What is Naturopathic Medicine? Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of healthcare with an individualized approach to patient care. The goal of naturopathic medicine is to establish the conditions for optimal health and wellness and prevent disease, using a natural approach to health care.
It is based the knowledge that the body has an innate ability to heal when the obstacles to cure are removed and the fundamentals of health are provided. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the importance of addressing the physical, mental, emotional, environmental and spiritual aspects of a person in order to identify and treat the root causes of disease.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor? Naturopathic doctors are primary care providers who have graduated from a naturopathic medial school recognized and accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) and have successfully completed the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEx). In Ontario, they are also registered with the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDT-N).
What training do Naturopathic Doctors have? Naturopathic doctors have at least 7 years of post secondary training including biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, naturopathic therapeutics and a 12-month clinical internship. To enter an accredited naturopathic medical college one must have a university degree including pre-medical studies. The naturopathic program is a full-time, four-year program and only graduates of accredited institutions are eligible to sit for the national board exams in naturopathic medicine. The education includes 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. All told, NDs receive some 4,500 hours of academic and clinical training.
Graduates receive the title “ND” or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine/Naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic doctors are the only health care professionals who have extensive training in natural medicine as well as the ability to assess illness using conventional methods.
Is Homeopathic Medicine different from Naturopathic Medicine? Homeopathic medicine is one of a number of therapies that Naturopathic Doctors may integrate into a treatment program. Naturopathic Doctors perform a thorough examination including laboratory diagnostics and physical exams before prescribing any kind of treatment. Naturopathic Doctors are trained and licensed to provide homeopathic treatments as part of an integrated treatment program.
What do Naturopathic Doctors use as forms of treatment? Naturopathic Doctors use a variety of natural treatments including: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, hydrotherapy and lifestyle counseling.
What do Naturopathic Doctors treat? Naturopathic Doctors are trained to treat people with a wide variety of conditions ranging from acute to chronic, in children to the elderly. Naturopathic Doctors also treat people who are looking to maintain their health and teach people how to be proactive with their choices to live a lifestyle that can help to prevent disease.Some of the many conditions that can be managed with naturopathic medicine are listed in Conditions Treated.
Can I see a Naturopathic Doctor and a Medical Doctor at the same time? Yes. Although both Naturopathic and Medical Doctors receive similar training in biomedical and clinical sciences the main differences between our approaches to health care are the length of the visits, the types of therapies used and the philosophical approach to health and healing.
It is the goal of our naturopathic doctors to work with you and your family doctor to provide you with the best health care possible.
Can I use Naturopathic Medicine if I'm on prescription medication? Yes. Licensed Naturopathic Doctors have training in pharmacology and drug-nutrient-herb interactions. Naturopathic Doctors can also help you manage the side effects of medication. Naturopathic Doctors work together with Medical Doctors to ensure the best care for all patients.
Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP or Extended Health Insurance? Naturopathic services are not currently covered by OHIP, however, most extended health benefit plans cover a significant portion, if not all of a naturopathic doctor’s consultation fee. Check your benefits plan, or call your insurance provider for more information. Be sure to ask how much coverage you have, if there is a deductible per visit, if there is a limit per visit, and when your policy year ends.
What should I expect during a naturopathic visit? The first visit is usually 60 minutes in length, with subsequent visits ranging from 30 -60 minutes, dependent on the nature of your concern, treatment options that have been chosen to address your health goals, and the predetermined goals of the particular visit. During the visit the ND will obtain a comprehensive medical history of your current and past health concerns, conduct a physical examination, and collect information about other areas of your life that impact your health (e.g. diet, exercise, stress, etc.) Lab tests may be ordered or requisitioned from your current health care providers as necessary.
All of this information will be reviewed in order to assess the disturbances to your health. At the end of the visit, your ND will discuss treatment options and develop an individualized course of therapy that is focused on addressing your health concerns. Are you accepting new patients? How can I refer friends and family? We gratefully accept new patients, and value your trust. The patient-doctor relationship is an important one, so we offer a free 15-minute ‘meet the doctor’ to allow any new patient to get to know us a little better before they make any commitment. Just contact us at416-651-6602 or book an appointment online.
What is Acupuncture? How does it work? Acupuncture is one of the most widely used therapies in the world. It's a powerful tool to promote health and generate more self-awareness. It's a safe and effective treatment for many illnesses.
