Why Don’t Doctors Know About NaPro?

I feel healthier already!

Picking up from last Friday’s post, some well-meaning people have asked, “if NaPro is so good, why don’t most doctors know about it?”

Here’s a few possibilities and some thoughts on American medicine in particular:

1. Little phamaceutical money in NaPro (it’s not just, “take this (patented) pill and get better”)
2. NaPro requires self-control and patience (Americans generally weak in these areas)

Regarding #2, consider what happens when a couple wants to get pregnant but can’t. Most doctors aren’t trained to figure out the root of the problem. Much less one that requires months and months of daily charting of the woman’s cycle. The couple wants to get pregnant, and when we Americans want something, we get it, and we get it right now.

Hence couples, even Christian ones who know no better, use various means of trying to conceive like IVF. These cost a ton of money and are immoral for several reasons. The important thing is that they get a baby, of their own genes, as soon as possible. But whatever the underlying fertility issue is with the husband or wife or both, it is not discovered and rooted out.

My Own Experience

I am the son of a doctor and have great respect for both the extensive schooling and abilities of modern medicine. We take antibiotics when we need to, use various meds to help cold and flu symptoms, and even *gasp* get immunizations.

But ten years ago my hands started hurting: numbness, tingling, ultra-sensitivity and pain. So I naturally went to the hand doctor. He gave me various things to try, none worked. He was flummoxed, didn’t know what it was even after many visits. I took to wearing gloves because my hands were hurting so much, even holding the steering wheel to drive my car.

The pain also started going up into my wrists and arms. I saw more doctors. They tried this and that: take these pills, maybe stretch a little or do some weights. Physical therapy. It didn’t work.

The pain went up into my neck. By this time I had done some learning on my own and guessed that the root of the problem was the nerves going out of my neck, through the thoracic outlet, into my arms. I went to the spine doctors, and over the years had two MRIs done on my neck. The doc thought it was probably muscular. He said he didn’t treat “that kind” of back problem, only structural ones like slipped discs. He gave me a prescription for muscle relaxers and sent me packing.

Eventually I sucked it up and even tried the chiropractor. With one of my parents a doctor, I had been given a skeptical view of chiropractors. He was confident that he could make it better. But his therapies didn’t help any.

Over the years I’ve learned to deal with the pain and manage it. That’s the reality. I stretch, take breaks at work from the computer, am careful with how I move and bend and lift things. Sometimes I take some anti-inflammatories if I over-do things. I use tiger balm on my neck (Indian version of icy hot). I stretch a lot.

All the doctors I saw had one narrow area of expertise. Once my problem seemed systemic and not just in their specialty, they passed me off to someone else. None of them said “I’m going to work with you to find out what is going wrong and help discover the treatments and doctors that can help.”

It’s Complicated

A woman’s body is complicated. When you use fertility awareness (or even if you pay attention in seventh grade biology), you realize how much more complicated the woman is than the man (double entendre intended). It’s something of an insult that one drug, the Pill, is prescribed as the miracle “cure” for whatever problems a woman is having. And when a woman wants to conceive, if she has fertility problems, most doctors’ expertise is quite limited in how to diagnose what the problems are and how to solve them.

In truth, she might need to see an NaPro OB/GYN for medicine and surgery, an endocrinologist, a nutritionist, and other doctors and therapists. That’s not one narrow area that Western doctors excel at; it is inter-disciplinary and crosses many boundaries.

I’m not against doctors. They do great work. My wife would not be alive today if not for modern medicine and doctors. Some of them do know how to look comprehensively at helping a person. But many more just have tunnel vision and if the problem doesn’t present itself as within their area, they throw the problem over the wall to the next guy.

Fertility problems are pervasive. So many women suffer from them, at times it seems more struggle with infertility than have normal (high) fertility. While I think the nutrition in our country over the past forty years is in large part to blame, it’s also the case that women’s bodies are complex and a lot can go haywire in them. It’s a miracle that babies are conceived at all and live in the mother’s womb. Amazing. God made the woman’s body good and self-healing. Doctors should seek to work with the woman’s body to help it heal itself and get to functioning normally. NaPro does that.

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14 thoughts on “Why Don’t Doctors Know About NaPro?”

