How ANYONE Can be a Naturopath in 10 Simple Steps

shutterstock_10382539By Dr. Nicole Sundene

One day a student from UW Med School followed me around on my Bastyr Internship Rounds and said, “is being a Naturopathic Doctor all about fish oil and probiotics?”

To which I responded, “pretty much.”

As much as this is a little tongue in cheek humor for my colleagues, I hope you all will be reminded of the pillars of health.

Plus I don’t have all the time in the world to nag everyone on the planet so here is how you can help Dr. Nicole on her nagging mission:

#1 Tell everyone to investigate and TREAT THE ROOT CAUSE of their health problem. Remember that “Disease is Our Teacher” and symptoms are the only way the body can send messages that something has gone haywire. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Disease as Our Teacher

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Everyone!

Who is Your Teacher?

Did you know that even adults have teachers?

We may not knowingly be matriculated into the curriculum, but LIFE is teaching us so many things.

In my opinion, disease is an amazing teacher.

Whether chronic or acute, disease is the only way the body can send us messages.

My friend with diabetes refers to her diabetes as her “teacher.”

Anyone with diabetes who is reading this can commiserate at what a challenging life lesson having this disease can be.

Pain is also one of the most common signals that the body sends to us when it wants to teach us a lesson, but we often miss the other hidden messages, the otherwise less pronounced teachers,  those substitute teachers….you know? The ones that NO ONE wants to pay attention to,  and they are known as SYMPTOMS.

Symptoms are a lot like substitute teachers because no one wants to listen to them.  They are going buh-bye in a day or two. Yippee! We can do whatever we want….

But we can’t.  What we need to do is listen to that inner wisdom of the body…pay attention to those symptoms.

Wow….symptoms are our teachers too! How amazing is that to think about? The body is trying to tell you something when you are spending hours on the toilet with The Swine Flu (or nature’s Spring Cleaning as I like to call it.) We know that this virus causing gastroenteritis is upsetting the digestive system, and the body is smartly shooting it out of us as quickly as possible (no puns intended…I promise with all due respect.)

Same thing happens when we get a bad cough, or when we have to sneeze…..and maybe boring yawns even have something to teach us.

Speaking of yawns, bear with me here for a second while we transport back in to time….

Picture it– Issaquah High School 1993:

When I was in high school, my best friend and I had this substitute teacher who eventually became our full time teacher.  He was fresh meat out of grad school, and not much older than we were. Smelling his fear, everyone in the class acted like the typical high school students that knew more than everyone else in the world (let me tell you when I was 18, I was the smartest I will ever be in my entire lifetime. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I will ever know.)

It seemed that everyone in the class had fun taking turns making his day a nightmare.  We were a bunch of arrogant Honor Society Students.  We were used to receiving “A’s” for thinking out of the box and leaving a tiny dot on a science test that asked us to draw a scientific model of a geographical system, and the teacher gave credit.

We had been tested, we had applied to schools, we already knew where we were going for college, many had full ride scholarships, we had it made….

In all nerdy honesty, I was just taking the Advanced Physics as an elective because I almost failed small engines, and in the 17 years that Mr. Endicott taught his curriculum, he never had a group of students not have their lawn mower run.  He even took it apart and put it back together again, and it still didn’t work.

He never had a group of students like us, who thought we were taking the class for an easy “A,” kind of like the “nerd” in “Breakfast Club” who wanted to kill himself with a flare gun because he couldn’t get his elephant lamp to work. Anyway, I got a C in the small engines class, the worst score I had ever received, and never had to work harder to almost not fail.  My BF and I would stay up late with flashcards talking about “tulip valves” and memorizing auto parts. To each his own genius right?

I digress….

In advanced physics class we refused to listen, we had already had six months of physics and thought we knew more than the teacher. We caused trouble just to cause trouble. We made our poor teacher work a million times harder than necessary. We chatted loudly amongst ourselves while he was forced to just yell louder and louder over us to gain our attention. In guilty hindsight, I’m quite certain we must have driven him to drink. I think he may have even given up teaching.

One morale of this blabbering story is that: He kept yelling louder and louder….and we didn’t listen. Hmmm…sound familiar? Pain and other disease symptoms can keep yelling louder and louder too….when we aren’t listening.

I think many of us that now work with super scary teenagers wish that we could flash back in time and apologize to or thank a particular teacher who worked really hard to make us better.

