East meets West in medicine

By The Health News Team | May 19, 2021
Dr. Kaveh Bahmanpour, a board-certified family and geriatric medicine doctor affiliated with Sharp Community Medical Group, combines traditional Iranian medicine (TIM) with Western medicine.

Traditional Iranian medicine (TIM), also known as Persian medicine, is one of the most ancient forms of medicine in the world. Dr. Kaveh Bahmanpour, a board-certified family and geriatric medicine doctor affiliated with Sharp Community Medical Group, uses this ancient method of providing care to supplement Western medicine for his patients.

Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Bahmanpour attended and received his medical degree from Tehran University, and completed his residency in family medicine at Baylor University in Houston, Texas, and a fellowship in geriatric medicine in San Diego. He has practiced medicine in San Diego since 2011, establishing a private practice in Pacific Beach and joining Sharp Community Medical Group. His expert medical care and knowledge of TIM has enhanced his profile in the community. He also shares TIM principles as an assistant clinical professor at UC San Diego Medical School.

Healing from the inside, out

“Healing happens from the inside to the outside, and my job is to follow that pathway,” says Dr. Bahmanpour, whose patients welcome this nontraditional support for the traditional medicine practiced in the U.S.

He explains that the philosophy of TIM is a belief that our inner energies help healing. Having long conversations with each patient is what guides him to find and address the source of the patient’s problems.

“I strongly believe that if I listen to the patient, they will tell me the root of the problem,” he says.

The lifestyle rules in TIM focus on 6 core principles, known as Setah Zaroriah in Persian.

  • Nutrition

  • Environment

  • Physical activity

  • Sleeping patterns

  • Emotions

  • Ridding the body of waste materials

Health is found in recognizing one’s temperament, or physical and mental characteristics, and using this information as a guide for healthy living. Dr. Bahmanpour explains that patients may believe their anxiety, pain and fear can be the problem, when it might be something entirely different. His goal is to uncover that root source.

“Learning about their daily lifestyle, their family and social interactions and health, their sleep patterns and daily habits can be the important information that helps uncover the true issues they face,” he says.

Dr. Bahmanpour feels that many patients are reluctant to take medication, believing that “they would prefer to start with an adjusted diet, self-care, exercise, and learn how to control their anxiety. My patients often will try natural remedies — especially geriatric patients — before adding another prescription.”

Regarding prescription medicine, he says that sometimes, small adjustments can bring big results in a patient’s well-being, and cutting back on the dosage can possibly make the drug more efficient and better for the patient. Patients appreciate the time spent discussing activities that might not seem to be health-related. A person’s total behavior is the “soul” that Dr. Bahmanpour wants to know and learn about.

Dr. Bahmanpour’s wife, Negar, is a registered nurse who works alongside him as his office manager. Even though his professional passion requires many long hours at his practice, his personal passion is enjoying San Diego with Negar and their two children.

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