Food as Medicine

Want to learn how to find health and healing in your kitchen? Join the AANMC and Dr. Cory Szybala for a free, informative webinar to learn how your food choices can nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Good nutrition is core to overall health, and fundamental to the naturopathic approach to wellness and disease management. Learn the dos and don’ts and how to empower yourself and others to make lasting dietary and lifestyle changes.

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

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To view the archive of past webinar recordings, please click here.


About the Presenter

Dr. Cory Szybala is a licensed naturopathic doctor who believes in helping his clients discover optimal health using an integrative and individualized approach. Dr. Szybala is committed to providing quality naturopathic care to men and women of all ages. He enjoys integrative family practice and has special interests in men’s health, pediatrics, blood sugar dysregulation, and digestive health. It is his willingness to listen to the whole story and dedication to integrative health that drives his patient care.

While in school at the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Szybala developed a passion for clinical nutrition. It was during this time that he discovered, and quickly became a member of, the acclaimed Food as Medicine Everyday series (previously known as the Ending Childhood Obesity Project). The series, which is still going, includes twelve workshops demonstrating simple techniques for selecting and cooking delicious, nutritious whole foods and how they influence individual health outcomes.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dr. Szybala was mostly influenced by a conventional healthcare model. It wasn’t until after his graduation from Indiana University with a bachelor’s in biochemistry and minors in psychology and biology that he realized there were other types of healthcare models. In his practice Dr. Szybala combines this previous experience with conventional medicine with his background in biochemistry and his passion for integrative medicine to develop a more holistic, preventative and individualized approach to healthcare.

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*The information you submit in this registration will be used to inform you of updates to this event and will enroll you in the AANMC newsletter. The AANMC values your privacy. Please see how we protect your data in our privacy policy .

Dr. JoAnn Yanez on KCAA 08/07/19

Dr. JoAnn Yanez, AANMC executive director, joins KCAA’s NBC LA affiliate On the Brink to discuss how skin issues may be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Uncovering the root cause of your skin issues is just one of the many things naturopathic doctors excel in.

Full Transcript of Interview Below.

Topics Include:

  • Natural approaches to healthy skin
  • Skin conditions as a symptom of an underlying health problem
  • Uncovering the root cause of skin conditions
  • Relationship between the gut and skin
  • Empowering people to be active participants in their health
  • Naturopathic medicine’s holistic approach to health care
  • And more…

Erin Brinker:  Welcome back. I’m Erin Brinker …

Todd Brinker: … and I’m Todd Brinker …

Erin Brinker: … and we are On the Brink, the morning show on KCAA AM 1050, FM 106.5, and FM 102.3. Did I say that already? I probably did.

Erin Brinker: Dr. JoAnn Yanez is joining us. She is the Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges and Chair of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health. She also serves on the Integrative Health Policy Consortium Education Committee. Weaving a passion for illness prevention into her professional life, her career has spanned advocacy, academia, patient care and public health. As AANMC Executive Director, she oversees research, advocacy efforts, and the joint academic endeavors of the accredited colleges of naturopathic medicine. She joins us once a month to talk about all things health and wellness and overall just feeling good. Dr. JoAnn Yanez, welcome to the show.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Good morning, Erin and Todd. How are you both?

Erin Brinker: Doing great. How are you?

Todd Brinker: Really good.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Really well. Thank you for having me on!

Erin Brinker:  Surviving this heat? Oh, of course. Surviving the heat?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Meh.

Erin Brinker: Everywhere you live has a time of year where it’s just not fun, and this is ours. And it’s not nine months of snow, so I really can’t complain, but it’s pretty darn hot outside.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Yeah. Having lived through negative 40-degree South Dakota winters.

Erin Brinker: Oh, wow.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Yeah. Every place its thing.

Erin Brinker: Every place has it today.

Todd Brinker: Yeah. You learn to dress for it or stay inside.

Erin Brinker: So, what are we talking about today?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh, we’re talking about healthy skin naturally.

Erin Brinker: Oh, well that’s important.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: It is important. And in the summertime, people are thinking about their skin. They’re showing more. They’re out, they’re getting sunburns. And so we’re talking about how to keep your skin healthy naturally.

