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Professional Dispensary

Ensuring Safety and Effectiveness

There is an enormous range in quality between natural health products available in the marketplace, and choosing and sourcing natural health products can be a confusing and time-consuming process.

Natural health products available for sale in Canada are regulated by Health Canada for safety, accuracy of health claims and “basic” quality control (i.e., are products accurately labelled, safely stored, etc.), but not “quality” in the sense that matters most to recovery of your health: is the product the most effective, “purest” “version” of that nutrient or botanical (herbal) medicine.

For example:

  • Does the multi-vitamin/mineral contain d-alpha tocopherol or d/l-alpha tocopherol? One is significantly more bioavailable (i.e., well absorbed) than the other.
  • Is the Echinacea product produced using Echinacea angustifolia or Echinacea purpurea? One is significantly more bioactive (“effective”) than the other.
  • Is the medicinal mushroom product produced using a cold-water extraction process? If not, bioavailability will be negligible.
  • Is the Tribulus product manufactured using plants grown in Eastern Europe? Tribulus grown elsewhere does not contain the chemicals producing the biochemical effects Tribulus is used for.
  • Has the St. John’s Wort product been standardized to contain guaranteed amounts of hypericin and hyperforin? If not, it is not possible to be certain a therapeutic dose is being used (or that the probability of side effects is minimized).
  • Is the garlic tablet enterically-coated? If not, the active ingredient will be degraded before it can enter the bloodstream and be delivered throughout the body.

Unsure if this matters?

The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements (3rd edition) evaluated multi-vitamin/mineral quality based on 39 nutrient categories, and generated a score for each out of a possible 100: Douglas Laboratories® UltraPreventative® X earned a score of 95.4, and Jamieson™ Power Vitamins for Men earned a score of 3.5.

A 2013 study conducted at the University of Guelph demonstrated that the products of only two of twelve (17%) botanical (herbal) medicine manufacturers whose products were tested contained the labelled ingredients in the advertised amounts, without contamination or use of unlabelled “fillers”.

Long-term monitoring of dietary supplements indicates that 56% of dietary supplements contain pharmaceutical agents, 72% specifically in the weight loss and body-building sector.

We achieve these “best quality” control measures by hundreds of hours of meetings with various manufacturers and distributers. We have learned:

  • Which manufacturers test every batch of their final product for potency and purity
  • Which products have been evaluated using clinical trials
  • Which botanical (herbal) medicine compounders use higher potency dried plants in product preparation
  • Which products are formulated by the most experienced clinicians

To help you guarantee quality and convenience, our in-house dispensary is available to provide you with access to a professionally selected collection of high-quality nutritional supplements and botanical (herbal) medicines.

And once your healthy lifestyle regimen is established, most dispensary items may be ordered through our online dispensary, or we can arrange delivery from the Clinic.

Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor
Toronto Naturopathic Doctor

References

MacWilliam L. Comparative guide to nutritional supplements™. 3rd professional ed. Northern Dimensions Publishing; 2003. pp. 111, 117.

Newmaster SG, Grguric M, Shanmughanandhan D, Ramalingam S, Ragupathy S. DNA barcoding detects contamination and substitution in North American herbal products. BMC Medicine. 2013;11:222. Available at: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-11-222.

Naturopathic Medicine

Truly personalized healthcare

Naturopathic medicine is a holistic, individualized approach to improving health and treating illness.

The focus of naturopathic treatment is to support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself, resulting in optimal health, not simply management of disease symptoms.

The range of health conditions treatable by naturopathic medicine is similar to that treated by a family physician, focusing, but not limited to “chronic” health conditions (i.e., those lasting longer than three months, for example heart disease).

Naturopathic doctors use a variety of “tools”, including lifestyle medicine, nutritional counselling, nutritional supplements, botanical (herbal) medicines, acupuncture, homeopathy, and “hands-on” therapies such as Bowen Therapy and Suikodo™.

These tools are combined uniquely for each and every patient to create a treatment plan reflecting their individual health concern or concerns, their health priorities, their lifestyle demands and any other challenges or obstacles that may be present.

Benefits of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine incorporates treatments based on thousands of years of experience, with those validated using modern research techniques, resulting in a “complete” approach to healthcare.

As a “health optimizing” approach to disease treatment, the benefit (and indeed, goal) of naturopathic treatment is often greater than a return to your original state of health. For example, a person being treated for joint pain may also, as a result of their treatment protocol, lose weight, resulting in not only in decreased pain, but also increased energy and improved self-confidence.

Even when naturopathic medicine is not able to completely solve a health challenge, it can aid in reducing use of conventional medications, reducing medication side effects and long-term toxicity symptoms. For this reason, it is an effective complement for conventional treatment of many health concerns.

