Providing primary or complementary health care using modern diagnostic techniques and natural therapies to heal.
Naturopathic Medicine is an eclectic alternative medical system that is similar to conventional medicine in assessment and diagnostic techniques, including physical exam and laboratory diagnosis. However, Naturopathic Doctors believe in the body’s natural healing forces, and therefore in lieu of employing pharmaceutical medication as a first line therapeutic intervention, Naturopathic Doctors are trained in botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, nutrition and nutraceuticals, physical medicine, lifestyle and psychological counseling.
Every practitioner draws their own subset of patients, and for me, I seem to draw complex cases that require a thorough investigation of the patient’s medical history to determine the proper diagnosis that has up to that point been elusive. I pride myself in taking the extra time to match up all of the patient’s symptoms, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, to determine the true pathology.
I have experience treating a broad range of conditions including:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s & Colitis)
- Rheumatoid- and osteo-arthritis
- Kidney and liver conditions
- High blood pressure
- Common pediatric concerns
- Cold/flu treatment and prevention
- Smoking cessation
- Among many many others…
When it comes to determining the root cause of a person’s condition, ever piece of information is important. Of utmost importance are the results of laboratory testing. If a patient has recently had blood work or imaging studies performed via their medical doctor, we will send out a release of records request (with the patient’s permission of course), and the results will be faxed to our clinic to save the patient from having to do the same testing a second time. Otherwise we send our patients directly to Lifelabs for testing.
Women have complex and sensitive hormonal systems, which predisposes us to more common unpleasant symptoms than men. These symptoms are often dubbed as “normal”, and many women simply bear them due to lack to information. Naturopathic medicine can have an enormous effect on such symptoms, and often times, they are very simple to remedy.
- Amenorrhea – absent periods
- Dysmenorrhea – painful periods
- Premenstrual syndrome – PMS
- Irregular periods
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome – PCOS
- Recurrent yeast infections
- Vaginal pain – vulvodynia – dysparunia – pelvic floor dysfunction
- Low libido
Naturopathy & Fertility
There are many ways in which naturopathic medicine is helpful in optimizing fertility. Not only can it aid in basic reproductive function, but it’s also an effective adjunct to assisted reproductive technologies. Ways that it can help increase chances of conception include balancing hormonal levels, increasing sperm count and quality, correcting for any deficiencies and helping your body better cope with stress both mentally and physiologically.
Acupuncture is a very effective means of increasing fertility. It is founded in the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which understands the body to be a complex network of organs connected by meridians (or channels). By optimizing the function of each organ, and ensuring that the connections between them are unobstructed, vital energy is able to course along the proper paths and the body is in balance. In practice, I have found that this is an invaluable understanding of the body when it comes to fertility. Often times couples have unexplained fertility challenges, and this is where acupuncture can have the most impact. It can also help in circumstances where there is a physiological reason for the difficulties, as it helps to “hold” a fragile pregnancy. Acupuncture is helpful, regardless of whether you have just started trying to conceive or you are in the middle of the IVF process. Studies are showing that acupuncture is effective in improving sperm quality and can almost double the rates of pregnancy when added to IVF therapy.
Naturopathic care is a great adjunct to either obstetrical or midwifery care. Topics covered often include diet (allergy elimination, increasing nutrient density, education of safe herbs/foods/supplements for each trimester), sleep, exercise, pelvic floor health, stress, Group B Strep testing, glucose tolerance testing, fetal positioning, the microbiome and importance of good bacteria.
We also do a lot of work on infant sleep, including safe co-sleeping and healthy crib mattresses. I prefer to see mother-baby dyad at 7 weeks (to discuss vaccination options), 12 weeks, then every 3 months until the age of 2, after which we check in once per year.
Naturopathic medicine is also well equipped to resolve common pregnancy ailments such as constipation, UTIs, and nausea if they arise, as well as threatened or recurrent miscarriages, lactation support and postpartum healing.
Autoimmunity + Allergy
When the immune system is confused it can manifest either as an allergy (attacking non-harmful substance) or autoimmunity (attacking our own cells).
Allergies can present as:
- Seasonal allergies
- Food sensitivities
- Chemical sensitivities
- Dust allergies
- Animal dander allergies
Autoimmune reaction can manifest as:
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Hashimotos thyroiditis
- Graves disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
We rebalance the immune response through testing, dietary modifications, herbs, and supplements.
Digestion is the centre of health. All other body systems are reliant on a properly functioning digestive tract. Any of the following symptoms may indicate that your digestive system is in need of repair:
- Crohn’s disease
- Gas + bloating
- Heartburn/gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
The digestive tract is a remarkable specialized tube that heals well when offered care. Tools that we use to repair the gut includes dietary changes, herbs, and supplements to name a few. A personalized treatment plan that best suits your needs and lifestyle is formulated to heal your gut, and in turn, heal your whole body.
DO NO HARM & THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE
– Naturopathic medicine uses gentle substances and procedures that stimulate the body to heal itself.
PHYSICIAN AS TEACHER
– When you enter in to the clinic of an ND, you’re entering into a partnership with the end goal being your optimal health. It is the ND’s job to educate you to help your body to heal itself. We give you tools, and often, it is the patient that is empowered to evoke the healing.
TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON & ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSE
– An ND will ask you more questions than you can imagine. This is because the answers to these questions are all very valuable pieces of information that allow the ND to determine the root cause of your condition, and therefore allows them to formulate the most appropriate and efficacious treatment plan possible.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE
– Entering into the care of an ND does not exclude you from receiving health care from conventional medicine. Ideally, the ND and the MD work in a partnership to treat the patient in a tandem, and complementary manner. Conventional medicine is irreplaceable when it comes to many conditions, most notably emergency medicine. Naturopathic medicine focuses on prevention, and is also be very powerful in treating complex chronic diseases that have already taken hold.
- A licensed ND has completed an undergraduate degree (3-4 years), followed by a 4-year education in naturopathic medicine (including a year of clinical rotation);
- has passed an entry-to-practice examination that ensures they have the competencies necessary to safely and effectively practice;
- is accountable to the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy, through the complaints and discipline processes, in the event that the services they provide to not meet the standards of practice;
- provides a receipt that will be accepted by your extended health benefits plan for reimbursement.
Learn about our Naturopathic Doctor