Hearing voices

The idea of hearing voices is one of the most vilified aspects of mental illness.  Hearing voices is frequently attributed to those living with schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder, but is much more common, and complex, than its portrayal on TV or in media.  Although auditory hallucinations can pose significant problems in some cases, voice-hearing can be positive and even, non-clinical. […]

By | November 7th, 2017|Health Research, Mental Wellness, Philosophy|0 Comments

Herbal medicine for the senses, or why I love tea

It’s no secret – I ❤ tea!  I love everything about it from the experience to the accessories.  Don’t get me wrong, coffee and I have a serious morning relationship but I can have tea anytime of the day. Tea is versatile.  There are so many different kinds of tea, so many herbal blends to explore.   […]

By | May 31st, 2016|Herbal Medicine, Philosophy|2 Comments

Health, wellth, and intake forms

I spend a lot of time thinking about words.  Part of it is my cultural studies background.  Part of it is a personal obsession with etymology and semiotics and self-reflection. Words are power.  Health is power. Unfortunately, many people have less access to wellth, or health power, than others.  They may have less access to healthcare because [...]

By | March 21st, 2016|Philosophy|0 Comments

Signs you need a naturopath

Not sure if seeing a naturopathic doctor is something for you?  Here are some signs that naturopathic medicine is likely a good fit for you. Your life is wellthy You already live a wellness-based lifestyle.  You eat whole foods and often cook at home.  You love fruits and vegetables.  You buy some things organic.  You are [...]

By | July 23rd, 2015|Herbal Medicine, Philosophy, Women's Health|0 Comments

New rules for naturopaths in Ontario

some of my study notes for the prescribing exam Eight years ago, the province of Ontario passed the Naturopathy Act, 2007.  While naturopaths have been practicing under the Drugless Practitioners Act, 1925 (DPA) since the 1920s, legislative changes were sought out in order to bring naturopathic doctors (NDs) into the Regulated Health Professions Act, [...]

By | June 30th, 2015|Philosophy|0 Comments

Let’s talk about sex

Many of us may think we talk openly about sex but far too often I have patients who come to see me for sexual health concerns they have never discussed with other healthcare providers. I am glad that my patients feel comfortable asking me about a wide variety of issues related to sex practices: how to avoid giving and getting sexually transmitted infections, how to get or not get pregnant, and how to improve sexual function. Dissatisfaction with one’s sex life, sometimes called sexual dysfunction, is a rather common concern.

Neuroplasticity: your brain is playdough

The word neuroplasticity sounds like your brain on playdough. In a sense, it is. Neuroscience has documented how our brains are constantly changing and responding to our environments and lived experiences, changing both anatomically and physiologically. The mantra “neurons that fire together, wire together” has been used in educational and neuroscience circles since the 1990s but how does this relate to mindbody techniques such as meditation, visualizations, and affirmations in the context of general health? Conscious of it or not, we are constantly sending messages to ourselves, to our bodies. This internal dialogue may be related to physical sensations, feeling, moods, addictions, or ways of being in the world. The things we say to ourselves may be loving and self-affirming; or, they may be critical and hurtful. […]

By | July 20th, 2012|Health Research, Philosophy|0 Comments

Placebo medicine

In the world of medical research, placebo is almost always talked about in the negative, as the baseline against which all other treatments are tested. Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials are often considered the gold standard of study design. According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, placebo is defined as “a medicine or procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patient rather than for any physiological effect.” When surveyed, 1 in 5 Canadian MDs admit to prescribing placebo, or using medications significantly below the active dose. (1) In an American survey of internists and rheumatologists, over 50% of those surveyed had recommended a placebo treatment to a patient in the year prior. (2) […]

By | May 30th, 2012|Health Research, Philosophy|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

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