What to Expect

The first appointment with a naturopathic doctor focuses primarily on gathering the information required to create an effective treatment plan for meeting your health goals.

The information collected may include relevant health information, information about lifestyle factors that may provide challenges to success, physical examination findings, and recommendations for further laboratory testing testing or requests of your other healthcare providers for already-completed laboratory test results.

Although every patient’s treatment plan is individualized, all include nutritional and/or lifestyle prescriptions to support a return to health, and usually use of natural medicines (e.g., nutritional supplements) or treatments (e.g., acupuncture) to stimulate healing.

Follow-up appointments are scheduled according to the therapy selected, and your response to treatment. The ultimate goal of naturopathic treatment is for you to be empowered with the knowledge to take control of your own health, requiring consultation only once or twice yearly to monitor maintenance of health improvements.

Naturopathic Medicine at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Initial appointments for naturopathic treatment at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are 90 minutes long. The first couple of follow-up appointments are typically 45-60 minutes, followed typically by 30-minute appointments.

Our naturopathic doctors treat all chronic health conditions, with a particular focus on fertility issues, women’s and children’s health concerns, digestive care and pain conditions that have not been successfully treated using other therapies.

Our naturopathic doctors are fully licensed to practice naturopathic medicine in Ontario.

Naturopathic medicine treatments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

Registered Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a form of body-work incorporating comfortable pressure applied to the body to manually stretch tense and painful muscles, improve mobility of stiff joints and reduce swelling.

Registered massage therapy at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine incorporates a variety of techniques, including Swedish (“traditional”) massage, myofascial release technique (to reduce tension in fascia, the tissue that surrounds all muscles), Suikodo™ and reflexology.

It may be used independently, or as an effective means of optimizing the effectiveness of other pain management therapies such as acupuncture, Bowen therapy, Suikodo™, physiotherapy and chiropractic.

Benefits of Registered Massage Therapy

Although registered massage therapy is most commonly used as a treatment for muscle pains and rehabilitation from/prevention of injury; and to manage the harmful effects of stress; research supports its use in a wide range of conditions, including:

What to Expect

Registered massage therapy appointments are typically 60 minutes in duration.

Although benefit is often noted in a single treatment, number of treatments required for optimal results varies depending on the condition being treated, and the extent of, and how long you have been experiencing the condition.

Registered massage therapy treatments are performed using oil and can be performed unclothed, or wearing under-garments. During treatments, only the section of the body being treated is exposed.

Aromatherapy (the use of scented oils to affect emotional state) can be incorporated to optimize benefit of the treatments.

Registered Massage Therapy at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Massage therapy treatments at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are performed by Melissa Dunseith, RMT.

All our registered massage therapists are registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and fully licensed to practice massage therapy in Ontario.

Registered massage therapy treatments performed at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Oswald C, Higgins CC, Assimakopoulos D. Optimizing pain relief during pregnancy using manual therapy. Can Fam Physician. 2013 Aug;59(8):841-2.

Diego MA, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M. Preterm infant weight gain is increased by massage therapy and exercise via different underlying mechanisms. Early Hum Dev. 2014 Mar;90(3):137-40.

Coggrave M, Norton C, Cody JD. Management of faecal incontinence and constipation in adults with central neurological diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Jan 13;1:CD002115.

Mazlum S, Chaharsoughi NT, Banihashem A, Vashani HB. The effect of massage therapy on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in pediatric cancer. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2013 Jul;18(4):280-4.

Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Massage: get in touch with its many benefits. [cited 2014 Feb 19]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/massage/art-20045743.

WebMD [Internet]. Massage therapy styles and benefits. [cited 2014 Feb 19]. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/balance/massage-therapy-styles-and-health-benefits?page=3.

Elliott R, Burkett B. Massage therapy as an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2013 Jul;17(3):332-8.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Freeing flow, creating balance

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a system of medicine that includes, as one of it’s key components, acupuncture.

The practice of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are rooted in 5000 years of practice and experience. This experience dictates that the whole of a persons symptoms and signs are used to identify imbalances in their internal energy (described in traditional texts as “qì”), and rebalancing the flow of qì (using acupuncture, and often botanical [herbal] medicines) results in a return to not only physical, but also psychological and emotional health.

Benefits of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and TCM have been used, traditionally, in the treatment of all health concerns, particularly those of a chronic, long-lasting nature.

