Welcome Jess, student intern

Please help me welcome Jess, a naturopathic student intern in her 4th year of studies, who will be joining me in my practice on Tuesdays from May until August this year. During the fourth year of naturopathic college, senior clinic interns work under the direct supervision of regulated naturopathic doctors to provide primary health care. Most of this time is spent working in the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic, the teaching facility of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) and its satellite clinics. Students may also apply to intern with naturopathic doctors outside of CCNM. […]

By | April 5th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tolle Causam

Tolle causam. Treat the cause. This directive seems so simple and obvious at first glance. Like any good detective, it implores us to search through the patient’s story, signs, and symptoms to seek out the root of ill health. Tolle causam urges us to uncover the source of disease, remove any obstacles to cure, and let the vis medicatrix naturae work its beautiful magic to restore health. If only it were so easy. Mercifully for both doctor and patient, sometimes it is. Tolle causam is sometimes translated as “identify and treat the cause.” (1) Other definitions allow for more plurality: “Identify and treat the causes.” (2, 3) A direct translation says something a little different. […]

By | April 3rd, 2012|Philosophy|0 Comments

Vegetable Soup

Earlier this week while shopping at Fiesta Farms, my kids declared themselves chefs and started gathering vegetables for their version of “Red Pepper Soup.” Nevermind that they have always disliked all bell peppers, which I have long suspected is actually a food intolerance to Solanaceae, or nightshade, family vegetables (peppers, tomato, potato, eggplant). Regardless, they began dumping a variety of vegetables in the cart and teaching me how to make their recipe. I confess I made a few adjustments. I wasn’t convinced that sardines were a good idea, although I reserve the right to be wrong. Maybe they would have made the soup extra delicious. Anyways, I present to you my version of K & E’s recipe. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. Dinner at our house is often both busy and delicious. Instead, I offer you the cover of the book that likely inspired it all: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert) […]

By | March 9th, 2012|Kids, Recipes|0 Comments

The Healing Power of Nature

A couple of weeks ago, I presented at the Ontario Forestry Association’s Annual Conference. This year’s theme was “Prescription for Nature: Healthy Forests for Healthy People”. It was an inspiring conference, with great speakers from the Back to Nature Network, Tree Canada, and the Kinark Outdoor Centre amongst others. I was asked to speak from a clinical perspective about the relationship between forests and human health, a topic I am very passionate about, as it speaks to the vis medicatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature. It was also a pleasure to present to a different audience than the usual naturopathic students I lecture to on a weekly basis. […]

By | February 23rd, 2012|Health Research, Kids, Nature & Culture|1 Comment

Constitutional Hydrotherapy

The restorative powers of hydrotherapy may not be well known outside the spa environment in our time, but the use of hydrotherapy is well documented throughout history in Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, and many other cultures. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, prescribed bathing in spring water as a medical treatment. These traditions have continued and can be found in the practice of bathing in hot springs and cold water baths around the world today. Constitutional hydrotherapy, a technique developed by Dr. O.G. Carroll, is particularly effective at stimulating the immune system, achieving total body detoxification, and stimulating the body’s own innate capacity to heal itself. The word “constitutional” refers to the whole-body effects of this treatment. Although useful in almost any condition, it has been found specifically well suited for the treatment of digestive concerns, respiratory diseases, female reproductive problems, immune system balancing, circulatory conditions, neurological conditions, and environmental toxicity. […]

By | February 1st, 2012|Hydrotherapy|1 Comment

Warming Socks

Runny nose? Sore throat? Chills? Fever? Sneezing? Congestion? Headache? Any or all of the above? Use the warming socks treatment. Warming socks works by stimulating the body’s natural healing responses during acute infections. In hydrotherapy terms, the technique is a kind of “warming compress”, which encourages the body to increase overall blood circulation in order to warm up the cold socks. In doing so, it draws preferentially from areas of congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It is also effective for pain relief. A safe treatment for the whole family, including the youngest of kids, warming socks is perfect at bedtime, or nap time, as it has a soothing and sedating effect, helping you to sleep through the night even when you’re feeling less than par. […]

By | December 13th, 2011|Home Treatments, Hydrotherapy, Kids|0 Comments

A Holistic Approach to the Holidays

Although this time of year is about gift-giving and receiving for many people, we don’t always think about those who are very much in need all year round. As my kids are thinking about what they want for Chanukah, I’m thinking about ways to mitigate the rampant consumerism so obvious in December with a greater sense of generosity, charity, and a respect for people and our planet that is balanced all year round. […]

By | December 13th, 2011|Nature & Culture, Philosophy|0 Comments

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Four years old is a big milestone. First it was finding out from his friends that Halloween actually involved candy, and not just parading through the neighbourhood in costume. The following week, K declared that a birthday party was all about friends bringing you presents (It’s ok, kids are supposed to be this narcissistic.) and cupcakes. His specific request was chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing and sprinkles. You can’t blame a kid for having a vision. Being both a naturopath and a mother, I revised some recipes to create a (relatively) whole food and gluten-free version of what he wanted. Two weeks later, K’s birthday has come and gone, and he’s still talking about when I’m going to make them again. I can safely say that my gluten-free chocolate cupcakes were a huge success. Here’s the recipe so you can make them too. […]

By | November 17th, 2011|Recipes|0 Comments

It’s Cold Out There. Cover your Windgate

On my way to drop off the kids this morning, I noticed frost on the ground for the first time this season, a signal to finally put away our fall rain coats and make sure that all our winter gear is front and center in the hall. It’s also a good reminder to make sure that everyone has got their wind gate covered when they’re going outside. Although the name “wind gate” is the literal translation of a specific point on the bladder channel (UB 12, Feng Men, or 風門 to be exact) in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is often used to talk about the entire back of the neck and upper back. According to TCM, external pathogens enter the body through the wind gate. In other words, we are most susceptible to environmental forces such as wind when our necks are exposed to the elements. […]

You Say Naturopathic, I Say Naturopathic

I’d been involved in naturopathic medicine, as a student, a clinician, a professor, and a conference attendee for almost a decade before I noticed it. I was listening to a talk by Joseph Pizzorno at CCNM about gastrointestinal health and detoxification, and one of the things I found most striking wasn’t the content of his presentation (as great as it was) but his pronunciation of the word “naturopathy.” At first I assumed it was pronounced differently in the US – this hypothesis seemed plausible enough. But it dawned on me that I had heard this pronunciation before by Canadians too, but only by a handful of NDs who graduated in the 80s. And then I considered the semiotic implications. […]

By | September 25th, 2011|Philosophy|2 Comments