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Growing up and developing skills as a pro-am whitewater kayaker in Bucks County, Penn., may have given local naturopathic physician Dr Robert Brody the ability to help patients navigate the tricky pathways to recovery and wellness. And he had a good mentor when he later decided to transition from being a special education assistant to a naturopath — his own father.
“My dad was a naturopathic nutritionist and homeopath,” Dr Brody told The Newtown Bee recently from his newly opened practice, Personalized Natural Medicine (PNM), on the corner of Church Hill Road and The Boulevard.
But it was his experience in special education that finally pushed him into a career in health care.
“I was 24 or 25 and working as a special ed assistant up in Vermont,” he said. “And all I kept seeing was all the meds these kids were taking, with little or no apparent benefit. And I though there has to be a better way.”
So he applied for and got into the University of Bridgeport’s nationally recognized naturopathic physician training program, graduating in 2014 into a residence with another influential professional who would inspire his life and career — Dr Peter D’Adamo of UB’s Center of Excellence in Generative Medicine (COE).
Dr D’Adamo authored the New York Times bestseller Eat Right For Your Type, in addition to 18 other mass-market books, and one medical textbook according to his LinkedIn profile.
Dr Brody opened PNM as an insurance-based family practice, with an eye on specializing in digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, genetic analysis, the blood type diet, genotype diet, preventative medicine, and general health. His wife, Meaghan Brophy, works with him as the practice’s business and marketing director.
“I’m delighted to offer insurance-based care that makes natural medicine more affordable and accessible for families,” Dr Brody said in an release ahead of his late February ribbon cutting at the new offices.
Dr Brody is the primary physician at PNM, and holds an ND in naturopathic medicine as well as an MS in nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. He is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), and the Connecticut Association of Naturopathic Physicians (CANP).
He is also a co-founder and current executive officer of the Institute of Naturopathic Generative Medicine (INGM), and continues to work as an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport Naturopathic Medicine Program where he is teaching a course of his own design called “Biochemical Individuality.”
“I am also still doing clinical rotations at a naturopathic health center at UB,” he said.
At PNM, Dr Brody — or “Doctor Bob” to his patients — uses diet and lifestyle modifications in addition to herbs, vitamins, minerals, homeopathy, acupuncture, and naturopathic manipulation to treat patients holistically.
He believes every patient is unique, and it is important to consider all aspects of every individual, including genetics, blood type, lifestyle, family background, and other influences to achieve optimal health, naturally.
“We try to have each patient undergo a nutritional DNA analysis, so we can look for genetic mutations and address them with various treatments,” he said. “We refer to it as a ‘digestive gut’ analysis.”
He also maintains a full prescription supplement dispensary on site.
Dr Brody said that he works to supplement and complement the medical care many of his patients are already receiving from their own physicians.
“I do a lot of integrative work with other practitioners when a patient prefers to include a more natural course of care,” he said, adding that naturopathic medicine works around the “scaffolding “ of a person’s health. “We’re not designed to be a sole provider in most cases.”
Dr Brody holds an informal “meet up group” bimonthly that addresses a single health topic. He accepts patients as young as 5, but most are between the ages of 25 and 65. And if he was not busy enough opening his new office, due to Dr Brody’s leadership role with CANP, he spent much of the late winter advocating for HB9426 up in Hartford.
“If that bill is successful, it would increase the scope of practice for naturopathic physicians, and provide prescription authority,” he said. “Today, if a patient comes in and needs a simple antibiotic, I have to refer them out to an MD.”
Soon after Dr Brody moved to Connecticut, he fell in love with the state, and specifically Newtown.
“My very first visit here was when it was snowing,” he said, adding the town presented a picture postcard experience.
When not practicing medicine or teaching, Dr Brody is an avid mountain biker, whitewater kayaker, and a third-degree black belt in the traditional Japanese art of Aikido. He also earned his Eagle Scout designation in his teen years, which likely served him well when he went off to pursue an adventure recreation degree from Green Mountain College immediately after graduating high school.
Dr Brody’s office hours are Monday, 11 am to 7 pm; Wednesday, 10 am to 4 pm; Friday, 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm; and by appointment.