Naturopathic Health Care An Introduction to our Work
Naturopathy is a modern, developing, scientific health care practice. I have watched 30 years of progress in concepts and methods. When we use traditional methods, they are safe and effective.
We often emphasize prevention. Catching small problems before they become big problems. That does not mean, if you already have a big problem, it’s too late. We can’t fix everything, but we do have big solutions.
Typically, we help people deal with weight loss, blood pressure, pain, low energy levels, hormone balance, reproductive health, sleep disturbance, digestion, allergy-like sensitivities, inflammatory conditions, recurring infections (like colds and flu) and various medically -diagnosed conditions or counseling needs. Now we deal with many autoimmune conditions (including MS), chronic infections and bone density loss.
Besides basic medical sciences, NDs are trained in several branches of complementary therapies —Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Acupuncture, Nutrition, and others. However, as we gain experience and continue our professional education, naturopaths acquire special areas of interest and expertise.
We will appreciate an opportunity to work with you.
NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE in ONTARIO, CANADA
Ontario recognizes Naturopathy as a “Primary health care”.
Naturopaths in Ontario are regulated by the Provincial Health Practitioners Act, the same law as Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, Dentists and several other health professionals. Naturopaths are licensed by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. Most non-government insurance companies recognize our work.
MD's and ND's
I have worked on both sides. Legally, the line between is black and white. The working reality is fuzzier. Certain MD’s are strongly influenced by naturopathic methods. ND’s who did previous work as MD’s don’t forget. Sometimes you find us at the same conferences.
After all, the first year of school is much the same for both. When I was practicing in Europe, you had to earn the MD first, and ‘natural medicine’ was a specialty that came after. We are all working for your health.
Philosophically, Naturopaths like to think of biological “systems” as a whole – the respiratory system, the
circulatory system, the immune system, the musculoskeletal system, hormonal system, and so on.
We are less likely to focus on diagnosis of one isolated disease as identified by one particular package of symptoms. Still, those two ways of thinking need each other and do overlap. We prioritize support for the body’s capacity for healing rather than aiming to eliminate “germs” or other agents of disease. The body’s principle chemical factory, your liver, gets our generous attention because as a site of detoxification and reconstruction it is so central.
Naturopaths do not offer surgery or emergency medicine. Some naturopaths exercise a limited license for prescription medications.
All I can tell you are the most common reasons why my own clients say they have chosen naturopathy rather than another type of health practice. The most common reasons:
There are dozens of different stories; these are just among the most common.
Government regulation does not mean OHIP, the Ontario Medical Insurance plan is involved. It means a government commitment to a minimum standard of care, making it easier for private insurance to participate.
My last 30 years have seen continuous progress in Concepts and Methods in Naturopathy.
Digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Supplementation if needed.
Food Sensitivities—related to allergies but not the same.
Separating eating from stressing.
Stable Weight Control.
Specialized Diets – Ketogenic, Paleo, Macrobiotic, FODMAP
Advanced Protocols (Wahls, Bredeson, etc.)
. . . and more
Do not underestimate the role of nutrition in illness and wellness. It may surprise you to see what you accomplish with this branch of knowledge!
The microbiome has now become a familiar idea and “probiotics” are widely known. “Prebiotics”—maybe less so. The microbiome is a fairly new field of research none-the-less and research is active. Are you aware of your skin’s microbiome? It is an important line of defense against disease, and we should be careful not to kill it with too much hand sanitizing. We are learning more now about the neural connections between the gut and the brain – some speak of a gut-brain because it is so big and elaborate. The microbiome is a big influence on the brain because of that network.
Your body continuously works to get rid of waste and contaminants. Detox is a natural and necessary process. We can provide a boost with special regimens. You may need a detox to solve a special problem or for regular maintenance. There are endless variations. They range from easy to challenging, short to long, special to recurring.
A Detox is a reset; a system oriented treatment.
Around the world, traditional diets include fermented products that support the microbiome, Kefir, Yoghurt, Kendkey, Kimchi — many, many more.
Kefir with fruit
24 and 48 hour yogurt
Long-term conditions–chronic issues, are the ones that seem to pile up as we get older or problems you might think you are too young for. Blood pressure problems, long term infections such as Candida, a yeast infection, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, persistent digestive issues and all the autoimmune illnesses, which I save for “Advanced Protocols”
Chronic illness is where I see the very special gift of Naturopathic medicine and the most brilliant progress in recent research.
Not only only mean health for the elderly. Many long-term conditions start early in life. Of course young people are more resilient, and they seem to “get away” with more. As we get older, we have less room to cheat. We have to learn our health needs, embrace them and respect them !
A big boost in treatment – not exclusive to naturopaths, even if we are leaders, has come from an expanded concept of Inflammation
Food and Environmental Intolerances
Naturopaths have long known that intolerances (not the same as allergies) must be respected to avoid health damage. Now we know more and more about why and we have better tests.
SO, WHAT’S THE FUSS ABOUT GLUTEN ??
Celiac Disease is the best known example of gluten sensitivity but not the most common.
Helpful and hurtful oils — Coconut oil was demonized for decades —now we recognize it’s a problem solver.
Good to be hoping for the end of the exaggerated cholesterol hysteria.
(Yes, some people do need to monitor their cholesterol.)
We all cooperated for the banishment of trans-fats, a partial victory all around
—but folks still need to understand where they come from!
Functional Medicine – A Breakthrough, A Bridge
Clinics and practices around the world now promote the discovery that Diabetes Type II is not set by our genes but rather can be controlled by nutrition. The approach originated in the research of Dr. Jeffery Bland in nutritional biochemistry.
Functional medicine is the name for the principles Dr. Jeffery Bland initiated with his early work on diabetes. Functional Medicine is a group of concepts and techniques that bring the work of many ND’s and numerous MD’s closer together than any time in the last hundred years. An indication of success is that some clinics in the USA run by insurance companies now advertise to hire physicians with this specialty. I had the privilege to be involved since 1990. Until recently, Dr. Bland provided 12-hours seminars for professionals every year in Toronto. They were very exciting and I never missed one.
Six Concepts to Introduce Functional Medicine
1) Like Naturopathy, Functional Medicine conceives health and illness in terms of “systems”, — the “immune system” or “digestive system” etc. Illness is a dys-function of a system.
2) Like Naturopathy, there is more emphasis on rebuilding good function than tracking down agents of illness, like “germs”.
3) Complementing the ND emphasis on our biggest “chemical factory”, the Liver, Functional Medicine places a special emphasis on our “power plant” the Mitochondria. The
mitochondria are the sub-microscopic organelles in all our cells – for people, animals, even bacteria – that convert fuel to energy, energy for growth, heat, action and repair.
4) Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions that include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abdominal fat and others is NOT uniquely associated with Functional Medicine but playing a large role in it.
5) A “leaky gut” lets larger particles, very irritating or toxic material pass into the blood stream from the stomach or intestines before it is digested,
stimulating a destructive Autoimmune Cascade.
[“Leaky gut” has nothing to do with “perforated gut”, a severe injury that can be quickly fatal. The first—“leaky”—is like a slowly leaking tire; “perforated” is like a tire blowout.]
6) Inflammatory Process is a central concern. We are familiar with inflammation from minor cuts and injuries. The injured site becomes red, swollen and painful. The same process that causes these acute reactions can also occur as gradual and chronic in the whole body. Naturopathic medicine responds with therapies, especially nutritional therapies.