I'm very excited to be joining the Choice Health Centre team at the Halifax & Dartmouth locations! Since this is my first month working at Choice Health Centre, I wanted to introduce myself and explain a little bit about what Naturopathic Medicine is and what I do as a Naturopathic Doctor.
Naturopathic medicine blends current scientific research with traditional and natural forms of medicine, such as nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy and infusion therapy (IV therapy). Naturopathic medicine supports and stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself and can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of acute and chronic health conditions.
Naturopathic doctors treat each individual person, not their illness. We do an extensive intake to listen carefully to your concerns, and then proceed with an evidence-based treatment plan that is suitable for you and allows you to take control of your health. Here are some frequently asked questions that I get:
Who Can Benefit From Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine can treat all forms of health concerns from acute or chronic conditions, and all ages from pediatric patients to geriatric patients.
Here are some of the patients that might benefit from naturopathic medicine:
- Patients looking for disease prevention
- Patients interested in strategies to become healthier
- Patients with a range of symptoms that they cannot address themselves
- Patients with chronic conditions, looking for new or different treatment options
- Patients hoping for a natural treatment options appropriate to combine with their current conventional treatments
What Conditions Do You Commonly Treat?
I commonly see a range of hormonal conditions, autoimmune diseases, and digestive conditions. Some of the things you might see an ND for include:
- Hormonal conditions like PMS, heavy or painful periods, endometriosis, PCOS, fertility support, menopause support
- Thyroid conditions- hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Fatigue and chronic stress management
- Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
- Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Celiac’s disease, IBS
- Hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes
- Anxiety and depression
What Kind of Training Do Naturopathic Doctors Receive?
Naturopathic Doctors complete 4 years of pre-medical sciences in university prior to applying to the 4-year full-time Naturopathic Medicine program from one of five accredited naturopathic colleges in North America. The program includes over 4200 hours of classroom training, over 1200 hours of supervised clinical training, plus over 300 hours of preceptoring and studies inbio-medical sciences; clinical sciences; clinical education; and naturopathic sciences. In order to practice in Nova Scotia, graduates have to successfully complete two sets of standardized North American exams. Naturopathic Doctors then need to obtain yearly continuing medical education credits to maintain their license in good standing.
Can You Explain Each Treatment Modality You Use?
Clinical nutrition/Nutritional counselling - Diet changes are going to be seen in most treatment plans, even if they are just mild. These might include substitutions for healthier foods or more sustainable options and adding in functional and therapeutic foods. It could also mean a total diet modification (ie. Paleo, Ketogenic, FODMAP, elimination, dairy-free, etc.) or changes totarget food intolerances or nutrient deficiencies.
Naturopathic doctors are also expertly trained in the use of nutritional supplements, and can advise you on which ones you should be taking, as well as the proper forms required for your particular condition (All supplements are NOT created equal!)
Botanical Medicine - This is the use of herbal tinctures, capsules of standardized extracts of herbs or herbal teas to treat a variety of concerns.
Injection and Infusion therapy - Injections and infusions can be used to quickly and efficiently correct common nutrient deficiencies by providing a high dose of nutrients delivered into the muscle or intravenously. B12 injections can be used to support mental health and neurological health, to boost energy, and aid in sleep problems. Magnesium can be commonly depleted in highly stressed individuals. It can help treat tight muscles, restless leg syndrome, high blood pressure, and a host of other concerns. IV infusions of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C administered intravenously are used to increase blood concentrations of several nutrients faster and more efficiently than what is achieved by oral supplementation. IV therapy is a great treatment option for those suffering from GI disorders such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, chronic pain conditions and fibromyalgia, stress and fatigue, immune support, or even optimizing athletic performance.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture - Acupuncture uses small needles that are inserted into the musculature of the body along different meridians in order to treat certain conditions. It is commonly used to manage pain and treat muscle tension, for fertility concerns and to regulate digestion and hormones. We use the principles of traditional Chinese medicine in order to determine which points need to be needled, and may add in herbs or diet changes based on the philosophy to complete the treatment plan.
Lifestyle counselling - This involves working with patients to help them live healthier lives. Along with the dietary counselling mentioned above, patients are also educated on proper ways to exercise, relax, set goals, and cope with the stressors of day to day life.
Hydrotherapy - Hydrotherapy focuses around the principle of water cure. Naturopathic doctors use the principle of water cure to harness the healing powers of water to reduce inflammation and detoxify the body. Some treatments that work with these principles are steam inhalation, body wraps, infrared saunas, peat baths, steam showers, and many others to address both acute and chronic complaints.
Prolotherapy- Perineural injection treatment, sometimes known as subcutaneous prolotherapy or neural prolotherapy, is a new and effective form of pain treatment for painful knees, shoulders, neck, hips, low back and ribs. It is also great for tennis elbow, sciatica, tendonitis, fibromyalgia and many more conditions! This is a safe and effective treatment for painful conditions that was developed by Dr. John Lyftoft, a sports medicine doctor who focuses on the treatment of pain.
If you are looking to feel better and start the Fall off on the right foot, you can find me at Choice Health Centre. To learn more or to book an appointment with Anna D'Intino, ND or another health care professional, call Choice Health Centre at 902-404-3668 or an book an assessment online.