In this column, we've reviewed 5 of the 6 Naturopathic Principles - The Healing Power of Nature, Treat the Cause, Treat the Whole Person, First Do No Harm and Prevention. All important guides for practice. Sometimes people ask me which I think is most important. For me, they are so entwined that it's difficult to single one out that doesn't drag part of another with it! However, I can single out which one is the most fun part of my practice. That is the focus of this last column - Docere, Doctor as Teacher.
Not teacher as the grim authority figure at the front of the room with rules and tests and a prolific red pencil. (Are there even teachers like that anymore?) That would be no fun! But sharing information IS fun. Some of it can be a little dry and science-y - like this is how the gall bladder assists in digesting fats in the diet, and this is how your body makes vitamin D, and this is why a cold towel on your chest stimulates blood flow. Understanding what is actually happening in the physiology and biochemistry of the body can make a difference in our motivation to make changes and care for that body. We seem to do better when things make sense!
But my larger goal of teaching is to give knowledge that empowers people to take charge of their lives and health. This is where we partner together to optimize wellbeing - to learn new ways of eating, moving, sleeping, thinking, supporting, dreaming, de-stressing, breathing...new ways of creating the life we want! Having the information we need to make decisions for our lives allows us to radically change those lives! It gives us confidence and courage. It is inspiring and encouraging. It's the best part of my day.
It is often said that we learn things best by teaching them. I owe a debt of gratitude, then, to everyone who has ever come to consult me about their health or attended any of my classes, stopped in for Tea Time with a question or read this newsletter and blog! I have the opportunity every single day to become more solid in my understanding of how the body works, how individuals respond, how we're the same, how we're different, how to explain, encourage, expand and extol! The more we learn and share together, the healthier we all are. The healthier we all are as individuals, the healthier we make our families, our communities, and the world. So thank you all for the part you play in the creation of a healthy world.