Naturopathic Medicine integrates clinical medical sciences and research (evidence-based medicine) with traditional healing and natural therapies, in a comprehensive and holistic manner. The many therapies currently included within the scope of practice of Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario include:
A cornerstone of Naturopathic Medicine, nutrition has proved to be the single most significant controllable determinant of health, and the relationship between diet and health is irrefutable. Research has shown us that the majority of major chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer) can be prevented through dietary means. Learn more about my approach to food and nutrition.
The medicinal use of plants dates back to the earliest civilizations, is observed in the animal world, and is the foundation of modern pharmacology. Herbs can be used singly or in combination as: teas, tinctures, salves, poultices, capsules, oils, infusions, and more. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in herb-nutrient and herb-drug interactions – important factors in the selection and safe use of botanical medicines.
Developed in the 1700’s, and based on “The Law of Similars” – the principle that like cures like – homeopathy uses minute, highly diluted amounts of a substance to send an energetic message to the body to self-regulate. Used for physical, mental and emotional issues, homeopathy is safe, non-invasive, and supportive of the body’s own innate healing capacity, making it truly “naturopathic” in its approach.
An interface between homeopathy and herbs, drainage remedies help support elimination and detoxification – optimizing the function of organ systems. They act on what we refer to as “the terrain” – or the biochemical and physiological environment of each individual. In simple terms, the terrain is where your genetic predisposition meets your environment and how you interact with it chemically and physically. Healthy terrain is equated with health.
Traditional Asian Medicine is a 5000-year-old system of diagnosis and treatment. The uninterrupted flow of Qi (energy) through an intricate set of meridians (pathways throughout the body) is equated with health. Through the use of acupuncture, lifestyle, diet, and Chinese herbs the flow of Qi can be regulated. For acupuncture, only extremely thin, sterile, single-use, disposable needles are used.
Perhaps the single most challenging work for humans is to examine and change our ways of thinking. Yet, it is our thoughts that largely determine our feelings about ourselves, and our patterns of behaviour. To facilitate change, I use such tools as counseling, meditation, breathwork, exercise, and visualization to help eliminate negative thought patterns and behaviours that are acting as obstacles in your life.
NDs use a variety of hands-on techniques including spinal and soft tissue manipulation, massage, hydrotherapy (treatments utilizing water), and the therapeutic use of heat, cold and light. These treatments may be used for pain relief, or to manage inflammation, stress, depression, or stagnation of blood or lymph circulation. While I do use hydrotherapy, exercise and lymphatic drainage therapies in my practice, spinal and soft tissue manipulation and personal training are areas that I refer out to other esteemed colleagues
Naturopathic Medicine has its roots in 19th century Europe as a system of “Nature Cure” employing hydrotherapy (water), herbs, proper diet, fresh air, sunshine and exercise as treatment. These frequently overlooked basics are still the cornerstones of Naturopathy.
The Principles of Naturopathy are:
- first, do no harm
- co-operate with the healing power of nature
- address the fundamental cause of disease
- heal the whole person through individualized treatment
- teach the principles of healthy living & preventative medicine
The focus of Naturopathic Medicine is on the prevention of disease, patient education and stimulation of the vis medicatrix naturae – or the “healing power of nature.” The vis includes the body’s innate natural ability to heal, and the ability to heal using natural medicines and wisdoms observed in nature.
Therefore, Naturopathic Medicine seeks to support and stimulate your own powerful mechanisms for healing, by:
- Providing the raw materials and tools necessary for optimal function (healthy diet, lifestyle and attitude)
- Removing any obstacles to cure and preventative wellness (unhealthy diet, lifestyle and attitude)
- Gently redirecting the individual towards balance and normal physiological and biochemical function (through the use of supportive naturopathic therapies)
Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario are licensed health care professionals, providing assessment, diagnoses and treatment based on each individual’s complete set of symptoms, medical history, family history, environmental exposures and experiences. Accordingly, no two patients will have an identical approach to treatment.