LIVE BLOOD CELL ANALYSIS
Absolute Health Science is pleased to offer Live Blood Cell Analysis (Bloodscan) at our clinic. This valuable modality is a set of examination techniques which combines various protocols to examine and scrutinize blood morphologies (structures) to identify apparent changes and markers within the blood; the presence which may show an individuals tendency or increased tendency towards ultimately developing degenerative conditions and/or disease. Bloodscan analyzes blood at a cellular level, and it pays specific attention to the consequences of nutritional imbalances, and deficiencies. Bloodscan identifies factors such as incomplete digestion, improper assimillation, pH imbalances, and inadequate nutrition for the cells’ optimal functioning. For further information, please check out the Bloodscan video below or call the clinic to set up an appointment.
Nutrition and the therapeutic use of foods is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. Food intolerances, deficiencies, dietary imbalances or nutritional excesses have been associated with many medical conditions. A naturopathic doctor is trained to understand the impact that your diet is having on your health. With appropriate dietary modification and nutritional supplements health concerns can be treated with fewer complications and side effects.
Medicinal plants have been, and will continue to be a valuable part of health care. These plants and plant substances are highly effective and safe in the right dosage and when used correctly with other herbs and treatments. Herbs can be prepared in many forms – teas, tinctures or capsules. Naturopathic doctors are extensively trained in both the art and science of botanical medicine. Naturopathic doctors are currently the only health care providers in Canada to be licensed for the use of botanical medicine.
This powerful system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is widely accepted in many countries. Homeopathic remedies are made from specific dilutions of plant, animal and mineral substances. When carefully matched to the patient they are able to affect the body’s “vital force” and to stimulate the body’s innate healing forces on both the physical and emotional levels, with few side effects. Some conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine respond effectively to homeopathy.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE / ACUPUNCTURE
The key principle that defines and connects all of Chinese medicine is that of Chi, or vital energy. The chi of all organs must be in balance, neither too active nor too dormant, for a person to be healthy. The chi of the body’s organs and systems are all connected in meridians or channels that lie just under the skin. A Naturopathic Doctor will use Eastern herbs and acupuncture to assist the body in regulating the Chi and achieving balance. Acupuncture is the use of very thin needles which are inserted into specific meridian points. The practice of acupuncture has been around for over two thousand years and has proven to be very effective especially for pain relief and chronic illness.
Physical medicine offers treatment for many different health concerns. Treatments can include soft tissue work (including therapeutic massage), naturopathic manipulation of muscle, bone or the spine, hydrotherapy techniques, gentle electrical impulses, ultrasound, diathermy, and exercise therapy.
PREVENTION AND LIFESTYLE COUNSELLING
Mental attitudes and emotional states are important elements in healing and disease. Addressing all aspects of a person’s life, identifying and addressing the impact that stress and life events have on a patient’s health is an important aspect of naturopathic treatment. Naturopathic doctors are trained to counsel on diet, lifestyle, specific stressors, exercise and occupational or environmental hazards as an integral part of the naturopathic treatment program.
The Bowen technique (also known as Bowenwork) is a dynamic system of muscle and connective tissue therapy that utilizes small but measured inputs to the body stimulating the body to heal itself, often profoundly. Rather than focusing on a single complaint, the Bowen technique addresses the entire body, by restoring balance via the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
The Bowen technique usually results in the relief of many specific injuries and other health problems, both acute (new) and chronic (long standing injury). Some of the conditions that often respond favourably to Bowenwork are back pain and sciatica; digestive and bowel problems; earache and TMJ problems; migraines and other types of headaches; fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. It does so holistically, by using the body’s innate healing mechanisms. The practitioner delivers ‘signals’ to the nervous system at specific locations (on muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves), and the body does the rest, responding in its own time, as it is able. While there are a few, very specific situations in which a particular ‘procedure’ is contraindicated, the Bowen technique is appropriate to use for individuals of all ages and in all degrees of health. Many patients report that the Bowen technique is THE most relaxing modality they have ever experienced.
Intravenous therapy, or Parenteral therapy is a safe and effective way to enhance the clinical effectiveness of naturopathic therapies. At its core, naturopathic medicine seeks to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Parenteral therapy is an advanced application of this concept. Some of the conditions for which Parenteral therapy is used include Chronic fatigue syndrome, Chronic depression and anxiety, fibromyalgia, migraines, acute or chronic asthma, chronic sinusitis, angina, CHF, hyperthyroidism, acute infections, enhanced athletic performance, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Macular degeneration, Tissue and wound healing, etc.
Parenteral therapy provides a means to blend many of the modalities inherent to the scope of practice of NDs, and a route of administration that promotes a rapid and effective response, including immediate changes in metabolic processes that cannot be achieved through oral administration of the same substances. The intravenous administration of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other natural substances is particularly important for patients who have limited or impaired absorptive ability through the gastrointestinal tract.
Examples of evidence based application of Parenteral Therapies in Naturopathic care include:
- Vitamin C and Mistletoe therapy in Cancer
- Glutathione in Parkinson’s disease
- Vitamin C in Diabetic ulcer care
- Vitamin C in Cardiovascular disease
- Meyer’s cocktail for convalescence and immune system boosting
What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying or root cause of disease. Symptoms of disease are seen as red flags of improper functioning of the body, and most likely unfavourable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than as an entity.
Treating both acute (rapid onset) and chronic (ongoing) conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – incorporating their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments. Further explanation of each of these modalities can be found under the Naturopathic Therapies section.
In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of the illness rather than simply treating or suppressing symptoms. While naturopathic care helps to alleviate specific symptoms, NDs are primarily concerned with addressing the root cause of an illness: the focus is more on the why of a disease than the what.
What is the difference between Homeopathy and Naturopathy?
