Naturopathy

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Naturopathic doctor and Naturopathic medicineNaturopaths (also called naturopathic doctors in some countries) are health care professionals who are dedicated to helping you achieve your optimal personal health.

Naturopathic medicine is a type of medical practice that uses natural therapies to promote the body’s ability to heal itself on all levels. The most important aspects of naturopathic medicine are to discover and treat the root causes of disease as opposed to just the symptoms, and to promote optimal health and prevent illness.

The education of naturopaths is extensive, with a minimum of five years of post-secondary education in Natural Medicine which includes Herbal Medicine and Nutrition, along with other natural therapies modalities, and also includes the clinical and medical sciences, and an internship period.

The strength and uniqueness of naturopathic medicine is founded on six principles:

  1. Support the healing power of nature: The body has an incredible ability to heal itself when the obstacles to cure are removed and the optimal healing environment is provided.
  2. Identify and treat the causes: It’s better to diagnose and remove the underlying causes of illness than to just temporarily treat the symptoms of disease.
  3. First, do no harm:  Safe, effective natural medicines are used that have a minimal risk of harmful side effects.
  4. Treat the whole person: To successfully treat the whole person, it’s necessary to consider all of the physical, mental, emotional and environmental factors that are contributing to the current state of health.
  5. Emphasize prevention: Future illnesses can be prevented by carefully assessing current risk factors and making appropriate changes.
  6. Doctor as Teacher: Naturopaths openly share knowledge with their patients and encourage active participation in achieving optimal health goals.

Initial Consultation:

During the initial consultation (about 1 hour) all aspects of your physical and emotional health are considered, looking for the causative factors, taking into account the presenting symptoms, personal and family medical history, diet and lifestyle. Iridology may be used as a diagnostic tool during the consultation and additional diagnostic testing may be required. Your treatment plan is developed and may consist of herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes.

Follow-up Visits:

It is important that patients have follow up visits and allow time for treatment to be successful. Follow-up visits are about 20 to 30 minutes long but can be longer in more complicated cases. Many times the prescriptions are altered on subsequent visits depending on the progress.

Your First Visit
During your first visit you would have been assessed by the naturopathic practitioner and would have been given general, as well as, specific advice and prescribed various natural medicines or therapies. For some, this visit can be overwhelming, especially for those who have either had a number of areas to work on or for those who have never utilized this type of therapy before.

Your Prescription
Your prescription for the medicinal items can usually be filled at the front dispensary by one of our staff. It is important that you read and understand your prescription which outlines how and when to take your medicines. Our staff can also help you clarify this information if necessary.

You may be prescribed other therapies, for example, many muscular skeletal problems may require a series of massage treatments or in the case of emotional issues, counselling/psychotherapy may be advised.

In keeping with our holistic approach to healing, we offer a number of relevant therapies under one roof at Natural Balance.

Your prescription may also include recommendations to diet or exercise, breathing exercises, bed-rest or other lifestyle modifications.

The Dispensary & Store
Our Dispensary provides you with ‘the very best that Herbal Medicine has to offer’, both in the quality and the strengths that are required for therapeutic results. We always stress the importance of using quality products.

Using Your Medicines
Normally your medicines are for you to start immediately. Read you instructions to see if they are to be taken before, during or after meals.

Liquid Herbs – called Tinctures or Extracts, these liquids are the most potent forms of herbal medicines, as they have both water and alcohol, thereby extracting both the water soluble as well as the alcohol soluble active constituents from the herbs. A few drop are stronger than a heaped teaspoon of dried herb or several capsules of a dried herb.

You may be prescribed single herbs, or more commonly, a formula of several herbs.

Before measuring out your dose turn your bottle over twice to agitate and mix the liquid (DO NOT SHAKE). Then, pour out your dose (stated on your prescription and on your bottle), and then dilute with water.

Usually 5 ml of liquid herbs can be sufficiently diluted with 20mls water, however it can be diluted in a half glass of water to lessen the taste or minimize aggravation to a sensitive stomach.

Herbal tablets - Our Herbal Tablets are totally different (both in quality and strengths) to those sold over-the-counter at pharmacies and health food stores.

Firstly, these are not capsules of powdered herbs, but are tablets made from the herbal liquid extracts (described earlier). These strengths are also much higher and can be anywhere from 4 to 50 times stronger.

Tablets should usually be taken on an empty stomach and can be taken at the same time as the liquid herbs.

Multi-Vitamins - Usually everyone is prescribed a multi- vitamin mineral tablet and these are dosed at 1 tablet daily with either breakfast or lunch. The high B vitamin content in these will cause your urine to be bright yellow.

Again, all our vitamins are carefully chosen for their quality and strengths.

What to expect
With acute illnesses like colds and flu you should expect to feel a change within 24 to 48 hours. If not, you may need to be re-assessed and changes made to your prescription.

With chronic illnesses, if symptomatic treatment is prescribed, then within a few days you should feel some relief, but it may take longer. Real changes in chronic illnesses occur after months of therapy.

Side Effects
Usually the side effects experienced from taking natural medicines are good ones. However, occasionally a natural medicine may not agree with someone. Be aware (not paranoid) that you are taking new medicines and if you notice any unusual ill feelings you can either call the clinic for advice or stop taking the medications until you contact the clinic and are advised as to how to proceed.

Repeating and Re-filling Prescriptions
Your medicines may not last until your next visit and you may need to re-fill your prescriptions. Please call first (if you can) and let a staff member know that you will be coming in for a re-fill. This will enable us to serve you more efficiently.

Your follow-up visits
Your follow-up visits are very important as they allow the practitioner to assess your progress and alter parts of your prescription if necessary.

Cancellation Policy
We at Natural Balance dedicate the time necessary to serve our patients needs. Our practitioners work by appointment and therefore, they reserve specific amounts of time for your appointment. Unfortunately, a missed appointment takes time away from serving our other patients' health care needs. Patients with same day cancellations will be billed at half price, and no-shows will be charged the full appointment fee for their missed appointment.

Missing appointments or cancelling with short notice is not acceptable.

If you have to cancel, please do so as early as possible giving at least 48 hours notice prior to your appointment so that we can at least arrange to give someone else your space.

Follow-up visits are charged at a substantially reduced rate. However, appointments must be kept for this to apply.

We will strive to give you a courtesy reminder call on the day before your visit; however this is not an appropriate time to cancel.

While we strive to make your healing a great experience, you need to do your part. Have fun, learn and enjoy the journey. See you at your next visit!

N.B. Visit payments are cash payable.