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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Wellness Clinic at Bastyr University

Apr 30, 2013 02:36PM ● By Erin Lehn Floresca

Bastyr University recently opened the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Wellness Clinic on their San Diego campus. To head up this program, Bastyr University California chose Dr. Ryan Bradley, ND, MPH, who not only started the Seattle clinic, but is also the Associate Director of the Bastyr University Research Institute.

Bradley, who just relocated from Seattle to lead this program says: “We are replicating the program I started in 2005 on the Seattle campus. The model was so successful we knew that a similar program was needed on the San Diego campus.”

Bradley’s enthusiasm for being a part of the new campus is contagious. “It’s an exciting time to be involved in everything that is happening on the Bastyr San Diego campus,” he says.

While the primary goal of the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Wellness Clinic is to promote the health of the public through education and clinical services, the program features several key elements:

1. Patient self-care: This includes individualized dietary and exercise prescriptions for each patient, translating new research on heart healthy diets and physical activity into clinical care.

2. Cutting-edge risk assessment technology: New technology combined with traditional risk assessment can help the clinic doctors better manage each patient’s health. It can also help to prevent future health issues.   

3. Stress assessment and management: Each patient’s personal stressors are considered and they are provided a plan to help reduce stress and improve their body/mind state.

4.  Serve as liaison: With a natural health focus, the clinic helps coordinate patient care between all healthcare providers.

Bradley says that one of the most rewarding aspects about the clinic is witnessing the success stories.  “When patients are able to meet their goals through the new lifestyle changes they make, their whole outlook on life changes,” he says. “Not only does their frame of mind change, but their bodies heal as well. It’s fairly routine to prevent the need for additional medication.”

Many patients have been able to stabilize their health conditions and have even tapered off medications. Not only is it gratifying to see his patient’s lives improve, Bradley also enjoys seeing the Bastyr University naturopathic doctors in training learn and grow. “It’s thrilling to educate the students,” he admits. “A day in the clinic is always very, very rewarding.”

Bradley is also enthusiastic about the summer opening of the new 12,000-square-foot Bastyr University Clinic including the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Wellness specialty clinic. Diabetes and Cardiovascular Wellness Center Bastyr UniversityThe Bastyr University Clinic, which will serve as a community healing space, will feature lots of natural light and eco-friendly building materials. “It’s exciting to be able to turn a clinical space into a wellness-oriented community space,” says Bradley. The new clinic will feature public education services and classes, demo kitchens where patients can learn to cook healthy diabetes and heart-friendly meals, standard patient exam rooms, an in-house laboratory, and exercise classes including yoga and tai chi. Rehabilitation and pain management classes will also be available. The clinic will also have a counseling center, which will include psychology counseling and biofeedback services.

Another aspect of the new clinic is that it will include a clinical research space. “We’ll be able to conduct clinical research studies at both our Seattle and San Diego clinics, and continuously evaluate how to do better at reducing patients’ risk,” says Bradley. This added clinic feature is significant to Bradley who sees the benefits of adding naturopathic care into one’s healthy living plan not only in the clinic, but through the research within the Bastyr University Research Institute on a daily basis. “The more people who realize how powerful naturopathic care is, the more inclined they are to use their lifestyle to mitigate risk for many chronic diseases,” says Bradley. 

Bradley is confident in the potential of naturopathic medicine for reducing risk because he has conducted several research studies demonstrating its benefits, even in addition to conventional medical care. One study conducted in Seattle followed people with type 2 diabetes while they received naturopathic care, in addition to their usual medical care. Patients who also received naturopathic care were more empowered to make changes in their lifestyle, more likely to improve their diets and increase their physical activity. Plus they had better moods, and lower blood sugars while seeing naturopathic doctors.

Resource:  Bradley R, Sherman KJ, Catz S, Calabrese C, Oberg EB, Jordan L, Grothaus L, Cherkin DC. Adjunctive naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes: Patient-reported and clinical outcomes after one year. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012. 12:44. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-44. Available here as full text:

Location: 4106 Sorrento Valley Blvd., San Diego. The Diabetes and Cardiovascular Wellness Clinic at Bastyr University is accepting new patients. For more information, call 858-246-9700 or visit

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