Before Kathleen Chambers had kids, she often thought about becoming a midwife, helping mothers to bring their babies into the world in a healthy and natural way.
After having kids, however, Chambers said waking up at 4 a.m. to help deliver babies didn’t sound as appealing, so she devoted herself to the next best thing — becoming a nurse.
Today, Chambers is a nurse practitioner, which means she can write prescriptions for medications, treat illnesses, perform physicals and more. “We do pretty much everything a general practitioner doctor used to do before medicine became so specialized,” Chambers explains.
As a mom who raised five kids — her oldest was born in 1979 and her youngest was born in 1993 — Chambers made sure her children lived a healthy lifestyle.
Although Chambers has a traditional nursing degree, she treats her patients in the manner which is most comfortable to them—whether traditional, or integrative. This is precisely why she felt she was a perfect fit to join the Center of Holistic Medicine, where she will specialize in treating children and families.
“You have to fix the whole thing, you can’t fix just one body part,” Chambers explains. “Nowadays so much of it is our diet. People have to be very careful with their diets or they’re just going to be sick all the time.”
Natural Ways to Treat Mental Health
Chambers is especially passionate about approaching the treatment of children with autism, ADHD and other mental health disorders in an integrative way.
Chambers says children with autism and ADHD often have problems with their gut and immune system, as well as food allergies and mineral imbalances that cause inflammation, and she says many of these children’s symptoms can be improved with the right supplements and proper diet.
For example, if children have anxiety, Chambers sometimes recommends starting out with natural treatments first, such as supplements like magnesium or gaba, which can both have a calming effect on the brain.
Other Natural Health Remedies for Parents
Of course, Chambers will be treating children and adults who have all kinds of illnesses, not just mental health issues. She will be doing physicals for kids for sports, school and camp, as well as treating kids and adults who have colds, the flu, earaches, and myriad of other illnesses.
But, if you’d like to avoid getting sick in the first place, here are a few tips from Chambers on how parents can help keep their kids healthy:
- Eat Organic
Chamber encourages everyone to eat as much organic food as possible. “I try to do the clean 15 and avoid the dirty dozen,” she says, referring to the list of non-organic fruits and vegetables with the most and least amount of pesticides. “If people can grow their own food, that is the best,” she says.
- Got the Flu? Take Vitamin C
This winter, Chambers has been seeing lots of children coming in who are suffering from the flu. She says upping your vitamin C intake while you have the flu can often reduce the number of days that you’re sick, but you should talk to her or another doctor about the proper dose.
- Take Vitamin D Every Day
Chambers says taking vitamin D supplements daily can reduce our risk of upper respiratory infections by as much as 40 percent. She recommends children take 2,000 IUs of vitamin D a day and adults take 5,000 IUs.