In Chinese medicine, health is seen as having the right balance of life force called Qi (pronounced "chee"). Ideally, Qi flows smoothly and evenly throughout the body nourishing each cell, organ and tissue. When Qi becomes stuck or depleted, pain and illness can result. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into key points on the body along our energy pathways to move, restore, nourish and balance Qi.
What is Acupuncture used for? The list of diseases and conditions for which Acupuncture would be an appropriate treatment is extensive. Acupuncture is a complete medical system in itself, and is also an excellent compliment to almost any other treatment.
Boost immunity and energy level, allergies, prevention and recovery from colds and flus, chronic infections, sinusitis, fatique, low vitality
Manage the side effects of drugs and medication, alcohol, food, and tobacco addiction
Chronic conditions such as: respiratory problems, digestive problems, circulatory disorders, nervous system disorders`
Acupuncture also reduces stress and anxiety, and helps patients enter a deep state of relaxation, which enhances the healing process. Herbal medicine can increase the effectiveness of your acupuncture treatment and is often the primary treatment for chronic internal medical disorder.
I know Acupuncture involves needles. Does it hurt? People tend to experience acupuncture differently. Generally speaking, Acupuncture should not be painful. When your practitioner inserts a needle, he looks for signs that Qi has arrived by any one of a number of signs. You may feel a dull ache, perhaps a feeling of electricity or tingling, a sensation of heat or cold, or it may just feel strange. Sometimes you can feel Qi running up or down the body or a limb. It is important that the sensation of Qi be felt. Occasionally you may like you've been stung by a bee. This can be somewhat uncomfortable, but should pass almost immediately. If it doesn't, tell your practitioner right away so he can adjust or remove the needle. Occasionally you may feel a throbbing ache, which may also be somewhat uncomfortable, especially if you are being treated for a chronic condition. At no time, though, should you have any sensation that is beyond your tolerance level. If you do, let your practitioner know right away. The fact is that the vast majority of clients report that, after a while, they begin to feel a real sense of well-being, almost euphoria.
Besides needles, what are other treatment options? While needle treatment is traditional, other effective means of bringing about the desired physiological response include acupressure (finger pressure), blunt probes, pressure massage, electronic stimulation, laser, heat, cold, ultra sound, moxibustion, herbal therapy, to name a few.
What is acupressure? Acupressure consists of pressing the acupuncture points in an attempt to help the free flow of qi energy in the channel. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but the practitioner uses their fingers instead of needles to work the point.
What is moxibustion? Moxibustion is the burning on the skin of the herb moxa. The Chinese character 'Chiu' is used to describe the art of moxibustion, and literally means 'to scar with a burning object'. Moxibustion nowadays does not involve scarring, but moxa is still used to provide local heat over acupuncture points. It is made from the dried leaves of Artemisia vulgaris and the Chinese believe that the older the moxa, the better its therapeutic properties. Here at the Centre we use smokeless moxa sticks.
What is cupping? Cupping is a therapy in which a jar is attached to the skin surface to cause local congestion through the negative pressure created by introducing heat in the form of an ignited material. It is used to move congestion and for chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, tight IT bands, etc.
Are there other specialized uses for acupuncture? Yes, auricular acupuncture is used for smoking detoxification and weight management. It is effective for curbing cravings, hastening detoxification from nicotine or carbohydrates and managing restlessness and irritability related to detoxification.
Additionally, acupuncture facial rejuvenation is used to increase collagen production, decrease bags under the eyes, sagging jowls and larger wrinkles. It also eliminates fine lines on the face, moisturizes the skin and improves facial circulation.
Is acupuncture safe? Yes. Acupuncture has no unpleasant side effects and does not interfere with any medical treatment you may already be receiving. Occasionally patients may get a small local bruise or feel light-headed for a few moments. The acupuncture itself is as gentle or strong as the patient needs. Highly sensitive patients only require a very light touch in order to get results.
The practitioner is well aware of the concern over infectious diseases, and takes every measure to insure cleanliness as all health care professional do. Our needles are sterile and disposable, they are never reused. Bleeding rarely occurs, unless done so on purpose in specific situations. Even then the amount is minimal and in no way dangerous.
