What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is an integrative and individualized approach to health care. Incorporating modern scientific understanding with traditional & natural therapies, this comprehensive system of medicine supports and stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. The goal of Naturopathic care is to treat the underlying cause of disease rather than to suppress symptoms.
Naturopathic strategy is oriented towards long-term wellness, focusing on prevention and empowerment, whether treating a chronic or acute condition. As trained Primary Care Physicians, Naturopathic Doctors will frequently cooperate with family physicians, dentists and other health care providers.
Conditions treated by Naturopathic Doctors:
Naturopathic Doctors are trained primary health care providers. People may choose to seek out Naturopathic Services for a variety of complaints ranging from chronic degenerative diseases to acute illnesses as well as general health maintenance visits to improve health and wellbeing.
Our Naturopathic Doctors will treat conditions such as:
– Gastro-intestinal disorders: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, hemorrhoids, heart burn, ulcers, gas and bloating
– Female health concerns: PMS, irregular menstruation, fertility, pregnancy and breast-feeding and menopaus
– Immune disorders: asthma, allergies, chronic sinusitis and frequent infections
– Chronic pain syndromes: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, headaches, back pain, neck pain and arthritis
– Autoimmune disorders: multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE
– Metabolic disorders: diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and hypertension
– Endocrine disorders: Adrenal fatigue and thyroid disease
– Skin conditions: eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne
– Mental health conditions: anxiety, depression, addictions
– Pediatric concerns: colic, sleep concerns, infant food introduction, vaccine consultations, ear infections and other acute illnesses and general health and development optimization
The Principles & Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine
First, to do no harm; Naturopathic Doctors use safe and non-toxic treatments that are as non-invasive as possible. We take the body’s symptoms as warning signs of improper function, avoiding suppression wherever possible. The focus, rather, is on treating the root cause of the disease, to restore resilience and well-being. To accomplish this, we use the healing power of nature, both through natural remedies and by supporting the body’s innate healing ability. Naturopaths treat the whole person including the body, mind, emotions and spirit. The Naturopathic process aims to teach and empower patients through the treatment process, allowing each person to take responsibility for their health. Therefore, not only are we treating the present symptoms, we are practicing preventive medicine as we help to create and support the conditions for long-term health. Physician, heal thyself is the seventh principle acknowledging the importance of self-awareness, health and balance in our health care providers.
Therapies and Modalities of used in Naturopathic Medicine
Nutrition is the foundation of Naturopathic Medicine. Our bodies are made up of the foods we eat, and how we eat them determines how our energy gets used. Many more people are awakening to this reality and realizing the huge impact of our dietary habits. Every person is unique and with so many different diets out there it’s hard to know which one is best for you. Based on your symptoms, Naturopathic Doctors will help you to understand how your diet may be affecting your health and set up an appropriate plan unique for you.
Lifestyle counselling provides insight, inspiration and positive change, rooting our lives in health-sustaining behaviours and attitudes. Naturopathic Doctors receive extensive training in counselling as part of our education, and we strive to create an empathic environment where patients feel comfortable exploring their emotions. This in-depth dialogue fosters genuine growth and helps remove obstacles to wellness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a unique style of medicine practiced in the East for thousands of years. It is based on the principles of smooth flow of qi (energy) and blood in the body, as well as the balance between yin and yang and cold and hot. TCM practitioners use a variety of methods such as tongue and pulse diagnosis as well as the patient’s symptoms to diagnose specific patterns of imbalance. Using Chinese Herbs, certain foods as well as Acupuncture treatments they will aim to restore balance in the body.
Homeopathy is a safe and non-toxic healing modality based on the principles ‘like cures like’. This means that in large doses, a substance will create the same symptoms in a healthy person that a very minute dose of the substance can heal in a sick person. Homeopathy therefore uses very minute amounts of materials found in nature (animal, plant or mineral) to stimulate the body’s innate healing capacity. Remedies are individually selected to match each person’s present state, addressing the root cause of the problem.
Botanical/Herbal Medicine has been practiced by cultures around the world for centuries and is the foundation of current pharmacological medicine. Naturopathic Doctors use herbs from both the East and the West and are trained in both the traditional use and modern scientific evidence of these plants. Herbs are carefully selected for each individual taking into consideration any potential drug-herb interactions.
What to expect
Visits with a Naturopathic Doctor are different than with your medical doctor, a typical first visit with a Naturopathic Doctor involves a very thorough health history, looking at health from all angles, nutritionally, biochemically, physically and emotionally.