep wisdom within themselves. Because that’s really where the healing is going to come. It’s not from me, it’s from them tapping into their own wisdom.
Jaclyn Chasse, ND
The Importance of Finding a Doctor You Trust
Dr. Jaclyn Chasse explains why only a qualified doctor you trust can help navigate the sea of noise that’s out there.
Dr. Google is just not a good doctor. There’s just too much out there to sort through. There’s great information, and there’s also really terrible information. Finding a doctor that you connect with or a clinician, a nutritionist, naturopath that you really connect with and trust is by far the first step. It’s really important to work with a healthcare provider around integrative medicine and really find the best protocol for you. That would be my biggest advice is just find someone that you trust and that you like, because you’re going to share your life story with them. Make sure you get along. Allow them to really help to guide you in the right direction.
Karen Lawson, MD
The patient-doctor relationship shouldn’t stop at the door
Dr. Karen Lawson believes that the patient-doctor relationship shouldn’t stop as soon as you leave the door. She finds that coaching the patient is the best way to build on that bond.
As an individual consumer that has a health issue, it doesn’t matter in many ways if you go to your internist or your family practice doc or chiropractor. You’re going to an expert person who is either educating you to do something or telling you to do something or doing something to you, and that’s their role. What happens is then people leave the provider and they go stand in the parking lot and will go, “Well that was great advice or guidance. And how do I do it in my own life?” Whether it’s how do I take this pill or how do I change my diet or how do I do this meditation practice.
The implementation is hard, behavioral change is hard, developing new habits is hard. It became very clear we needed some kind of practitioner that met the person in the parking lot and said, “Okay I’m right here, I’m by your side, I’m by your shoulder. What steps do you want to take? What new behaviors do you want? What new beliefs do you want to cultivate?” And we called that person a health coach. And because we were working with an integrative team of practitioners, it was an integrative health coach. So it wasn’t just a health coach working with a conventional kind of reductionist medical team.
So I brought together an interdisciplinary team that had a lot of coaching experience and developed a curriculum and launched a training program that’s now in its 10th year. And it was the first training program of its kind at a major university. That really has moved the terrain in ways that I never expected, and I’m not done with it yet, it’s still working me, so ask me in 10 years. But integrative health coaching made me one aspect of the legacy I’d like to leave behind.
Holly Lucille, ND
True healing takes commitment from the patient
Dr. Holly Lucille doesn’t mince words when explaining the importance of investing in your own health. An integrative practitioner provides more than advice, she explains. It’s a partnership that, in time, yields huge results.
When it comes to really being well and seeing an integrative practitioner, they’re brilliant, but it’s 10% them, and 90% you. We can tell you and impart the wisdom and make recommendations, but the follow-through and the commitment and the investment in your health in doing these dietary and lifestyle things that make such a difference, it’s really on you. It does take time, it takes consciousness, it takes thought and it really takes getting in contact with yourself. It’s not just simply, “Here, take this.” It’s not that easy. It’s more involvement, it’s a partnership, but the payoff is huge.
Joseph Pizzorno, ND
Challenging myths of old age and disease
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno spent the majority of his career as a naturopathic physician challenging conventional medical wisdom. Now he challenges the idea that old age and disease need to co-exist.
When we talk about people getting older and having more disease, and that being normal and natural, I want to challenge that. The reason I challenge that is because I’ve had the great fortune of being in a family with long-lived men. My great-grandfather came over from Italy and he lived what’s called a Mediterranean-type lifestyle; good healthy food, no excessive amounts of toxins like alcohol. He had never seen a doctor in his life, and had no apparent disease. Our acceptance of dysfunction and disability as we grow older is a product of our toxic environment and nutrient-depleted lifestyle.
Jared Skowron, ND
Being a parent in today’s society
As a parent and naturopathic pediatrician, Dr. Jared Skowron knows what it’s like to raise a child today and the societal issues afflicting them. Dr. Skowron speaks out about the challenges and traps these issues pose.
I feel that all families know what needs to be done. All families yearn for having the best kid and doing everything they can for their child. The most important thing is to know that there’s always an answer out there. As a parent myself, because I’ve got a little three-year-old girl, everything is about your children and everything is about making sure that everything you do is the best thing for them. Because of how society has changed, everybody falls into that loop of doing what’s easiest for the child’s food or doing what’s easiest to help babysit them with a screen or an iPad or a phone or a tablet. We are creatures of habit, so changing habits is always a difficult transition, but it’s about introducing these things to kids, whether it be food, whether it be outdoors time, one thing at a time.
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