Amongst other uses, modern medical research has verified the effectiveness of TCM, and acupuncture particularly, in (treatment of):

What to Expect

A typical acupuncture treatment is 30 minutes long. Discomfort is limited to a quick “prick” felt as needles are inserted, and possibly a mild ache (a sign acupuncture needles are inserted to the appropriate depth) over the course of the treatment. Relaxation techniques may be used to increase comfort during treatments.

Treatment is repeated weekly at first, but ultimately treatment frequency is individualized to your response to treatment.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

All our naturopathic doctors are trained in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, but patients seeking acupuncture specifically are referred to Du La, ND, Acupuncturist.

Du has earned a Diploma in Traditional and Chinese Herbal Medicine from the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Toronto, has completed an acupuncture internship at Mackay memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, and is licensed to practice acupuncture in the province of Ontario as both a naturopathic doctor and an acupuncturist.

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine we use only sterile, single-use acupuncture needles.

Acupuncture treatments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Hu M, Zhang Y, Ma H, Ng EH, Wu XK. Eastern medicine approaches to male infertility. Semin Reprod Med. 2013 Jul;31(4):301-10.

Villahermosa DI, Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP. Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial. Acupunct Med. 2013 Jun;31(2):157-61.

Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg P, Berman BM, Bouter LM. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2014 Apr];336:545. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/336/7643/545.

Stener-Victorin E, Jedel E, Mannerås L. Acupuncture in polycystic ovary syndrome: current experimental and clinical evidence. J Neuroendocrinol. 2008 Mar;20(3):290-8.

Reyes-Campos MD, Díaz-Toral LG, Verdín-Terán SL, Orozco-Suárez ES, López-Ramírez P, Pineda-Carranza A, Basulto-Sosa PG, Reyes-Campos PF. Acupuncture as an adjunct treatment for primary dysmenorrhea: a comparative study. Med Acupunct. 2013 Aug;25(4):291-294.

Payant MJ. A single case study: treating migraine headache with acupuncture, chinese herbs, and diet. Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Jan;3(1):71-4.

Bahrami-Taghanaki H, Liu Y, Azizi H, Khorsand A, Esmaily H, Bahrami A, Xiao Zhao B. A randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture for chronic low-back pain. Altern Ther Health Med. 2014 May-Jun;20(3):13-9.

Deare JC, Zheng Z, Xue CC, Liu JP, Shang J, Scott SW, Littlejohn G. Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 May 31;5:CD007070.

Sniezek DP, Siddiqui IJ. Acupuncture for treating anxiety and depression in women: a clinical systematic review. Med Acupunct. 2013 Jun;25(3):164-172.

Gao X, Xu C, Wang P, Ren S, Zhou Y, Yang X, Gao L. Curative effect of acupuncture and moxibustion on insomnia: a randomized clinical trial. J Tradit Chin Med. 2013 Aug;33(4):428-32.

Zhang R, Lao L, Ren K, Berman BM. Mechanisms of acupuncture-electroacupuncture on persistent pain. Anesthesiology. 2014 Feb;120(2):482-503.

Wang Y, Liu ZC, Xu B. Efficacy analysis on type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with acupuncture in females. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2014 Jan;34(1):21-4.

Haddad NE, Palesh O. Acupuncture in the treatment of cancer-related psychological symptoms. Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 Sep;13(5):371-85.

Suikodo™ (Neuroplastic Massage Technique)

For pain, when nothing else has helped

Suikodo™ is a gentle “hands-on” technique used to manage pain and treat musculoskeletal injury.

With roots in Shiatsu and Swedish massage, it involves gentle manipulation of joints, or gentle pressure over the skin, to stimulate nerve endings and acupuncture points to trigger a change your nervous system’s response to pain stimuli.

Typical conditions treated using Suikodo™ include headaches, neck, low back and hip pain, “frozen shoulder”, sciatica and tendonitis.

Benefits of Suikodo™

Suikodo™ is often effective where other pain treatments have not been. It is gentle enough that it may be used to treat conditions in which intensity of pain makes use of other treatments (e.g., chiropractic, physiotherapy) inappropriate.

Although the precise mechanism by which Suikodo™ affects the body is not known, the benefits are often longer lasting than other treatments, not requiring repeated treatments to maintain benefit (e.g., in joint misalignments).

In certain cases, Suikodo™ has been used to successfully correct “untreatable” musculoskeletal health concerns (e.g., scoliosis, chronic arthritis, severe injuries).

What to Expect

Suikodo™ treatments are typically 45 to 90 minutes in duration, and involve gentle, passive manipulation of joints and muscles.

Some improvement in pain or loss of function is expected after the first treatment.

The number and length of treatments required for maximal benefit vary from patient to patient, depending on health concern and lifestyle factors that may affect rate of recovery.

