It wasn’t a slam dunk that college student Jade Robins would study to be a naturopathic doctor; she was leaning toward conventional medicine. Graduating from Northern Arizona University with a degree in biology, she was definitely interested in pre-med at that time and took the MCAT, the medical school entrance exam.
“I was working as a medical assistant in a dermatology office for a time and realized I was much more geared toward natural options.” she remembered. “A young man came in with psoriasis head to toe and he said ‘Hey, do you think this has anything to do with all the beer I drink and my poor diet?’ At that point, I was just a little bit floored.
“I’d grown up going to naturopathic doctors. I was the sick kid with chronic ear infections. I was on round after round after antibiotics which were giving me stomach issues. So my mother took me to a naturopath and we found I was allergic to dairy. I knew first hand that food and environment make a difference in life”.
Robins made the decision to go to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Ariz .
The field of naturopathic medicine is comparable to a traditional medical degree in that it’s four years of medical school, and the first two years are almost identical to the conventional M.D. curriculum. They study all the basic sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, etc. They are also trained in pharmacology and several of the other modalities that traditional doctors use.
According to Web MD, Naturopathic medicine is a system that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself. It embraces many therapies, including herbs, massage, acupuncture, exercise, and nutritional counseling. Naturopathy was brought to the United States from Germany in the 1800s, but some of its treatments are centuries old.
“But often you’ll find that we’re trained to get people off those medications,” Robins explained, “and implementing preventive and lifestyle measures, using the pharmaceuticals when needed. In the meantime, trying to transition them off them and giving them the tools that they need through diet and nutrition, and through exercise. There’s a lot of teaching and education.There are six guiding principles in naturopathic medicine and one is dosere, which is doctor as teacher.”
The students are trained in Chinese medicine, and botanical medicine (herbs.) with a large portion of the training dedicated to nutrition.
She’d practiced in Alaska before coming back to Montrose. It was a large practice and at a weekly meeting they could present difficult cases to the four naturopathic doctors, two chiropractors,and an acupuncturist.
Eventually she chose to return to Montrose. Her grandmother was aging, and Colorado was home to Jade.
She has RND (Registered Naturopathic Doctor) behind her name. Each state has different rules. In Arizona she had full prescribing rights, which Colorado doesn’t allow. She’s allowed to order labs. The scope of practice allowed by RND’s changes from state to the next. In Alaska, patients had very good insurance coverage. In Colorado, some people will get partial coverage.
Robins often has patients who are at the end their rope. “I work with cancer a lot. I have been trained with Dr. Nasha Winters, who is one of the top naturopathic oncologists in the country. She is based out of Durango but she’s no longer working in a brick and mortar practice. She just co-wrote a book with a nutritionist Jess Higgins Kelly called “The Metabolic Approach to Cancer.” There’s an awful lot you can do for cancer naturally and through lifestyle.”
She says she has good success rates when compared to conventional modalities. “I’m a pretty middle-of-the-road person. There’s a time and a place for conventional treatments like radiation and surgery. But there’s a lot we can do to lessen the side effects. Depending from cancer to cancer, some people don’t really respond well to conventional treatments but they respond beautifully to things like the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a very high-fat, very low-carb diet in which the goal is to get your body into a state of ketosis, when it begins to burn fat because it doesn’t have carbohydrates to burn.
Part of cancer is an irregular immune system function. There’s a lot that we can do to calm the storm of immune system problems through diet and nutrition and supplementation.
“I see a lot of thyroid, as well as gastrointestinal problems. My typical patients are middle-aged women who are more inclined to go to the doctor. They have symptoms of female hormone imbalance—weight gain, hot flashes.
I’m trained in hormone replacement therapy but because I don’t have prescribing rights in the state of Colorado, I wouldn’t have the ability to prescribe them. I do have doctors I can refer them to.”
Dr. Robins’ office is in a stucco cottage next to Dominos. She has beautiful decor in shades of aqua.The colors offer a sense of optimism. As does Jade Robins.
832 E. Main, Montrose 970-275-5909