Alex Steelsmith
"When you open your mind to medical traditions from both the Eastern and Western hemispheres, you more fully engage both hemispheres of your brain."

          "For a Westerner accustomed to the straightforward analytical science of conventional medicine, exploring the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine can be one of life's most transforming experiences. It offers a way of thinking outside the box of cause-and-effect relationships that you are accustomed to, challenging you to think about your body, mind, and spirit in delightfully new, nonlinear ways. It invites you to approach your health through elegant poetic images that are often quite beautiful and rich in metaphor . . .
          "Conventional medicine in the West has become a very left-brained process, but when you open your mind to medical traditions from both the Eastern and Western hemispheres, you more fully engage both hemispheres of your brain-the logical, rational left brain and the imaginative, intuitive right brain."
-From page 5 of Natural Choices for Women's Health

          "Your conscious decision to choose organic, whole foods is . . . in a sense, an extension of your immune system: you are safeguarding your health while you are shopping, in the moment you are making the choice on what to buy . . . It's important to remember that only in the last few generations have we been producing foods with herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, genetic modification, irradiation, antibiotics, and hormones-and only in our lifetimes has this list grown so long that we need national organic standards to protect us. After all, what we call 'organic' food is merely as close as we can get to food in its natural state-what the vast majority of our ancestors ate throughout the ages. Looked at from this perspective, choosing organic food is simply an effort to get back to eating normally."
-From page 32 of Natural Choices for Women's Health

          "Western science has only just begun to 'discover' what some cultures have known for centuries: that the mind can influence every system in the body and cause profound physiological changes. Positive and peaceful thoughts can stimulate your immune cells, influence your hormones, decrease pain, and create an environment for spontaneous healing . . .
          "Just as healthy choices about what you eat make you physically healthier, healthy choices about what you expose your mind to make you mentally healthier. On a daily basis, you have the ability to make conscious decisions about what you 'ingest' mentally . . .
          " . . . It's never too late to alter your thoughts; you can always change your mind, literally."
-From page 339 of Natural Choices for Women's Health

"Your health is comprised, to a great extent, of all the healthy choices you make over the course of your lifetime."

          "When you are in peak health, your immune system is a force-field of pure wellness that enables you to achieve the fullest possible expression of your genetic potential. Great health allows you to create the life you want and fulfill your dreams and your destiny.
          " . . . Healthy choices are self-perpetuating; the healthier your choices, the better you feel and the more you want to continue making beneficial choices. Your health is comprised, to a great extent, of all the healthy choices you make over the course of your lifetime.
          "Your health is like a beautiful, intricately crafted puzzle, with all of your body's systems fitting precisely together as a unified whole."
-From pages 356-357 of Natural Choices for Women's Health

          "Knowing how to choose a personal physician who is well trained in natural medicine can be one of the most health-protecting lifestyle choices you ever make.
          "When you look at your health care options, you may feel as if you've entered a confusing maze. The success of natural medicine has led to a surge of popularity, giving rise to many clinics offering various combinations of conventional and unconventional medicine. For example, an 'integrated' clinic may provide the services of a medical doctor trained in conventional pharmaceutical-based therapies as well as the services of practitioners trained in acupuncture or nutrition.
          "The most important question you can ask yourself is no longer 'How can I find a doctor who offers natural medicine?' but 'What, exactly, is the training of a doctor who offers natural medicine?' As a consumer, you may have no way of telling at first glance if a physician is adequately trained to provide natural medicine. Anyone licensed to practice medicine can legally offer 'natural medicine' to the public with no credentials from an accredited school of natural medicine and with little or no background whatsoever in natural medicine. Doctors may have the best of intentions but simply not be trained to provide you with the wealth of natural options that are available. It takes many years of training to assimilate the complex understanding required to practice the science and art of natural medicine. There is much, much more to it than attending a few seminars and prescribing a token selection of the natural remedies and therapies popularized by the media.
          "To guarantee that your doctor is trained in natural medicine, I strongly recommend that you find a graduate of an accredited naturopathic medical school. These schools stand in a category all their own: they are currently the only medical schools in the United States that require students to become highly trained in the full range of natural and alternative therapies. They offer by far the most thorough, rigorous, in-depth education of its kind available anywhere-in short, the world's best training in natural medicine.
          "I urge you to compare the course requirements of accredited naturopathic medical schools with those of any other medical programs. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2000-2001 no conventional medical school in the United States required a single separate course in alternative and complementary medicine. (At some schools, these topics were taught only as part of a required course, or offered as an elective). By contrast, accredited naturopathic medical programs require more than seven hundred hours of therapeutic nutrition and naturopathic therapeutics.
          "In addition, according to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the naturopathic medical school curriculum includes a comparable number of hours of basic biological sciences as conventional medical schools such as Yale and Stanford. As a result, many believe that graduates of the naturopathic medical programs are the only doctors whose training is truly 'integrated,' making them uniquely qualified to balance conventional and unconventional medical approaches. Their training places them squarely between the two worlds, in the truest sense of the word able to 'integrate' the best of each.
          "You can find graduates of accredited naturopathic medical schools throughout this country. One note of caution: naturopathic physicians are not yet licensed in some states, so be sure that your naturopathic physician is a graduate of one of the accredited schools. As a rule, anyone else using the term naturopath is doing so without adequate training. You can do a quick check to be sure you are putting your care in the hands of a legitimate graduate of one of the accredited schools: contact the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians."
-From pages 365-366 of Natural Choices for Women's Health

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