Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care system that incorporates the art and science of traditional and natural forms of medicine with modern scientific knowledge. The practice of naturopathic medicine involves disease diagnosis as well as treatment and prevention using natural therapies that include botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine / acupuncture and lifestyle counseling.
A Naturopathic Doctor is a primary care practitioner distinguished by their practicing philosophy, which seeks to restore and maintain optimum health by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing process. A naturopathic doctor views the individual from a wholistic perspective, incorporating the physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors affecting the patient. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than disease as an entity. The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of the disease by selecting treatments that are unique to the individual and not simply the symptoms. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.
In Ontario, licensed Naturopathic Doctors have at least 7 years of post-secondary education, must graduate from an accredited educational institution, receive their professional licensing from the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) as well as complete and pass international licensing exams (NPLEX). Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario have recently become regulated under the Regulated Health Practitioners Act (RHPA) alongside medical doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and most other health-care providers in the province.
Naturopathic doctors are philosophically governed by their oath and naturopathic principles.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
From a naturopathic philosophy, preventing harm refers to both the present as well as into the future. Many pharmaceutical interventions opt for temporary relief at the expense of long-term health. Selecting medicinal substances to reduce this risk, avoiding the suppression of symptoms when possible and respecting the individuals unique healing process is critical to this governing principle.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery, facilitating and augmenting nature’s ordered and intelligent healing ability. This is accomplished through the selection of appropriate therapeutic interventions.
Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)
Our primary goal is to determine and treat the underlying cause of your discomfort or disease rather than simply managing or suppressing the symptoms. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal and are important indicators of where the body needs to be supported rather than suppressed.
Treat the Whole Person
Each person is unique and requires individualized care. Disease affects the entire person, not just a specific organ or system. Your nutritional status, lifestyle, family history, feelings, environmental stresses, and physical health are all carefully evaluated and addressed.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Inherent to changing your health is an understanding of how to listen to the messages of your body and to develop long-term strategies to optimize and maintain your health and that of your family.
Naturopathic doctors use a variety of therapies to achieve optimal health:
- Botanical Medicine
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including acupuncture
- Strategic Nutritional Supplementation
- Lifestyle Counseling
What to Expect: Diagnosis & Assessment
Comprehensive Health History
The initial intake at the Integrative Health institute will be just over 1-hour in length and will include a detailed history. The medical intake will consist of a meeting with one of our naturopathic doctors, the completion of a medical history form prior to your first appointment as well as relevant physical exam. Acquiring a comprehensive medical history is imperative to providing a tailored and effective treatment.
Understanding your nutritional status, eating habits and the type of food that you eat is an important part of the naturopathic assessment. Following your initial interview you will likely be asked to complete a diet diary for further assessment. Identifying the unique way that food reacts to your body is imperative to achieving long-term health.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to do complete physical exams and we use them as a standard part of your assessment. Having a complete physical exam on an annual basis and when new symptoms arise is an essential part of preventative health care.
Chinese Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis
Traditional Chinese Medicine provides additional insight and information about an individual’s health status. Through tongue and pulse diagnosis, your naturopathic doctor will be able to understand your health status on many different levels and perspectives.
Comprehensive Laboratory Testing
Laboratory testing, including urine analysis, blood work, hormonal saliva testing as well as PAP smears and gynecological testing is an essential aspect of a complete medical assessment. We will use standard laboratory testing as part of your complete assessment. Additional environmental testing assessments, genetic screening and stool analysis are all available through our partnered laboratories in the US. Laboratory testing, like our other services, is not covered by OHIP.
BIA (Bio Impedance Analysis)
Based on technology designed to measure the health of astronauts in space, Bio Impedance Analysis enables our practitioners to measure, water, fat and muscle content in various compartments of the body. This information allows us to monitor how the body stores toxins, assimilates water and clear debris from the body. Repeated over several visits, BIA, provides both you and your doctor with an objective evaluation of your progress.
Previous Medical Reports and Diagnostic Testing
Medical reports, such as MRIs, X-rays or scans are valuable assets to include during our assessment of your health concerns. When appropriate, you may be referred outside of our clinic in order to receive additional imaging or diagnostic testing.
