National University students and faculty were among the varied health care professionals and students that gathered at Northwestern University last week as part of the 2017 Integrate Chicago conference.
National University helped sponsor the event, which is aimed at increasing awareness about integrative medicine and how the many professions can come together to benefit patients. During the event students and professionals from various medical fields including allopathic, osteopathic, acupuncture and naturopathic medicine discussed possible learning and collaboration opportunities.
“It was very gratifying to see so many NUHS students attend this event and that two of our own were on the planning committee,” said Fraser Smith, ND, NUHS assistant dean of Naturopathic Medicine. “Two of our key faculty members were also among a group of experts who presented on topics of high relevance. ”
NUHS ND interns hosted an exhibition table where they talked with students about the various complementary and alternative medicine fields taught at National University and how they can collaborate to help patients. Some other exhibitors included Aurora Integrative medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Chinese Medicine and various supplement representatives.
NUHS ND Lecturer Dr. Louise Edwards presented a lecture during the event about naturopathic principals for self care for busy doctors and students. She highlighted the importance of taking care of yourself first to better enable yourself to help others.
One naturopathic principal for good health is paying close attention to what we eat and drink and creating the conditions for health. “If you don’t play by the laws of nature there are consequences and those consequences are illness,” Dr. Edwards said during the lecture.
Her second lecture concerned “Stillness in Practice” and the need to be present and mindful when in practice. To be the most effective healer, she said doctors should have a clear mind.
“Understanding your own state is very valuable,” Dr. Edwards said in the lecture.
A panel was also held by WholeHealth Chicago, a successful integrative practice that started in the 1990s. The founder David Edelberg, MD, is nationally recognized as one of the pioneers in integrative medicine. He said he started getting interested in complementary and alternative medicine when he found out in the 1970s that 1 in 3 people were using those types of treatments and paying for it out of their own pockets.
A Chinese Medicine practitioner, energy medicine practitioner and a physical therapist from the practice each discussed how they collaborate and approach patient care.
National University prides itself on a campus dedicated to integrative medicine where students from various health programs study side-by-side. National University is one of few schools that help students prepare for a promising future in integrative medicine. While interning at the on-campus Whole Health Center clinic in Lombard, Ill., students learn first-hand how to work collaboratively with professionals from other fields.
In addition to working with other health care practitioners, NUHS students also have the opportunity to earn multiple degrees themselves. NUHS remains one of only two universities that offers degrees in chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and oriental medicine along with certification in massage therapy all on one campus.