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Establish A Naturopathic Medical Clinic in Haiti

idea by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
Establish A Naturopathic Medical Clinic in Haiti

Website

:

www.naturopathswithoutborders.org

The Idea

NWB is working to establish a naturopathic medical clinic in Haiti. This facility will allow us to offer natural health care to a population with very little access to wellness services. Our plan includes daily clinic services, an herbal medicine garden, nutrition lessons, community health workers.

The Specifics

The mission of Naturopaths Without Borders is to provide naturopathic health care to impoverished communities while empowering those communities through education, supporting growth and cultivating sustainable resources. We need to establish a permanent clinic in Haiti where medical options are in short supply. Most Haitians lack access to regular medical care and have no access to natural care options. Our doctors frequently see diseases of malnutrition or simple medical problems that become worse from lack of care. NDs use a variety of methods including supplements, herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments in order to help the body heal. These less invasive methods are often free of side effects, inexpensive, and sustainable.

Discussion
45 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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What a worthwhile cause

by vicharri
about 2 years ago | Reply

Because I have been building houses, clinics, and schools in Haiti for the past 3 years, I understand the extreme need to help there. What better way to help Haitians and my friends studying naturopathic medicine?!

by benjamin.thornes
about 2 years ago | Reply

Natural does not mean harmless. Asbestos, lead, and radiation are 'natural' toxic substances. Although assistance for simple medical problems and support for growth and cultivation of sustainable resources is an admirable and worthwhile mission, promoting pseudoscience is not. If you believe ANY treatment is better than nothing, it would be cheaper to fund the witch-doctors already there, which have the same cure rate as homeopathic medicine, which is routinely prescribed by naturopaths (and thoroughly disproven by science) .
"Alternative medicine" only means it has failed scientific testing or the seller (and not coincidentally also the prescriber) won't test it. If any substances PROVE to work, they are no longer "alternative", they are "MEDICINE".
I have no doubt NWB have good intentions, but if we are to teach medical intervention, the least we can do is provide information that has been proven to work.

by muraydog
about 2 years ago | Reply

Muraydog, we appreciate your concern for the people of Haiti and their access to medical care. Please allow me to address some of your concerns. Firstly, medicine is a word that is understood differently throughout the world. Allopathic medicine- the type you are referring to- is the fourth most accessed kind of medicine. People have been learning to heal themselves and others long before the existence of this kind of medicine. Studies of things like acupuncture continue to show how effective it is for healing and it was developed thousands of years ago. Secondly, Naturopathic doctors (or NDs) go to medical school very similar to the ones MDs go to and spend just as much time in residency. Our doctors and volunteers are using medicine that is based on the principle "Vis medicatrix nature" which means "the healing power of nature". We follow the same Hippocratic Oath as MDs. In addition, we are utilizing well researched methods of allowing the body to heal itself. These are largely methods that strengthen the body and are free of the side effects of drugs. NDs typically become doctors in this way because they have experienced how effective natural medicine can be. While homeopathy can be confusing, just as many studies exist that display its efficacy as those that claim they disprove it. It's important to consider the methodology of studies and their funder. Well developed studies from neutral organizations are being done on a regular basis that prove the efficacy of natural medicine. Acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, nutritional methods, herbal medicine, and supplements are being regularly studied and proven effective. We invite you to consider some of these studies as you develop your opinion. If you would like us to point you to them, we would gladly help you. Thank you, again, for your message. We appreciate that you have approached us with these issues that are of concern to you.

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago | Reply

"Allopathic" (scientifically proven) medicine includes natural substances. I am currently being treated with over-the-counter supplements by my neurologist. This isn't an "alternative" to conventional medicine. ANYTHING proven to work is no longer "alternative" - it becomes established, conventional medicine. Homeopathic "medicine" contains ZERO active ingredient, and 'heals' at the same rate as a placebo. The entire concept would mean the laws of physics are wrong. If water holds a memory, why doesn't it 'remember' all the waste that went through the water. Giving a homeopathic 'vaccine' provides a false sense of security and leaves the 'vaccinated' vulnerable. (Homeopathy, btw, is only 200 years old and is a Western invention). Nutrition is a proven healer, and preventer of illness - there is mountains of evidence to prove it, and I am a proponent of healthy eating.. If naturopaths concentrated on that, I'd support them. But when a profession supports methods PROVEN to not work, I question their expertise (not their motives). Please do direct me to these studies to show that acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, or chiropractic subluxations are effective. The medical /scientific databases do not support you assertion.