One of the things that sometimes comes up for people who have skin issues is because it’s hot out. You’re wanting to dress more coolly and show more skin, but we don’t think about people with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, different types of dermatitis that may feel self-conscious of their skin and showing skin when they have skin conditions going on and even acne. And so that’s one of the things this time of year that sometimes people aren’t quite cognizant of is that connection between the mental, emotional component to having “healthy looking skin.”

Erin Brinker: Well, there are autoimmune diseases and things that can affect the skin. Not drinking enough water can affect the skin. Diet can affect the skin.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Absolutely.

Erin Brinker: What is a person to do to keep themselves, keep their skin looking healthy?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: So, here’s the thing. There is such a connection between our brain and our skin, and our gut and our skin. And so, when you see a naturopathic doctor for skin issues, whatever they are, like you said, skin issues can manifest from a number of different illnesses. And so, rather than treating a skin issue as a symptom to be suppressed … “Okay, let’s just put something on this and make it go away.” A naturopathic doctor takes a different approach. We’re going to say, “Okay, you’ve got something going on your skin, but what is this a deeper symptom of? Is this a food intolerance or a food allergy? Is this how stress or anxiety is manifesting in your body?” Like you said, “Is this a sign of a thyroid disorder or something endocrine related? What is the root of this issue? Let’s find that deal with that so that the skin issue will be gone forever.”

The last time I was on, I talked a little bit about my own personal skin flares and soy, and a friend of mine, who we ultimately found out his was related to nuts.

Erin Brinker: Oh.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: He was grabbing a handful of mixed nuts every day and eating that as a snack, and lo and behold, that was his main trigger.

I think for people finding that underlying cause to whatever is manifesting is really the ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine. And so, that’s where we focus. And so we may utilize things like diet diaries and elimination rotation diets, but we also may throw into the mix anti-inflammatory diets or anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements. Things like fish oil and turmeric all can be used to help manage skin condition as can topical preparations of botanical medicine, different supplements and so on. So, there’s a lot to be said for many different types of approaches that support the body in healing the skin.

Erin Brinker: Wow. I’m just thinking about the guy thinking he’s being healthy by having nuts, a handful and nuts as a satisfying afternoon snack and found out that, no, no, it’s actually harming him. But your skin then is the canary in the coal mine, right? I mean it tells you when something’s wrong.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Your skin really is. And there is up to 80%, it’s estimated, of our immune system is actually housed in our gut. And so, if you’re having an immune response, autoimmune or an allergy response or a sensitivity response, that gut is going to be one of the first lines for that.

But the thing is, and this is one of the really cool things that I learned in naturopathic medical school was the embryological. So when we’re embryos and we’re developing, the gut and the skin actually develop from the same embryological membrane. And so, there is a very connected relationship between our gut and our skin, and how things are manifesting in the gut can ultimately surface on the skin. And so, it’s really fascinating, and one of those little tidbits that got pointed out and in the slew of “ology” classes that made my first year of med school.

But I do want to say though that I think it is fascinating, the relationship, and that’s one of the key pieces that NDs take home is there is a connection between the gut and the skin, the brain and the skin. Our emotions. And it’s not just one system, it’s all connected. And that’s why the holistic approach that we take to healthcare really means a lot to patients, and often uncovers things that they may not have realized otherwise.

Erin Brinker: So, where do you start out? And I’m thinking of people who deal with things like cystic acne or who maybe just have a cyst that keeps coming back, or whatever psoriasis, or any other skin disorder. Where do you start in trying to uncover the cause?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Yeah. So, you start with a really good history. So often people are really smart. They know what’s wrong with them. They may just not have the medical language to assess that and share. But NDs, we’ll take our first office visit anywhere between one to two hours, and so we start with a really thorough history that covers everything from diet and stress and sleep and bowel habits and energy and sexual drive and all of that. And we roll that all into a very comprehensive history. There may be written intakes and written forms that you may be taking for your doctor as well. And then there’s a physical exam, and possibly lab tests, and maybe even referrals to specialists if needed. And all of that gets rolled into finding a diagnosis, finding the root cause, and starting to work with the patient on where that root is and what they’re able to do.

