Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care which is regulated in Ontario. It is an effective, safe and comprehensive approach to improving health and treating illness. Focusing on prevention and using gentle non-invasive natural treatments, Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic treatment can complement conventional medical treatment or be used effectively on its own.

The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of illness, rather than simply suppress symptoms. Each person’s unique physical, mental and emotional state is considered in developing a personalized healthcare plan. The goal of the Naturopathic Doctor is to understand the patient and all the factors which impact on their health.

Naturopathic medicine is distinguished by its unique principles. The following 6 principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice:

1. The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix naturae)

Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in the person which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.

2. Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)

The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.

3. First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)

Naturopathic doctors follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
  • Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
  • Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms;
  • Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual and with their self-healing process.

4. Doctor As Teacher (Docere)

Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.

5. Treat the Whole Person

Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, spiritual , emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.

6. Prevention

Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease while assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine is committed to the creation of a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.

With each patient, Cathy focuses on the following five aspects of a person’s physiology to rebalance and heal:

  1. Drainage: There are five main organs of elimination in our body. These include liver, lung, intestines, kidney and skin. If our body’s drainage gets clogged, then the system gets backed up and all the toxins get stuck in fat tissue, organs, connective tissue, glands, muscles and nerves. This toxic build up will change the environment in our cells which can lead to our body becoming out of balance. Drainage of toxins allows our body’s elimination organs to function optimally therefore restoring the body to a healthy balance.
  2. Mental and Emotional Well-being: It is essential to address the mental and emotional well-being of a patient for true healing. Stress can be a primary factor that can block the body’s ability to properly detoxify and inhibit the digestive process. Stress can affect sleep as well as increase cortisol levels. These issues need to be addressed for true healing to be achieved. Some patients have a strong and stable emotional foundation. If this is the case, then we address the other causes of imbalance.
  3. Hereditary (miasms): Hereditary addresses the inherent strengths and weaknesses that come from our parents. It also addresses the aspect of how one’s body stores toxins whether it is in the form of a fibroid or accumulation in the joint spaces creating arthritis. In naturopathic medicine, we assess how one’s body stores and eliminates toxins. Naturopathic treatment gives us the opportunity to make the best of what we have and stimulate the body to eliminate its toxins efficiently.
  4. Diet and Nutrition:Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food” – Hippocrates. Ideally, foods should be pure and simple to maintain optimal health. Preservatives, chemicals, dyes, colours, chemical sweeteners and antibiotics are unknowingly added to your food. These toxins are difficult to eliminate and add to the toxic load of the body. Testing for food allergies and sensitivities is essential so a specific diet can be designed for optimal health.
  5. Strong Structural Foundation: Another important aspect to health and wellness is to maintain a strong structural foundation through healthy mobility and regular exercise. The spine is extremely important to good health simply because it is the largest computer network to communicate with our organs and glands. The health of the muscles, connective tissue, fascia, cerebral spinal fluid and organs will impact the structure of the patient. Correcting these structural imbalances is essential for health. This is done through a variety of treatments including osteopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture and physiotherapy.