by muraydog
about 2 years ago | Reply

Muraydog, it seems like there are a lot of things that we agree on. We both agree that nutrition and supplements can be healing. In fact, in almost every visit with an ND the attempt is made to handle health issues using these two lines of defense. We know many naturopaths who treats many illnesses almost entirely utilizing nutrition. Furthermore, we both know that some natural substances can be included in allopathy. Lovaza is a recently developed prescription fish oil for example- something NDs have been championing as necessary for health for decades. Salicin was used to develop aspirin but was initially found in White Willow and Meadowsweet- used by herbalists to treat pain and headaches.
While I sense your urgent concern for people who you feel are being given false information, I have to assure you that no one is "vaccinating" anyone using homeopathic remedies. That is not how homeopathy works. Studies performed on homeopathy tend to lack a general understanding of how homeopathy works and do not test constitutional homeopathy, a method which is very complicated and treats every person uniquely even if presenting for the same condition. Another concern we both share is that we dislike people providing treatment that does not work. In the instance of many degenerative or chronic diseases, including certain heart conditions and diabetes, allopathic methods have been unable to provide a restoration to health. NDs provide alternatives free of side effects with efficacy that has been proven for centuries of use. I am going to spend the next day or so compiling some studies for you to look over. While studies on things like acupuncture are rare compared to drug studies (as there is no interest in these studies by companies or corporations) I assure you, they have been performed and shown effective. Thank you again for voicing your concerns.

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago

Hi Muraydog. I would just like to comment on the proven medicine you're speaking about. Robert Whitaker wrote a great book called Anatomy of an Epidemic. (He's speaking Tuesday night if you're in the Portland area). It's about the mental health/psychiatric drug industry and the manipulation of data and statistics to show efficacy. Currently drugs don't have to be tested by an outside company, therefore the pharmaceutical companies are able to cherry pick the data from their own studies that they want to use to pass FDA regulations. SSRI's have recently been shown (in JAMA) to be as effective as placebo, yet they are still on the market along with all of their unfortunate side-effects.
If we are concerned with vulnerable and needy populations then supporting pharmaceutical medicine is not the answer. To get around many ethical boundaries and laws these companies routinely go to poorer nations to test their drugs on illiterate populations. Here is a good article (from Vanity Fair of all places) that I had to read in an ethics class (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/01/deadly-medicine-201101?currentPage=all).
And lastly, I would like to point out that even our government has taken quite a bit of interest in natural medicine. The NIH has instituted a branch dealing with natural medicine and funds quite a bit of research through grants. (NCCAM). Hope those references help. Take care---Lindsay

by lindsayrodgers
about 2 years ago | Reply

Hi Lindsay I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my concerns, but you have only reinforced my assertions that there is no evidence to prove that acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, or chiropractic subluxations are effective medical treatments.
You document SSRI findings but misrepresent the research "The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication compared with placebo ... may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms. For patients with very severe depression, the benefit of medications over placebo is substantial." (from the actual study). This is an argument for MORE studies and proof of medical treatments, not less. Stating that there are medical errors and that companies misrepresent their data is in no way proof that that acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, or chiropractic subluxations are effective. Disproving ‘A’ isn’t proof for’ B’. Nor does it mean they are harmless.
Naturally growing herbs like hemlock, Mayapple, and Belladonna are lethal – to state that herbs have no side effects is simply false. People can, and do DIE from “natural medicine”. Steve Jobs is an excellent example. If he had true medical treatment instead of natural treatments, his disease would most likely not have progressed to the stage where it killed him. More examples are here http://whatstheharm.net/alternativemedicine.html
http://whatstheharm.net/chiropractic.html. Until there is REAL evidence that natural medicine is less harmful, or better than no treatment, we need to stop misrepresenting their abilities to a vulnerable public by listing only chosen anecdotes.