Suikodo™ at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Suikodo™ treatments at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are performed by John MacIntosh, ND, one of the two most experienced living practitioners of Suikodo™.

Suikodo™ treatments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

Bowen Therapy (Bowen Technique)

Relax, Reset, Rebalance

Bowen Therapy is a gentle, hands-on treatment used primarily to decrease pain and increase mobility, and reduce stress and anxiety.

A much more gentle intervention than many conventional pain treatments (e.g., some forms of chiropractic manipulation or physiotherapy), Bowen Therapy may be an effective alternative for patients having much pain (e.g., severe injury), increased sensitivity to pain (e.g., having fibromyalgia); or simply requiring gentle treatment (e.g., elderly, children).

It addresses an area that most pain therapies ignore, “centralized pain”, “re-training” your brain to “let go” of it’s pattern of experiencing pain, particularly chronic pain, pain that has not responded well to other treatments (e.g., “frozen shoulder”), and pain in persons seeming to be extraordinarily sensitive to pain (e.g., fibromyalgia).

Bowen Therapy may be used as either a primary treatment, or supportive treatment. As a primary treatment, it typically used for chronic conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system (e.g., fibromyalgia, recovery from injury, “frozen shoulder”).

It is used as a supportive treatment in cases where the autonomic (“unconscious”) nervous system appears to be in need of being “re-set” (e.g., constipation, heart palpitation) or for stress management (e.g., management of anxiety).

The goal of treatment using Bowen Therapy is usually complete resolution of pain, or complete return to previous function.

Benefits of Bowen Therapy

Bowen Therapy may be of benefit, in some capacity, the treatment almost any health condition.

A study titled “The Bowen Technique: a study of it’s prevalence and effectiveness”, presented at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill found that Bowen Therapy treatment was:

  • 95% effective in the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • 88% effective in the treatment of neck pain
  • 85% effective in the treatment of low back pain
  • 83% effective for the treatment of stress and tension
  • 80% effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia
  • 80% effective for the treatment of hip pain
  • 75% effective for the treatment of non-specific pain conditions

Other research has demonstrated that Bowen Therapy:

  • Improves decreases tremor and improves sleep quality in patients having Parkinson’s disease
  • Reduces heart rate variability (“normalized” heart rate) and slows heart rate in 100% of fibromyalgia patients
  • Increased neck range of motion, and decreased “disability scores” in patients having trapezitis (neck and shoulder pain, and restricted movement) when combined with physiotherapy
  • Improves mobility and function; and reduced pain (on average) from a score of 7/10 to 1/10 in 100% of “frozen shoulder” patients
  • Reduces migraine headache frequency and/or intensity in 80% of patients
  • Improves symptoms of restless legs syndrome in 3/5 patients receiving treatment
  • Completely reduces symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in 4/6 patients receiving treatment, with complete resolution of symptoms  in 3/4 of these cases
  • Significantly improves motor function of patients recovering from stroke
  • Improves sleep and a general sense of well-being

A single Bowen Therapy treatment has been demonstrated to:

  • Decrease feelings of depression by 51%
  • Decrease feelings of anxiety by 21%
  • Decrease fatigue by 41%
  • Decrease sense of tension by 62%
  • Decrease feelings of anger by 47%
  • Decrease confusion by 33%
  • Increase flexibility (in hamstrings) by 26-34%

Learn more about the experience of, and results from Bowen Therapy treatment for a range of health conditions at these sites:

  • Details of some of the research described above, including studies on treatment of frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome and restless leg syndrome
  • Six case reports, including treatment of disc injury
  • Six case reports, including treatment of sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome and “tennis elbow”
  • Six case reports, including treatment of hip and knee pain, and recovery from knee and lung surgeries
  • Six case reports, including treatment of various neuralgias
  • Five case reports, including treatment of sciatica; and further insight into potential mechanisms of action of Bowen Therapy
  • Four case reports, including treatment of migraine headaches, sciatica and “frozen shoulder; and further insight into potential mechanisms of action of Bowen Therapy
  • Three case reports, including recovery from auto collision
  • 22 case reports, including treatment of children, “frozen shoulder” and sciatica
  • Seven case reports, including treatment of “frozen shoulder”, carpal tunnel syndrome and migraine headaches
  • Two case reports of treatment of Parkinson’s disease
  • A case report of treatment of migraine headaches

What to Expect

Bowen Therapy involves application of gentle pressure to the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues at specific points, and in specific sequence.

Treatments are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long, and performed weekly or bi-weekly for the first four sessions.

Treatment frequency is then individualized to your response to treatment (e.g., if your pain is resolved, but returns after three weeks, treatments will be scheduled at three week intervals).

