Today’s trend in health care is moving away from traditional, allopathic Western medicine and towards more whole-body, mental-physical, holistic approaches. However, there are so few places to go for holistic medical care that most people are likely to either go to their traditional doctor, attempt to muddle through herbs and supplements on their own or listen to the advice of an untrained health food store salesclerk.
One problem with using holistic medical care is that it is rarely covered by insurance. While Utah insurance companies make accommodations for car accidents, most insurance carriers appear to be more concerned with treating symptoms in the traditional fashion instead of treating the whole person. Hopefully with President Obama’s approach to medical care, an era of insurance carriers concerned about whole mind-body healing is on the horizon. For those with allergies and strong reactions to medication, holistic care can often be the only method they find that works.
It can take a bit of searching, but there are holistic medical facilities available to Utahans. Two examples are the Utah Valley Health Clinic in Provo and the Advanced Health Clinic in Farmington. They both provide a combination of medical care and alternative treatments.
The Utah Valley Health Clinic has a naturopathic physician, Jeffery Wright, ND. Some may think that a naturopath is not a real doctor, but that is far from the truth. He is certified to prescribe medication, give diagnoses, deliver babies and perform minor surgery. Unlike a traditional doctor, however, he spends much more time getting to know his patients, their history and their habits in order to treat the whole person and find the actual cause of the disease.
One alleged drawback to this method is that naturopaths are not likely to prescribe a magic pill to make your symptoms go away when what will really make the patient healthy is a small lifestyle change. If, for example, a patient is working 80 hour weeks at a job they despise, is alienated from friends and family and is living on fast food and soda, it is unlikely that just a pill for their acid reflux is going to truly solve the cause of their illness. Wright’s methods are far less about temporarily relieving symptoms and far more about permanent healing. He will use the least invasive method possible to create lasting wellness. Sometimes that means drugs or surgery, but it may be as simple as vitamins, herbs and relaxation techniques.
According to Wright, “Modern medicine is useful … but I think pills are overprescribed, and people are not looking at the rest of the picture … or long-term [wellness].” He explained that it took time and a lot of factors to create disease, so people should be patient and willing to make lifestyle changes to create wellness.
The clinic offers medical care you would expect from your family doctor, as well as a scan for allergens and toxins, intravenous vitamins and amino acids, home birthing obstetrics, thyroid tests, hemorrhoid removal, magnetic foot bathing, colon cleansing, hydrotherapy and laboratory testing.
The Advanced Health Clinic and Therapeutic Spa in Farmington provides medical care from holistic family nurse practitioner Martha Bray, FNP-BC, APRN. She can prescribe drugs and do all that a family doctor would do except surgery. However, she is in such demand that there is a four-month waiting list to see her, so the lifestyle assessment to rule out basic problems is performed by Jennie Palmer, DC. This shows that there is a growing need for further holistic practitioners, which is as yet unfulfilled. Thankfully, the number of universities offering naturopathic medical degrees in North America has increased in recent years to six.
The clinic offers medical and psychological care, hypnotherapy, sauna, drotherapy, massage, high-quality supplements and a learning center. It is often a combination of these treatments which best serves the patient. The center’s motto is, “When there’s an open mind and a healing heart there is a path to healing.” As Lisa Larson, a licensed massage therapist at the clinic, said, “Even if you’re dying, your quality of life can be better.”
The trend of holistic medicine is becoming more accepted in society, so perhaps Thomas Edison was speaking of the coming years when he said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame and diet and the causes of disease.” Larson mentioned that the lifestyle of many people, especially students, does not take into consideration that it may take years before habits today truly show their effect, but definitely will come. Perhaps this is something to keep in mind when knocking back that third Rockstar for yet another all-night cramming session.
For more information on these clinics, visit UtahValleyHealthClinic.com & AdvancedHealthClinic.com