Tag Archives: Lifestyle Counselling

Removing Barriers to Primary Health Care Services: Federal Government Exempts Naturopathic Medical Services from HST/GST

Health News1It has been a month since the Federal Government proposed the elimination of HST on naturopathic medical services effective February 12, 2014.  Naturopathic Doctors across Canada are applauding the Federal Government’s decision to exempt naturopathic care from HST as it further removes barriers to primary health care services for Ontarians.  States the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, this exemption “will provide greater access for patients seeking a proactive approach to their health care needs and those looking for individualized, whole person approach to prevent and treat health issues…resulting in improved outcomes in some of the most chronic and costly areas of the healthcare system.”

Image

Because You Can’t Afford to Get Sick!

Allergies 101

Thank you to all those who attended the Food Allergy Information Session in conjunction with Anaphylaxis Canada at the Loblaws Cooking School in Markham last Friday, September 27, 2013.

The evening discussion highlighted valuable information regarding:
– Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction.
– Common causes of anaphylaxis.
– One-on-one instruction using an Epipen and Allerject auto-injector.
– Tips for creating an allergy-safe environment.
– An update regarding food allergy labeling in Canada.
– How to identify common allergens when reading food labels.
– Delicious samples of allergen-free products.

It was an informative night, and I was pleased to be a community resource alongside in-store pharmacist, Alice Lee and in-store registered dietician Rowena Leung!

Loblaws Cooking School Anaphylaxis Collage

Image

Join Us Tonight and Learn How You Can Reset Your Health with a Detox!

Detoxification for Better Health_October 2013

Naturopathic Care: Collaborative, Integrative Medicine at Its Best!

Big things come in small packages.  This is a saying that is appropriate when discussing naturopathic medicine.  For as small as the available literature is regarding patient outcomes, this does not mitigate patient reports of higher levels of satisfaction from the care they have received, feeling listened to, increased feelings of self-efficacy and empowerment, motivation to continue to make sustainable lifestyle choices, increased knowledge to make informed healthcare consumer decisions, trust that the recommendations they are incorporating into their lives are resulting in improved health, reports of reduced use of prescription medications, reduced visits to the hospital and a reduced need for invasive medical interventions.

As a proud champion of whole person, integrative care in the context of a therapeutic naturopathic family medicine relationship, please feel free to check out the below presentation capturing Ontarians thoughts about naturopathic medical care.  You spoke and we listened – there is an increasing concensus that naturopathic care improves patient outcomes, quality of life and medical costs for persons dealing with chronic disease.

Heart Disease Prevention and Naturopathic Medical Care

It is with much pleasure I am posting a slideshow prepared by my esteemed colleague, Dr. Dugald Seely, MSc, ND Research and Clinical Epidemiology Director at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, which discusses the power of naturopathic interventions in preventing heart disease!  Read on to see how the incorporation of naturopathic medical recommendations contributed to the improvement of quality of life, as well as reducing patient medical costs.

Another (Great!) Reason to Consume a Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean DietSoul-satisfying goodness making the dinner table sparkle with an array of colour and nutrients comes to mind when I think of the Mediterranean diet.  However, there are other reasons to incorporate elements of the Mediterranean diet involving fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy fats for those who are striving for a healthy heart and brain.  The reason:  your sugar levels.  Doesn’t it seem as though everyone is talking about their glucose levels these days?  I don’t think I know of a single person who doesn’t know of an immediate family member, relative, friend or co-worker who doesn’t struggle with this is some shape or form.  Read the benefits of how the Mediterranean diet can help you get your sugars into check here and speak with your Naturopathic Doctor about strategies to make this a manageable lifestyle change for the better!

Find Exercise a Drag?

Top 10 exciting forms of play to give a go (other than the good ol’ treadmill):
1. Dragon boat
2. Dancing
3. Boxing
4. Yoga
5. Kayaking
6. Outdoor running
7. Rock climbing
8. Nordic pole walking
9. Squash
10. Cycling

Are You Overly Acidic?