Improvements in pain levels or function may be experienced after as few as one treatment.

Bowen Therapy at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Bowen Therapy treatments at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are performed by Du La, ND and Jonah Lusis, ND, both of who have been certified in Bowen Therapy by the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia since 2002.

Bowen Therapy treatments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

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Reflexology

Reflexology, a therapeutic practice with roots common to shiatsu and acupuncture, has been practiced for over 4000 years.

Treatments involve pressure applied to specific points on the soles of the feet and lower legs corresponding to organs and tissues of the body.

The objective of reflexology treatment is to optimize flow of the body’s internal energy (described in traditional texts as “qì”) to improve physical, psychological and emotional health. Repeated studies using Doppler sonography confirm that reflexology treatment increases blood flow (the basis of tissue healing and recovery) to target organs.

Benefits of Reflexology

Research published in peer-reviewed medical journals has confirmed that reflexology is effective in treatment of:

What to Expect

Reflexology treatments are typically 30 to 60 minutes in duration, and involve gentle, but firm pressure on specific points at the soles of the feet and lower legs.

Treatment frequency is determined by your response to treatments, usually beginning with weekly or bi-weekly treatments, and progressing to monthly maintenance treatments or treatments ”as needed”.

Reflexology at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Reflexology treatments performed at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are performed by Melissa Dunseith, RMT.

Reflexology treatments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Mur E, Schmidseder J, Egger I, Bodner G, Eibl G, Hartig F, Pfeiffer KP, Herold M. [Influence of reflex zone therapy of the feet on intestinal blood flow measured by color Doppler sonography]. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2001 Apr;8(2):86-9.

Sudmeier I, Bodner G, Egger I, Mur E, Ulmer H, Herold M. [Changes of renal blood flow during organ-associated foot reflexology measured by color Doppler sonography]. Forsch Komplementarmed. 1999 Jun;6(3):129-34.

Stephenson NL, Swanson M, Dalton J, Keefe FJ, Engelke M. Partner-delivered reflexology: effects on cancer pain and anxiety. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2007 Jan;34(1):127-32.

Jang SH, Kim KH. [Effects of self-foot reflexology on stress, fatigue and blood circulation in premenopausal middle-aged women]. J Korean Acad Nurs. 2009 Oct;39(5):662-72.

Lee YM. [Effects of self-foot reflexology on stress, fatigue, skin temperature and immune response in female undergraduate students]. J Korean Acad Nurs. 2011 Feb;41(1):110-8.

Lee YM, Sohng KY. [The effects of foot reflexology on fatigue and insomnia in patients suffering from coal workers’ pneumoconiosis]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Dec;35(7):1221-8.

Song RH, Kim DH. [The effects of foot reflexion massage on sleep disturbance, depression disorder, and the physiological index of the elderly]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006 Feb;36(1):15-24.

Stephenson NL, Weinrich SP, Tavakoli AS. The effects of foot reflexology on anxiety and pain in patients with breast and lung cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000 Jan-Feb;27(1):67-72.

Li CY, Chen SC, Li CY, Gau ML, Huang CM. Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst Taiwanese postpartum women. Midwifery. 2011 Apr;27(2):181-6.

Wang DJ, Chang XR, Yan J, Wang XJ, Wang T, Liu J, Diao LH, Xie H. [Comparative study on therapeutic effect between acupuncture at special acupoints and non-specific acupoints in foot yangming meridian for functional dyspepsia]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Aug;32(8):703-8.

Bishop E, McKinnon E, Weir E, Brown DW. Reflexology in the management of encopresis and chronic constipation. Paediatr Nurs. 2003 Apr;15(3):20-1.

Mak HL, Cheon WC, Wong T, Liu YS, Tong WM. Randomized controlled trial of foot reflexology for patients with symptomatic idiopathic detrusor overactivity. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2007 Jun;18(6):653-8.

Oleson T, Flocco W. Randomized controlled study of premenstrual symptoms treated with ear, hand, and foot reflexology. Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Dec;82(6):906-11.

Williamson J, White A, Hart A, Ernst E. Randomised controlled trial of reflexology for menopausal symptoms. BJOG. 2002 Sep;109(9):1050-5.

Wyatt G, Sikorskii A, Rahbar MH, Victorson D, You M.  Health-related quality-of-life outcomes: a reflexology trial with patients with advanced-stage breast cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2012 Nov;39(6):568-77.

Park HS, Cho GY. [Effects of foot reflexology on essential hypertension patients]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2004 Aug;34(5):739-50.

Hodgson H. Does reflexology impact on cancer patients’ quality of life? Nurs Stand. 2000 Apr 19-25;14(31):33-8.