And so, one of the things NDs do is we meet patients where they are, and you have to know your patient. You have to spend time with them to really understand where that person is and what therapies they’re going to the most likely to stick. If you tell a lifelong vegan, “Hey, you’ve got to eat meat,” and just send them out the door, that’s probably not going to work so well. But if you talk to lifelong Vegan and say, “Hey, what do you think about this? Because what I’m seeing here is something that could possibly be helped by doing X,” and you engage them in the process and they may say, “Well, I’d be willing to try that,” or “I’m really not willing to try that. Give me something different.”

And so, you have to meet people where they’re at. We can’t make people heal. They have to heal themselves. And so, it’s really important that the patient be a partner in that healing, and be involved in the process. And it isn’t just this paternalistic system of “I’m going to tell you what to do. I know what’s right. You go do it.”

Erin Brinker: Right. Because we all know that doesn’t work, just telling people “Do it this way,” because if that were true, if it did work, we would have no Type II diabetics in the country.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: We’d have no smokers.

Erin Brinker: Right, right.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: We’d have no alcoholics.

Todd Brinker: “Just stop.” Sure.

Erin Brinker: Sure. That’ll happen.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Stop, yes. Just stop.

You bring up a really important point, and I talked earlier about the mental emotional component, and there is so much there that is mental, emotional. If you’re not dealing with that … Yesterday, we had a webinar on food as medicine, and we had almost 900 people sign up for it. And it was really fascinating to see how many people are really, truly interested in understanding that connection between what we eat and how we feel. Next month, we’re going to have a webinar on regenerative medicine and pain, natural approaches to pain.

But ultimately, I think people are really interested in knowing how they can take part in their healthcare, and take responsibility, and understand that that relationship. But when you get to the root cause, sometimes you’re going to uncover trauma. Sometimes you’re going to uncover deep-seated depression and anxiety and things that require work. And NDs are capable of doing that work or referring to folks who can do that work if it’s out of their scope.

But I think that that is so important in recognizing that we’re whole people. The head isn’t disconnected from the body. I know our system is very segmented. We’ve got, you know, dermatologists and gastroenterologists and neurologists, and it’s all important to have people who have very hyper-focused on an area, but we can’t forget the whole person in doing so. I think that’s where naturopathic medicine excels.

Erin Brinker: Indeed. So how do people get more information about the Association for Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, and more about you?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh, sure. Well, we are on the internet, all over Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and on the web at AANMC.org. And next week, we’ll be at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Annual Conference talking to folks about residencies. And how to become a residency sponsor or be a resident yourself. And so we’re all over the place, and we’re excited to be promoting this wonderful field of naturopathic medicine.

Thank you both for having me on.

Erin Brinker: Thank you.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: And, Todd, welcome to the show.

Erin Brinker: Well, it is always, always a treat to have you with us, and we look forward to next month.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: You Bet. Thanks so much folks.

Erin Brinker: Thank you.

Todd Brinker: Nice talking. Bye-bye.

Erin Brinker: So, with that, it’s time for a break. I’m Erin Brinker …

Todd Brinker: … and I’m Todd Brinker …

Erin Brinker: … And we are On the Brink, the morning show on KCAA. We’ll be right back.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Food as Medicine

Food as Medicine

Want to learn how to find health and healing in your kitchen? Join the AANMC and Dr. Aaron Wong for a free informative webinar to learn how your food choices can nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Good nutrition is core to overall health and fundamental to the naturopathic approach to wellness and disease management.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Food as Medicine

Want to learn how to find health and healing in your kitchen? Join the AANMC and Dr. Aaron Wong for a free informative webinar to learn how your food choices can nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Good nutrition is core to overall health and fundamental to the naturopathic approach to wellness and disease management.

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

Register Now!

*The information you submit in this registration will be used to inform you of updates to this event and will enroll you in the AANMC newsletter. The AANMC values your privacy. Please see how we protect your data in our privacy policy .

To view the archive of past webinar recordings, please click here.