Teachers are some of the most under-appreciated professionals in the working world in comparison to what they are asked to do, and how much they are asked to give.

As a doctor, I have grown to accept that disease is one of our best under-recognized teachers.

Why else does the public speaker develop laryngitis when he does, or the athlete sprain their ankle? Why do most people have heart attacks at 8am on Monday mornings? Why does the skin problem finally show up on your face where your own vanity is forced to recognize it? Why do we get sick when we get sick? Why do we get sick with the things that we get sick with?

Why does our body choose the particular messages in the form of disease that it chooses to communicate with us?  Why aren’t we listening to the inner wisdom, or in Naturopathic Medicine we call it, “The Vis Medicatrix Naturae” or “The Healing Power of Nature.”

We recognize that although their is no cure for the common cold, for instance, the body manages to still recover.

The problem with symptom suppression is that we are ignoring the body’s inner wisdom. Obviously there are times when we have to ignore this “inner wisdom” and intervene to do what is safest, such as in the case of a high fevers! But let’s stop and think about what the purpose of a low grade fever is before we choose to immediately suppress it with acetaminophen.

When the immune system first interacts with a virus or bacterial particle, a message is sent to the brain to increase our thermostat. When the body has a higher temperature, it makes oxygen more available to white blood cells that kill the very bugs that are making us sick.  This is the immune system equivalent to the President giving a report that then gets distributed and the captain of the ship then says, “Computer–activate our shields.”

Sorry once a Trekkie always a Trekkie.

When we ignore our teachers, and assume we are better than our teachers, we are not quite present for life’s lessons. We miss the growth opportunity in the challenge. When we don’t listen to the messages sent by disease, disease just shouts back louder at us. What is that cold really telling you? Why did you have a heart attack? What is your chronic heart burn telling you?  Why does your back really hurt so bad?  Why do you do more nurturing for other people than you do for yourself?  Why aren’t you taking care of yourself?  Why aren’t you listening to your teachers?

Today is the day to start thinking about these things.

And, if you happen to be the 6th period Advanced Physics teacher at Issaquah High School in 1993, I would like to offer my sincerest apology!

God bless all of our teachers!

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Doctors Fighting in Washington D.C. to Support H.Con.Res.58!

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

If you want to see health care reform, and if you blog for health care reform, please re-post the following press release on your website, share with friends, family, and well…everyone that will listen!  You can even include my introductory spiel, or make your own. Please just share the word!

Doctors are fighting to reform health care in America!!!

We are doing this for YOU! For your children!  For your children’s children.  We are doing this for the well being of America…the 2nd most unhealthy country only second to Finland….while we just so happen to spend the MOST on health care….hmmmm….why is that?!?!??!

How can you help Dr. Nicole and friends fight the Kitchen Table Medicine fight?  Just pass on this info to those that are in Washington D.C.  or join them!

Write your congress and let them know that preventive medicine treatments, consultations, and education are IMPORTANT to you.  After all, the Latin root for the word “doctor” is “docere” meaning….to teach.

We want to teach you how to be healthy.  We want to teach you how to live without unnecessary medications.  We want to teach you how to be the best version of you possible.

Thanks so much for passing along the following press release, and helping us fight the fight to offer Americans the finest health care!  We want you to have every option available as we revise the current health care system.  But we need your input.  We need you to write your local congress, to congregate with those in Washington D.C. and let your government officials know that the well being of our nation is important to you and your family.

As a physician, I believe the health care crisis will never be reformed until we fix the crisis at our Kitchen Tables and we need fine doctors, and nurse educators PAID to coach you to a whole food diet and lifestyle. We need acupuncturists, chiropracters, masssage therapists, all working as a team with your MD and naturopathic physician.   Why are these “premium” modalities not part of every insurance plan?  Why don’t you have access to the information you need? Why is organic food SO expensive but refined crap is readily accessible and CHEAP.  Why is the health care crisis I read about in the newspaper at my grandmother’s obituary from 1976 (reporting her as the first female bartender in Olympia) not improved but worsened? We are not headed in the right direction people.  We are going the WRONG WAY.

Why are we worried about the Swine Flu so much when 1 in 3 adults will develop adult diabetes, and if the current trends in America continue then 1 in 2 children born TODAY will end up with diabetes.  If you have two children that means that statistically one of them could end up with diabetes, unless you model healthy whole food eating and lifestyle NOW.

