SHIFTCON KEYNOTE: MegaFood Presents Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.
One Friday, December 2nd, MegaFood is sponsoring our lunch and bringing Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., a physician of Integrative Medicine who focuses on dietary supplements and women’s health. Expect some goodies from MegaFood and a delicious NonGMO lunch.
WHEN: Friday, December 2nd
TIME: 12:30pm CST
Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.’s exploration of natural medicine began more than 35 years ago as she studied midwifery, herbal medicine; massage therapy and martial arts before earning her medical degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements and women’s health, Dr. Low Dog was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, served as the elected Chair of the US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements and Botanicals Expert Information Panel, and was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. She has been an invited speaker to more than 550 scientific/medical conferences, published 40 peer-reviewed articles, written 22 chapters for medical textbooks, and has authored five books, including three National Geographic books, Fortify Your Life, Healthy at Home and Life is Your Best Medicine. She has appeared on CNN, ABC’s 20/20, and is a frequent guest on the Dr. Oz show and NPR’s The People’s Pharmacy. She currently serves as the Fellowship Director for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.
The Journey from Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.
My journey into health and wellness began a long time ago. It actually started in a pickup truck, in Southwestern Kansas, with my grandmother, Jo. She looked over and said, “You know baby, when we’re born, we’re all set upon a medicine road. Everything that you do in your life matters; from the food that you eat, to the thoughts that you think, to the way you treat other people…. All of these things impact your health, and they impact the world around you.”
She planted that seed in me at such a young age, and it was this philosophy that led me to seek out and experience different ways of caring for people. I studied herbal medicine; I had a passion for the plants. I went to massage school; I wanted to learn how to use my hands to relieve suffering. I studied to be a midwife; I was fascinated by the mystery of birth. I went deep into martial arts and learned that Eastern philosophy really resonated with me. Only later did I enter medical school, where I completed my degree as a medical doctor, laying the foundation for my work in Integrative Health and Medicine as an Integrative Physician. That winding journey has offered me a unique perspective on the landscape of what makes us healthy and whole. I think of myself as a bridge: A bridge between the woman growing peppermint in her garden, and the researcher isolating menthol in a lab.
Reflecting upon my own formalized medical training, it’s easy for me to see why physicians often overlook nutrition and nutritional supplementation. In my four years of medical school (where I learned from incredible teachers) we spent only three to five hours on nutrition, and virtually none on nutritional supplements.
Contradictory information about nutrition is everywhere. One day you’ll hear that a daily multivitamin supplement “doesn’t do anything,” or “isn’t necessary if you’re eating well,” and the next you’ll hear staggering statistics about Americans’ widespread nutrient deficiencies in Vitamins D and B6. There’s a common thought that Americans get everything they need in their diet- you might even believe this yourself. After seeing the science, I do not.
Modern agricultural advances have allowed today’s farmers to breed larger plants that grow at faster speeds and can withstand long-distance travel, but not without the expense of nutrient depletion. Now, if you and I don’t get all the nutrients we need, our bodies cannot operate at optimal levels. We need that basic nutritional foundation to function, nevermind to reach our full potential! At a time where our cells need more protection than ever from the damaging effects of environmental pollutants, this decline in nutrients found in common food crops leaves us lacking in key nutrients, deprived of feeling our best, and vulnerable to chronic disease. It’s scary stuff when you stop to think about it.
When it comes to nutrition, and the nutrients essential to one’s well being, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. The age we live in allows us unlimited access to nutritional supplement information, but the question is, do you know what to do with that information? Or do you just feel overwhelmed?
My biggest motivation for writing my fifth, most recent book, Fortify Your Life, was that I wanted to help the everyday person take charge of her health. I teach the basics about foundational supplements as they relate to the different stages of our lives, and the condition-specific health issue we may encounter along the way. My hope is that this book will act as a resource, empowering my readers to design a personalized supplement plan based on genetics, age, gender, and lifestyle. Through simple guidelines for reading and understanding labels, Fortify Your Life is designed to help you make better choices not only regarding what to take, but which brands to trust. (And when it comes to knowing which brands are trustable, that is clearly a passion point for us all!)
The wisdom that my grandmother shared with me about life, about sustainability, about earth-consciousness, and about an integrative, holistic, broader way of thinking about health, was one of the most powerful messages I’ve ever received. She infuses everything that I do, and everything that I am. I look forward to further extending her message at ShiftCon in December.