For my inaugural blog post, I want to welcome you all, and answer some questions that I know are a brewin'. Because even my most keen supporters can have a glazed-over look in their eyes when I tell them that I am a Naturopathic Doctor. They have a vague sense of what this means, but don't really know the nitty-gritty about what it is I do. So let's begin!
What do you (Naturopathic Doctors) do???
Naturopathic Doctor…naturopath…ND…whatever term you like best… We see patients for all the similar health conditions that would your "family doctor" or MD. From coughs and colds, the Flu, seasonal allergies…all the way up to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We will listen to your heart and lungs, take your blood pressure, as well as perform any other physical exams that are relevant to you. We will also suggest blood tests that are necessary for further diagnosis of any conditions.
The biggest difference between a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor and an MD is that we may ask you a lot of questions that you've never been asked before by a healthcare practitioner. The reason being, we have a lot more time to spend with you. The first visit is 90 minutes, so that we can gather a full sense of your own health history, along with your family history. This will include physical, mental, and social aspects of your health.
The next biggest difference is that ND's in Ontario do not prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. If we prescribe something, it will be a vitamin, mineral, herb or other nutritional supplement. And this is where things tend to differ from one ND to the next...
The way I practice:
My style of medical practice is based on something called "The Therapeutic Order". It assigns a hierarchy to various medical interventions, stating that if the most basic interventions are not in place, it is foolish to move up the hierarchy because you are not creating the foundation for more complex things to work optimally. The easiest way to put this is as follows: If your body is sick with something, we need to create the best possible environment for it to get better. If you are eating fast food and watching 7 hours of TV each day and are in a stressful living situation, it is safe to say that your body will have a tougher time getting better than if you are eating loads of vegetables, being active, and have a positive outlet for any stress in your life. In the first situation, giving you a prescription of something to take before changing any of the key factors that are impeding your health would be silly. Because even if you got better in the short term, those factors that, by now, we ALL know are so important to maintaining health, are not in place. You will most likely get sick again. And the cycle continues.
So. It is safe to say, I will most likely suggest you make changes in your diet. And talk to you about exercise. And teach you positive ways to deal with stress. It will not be a passive process for you - you will be doing the hardest work! But it will be a wonderful ride where you are all the better for it!
What will the visits look like?
After the first visit that consists of a lot of question-asking, the next visit will be within one week. This is where I will give you my recommendations, and we will discuss all the details of what is involved. I may suggest dietary changes and ask you to return in 3 months time. I may suggest weekly acupuncture treatments, generally in 12-week blocks. It depends on your unique health concerns and what is the best course of action. I tend to use a lot of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which involves weekly acupuncture treatments as well as you taking either a tea, liquid tincture or capsules of herbs.
What is your training to be an ND?
I have 10 years of post-secondary education. To become a Naturopathic Doctor, one is required to have an undergraduate degree with a host of science pre-requisites. There are 2 accredited schools in Canada for naturopathic education, and 6 in the USA. The program is a 4-year program that is very similar to an MD's training in terms of anatomy, physiology, diagnostics and pharmacology. In addition, we are trained in botanical medicine (herbs), nutrition, acupuncture and chinese medicine, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy. We are required to write two sets of licensing exams over our 4 years, and are registered with the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy, as well as hold memberships with the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.
And the most exciting news is that I will be accepting new patients as of DECEMBER 2, 2013 at my new location!
659 Central Ave.
519 697 0821
If you have any other questions regarding naturopathic medicine, please send me an email or add a comment below!