For every $1 a healthy person costs our health care system a diabetic costs $13….now I am no mathematician….but how are we going to reform health care if we don’t start with a whole foods diet and lifestyle?  How are we not going to be in an economic crisis when 50% of Americans have diabetes?

Being healthy really isn’t that hard:

80% Whole Foods + 20% Who Cares = Disease Prevention

You can do it! I believe in you.  Thanks for sharing my message and helping improve preventive medicine legislation.

~Dr. Nicole

KitchenTableMedicine.com
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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Jenna Huntsberger
(202) 237-8150 jenna.huntsberger@naturopathic.org

Naturopathic Medicine Supporters Advocate For Health Care System Based On Wellness, Disease Prevention, And Natural Medicine:

More than 100 naturopathic doctors and supporters will descend on Capitol Hill Monday, May 4, to advocate for an overhaul of the nation’s health care system. Advocates from across the country will ask their Members of Congress to support H.Con.Res.58, a resolution that would transform the health care system from one that manages disease to one rooted in prevention, health promotion, and wellness.

“The health care system must address the underlying factors that lead to chronic disease,” says Karen Howard, Executive Director of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. “Nearly forty percent of all U.S. deaths are from heart disease, and more than two thirds of Americans are overweight. Clearly, the current system doesn’t do enough to prevent these costly health conditions. We need to move past this broken model and create a system that focuses on overall health, wellness, and enabling the body’s natural healing process.”

Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability.

Naturopathic doctors teach their patients to use lifestyle changes and cutting-edge natural therapies to enhance the body’s ability to ward off and combat disease.

Naturopathic doctors craft comprehensive treatment plans that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat disease, but also to restore health.

“Today, our definition of ‘wellness’ is limited to drug screening, vaccinations, and other preventative strategies such as drug therapy,” continues Howard. “But we drastically undervalue how changing behavior can prevent disease. If the nation is to move past the current health care crisis, we must adopt a patient-centered health care model that will restore and maintain optimal health.”

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is a professional association strives to make naturopathic medicine available to every American, and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine. Our members include accredited schools of naturopathy, students, physicians, and individual and corporate supporters, participating independently or though 40 state-level affiliate organizations. Learn more at www.naturopathic.org

Jenna Huntsberger

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

4435 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 403

Washington, D.C. 20016

Phone: (202) 237-8150;  Toll-Free: (866) 538-2267;  Fax: (202) 237-8152

Email: Jenna.huntsberger@naturopathic.org

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Naturopathic Medicine Series Airs Tonight on PBS! April 8th

PhotobucketPress Release: For Immediate Release

On April 8, 2009 the country’s first series on naturopathic medicine will air on southern California’s KOCE, the sixth-largest PBS station in the country.

Produced by the award-winning American Health Journal in conjunction with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the series will educate the public about the practices and philosophy of naturopathic medicine.

“The public is hungry for a system of health care that is patient-centered, wellness focused, cost-effective, and which uses natural remedies without side effects,” said Karen Howard, AANP’s Executive Director. “Naturopathic medicine is what the public wants and needs. We’re excited about this opportunity to educate the public about naturopathic medicine.”

The program will cover a broad range of topics, including the training and education of naturopathic physicians, environmental health and cancer, naturopathic approaches to chronic disease, family medicine, preventing heart disease and diabetes, mental health, allergies, and chronic pain.

The six-part series (with a seventh “best of” episode) will begin airing April 8, 2009.

Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic medicine embraces the medical oath “first do no harm.”

By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.

Currently, 15 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors. In these states, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from a four-year, postgraduate naturopathic medical school and to pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license.

Please Repost this Press Release to Your Website or Newsletter

* * *
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is a professional association that strives to make naturopathic medicine available to every American, and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine. Our members include accredited schools of naturopathic medicine, students, physicians, and individual and corporate supporters, participating independently or though 40 state-level affiliate organizations.

Photobucket

Learn more at

www.naturopathic.org

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Is Your Body a “Money Pit?”

PhotobucketBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

I have been having a lot of household disasters of late and decided to watch the free Comcast on demand movie “The Money Pit,” starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long so I could be reminded that my few household problems really aren’t that bad compared to theirs.

