About Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine is a comprehensive system of care that combines modern understanding of health and disease with traditional, natural healing techniques. Naturopathic Doctors are primary health care providers who use a holistic, individualized approach to assessment and treatment with a focus on prevention. Treatment plans are designed to address the root cause of illness rather than the symptoms.

Naturopathic Doctors complete an undergraduate degree as well as an intensive four year naturopathic medical program.  The curriculum includes the study of basic and clinical sciences and the development of skills in conventional medical assessment and diagnosis. This strong understanding of health and disease is combined with the study of several natural and holistic treatment tools and a unique treatment philosophy.

One of the unique guiding principles of naturopathic medical practice is “Vis Medicatrix Naturae”, Latin for “The Healing Power of Nature”.  Consider a broken part under the hood of your car. You don’t have much choice but to have a mechanic repair or replace it.  Compare this with a deep paper cut on your finger. Unlike the car part, if you leave this cut alone, it is likely to heal. Of course there are factors that will affect this outcome –if you rub dirt in the cut, this might slow down or interrupt the healing process and if you clean and protect the cut, this might speed up the healing. 

This self-healing ability is not limited to minor cuts and scrapes.  The body is designed to maintain balance and health and, like in the example above, we can either support the healing process, or interfere with it.  Naturopathic Medicine supports the natural healing processes and removes factors that are preventing healing from occurring.  When people bring their health into balance, not only can they eliminate the concerning symptoms, but they also tend to have more energy, sleep better and feel better overall.

 

Naturopathic Medicine is guided by the following six principles:

1. First do no harm, by using safe and gnetle methods and medicines that minimize the risk of harmful side effects.

2. Treat the causes of disease, by identifying and removing the underlying causes of illness, rather than suppressing symptoms.

3. Teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine, by empowering patients with knowledge so they can take responsibility for their health.

4. Heal the whole person through individualized treatment, by understanding the unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors that contribute to illness, and customizing treatment protocols to the patient.

5. Emphasize prevention, by assessing risk factors and recommending appropriate naturopathic interventions to maintain health and prevent illness.

6. Support the healing power of the body, by recognizing and removing obstacles to the body's inherent self-healing process.

 

Naturopathic Medicine uses a cobmination of healing tools:

Clinical Nutrition is the use of food and nutritional supplements for the promotion of health and treatment of disease.  A tremendous number of studies show the power of diet to prevent and treat a vast range of conditions. Additionally, when needed, nutritional supplements can be used to correct deficiencies or provide larger doses of nutrients naturally found in the diet.  “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  -Hippocrates

Lifestyle Counseling involves changes to an individual’s day-to-day activities to increase health-promoting behaviors and decrease those that interfere with the body’s natural ability to heal. This may include changes to stress-management strategies, exercise routines, use of technology and work or sleep patterns.  Dr. Monique uses approaches from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing and mindfulness in her practice.

Botanical Medicine is the use of plants with medicinal properties to rebalance systems of the body.  Herbs can be prepared in a variety of forms including teas, liquid extracts or tablets.

Homeopathy is a system of treatment based on the principle that very small doses of different materials can be used to treat different patterns of symptoms.  Homeopathic remedies are very safe, do not interact with other treatments and can be used during pregnancy.

Hydrotherapy involves the application of warmth or cold to different body parts in order to stimulate different physiologic processes.