About the Presenter

Aaron Wong, ND is a big proponent of food as medicine and growing your own food. He has been doing public talks on the importance of food and its impact on health from a mind, body, spirit perspective for many years. He is an avid gardener and an enthusiast of local plant medicine. After completing his degree in chemical and biological engineering at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Wong suffered a debilitating back injury that completely changed the course of his life. Through years of recovery and trying numerous conventional and alternative treatments, Dr. Wong found healing within mind, body and spirit medicine. Dr. Wong is a graduate of the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM) and has additional training in acupuncture, IV therapy and chelation. He is also a Registered Therapeutic Counselor. Dr. Wong is the clinical director at Butterfly Naturopathic in North Vancouver and is an experienced Clinic Faculty Supervisor at BINM supervising third and fourth-year clinicians.

Register Now!

*The information you submit in this registration will be used to inform you of updates to this event and will enroll you in the AANMC newsletter. The AANMC values your privacy. Please see how we protect your data in our privacy policy .

Dr. Aaron Wong – BINM

“I believe that life is a journey and health challenges give us the opportunity to grow as human beings.  My enduring purpose as a physician is to be an active facilitator in the lives of my patients, teaching them that healthy choices come from remembering our innate worthiness.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Aaron Wong, ND, RTC, BASc started his path to naturopathic medicine with an undergraduate degree in chemical and biological engineering. He spent the early years of his career working in mining, oil and gas, while also operating his own biofeedback practice. After suffering a debilitating back injury that resulted in years of recovery, and experimentation with numerous conventional and alternative treatments, Dr. Wong found healing in naturopathic medicine. Experiencing the power of holistic medicine was the driving force in his career change to naturopathic medicine.

BINM as a springboard

Dr. Wong pursued his calling at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM) in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. The strong curriculum, small class sizes, close-knit community, and one on one instructor interaction was important to him. Further, the integration of basic sciences and exposure to multiple approaches to care were paramount to his education. Dr. Wong graduated with confidence from a wide variety of patient care experiences.

On a personal level, the rigorous curriculum and a challenge of balancing naturopathic medical school and daily life taught him perseverance, and helped define what he wanted in his career.

Immediately following graduation, Dr. Wong launched his own practice, began teaching courses in holistic nutrition, and continued his education by completing certifications in teaching, chelation, oxidative therapies, and prolotherapy.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

“I love that there is always so much to learn, and so many different directions that you can go with patient care. Naturopathic doctors fill needs in so many areas where mainstream medical or other modalities aren’t able to.” NDs offer hope to patients who think they are out of options.

“I believe that life is a journey and health challenges give us the opportunity to grow as human beings. My enduring purpose as a physician is to be an active facilitator in the lives of my patients, teaching them that healthy choices come from remembering our innate worthiness.”

Dr. Wong is the clinical director at Butterfly Naturopathic in North Vancouver where he works three days a week. The other two days are spent supervising third- and fourth-year clinicians at BINM.

“I believe that to teach is to learn, so I give back to the naturopathic profession as part of the clinic faculty.”

On the weekends, Dr. Wong reconnects with nature by spending time in his garden. He also enjoys walking through the forest with his dogs – especially during the summer months for cold hydrotherapy.

Food as Medicine

With fond memories of picking fresh produce from his grandmother’s garden, Dr. Wong is a big proponent of growing your own food as a means to healthy living and giving back to the earth. There is a great sense of accomplishment and pride in knowing that the food you grow is fresh, organic, and sustainable.

While working in Nicaragua with Naturopathic Doctors International, Dr. Wong saw firsthand the power of food as medicine. With limited income and resources, food was often the only medicine for some especially when supplements and further treatments were not affordable.

Dr. Wong shares his knowledge on food as medicine at local venues.

CLICK HERE to watch Dr. Wong’s AANMC webinar – Food as Medicine.

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Wong offers the following advice for prospective students: “Be open minded and willing to see different perspectives. Be humble. Be inquisitive and curious. Be prepared to work on yourself. Be prepared to lead by example.”

To learn more about naturopathic medical education, click here.

Learn more about Dr. Wong

www.butterflynaturopathic.com

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!