Here are some of the questions I get asked the most!
What is a Naturopath?
Naturopathic medicine combines modern researched-based medicine with ancient healing techniques, bringing you the best of both conventional and natural medicine to help you feel your best. As a primary care practitioner I am trained to manage many health conditions from digestive issues, low energy and hormonal imbalances to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. I believe that the real solution to tackling your health is determining what is causing the disease or discomfort. From a naturopathic perspective, symptoms are viewed as warning signs from your body letting you know that something is out of balance. I want to work with you to explore this together and take steps to remove the obstacles that are preventing you from achieving your health goals.
Are Naturopaths the same as Homeopaths?
No. Naturopaths use a combination of alternative treatments. We use several modalities to optimize health including homeopathy, but also botanical medicine, nutritional supplementation, dietary counseling, acupuncture and we can order lab work to diagnose conditions. We have pharmacology training to understand which alternative treatments are safest and most effective for you, ensuring there are no interactions with medications. Homeopathy is one modality that we utilize to optimize health. Homeopathy is a type of treatment which uses highly diluted substances (mainly in tablet form, homeopathic remedies) aimed to trigger the body’s own healing mechanisms.
If I see a naturopath do I have to stop seeing my family doctor?
No. Naturopaths are an addition to your healthcare team. We would come up with a complimentary treatment plan using alternative treatment options such as herbal remedies and nutritional guidance, we do not alter treatment plans prescribed by your MD. We believe that health care is best provided as a team where different members of the team can address different issues. Working in a collaborative health setting ensures optimal outcomes for patients.
How long are visits with a Naturopath?
The first visit is an hour. During this first visit we’ll review your entire personal and family health history as well as your health and wellness goals. After collecting a detailed history and getting to know you, I will have a better understanding of what treatments will be best suited for you and your lifestyle. I may also request lab work and perform a complaint oriented physical exam to gain a more thorough understanding of your health. Based on this information I will put together a customized treatment plan that is specific for you and your health goals. This plan will be a guideline for subsequent visits which are often 30 minutes in length. We will work with this plan making changes as necessary to maximize results and further tailor the plan to ensure it is working for you. Initial visits may be closer together as we revise our treatment plan.
Do I have to take a lot of pills if I’m seeing a naturopath?
Not necessarily. Treatment plans are created for the individual, so we will come up with a plan that suits you best. We will set goals in the visit and see what works for you, taking things one step a time. If a concern is high stress we might suggest starting with an exercise routine or meditation before using an herb or nutritional supplement.
Does my body need vitamins or can I get what I need from my diet?
The reason we use capsule form is that it allows us to get higher dosage at a therapeutic effect in an efficient way. For example, instead of eating tumeric as a cooking spice at 1 tsp per day for joint pain or arthritis, we would use a capsule of the extract of tumeric. The active ingredient is called curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory, and instead of eating pounds of tumeric you get the proper dosage in a tiny capsule for fast symptom relief. But, something like 2 brazil nuts a day gives you enough selenium to support thyroid function so we can skip the capsule in that case because you can get the dosage from the food. So, while you work to optimize your diet we may need to use supplements for faster symptom relief.
Are visits covered under OHIP
No. Most extended health care plans do cover naturopathic services so make sure you check with your provider to see if you’re eligible.
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