What should I expect on my first visit? During your first office visit, we spend time talking to you to get a complete picture of your health and lifestyle. We examine the condition of your tongue. We look to see what color your tongue is, the type of coat on top of your tongue and any cracks or other features. We check your pulse on both wrists. The quality of your pulse and tongue gives us information about possible imbalances.
We’ll also ask questions about your emotional state and specific symptoms you may have. This is done because we treat the whole person instead of focusing on just the symptoms of your condition. The first visit will last 45 minutes, ending with an acupuncture treatment. Your subsequent visits will be much faster – usually an half an hour or less. We’ll make a short review of your progress followed by an acupuncture treatment. Sometimes other therapies, such as moxabustion, acupressure/massage and exercises are incorporated with the acupuncture treatment.
How often will I need to come in for treatment? Typically acupuncture treatments are given once a week. If your specific condition will respond best with less time between treatments, we may recommend 2-3 times per week until your condition starts to respond to the treatment. The exact duration of treatment depends on the condition, your basic level of health, and how well you respond to acupuncture. Usually 8-10 sessions constitute one treatment course, but symptoms of shorter duration often take fewer treatments.
It is critical to stick to consistent treatment frequencies to keep the body moving toward balance. When your body has reached a state of balance, you may require only occasional maintenance treatments to stay healthy, if any.
What should I expect after a treatment? The immediate experience after an acupuncture treatment varies from person to person. You may feel:
A decrease and change in pain
Euphoric and energized
Sleepy and relaxed
Let us know if you need a snack, some water or some down-time afterwards.
Reactions to acupuncture vary according to the health condition of each individual. You may experience subtle effects up to 48 hours after your treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email us.
Is Acupuncture covered by OHIP or Extended Health Insurance? Acupuncture is not currently covered by OHIP, however, most extended health benefit plans cover a significant portion, if not all of a consultation/treatment fee. Check your benefits plan, or call your insurance provider for more information. Be sure to ask how much coverage you have, if there is a deductible per visit,if a Naturopathic Doctor can perform treatments if there is a limit per visit, and when your policy year ends.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems, with the goal being relief of symptoms, changes in behavior leading to improved social and vocational functioning, and personality growth.
Why do people seek counselling? People seek counselling for many reasons. Some people would like support dealing with unexpected changes in their lives, and some people are looking for guidance with personal growth. Sometimes our coping skills not at their best as a result of life circumstances, and couselling can help during those times. Counselling provides support for issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem relationship difficulties, childhood issues, grief, and stress management. What issues do I address in my practice? Distress can manifest itself in many ways such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, eating disorders, addictions, trauma, physical or sexual abuse, discrimination, issues relating to sexual orientation, creative blocks, unhappy relationships, ongoing diffuculties with one's family of origin, recent immigration, problems in the workplace, stresses of parenting, separation/divorce, loss of a loved one, disability, sickness etc.
Will it work for me? Many people feel a great deal of benefit from psychotherapy, some even after comparatively few meetings. Like any other treatment approach, psychotherapy may not be suitable for everyone. Each must decide on their own whether therapy is helpful for them. The initial consultation's aim is to help people think about this, in collaboration with a therapist. Clinical experience shows that if you are motivated and set yourself realistic goals, psychotherapy is likely to help.
What can I expect in a session? During sessions you will talk about the issues in your life which at brought you to counselling and looking for the most effective way to address them. A session lasts 50 minutes and are most people find it helpful to meet weekly or every other week at the beginning of therapy, and then to meet monthly or as needed.
What are the benefits of working with a psychotherapist? Many people find it helpful to have the understanding and validation that a therapist can provide. Some of the benefits of therapy are:
- Developing skills for improving your relationships.
-Finding resolution to the issues that brought you to therapy.
- Finding effective ways to manage with overwhelming emotions
- Developing healthier behaviours
-Learning skills to have healthier relationships
How will I feel during therapy? It is possible that you may feel worse before you feel better, and some people find their psychological distress is reflected in physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains. Therapy requires an uncovering of painful feelings and memories. This can be experienced as a relief but it may also stir up uncomfortable feelings.
Will I need to stop medication? This depends on what sort of treatment is being offered. If you are going to are going to participate in psychotherapy, this might means stopping all tranquillizers and anti-depressants. I will consult with your prescribing physician to determine the best possible course of treatment. Sometimes there is a need to combine medication and psychotherapy over a period of time, and this decision should be discussed by everyone involved. I do not prescribe medication.
