Disease – What Is It? Does It Really Exist?
Disease is a description for dynamics of pathology and exists only for communication purposes within the philosophy of naturopathic medicine. Physiology, which is how the body functions, is happening all the time and is the primary focus in restoring, maintaining and optimizing health and wellness. Pathology, which equates to disease, is an attempt by the body to recover health.
In the conventional model of healthcare, procedures or treatments are an attempt to remove pathology and/or suppress symptoms; for example, removal of a growth or tumor is considered successful treatment. Easing the signs and symptoms does not alter the course of disease, nor does it attempt to move a patient towards cure by addressing the underlying causes of imbalance.
The task is not about fixing the symptom but understanding why this person has whatever symptom they have. In naturopathic medicine, pathology is the last stage of disease representing a long standing disharmony of the Vital Force (body’s ability to restore itself). The impression given by a patient’s intake is more important than the diagnosed pathology (disease).
The key component to treating the causes is to take a thorough look at the person’s daily living, lifestyle, habits, emotions, relationships, diet and sleep. It is important to identify and remove the agents and stressors that block the healing process but equally important is to encourage the person’s healing capacity and to support the formation of a healthy internal and external environment of each cell, tissue and organ, as well as, the environment a person lives in.
True preventive medicine focuses on establishing a strong foundation for health by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into one’s daily routine. Taking these daily steps to promote health – today – not only begins to correct imbalances that are causing the current health challenges one may be experiencing, but will also increase overall sense of well-being and perhaps most importantly will decrease one’s future risk of developing chronic, debilitating disease. So we must adopt strategies that will bring about long-term balance by optimizing normal physiology.
Dr. Smith Brustoski, ND earned her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington and is a contributing author of the “Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine”, the soon-to-be-published textbook on the philosophy, theory and principles of Naturopathic Medicine.
Bastyr University is known worldwide as a leader in natural medicine and is the largest one of five accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools in the US. She brings together the training and vast knowledge of a primary care physician with a foundational nature cure approach to healthcare and wellness focusing on optimal lifestyle choices, biotherapeutic drainage, craniosacral therapy, counseling, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and botanical medicine. She maintains a general family practice with special interests in pre- and postnatal care, pediatrics, neurology, endocrinology, autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Her desire at her practice, Nature Cure Health and Wellness located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio is to transform the paradigm of medicine to offer a preventive and curative approach to health care which includes one’s entire being – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. She believes it is vital to create a long-term healing therapeutic relationship with each person so that she may offer the deepest and most comprehensive levels of care. She grew up in northeast Ohio and is excited to be back to provide natural medicine to the community and beyond.