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Part 1: Finding the Balance

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With daily topics like global warming, political strife and natural disasters it takes a serious effort for anyone to find peace and inner quiet today. For young people who have grown up in the era of media and technology infiltrating many aspects of their lives, anxiety is commonly an everyday feeling.

Historically, I worked with teens and young adults for issues like acne, headaches, growing pains, hormone balance and eating disorders. Today, every single teen and young adult I know complains of anxiety as a primary challenge. Often with this comes the classic swing of the pendulum of struggling with depression as well.   According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 25% of teens have diagnosable anxiety disorders. This is a significant increase from previous generations and does not include low grade anxiety or social anxiety, which are even more common.

What ever happened to carefree childhoods and wanting to stay forever young? Nowadays it seems the urgency to grow up to better cope with the apocalyptic dilemma’s that circulate everyday life robs our youth of the freedom to explore their hearts desire and contributes to an all too common emotional instability.

It is not all external factors either. The more we learn about brain development and neurological balance, the more we recognize increasing challenges with the pathways in our brain that reduce neurological stimulation. There are numerous substances we consume or are exposed to that provoke brain excitability that can cause an anxious feeling to linger a lot longer than it should. Some people being far more vulnerable to these than others.

Now more than ever, we all need help finding ways to access our peaceful, joyous selves. We need something that will bring us out of the flurry of worries, fears and anticipations and into a calm present moment. Tools we can use for momentary stressful events that provoke anxiety as well as routines we can establish in our lives to cultivate our happiness.

Integrative medicine provides a unique lens to address mental health concerns. Utilizing tools from standard, allopathic healthcare in addition to traditional systems from around the world offering a diverse approach to balance health. The first goal of understanding the symptom is to identify the cause. This is the key to providing immediate relief and long term changes. Both physical exam diagnostic tools and lab testing can help reveal which organs of the body may be experiencing distress to contribute to feelings of uneasiness. For young people this is especially important so that interventions are supporting the long term health as the body grows.

Stay tuned as this 4 part series addresses youth anxiety and is intended to provide a resource for the community to discover new ways to find a peaceful center while moving through the chaos of the modern world.

If you or someone you love are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, get help today with integrative medicine. At Stillwater, we encourage the combination of psychotherapy and natural medicine tools as well as collaboration with western medical providers for pharmaceutical support as needed. Our goal is to make use of the best of all systems of healing to get patients the balanced care they need for today, as well as for a healthier future.

 

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Preventative medicine is the key to affordable healthcare.  The more we can work to keep ourselves well, the greater contributors we our to our community.  Many states in the US have taken the steps to license Naturopathic Doctors in order to establish their place in the medical world.  Most primary care Doctors are licensed as an MD which means they have completed medical education within the conventional medical, or allopathic approach to health.  This system is ideal for handling emergencies and extreme health imbalances, yet it often has little to offer in keeping people well.  A common recommendation to “watch and wait” with a sub-clinical disease process leaves little hope for improvement.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in the western medical system equivalent to the MD education.  However, the emphasis shifts in the 3rd and 4th years of training to incorporate herbal medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, spinal manipulation, physiotherapy and more.  The ideal healthcare system incorporates all systems of healthcare to take the best of each and apply them in an effective manner.  For a comparative review of the education of leading Naturopathic and Conventional medical schools in the US, see the attached document here:  Nat-Med-Ed-Comp-Curricula.

Licensing Naturopathic doctors benefits communities in a variety of ways.  It makes more physicians available in an era where there is a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors.  It allows the option for the first point of contact for patients to be with Doctors who emphasize what people can do for themselves to improve their health.  Naturopathic Doctors spend more time with patients traditionally, allowing for more personal attention and an opportunity to explore the mind-body relationship.  Naturopathic Doctors are experts in herb-drug and food-drug interactions providing a close watch to notice when dosages may need to be altered to support the changes in the individuals body.  This expertise is critical in a time where patients glean a great deal of their health information from online sources and natural food store clerks.  People often end up taking a wide variety of substances without any oversight of how things may be working together in their body.

