i was in a rather chatty mood at my appointment with my naturopath yesterday. you should know that i looooooooove my naturopath. as i lay there on the table, needles stuck in toes to knee, wrists and belly, i tossed random comments and questions out to the room. what do you think of eliminating wheat? and i’ve noticed i’ve been really thirsty lately. then, this exchange:
qc: what about the dark circles under my eyes?
super awesome naturopath, looking up from her notemaking: well, carly, are you getting enough sleep?
qc: well, kristen, why don’t you mind your own beeswax?
ask a stupid question, they say… i deserved that. this is, however, also the woman who asks for my buy-in on taking pills with names like “women’s precious” and answers my deneedled questions about a little achy spot in the middle of my back with a giddy declaration of “that’s your essence!”
there are so many reasons i love seeing a naturopath.
- she knows me. when we have a conversation, it’s like we’re friends. she remembers what i’ve done and what i’ve been through. i never have to remind her that i don’t consume animal products or about my latest exercise regime. when we talk, she doesn’t have to check my file to know how much sleep i get in an average night, which supplements i am taking or about the frequency of my bowel movements. okay, that’s a little friend excessive, but whatevs. point being: she knows me.
- alternative treatments. i don’t buy that there is a pill for everything and i don’t believe in treating symptoms instead of roots. yes, drugs exist because they can be helpful and they can cure disease *however* most of the time consideration should be given to lifestyle over prescription. naturopathy and i gel on this.
- time and care. we spend a minimum of sixty minutes together at every visit. sixty. six zero. one hour. every visit.
- commitment. healing is a long road, but the right naturopath will travel it with you. i saw my first naturopath for years and we worked through a lengthy list of treatment options: acupuncture, homeopathics, injections, tinctures, supplements and probably some other stuff i am forgetting. and, yes. we were successful. it was a far cry from the “just go on the pill and you’ll probably (always probably) be okay down the road when you go off it” attitude i got from multiple mds and ob/gyns i saw. until i ran into naturopathic medicine, i thought nobody would ever want to help me instead of just shutting me up. sometimes when i’m ready to throw in the towel, all i need is a chat with kristen to remind me of why i was doing all this in the first place.
- investment. as i mentioned above, when my body starts making changes or when i report back some progress in our plan, kristen gets just as excited as i do. she expresses this by jumping up and down, squealing with delight and sometimes even hugging me. i generally never have any acute health problems, but i do have things i want to work on and goals to attain. having someone to celebrate the baby steps with is gratifying. outside of her office, nobody really understands how significant even the tiniest of movements can be.
- self-awareness. a good portion of every appointment is spent discussing my body. i have learned so much about anatomy, biology, nutrition and healthy habits over the years. you can’t put a price on that.
to follow-up on my jing (aka my achy essence,) it’s all good. as she verified and then confirmed the exact area where i was feeling it, that was one of those moments when kristen got all excited and gushed about what that meant in light of everything we’ve been doing. in short: success!
for those of you who are local and willing to give it a shot, i strongly recommend starting at the boucher institute of naturopathic medicine. their teaching clinic is run year round and provides an opportunity to consult on your health with students supervised by licensed professionals. thought still covered by many medical plans, the cost for visits to the clinic are greatly reduced from what you’d spend if you started by meeting with someone in a private practice. the boucher clinic is where i started and it truly changed my life.