  1. Devin,

    You highlight something that I tend to call the “cult of the expert”. We give deference to those with specialties. I admit, it makes sense to a degree. However, our culture has done this so much that we have almost abandoned a holistic approach to healing. My wife and I have a similar experience in seeking healing for a couple of issues for several years now. We have exhausted the traditional approach twice over, and have come up empty. We’ve since moved on to a more holistic approach. It seems to be working, but it comes with great expense (but that’s a topic for another conversation). NaPro and NFP in general fit within this paradigm.

    Incidentally, have you tried Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine for your hand pain? In one sense, it can be like chiropractic, but I believe it goes deeper. We know that a chiropractor typically realigns your vertebrae, but they don’t seem to address the muscles pulling them out of alignment. Anyway, my D.O. uses this approach to address my lower lumbar issues and has basically made sciatica a thing of the past. Plus, they look at all parts of the body instead of just the spine.

    1. Big Tex,

      I haven’t tried that but will consider it. I know people who have been helped tremendously by chiropractors, so I don’t mean to diss them en masse. Some issues can definitely be solved with it, but like you said, if there are muscular issues going on pulling on the vertebrae then those need addressing too.

      Yeah the expert specialization is good and bad. Obviously there are big benefits to it, but the drawbacks are faced when you try to get something done or figured out that doesn’t fit just one expert’s area. Thanks man!

  2. I appreciate you bringing up the benefits of NaPro. I am hoping that it will catch on -not just for Christians who are looking for a method of family planning that respects the sacredness of our fertility(life) but also for those seeking a natural and holistic approach. What I like best about seeing a NaPro ObGYN is that for the first time, I was looked at as an individual, with a unique body. If not for the surgery that my OBgyn was trained in(micro-surgery that most OB’s are not taught anymore) I would very likely have no hope for a baby being born full term if at all. For me and many others I see NaPro as a life-giving, life-saving approach that truly respects and liberates the modern woman’s body with the involvement of her husband.

  3. Hi Devin,

    You’re very right about the American medical system. There are some really good things, amazing really, that modern medicine can do. But there are some major oversights and flaws as well.

    I am a massage therapist and treat muscles. Oddly enough there is no such thing as a muscle doctor and given their pervasiveness in the body you’d think such a specialty would be obvious. But no. It’s left to massage therapy to cover that gap. And it’s rather sporadic coverage.

    You’re absolutely right that chiropractors don’t address the muscular side of skeletal alignment hence the more and more common pairing of chiropractic care and massage therapy. The most helpful source of muscles and alignment I’ve found is alignedandwell.com. The program was developed by a biomechanist who is studying which movements are necessary for optimal health. Fascinating info. If you search her blog, KatySays, you may be able to find something to help your condition.

    Good luck!

  4. Excellent post! I have often wondered why doctors don’t know about NaPro. I view it as a precious expertise – if anything happened to my doctor, I would have to drive hours to see another doctor with expertise in NaPro, or be forced to see doctors who don’t know about it… heaven help us, I’m not even trying to get pregnant (yet), just trying to clear up some health problems.

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  6. I’m sorry to hear about your pain issue! You didn’t mention if you saw a neurologist or not, but the distal to proximal progression suggests a peripheral neuropathy to me. I’m not sure where you’re located, but you may want to check out the center at the University of Chicago: http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu. The website has useful information on PN, too.

    Thanks for spreading the word about NaPro!

    1. Thanks for this information. I saw two neurologists over the years: both did nerve conduction tests on my arms, but they said the results did not show any problems.

      I will keep what you said in mind about peripheral neuropathy!

      1. That suggests that, if it’s PN, it’s an axonal problem that doesn’t involve axon loss. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the causes of PN. I will pray you find relief from your symptoms!

        And I just thought of something else I should mention with respect to NaPro. A former IVF doctor who has embraced his Catholic faith and is now trying to set up a fertility center in line with Catholic teaching here in Chicago mentioned in a talk he gave recently that one reason you don’t see doctors actually diagnosing fertility problems is because the insurance doesn’t cover it. It covers doing a few routine tests (hormone levels, hysterosalpingogram), then trying a couple of fertility drugs, and then jumping to IVF. The reasoning comes down to what’s most economical and efficient. I don’t remember all the details, but I could put you in contact with him if you’d like to learn more.

        1. Thanks a ton!

          That makes sense. I recall having to do some lobbying to see if my insurance would cover a full hormone profile at the Pope Paul VI Institute…I have good insurance and some others at my work had already broken ground there, so it did cover it. But most insurers aren’t familiar with this so it is not covered by default.

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