Wednesday, April 17, 2013

AANP’s Busy Season Approaches

As we enter our busiest time, I invite YOU to be an active participant.

Is there someone you would like to see on the AANP Board of Directors? Nominate them! The election process is well underway—the Call for Nominations is out! Please submit them as soon as possible. April 28, 2013, is the deadline for submissions.

Our annual legislative pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., is May 12th through 14th. Would you like to give your input directly to your federal legislators? Are there federal policies you would like addressed? Come to the DC FLI (Federal Legislative Initiative) and speak to your congressperson or senator.

The AANP Conference, Walking Our Talk, is early this year. It starts July 10 in Keystone, Colorado! What ND friend would you like to spend time with? Invite them to share a condominium with you.

We are all involved in continuing to build a stronger, more effective national organization. When looking at the fitness of a patient I evaluate 3 areas: strength, flexibility and endurance.

The strength of the AANP is our members, our budget and the effectiveness of our teams and the projects they pursue. Our ability to build membership, coordinate our teams of volunteers to get stuff done and to get laws passed is another aspect of our strength. We want to build our strength by increasing our membership so that we can increase the amount of resources we can use for our projects.

The flexibility of the AANP is to a great extent about the leadership of the organization being able to assess the changing environment and adapting the work plan to grow the profession. Our Directors, Board committees and House of Delegates are attentive to the current challenges and opportunities and are communicating and working effectively with staff. We encourage you to get involved in these Board committees and in the House of Delegates. One emphasis this year is improving our public education and media affairs. One component of this is evolving our “Physicians Who Listen” to a more robust tagline. This involves updating our web presence with the ultimate goal of driving more patients to AANP members.

Naturopathic medicine has demonstrated endurance. Our profession continues to demonstrate strength and flexibility, but endurance is likely the most important. We have more licensed states than in the history of the profession. In this rapidly changing healthcare environment, we need to continue to identify our most promising points of leverage and apply our best ideas and energy to them. Currently, we are working to improve insurance coverage and practice opportunities in federal healthcare offerings. We are assisting states in expanding scope of practice and we are working with our state affiliates to increase the number of states where we can practice.

Michael Cronin, ND
AANP President

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day Chocolates

Jacob Schor ND, FABNO

I was down at King Soopers earlier today looking for a suitable Valentine’s Day card for someone special in my life and got distracted by all the boxes of chocolate on display. 

Pretty much any chocolate sold as a Valentine’s Day gift is packaged in a heart shaped box.

Richard Cadbury is given credit for being the first chocolatier to package Valentine’s day chocolate in a heart shaped box.  This was back in 1861, an era when chocolate was being widely promoted for its libido enhancing effects. Thus it was thought useful to consume or perhaps encourage consumption by someone special. 

Richard, his brother George and their father John Cadbury were Quakers who viewed chocolate as a nourishing alternative to alcohol.  They had purchased the Sloane’s Milk Chocolate secret recipe a few years earlier.  We usually think of milk chocolate as a Swiss invention. The name Nestle’s is nearly synonymous with milk chocolate.  Yet Henri Nestle’s method of adding condensed milk into chocolate did not come along until 1867.  Milk chocolate goes much further back in history.

Sir Hans Sloane, London physician and President of the Royal Society, developed a recipe for a milk chocolate drink after traveling to Jamaica in 1687 as personal physician to the Governor of Jamaica, Christopher Monck II.    While in Jamaica, Sloane as typical for learned men of the day appears to have become obsessed with gathering and collecting botanical specimens along with fauna and other artifacts.    These collections  filled his house in London upon his return.    His methodical hoarding transformed his home into what became Sloane’s Museum  and this in turn became the first seed collection that eventually grew into both the British Museum and The Natural History Museum. 

But back to Sloane’s chocolate recipe: Sloane bestowed the ‘secret’ remedy on Nicolas Sanders and William White who manufactured it as a medicinal drink that was of great “Use in all Consumptive Cases.”  Sloan himself promoted the chocolate drink for treating cancer, kidney stones malaria, and emaciation.

Anyway it was this Sloane’s Milk Chocolate recipe that the Cadbury Brothers ended up with and promoted in the 1850s as “health food” and led to those heart shaped boxes. 

Thus back in the mid 1800s, Sloane’s Milk Chocolate was the nutritional drink of the day, the equivalent of our modern whey protein, green powder fruit smoothie drinks.  Given the modern research on chocolate’s health benefits, Sloane’s might have been better for you.  It did no doubt taste better.

