wholife logo
Wholeness & Wellness Journal
of Saskatchewan Since 1995
  Home | Events | Classifieds | Directory | Profiles | Archives | Subscribe | Advertise | Distribution | Our Readers | Contact

Volume 7 Issue 4
Jan/Feb 2002

Soothing My Soul Down Under

Circles of Light

Naturopathic Medicine

Extremely Versatile Cabbage


Naturopathic Medicine
It’s Stronger Than Ever!

author photoby Alana Barmby, N.D.

What is Naturopathic Medicine or Naturopathy?

Naturopathic medicine is the art and practice of disease diagnosis, prevention, and treatment using natural-based therapies. The goal of naturopathy is to support and stimulate the body to heal. Naturopathic medicine is a comprehensive approach to health care and its roots can be traced back to the beginning of time and to many ancient cultures. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine known to human kind. In fact, it was only in the last 100 years or so that we turned away from natural substances and natural processes and began to lose our focus on preserving health and wellness.

Well, that focus is back and it is stronger than ever!

Philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathy is more than just a form of medicine: it is a philosophy! Its basic tenets are as follows:

• Do No Harm: Natural therapies tend to be more gentle and less invasive. Naturopathic doctors try to support the body without suppressing the symptoms because this could impair the healing process. Naturopathic doctors are trained to recognize conditions that are outside their scope of practice and will refer to other health professionals when appropriate.

Address the Fundamental Cause of Disease: When the body is sick it sends us signals. Symptoms are signs our body is out of balance. Conventional medicine often focuses on treating the symptoms. Health cannot be truly restored unless we address the underlying causes. For example: Many people with heartburn take antacids to metabolize the acid in their stomach. This is an example of treating the symptom. Heartburn is often the body’s way of letting you know that whatever you have eaten doesn’t agree with you.

The Healing Power of Nature: The body has an innate ability to heal itself and restore health. It is the physician’s role to assist the healing.

Treat the Whole Person: True healing only occurs if mind, body and spirit are addressed. Health and wellness are the result of a complex interaction of emotional, physical, spiritual, social, mental, genetic, and environmental factors. This underlines the importance of individualizing treatment.

Prevention is the Best Cure: You would never build a house with rotten lumber–it would never weather a storm. Our bodies also require healthy food to weather the day-to-day stresses we demand of ourselves. Our state of health is a reflection of how we choose to live, not only as an individual, but also as a society. Toxic lifestyles are creating mass pollution within our bodies and our environment. We must be more conscious of the fact that every choice we make has an effect.

• Doctor as Teacher: The role of a naturopathic physician is that of a guide. They empower their patients to take responsibility for their own health. Each of us knows our own bodies better than anyone else. Naturopathic doctors acknowledge our innate wisdom and help us decipher what our body’s symptoms are trying to tell us.

Treatments Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.’s) Use

• Clinical Nutrition: Food is medicine. It provides the foundation for health and healing. Analysis of your food choices and health needs will lead to recommendations, which may include special diets and nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutraceuticals.

Botanical (Herbal Medicine): Herbs have been used medicinally since the beginning of time and provide the basis for modern pharmacology without many of the side effects.

• Acupuncture & Asian Medicine
: Asian medicine uses acupuncture, herbs, and dietary changes to balance the flow of chi (energy) essentially stimulating the healthy functioning of your organs, cells, and tissues.

• Homeopathic Medicine: Homeopathic medicine was developed in the 1700’s and is based on the theory of "like cures like." Small doses of plant, animal, and mineral substances are used to strengthen the body’s vital force thereby stimulating the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

• Lifestyle Counselling: N.D.’s help you identify lifestyle, diet, and environmental risk factors and support you in replacing them with healthy habits. Patient education is an essential component in making lifestyle changes. N.D.’s support you in these, sometimes difficult, transitions.

• Physical Medicine: Touch is a very powerful form of healing. N.D.’s use a variety of hands-on techniques for the spine, joints and soft tissues. Hydrotherapy, massage, ultrasound, light, and the therapeutic use of heat and cold are also used.

How Naturopathic Doctors are Trained

Naturopathic doctors are the general practitioners of natural medicine. They have at least seven years of post-secondary education. This education includes a minimum three years of university, including specific pre-med requirements, followed by four years at an accredited college of Naturopathic medicine. There are four such institutions in North America, with the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto being the only one in Canada.

The medical education of Naturopaths is comparable to that of conventional medical schools in terms of basic training in the biomedical sciences. This includes biochemistry, pathology, immunology, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, physical and clinical diagnosis, and lab diagnosis. ND’s also complete 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience. They must then pass recognized standardized exams to qualify for practice. In Canada, Naturopathic doctors are licensed in SK, BC, MB and ON with pending legislation in AB & NS. Many private health plans cover a portion of Naturopathic treatments by a licensed Naturopathic Doctor.

What Conditions Can Be Helped?

Some of the most common conditions treated by N.D.’s are allergies, fibromyalgia, digestive complaints, headaches, PMS, infertility, endometriosis, arthritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and environmental illness. This list is by no means inclusive. Naturopathic Medicine can help virtually all chronic and most acute conditions. All age groups can benefit from naturopathic treatments which can be combined with conventional medical treatments. It is important that all of your healthcare professionals work together as a team with you as the captain. That is what empowerment is all about!

"The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must come from nature, with an open mind." –Parcelus 1493-1541.

Alana Barmby N.D. is a recent graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto and a licensed Naturopathic Doctor. Having prieviously experienced the benefits of natural medicine she decided to make it her career. She is excited to be practicing in her home town of Saskatoon. For appointments please call (306) 653-1325.

Dr. Douglas Amell, President & Provincial Licensing Examiner of the Saskatchewan Association of Naturopathic Physicians advises the following are licensed Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.) in Saskatchewan: Dr. Douglas Amell, 624-1st Ave., N.W., Moose Jaw, SK S6H 3M6, (306) 691-4040; Dr. Peter Gleisberg, 17 Chemin Bellevue, Battleford, SK S0M 0E0, (306) 937-2204; Dr. Norman G. Wallace, 203 Patricia St., Hudson Bay, SK S0E 0Y0, (306) 865-4114; Dr. Katherine Cheah, 3500-13th Ave., Regina, SK S4S 3P6, (306) 757-0117; Dr. Alana Barmby, 805 CN Tower, Saskatoon, SK S7K 1J5, (306) 653-1325; Dr. Tim Mrazek, Regina, SK (contact information not available). The Canadian Naturopathic Association toll free number: 1-877-628-7284.


Back to top

Home | Events | Classifieds | Directory | Profiles | Archives | Subscribe | Advertise
Distribution | From Our Readers | About WHOLifE Journal | Contact Us | Terms Of Use | Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2000- - Wholife Journal. All Rights Reserved.