What’s alternative medicine?

Speaker 1: According to statistics from the Virginia Health Department, women in Hampton roads are getting diagnosed with breast cancer at higher rates than anywhere else in the state. Several factors are playing a role in this. In the disturbing trend, and Dr. Erica Steele from Holistic Family Practice in Virginia Beach is here to tell us about naturopathic healthcare providers like herself. Yeah. And how they can help. How you doing, Dr. Steele?

Speaker 2: I’m doing well, as always. Good. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1: Good to see you. Okay, so why do you think that our incidents of breast cancer are so high? Compared to those in other parts of the state?

Speaker 2: I would say, granted we don’t know specifically and it’s very difficult to isolate out a causative, meaning a cause for something to occur.

But we can theorize per se that it’s a lot to do with toxicity within the area, within the region. There are a lot of companies that, produce a lot of toxicity within this region that the body is affected to. We haven’t done a lot of due diligence in the aspect of studying the hormonal health and the impact of these various chemicals and toxic agents on the female reproductive system.

Speaker 1: So how can a physician like you help us that are trying to avoid having incidents of breast cancer? What can we do now so that we don’t have a problem later?

Speaker 2: Yeah, and I think this kind of goes into that conversation. People really need to start thinking about their health before they have a symptom. We’re still very reactionary in our approach to our healthcare. We’re like, we wait until we have a symptom. We’re tired, we’re exhausted, we’re not feeling well, and then we go see the doctor rather than keeping up with our checkups, doing our physicals, doing lab work routinely, and then also working with a holistic practitioner who is going to really focus on their health, not just diagnose and manage diseases.

Speaker 1: It’s the overall health. Focused on specific things.

Speaker 2: Correct. Exactly.

Speaker 1: Holistic medicine has really, become very mainstream and acceptable, but there’s still some myths about it. What are some of the challenges? Yeah, as a physician that you’re faced with when people come to you and you’re like, oh, I’m not so sure.

Speaker 2: Yeah, so it’s interesting. I have two camps that come to me. I have those that. They’ve been to every doctor under the sun. They’ve tr they haven’t necessarily liked the approaches that they’ve gotten or what they’ve heard. And then they come to me looking for the Hail Mary, right? Yeah. Yeah. So I get that.

But then I also get a lot of the DIYs who Google and Pinterest everything to death and think that, they come in telling me. You know what is and want me to cosign on it. Okay, so I get that. But a lot of times people think that we’re an alternative provider and we’re not. The US Department of Health and Human Services actually did away with that term alternative medicine years ago.

We’re really complimentary because we serve two different roles in healthcare, whereas an allopathic, meaning a medical doctor, Diagnosis and manages diseases. We actually stabilize the health and we build the health of the body rather than fighting those disease processes head on. Okay. We believe that the body can heal itself if given the right environment, and our job is to create that environment that’s conducive for healing, so I work a lot of times very integrative with oncologists and rheumatologists and a lot of different providers, endocrin. And working with them because they’re trained specifically to manage those disease processes. I call ’em the firefighters of medicine, actually. . . They’re there to wa to keep that watchful eye.

Whereas we’re there to really support handhold the patient, work with them through their nutrition, make sure that they’re getting enough nutrition, they’re digesting, assimilating that. Adequately. And then we’re self-healing, also looking at the toxins too.

Speaker 1: And you have ways that people can get more information and have naturopathic awareness classes, right? Yes, exactly. So tell me about how you offer those and how they’re available and how people can find out.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So every month we have a different theme. So this week is actually naturopathic medicine awareness.  So we’ll be educating people that are interested in naturopathic medicine and really dispel a lot of those myths.

So we have three classes Monday, October 15th at five 30, Saturday, October 20th. Two 30 and then Friday, October 26th at five 30.

Speaker 1: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Dr. Steele  it was Much, it was a pleasure having you

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