Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that integrates the latest medical research with traditional and natural forms of medicine to help you live in optimal health. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the body’s inherent ability to heal itself and to treat the underlying cause of disease, with a focus on long-term health and disease prevention.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained similarly to conventional medical doctors to use physical examinations and laboratory tests to help determine a diagnosis, however an ND’s treatment approach differs in that it is based on natural therapies, rather than pharmaceutical drugs. Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their unique physiological, structural, psychological, social, environment and lifestyle factors.
In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
Naturopathic doctors are highly trained to treat a wide range of health complaints; some common conditions treated include digestive complaints, stress management, allergies, colds and flus, hormonal imbalances, infertility, pain management, sleep disturbances and weight management. Education is a primary principle of naturopathic medicine, allowing you to work as a team with your naturopathic doctor, with the knowledge to choose the best options for you and your family’s health.
Naturopathic doctors truly believe in food as medicine. The relationship between nutrition and wellness, or between inadequate nutrition and disease, is well documented and is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice Individual diets and nutritional supplements are recommended to address deficiencies, treat disease processes and promote health. The benefits may include increased energy, improved gastrointestinal function, enhanced immunity, and general well-being.
Homeopathic medicine was originally developed during the 18th century by the German physician Hahnemann and is widely used throughout the world. It involves the use of minute doses of substances, typically of plant or mineral origin, to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Homeopathy is a powerful tool that effects healing on a physical and emotional level. It is an extremely safe and effective form of medicine for treating infants, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women without negative interactions or side effects.
Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupunture
Asian medicine includes the use of acupuncture, Eastern herbs and dietary changes to eliminate disease and balance body functions. Acupuncture refers to the insertion of sterilized disposable needles through the skin into underlying tissues at specific points on the body. Eastern herbs may be given in the form of pills, tinctures, or decoctions (strong teas) to be taken internally or used externally as a wash. Dietary advice is based on traditional Chinese medical theory.
Physical medicine refers to the use of hands-on techniques such as soft tissue and spinal manipulation, as well as electrostimulation acupuncture for the purpose of treating musculoskeletal and neurological problems. Home care stretches and exercises are also prescribed as indicated. As a Kinesiology major and lifelong athlete herself, Dr. King has a special interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and has experience working with a variety of competitive athletes. She was also awarded the Dr. Anton Ingard Memorial Award for Excellence in Naturopathic Manipulation.
Botanical medicine is plant-based medicine that involves the use of herbal teas, tinctures, capsules and other forms of herbal preparations to assist in recovery from injury and disease. Botanicals have been used safely and effectively for generations in a medicinal capacity and are the chemical basis for many synthetic pharmaceuticals. The active constituents of plants can be extracted and used to gently heal the body without the added side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals.
Lifestyle counseling involves identifying risk factors and making recommendations to help optimize one’s physical, mental and emotional environment. Environment and lifestyle have a significant impact on health and these factors are evaluated and dealt with when appropriate. A tenet of naturopathic medicine is that emotional health and physical health are interdependent. Naturopathic practice includes the integrated use of counseling techniques along with such methods as stress management when indicated.