Find it difficult to concentrate?  Suffer from recurrent viral infections, allergies and respiratory problems?  Fatigue quickly and recover slowly?  Do you feel pessimistic?  Notice a loss of enthusiasm, joy and motivation?  Experience chronic muscle stiffness, soreness or pain?  Have recurring headaches?  Notice areas of inflamed and itchy skin?  Have you been told you have brittle, or thinning bones?  Noticed a change in your perspiration and body odours (towards one that is more rancid)?

We live in a society that is constantly on the go and will unquestioningly pop that prescription “cure-all” magic pill.  Imagine for a moment however, if you could roll back the clock prior to your diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, recurrent headaches, premenstrual dysphoria – and you had someone tell you your prescription could be wholesome food and a healthy lifestyle!  What would you do with that information?

I present to you the original happy meal

The primary force creating, or further contributing to many of the above-listed common illnesses is directly linked to your…drum roll please…you guessed it, diet!  As a Naturopathic Doctor, the vast majority of patients who walk in through our doors are persons with less-than-optimal health and are those who also have an acidic body terrain.

Fortunately, there is much you can do to turn an unhealthy acidic environment into a health-promoting alkaline environment. In fact, the most important step you can take in creating an ideal acid-alkaline balance in your body is to take control of your diet by making smart food choices.

Hind sight is always 20/20. What happens if you had the key to unlocking health and vitality, without the negative side-effects of pharmaceuticals, which consequently also require additional pharmaceuticals to offset your original prescription’s side effects? Would you unlock the door to your potential health and well-being?  Incorporation of an alkaline diet is not just a buzz word used by Naturopathic Doctors.  Ask your Naturopathic Doctor how you can achieve more of an alkaline body balance!

Are Genetically Modified Foods, Modifying Health?

I just watched an absolutely mind-blowing movie found on YouTube called The Future of Food.  This movie comments on gene patenting and the introduction of genetically-modified foods (perhaps more correctly so, its integration), into our food chain.

The initial intent of introducing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) was to assist the speed and cost-effectiveness of growing crops to help feed the world.  One alarming consequence that arose from the work on GMOs, however, was that genetically-modified plants led to the development of the terminator gene, whereby crops have been programmed to “commit suicide” after one harvest season.  These genetically-modified plants produce sterile seeds that cannot be used the following season.  Scarily enough, this movie raised important questions for consideration – what would happen if these terminator genes contaminated other crops around the world?  What long-term effects do GMOs cause when consumed by our livestock?  What happens to the insects that pollinate these genetically-modified plants?

Epigenetics is the study of heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence.  To relate this idea back to the discussion of our agriculture, while organic produce may be loosely “indistinguishable” from GMO produce at quick glance, there are undeniable differences between it and our organic produce and this is seen in subsequent generations of genetically-modified plants (it may look like “regular” crop and produce seeds, but seeds from these genetically-modified plants are not viable and therefore unable to produce future crop).

The food we are consuming is often over-looked as playing a contributory role in the progression of disease.  Remember, the body is amazing at being able to take a high-level of “abuse” before it reaches a tipping point, whereby illness manifests.  Just because you are able to buy it off the store shelf, does not mean it is a food you should be eating.  The fact of the matter is that we do not know what the long-term effects genetically-modified foods will have on our bodies, on our health or the health of our families.  Unfortunately, we cannot forecast what unintended consequences may come from these food choices.

My advice: choose quality foods over quantity.  Purchase the best quality food you are able, opting for a food that is not genetically-modified (as indicated by its SKU code), and is local and organic.  You owe it to yourself to consider the effect GMOs will have on human epigenetics and epigenetic inheritance, which means that what you eat can affect the health and wellness of your grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.  A major advantage of choosing locally-produced crop is that it is harvested when it is at its peak nutritive value.  According to this movie, local food travels an average of 50 miles (80 km), whereas food in the average supermarket is said to travel an average of 1500 miles (2414 km).  To give you a better appreciation of what that means, the longest east-west distance of Toronto is approximately 43 km, and for Ontario it is 1690 km.  The bottom line – the nutritional content of your food decreases the further your food has to travel before it reaches the produce isle at your grocery store and subsequently, your family’s dinner table.