There is something else about heart shaped boxes.  There are two things oddly peculiar about this choice in shape.  First is that the Ancient Aztecs who were very fond of chocolate and attributed various spiritual attributes to it, portrayed the chocolate pods in all artistic representations as being heart shaped.  This might not have had that much to do with romantic feelings.  They typically force fed chocolate to those about to be sacrificed on their altars, their hearts removed while still alive.  Perhaps the chocolate kept their hearts beating longer?

We certainly see modern scientific research on chocolate focusing on its impact on cardiovascular function.   I’ve written in the past about the Kuna Indians of Panama and the effect of eating so much chocolate on keeping blood pressure normal.

Over the years I’ve written quite a bit about chocolate now that I pause and think about it. Let me see if I can dig up links to some of those articles:

You get the idea…. It seems without meaning to I’ve been thinking about chocolate.   
And that seems to be a problem.  At King Soopers today, while supposedly picking out a Valentine Card, I started thinking about chocolate, and apparently wandered over to the Lindt Chocolate display and selected their Supreme Dark 90% Cocoa bar to bring home, which I intend to use in a chocolate souffle.  Still thinking about Aztecs and their practice of cardio-vivisection I came home without the Valentine’s Day card I had intended to purchase.

Sorry excuse, I know.  Hopefully the soufflĂ© won’t fall.  I plan on following Martha’s recipe.

Don’t be afraid to try making one.  Even if it totally flops, it will still taste good.  Especially if you pull some of the raspberries out of the freezer that you froze last summer to serve with it.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at the Denver Naturopathic Clinic.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Massachusetts Law Falls Short

Michael Cronin, ND
AANP President

Governor Deval Patrick, of Massachusetts, did not sign the Naturopathic Practice Act. The bill passed both chambers of the legislature in a special session in December 2012 and required his signature to become law.

This brings up many thoughts and emotions for me. I feel disappointment over a legislative process that seems slow and unfair. And there is anger at a process that placates the desires of the Massachusetts Medical Society over serving the health needs of the public and the desire of the Commonwealth. However, my dominant emotion is pride and amazement at the dedication of our ND colleagues who for 18 years have worked to achieve licensure for the Massachusetts NDs.

Our profession is now at a new legislative high water mark for licensure in the United States. According to our history as described in the Textbook of Natural Medicine (pg. 71 Vol. I, 3rd edition), it is described in the California based International Society of Naturopathic Physicians 1948 membership directory as 13 states, the territory of Hawaii and 3 Canadian provinces. There were 32 state associations then.

There are currently licensing laws in 16 states (up from 5 in 1978), the District of Columbia, the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 5 Canadian provinces. We have 7 healthy, accredited North American colleges and there are now 43 state associations..

Naturopathic Medicine is a profession that thrives on the passion of its doctors and the generosity of its volunteers.

  • We have the tremendous efforts of our state associations that are operated by volunteer board members and supported by member dues. These organizations fight to improve licensing laws where we have them and acquire laws were we do not. 
  • We have the dedicated members of our state licensing boards. These NDs do the difficult and often unrecognized work of regulating the professional activities of our licensed NDs and bear that unique burden of judging unprofessional conduct and administering remediation and punishment. 
  • The members of the Federation of Naturopathic Medicine Regulatory Authorities provide support to the licensing and regulatory authorities. 
  • The members of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) which accredits naturopathic medical education programs. North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE) and Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination Board which work together to manage the NPLEX examination process. 
  • I applaud the NDs who are board members of the colleges and the many faculty and other committees that keep our colleges improving. 
  • I appreciate those who forward our medicine by serving on specialty societies such as HANP, OncANP, PedANP, AANM, INGM, NAEM, NMSA, NP-GA, AANMC, SpiritMed, and IV Micronutrient Therapy. 
  • The serious work of the innovators, those who create the Naturopathic Education and Residency Consortium (NERC/STAIR) and Naturopathic Physician Research Institute, (NPRI).

All this work begs the question, “Why do we do this?” Well…what else would we do? We have our health; we have a noble profession that we love, serve the needs of our communities, and forward the understanding of true healthcare for the coming generations. Indeed, I know no better outlet for my daily bread.

I send the highest kudos to our ND brothers and sisters in Massachusetts. May you heal your wounds and come out fighting.

