Every year the naturopathic student community holds a philosophical conference at one of the accredited naturopathic medical schools in North America. For three days, naturopathic medical students and “elders” – seasoned professionals in practice for about 20 years or more – gather together in an event called (fittingly) The Gathering to share philosophical insights about the art and practice of naturopathic medicine. I have personally attended twice: my first year, in 2011, it was held at our own Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto, Canada, and this year, in 2012, it was held at the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in Chicago, Illinois. Both times it hasn’t failed to be less than inspirational. Here are some golden nuggets of naturopathic insight from three amazing naturopathic doctors:
From Dr. Mitch Stargrove, ND:
“I get asked, ‘do you believe in homeopathy?’ Do I believe in it? Well, do I believe in my bicycle? It works in some situations and, if you know how to use it, it works better.”
“Most symptoms are attempts by the body to heal itself; they are only compensations.”
“The placebo effect is only the vis medicatrix naturae [the healing power of nature] in disguise.”
“We [naturopathic doctors] can change the world – one person and one family at a time – more than all the politics can.”
“Nature knows more than doctors ever will.”
“People ask me, ‘what can you do for irritable bowel syndrome?’ I say, ‘well, it depends who’s irritable bowel it is.’ We fix the ‘who’, not the ‘it'”.
From Dr. Paul Epstein, ND:
“You, the individual, can do more for your own health than any doctor, any drug or any exotic medical device.” – Joseph Califano.
“True healing comes from within. You can’t fix ‘it’ [disease] and make it go away forever, but you can work with the person to help them find out who they are.”
“Naturopathic doctors are ‘physicians who listen.'”
“You want to be a successful practitioner? Connect and listen to your patients. It’s what they need.”
From Dr. Louise Edwards, ND:
“If we [naturopathic doctors] can create the conditions for health, we’ll have health.”
“Compassion is the most important therapeutic tool you need.”
“Become your own best friend. Do unto yourself as you’d do unto others…Any love that does not include oneself is incomplete.”
“Cultivate a heart that is ready for everything. Then meet everything in a heartfelt way.”
“Understand and accept where things are. Then take action.”
See you all in Arizona next year!