What happens in a session with a Naturopathic Doctor?
Our Naturopathic doctor in Etobicoke use conventional and naturopathic diagnostic tools to assess health concerns and to determine the most appropriate treatment methods. Typically, the first session, or initial intake, is longer than your subsequent sessions, involving a comprehensive health history (a detailed family history, lifestyle analysis of nutritional status and eating habits, description of stressors, past medical history, history of injury, or physical/ mental/ emotional trauma) that may be impacting your wellbeing. In addition, the first appointment will address goals and outcomes you would like to attain from this work together. At times, naturopathic doctors may submit a requisition for clients for a comprehensive laboratory test (bloodwork, urine analysis, etc).
After the initial appointment, a naturopathic doctor will create a treatment plan that will involve diet and lifestyle modifications, and recommend natural supplements as needed to support some of these changes. The naturopathic doctor will use a range of different therapies to address your physical, mental, and emotional health. Your treatment plan will be fully customized to you and your needs, using a combination of: nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, and lifestyle and nutritional counselling.
Naturopathic Medicine Etobicoke
Today, many are turning to naturopathic medicine to deal with persistent conditions and to improve their overall quality of life. An increasing number have seen that naturopathic medicine simply works more effectively, blending conventional and unconventional approaches to healthcare. Naturopathic medicine differs from mainstream medicine by using supplements and botanicals to aid in the body’s natural ability to heal itself in maintaining optimal health, and/or treating and preventing pain and/ or illness. Naturopathic doctors are able to combine a variety of natural therapies to find the approach, or combination of approaches, that will be most effective in meeting the client’s needs.
Typically, approaches include: nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, lifestyle counselling, nutritional counselling, homeopathic medicine, and/ or acupuncture treatments.
How can a Naturopathic Doctor help with my Mental Health?
Diet and Lifestyle: Nutrition and the way we choose to feed and treat our body almost immediately affects mood. Food and other substances very much affect our brain. A naturopathic doctor can help you to understand the impact of certain food or substances on the mind and body. We need to nourish our body with adequate protein, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables. Certain foods can be used and increased in the diet for their specific nutrients to decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) and to increase serotonin (the happy hormone). Fish and other foods full of omega 3 fats have been shown to improve mild-to-moderate depression as well. Naturopathic doctors can help you to address any food intolerances or deficiencies, to create a healthy lifestyle and diet plan to improve mood, and to reduce stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.
Supplements and Amino Acids: Naturopathic Doctors can help clients to optimize the body and the brain with the use of specific nutrients. For example, with depression, Omega-3 fish oil at the right dose can help the brain to signal dopamine to elevate your mood. With anxiety, using supplements such as L-theanine can help decrease the body’s cortisol level significantly. Supporting overall energy with B-vitamins, vitamin C, and magnesium can also be helpful. Finally, zinc is essential in maintaining and developing neurological networks and communication, and research has proven it to be effective in treating depressive symptoms in assisting with neurotransmitter production and function. Overall, it is important to find the right combination and particular amount of (each) supplement(s).
Herbal Medicine: Certain herbs have specific healing properties that are targeted toward improving mood and reducing stress, anxiety and depression. For example, St. John’s Wort has proven to be helpful in reducing depressive symptoms, and lemon balm and chamomile have helped to reduce anxiety. Many herbs have a long history of traditional use in naturopathic medicine, and it is important to work with a professional to understand certain drug interactions with herbal and natural medicines. Various tinctures, teas, and capsules may be recommended to you in your individualized treatment plan.
Homeopathic Medicine: Naturopathic doctors use these remedies which are made from specific dilutions of plant, animal, and mineral substances. These substances are carefully matched to the individual patient and able to help stimulate the body’s natural healing ability physically and emotionally.
Acupuncture: Naturopathic doctors may use the aid of acupuncture to balance the concept of ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chi’), or your body’s flow of energy. Acupuncture is based on the belief that your body’s organs and health are all connected and can be regulated with the use of very thin needles strategically placed in specific points on the body to relieve pain or stress. There are certain points which help provide a release of stress hormones, or production in mood-boosting hormones, creating a reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms.