Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Care

Naturopathic medicine is a system of primary health care that combines traditional forms of medicine with a contemporary understanding of health and disease.  A naturopathic doctor’s (ND) intention is to address any obvious or subtle imbalances in one’s body, mind, and spirit.  NDs are committed to helping people of all ages suffering from chronic or acute illness and those who are seeking advice on health optimization and disease prevention as well as wellness care.

Services used in a naturopathic practice include:

  • Acupuncture /Asian medicine
  • Botanical medicine
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Homeopathic medicine
  • Lifestyle counselling
  • Laboratory assessment and diagnosis
  • Diagnostic Allergy Testing
  • IV Therapy

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of health care that evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners have used this non-invasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people become well and stay well.

The practitioner will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points on the body to promote natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity, physical and emotional health. It is a safe and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems and improve overall function and well-being.

Botanical Medicine

Botanical medicine utilizes diverse plant substances from around the world for their powerful healing and nutritional value.  Contemporary research is ever-revealing the true understated value of botanicals in both their constituents and as whole plants.

Clinical Nutrition

Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health.  Some foods help you heal, while others damage your body and contribute to chronic illness.  A healthy diet – consisting of the right balance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fats, anti-oxidants, fiber and amino acids – is the most important tool for your body to manage stress and prevent and recover from illness.

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathic medicine is a natural, nontoxic therapeutic system of healing that assists in the inherent ability of the body to heal itself.  Homeopathic medicines or “remedies” use minute amounts of plant, mineral or animal substances to retune the body or mind.  The symptoms of disease are regarded as the body’s own defensive attempt to correct its imbalance, rather than as enemies to be defeated.

Lifestyle Counselling

Lifestyle habits, pattern behaviors and mental attitudes and emotional wellbeing are priorities in a wellness centre such as evolve.  Counselling in conjunction with other naturopathic therapies can provide support for those dealing with depression, fatigue, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), work-related stress, relationship issues, life transitions, and health problems, particularly chronic health problems.

Laboratory Assessment

NDs in BC have full laboratory capabilities and make use of the variety of testing methods in diagnosing health concerns.  Salivary hormone tests, food allergy tests and toxicity tests are commonly used in addition to conventional blood testing.

Questions & Answers about Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Physicians, or NDs, are trained as primary care physicians and perform physical exams, Pap smears, diagnostic laboratory tests and imaging studies familiar to all types of family physicians and general practitioners. Naturopathic physicians are also trained in when and how to refer to specialists and for urgent care. They have been licensed in British Columbia for nearly 70 years.

A Naturopathic Physician is trained in the methods of treatment commonly referred to as alternative medicine. When you see an ND for health care your treatments may include therapeutic diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes, such as a stop smoking program, herbal medicines and nutritional medicines. Your naturopathic physician may refer you for chiropractic, massage, acupuncture or midwifery services as needed. You and your chosen ND would work together to determine the best possible treatments available including those traditionally provided by specialists such as cardiologists, allergists, pulmonary specialists and so on.

No. In BC doctors must be licenced as either an MD or an ND. They cannot be licenced as both at once. In addition, there is no billing fee code for alternative or complementary medicine. There is a fee for alternative medicine provided by an MD (e.g., chelation) just as there is a fee with seeing an ND. NDs are trained as and licenced as doctors. Many NDs do provide primary healthcare however, and all NDs are trained in and complete board exams in both pharmacology and pharmacognosy.

There are three major differences. The first is training. The second is regulation. The third is treatment.
In regard to training, naturopathic doctors are generalists in alternative medicine. They receive at least 3-years pre-medical training at university, then 4-years at an accredited naturopathic college. They are primary care physicians using a variety of therapies and modalities according to each patient’s need.

In BC and many other provinces and US states naturopathic medicine is regulated just as MDs, nurses, chiropractors and other health professionals are licenced and regulated. At present, homeopathy is not a licenced or regulated health profession in BC. In one sense, only NDs are licenced to practice homeopathy.

Another difference is treatment. A homeopath would only prescribe a homeopathic medicine. An ND may use botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or any combination to treat a patient.

Yes. Homeopathy is a highly systematic, scientific method of therapy that respects the wisdom of the body. It is a method based on the implementation of a pharmacological law called Similars. A German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann first pronounced this law, in 1796. He described it in this manner:

“Any substance which, when given in a strong dose, produces specific symptoms in a healthy person, is likely, if given in a homeopathic [i.e., infinitely small] dose, to cause those same symptoms to disappear in a sick person.”

Homeopathic medicine will not result in toxic or allergic side effects. Homeopathy stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Proper nutrition, rest and exercise will enhance its effectiveness.

Acupuncture is a form of health care that evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners have used this non-invasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people become well and stay well.

The practitioner will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points on the body to promote natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity, physical and emotional health. It is a safe and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems and improve overall function and well-being.

Patients should feel a slight sensation as the needles contact the Qi – the feeling of energy spreading and moving around the needle. While it is not unpleasant, the sensation varies. You may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling, or dull ache where the acupuncture needle has been inserted. All these reactions are good and a sign that the treatment is working. Afterward you may feel energized or a deep sense of relaxation and well being.

The depth of the insertion varies depending on the target area, but needles are typically inserted at depths ranging between 1/8’’ to 1 ½’’.

Acupuncture is extremely safe – for adults and children. It is an all natural, drug-free therapy, with no side effects except feelings of relaxation and well-being. And there is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then disposed of.

Herbology is a holistic treatment system that uses the healing properties of medicinal plants to treat illness and maintain health. Herbs can be used for pain relief, energy, anxiety, fertility, hormone balance, digestive problems, sleep disorders, dermatology, and the treatment of everything from allergies to cancer and from depression to hysteria.

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