A Comprehensive Course for Practitioners and Families Living with Diabetes
Diabetes Research and Education
The Diabetes project is a collaborative effort between the Center for Traditional Medicine and the Center for World Indigenous Studies designed to further research and education and deliver state-of-the-art care utilizing an integrative, natural medicine approach to health and healing. Native and non-native people alike benefit from our approaches and implement these principles.
The Center for Traditional Medicine carries out community determined research, clinical training, education and healing, and policy studies that are culturally congruent to local indigenous communities.
We consult to individuals, families and tribal health programs who wish to integrate these methods and train their practitioners.
We provide comprehensive treatment at the clinic, research, educational training programs for health practitioners, educators administrators and for families and patients with diabetes type 2.
We emphasize culinary pedagogy in which the identification, gathering, preparation and sharing of nutrient dense authentic foods and their appropriate substitutes is the foundation for discussions about food access and security, health politics, history, traditional medicine, nutrition, ethnobotany, complementary medicine and community change.
Our clinical work involves individual-specific program design that at the early stages can reverse the effects and at the mid stages can halt the progression of the disease. Because treatment can be time consuming and the cost of nutrients expensive we raise funds from private donors, education and tribal health services to support necessary purchases of nutrients through our Nutrients for Natives program. Our success here enables us to provide some pro bono and low cost treatment to Northwest Indians.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder emblematic of the physical social, psychological and spiritual disruption of the "metabolism" of daily life among many native peoples. Our work explicates a community-determined model of healing and education. This approach integrates local indigenous knowledge and use of traditional medicine, with complementary healing methods and activities, for individuals and communities.
An analysis of Nutrition Trauma, a subset of cultural trauma provides the foundation for understanding how and why indigenous peoples are at risk and over-represented with diabetic conditions. The multi factorial issues that impact diabetes as a bio-cultural disease are evaluated and policies defined at the tribal health and cultural foundation levels. Communities\' connection to the earth as the source of physical nourishment is inversely related to the degree of diabetes in the community. Orthodox allopathic medicine and public health initiatives in the western hemisphere have failed to successfully address prevention and treatment for multiple reasons. Relocation policies that began in the 19th century and continue to transmute under new names are the social policies that mandate diabetes.
We conduct metabolic typing, an essential aspect for the design of specific food and nutritional programs for individuals and communities. We adhere to the philosophy and science of ancestral nutrition, recognizing that Indigenous peoples worldwide developed nourishing food ways evolving from the land and nature and that prior to the introduction of refined foods (and the loss of authentic food ways) diabetes type 2 was virtually non existent. There exists a science and art, rooted in indigenous knowledge systems, that provide the answers for whole health.
Our clinical care and research and education projects provide a clinical rationale for:
- integrating nutraceuticals with traditional plants and foods
- applying specialized traditional massage and energy medicine techniques to reduce stress and improve neuropathic pain, blood and lymphatic circulation for treatment
- detoxification methods
- intergenerational exchange in metabolizing community healing and self determination
The Center for Traditional Medicine is an active contributor to policy development in the field of alternative and complementary medicine and its intersection with traditional healing arts and sciences. The Center responds to requests for recommendations from the US National Institutes of Health as well as First nation and tribal communities who are changing policies to serve the needs of their people.
Read our Diabetes protocol recommendations.