by muraydog
about 2 years ago | Reply

I think its always important to be critical of things we are unsure of, but there is a need for balance with that approach. Further I think that can be broken down into different pieces. When it comes to research, it stands to reason that patentable pharmaceuticals will tend to offer the most in this department, along with all of the conflict of interests and issues that come with research. Good literature on the weaknesses of relying primarily on this approach are "Overdosed America" by John Abramson, Death by Prescription by Ray Strand, and The Truth about Drug Companies by Marcia Angell. I think it if you look it at in as a big picture, it makes perfect sense that there will be some level of corruption to the large "body" we call the literature. When 13 studies are published on the efficacy of a drug, and 11 are negative and one is positive, and the drug is put on the market, that seems odd to me. When drugs do not work much better than placebo or aren't even tested against current standard of care, that puzzles me as well. When drug companies advertise to me instead of my doctor, or when they lobby doctors and the FDA, when they fund both research AND the FDA -- over time if you want to argue this is not creating ANY conflict of interest what-so ever, then you likely cannot be convinced something is wrong here. When you follow the weekly reports on drug reporting of side-effects, there are dozens each week. They can be severe like cancer correlations, benign like abdominal pain, or unsettling like the drug is actually not efficacious at all. We are only just now, with all of our knowledge and decades of use, recognizing how toxic Tylenol is and gradually removing it from medication combinations.

For me, an important bottom line is that of choice as well: why shouldn't patients be allowed to choose their health care? I live in the United States, and although things are changing I think most of us still believe in freedom for individuals to have a right to their life and liberty, namely their bodies. If we cannot choose our own medicine, what is next? We try to separate some freedoms like religion as sacred and generally leave that alone - but freedom of speech and choice is very important - especially in a field like medicine where we never know in 10 years what treatments will end up having had caused more harm than good. It would be a shame to find out decades down the line that medication and treatment we give our children now are actually dangerous science experiments - which means that even though according to the literature they were not dangerous until now- they were really dangerous to begin with while the research lagged behind. Well, the reality is that this has happened before and will likely continue to happen because we cannot know everything about these novel substances - but let us at least make the choices up to individuals to choose which health care they think is right for them and their family. Lets not make the argument that people are not smart enough to find a good doctor that works for them. Once we make that argument we might as well give up all of our freedoms. I have chosen a great doctor for my family, and we have overcome much more by solving (really curing) problems like asthma related to gluten/dairy intolerance than we ever did with the nearly life-long prescription of steroids and beta agonists -- and this was MY CHOICE - not the FDA, not the literature, but mine.

by jargd
about 2 years ago

jargd - You are certainly free to choose whatever method you wish to treat yourself and your family, but I believe you have a right to make an INFORMED decision. The implication is that all prescription medication should be seen as suspicious and anything labeled "natural" seen as safe is simply dangerous. We simply wish followers of natural medicine would apply the same scientific standards against their own practices. Health supplements are not subject to ANY safety or efficacy testing. Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, anyone can establish a vitamin, supplement, or dietary pill-making business in their living room, and many have become millionaires. Physicians aren't allowed to sell pharmaceuticals - it is considered an conflict of interest. Yet naturopaths sell what they prescribe. Plants are made of chemical compounds. Tylenol is a chemical compound. But even if ALL prescription meds were toxic DOESN'T mean natural ones are EFFECTIVE or even safe. I just wish the naturopaths would emphasize their knowledge of nutrition, which has mountains of evidence behind it and woefully underutilized for prevention and cure.

by muraydog
about 2 years ago

Hey Muraydog,
With many of the SSRI studies they don't show long term effects. They typically don't publish results past 3 months. Yes, increasing someone's serotonin will have a great effect on someone with major depression, but it does not cure them and it often makes them worse in the long term when the drug becomes ineffective. The biochemistry works just like any typical drug addiction. You will need to take more and more of the drug because the serotonin receptors are going to down regulate (meaning there will be less of them). I believe depression is a much more complex issue than just increasing serotonin.
I looked at the websites you posted. I can not vouch much for chiropractic medicine since I know little about it. My personal experience with it has been great as it cured my chronic pain and I'm grateful, but I am sure many people have been hurt by it, too.
The stories that I looked at did seem to be more or less quackery and the patients were typically not going to real Naturopathic Doctors. There is currently confusion surrounding the term Naturopath because people will take a few online classes about some blood type diet and call themselves a Naturopathic Doctor. There are only 5 accredited schools for natural medicine in North America (they are accredited by the same institutions that accredit allopathic medical schools and many of our classes are the same, too). I'm currently at student at the National College of Natural Medicine where graduates learn not only nutrition, massage, hydrotherapy, and herbal remedies, but also pharmaceutical interventions, counseling, and minor surgery. The licensing is different in many states, but in some like Oregon we can prescribe most pharmaceuticals if we need to. This gives the patient all the relevant information and allows them to make a choice regarding their health. I don't know of any Naturopathic physicians that would promise a natural cure for treatment and sway their patients away from chemo. Most NDs would work alongside MDs in this situation to enhance health throughout the treatment and relieve side effects. Typically Naturopathic Doctors work with prevention and getting to the root cause of diseases rather than covering up symptoms. A commonly used analogy is if I go to an MD with a rash they will likely spend 5 minutes with me and write me a scrip for some cream. If I go to an ND they would spend an hour and investigate what may be causing it, be it an allergy to a food in my diet or something else. Suppressing symptoms can lead to chronic problems later, therefore Naturopathic Doctors try to find out what the cause is. Yes, MDs do this sometimes, too, but often they don't have more than 5 minutes to take a complete and full history of a patient.
I agree with you completely and think that setting up random supplement companies and looking up natural remedies online is a very serious problem. REAL Naturopathic Doctors are useful to help navigate through all this information to weed out the fraudulent claims and low quality supplements. Much of it still needs to be researched, but that is happening more and more everyday and there are a lot of good studies out there already.
Here are some peer reviewed studies from pub med (a medical database, not just some website. there are many on there, but many allopathic doctors don't learn about this type of medicine therefore don't practice it, despite it having been researched. If you want to read the full studies you might have to go to a public library or a medical library or pay for them)

