• Placebo pill

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
  • forest bathing

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|0 Comments
  • Great Blue Heron

Nature in the City

Last Sunday, K’s agenda for the day was to move Ducky from the bathtub to a pond. Despite Ducky’s existence as a phthalate-free bath toy, I couldn’t disagree with K when he stated that ducks actually live in ponds not in bathtubs, so we trucked out to the Evergreen Brick Works to bring Ducky to […]

By |August 19th, 2011|Nature & Culture, Philosophy|2 Comments