Monday, January 7, 2013

It’s said that everything changes except change

Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP Past-president

On December 31, 2012, I ended 5 years on the AANP Board and 4 years as an AANP Officer. I have been both blessed and challenged by participating in and witnessing some of the most significant changes the AANP has experienced in its recent history.

It is hard to sum up or even know where to begin.

The entire AANP staff has changed, much of it in the past 2 years, and the association has moved to a new headquarters in Washington, D.C. Most notably, our Executive Director of close to 9 years, Karen Howard, resigned in 2011 and, after a mindful and exhaustive search, our new CEO Jud Richland came on Board in 2012.

I was AANP President for 2 years and worked closely with 3 other AANP Presidents, Drs. Jane Guiltinan, Lisa Alschuler and Michael Cronin, as well as numerous Board members who have come and gone; by my estimate somewhere around 40+ leaders of the naturopathic profession. We moved from a “Working Board” to a Governance Model to better reflect the maturity of our association, expanded our footprint in Washington, D.C., and celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2011.

While I have witnessed many victories, both on national and state levels, I am aware at the same time of how much more needs to be done:
  • all 50 states licensed to full scope of training and modern ND practice,
  • full inclusion and non-discrimination in federal and state programs,
  • equal access for patients via their 3rd party reimbursement programs,
  • membership by all NDs in their state and national associations,
  • and better relationships with other professional health association.
These are but a few of the larger goals that we as an association need to keep a keen focus.

I’ve seen a community that is both united in our common interests and yet at times divided in our goals and communications. One of my greatest disappointments has been witnessing how our internal politics sometimes reflect the greater dysfunction we see in our national politics—the polarization of ideals and approaches, the unwillingness at times to come together in compromise, the determination of our leaders, the apathy of many of our colleagues, and how disagreements can become personal.

So, like everything else in our universe, the AANP has experienced many changes in recent years. With all the pros and cons, I am extremely optimistic at where we are now and are headed.

The members of the AANP Board are some of the most committed and far-sighted people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Your Board is committed to growth, maturity, and inclusion of the naturopathic profession. It is focused on public recognition, expansion of state licensing and scope of practice, inclusion in federal programs, promotion of state licensing, and better relationships with state and other affiliate associations. Dr. Michael Cronin is one of the hardest-working and passionate AANP Presidents I have known and Jud Richland comes to our organization with a stellar background and deep love of who we are and what we do. The AANP House of Delegates, under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Milliman, is becoming a more active body and working more closely with the AANP Board in governing this association. Our staff in D.C. is hard-working, professional, and committed to excellence. In short, I believe we are on the right path and the AANP is in a good place.

It has been an honor and privilege for me to be an AANP Board member and to be elected President. It has also been a growth experience, a tremendous challenge and opportunity. I thank you for allowing me the ability to serve the naturopathic profession.

My asks of you are to stay involved, be a member of your professional associations, and use your talents and voices to teach others what you already know—naturopathic medicine holds many of the solutions to the health challenges individuals and our society face, and access to naturopathic medicine by all Americans will help us meet our common goals of good health and well-being.

Change is not always random; it is in our hands, and our work and wisdom can guide it. Be the change you want to see.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards All

From Michael Cronin, ND
AANP President

Kyle and I had our neighborhood Christmas party this weekend—it was a potluck of course. We have lived in our town, Cave Creek, for 12 years, and in that time we have met many folks and now consider several of them friends. They are of different ages, members of the cross country team, horse lovers, and neighbors. We track each other’s career changes and catch up with the kids and their paths. The best part about this party is our hug and wishes to each other for a Merry Christmas and happy, successful New Year.

I can’t give you a physical hug in my blog, but I am sending you, our community of NDs, a digital hug and the best wishes in 2013. May your:

  • Practice prosper,
  • Phones ring with new patients,
  • Prescribed nutrients hit the desired targets,
  • Advice be taken and recognized for its wisdom,
  • Journey bring you new professional relationships that advance your practice,
  • Daily readings be captivating and advance your work,
  • Practice change or add a modality that keeps work interesting,
  • Engagement with your state and national ND organizations effect change,
  • Drive to work each day leave you feeling good and looking forward,
  • Trips home from work be filled with a sense of accomplishment,
  • Personal health, energy, sleep, and attitude improve,
  • Road lead to finding and appreciating friendships, and
  • Life be filled with love.

Happy holidays! May 2013 be your best year yet!