Newtown VNA Heart Month Talk Focuses On Natural Alternatives
The Newtown VNA held its February meeting for Heart Month February 5, welcoming Dr Kenneth Hoffman, DACM, LAc, CCH, medical director for SOPHIA Natural Health Center in Brookfield, who delivered a crash course on how alternative and eastern medicine can help benefit cardiovascular health.
Dr Hoffman lays claim to operating one of the busiest holistic clinics on the East Coast. He is a US Army veteran; is internationally trained and certified in his specialties; co-authored a book, Essential Remedies for Women’s Health; and hosts a weekly WLAD radio show, The Natural Medicine Connection.
Watching Dr Hoffman addressing a relatively packed Council Chamber at Newtown Municipal Center was more like hearing a learned uncle chatting with friends and relatives in somebody’s living room.
His skill at delivering sometimes complex medical and wellness information appeared well-practiced, as he admitted to having taken a two-hour presentation and modifying it to fit a 15-minute window.
But at that 15-minute point, the audience seemed so engrossed with the presentation that NVNA President Anna Wiedemann let it go on nearly three times longer than planned.
“We told him he could have 15 minutes and he talked for 45,” she said. “And he was so fabulous I’ve already asked him back to do a ‘Lunch & Learn’ at the Senior Center. I don’t know when he’s coming yet, but we’re going to line him up.”
The Statin Conundrum
Ms Wiedemann said she is glad the VNA is doing more programs featuring alternate views on health and wellness for the entire town. She was particularly happy to hear that Dr Hoffman subscribed to a concept of weaning people off of statin drugs with diet and health lifestyle versus “keeping them on those drugs for life.”
“Maybe that’s not the way to go,” she said, adding someone she knows uses statins, and they have been told it is better to stay on that medication. After that, Ms Wiedemann said she suggested the person “look for a new doctor.”
“There’s got to be doctors out there whose goal is to be as free from medications as possible,” she said. “There’s something to be said for considering successful practices that have been around for centuries.
“I was fortunate to have a physician who told me he was all for me seeking alternative or holistic pain management,” the VNA officer said. “That’s a direction people need to look at instead of always running to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled.”
Ms Wiedemann said she also appreciated Dr Hoffman’s willingness to do so much community outreach.
“He’s got an upcoming lecture on getting enough sleep that I’m going to hear,” she said.
Sitting for a few minutes of debrief time following his Newtown VNA talk, Dr Hoffman remained energized, even recounting points that he had just covered as a means of reinforcing some of the most important points he tries to convey.
Among them is how many heart attack victims are never diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases. He also sounds a warning call over stats that show half of Americans will be pre-diabetic in the next 10 years unless something is done to improve public health overall.
“Cardiovascular screenings are important,” Dr Hoffman said. “However, they’re not [providing comprehensive] early detection. So anything we do as far as tests are not enough. We still have half the population dying from heart attacks with no warning.”
Regarding impact to the heart from diabetes, Dr Hoffman said it is the inflammation that does significant long-term damage to the heart muscle.
“In my clinic, when we’re talking about cardiovascular disease, we’re not just talking about the heart. We’re talking about blood vessels; we’re talking the entire cardiovascular system from beginning to end,” he said. “Whether it’s the electrical system or the plumbing, it’s the inflammation that [is a primary cause of] damage to the body.”
Eating Habits To Blame?
A lot of the damage being caused, Dr Hoffman said, goes back to the American diet.
“According to Harvard Medicine, you should have between nine and 15 servings of fruits and/or vegetables every day,” Dr Hoffman said. “And it should lean more toward vegetables. But today, Americans have one to one-and-a-half, and that vegetable is French fries.”
In preventative medicine, Dr Hoffman looks at how a diet that is heavy on vegetables will “alkalize and decrease inflammation and blood sugars.”
“You can get rid of Type 2 diabetes, so why don’t we?”
Dr Hoffman also introduced his NVNA audience to the three principles of eastern medicine he follows.
“They guide how we treat every patient. That’s what I saw in China working in their modern hospitals,” he said. “Number one is the body can heal itself — it can self modulate. Number two, if the body can’t correct itself, there’s something blocking that — a deficiency of something, an excess of something, an old damage — that has to be determined. And the third is, if you remove that blockage, the body will heal itself at any age.”
He said the more advanced society gets, the more it tends to over complicate things. But Dr Hoffman says he really wants to help people come at wellness simply, so it is easier for them to follow and maintain for the rest of their hopefully extended lifespans
“Let’s get you what nature designed you to handle,” he said, “then get your body to manage itself properly.”
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