The Beginner's Guide to Natural Living
The ultimate healthy lifestyle guide on how to prevent disease, lose weight, improve energy and live vibrantly.

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Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
My very talented Naturopathic Doctor
She treats a wide variety of conditions
Office & phone appointments available
Los Angeles, CA (Pacific Palisades)

Chronic Health Conditions
Naturopathic Medicine Treatment
Interview with Dr. Simon Barker, ND

Naturopathic Medicine Philosophy
When I was a child, I was quite sick. I had a number of health problems that were not helped at all by conventional medicine, and then I was helped by an alternative practitioner who completely cured the problem that I was having. So that led me to start changing my paradigm about what constituted “medicine.” That experience led me to want to become a doctor, and become a naturopathic doctor. I went to a naturopathic medical school—in my case, Bastyr University in Seattle—and it’s a 4-year, full-time, post-graduate medical school that is very similar to conventional medical training: the number of hours that we do in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, et cetera, is comparable.

Instead of focusing our energies on drugs and surgical approaches (although we do learn about drugs and minor surgical procedures) we’re trained in a wide variety of alternative healthcare approaches. One of the big differences between conventional medicine and the kind of training that I received is we get training in a wide variety of alternative healthcare modalities. We study homeopathy, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, diet and nutrition counseling, kind of run-of-the-gamut on alternative therapies. And we use those treatments individually or in combination to help people achieve maximal health, and that’s basically what we do.

In many cases, the body can heal itself. And mostly what we’re looking to do in those kinds of situations is to remove any problems that are causing the damage, the illness, that they’re experiencing, and to stimulate the body to respond appropriately to do its own healing.

So, a patient comes to see me and I spend a lot of time talking with them, and doing physical exams—I may run a number of lab tests on them, or other tests—and then at that point, I’m going to make a number of recommendations to them. And almost always, I’m going to make lifestyle recommendations to them: anything from quitting smoking to getting more sleep. And certainly, in almost all cases, some of that is going to be healthy diet recommendations. I have patients who eat extremely well and that’s wonderful, but that’s rare. Almost everybody who comes in to see me has certain problems with their diet, and most of them are aware of that and recognize that.

And in many cases, that is entirely responsible for their health problems—so addressing that is absolutely crucial. I will often give people supplements, homeopathics, other modes of treatment as well, usually to supplement that, and sometimes it’s necessary long-term; but oftentimes, that’s useful just to get them through the initial stages and they can help to manage their own problems by maintaining their lifestyle changes in diet and exercise that I have encouraged them to introduce.

I’ve successfully treated a number of patients with a vide variety of conditions—for example, children with chronic ear infections, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches. All of these conditions are reversible, and I’ve had great success doing that by using the wonders of natural treatment.

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For example, I’ve treated a number of children with chronic ear infections, and there are a number of ways to go about doing this. Conventionally speaking, antibiotics are traditionally used despite the fact that there’s a lot of research that shows antibiotics are ineffective in treating this problem, and can sometimes make it worse. What I use is homeopathic remedies—if someone has a fever, I’ll use herbs that can be used in the ear to relieve discomfort, herbs that can be use in inhalation to relieve congestion. There’s a number of different things—dietary changes—very, very important in relieving chronic ear infections. And in all of these cases, the children are relieved of their present problem and the problems do not return.

The natural living lifestyle works to help people be healthy and to live well because we don’t live the way that our bodies were intended to live. Our bodies were not intended to be fed with pesticides and drugs; our bodies were not intended to be exposed to the kind of rigors that they’re exposed to on a daily basis. Our bodies were intended to be fed with clean food, clean filtered water, clean air. Our bodies were intended to be treated with natural healing remedies to help our bodies do their own healing.

Interview with Dr. Simon Barker, ND

Also See: Dr. Angela Agrios, ND Naturopathic Doctor Health Series