Monday, July 4, 2011

Upcoming Convention – There is Hope!

By Sara Thyr, ND

I have the very time-consuming and honorable task of co-chairing the Convention committee and reviewing the talks before the conference to be sure that they are free of commercial bias. It can be a daunting task. We receive many really enticing abstracts, and have to work together to find the ones that will be the most interesting and educational to the most brilliant naturopathic doctors in the country.

As I look over the schedule and presentations for this upcoming Convention, I am filled with incredible pride, and–more mushy–a great sense of hope! There is a deep need for our medicine in the world and now is the right time.

I know first hand the incredible effort and time it takes to prepare a lecture for the AANP Convention. It is a daunting task to present to your peers. And what we will be able to listen to this year comes from some amazing and inspiring leaders in the field, and some doctors who have put together very well-researched and inspiring lectures.

What makes me so hopeful is knowing that we will come away with information about how a simple plant may help us deal with infections that are resistant to antibiotics. We will learn how epigenetics and preconception health affects health throughout our lives…the true heart of preventative medicine. We will have a chance to learn from some of the most practiced homeopaths in our profession – how to make homeopathic prescriptions as a naturopathic doctor that will increase our effectiveness with patients. We have a chance to hear about the importance of creativity in healing and actually learn how to help our patients implement this for the benefit of their lives. We can learn from someone who does more nutrition research in a week than most of us do all year about all of the myths and important research in the literature that most of us don’t find the time to look at. We can learn how genetically modified foods are dangerous and the interesting mechanism used to grow these foods that makes them so harmful (along with the shocking information about how our government, influenced by industry, continues to ignore the health risks involved).

Do you know how medicinal botanicals can help with neurodegenerative diseases? You will if you make it for the concurrent sessions on Wednesday. And if you are torn, as I am, about listening to that talk or learning about how to treat cancer patients if you are not a cancer specialist, have no fear. The AANP is making sure that you have the opportunity to hear every talk – even the ones that you can’t attend. I love this. I have always been torn in making a schedule where I’d get to see everything I am interested in. This year we can. We get to hear every lecture.

We have more keynote speakers this year, and more keynotes from naturopathic physicians, that will not only be educational, but also inspirational. The Convention theme is “Composing Effective Patient Care” and fitting this theme we will learn how tones and music affect our health.

I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has put so much time, thought, and effort into making this Convention so incredible. I am more excited than ever to be attending. (Well, maybe I’ll be more excited next year when I won’t have any Board or Convention responsibilities. We’ll see.)

We are so lucky to get to meet again at the jewel of the desert, the Arizona Biltmore. All who have been there know that it is the perfect location for us to connect with friends and make new ones; to sit in on some great continuing education talks, and celebrate our profession.

I hope you will be there this year. It is not to be missed as a source of rejuvenation for your practice and your soul.

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