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Cleanse Day 10 - Naturopath


Given my philosophy about life, medicine, and nature, you would think that by this time in my life I’d have visited a naturopath.  But I haven’t.  I honestly hadn’t even thought to do it before.

My grandfather was an anesthesiologist.  My grandmother was a nurse.  My mother in law is a nurse.  My husband worked in a hospital for several years.  Maybe it is just so ingrained in my being that this is the way medicine is done.

My magical masseuse had mentioned to me a few months ago that acupuncture has been known to help asthma patients.  At first I wrote it off, and then it slowly seeped in.

So I asked my primary care physician about it during my annual on the first day of the cleanse, and she wrote me a prescription!  I asked around, and a good friend of mine sees a naturopath who also does acupuncture.  Sort of two for one… she loves him, so I made an appointment.

Seattle Healing Arts

The Office

I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this!  I walked into a bustling waiting room much like any boutique practice – still charts everywhere, still people sitting in the waiting room, still the hustle and bustle of nurses and doctors and receptionists.

I was told to print and fill out all the new patient paperwork ahead of time, so I did it on the bus on the way there.  There were extra questions to fill out about my Wellness Plan, my health goals, my well being.  I liked that.  It made me think about myself and my health a bit differently.

The wait wasn’t as long as a “normal” doctor’s office, and the N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor) took me into the office himself.

The Diagnosis

First, he read the paperwork I’d carefully filled out.  Actually READ it.  And he asked me lots of questions about how I was feeling, why I came, what other ailments I had, my history of illnesses, etc.

That took a while, because I have always been a rather sickly person until recently.  Asthma, allergies, migraines, bad PMS, atopic dermatitis, tendonitis, bronchitis, acid reflux, a newly discovered gluten allergy, etc, etc.  So there was a lot to talk about.  I started to feel like a hypochondriac.

And then… it was magic.

He said:  “Pretty much all of those are likely related.”

That’s every sick girl’s dream, to find that there is a root cause and it is treatable – even curable! !!!

His hypothesis is that it is all related to my digestive tract.  When the digestive tract isn’t working properly (if, say, you have celiac disease and keep eating gluten), many things happen, including lack of nutrients and – most importantly, inflammation.  Inflammation – puffiness – throughout my body.  My body has been attacking itself, in a way.

Additionally, the medicines I’d been taking for things like acid reflux were actually making it worse, not better.  Acid reducers in particular keep you from being able to digest everything you eat.  If food is not broken down by the time it gets to the digestive tract, your immune system will actually attack it as if it were a disease.

The Treatment

I will write about the acupuncture in another post – because it deserves another post!  Other things we discussed:

  • Physical therapy.  I need to strengthen my shoulders and arms so I have better posture.  It will open up my chest, and help my improve my asthma.
  • Take Fish Oil.  I’d been taking Flax Oil as a vegetarian, but apparently it is a lot harder to digest.  Omega-3s are very good at reducing inflammation, among several other things.
  • Keep doing the cleanse.  It’s exactly what I need to be doing.
  • Make sure I carefully reintroduce all the eliminated foods after the cleanse, so that I can see if there is anything else I’m allergic to.  He gave me explicit instructions for doing that.

One of my wellness goals is to be off of prescription meds by the end of this year (except for a rescue inhaler).  I believe very strongly that this naturopath will help me get there.  I’m so excited!!

The view on my walk home

The Cleanse Day 10

Blueberry Smoothie.

Beans, rice, greens.

Green Smoothie.

Well-Being Meter

Highly elevated. It is really, really good to know that there is a root to many of my past ailments.  By paying closer attention to my body in a holistic way, I’m much much closer to ridding myself of my dependence on medicines and my ever-constant pain.

I felt so good after the appointment, I decided to walk home.  It was 5 miles.  And it was wonderful.  I took the photo above on the way home.

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9 comments to Cleanse Day 10 – Naturopath

  • I’m a new reader of your blog so I didn’t realize you were in the Pac NW until today. I think we live in a wonderful area for Naturopathic medicine, mainly because of Bastyr University. It was last year that I started seeing an ND and I don’t think I ever want to be without one! The level of attention to detail and analysis of what we’re doing to our bodies by eating the things that we do or living/working in toxic environments – you just don’t get that with any MD I’ve ever been to.

  • I found the contrast between working with an MD or an ND quite stark. I am getting better at listening, and complying, with what my body needs so I don’t need to see a natropath much any more but these things come in cycles and I know I will reach out for their help again next time things get out of balance in a way I can’t resolve.

    Kind Regards

  • [...] the acupuncture, I feel I can breathe a bit deeper. The range of motion in my neck is incredible.  However, my [...]

  • mckristie

    I have been tracking the cleanse – one suggestions – you mentioned allergies also – have you read or tried the neti pot? It has helped me a ton this year but my allergies are a result of moving to a new area of the country – but it has helped a ton for myself -

  • I definitely dream of finding a root cause for all the tings that are wrong with me and getting rid of it! My mom tries to get me to treat my acne with a dermatologist but I just don’t believe that adding more medications is going to work for me. I want a root cause to get rid of. I can imagine your sense of relief!

    • Stephanie, indeed – it feels good to get to the root. It has taken me a long time, so keep at it – you’ll find it!

      Also, you may find that a good, alternative-thinking dermatologist can help point you in the right direction. I went to a dermatologist in my early 20s. While I didn’t like him much and didn’t take the medicines for long (burning your skin to get rid of acne seems like a bad idea), he did suggest I moisturize with olive oil – which led me to experimenting with different oils until I found jojoba oil. It made me aware of everything I was putting on my skin, which ultimately led me to decrease the products I was using… and so on. One small piece in the puzzle, but a good one.

      If your mom continues pushing and insurance covers it, you might look at online reviews and find one that is more alternative. Just a thought. ;)

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