I met Dr. Megan Fisher at the Washington Healing Arts Center, where she gave a lecture on “How to Make Your Body Inhospitable to Disease”. Many of us don’t feel very good most of the time, and get sick easily. Medication is a temporary solution, sometimes all we need to do are some subtle, but vital lifestyle changes.
Dr. Fisher is a naturopath, which means that she views the body as a whole. She believes that the body has its own ability to heal itself, if we chose to listen to it and work with it, and not against it. Want to find out more? Read on!
Megan, what exactly do naturopaths do?
Naturopaths teach their clients to use diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and natural therapies to assist their bodies’ ability to prevent and fight disease. We view the patient as a whole person, not a specific symptom, such as insomniac. The treatment plans I develop take an integrative approach to not only treat disease, but to also restore health.
What got you started to follow this more natural approach of healing the body?
One day I looked at our medicine cabinet and it dawned on me that we take too many prescription medications. I began to wonder what people used to do hundred years ago. In an attempt to reduce the number of medication bottles, I started studying on my own the natural ways of healing the body. After two years, I was convinced that this is what I wanted to do so I completed a six-year Doctorate Program and became a Naturopath. The natural alternatives may not work right away, they are more subtle than medication, but they achieve the desired result without any side effects. The pains and aches we experience daily are nothing more but the body’s way to tell us there is something wrong. If we ignore these signals, we will never get to the root of the problem to properly treat it.
What is the best way to start listening to our body?
We should start by working on strengthening our immune system. It works to seek and kill invaders, and to protect us against infections. If your immune system is depressed, you feel tired all the time, you get sick easily, you catch every cold and flu virus and you are more prone to allergies, repeated infections and bronchitis. The three key components we need to work on to strengthen our immune system are: Nutrients, Proper Environment, Reducing Stress.
Can you please elaborate on the three key components to boost our immune system?
Unfortunately, the American diet is not the best for providing the body with the nutrients it needs. We tend to eat too much meat, which makes our body acidic, and what we lack are more fruit and vegetables, to make our body alkaline. To put it simply, acid helps disease thrive, while a more alkaline diet keeps disease away. A huge portion of our plate needs to be reserved for vegetables, with little meat and grains on the side. Carbohydrates equal sugar, and we eat too much of that in the form of potatoes, pasta and white rice. All carbs do is leave you feeling hungry and craving more food. You should replace them with complex carbohydrates instead: beans, brown rice and grains. It’s all about being conscious of what you eat and making wiser choices. Stay away from canned food. When certain vegetables are not in season, buy them frozen. When you are more aware, it is easier to find balance and try to do the best that you can.
Another important factor are the environmental concerns. The air we breathe is of great importance. Choose HEPA quality filters for your air filtration furnace. Non-smoking environment is always better for your health. The household cleaners and toiletries we buy matter a lot, too. Always opt for the non-toxic, natural varieties.
Last, but not least, stress is a major depressant of the immune system. Chronic stress, the one that lasts for weeks, months and years, leads to increased metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, rate of breathing. Overtime this can result in generalized aches and pains, muscle stiffness, depression, insomnia, decreased libido, PMS, hypoglycemia, food sensitivities, headaches, fatigue. One of the best ways to fight stress off is with exercise. You can choose between calming activities such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, or more aerobic activities such as Weigh Training, Swimming, Aerobics. Sitting and watching the news in the evening does not help to make you feel better. Getting up and moving your body will! Regular exercise (even if it is a 10-minute walk every day) helps reduce stress, increase endorphins, improve sleep and strengthen the body.
Are there any other ways to strengthen our immune system?
Different herbs can be used to treat various conditions an improve the overall functions of the body. Certain supplements such as Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids, Juice Plus, Omega-3s, and Zink, can also help get us back on track. I also recommend the use of homeopathic remedies and various cleanses. Proper nutrition from a whole foods diet is key to boosting the immune system. Next, you should try to reduce the toxins in your environment as much as possible. Detoxify your body as you would your house. Lastly, make an effort to reduce the stress in tour life. When you make these three factors priorities, your immune system will be strong and will prevent you from disease. What naturopathy does, is to assist your body’s ability to heal itself naturally and to help you be empowered to make better choices for your health.
As a wellness consultant, Dr. Megan Fisher is available to answer questions about alternative or integrative medicine, homeopathic medicine, lifestyle changes, natural supplements, herbs, therapies and many other health-related topics. You can reach her at 314.941.2568 or e-mail her at email@example.com. Follow Natural Alternatives on Facebook to stay updated on current events. Right now Dr. Fisher has a special: 50% OFF Spring “cleaning”/detox deal on any consultation in March!