Naturopathic doctors focus on understanding each patient and their individual case. This requires more than the conventional 10 minute appointment. ND’s aim to assess the whole person (body, mind, spirit) to uncover areas of imbalance that have contributed to disease. Each patient is approached and treated in a truly individualized manner. Naturopathic doctors are trained to bring the body back to balance using a variety of approaches (Orthomolecular medicine, Botanical medicine, TCM, Homeopathy etc). This means that one patient suffering from osteoarthritis for example, will not necessarily receive the exact same treatment protocol as another suffering from the same disease process. Just as each life journey is individual, the processes and experiences leading to disharmony and the steps required to bring the body back to balance, are unique to each patient.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of healing that focuses on the smooth flow of Qi (chi), the energy that flows throughout the body. When there is disharmony in the flow of Qi, the body is in a weakened state and can no longer efficiently adapt to stress creating susceptibility to chronic disease. The use of acupuncture, acupressure, diet and Chinese herbs helps to balance the Yin and Yang energies of the body and restore the harmonious flow of Qi.
- Clinical Nutrition/Orthomolecular Medicine is the in depth understanding of how foods and their biochemical constituents affect human physiology. Certain foods support optimal health, while others may promote inflammation or sensitivities. Fuelling our bodies with the best available resources is integral to optimal health. ND’s have extensive training in this area and can help their patients find the right balance of enzymes, anti-oxidants, fibre and amino acids to meet their individual health goals. Targeted nutrients (vitamins, minerals) may also be utilized to correct imbalances or offset disease processes.
- Botanical Medicine uses the powerful healing and nutritional value of various plants to assist the body in returning to health. Botanical medicine is prescribed in a variety of ways including: tinctures, teas, ointments and/or supplements. Botanicals often contain powerful biochemical constituents that may interfere with pharmaceutical drugs thus, it is extremely important to make sure you are seeing a licensed ND or other health professional who can review your current health situation.
- Homeopathic Medicine utilizes minute amounts of plant, mineral or animal substances to stimulate the body’s own ability to heal. Homeopathic medicine rejects the notion that symptoms are the result of the disease and instead posits that symptoms are the result of the body’s own attempt to restore balance. This means the homeopathic remedy is used to stimulate the the body’s own defences rather than to suppress the symptoms. Homeopathy is based on the principle of like cures like, meaning that the remedy must closely resemble the symptoms that the disease state evokes in the particular person. – This modality can be a little more difficult to understand. I will blog on this in the future I promise!
- Counselling is an important part of naturopathic medicine because mental/emotional patterns and attitudes play an integral role in overall health. Naturopathic doctors are trained in various lifestyle counselling techniques that allow them to support their patients through depression, fatigue, work-stress, relationship problems and other mental/emotional issues that may be contributing to dis-ease.