Tag Archives: Naturopathy

A Natural Approach to Your Motor Vehicle Accident Aches and Pains

Naturopathic care is often overlooked as a treatment choice for individuals who have experienced both minor and catastrophic motor vehicle injuries.  However, it may be a valuable component of integrative rehabilitative measures you may wish to explore, particularly if you, or someone you know, is receiving care for musculoskeletal injuries, is currently in the process of healing their tissues, is experiencing ongoing locomotor deficits, requires assistance with pain management, or is experiencing cognitive concerns post-head injury.

Very recently, I was in a motor vehicle collision where I was rear-ended by a cube van driver who was preoccupied and did not decelerate on time to avoid contacting my car during the usual home-time rush hour traffic.  The collision was not a pretty one involving my car, the cube van, and another car in on-coming traffic.  After almost 2 months, my car was returned to me after $16,000 of repair.  Thankfully, everyone walked away from the accident safe and intact.  After the fright of the incident and in the aftermath of my soft-tissue injuries, I teasingly told my fiancé that it was a good thing the only thing dinged was replaceable metal and thank goodness he did not have to replace me with new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts.  From a curious scientific, physiologist’s and healthcare practitioner’s perspective, the accident provided me with first-hand experience of whiplash, whereby the head and neck are forced to go beyond its natural range of motion into hyper-flexion and hyper-extension.

With respect to MVCs, I now appreciate more than ever the importance of having a car with good safety features and a reputable safety track record.  Post-accident, I spoke with a very delightful and caring Chiropractic Doctor who happened to be at the scene of the accident.  Though I was ambulatory post-accident (likely as a result of large amounts of adrenaline pumping through my bloodstream from the fright of the accident) this very same Chiropractic Doctor later told me he thought I would have been immobilized for a good 2 months given the damage to the vehicles involved.

My secret?  I attribute my relatively speedy recovery to diligent self-care utilizing the various tools provided through naturopathic medicine post-accident.  I was diagnosed by the treating ER physician at North York Central Hospital with soft-tissue injuries to the neck and back, mostly localized to the left-side of my body from the seat belt.  I was prescribed your typical musculoskeletal anti-inflammatories and was sent home to monitor changes in mental acuity and dizziness I had been experiencing.  By the time I had been evaluated by the ER physician, the muscle stiffness had begun to set in and I was warned I would feel 10x worse than I did at present, and that it would only continue to get worse 72-hours post-accident before it got better.

It is difficult for anyone truly, to be able to foresee what may have happened had I decided to go the route of conventional medical care versus naturopathic medical care that evening.  What I do know is that immediate post-injury naturopathic treatment with the combination of homeopathic remedies and creams, targeted nutraceutical therapy for pain management, the use of medicinal foods (including omega-3 fatty acids to alter the prostaglandin series associated with inflammation, tissue repair and injury), use of specific medicinal botanicals (including curcumin, bromelain, boswellia, rutin) and natural topical analgesics (including menthol and camphor) resulted in  timely recovery, return to work and activities of daily living.  To-date, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, massage and prescribed physical exercises focused on strengthening my neck, shoulders, back and core abdominal muscles have played a vital role in my improvements.

Alongside the sage advice of your medical doctor, chiropractic doctor, physiotherapist, massage therapist, certified exercise physiologist and psychologist I encourage you to consider the benefits of receiving naturopathic medical care to help you with your injuries and to help expedite your recovery time.

Love Your Body, Change Your Life

I attended the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND) Spring Conference and Annual General Meeting last weekend.  Naturopathic Doctors from all over Ontario gathered to discuss the changes surrounding the set up of a new College of Naturopathic Doctors, with expected proclamation in March 2013.  The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLT) recognizes the care Naturopathic Doctors are providing to their patients is helping alleviate many issues associated with our publicly-funded health care system and Naturopathic Doctors everywhere are proud to be part of the solution!

Naturopathic Medicine Week in Ontario this year May 7-13, 2012!

I am excited that Dr. Natasha Turner, ND will be speaking about her new book, The Carb Sensitivity Program to help patients discover which carbs will curb cravings, control appetite and banish belly fat to stave off chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Turner is the best selling author of The Hormone Diet and The Super-Charged Hormone Diet, two must-read books.

Details:  Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Ontario
Date:  May 9, 2012
Time:  7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cost: $15 (it’s a steal!)

For tickets, you can purchase them at the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office or call the Box Office at (416) 872-4255.

Prone to Change of Season Coughs and Colds? “Weather-Proof” Your Immunity

I was just musing over a keynote presentation given by Dr. Kerry Bone at the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors’ Annual November 2011 Convention, “Emerging Trends and Treatments in Naturopathic Medicine”. Every year this conference invites leading physicians and field-experts to share their knowledge on an array of hot topics.

To give you some background information on Dr. Bone, he is a highly experienced researcher and industrial chemist turned well-respected, leading phytotherapy (or herbal medicine) expert. He has maintained an active practice over the last 28 years in Australia and is a prolific author on herbal texts used world-wide and over 30 peer-reviewed scientific journals.

He spoke about how immunity is the “new” priority in the modern day patient. With every new epidemic that arises, be it severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian flu, swine flu or an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as clostridium difficile (C. diff), methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a popular question becomes, what can Naturopathic Medicine offer?

Though winter is almost over, from an immune system stand point, we aren’t quite out of the woods just yet. As a Naturopathic Doctor, based on the character of, say your cough (is it dry, wet, spasmodic?) we can make recommendations on the botanical herbs most appropriate for you.

Some dry cough remedies may include glycerrhiza glabra, tussilago farfara, verbascum thapsus or althea officinalis. If you have a wet cough we may recommend sanguinaria canadensis, lobelia inflata or aspidosperma quebracho. If you present with more of a spasmodic cough, grindelia robustica, foeniculum officinale, hyoscyamus niger, actea racemosa, or prunus serotina may be most appropriate.  These botanical medicines are not only fantastic but they are also safe when used appropriately and while under supervision of your Naturopathic Doctor who is aware of your medical history [this point cannot be emphasized enough].

To illustrate my point, there are upper dose recommendations that should not be exceeded when using glycerrhiza glabra (you may know it as licorice) in patients with high blood pressure or hypokalemia (low potassium levels).  Tussilago (colt’s foot) is best used short term only because its medicinal constituent, pyrrolizidine alkaloids can be toxic to your liver when used for an extended period of time much like many other over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.  Additional considerations include a discussion about which part of the botanical herb is best (is it the roots, flowers, leaves)?  Is this better as a hot liquid extraction (ie. tea) or better as a cold infusion, or does it require alcohol extraction (ie. tincture)?  What is the appropriate dose?  What will inhibit its absorption?  What vitamins can enhance its delivery and efficacy?  What can it interact with?  Are you a woman of child-bearing age, who may require an alternative botanical?  Do you have an autoimmune disorder that must be taken into consideration?

There are many herbal medicines that may be used to strengthen your immune system so you are able to cut down the duration of your cold and flu, and the latest antibiotic epidemic.  The great thing is, as a Naturopathic Doctor, this is only one of several other modalities, or tools, at our disposal to help address your concerns.

We encourage you to come, chat with us about your concerns, so together we can investigate the most appropriate treatments for you and your family.