Mud for osteoarthritis (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxy.ncnm.edu/pubmed/20513990)
Modified Citrus Pectin for prostate cancer (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxy.ncnm.edu/pubmed/20462856)
Curcumin (from turmeric) and lung cancer (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxy.ncnm.edu/pubmed/22489192)
acupuncture and pain (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxy.ncnm.edu/pubmed/22471131)
acupuncture and chronic low back pain (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxy.ncnm.edu/pubmed/22339101)

Those were just a few I found in a few minutes of searching. I don't want to appear argumentative but just wanted to assure you it's not all quackery and many people find relief from their symptoms which is why it is becoming more and more popular with MDs and the general public. Hope you have a nice week---Lindsay

by lindsayrodgers
about 2 years ago

I think we completely agree 100% then murray. Safety, purity, and efficacy of supplements and other products are extremely important - and this is soundly lacking with many pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements alike. Luckily - the doctors I choose rarely need to rely on these products. In my example of asthma, my doctor, by spending several hours with me over several appointments, took the time to investigate a possible issue with a substance my family was reacting to. In this case it was eliminating an offending food. This solved my problem in a way that worked for me-- permanently and safely. We must keep in mind that this is what many doctors are focusing on - LIFESTYLE. This is the answer to many long-term chronic conditions - and if we begin calling these methods "dangerous" then we are in trouble. I read an article by a dietitian once that the gluten-free diet is "dangerous." I guess when we want to use fear tactics we can scare people from anything - but in reality I think many of these therapies have a place depending on the situation, including pharmaceuticals. To rely on them as the first line for many chronic illnesses just seems unusual to me - as does poly-pharmacy which is becoming more common and is NOT well tested. If i find I have a magnesium deficiency to be causing my hypertension, maybe my doctor and I decide that supplementing with a high quality product would be better than Tylenol for each headache -- and we can make that decision together. I understand your fear with untested supplements, as do I. Choose a doctor who will spend time with you and solve the problems before they happen when possible, and one that uses the safest products/supplements/medications when they are needed. Doctors of all flags can be good or bad at this. To label all Naturopaths one way because of perhaps a bad experience is exactly what others do with bad experiences with MD's or DO's, and neither generalization is useful in the long-term. Health-care, as we both agree, requires informed decisions by patients, and that requires teamwork on the part of multiple health professionals AND freedom to choose our path to health.

by jargd
about 2 years ago

Awesome work. Not only spreading the naturopathic word but teaching others to do the same is real, free medicine.

by kate.mccandless1
about 2 years ago | Reply

NWB is a fantastic organization that is headed by two Naturopathic Physicians with the biggest hearts. I love NWB and this cause!

by jessicahayman
about 2 years ago | Reply

NWB is a wonderful organization, and the people of Haiti will benefit so much from the amazing combination of medicine and natural therapeutics that naturopathic medicine delivers.

by laura.glenn
about 2 years ago | Reply

We agree! Thanks for your vote!