As a healthcare practitioner, my experience spans over 20 years in a variety of roles.  Initially working in home health and institutional care as a Nurse Aid, I observed the end stage of care for a wide variety of chronic health conditions treated exclusively with allopathic therapies.  From there, I witnessed thousands of patients diagnosed with chronic diseases improve as a medical student intern in Integrative Medicine clinics.  As a medical researcher with the Helfgott Research Institute in Portland, I got to know the process of determining what works in healthcare from the evidenced based model.  While the research in natural therapies is generally smaller studies due to financial constraint, there is plenty of data to support its use, once as we begin to look.

Licensed as a Naturopathic primary care Physician in Portland, Oregon I was able to provide both natural and pharmaceutical tools for illness, covered by health insurance.  Some patients prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals altogether or have responded negatively in the past to drug therapies.  Still, there are a wide variety of options to choose from when treating illness with natural medicine.  Other patients present with a health condition that will improve more quickly with pharmaceuticals but whose underlying health can be supported with natural medicine to prevent long term damage.  Many individuals experience a state of health that is not clinically ill, but not 100% well either.  This is where natural medicine can make dramatic change in a person’s life.  Using tools from all systems together gives us the greatest potential to improve health and have lasting change.

Please support the effort to license Naturopathic Doctors in Colorado, and throughout the US in order to provide options for people in their healthcare services.  For specific details please follow the instructions below.

Thank you for your time in supporting natural medicine and working toward affordable options in healthcare.

Sincerely,

Dr. Hart

Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors
It’s time to write again!

ACT TODAY – – – IT MAY BE TOO LATE TOMORROW!
HB 1111 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary committee sometime this next week. If we are successful, we “may” be assigned to the Finance committee, but will for sure go before the Appropriations committee… then on to the Senate floor and passage by May 8th, the last day of the 2013 legislative session.
Opponents of this bill have been vocal and unrestrained in spreading false claims about what this bill does.  The legislators want to hear from you… again!  Please take a moment to write the committee members.PLEASE SEND YOUR E-MAIL TODAY TO ALL OF THE COLORADO SENATORS LISTED BELOW.  WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR MESSAGE.   THANK YOU!

1. SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS:

Please support Colorado House Bill 13-1111 concerning “Regulation of Naturopathic Doctors.”

False and misleading claims are being circulated from those fraudulently using the title, Naturopathic Doctor, in order to practice medicine in Colorado.  HB 1111 will protect the consumer by allowing them to check credentials and file complaints against anyone using the title, Naturopathic Doctor or ND.This legislation will protect the health and well being of Coloradans to conveniently and easily:

Determine who is qualified to be called a Naturopathic Doctor and who has completed a four-year graduate level clinical doctorate degree from an accredited naturopathic medical program, has passed a national exam, and has met other qualifications for regulation;

Check credentials and backgrounds of those who are Registered as Naturopathic Doctors;

Lodge complaints against a Naturopathic Doctor should harm or wrongdoing be suspected;

Be confident that when someone is called a “doctor,” that he or she has the training to provide the safe and effective care inherent in the title;

Be assured that their Naturopathic Doctor will communicate and collaborate fully with other health care providers as a member of the health care continuum; and

Be assured that the Naturopathic Doctor they choose has completed annual mandatory continued competency and carries adequate malpractice insurance.

DORA has reviewed this profession numerous times since 1993 and has recommended that Naturopathic Doctors be regulated in 1998, 2005,and in 2008 which is the last time that Colorado law allowed Naturopathic Doctors to undergo the Sunrise process.

The time is now to pass this bill.  Please vote YES on HB 1111!

2. SIGN YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS

# # #

3. Copy and paste into Bcc field:

lucia.guzman.senate@state.co.us; jessie.ulibarri.senate@state.co.us; steve.king.senate@state.co.us; kevin@kevinlundberg.com; irene.aguilar.senate@state.co.us

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