Can I stop if I feel it's not working? It is always possible to leave therapy, though the pressure to remain may seem stressful at times. Some people have to have several "goes" at therapy before they succeed. Talk about your difficulties with me before you decide to stay or leave. Ultimately, if you want to stop, it is up to you.
What kind of records are kept? Psychotherapy records contain any questionnaires you have completed and returned, any letters you send and copies of any letters sent to you. There will also be a summary of your assessment and documentation of any contact with other treatment professionals whom you‘ve given me written consent to communicate with. Notes from the process of your treatment, including your attendance and content of the sessions, are also kept. If there are details you do not wish to have recorded in your file, please discuss this with me.
Will my information be shared with anyone? The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission of the client UNLESS there is suspected child or elder abuse, or threats of harm to oneself or to others.
What about vacations and canceled sessions? Continuity in therapy is important, and time away is better planned in advance with this in mind. Of course, I understand that sometimes circumstances may prevent you from coming to your session, and I require 24 hours notice for a cancellation without charge. Occasionally, I may need to cancel sessions. I will give you plenty of notice of any absences I intend to take. Any feelings stirred up by breaks in your therapy are an important part of the process, and I encourage you to discuss them with me.
When will I no longer need psychotherapy? Ending psychotherapy is a personal decision based on a variety of factors. Feeling better about yourself, being better able to manage the stresses in your life, having a sense of hope, potential, or peace of mind are all markers for ending therapy. Whatever the reason, the psychotherapist retires, the client moves, closure sessions are extremely important. Taking the time to say goodbye is a way of respecting the work and acknowledging that it is time to move on.
I know people what have been in psychotherapy for years. Does that mean that they are not getting better? Not at all. Like an exercise program or specific diet, therapy can be viewed as a good psychic maintenance. Some people value the continued exchange between psychotherapist and client, as the client's life unfolds leading to other challenging circumstances.
Is Psychotherapy covered by OHIP or Extended Health Insurance? Psychotherapy is not currently covered by OHIP, however, most extended health benefit plans cover a significant portion, if not all of consultation fee. Check your benefits plan, or call your insurance provider for more information. Be sure to ask iv visits with a registeres social worker are covered, how much coverage you have, if there is a deductible per visit, if there is a limit per visit, and when your policy year ends.
When do you pay for your visit? We ask that you pay for the service right after the visit. Please discuss with us prior to the visit if you are unable to pay the full amount, it is up to your practitioner if they are willing to accept a sliding fee scale, or extend credit for the payment of the visit.
What payment methods do you accept? We accept cash, debit, VISA and MasterCard. I have extended health coverage, how do I submit my claim? We provide receipts that are fully compatible with most insurance providers. If you have Blue Cross insurance please let us know as your receipt will require additional information. Most insurance providers also require a claim form to be submitted with your recipt, see your provider's website for more information.
What happens if I need to cancel my appointment? We require 24-hours notice to cancel an appointment. We prefer cancellations by phone. Should you miss an appointment, you will be charged a $30 missed appointment fee.
What are your Clinic Policies? Please visit our Clinic Policies page for more information. Will my information be shared with anyone? Absolutely not, we do not share your information with 3rd parties unless required by law. All efforts are made to keep your information confidential, please refer to our Privacy Consent Form in the resources section under New Patients> Forms. Why are some products I use not in your Health Boutique? While we would love to carry every product our patients use, our smaller space and rigorous selection process make it a little bit of a challenge. We do make every effort to carry the products our clients use on a regular basis and are always taking suggestions on new products to carry. Please let us know if there is a product you would like to see in our dispensary!
Why are some of your brands difficult to find? Some of our brands are for the use of health practitioners only. These prescription brands can only be carried in stores that have a licensed health practitioner like a Naturopathic Doctor, nutritionist, etc. on site.
How do you choose which products to carry in your Health Boutique? We choose products based on how effective the products are, how competitive the price point and how far they need to travel to get here.
Do you custom compound herbal remedies? Yes, we have a very extensive herbal dispensary with over 200 dry herbs and are able to blend custom teas. We have also begun to carry herbal tinctures lately and will soon be able to custom compound these as well.
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