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago | Reply

This clinic will not only help the people of Haiti, but will also help the students of Naturopathy develop their skills so they can continue to spread good health around the globe!! :) As a student, having a permanent location where I can help people and see how well our medicine works is priceless and all the students I've seen who experience Naturopaths Without Borders come back to their studies motivated to inspire positive change in people's health. :D Vote!!!

by gal4ND
about 2 years ago | Reply

Very good project.

by dnlewis04
about 2 years ago | Reply

Voted on behalf of my Kappa alum, MaryK Martin Geyer!

by kitx121
about 2 years ago | Reply

This grant will help NWB apply its well-honed clinical model to the Cap Haitien area! Help us to expand our services full-time to these people who lack access to care!
-Sean Hesler, ND; NWB Director of Professional and Academic Affairs
https://www.facebook.com/NaturopathsWithoutBorders

by seanhesler
about 2 years ago | Reply

This is definitely a worthwhile cause for the much needed people of Haiti. The wonderful dedicated, caring doctors deserve a grant to pursue their clinic.

by N8brLaPre
about 2 years ago | Reply

Wonderful! Providing excellent care in a caring manor.

by Meagannicole
about 2 years ago | Reply

NWB is a group of awe inspiring, dedicated, caring Doctors and volunteers whom I have had the pleasure to work with on more than one occasion and location! Their efforts focus on the individual needs of each community. Not only do they provide direct medical care but they also build resourceful connections to maintain health, sustainable growth, and continued education to the communities they serve!

by DrBNatural
about 2 years ago | Reply

Thanks so much for your support!

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago | Reply

I am proud to work as a physician for NWB in Mexico. I wholeheartedly and very strongly feel that a naturopathic clinic will treat the root cause of illness, provide incredibly compassionate care, and prevent further illness and disease in this population. A natural approach to healthcare, that is also individualized and completely holistic will resonate very closely with this nation and their beliefs and practices of healthcare.

by Chelle777
about 2 years ago | Reply

Naturopaths without Boarders is a wonderful organization and I am proud to support their efforts in Haiti.

by leslie.cisar
about 2 years ago | Reply

A truly amazing organization with dedicated, intelligent doctors. Vote!

by willmarisa
about 2 years ago | Reply

This would tremendously benefit a community in need of health care and who desire naturopathic medicine as a permanent presence!!

by laurakd
about 2 years ago | Reply

Great cause! Great ideas for a sustainable future.

by helen1224
about 2 years ago | Reply

An amazing hard-working group of healers, vote!

by willmarisa
about 2 years ago | Reply

Naturoapthic medicine provides the best holistic care that the people need!!!

by kimmyvolk
about 2 years ago | Reply

I've worked in this country and with these people before - this is highly needed and much better for them than the sun baked and expired medicine they rely on now!!! This will truly be a blessing for them!! VOTE FOR IT PLEASE!!!

by gkreps
about 2 years ago | Reply

I saw a group of NDs and student NDs working tirelessly with many Haitians on my recent trip to Cap Haitien and was awed by their dedication and knowledge and ability to help. Haiti needs this healthcare ~

by plmidwife
about 2 years ago | Reply

Please friend us on Facebook if you agree that this is a worthwhile cause. The link to ours is: https://www.facebook.com/NaturopathsWithoutBorders

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago | Reply

Such an amazing group of dedicated, caring, and well-trained individuals making an incredible difference in the lives of people who are very much in need....A great cause indeed!!!

by epeffley
about 2 years ago | Reply

You won't find a group of more caring and dedicated individuals. They deserve your vote!

by stephanien
about 2 years ago | Reply

We'd like to think so too! Thanks so much!

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago | Reply

Such a great cause!

by sdentingerdoo
about 2 years ago | Reply

Wonderful mission! I love the "free of side effects, inexpensive, and sustainable" part! Vote!!!

by annemarie21
about 2 years ago | Reply

We love it too!

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago | Reply

NWB is a fantastic group of people, I couldn't imagine a more deserving organization!

by McAllister
about 2 years ago | Reply

Thanks so much for your support! Tell your friends!

by NaturopathsWithoutBorders
about 2 years ago | Reply

Worhwhile cause ---- the people of Haiti deserve this!!!

by nyarai
about 2 years ago | Reply

NWB is a Godsend that has highly skilled and caring doctors. With the effectiveness of naturopathic medicine, the people of Haiti need this option. Vote!

by dougdcutler
about 2 years ago | Reply

FYI, Haiti is THE poorest country in the Western Hemisphere so they desperately need our help!

by nature_lover13
about 2 years ago | Reply

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Award_topvotedidea
$2,500
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Submission Began
Tuesday, March 13

Submission Ended
Tuesday, April 03
at 12:00 PM PDT

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Voting Began
Tuesday, April 03

Voting Ended
Tuesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

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Textbooks For The Book Bank Program In Haiti
Textbooks For The Book Bank Program In Haiti

Winner Announced
Tuesday, April 17

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