Nutrition + Orthomolecular Medicine

“Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food”                – Hippocrates

Healthy nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. Unfortunately, few people are aware of, or follow healthy eating guidelines.

Nutritional treatment may be as simple as creating an individualized eating program for your specific needs, or may require the prescription of specific nutrients or nutritional supplements (orthomolecular medicine) to optimize some function of your body.

Benefits of Nutrition and Orthomolecular Medicine

A healthy diet can contribute to the prevention of a wide range of health conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes mellitus, the three leading disease-related causes of morbidity and mortality in the developed world.

Scientific evidence for the benefit of nutritional interventions in prevention and treatment of illness has been verified in thousands of research studies. Common examples include:

Recent developments in nutritional research in an area called nutrigenomics demonstrate that dietary change can potentially prevent disease on a genetic level (disease-causing genes can be “turned off” by use of the appropriate nutrients, a possible explanation for the means by which, for example, only certain women having the “breast cancer gene” will develop cancer), and that genetic testing can be used to create truly individualized nutritional supplementation programs.

What to Expect

A nutritional protocol may be the primary element of an individualized treatment plan, or included as an adjunctive treatment to optimize the benefit of another therapy (e.g., use of anti-inflammatory nutritional supplements to support an acupuncture protocol for patients having pain).

Nutritional treatment may be incorporated in your health plan by a wide range of means, including nutritional analysis, evaluating digestive health, developing personal dietary plans, implementing metabolic detoxification programs or recommending specific nutritional supplements.

Nutritional Treatment at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Every naturopathic doctor at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine is trained in the use of specific dietary approaches and protocols for specific health conditions, safe and effective use of nutritional supplements and effective integration of these elements into your lifestyle.

For your convenience, our in-office and online dispensaries stock only the highest quality nutritional supplements.

Nutritional treatment (not including cost of dispensary items) provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine is covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Harris WS, Dayspring TD, Moran TJ. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: new developments and applications. Postgrad Med. 2013 Nov;125(6):100-13.

Nahas R, Balla A. Complementary and alternative medicine for prevention and treatment of the common cold. Can Fam Physician. 2011 Jan;57(1):31-6.

Sarowska J, Choroszy-Król I, Regulska-Ilow B, Frej-Mądrzak M, Jama-Kmiecik A. The therapeutic effect of probiotic bacteria on gastrointestinal diseases. Adv Clin Exp Med. 2013 Sep-Oct;22(5):759-66.

Taku K, Melby MK, Kronenberg F, Kurzer MS, Messina M. Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones reduce menopausal hot flash frequency and severity: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause. 2012 Jul;19(7):776-90.

Botanical (Herbal) Medicine

The first medicine

Herbalism, the use of plants to treat illness, is possibly the oldest form of medicine known to man.

The naturopathic doctors at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine combine the best of traditional European herbalism and Chinese herbalism with the most recent advances in pharmacognosy (the study of plant pharmacy), as well as an awareness of potential herb-drug interactions.

Benefits of Botanical (Herbal) Medicine

Botanical (herbal) medicines have been used for millennia in the treatment of any and all health conditions. Their effectiveness in treatment of disease has been confirmed by innumerable scientific studies. Approximately 40% of prescription medications are derived from plants, and in 80% of cases, the use of a plant as a botanical (herbal) medicine is identical to the use of the pharmaceutical derived from that plant. Plants have been confirmed to have over 124 pharmacological actions, including:

What to expect

Botanical (herbal) medicines may be used alone, but are usually integrated in a holistic treatment plan. Botanical (herbal) medicines can take the form of tinctures (a concentrated, liquid form of botanical [herbal] medicine used in small amounts, typically one to three teaspoons daily), standardized extracts (capsules or tablets), teas, or salves and creams.

Benefit from an effective botanical (herbal) medicine prescription is usually evident after between two to six weeks. After initial health improvements have been stimulated, doses are usually reduced to a maintenance level, with the eventual goal of complete removal of the medicine.

Naturopathic doctors are the most thoroughly trained primary health care professionals in the safe and effective use of botanical (herbal) medicines.

Botanical (Herbal) Medicine at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

All the naturopathic doctors at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are trained in the safe, effective use of botanical (herbal) medicines. In addition to the training received in the course of their naturopathic medicine training, Du La, ND, Acupuncturist, and Jonah Lusis, ND have completed additional training in medical herbalism.

Our in-office and online dispensaries stock only the highest quality botanical (herbal) medicines, as evaluated by our naturopathic doctors. Our botanical (herbal) tinctures, teas, creams and salves are locally made, using organic or wild-crafted herbs wherever possible.

