Naturopathic doctors use a range of different therapies to address a patient’s physical, mental and emotional health. The therapies used assist the body’s healing response and they are often more effective when combined. Here are some of the natural therapies and treatment options that Dr. Snider uses:
Botanical Herbal Medicine
The use of Botanical/Herbal Medicine for healing dates back to the beginnings of civilization and is the foundation of modern pharmacology. Plant substances from around the world may be used for their healing effects and nutritional value. Medicinal plants have been, and will continue to be a valuable part of health care. These plants and plant substances are highly effective and safe in the right dosage and when used correctly with other herbs and treatments. Herbs can be prepared in many forms – teas, tinctures or capsules. Naturopathic doctors are extensively trained in both the art and science of botanical medicine. Naturopathic doctors are currently the only health care providers in Canada to be licensed for the use of botanical medicine.
Clinical Nutrition examines the relationship between diet and health. Special diets may be recommended. Treatment may include nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutraceuticals. Nutrition and the therapeutic use of foods is a cornerstone of naturopathic medicine. Food intolerances, deficiencies, dietary imbalances or nutritional excesses have been associated with many medical conditions. A naturopathic doctor is trained to understand the impact that your diet is having on your health. With appropriate dietary modification and nutritional supplements health concerns can be treated with fewer complications and side effects.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Based on balancing the flow of Chi (energy) through the meridian pathways, Asian Medicine includes the use of acupuncture and Oriental herbs. The key principle that defines and connects all of Chinese medicine is that of Chi, or vital energy. The chi of all organs must be in balance, neither too active nor too dormant, for a person to be healthy. The chi of the body’s organs and systems are all connected in meridians or channels that lie just under the skin. A Naturopathic Doctor will use Eastern herbs and acupuncture to assist the body in regulating the Chi and achieving balance. Acupuncture is the use of very thin needles which are inserted into specific meridian points. The practice of acupuncture has been around for over two thousand years and has proven to be very effective especially for pain relief and chronic illness. For more information on acupuncture and the history of Asian Medicine please click here. To see a diagram of the acupuncture meridians please click here.
Based on the principle of “like cures like”, Homeopathic Medicine uses minute amounts of natural substances to stimulate the self-healing abilities of the body. This powerful system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is widely accepted in many countries. Homeopathic remedies are made from specific dilutions of plant, animal and mineral substances. When carefully matched to the patient they are able to affect the body’s “vital force” and to stimulate the body’s innate healing forces on both the physical and emotional levels, with few side effects. Some conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine respond effectively to homeopathy.
Physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental factors affect health. Lifestyle Counseling helps patients make informed choices to reach and maintain their optimal health. Mental attitudes and emotional states are important elements in healing and disease. Addressing all aspects of a person’s life, identifying and addressing the impact that stress and life events have on a patient’s health is an important aspect of naturopathic treatment. Naturopathic doctors are trained to counsel on diet, lifestyle, specific stressors, exercise and occupational or environmental hazards as an integral part of the naturopathic treatment program.
A variety of hands-on techniques for the spine, joints and soft tissues, Physical Therapy also includes hydrotherapy and the therapeutic use of light, heat and cold, and massage. Physical medicine offers treatment for many different health concerns. Treatments can include soft tissue work (including therapeutic massage), naturopathic manipulation of muscle, bone or the spine, hydrotherapy techniques, gentle electrical impulses, ultrasound, diathermy, and exercise therapy.
Mental Field Therapy
Mental Field Therapy is an exceptionally powerful therapy that combines aspects of traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture meridians with psychotherapy. While stimulating acupuncture energy meridian points a guided dialogue takes place between you and your naturopath. This process begins to uncover the mental/emotional factors behind your physical symptoms. For the handout on Mental Field Therapy please click here.
Applied Kinesiology can be divided into two distinct parts. One is an aid to diagnosis. Muscle testing is used to help diagnose what is functioning abnormally. This can be a problem with the nervous system, the lymphatic drainage, the vascular supply to a muscle or organ, a nutritional excess or deficiency, a problem with the cranial-sacral – TMJ mechanism, an imbalance in the meridian system or a host of other problems. Testing individual muscles in an accurate manner and determining what effects the relative strength of the muscle when combined with knowledge of the basic mechanics and physiological functioning of the body helps to more accurately diagnose what is going wrong. The second part of Applied Kinesiology involves the treatment phase. Here, Dr. Goodheart and others in the International College of Applied Kinesiology have adapted different treatment methods to the problems that have been diagnosed. From nutrition to chiropractic manipulation to osteopathic cranial techniques to acupuncture – meridian therapies to myofascial techniques to nervous system coordination procedures to some of the latest theories in medicine involving control of the vascular and nervous system may be employed to balance the malfunction found in the patient. Applied Kinesiology borrows from many different disciplines and through the use of accurate, scientific muscle testing, in addition to the basic knowledge of the practitioner, helps direct the care to exactly what the patient’s needs are instead of what the practitioner does.
Clinical Kinesiology (CK) is another form of kinesiology that addresses the full system of the body. It is primarily the creation of Dr. Alan Beardall. Dr. Beardall saw the body as an interconnected network for information processing and introduced the use of “hand modes” and the “bio-computer” concept to kinesiology. For more information about our use of hand-modes and clinical kinesiology please click here
Psychokinesiology is a series of psychological and emotional intervention techniques using muscle testing in order to communicate with your unconscious mind and the cognitive skills to deal with the conscious mind. It directly accesses and corrects the hidden emotional energy imbalances in your mind/body system. To read a more detailed explanation about psychokinesiology please click here.
Andrea Mathieson (www.ravenessences.com) describes flower essences beautifully: “Essences support the personal and ecological transformation by encouraging the emergence of a living philosophy within the hearts of all people. Enlivened with sound, the flower essences are alchemical teachers and healers, opening our flesh to the fullness of our soul’s expression…”
Reiki is a safe, gentle, non-invasive form of hands-on healing. It is a form of energy healing that involves direct application of Chi for the purpose of strengthening the clients energy system.
Medical Qi Gong
Medical Qi Gong is a modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi gong is a way of affecting and directing qi, or the life force, for various kinds of benefit. Rather than using needles, herbs, or massage, medical qi gong relies on the ability to direct qi with the mind, the hands, or a ritual object, but without necessarily touching the body. Like its better known counterparts acupuncture and herbal medicine, medical qi gong requires thorough knowledge of TCM scientific theory in order to be used skillfully. A medical qi gong practitioner should be at least as well-trained as an acupuncturist or herbalist.
Meditation is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep connection between the mind and body which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body. Through meditation, the scientific laws that operate our thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.
Food Sensitivity Testing
Allergy testing is an important part of the naturopathic approach. Normally, your body’s immune system defends against potentially harmful substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. In some people, an immune response is triggered by a substance that is generally harmless, such as a specific food. Intolerances can be inherited or can be caused by toxic stress overload. Sensitivity reactions occur at a biochemical level but it is now evident that it is also the physical vibration of the allergen which triggers the allergic responses. Almost any substance can cause an allergic reaction but the most common allergens are wheat, milk, nuts, eggs, shellfish, house dust mite, molds, latex, animal fur and chemicals.