Misery sure loves company ;)

If you haven’t seen the movie, basically this young couple gets a smoking hot deal on a beautiful looking home that turns out to be riddled with architectural, plumbing, carpentry, and electrical issues.

They keep sinking more and more and more money in to this house to fix all the problems going haywire until they finally go broke and the house crumbles around them.

Sorry to spoil the ending, but the movie has been out some 20 odd years, and it is always enjoyable for a good laugh. Many home owners can commiserate with the annoying dilemmas of having to fix this and repair that, or be held hostage by a plumber for a ridiculous amount of money.

As I was watching the movie I was reminded of the Chinese proverb, “The time to repair your roof is when the sun is shining.”

For many of us younger, healthy folks it is easy to not want to bother with preventive medicine. It is easy to think we will just “deal with it tomorrow,” or “DWIT” (one of my own personal favorite mottos when crossing things off my “To Do” list.)

However, after working eight years in primary care, I’ve realized that many of us when we hit our 50’s and 60’s turn into the house in the money pit. And let me tell you, being chronically sick is VERY expensive. It can cost you around $800 a month in meds, appointments, co-pays, and so forth.

Preventive medicine for ourselves is pretty much the same as preventive maintenance for our homes.

What was the first clue that the house was going to be in disastrous condition in the movie, “The Money Pit?” I would say it was the alcoholic widow stumbling in all her glory to answer the front door complete with bathrobe and vodka tonic in hand.

The first thing that popped in to my mind is that a vodka loving woman without a husband around is not likely keeping up on the basics of preventative home care (and please no fem-nazi hate mail). Who is she paying to do all the upkeep and preventive maintenance of this glorious mansion? Is she doing it all herself?

Doubtful.

Chronic illness is just like the disastrous progression we watch in “The Money Pit.” First it starts with a simple broken step repair, then we get a few bits of ceiling crumbling on our head, next thing we know the ceiling is crumbling around us, the whole staircase has fallen down, the front door has fallen off, the pipes and septic tank are shot, and Tom Hanks is left trapped in a hole in the floor of the den.

I am sure that many of you that are chronically ill, or elderly, can attest that feeling sick and unhealthy is exactly like being trapped in a hole in the floor of your den. There is all this work around you, yet you are now a victim of your own body and capable of doing only that which your body will allow.

If anything.

The best thing to do with our health, as well as our homes, is to stay on top of these repairs. To have the “roof repaired when the sun is shining” as the Chinese wisely recommends, instead of waiting for the rain to come and dealing with it later.

If you want to stay on top of your health, just subscribe to my blog, follow the simple diet and lifestyle tips that you can readily adopt and think now of how you want to treat your mansion…aka your temple…aka yourself.

Don’t become a money pit.

Preventive medicine is self love at it’s finest and in the long run, that which you invest in yourself will save you money and insure a long, happy, mobile life.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table,

Dr. Nicole

Related Reading:

21 FREE Prentive Medicine Tips

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

February 5, 2008 by Kitchen Table Medicine  
Filed under Naturopathic Theory

PhotobucketNaturopathic medicine is a distinct form of primary health care.

Naturopathic physicians are primary health care practitioners, whose diverse techniques include both modern and traditional methods of treatment.

The principles of naturopathic medicine are part of what distinguishes the naturopathic approach to health care from the conventional approach; and are based on objective observation of the nature of health and disease.

The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:

The Healing Power of Nature “Vis Medicatrix Naturae
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self healing process in the body which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to recovery and to facilitate and augment this healing ability

First Do No Harm Primum Non Nocere
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient: 1) utilize methods and medical substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects; 2) avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms; 3) acknowledge and respect the individual’s healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness

Find the Cause Tolle Causam
Underlying causes of illness must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms

Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic physicians treat each individual by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.

Prevention
Naturopathic physicians emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive

Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
The original meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher. One of the main objectives of naturopathic medicine is to educate the patient and emphasize self –responsibility for health. Naturopathic physicians also acknowledge the therapeutic value of the doctor-patient relationship.

Wellness
Wellness follows the establishment and maintenance of optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what des-ease(s) is/are being experienced. If wellness is really recognized and experienced by and individual, it will more quickly heal a given dis-ease than direct treatment of the dis-ease alone. (This principle was adopted by Bastyr University and added to the original six principles)

Resources
1. Bastyr University 2001 / 2002 catalog
2. Position Papers and Organizational Documents or the AANP

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™