Botanical (herbal) medicine treatments provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Plant medicines [pamphlet]. WBGH Educational Foundation; 2006.

Fabricant DS, Farnsworth NR. The value of plants used in traditional medicine for drug discovery. Environ Health Perspect [Internet]. Mar 2001 [cited 2014 Oct 22];109(Suppl 1):69–75. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240543/pdf/ehp109s-000069.pdf.

Blumenthal M, editor. The complete German Commission E monograghs: therapeutic guide to herbal medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; 1998.

Homeopathy

The gentlest of treatments

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old therapeutic system that involves the use of small doses (called ultra-high dilutions) of various substances to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. Homeopathy is considered one of the safest forms of medical treatment.

Although the use of diluted medicines is considered controversial by some, summary and analysis of published research on homeopathy confirms that homeopathic treatment is effective.

The goal of homeopathic treatment is to gently reverse symptoms, and eventually return the patient to a state of lasting health.

Benefits of Homeopathy

Homeopathic medicines (commonly called homeopathic remedies) can be used to treat any health condition that has detectable and clear symptoms.

Homeopathy is a truly holistic approach to health in which a prescription is directed not at a specific condition, but towards improving your entire physiological function. For example: if a person suffers from anxiety, but also has recurrent headaches and digestive symptoms, a successful homeopathic prescription will alleviate symptoms of all three health conditions.

The benefits of an accurate homeopathic prescription are lasting, not requiring on-going use of the medicine.

Homeopathy is the gentlest of treatments, having no possibility of toxicity.

Side effects of homeopathic treatment are rare, and when present, temporary.

What to Expect

If your naturopathic doctor recognizes symptoms that guide them to a homeopathic medicine prescription in the course of your appointment, one may be prescribed at the end of the treatment as would any nutritional supplement or botanical (herbal) medicine.

Alternatively, if it appears you may benefit from homeopathic treatment, very detailed questions, including questions about the symptoms of your main health concern, the symptoms of past health concerns and your response to stressors will be asked to create a “picture” that can used to identify the homeopathic medicine that most closely matches your entire set of symptoms.

Homeopathic medicines are used in the form of small white pellets called globules. The frequency with which they are to be used is determined by your naturopathic doctor based on how frequently and intensely your symptoms are experienced.

The goal of homeopathic treatment is gentle resolution of all symptoms. You should be able to, in time, maintain your healthy state without further use of your homeopathic medicine after it has “reset” your body’s physiological function.

Homeopathy at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, we practice Hahnemannian homeopathy, the original form of homeopathic treatment involving the matching of a patient’s physical and emotional symptoms with the most appropriate of some 3000 homeopathic remedies.

All our naturopathic doctors are trained in homeopathy, but patients seeking homeopathic care specifically are referred to Jonah Lusis, ND.

Jonah and John have completed over 600 hours and 240 hours of continuing education in homeopathic training respectively, including training with Joseph Kellerstein, ND, André Saine, ND and Klaus Scheiman-Burkhardt, RPh, amongst the most respected teachers of homeopathy in Canada.

Homeopathic treatment provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine is covered by most extended healthcare plans.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Hahn RG. Homeopathy: meta-analyses of pooled clinical data. Forsch Komplementmed. 2013;20(5):376-81.

Lifestyle Medicine

The cornerstone of good health

Lifestyle medicine refers to the recognition that modifiable lifestyle factors (e.g., unhealthy diet, poor ability to cope with stress) are major contributors to the development of chronic illness, and that creation and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle plan (as opposed to pharmaceuticals) can be used successfully as primary treatments for these health conditions.

In fact, healthful behaviours can affect our health on the most profound, cellular and genetic levels:

  • Cancer tumour-suppressing genes can be “turned on” by consumption of chemicals present in green tea
  • Genes that promote fat storage can “turned off” by exercsie
  • Genes that promote inflammation can be “turned off” by meditating
  • Telomere (the portion of the cell responsible for protection of a cell’s genetic material) length is significantly increased by nutritious diet, exercise and stress management (telomore shortening is associated with development of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis)

Benefits of Lifestyle Medicine

According to a 2009 research study, modifiable lifestyle factors (including tobacco use, obesity, physical inactivity, low intake of vegetables and fruits, low dietary intake of “healthy fats”) are responsible for almost 85% of all deaths in the United States.

Increased success in treatment of all health conditions is increased when a healthy lifestyle is observed.