Naturopathic medicine is based on the ancient philosophy of Hippocrates over 2400 years ago. Hippocrates, known as the founder of medicine, believed in the healing power of nature, in the body’s potential to heal itself with the use of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness. Naturopathic doctors treat patients as individuals, and thus each treatment is specifically designed to stimulate their body to heal itself.
There are seven basic modalities that are part of the Naturopathic Doctors treatment options. Hydrotherapy, Homeopathy, Botanical Medicine, Nutrition, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Physical Medicine and Lifestyle counselling. Additional modalities can be utilized through continued education. These modalities include Bowen Therapy, Intravenous Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Reike, to name a few.
Homeopathy is based on the learnings of a German Physician in the early 1800s by the name of Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathic remedies are derived from plants, animals, minerals and energetics. They are created by diluting these substances many times until all that remains is the “energetic blueprint” or “essence”. No actual chemical components remain. The concept of homeopathy is “like cures like” and its belief is that the use of a remedy would assist in the healing of a person with a specified disease the same way that the use of the raw material would affect a healthy person. For example, if one was to cut into a fresh onion, the main symptoms that would occur from such an action is running nose and watering eyes. Thus, taking Allium cepa (onion) could assist in someone with sinusitis due to the similar reaction that they would have. The homeopathic remedy Allium cepa would produce antibodies to help ward off the infection. Other factors would need to be addressed before prescribing a remedy to be efficient, however. Homeopathy is one modality that Naturopathic Doctors can use to assist in the treatment of the patient. However, a Homeopathic Doctor does not have the same choice of modalities, and uses only homeopathy in their practice.
What kind of education and training does a Naturopathic Doctor go through before being licensed?
Like a conventional doctor, dentist, or chiropractor, the naturopathic doctor first completes pre-medical studies at university. The naturopathic student then enters into a four-year, full-time medical program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. Training includes basic, medical, and clinical science; diagnostics; naturopathic principles and therapeutics; and extensive clinical experience under the supervision of licensed naturopathic doctors. Graduates receive the title “N.D.” or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.
Are all Naturopathic Doctors licensed, and if so, by what regulating body?
A licensed naturopathic doctor is one who practices in a regulated province or state or, if practicing in an unlicensed province or state, has obtained and maintains his/her license in a regulated province/state and has completed a four-year, full-time program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. Following the completion of an accredited program, NDs must successfully complete standardized North American Board exams known as the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing. To find out if a naturopathic doctor is licensed, either check with the naturopathic regulatory board of your province or contact the CAND (www.cand.ca) or the OAND (www.oand.org). CAND stands for the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, and the OAND stands for the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors. Presently, the Naturopathic Doctors are regulated under the drugless practitioner’s act (DPA).
What kind of diseases do Naturopathic Doctors treat?
Naturopathic doctors are primary health care practitioners. They are trained to treat virtually all health concerns from acute to chronic, pediatric to geriatric and physical to psychological. Naturopathic doctors work with three main groups of people:
- Patients that are looking for disease prevention and health promotion
- Patients with a range of health concerns and no clear diagnosis
- Patients with chronic and severe illnesses.
Does OHIP cover a naturopathic visit?
Presently, OHIP does not cover Naturopathic Medicine. However, most extended health insurance plans in both Canada and the United States cover naturopathic treatments. Insured patients are encouraged to contact their employer or individual insurance brokers to determine if they are covered and/or to request that their policy be extended to include naturopathic services if it does not already do so. Since naturopathic doctors use alternatives to costly techniques and drug therapies, more insurance companies are beginning to investigate expanding coverage of this cost-effective treatment method. Naturopathic medicine is currently not covered by any of the provincial health plans.
Do you need a referral to get an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor?
No referrals are necessary. Absolute Health Science is accepting new patients. Please call the clinic to make an appointment or for more information.
How much does a visit cost?
A naturopathic doctor’s consultation is based on an hourly rate. A first visit is often 1 – 1½ hours in length with subsequent visits ranging from 20 minutes to 60 minutes. Depending on the time spent with a naturopathic doctor, a patient may pay between $35 – $180. The CAND fee schedule is based on a rate of $125 – $180 per hour.
For a detailed outline of naturopathic service fees contact your Naturopathic Doctor’s office. The Fee structure at Absolute Health Science is $165 for the first visit (1.5 hours) and $40-120 for follow up appointments. Senior and Paediatric rates are $60 an hour. Please call the clinic to discuss rates for seniors and paediatrics.
Does a Naturopathic Doctor work with my medical doctor or do they have opposing positions?
Naturopathic doctors can and do work with conventional medical doctors. NDs are trained to refer patients to other health care practitioners, where appropriate. Most naturopathic doctors cross-refer extensively to other health care practitioners.
Are the modalities that Naturopathic Doctors use evidence based? How much research is behind these treatments? Are they safe?
Many naturopathic therapies have been developed out of a rich history of use and are validated by scientific research. For example, many herbs have been used effectively for centuries by various indigenous cultures. Current research supports the direct link between many health conditions and diet and stress. The research supporting naturopathic medicine continues to grow and incorporate new scientific findings.
The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM – www.ccnm.edu) continues to conduct state-of-the-art research that is regularly published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
The naturopathic profession supports research into the efficacy of the products and therapies used by NDs with their patients. The CCNM is currently involved in a number of research projects in collaboration with other naturopathic institutions and conventional medical schools around the world. For the question of safety, there are numerous statistics that demonstrate the safety of each of these modalities. However, care and caution must be utilized when prescribing and one must never self prescribe without supervision by a licensed Naturopathic Doctor. More people die from pharmaceutical intervention and iatrogenic diseases (meaning medical intervention or drug treatment) than by Naturopathic care.