What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Did you know...? Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture are Regulated Health Professions in Ontario and the costs of seeing a practitioner are covered under most extended Health Benefit Plans

NaturopathyAt Thornhill Naturopathic Health Clinic we treat health as a process rather than looking at disease as a static issue. Naturopathic medicine is primary health care medicine, which blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environmental and lifestyle factors. The goal of Naturopathic Medicine is to develop optimal wellness for each patient, and to teach the principles of ideal health.

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Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

• First, do no harm
• Act in co-operation with the healing powers of nature
• Address the fundamental cause of disease
• Heal the whole person through individualized treatment
• Teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine

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NaturopathyNatural therapies include:

•  Acupuncture
•  Botanical Medicine
•  Clinical Nutrition
•  Homeopathy
•  Hydrotherapy
•  Intravenous Therapy 
•  Massage Therapy
•  Naturopathic Manipulation and Matrix Repatterning 
•  Traditional Chinese Medicine
•  Reiki

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How does Naturopathic Medicine compare to conventional medicine?

NaturopathyBoth conventional Medical Doctors (MDs) and Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) provide primary health care and both are similarly trained as doctors. The main differences between naturopathic and conventional medicine are the philosophical approach and the therapies used. Naturopathic doctors treat patients as individuals by addressing the physical, environmental, lifestyle, attitudinal, and emotional aspects of health. This allows Naturopathic Doctors to find and treat the root cause of the disease using natural, non-invasive therapies and therefore restoring health for the long term. Conventional allopathic doctors generally address and treat the symptoms of disease and use pharmaceutical therapies or surgery.

At Thornhill Naturopathic Health Clinic we treat all kinds of people, from infants and children to seniors, with a variety of health concerns, from colds and flu to chronic illness and from the physical to the psychological. We also have a focus on providing adjunctive care to cancer patients and on providing treatment to alleviate the impact of cancer treatments on the body.

Naturopathic medicine is beneficial for the following types of patients: Naturopathic medicine is very effective for improving the quality of life for those with serious and life threatening illnesses.

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Education, training and accreditation:

EducationNaturopathic Doctors are required to complete an undergraduate University degree,, before entering into a four year full time Naturopathic program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. Training includes basic, medical and clinical science; diagnostics; naturopathic principles and therapeutics; and extensive clinical internship experience under the supervision of licensed naturopathic doctors. Graduates receive the title N.D. or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Following the completion of an accredited program, NDs must successfully complete standardized  Naturopathic  Licensing Examinations   in order to qualify for licensing. In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors are licensed by College of Naturopaths of Ontario. Acupuncturists are licensed by the the College of Traditonal Chinese Medicine Practioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.

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Naturopathic Doctors  offer primary naturopathic health care to patients and combines the use of current medical diagnostic tools and laboratory testing with philosophies of individualized medicine and natural healing. Every patient has individual symptoms and medical history. This information is an important part of the detailed medical intake that we do to allow us to provide you with the best possible care. You will receive an thorough assessment and an individualized treatment plan according to your concerns and symptoms.

The following list describes treatment options:

•  Traditional Chinese Medicine
•  Acupuncture
•  Homeopathy
•  Physical Medicine
•  Botanical Medicine
•  Lifestyle Counselling
•  Nutritional Counselling
•  Intravenous Therapy
•  Hydrotherapy
•  Infrared Sauna
•  Massage Therapy

Traditional Chinese MedicineTraditional Chinese Medicine: Includes the use of acupuncture, herbs and the energetics of food to create balance and heal the body. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain and is an effective treatment when combined with other treatments for diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking cessation.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine involving the insertion of acupuncture needles into the skin at specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. Acupuncture points are located on meridians in the body, through which vital energy (Qi) flows. Needling specific acupuncture points can remove obstructions and improve the natural flow of Qi or energy throughout the body. Acupuncture is used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve function of affected areas of the body. It is safe and effective and is often successfully used as an alternative to medications or even surgery. Relief is often obtained with acupuncture when traditional medical therapy has failed.

Common Uses for Acupuncture:
•   Acute and chronic pain
•   Sprains, strains and arthritis
•   Headaches and migraines
•   Asthma and allergies
•   Skin conditions
•   Anxiety and depression
•   Menstrual and fertility problems
•   Quitting smoking

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HomeopathyHomeopathy: Based on the principle of “like cures like”, Homeopathic Medicine uses minute amounts of natural substances to stimulate the self-healing abilities of the body. It is an effective medicine that is used for both chronic and acute disease and injuries. The remedies are safe and can be combined with other supplements and drugs.

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Physical MedicinePhysical Medicine: Physical manipulations and hands on healing are effective tools for muscular skeletal and nervous system imbalances. They include a variety of hands-on techniques for the spine, joints and soft tissues. Physical medicine treatments  also include hydrotherapy and the  use of Therapeutic Laser light, heat and cold and massage and Matrix Repatterning treatments. 

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Botanical MedicineBotanical Medicine: Uses herbal teas, tinctures or capsules as alternatives or complementary  to pharmaceutical drugs to treat specific health concerns and assists the body in recovering from illness or injury.

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Lifestyle CounsellingLifestyle Counselling: focuses on the connection between the mind and the body. Many health concerns originate or are aggravated by thoughts, emotions, stressful events and poor coping strategies. Treatments and education emphasize rebalancing the body.

