Summer in the Pacific Northwest is downright gorgeous — warm but not sweltering, sunny but not humid, with oceans, mountains and urban adventures always nearby. Bastyr students make the most of their summers — and they were kind enough to share some photos.
Several dozen naturopathic medicine students camped in the Cascade foothills to reconnect with the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae) on the annual Restore the Vis revival. Students talked with veteran naturopathic doctors, studied herbs, reflected, played music, prepared delicious healthy food and made new friends.
"It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routines of going to class, rushing to clinic, studying for tests (sometimes cramming), and constantly thinking two steps ahead of yourself," says photographer and naturopathic medicine student Aron Choi. "Revival gave us a chance to slow down. Being surrounded by amazing individuals who each feel a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of others and who believe in the heart and the spirit of the medicine was medicine in itself. I fell in love with the medicine all over again. It was truly a revival of the spirit that makes naturopathy so special."
Twelve volunteer nutrition students prepared health snacks for the truly awesome Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, a place for young musicians to rock out and celebrate their talents. Last year student Sally TerBeck noticed the camp was serving un-rockin' junk food. So she made a plan.
"We came up with the menus and then fed breakfast, lunch and snacks to 65 volunteers and campers for two weeks," she says. "The budget was tight and we had no kitchen! But we did it. We blanched edamame at home. We toasted pounds and pounds of sunflower seeds to make batches of sun-butter. We accommodated gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian volunteers and campers. We had volunteers asking us for recipes. It was great."
Naturopathic medicine student David Sullivan took notice when his professors said to find balance between study and play. So he hopped a quick ferry to Whidbey Island and spent some quality beach time with his histology and biochemistry textbooks: "The balance-seeking has gone very well — so well that I gave up studying when it's beautiful outside."
Midwifery student Maren Fuller completed her first Olympic-length triathlon in Bend, Oregon, the site of her preceptorship. She reports: "I was cheered on by my husband, Paul, my dog, Stymie, and lots of friends and family from afar. Riding the road to Mt. Bachelor was breathtaking (literally!), trail-running next to the river was perfectly cool and scenic, and the day's challenge... epic. Physically, it was the most exhilarating, intense, difficult and empowering thing I've ever done. I can't wait to find another one!"
Recent naturopathic medicine graduate Laura Perkowski celebrated graduation by heading to beautiful San Juan Island, where she spotted one of Puget Sound's resident orcas. "There were at least five orca pods making their way down the Haro Strait," she says. "Other fun activities on the island include visiting Pelindaba Lavender farm, wine tasting at San Juan Vineyards and having a picnic lunch by the Cattle Point Lighthouse."
Naturopathic medicine student Diana Duncan climbed up to the clouds in Olympic National Park. The park's primeval rainforests get deluged with rain, but the rain shadow east of the mountains receives plenty of sun, as Duncan found at Marmot Pass.
OK, it's not sunny everywhere. As a reward for graduating from Bastyr's Master of Science in Nutrition program, Sherman Sherman treated herself to a four-day backpacking trip. She headed for the Enchantments, a series of aqua lakes that are one of the most remote and sought-after destinations in the Cascade Mountain Range. "We saw it all: Mountain goat families, snow, rocks, hail, sun, wind, lightning, thunder, clouds, sun, fog, sunsets, moon rises, crystal clear glacial lakes and other indescribable magic," she says.
Check out last year's summer postcards too!
Dr. Brendan Smith, ND, discusses the more holistic approach to diabetes and cardiovascular care that the Bastyr Clinic for Natural Health offers patients.