Naturopathic Doctor Simon Barker explains how Naturopathic Medicine—a subset of Alternative Medicine—is able to reverse chronic health conditions. Produced by Larry Cook.
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When I was a child, I was quite sick. I had number of health problems that were not helped at all by conventional medicine, and then I was helped by an alternative practitioner, who completely cured the problem that I was having, and so that lead me to start changing my paradigm about what constituted medicine. So that experience lead me to want to become a doctor and to become a naturopathic doctor. So I went to a naturopathic medical school, in my case Bastyr University in Seattle, and it's a four year full-time post graduate medical school, that is very similar to a conventional medical training, the number of hours that we do in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etcetera is comparable and we instead of focusing our energies on drugs and surgical approaches, although we do learn about drugs in minor surgical procedures, we are trained in a wide variety of alternative healthcare approaches. One of the big differences between conventional medicine and the kind of training that I received is we get training in a wide variety of alternative healthcare modalities, we study in homeopathy, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, diet nutrition, counseling, can run on gamut on alternative therapies. And we use those treatments, individually or in combination to help people achieve maximum health on that space through what we do. In many cases, the body can heal itself, and mostly what we are looking to do in those kinds of situations is to remove any problems, that are causing the damage, the illness that they are experiencing, and to stimulate the body to respond appropriately to do its own healing. So a patient comes to see me and I spend a lot of time, talking with them and doing physical exams, I may not run a number of lab tests on them, or other tests. And then at that point, I am going to make a number of recommendations to them, and almost always I am going to make a lifestyle recommendations to them, anything from quitting smoking to getting more sleep. And certainly in almost all cases, some of that is going to dietary recommendations. I do have patients, who eat extremely well, and that's wonderful; but that's rare. Almost everybody who comes into to see me has certain problems with their diet, and most of them are aware of that and recognize that. And in many cases, that is entirely responsible for their health problems. So addressing that is absolutely crucial. I will often give people supplements, homeopathic, other modes of treatments as well, usually to supplement that and sometimes that's a necessary long term, but often times that's useful just to get them through the initial stages and they can help to manage their own problems, by maintaining their lifestyle changes in diet and exercise that I have encouraged them to introduce. I have successfully treated number of patients with a wide variety of conditions. For example children with chronic year infections, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, all of these conditions are reversible and I have had great success doing that, using the wonders of natural treatment. For example, I have treated a number of children with chronic ear infections, and there are a lot of ways to go about doing this. Conventionally speaking antibiotics are traditionally used despite the fact that there is a lot of research that shows antibiotics are ineffective in treating this problem, and can sometimes make it worse. What I use is homeopathic remedies to help manage the fever, I will use herbs which can be used in the ear to relieve discomfort, herbs that can be used in inhalation to relieve congestion, those are number of different things, dietary change is very, very important in relieving chronic ear infections. And in all of these cases, that children are relieved of their present problems and the problems do not return. The natural living lifestyles works to help people be healthy and to live well, because we don't live the way that our bodies were intended to live. Our