Naturopathic medicine at RSNC

Satellite clinics


Hours of operation:


Monday: 2:45 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday- Friday: 8:45 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Sunday: closed

Please call (416) 498-9763 for more information or to book an appointment.

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that addresses the root causes of illness, and promotes health and healing using natural therapies.

The therapies used in naturopathic practice include:

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has diagnosed, treated and prevented illness for thousands of years and incorporates acupuncture, acupressure, diet, massage, and Asian herbs and foods.

According to TCM, when your energy flow, or Qi (pronounced “chi”) is out of balance, your body cannot adapt to stress, making you more likely to develop chronic illness and pain. TCM seeks to relieve these imbalances by adjusting the circulation of Qi and balancing the forces of yin and yang energy. A harmonious flow of Qi, achieved by balancing cold and heat, internal and external, yin and yang, will help sustain long-term physical, mental and emotional health.

Acupuncture and acupressure is often beneficial in relieving:

  • back pain
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • migraines, and
  • other chronic pain concerns

Acupuncture technique employs inserting and manipulating fine metal needles into acupuncture points or specific spots relating to the body’s meridians.

In a 2004 study conducted by CCNM in collaboration with Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canada Post employees received naturopathic treatment—including acupuncture, lifestyle modification and dietary counseling—for their lower back pain. Employees who received naturopathic care experienced significant improvement in mobility, pain reduction, quality of life and reliance on pain medication.

Chinese herbal medicine is also based on the concepts of yin and yang, and aims to balance the two. Chinese medicine is often successful in treating a wide range of health conditions, including:

  • allergies
  • skin problems
  • urinary tract infections
  • immune deficiencies
  • chronic fatigue, and
  • respiratory conditions (asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, etc.)

Botanical medicine utilizes diverse plant substances from around the world for their powerful healing and nutritional values. Naturopathic doctors use herbs from Europe, the Americas, China and India to prevent and alleviate illness. The flowers, roots, leaves or oils of a plant may be used in the remedy. Therapy may take the form of:

  • teas
  • tinctures
  • ointments
  • essential oils
  • supplements

Harnessing the healing properties of plants is an ancient practice. People in all continents have long used thousands of indigenous plants for treatment of various ailments.

Some herbal remedies have the potential to cause adverse drug interactions when used in combination with various prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. At RSNC, your naturopathic doctor or intern will carefully review your current health situation before recommending a specific botanical remedy or combination.

CCNM is at the forefront of botanical medical research. The College’s research department is currently conducting a clinical trial to test the efficacy of cinnamon as an aid in diabetes to reduce blood sugar levels. This study is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.

In 2006, Dugald Seely, ND, MSc (Cand.) and Deborah Kennedy, ND, published the first in vitro analysis of Essiac, an herbal compound widely used yet under researched. Their series of essays confirmed that Essiac possesses physiologic actions that may support its historical use.

Systematic reviews conducted by Dugald Seely, Ping Wu, and Ed Mills indicate that green tea and melatonin may have a role in the prevention and treatment of cancer respectively.

Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. Like medicines and drugs, foods affect the way your body functions. Some foods help you heal, while others damage your body and contribute to chronic illness. A healthy diet–consisting of the right balance of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, anti-oxidants, fibre and amino acids–is the most important tool for your body to manage stress and prevent and recover from illness.

Clinical nutrition is utilized to analyze your health and nutritional intake to address deficiencies, and promotes immunity and health through:

  • nutrient-rich foods
  • nutritional supplements, and
  • IV therapy

The therapies involved are geared towards improving health and preventing disease.

At RSNC, your intern or naturopathic doctor may ask you to keep a diet diary, which is the first step in helping to determine:

  • food allergies
  • sensitivities
  • digestive issues
  • risk for disease associated with diet, and
  • overall diet quality

Clinicians can then recommend dietary changes to support healthy living and treat diseases like:

  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol, and
  • heart disease

Homeopathic medicine is a natural, nontoxic therapeutic system of healing that assists in the inherent ability of the body to heal itself. Homeopathic medicines or "remedies" use minute amounts of plant, mineral or animal substances to stimulate a person's innate healing ability and to strengthen the entire system. It attempts to treat “like with like”, using substances that, in larger dosages, would develop the illness’s symptom in a healthy person. The causes of your symptoms are unique to you; therefore, your intern or ND will examine the cause of your pain or illness before prescribing appropriate homeopathic remedies.

