Monday, August 17, 2009

Julie, Julia, and Naturopathic Medicine

by Marcia Prenguber, ND, FABNO

So I have just returned home from seeing Julie & Julia – fantastic movie! As soon as I arrived home, I immediately went in search of my copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The sense of enthusiasm and the excitement of the projects these two women undertook is some significant bit of inspiration. And what does that have to do with a blog on naturopathic medicine? The pounding heart excitement about the world of cooking and the pleasure of food in the movie is the same as that which I feel about our medicine. No, I have not lost my mind – I am just recognizing my joy as it is portrayed in the movie. The chance to explain our medicine to a patient who is unfamiliar with the principles and tools of naturopathic medicine, the opportunity to educate a group of health care librarians who are naïve about the medicine, or the questions that come from the group of medical doctors listening to a presentation on the integrative approach to treating cachexia makes me feel like the Julia Child played by Meryl Streep. Yes, I can get that excited and I am sure many of you do as well. I know that this is passion – but really – that is such a tame label compared to what I saw in this movie! Julia makes her passion sooo much fun! Maybe it’s her voice.

My husband and I recently had the delightful opportunity to visit a gentleman who is also a patient of mine, and his wife, at their home. We live in a rural area that is home to a large group of Amish, known for their choice to live without electricity, to use horse and buggy for transportation, and for their magnificent vegetable and flower gardens. As we visited with this Amish couple and enjoyed the strawberry pie they made that afternoon, their children and grandchildren began to gather in their home. Word was out that we were there to visit and it was an opportunity to chat. We talked about organic gardening, about energy production, and about various approaches to health - conventional, naturopathic, and Amish healing. We all had lots of questions, ideas to share, and great pie. How much better can it get? So my enthusiasm, like Julia’s, is organic, local, and renewable.

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