Medicinal plants have a long history as powerful treatments for many diseases. As part of your treatment protocol, a custom blend tincture or tea may be prepared, or professional-grade herbal extracts recommended, based on your unique presentation. Naturopathic physicians are the only health care provider licensed to use botanical medicine, and are able to recognize when they are advisable, how they interact with pharmaceuticals, and how to prescribe them safely and effectively.
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
Your current symptom picture, as revealed through detailed questioning and observation, as well as tongue and pulse diagnosis, is used to recommend Chinese herbs, a specific dietary plan, and an acupuncture protocol. Acupuncture involves inserting very thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain, treat acute and chronic disease, and improve energy flow throughout the body. It has been used successfully for thousands of years and has been proven effective in many modern clinical trials for a variety of concerns ranging from arthritis and muscle pain, to headaches and turning breech babies.
Nutrition is the foundation of good health. On a daily basis, what you consume has the ability to influence many areas of functioning, from healing digestive disturbances to worsening the pain of arthritis. Nutritional deficiencies or excesses, food allergies or intolerances, and other dietary imbalances can be associated with a wide variety of health concerns. After a nutritional analysis, a therapeutic diet or professional-grade nutrients, vitamins or minerals may be prescribed, in order to help your body function optimally. You will be taught how food is affecting your health, and will be given dietary strategies to meet your needs.
Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)
IMS is a technique used to effectively treat chronic pain. During a physical exam, shortened muscles and oversensitive nerves that are involved in the chronic pain pattern are identified. IMS seems very similar to acupuncture, but it is based on an understanding of neurophysiology and anatomy, not energetics. Fine needles are inserted into the shortened muscles, they briefly spasm and then reflexively relax (and therefore lengthen). The treatment also brings more blood and healing cells to the area and changes the electrical potential in the muscle, restoring proper function to the previously supersensitive nerves.
Shortened muscles can also pull on tendons and cause inflammation (tendonitis) and irritate the joints that they move. Conditions that typically respond to IMS are:
- Back pain (upper, lower and neck)
- Frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Piriformis syndrome, ischial bursitis, patellofemoral syndrome
- Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis
- Myofascial pain and fibromyalgia
- Headaches and TMJ
Prescription Medication and Hormones
In the fall of 2010, naturopathic doctors in BC were granted prescribing authority. This provided access to a wide range of therapeutics previously limited by prescription (this includes hormones, certain herbs, amino acids and high dose vitamins). While prescribing medication is often seen as a last resort, there are many instances where it is appropriate and necessary. In addition, for patients seeking to come off their current medication, it allows a safe tapering to occur while transitioning to alternative treatments. For patients with hormonal imbalances, prescribing rights have enabled NDs to use safer and more effective hormone therapies that are customized to the patient's needs.
Intravenous Nutrient Therapy
Using nutrients intravenously allows us to bypass the digestive tract and get higher levels of vitamins and minerals directly to the cells that need them. IV therapy can be used to improve immune function, decrease pain and inflammation, as an adjunctive cancer treatment, for heavy metal chelation, to improve athletic performance, and to proactively maintain health. Custom formulas containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other compounds are made just prior to appointments. Conditions that can benefit from IV therapy include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, adrenal exhaustion, post-viral fatigue
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Colitis and Crohn's) or IBS
- Anxiety, depression
- Viral and bacterial infections (cold, flu, mono, hepatitis C, herpes, etc)
- Neurological diseases (MS, Parkinson's, neuralgia due to diabetes or shingles, etc)
- Allergies and asthma
- Cardiovascular disease
- Addictions and withdrawal
- Heavy metal toxicity (chelation)
There are many ways to encourage healing without taking any substances into the body. These include soft tissue work (including therapeutic massage), naturopathic manipulation of muscle, bone or spine, and hydrotherapy (therapeutic use of hot and cold water). Also, the importance of exercise to health cannot be overstated. Individualized exercise programs can benefit any health condition and will benefit digestion, circulation, immunity, mood, sleep, memory, energy levels, etc, etc!
This 200 year-old practice involves using infinitesimally small amounts of animal, plant and mineral substances to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. When these medicines are carefully matched to the symptom picture of the patient, there is a subtle shift in the body’s vital force that allows for a gentle, long-lasting return to health, with few side effects. Homeopathy is used to treat acute and chronic disease, and is often very effective in conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine.
Lifestyle Counseling & Mind-Body Medicine
Your mental outlook and emotions are important, though often overlooked, elements in health and disease. As part of addressing the whole person, your mental-emotional health is taken into consideration. A very important part of most treatment plans includes stress management. Almost every system in your body can be damaged by chronic stress, and it is very important to identify and address the areas in your life causing tension. As well, the impact of lifestyle choices, diet, exercise, and occupational or environmental hazards are addressed as part of the treatment program.
Specific programs for weight loss, smoking cessation, stress reduction, detoxification, and nutrition and training for athletes are available. Please inquire for more information.