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Our Seventh Biennial "Best of Naturopathic Medicine" Competition
Every two years the Townsend Letter holds our "Best of Naturopathic Medicine" competition. We invite faculty, students, clinicians, and researchers at four-year naturopathic institutions as well as in private clinics to submit a paper reviewing the best of naturopathic medicine diagnostics and therapeutics. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 competition in this issue and to publish their papers.
Richard Kitaeff, MA, NM, DipAc, LAc is member of the faculty at Bastyr University and staff acupuncturist at Northwest Hospital in Seattle. He has been practicing acupuncture and Oriental medicine for more than 40 years. Kitaeff's paper, "A Case of Autonomic Dysregulation Syndrome," has been accepted for presentation at the International Congress of Naturopathic Medicine in London this June. The patient presents with symptoms found frequently in clinical practice: arrhythmia, anxiety disorder, gastrointestinal symptoms, and metabolic dysfunctioning. However, it is also not infrequent for similar patients to be evaluated separately by specialists in cardiology, psychiatry, gastroenterology and endocrinology. In autonomic dysregulation syndrome, these symptoms appear together as a syndrome brought about by sympathetic central nervous system dominance. Chinese medicine does not use the terminology autonomic dysregulation but directs us to rebalance the energetic dysfunctioning. Kitaeff employs acupuncture, Chinese herbals, cranial electrical stimulation, pulsed EMF treatment, chiropractic, physical activity, nutrition, and supplements to treat it. He argues that a multi-factored approach is effective in switching an excessively functioning sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic nervous system.
Sussanna Czeranko, ND is a faculty member of the National University of Naturopathic Medicine (formerly NCNM). She is the curator of NUNM rare book and journal collection, a facility well worth the journey to Portland, Oregon, to tour and study. For those unable to see it, Czeranko is making much of the Benedict Just journal material available in edited texts titled the Hevert Collection published by NUNM press. Czeranko has had a long and devoted interest to "old-time" naturopathic medicine and is a great fan of spa treatment particularly the use of clay and peloid dressings and applications. Peloids, earth-based material derived from peat, is the focus of her submission to the "Best of Naturopathic Medicine" competition. She examines the literature of peloid production and medical administration and then focuses on its use for treating diverse gynecologic disorders. The fact that an earth-based remedy can be effective for healing chronic medical disorders is reason enough for naturopaths to reintroduce this 19th century treatment. Czeranko is building a naturopathic spa at Manitou Beach in Saskatchewan, Canada where she intends to implement peloid therapy as a mainstay of treatment. She is organizing the Saskatchewan Naturopathic Conference to take place in August 2017 at the site of this spa.
David M. Brady, ND, DC, CCN, DACBN is vice president for Health Sciences, director of the Human Nutrition Institute, and associate professor of clinical sciences at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. His oversight includes the College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM). He is the author of the book, Fibro-Fix and has interviewed 30 fibromyalgia experts for the Fibro-Fix Summit. In this issue of the Townsend Letter, Dr. Brady makes the case that trauma and stress experienced during childhood plays a primary role in the development of pain and chronic health disorders in adults. Moreover, Brady asserts that pain should not just be considered nociceptive, that occurs while touching a hot stove, or neuropathic, that is associated with the nerve damage of untreated diabetes, but also can be "psychological" or "emotional." This is not a pejorative label suggesting that the pain is merely something the patient is experiencing psychosomatically. Instead, Brady explains that the pain is directly associated with emotional trauma experienced in childhood or adulthood and that it is responsible for how the brain and nervous system responds to pain in a hypervigilant manner. Addressing psychological pain is key to treating fibromyalgia and other disorders.
Jonathan E. Prousky, ND, MSc is the chief naturopathic medical officer and professor of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and the editor of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Dr. Prousky has published numerous papers on the application of orthomolecular medicine and nutrition in the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric disorders. His work follows in the footsteps of orthomolecular pioneers Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, and two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, PhD. In this issue, Prousky reviews the nutritional and orthomolecular treatment for seizure disorder, particularly childhood absence epilepsy (CAE). The conventional neurologic approach to CAE employs the use of one or more anti-seizure medications; the effectiveness of such treatments is limited and the development of serious adverse effects with long-term administration is noted. Furthermore, unsuccessfully treated CAE leads to significant increase in premature mortality. Prousky's review reveals that adherence to certain diets requiring strict food avoidance such as the ketogenic diet and Atkins' diet improves control of seizure activity. Additionally, Prousky's research cites the use of certain high dose nutrients that reduce seizures. Implementation of diet and supplementation is shown to reduce the dose of medication needed.
Jonathan Collin, MD
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