Environmental Medicine & Detoxification
As a resident of our tiny blue planet, it is impossible to avoid the burden of environmental toxicity. With cancer rates soaring and fertility issues becoming increasingly prevalent, environmental medicine and medically supervised detoxification programs have become an imperative component of preventative health. Several members of our naturopathic team have had additional post-graduate training in Environmental Medicine and are qualified and experienced in assessing and treating environmental illness.
Acupuncture is a common therapeutic intervention derived from Traditional Asian Medicine. All of our naturopathic doctors have completed hundreds of hours of training in acupuncture as part of their naturopathic medicine degrees. Acupuncture involves the use of small, sterile, non-reusable needles as part of a more comprehensive program or for acute conditions. At IHI, Acupuncture is performed by our naturopathic doctors as well as members of our chiropractic team. Unlike NDs, chiropractors perform medical acupuncture, a system that approaches treatment from a more physical paradigm.
Cupping is an ancient component of TCM treatments. It is particularly effective for addressing muscle or chest congestion. Cupping involves the use of glass or plastic cups that are placed on the body to helps increase circulation.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture
Facial rejuvenation is the effect one receives when acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are used on the body and the face. “Facial rejuvenation acupuncture” is also known as “cosmetic acupuncture”, “acupuncture facial rejuvenation”, or an “acupuncture facelift. It is effective in treating loose sagging skin, wrinkles, scars, oily acne skin and dark circles under the eyes. It provides an alternative to Botox or surgery, enhances ones appearance and additionally addresses your overall well-being. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture helps to improve muscle tone and dermal contraction especially in the face and neck. Additionally, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture has been shown to increase collagen production, which aids in helping to firm the skin and fill out wrinkles. While the results may not be perceived as quickly as with one day of surgery, the effects can be long-lasting and without side effects.
Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy (IVMT)
IV therapy offers the unique ability to replenish the body’s micronutrients when the limitations of oral supplementation and diet cannot achieve a therapeutic dose. While whole foods and optimal nutrition are the best medicine for overall health, sometimes our diet cannot keep up to the demands of our lifestyle. For many reasons such as environmental toxicity, chronic stress, increased metabolic demand, or a decreased ability to absorb nutrients from the digestive tract, the body can require higher doses of nutrients than can be delivered by mouth.
What can I expect?
IV therapy refers to high doses of micronutrients such as vitamins, botanicals and homeopathic medicines administered directly into the blood stream using a standard IV administration set. Most treatments last 30 minutes and are offered weekly for 6-12 weeks. Treatments are performed in the comfort of our IV suite.
What can IV Therapy treat?
IV treatments can be used for a variety of concerns. Your Naturopathic doctor will determine your individual combination of nutrients to be administered. The most common concerns addressed with IV therapy include:
- Acute colds and viral illness
- Arthritis and chronic pain
- Allergies and sinusitis
- Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
- Concerns related to detoxification and environmental toxicity
- Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and colitis
- Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue
- High performance IVT and sports medicine IVT
- Macular degeneration
- Migraine, tension, and cluster headaches
- Parkinson’s disease
- PMS and menstrual cramps
Side Effects of IVMT
Naturopathic Doctors who utilize intravenous therapies in their practice must complete additional training and rigorous examinations prior to receiving a license to practice IV therapy. IVMT is a very safe therapy with minimal side effects. The most common side effect is irritation at the injection site. Some patients may experience low blood pressure or lightheadedness after the treatment, but these typically last only a few minutes. A taste of vitamins in the mouth is not uncommon but this diminishes quickly after the treatment.
For more information please feel free to book a complimentary information session with one of our Naturopathic Doctors by calling 416-260-6038.
In order to provide you with the highest quality and most convenient services, our dispensary carries a variety of professional neutraceutical products to help keep you and your family feeling their best. The items provided in the dispensary are there for the convenience of our customers. Our complete dispensary offering and more are available through our online store. Customers my purchase their products from any dispensary if they so choose.