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Nutritional CounsellingNutritional Counseling: Diet and nutrition play significant roles in the body's ability to maintain good health and recover from illness and injury. Laboratory testing may be used to identify deficiencies, and body burden, which can hinder the body's ability to eliminate toxins and heal. Dietary recommendations and supplementation such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutraceuticals will address individualized health concerns.

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Biopuncture & Mesotherapy:  Please Note:   Biopuncture and Mesotherapy  are no longer offered at our clinic

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Intravenous TherapyIntravenous Therapy:
Intravenous (IV) Therapies involve the use of relatively high dose vitamins, minerals,  and  nutritional substances  given to a person through a needle directly into their blood circulation. This is a relatively safe way to achieve the concentration levels necessary for many of these nutrients.

IV Therapies can be used safely and effectively for a variety of disorders including:

• Heavy Metal Toxicity
• Adjunctive cancer care
• General Anti-Aging
• Pain Disorders (Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, etc.)
• Chronic Fatigue
• Heart Disease
• Colds, flu and infections
• Parkinson's disease
• Eye concerns
• Arrhythmias
• and much more

Some of the therapeutics used in infusion therapy include:
• Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) for Immune support and Cancer Support
• Meyers Cocktail (multi-mineral and vitamin cocktail for immune support, fatigue, athletic training and recovery, etc.)

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HydrotherapyHydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy is proven to be a highly effective form of natural therapy, which works by stimulating the endorphins, which in turn, helps you to control pain and alleviate tension. The hydro therapy bath works by releasing millions of large air bubbles, which relaxes your muscular tension and helps to reduce swollen joints giving you increased mobility and more importantly lessens your pain. The hydrotherapy bath also releases very fine bubbles. This has a soothing tranquil effect on your body which helps relieve your stress and tension.

Circulation - our hydrotherapy bath has a remarkable ability to improve circulation. Your blood flow takes oxygen and nourishment to all your cells and tissues. When working correctly, this forms the basis of a healthy life. Good circulation also brings the benefit of good lymph drainage, which helps to clear the body of toxins.

Immune System - detoxing regularly, leads to a stronger immune system, which is able to cope with controlling viruses, bacteria and infections. Your immune system is your internal police force and when working efficiently, helps you overcome minor infections ranging from the common cold right up to deadly diseases.

Stress - hydrotherapy can provide you with the vital key to breaking the stress cycle of everyday modern life. In today's busy world, you can be prone to stress related illnesses, which can cause a wide range of physical and psychological problems. For example, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive complaints, insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks, the list is endless. Unfortunately stress not only affects the mind but more importantly your immune system.

Complexion - the hydrotherapy bath helps to regulate your body's temperature control by improving the efficiency of your perspiration glands. This releases the toxins from your body and leaves you with a healthy glowing complexion. If you look better you will feel better. The oxygen flow is increased by the effect of the millions of bubbles and this activity can also help reduce fluid retention and even have a dramatic effect on other ailments such as cellulite. In short, Hydrotherapy offers an excellent way for you to regain and maintain a healthy and painless body. Any natural treatment that can help you to revitalise and de-stress, without producing the detrimental side effects of some of today's modern drugs, has got to be the way forward.

What happens to you during Hydrotherapy?
When you are in pain or under stress, chemical changes in your body can cause the blood pressure and pulse rate to increase. Having regular hydrotherapy treatments can help you to reduce these symptoms by relieving swollen joints and slowing down the process of stress reaction. This will help you to relax and unwind, which makes it easier for youin helping you to deal with your pain.

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Infrared SaunaInfared Sauna: Infra-red sauna uses infra-red heaters to emit radiant heat, which is absorbed directly into the body, unlike traditional saunas which heat the body indirectly via air or steam.

Benefits of Infra-red Sauna:
Supports the detoxifying process and the removal of toxic chemicals and metals
Speeds recovery of colds, flu and sinus infections
Decreases pain and stiffness
Promotes longevity and youthful, radiant skin
Increases metabolism, and may aid in weight loss 
Relieves stress and improves mental clarity
Decreases symptoms of stress and fatigue

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Massage Therapy: Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Tension Relief Massage Therapy, also known as Swedish massage, is the most common form of massage.

Massage TherapyMassage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin. It also works on the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves. Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.

Therapeutic massage can be an important part of your health maintenance plan, by:

• Reducing or eliminating pain
• Improving joint mobility
• Improving circulation
• Improving the functionality of the immune system
• Increasing lymphatic drainage
• Reducing depression and anxiety
• Reducing tension within muscles
• Relieving stress

Massage therapy improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues. It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and other waste, which reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. Massage therapy relieves stress by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol and also appears to enhance immune function.

Reiki: With its origins in Japan, Reiki is an energy medicine technique that promotes healing. Energy is transferred by lightly placing hands on various parts of the body, allowing for self-healing and a state of equilibrium. A Reiki treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you.

Reiki treats the whole person, body, emotions, mind and spirit. It creates many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Reiki develops a spiritual balance, which is the road to wisdom and peace. Simple, natural and safe, Reiki enables spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been known to help those with illnesses and maladies, and works well in conjunction with other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

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