Dr. Eric Arrata, ND, Elite Sport Performance, Calgary
Dr. Eric Arrata completed an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary and worked at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal before moving to Seattle to study Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University.
“Since my early teens I knew that medicine was in my future and I’d be interested in maintaining health in the simplest ways possible. Most of this derives from the understanding that the body is self-correcting and connected to the larger natural world, though this understanding and awareness has largely been lost. A return to health then resides in our ability to remove the challenges to health that we’ve imposed, personally and societally. For the majority of people this is a simple, though not always easy, process. What we eat and drink, how we move and rest our bodies, our exposure to contaminants or toxins, and the health of our relationships all impact how vital and strong we are. So, at the end of the day, my clinical focus centers on lifestyle habits, emotional health, and identifying and removing known toxins or insults to the body.”
“My inspiration arises from being alive and becoming aware of the beauty and wisdom all around us. This may seem trivial or excessively dreamy, yet the truth is that things are always as they are and life isn’t complicated, just our understanding of it is. Knowing that we are all of nature and connected inspires me to aid others in being reminded of this. Then health can follow.”
For Dr. Arrata’s, the most rewarding aspect of his career as an ND is “having a patient arrive concerned about their pain, energy, digestion, mood or what have you, and then leave with a sense of how these symptoms relate to how they have lived their lives. This brings a smile to my face. I feel the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” reflects what we do in our clinics daily. You provide people with a mirror and it’s up to them to accept the truth of the image or not.”
When it comes to work/life balance, Dr. Arrata feels that it is important as an ND to practice what you preach. “Teachings are most effective when they come from experience. One cannot know what it feels like to swim on a mountain stream until one has done so. So, in order to explore altering perspectives and changing one’s habits with patients, I should have had this experience myself. Early on in my career I discovered the things that support me and those that don’t, and I incorporated as many supporting factors as I could professionally and personally. These related to having a schedule that is never too busy, simplifying the various ways in which patients can reach me, maintaining boundaries around my cellphone and social media use, and remembering that family always comes first. I can’t really preach what I don’t practice.”
“Challenges are always plentiful in practice, yet the one that I most need to be aware of is not stretching my knowledge too thin. There are a great many areas of interest I have, that I often need to reel myself in to focus on a select few. I try to enhance those areas that are my “bread and butter” and leave topics that “stretch” the clinical envelope as smatterings, to keep things interesting. This has and likely always will be my greatest challenge since “connecting the dots” is a game I love.”