Monday, November 10, 2008

Treat the whole person

Why it’s hard to be a pure Specialist if you’re a Naturopathic Doc, and hallelujah!

Even though conventional medicine can’t get enough of specialization, and insurance companies begrudge the costs of specialist visits, it’s hard to complain of overpriced Specialist care from a Naturopathic Doc.

You see, we are trained in the science of the body as a whole system- it is all generally interdependent. That is if you hurt your ankle, we’re not gonna forget about the hip or the knee or the adrenal glands for that matter. There’s just no escaping the fact that we can’t help create our treatment plans without addressing the whole person- including your livelihood, lifestyle and your general environment. For example, people with arthritis rarely realize that they need to make changes in their diet to reduce the pain in their joints.

You might be stunned, “how can food have anything to do with joint pain?” It all boils down to inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of pain, swelling, redness and well more inflammation. It can fast become a vicious cycle and it often involves an immune reaction that perpetuates or worsens the inflammation. Inflammation itself is not a bad thing, it is an important mechanism meant to protect the body by giving clear signals of pain, like redness and swelling to help our minds easily recognize the place of pain and adress the source of it quickly. As we ignore the symptoms they worsen, or sometimes they seemingly go away only to return in another more serious form. An example of this is an allergy that creates skin eruptions, and the longer this is either ignored or just treated symptomatically (i.e. hydrocortisone lotions) the inflammation goes “underground” it turns into a deeper pathology commonly in the form of asthma. Asthma is a serious long lasting disease and a cause of early death and a lower quality of life for many.

Thus, by treating the whole person naturopathic doctors need to make the time to see who their patients are in their unique situation. Only by seeing our patients in all the aspects of their current situation can we clearly imagine our patients being whole, and doing all we can to help them get to that stage. We cannot treat the cause until we know as much as possible about each of our unique patients.

So a Naturopathic doctor is a specialist at generalization, and putting together the fractals of each individual patient.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said!

You have a very nice website and a great blog. I look forward to visiting often and learning a lot.

Thank you.

Dennis Dilday, D.C.
Everett Chiropractic Center