Naturopathic Medicine is a unique system of medicine that aims to discover and treat the patient’s underlying cause of disease. Health promotion and illness prevention is emphasized. Each person has an innate healing power, and the role of the Naturopathic Doctor is to remove obstructions to this healing power and facilitate it through gentle, non-toxic therapies.
Naturopathic doctors support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. Signs and symptoms are not seen as something that must be eradicated, but rather as the body’s innate wisdom giving out warning signs that something is unbalanced. Naturopathic Doctors look at the patient as a whole, by considering the physical, emotional and mental aspects of their health; and by doing this will consider the many different possible underlying causes.
The role of the Naturopathic Doctor is to educate, empower, and motivate patients to take an active role in their own health, and in this way the patient is always “in the drivers seat” on the road towards optimum health and wellness.
What treatment options are available?
Clinical Nutrition – food plays a vital role in the functioning of your body. Some foods help you heal, while others contribute to poor health. A healthy diet and proper supplementation is an important tool for recovering from illness and sustaining good energy, stable mood, and overall optimal health.
Botanical Medicines – this is a plant based medicine which uses herbal teas, tinctures, and capsules to address various health concerns. Herbs are very powerful agents and are fully researched to ensure that they will not interact with any medications you are currently taking.
Homeopathy – this is a method of healing that involves “like cures like”, and involves natural substances that have been diluted to minute amounts, stimulating the body to heal itself both on a physical and emotional level.
Traditional Chinese Medicine – according to this system of medicine, energy (Chi) flows through meridians in your body. When the flow of Chi is obstructed, your body is more susceptible to stress, illness and pain. A harmonious flow of Chi is strived for through diet, Chinese herbs and acupuncture, thus addressing physical, mental and emotional health.
Bowen Therapy – this is a gentle, non-invasive treatment that is excellent for pain management. By using gentle touch along the muscles, relaxation is promoted, thus allowing the body to heal from past injuries and reducing pain and tension.
Lifestyle Counseling and Stress Management – the role of the patient in his or her own health is emphasized, and the principles of healthy living are taught. Dr. Ramona will work with you towards your personal health goals by helping you identify and address your lifestyle habits that may be contributing to poor health, and help you maintain these changes over the long term.
What conditions can Naturopathic Medicine Treat?
- Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia
- Cardiovascular problems – hypertension, high cholesterol, palpitations
- Digestive problems – bloating, heartburn, gas, constipation, IBS
- Skin conditions – acne, rashes, excema, psoriasis, rosacea, dry skin
- Allergies, Asthma, Sinusitis, Colds, Flus
- Headaches, Migraines
- Women’s Health – menopause, PMS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, Menstrual cramps
- Depression, Anxiety, Mood disorders, Stress
- Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease, Candida
- Hypothyroidism, Adrenal imbalances
- Diabetes, Hypoglycemia
- Urinary tract infections
- Weight loss and Weight management
What can I expect during my visits?
During the first visit, which is an hour long, Dr. Ramona will review your patient intake form and a detailed health and lifestyle history will be gathered. Patient risk factors (such as diet, heredity, and stress) will be assessed. By considering your health history and results from medical tests that your MD have ordered (ultrasounds, x-rays, blood tests etc), your case Is thoroughly researched and an individualized treatment plan that suits you best is established.
After the initial appointment, visits are 15 – 45 minutes long depending on your health conditions and the treatments being used. The number of visits you can expect will be determined by your treatment plan and personal health goals.
What are the Guiding Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
- Naturopathic Doctors utilize methods and medicinal substances that minimize the risk of side effects for their patients. The medicines they use are gentle and non-toxic. They also avoid the harmful suppression of symptoms, which may be temporarily removed but may resurface at a later time in a more serious form.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
- Naturopathic Doctors work to restore and support the powerful and inherent healing ability of your body and aim to prevent further disease from occurring. They aim to identify and remove obstacles to recovery
Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)
- Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. The primary goal of your Naturopathic Doctor is to determine and treat the underlying cause rather than simply managing the symptoms, which may be due to diet, lifestyle habits, life events, posture, or environment.
Treat the Whole Person
- Each person is unique and requires individualized care. In treating the cause of any condition your Naturopathic Doctor takes into account not only your physical symptoms, but also mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual factors. Disease affects the entire person, not just a specific organ or system. Your nutritional status, lifestyle, family history, environmental stresses, and physical health are all carefully evaluated and addressed.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
- Ramona will assist you in understanding health and illness. She will provide you with an understanding of the factors that affect your health and help you become more capable of maintain your own health.
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
- Ramona emphasizes healthy daily habits and will assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility to disease and then make appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Health is more than just the absence of disease, and the capacity for optimal wellness and an improved quality of life is inherent in every body.
What are the educational requirements for a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic Doctors require a minimum of seven years of post-secondary training. In order to become a Naturopathic Doctor, a four year program at an accredited institution of Naturopathic Medicine must be completed. The fourth year of this intensive training involves clinical rotations under the supervision of licensed Naturopathic Doctors. In addition, NPLEX licensing exams are written after the 2nd and 4th year of education in order to maintain standards for licensed Naturopathic Doctors. Naturopathic Doctors must also be licensed by their provincial association and meet certain requirements set by that association. Dr. Ramona is licensed by the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) and the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta (CNDA).