Homeopathy restores the body to homeostasis, or healthy balance, which is considered its natural state. The symptoms of a disease are regarded as the body's own defensive attempt to correct its imbalance, rather than as enemies to be defeated. Homeopathic remedies are designed to stimulate this internal curative process rather than suppress the symptoms.

Homeopathic remedies are particularly effective for:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • allergies
  • infections
  • gynecological concerns
  • skin conditions
  • digestive problems
  • chronic and acute conditions including colds and flu

Homeopathy is a popular therapy throughout the world, particularly in Great Britain, Europe and India. It is also gaining popularity with veterinarians, who offer homeopathic remedies to treat dogs, cats and other animals.

Physical medicine includes massage, hydrotherapy, peat therapy and other physical therapies such as ultra-violet and infra-red therapy. Physical medicine works in two ways. First, it restores structural soundness to the skeletal system, joints, and soft tissue. In addition, it builds immunity and supports healing and detoxification.

At RSNC, we offer many ways to improve your well-being, recover from your injuries and strengthen your immune system. You may be referred to our pain management and sports medicine clinic for certain health concerns, such as:

  • chronic pain
  • arthritis
  • sports injuries, and
  • muscle strains

Treatments offered include:

  • various massage techniques
  • muscle-stretching, and
  • manipulation of the spine and extremities

RSNC patients also have access to the clinic’s infra-red sauna. Benefits to sauna use include relief for musculoskeletal stiffness, rheumatoid arthritis, and ear-nose-and-throat conditions.

Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment. It involves the use of water for soothing pains and treating diseases. Constitutional hydrotherapy, a method of stimulating the body’s vital force, is often prescribed. Treatment can involve alternate applications of hot and cold water to promote circulation. Hydrotherapies include:

  • hot and cold packs (general and local)
  • saunas and steam baths
  • general hot and cold baths
  • sitz, head and foot baths
  • wet and dry bandages
  • poultices, and
  • peat baths

Lifestyle counseling

To achieve the best results from your naturopathic treatment, you need to understand and practice the principles of healthy living. By helping you identify and adjust the habits that contribute to ill health, your intern or ND will help you maintain wellness over the long term.

Mental attitudes and emotions are important elements in overall health and should be considered when treating illness and disease. As part of their education, naturopathic doctors are trained in various counseling techniques. Lifestyle counseling, in conjunction with other naturopathic therapies, can provide support for those dealing with depression, fatigue, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), work-related stress, relationship issues, life transitions, and health problems, particularly chronic health problems.

The RSNC offers programs such as:

  • Be Your Best Self (BYBS) – a weight-management and healthy lifestyle program designed for people who are committed to losing weight and improving their health. Although good nutrition is crucial to good health, diet is not the only aspect of effective weight loss and overall health. Research shows that successful long-term weight loss depends on:
  • healthy diet
  • regular physical activity
  • strong willingness to change
  • realistic expectations and goals

Weight loss is not just about physical change. Habitual overeating is triggered by emotional stress, not physical hunger. The BYBS program helps you address the feelings, patterns and behaviors that contribute to weight gain, teaching you to manage stress in a healthier way.

Research conducted on weight loss shows that success is linked to positive feedback, encouragement and group support. BYBS centers around support groups and meetings, as well as providing valuble tips and information to help you lose weight.

Program Cost

  • New patients: $ 199 plus tax – 14-week program
    • Includes three naturopathic appointments
    • Full physical exam
    • Relevant lab test and urinalysis
  • Current patients: $99 plus tax – 11-week program (does not include tests or appointments)

For more information or to register, call (416) 498-9763

Satellite Clinics
The Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic operates five teaching clinics in conjunction with community health centres. Fourth-year interns, under the supervision of clinic faculty, provide naturopathic medical care at these sites once a week, throughout the year. The satellite clinic program gives students and faculty the opportunity to bring naturopathic care to under-served populations and at the same time exposes them to a range of medical conditions that they may not encounter at the RSNC main clinic.