There is a place for conventional medicine. Mostly for acute conditions that require drugs or suppressive therapies. There are life saving techniques that can be extremely valuable. Right now however, there is an even bigger place for Natural Medicine.
I get out of bed most days because I have a burning desire to make a difference in medicine.
When I’m in a doctor’s office. I don’t get any special treatment. I’m a patient just like you. My family and I get offered the same drug and surgery options as everyone else. Man, is it frustrating!
The most striking things I see are the superficiality of conventional medicine in addressing chronic disease and the lack of desire to discover the underlying cause of a concern.
Conventional medicine draws lines in the sand. Either you are sick or you are well. But there is a place between sick and well. I call this the gray area. Conventional Medicine wants to know, “Is she sick? Well, no not quite, but she’s getting close. Hum, we’ll just wait for the disease to develop and then we will attack it using drug therapy.”
What happened to prevention? Contrary to mainstream thought there is no prevention in conventional medicine. A good example are mammograms. Mammograms screen for cancer. Mammograms do not assess the health of your breast tissue or show you how to take better care of your breasts.
This is just one example of the glaring inadequacies of the current medical model.
If something doesn’t feel right to you or your gut is telling you something, listen to it. Go for a second and third opinion. In the past, the definition of a second opinion was seeking out a different doctor who was also a specialist in that particular field of conventional medicine. These days a second opinion often comes from an alternative practitioner. A second opinion in this regard sheds a different light on your concern and offers an alternative way of addressing it. Often this is a refreshing, health promoting twist to an otherwise unsatisfying issue.
Between the ages of 15-16 years old I started to question authority. This happened in many areas of my life but especially around medicine and doctors. I didn’t know about Naturopathic Medicine so I went to conventional medical doctors looking for answers. I went to the dermatologist for my acne, and the gynecologist for my periods, and was told I would outgrow my childhood ear infections by the ear nose and throat doctor. Mostly I was given a lot of prescription medications. With each visit, I felt more hopeless. Was there really nothing I could do to help my body.
I was frustrated that the treatments were focused on treating symptoms, and that didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to get better without relying on medications. I wanted to know what was actually wrong.
So right around age 15 I got fed up with empty promises. I decided I wouldn’t put things in my body that I intuitively knew weren’t right for me. I started out as a young woman with many health challenges that I now realize were related to Poly-Cystic-Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I did my best to balance my body with the information I had. I turned to books on natural medicine and herbs for an alternative approach.
I didn’t buy into taking birth control medications to control acne, or to treat PCOS. I no longer believed that I would one day outgrow my childhood ear infections. (I was 21 years old for pete’s sake.)
I questioned why invasive procedures like a leep or cryotherapy would be used to treat abnormal pap smears. I couldn’t figure out why taking suppressive medications and synthetic hormones to “control” hormonal imbalances were a good idea.
Young women between the ages of 15-25 years need support to help them learn how to live healthfully in their bodies.
I was excited by the thought that I could take back control of my health and my body. I didn’t want to give my power away to a doctor who barely knew me. I wanted to figure it out and solve it naturally.
In my quest to find health answers I discovered Naturopathic Medicine. I was taking an in depth herbal medicine class at the time and the teacher mentioned Naturopathic Medicine. What? Wait, a Naturo-what-doctor? You mean there really is a profession like that? Ding, Ding, Ding, the alarm bells started ringing in my head.
I was working in Public Health at the time as an industrial hygienist. It was okay and I was learning a lot but it definitely wasn’t my calling. I was looking for more. I didn’t know exactly what it was but it had to be something that tied together health and environment.
That’s when everything clicked for me. In my gut I knew this was going to help my health. I plunged headlong into learning everything I could about Naturopathic Medicine. Luckily my undergraduate degree included most of the pre-med requirements that I would need. I signed up for the additional classes I was missing in order apply to medical school.
I quickly realized that I was on the cutting edge of a new system of medicine. Most of the people I came into contact with had no idea what naturopathic medicine was. In 1999 I moved to the Southwest to attend medical school. I quit my job, sold my car, packed up everything I had and re-located to Arizona. At that time the only naturopathic medical schools were located on the West Coast. For decades it was difficult to find any alternative doctors on the East Coast. Most people had no idea that there were alternatives to conventional medicine. When I graduated from medical school I started my practice in Orange County, California. In the early years I focused on teaching and education. I knew there wasn’t enough knowledge about natural medicine and women didn’t realize how essential it could be for their health and well-being. There weren’t enough doctors or patients to spread the word. There was a huge need for doctors on the inside to stir things up, ask questions and make changes to the medical standards of care.
I became a Naturopathic Doctor to change medicine. As a result of changing medicine the obvious benefit is that lives change, mine included. My health mess and my desire to improve it is what has pivoted my life into my greatest passion… sharing what I know about health and healing.
The changes happen one woman at a time. As more women turn to natural medicine and believe in the cause we gain in numbers. The change comes from the ground up as more women demand better quality health care for themselves and their families.
With greater numbers, we vote with our forks, our opinions and our wallets. Overtime our one unified voice is heard and together we change the way medicine is viewed in the western world. It all starts with one woman using natural medicine to reclaim her health and her life.
My dream is to live in a world where natural medicine is not used as the last resort but the first resort. I used to joke around in medical school that I had a dream that every gas station around the country would be serving green-juice one day.
I often hear, “Dr. Purcell you are my last resort, I have no-where else to turn.” Although I am really glad you’re finally here I don’t want to be the last resort. All that suffering, countless doctor visits and wasted time. It shouldn’t take ten years for you to get answers. This is your one great precious life!
For me it has always been about women.
Women’s health is complicated. Women go through many shifts during the course of their lives. (Menstruation, Pregnancy, Lactation, Motherhood, Excess Stress, Menopause).These shifts can dramatically affect health. Natural Medicine has the ability to support you through these changes, alleviate symptoms, and reverse the beginnings of disease.
I have been on both sides and I have compared the care from all angles. The answers you seek reside within natural medicine. Natural medicine should be used as the first line therapy for all women’s health concerns.
The days are long but the years are short. You don’t have one or two decades to wait for answers. You need them now. Life is now. Enjoy this one great precious life and ride it out full throttle. I’m here for you, I want you to be as happy and healthy as you want to be. Often women are the change for themselves, their families and for medicine.
Every day I challenge the medical status quo because I have a dream about changing medicine.
I believe that your body and mine has an ability to heal. I believe that diseases can be reversed. I believe in supporting the body so it can heal itself.
This is a completely differently approach to the current medical model.
I care about you and your challenges.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to be in the driver’s seat with your health, then Natural Medicine is for you.
This is so much bigger than you might think. It’s about you and so many more. It’s about you protecting yourself, your family, your loved ones and your friends with life-saving information.
Natural medicine treats the cause, focuses on prevention, reverses disease, and teaches you how to take care of yourself and the people you love with diet, lifestyle, exercise and supplements. It’s a win-win, naturally, the way nature intended.