For the media

East meets West in medicine

By The Health News Team | March 30, 2023
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.

Dr. Kaveh Bahmanpour of Sharp Community Medical Group.

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 with Sharp Community Medical Group, uses this ancient method of providing care to supplement Western medicine.

Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Bahmanpour attended and received his medical degree from Tehran University. He completed his residency in family medicine at Baylor University in Houston, Texas, and a fellowship in geriatric medicine in San Diego. Since 2011, he has practiced medicine in San Diego, establishing a private practice in Pacific Beach and joining Sharp Community Medical Group.

Dr. Bahmanpour's 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 School of Medicine.

Healing from the inside, out

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

Dr. Bahmanpour 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 six core principles, known as "Setah Zaroriah" in Persian.

  • Nutrition

  • Environment

  • Physical activity

  • Sleeping patterns

  • Emotions

  • Ridding the body of waste materials

Health, Dr. Bahmanpour says, is found in recognizing one’s temperament, or physical and mental characteristics, and using this information as a guide for healthy living. He 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,” Dr. Bahmanpour says.

Combining lifestyle changes, natural remedies and traditional treatments

According to Dr. Bahmanpour, many of his patients are reluctant to take medication, believing they would prefer to start with an adjusted diet, self-care, exercise and learning how to control their anxiety. "My patients often will try natural remedies — especially geriatric patients — before adding another prescription,” he says.

Regarding prescription medicine, Dr. Bahmanpour says sometimes, small adjustments can bring big results in a patient’s well-being. Cutting back on the dosage can possibly make the drug more efficient and better for the patient.

Dr. Bahmanpour's patients report they appreciate the time spent discussing their activities and interests 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, he says.

What's more, this personal level of care is not provided by Dr. Bahmanpour alone. He works alongside his wife, Negar, a registered nurse who is his office manager. And while their professional passion requires many long hours at the practice, their personal passion is enjoying San Diego with their two children.

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