Health conditions preventable and/or responsive to lifestyle medicine approaches include:

Frequently overlooked benefits of a lifestyle medicine approach include:

  • Absence of side effects
  • Low cost
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mood
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Decreased weight
  • Improved fitness
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Generally improved wellbeing and quality of life

What to Expect

Lifestyle medicine is a process, in which lifestyle factors contributing to illness are identified, health goals are created, obstacles to achieving health goals are identified, tools for smooth integration of lifestyle change into your existing routine are taught and motivational tools are developed.

Over time, progress towards goals is monitored (in one study, patients who were monitored monthly achieved their goal 15 times more quickly than those monitored twice yearly), until goals are achieved and importantly, maintained.

The goal of any therapeutic lifestyle change program is to create a lifestyle that results in reversal of illness symptoms, and prevention of future disease.

Lifestyle Medicine at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic doctors are the most rigorously trained primary healthcare providers in the provision of lifestyle medicine. With rare exceptions, a lifestyle medicine program is the cornerstone of every patient’s treatment plan.

Lifestyle medicine programs (not including cost of nutritional supplements) provided at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

For an introduction to getting started on a healthier lifestyle, learn about our Three-Month Lifestyle Make-Over program here.

Or contact us to arrange an appointment.

References

Hardy TM, Tollefsbol TO. Epigenetic diet: impact on the epigenome and cancer. Epigenomics. 2011;3(4):503-518. doi:10.2217/epi.11.71.

Rönn T, Volkov P, Davegårdh C, et al. A six months exercise intervention influences the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in human adipose tissue. Greally JM, ed. PLoS Genetics. 2013;9(6):e1003572. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003572.

Study reveals gene expression changes with meditation. ScienceDaily [Internet]. 2013 Dec 8 [cited 2015 Oct 22]. Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131208090343.htm.

Ornish D, Lin J, Chan JM, Epel E, Kemp C, Weidner G, et al. Effect of comprehensive lifestyle changes on telomerase activity and telomere length in men with biopsy-proven low-risk prostate cancer: 5-year follow-up of a descriptive pilot study. Lancet Oncol. 2013 Oct;14(11):1112-20. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70366-8. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Danaei G, Ding EL, Mozaffarian D, Taylor B, Rehm J, Murray CJL, Ezzati M. The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. PLOS Medicine [Internet]. 2009 Apr [cited 2014 Jun 4]. Available at: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000058#s3.

LeWine H. Harvard Health Publications [Internet].  200,000 heart disease, stroke deaths a year are preventable; 2013 Sep 4 [cited 2014 Jun 4]. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/200000-heart-disease-stroke-deaths-a-year-are-preventable-201309046648.

Anand P, Kunnumakara AB, Sundaram C, Harikumar KB, Tharakan ST, Lai OS, Sung B, Aggarwal BB. Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes. Pharm Res. 2008 Sep [cited 2014 Jun 4]; 25(9): 2097–2116. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/.

Harvard School of Public Health [Internet]. Simple steps to preventing diabetes. [cited 2014 Jun 4]. Available at: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/preventing-diabetes-full-story/.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Obesity. [cited 2014 Jun 4]. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/obesity.htm.

WebMD [Internet]. Health risks linked to obesity. [cited 2014 Jun 4]. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/obesity-health-risks.

Smith S. Medpage Today [Internet]. Frequent Doctor Visits Linked to Quicker BP Drop; 2010 May 24 [cited 2014 Jun 4]. Available at: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Diabetes/20266.

Arthritis

Arthritis is well-managed using naturopathic medicine.

Arthritis refers to inflammation of joints: the most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Less common types of arthritis may be associated with other conditions that can affect other parts of the body (e.g., psoriasis which affects the skin).

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune reaction: your body’s immune system “attacks” the lining of the joint capsule (the tough membrane that encloses all joints).

Osteoarthritis is caused by “wear and tear” on joint cartilage, the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones. Long-term “wear and tear” may result in bone opposing directly on bone, causing pain and restricted movement.

With time, joint inflammation may result in damage to the joints. Surgery is often required, and permanent joint disfigurement is possible.

Seek professional healthcare if you experience persistent discomfort and swelling in your joints, or if you have joint swelling or stiffness lasting longer than a few weeks.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Possible symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling and redness
  • Joint stiffness and decreased range of motion
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Rash

Arthritis Treatment at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goal of arthritis treatment is significant or complete pain reduction, and prevention of disease progression.

Conventional treatment for arthritis may include physical therapy or surgery, and a variety of medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and immunosuppressant’s. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.

For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment as an alternative to conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your arthritis symptoms.

Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:

  • Identifying specific treatment goals
  • Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
  • Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
  • Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating arthritis may be to:

Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion:

Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

References

Arthritis [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/arthritis/DS01122.

Rheumatoid arthritis [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis/DS00020.

Osteoarthritis [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS0001.

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