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Alternative Therapies: Talking Endobiogenic Medicine With a Naturopathic Doctor

My most recent article was on supplemental support during recovery and how to best support your energetic body in releasing old trauma and addictive energy. In December, I interviewed a talented intuitive healer, who shared her personal experience with working with those who are in recovery. This month, we will be focusing more on the physical body than the energetic, even though we understand they cannot be separated because they influence one another.

To support my mission of giving you a clearer picture for how to achieve better health post addiction, I teamed up with Dr. Amy Chadwick, a naturopathic doctor who is well-versed in restoring physical well-being after highly stressful experiences.

Endobiogenic Medicine

Dr. Amy Chadwick works both with traditional naturopathic medicine and endobiogenic medicine. For those of you who are not familiar with this type of physical support, naturopathic medicine is a branch of medicine that is focused on getting to the root cause of an illness, rather than just treating the symptoms. Endobiogenic medicine is also focused on getting to the root cause of someone’s physical issues, but it has a unique approach that is far beyond my ability to fully comprehend. In Dr. Amy’s words:

“Endobiogeny is a systems theory medicine that places the endocrine system as the manager of all physiology. The endocrine system exists from conception to death, hormones impact every cell and function within the body, and the endocrine system regulates itself.” 

It goes without saying that when someone has suffered from addiction, the entire system becomes dysregulated and the communication between various systems becomes imbalanced. This imbalance leads to chronic disease and symptoms that are often overlooked in traditional western medicine.

I asked Dr. Amy what she felt was important for people to know when trying to rebalance their body post addiction. She said:

“It is for certain that the process of addiction and the process of recovery create a huge demand on the endocrine system and autonomic nervous system to adapt. The organs of elimination, such as the liver and kidney and lungs are often compromised. The nervous system, through the stimulation of dopamine that is inherent in an addictive process, has developed specific patterns and needs that will need to adjust as healing occurs. It is this adjustment or lack of adjustment that often leads to moving from one addiction to another.  The underlying imbalances have not been fully supported in this process.”

“Healing from addiction is difficult and demanding on the body on all levels: body, mind and spirit. Healing becomes a more efficient process if the adaptive strategies of the body can be optimized and the numbers of stresses on the physiology reduced.”

As you can tell from Dr. Amy’s response, coming back into balance physically will take some time and requires patience. The body has to learn how to find its healthy rhythm again. I remember when I met with Dr. Amy the first time, I was in tears sharing that I felt my body would never get back to where I wanted it used to be. She looked at me with a smile and kindly said, “The body knows how to heal itself.”

Although this may seem like a simple statement, it reconnected me to the tiny little bit of hope that I still had after years of what felt like unbearable suffering. I believe that more people need to work with medical professionals that work from this philosophy. Everyone needs hope. Everyone needs to know that their body has an innate intelligence and that, sometimes, it’s about finding the right doctor to work with that also believes this to be true.

The Needs of the Physical Body

With all the energy that recovery takes, the needs of the physical body might become lost or overlooked. In order to succeed in recovery, the emotional self has to be regulated, which is impossible when the physical self is out of sorts.

I wanted to learn more on what Dr. Amy knows about how people in recovery can support their body in healing to a state of high-functionality. I asked her what she felt the biggest obstacle to physical healing was in the current treatment model for addiction. Dr. Amy said, “A lack of a systems approach to medicine limits healing and optimal functioning. Treating addiction purely as a disease, or purely through neurotransmitter adjustment, or purely through behavioral changes, or purely as a genetic weakness, limits the potential for supporting a person in their totality. A person-centered approach that recognizes individual physiology and provides education and support to bring this individual physiology into a place of resilience and dynamic balance is key to long-term thriving.”

Dr. Amy has shared with me personally that the body is filled with systems that run specific patterns based on how it has learned to respond to stress. These patterns need to learn how to run in a way that creates harmony in the body rather than dysregulation.  An easy example of where we see this show up is after someone has experienced trauma. The body creates a set of chemical reactions that cause the person to want to fight, run, or freeze. Their heart beat races, they sweat, they experience flashbacks, have a hard time focusing, and can even become dissociated from their own body. These types of responses require both emotional and physical support in order to create new pathways of response.

When Western Medicine Doesn’t Go Deep Enough

While I have great respect for western medicine, I don’t believe that it goes deep enough into the core issues of what is causing someone’s pain and disregulation. It often focuses heavily on symptom management, which is a far cry from true health.

Naturopathic medicine, on the other hand, offers a branch of medicine that aims to restore the system.  Unfortunately, in most states, naturopathic medicine is not covered by health insurance, which does leave make it quite costly. However, if you don’t have your health, what do you have?

If we are willing to invest in ourselves, in our health, we are saying yes to a better and brighter future.  We are saying yes to feeling good and laying a foundation for true success. While this type of medicine is certainly not the answer for everything or everyone, I felt it was important to touch upon as a supplemental support during recovery and beyond. I hope you found the information useful and if you would like to learn more about Dr. Amy Chadwick, you can you can visit her website.

To happiness, health, and healing!




Images Courtesy of iStock

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