As the summer comes to an end, our daily routines are returning – and that includes prioritizing our health. As a result, it’s usually around this time of year that I experience an influx of new patients, and with it, a boatload of misconceptions and questions! As a practitioner of ‘alternative’ medicine, I often field comments like; “do you prescribe eye of newt?!” which, however hilarious, couldn’t be further from the truth. Most Naturopathic Doctors let these types of comments roll off our backs, however it begs the question: do our clients understand the care we are capable of providing for them?
Naturopathic Medicine - Naturopathic Doctors are often referred to as “witch doctors,” which couldn’t be more inaccurate! NDs are primary care physicians that have attained a doctorate degree. We can diagnose, fully assess and treat medical conditions. The difference between an ND and a traditional Medical Doctor is that NDs prescribe using natural remedies referred to as “nutraceuticals” – this includes herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, probiotics, adaptogens and tinctures. The benefits, similar to traditional Western Medicine also include symptom and pathology resolution but with fewer side effects and contraindications.
Chiropractic - Chiropractors are often referred to as ‘quacks’, ‘back-cracker’, ‘bone-cruncher’ or ‘neck-snapper’ – is anyone else laughing out loud at the absurdity?! Chiropractors, of course, are also doctors in their field and are highly-trained musculoskeletal specialists with eight years of post-secondary education. Traditionally, many chiropractors focused primarily on spinal manipulation, however the profession has evolved considerably over the years. Although spinal and joint manipulation/adjustments remain a key component of care, many chiropractors incorporate other techniques including joint mobilizations, passive stretching and deep tissue/myofascial release (also known as ART).
Registered Massage - A Registered Massage Therapist is often referred to as a “masseuse,” which most RMT’s don’t appreciate, as it neglects to encompass the training or regulatory board governance of the profession. Registered Massage Therapy is not just for therapeutic symptom relief but primarily for the treatment and healing of ailments and injuries. In addition to relaxation and nervous system regulation, Registered Massage Therapists also create in-depth rehabilitation plans and mobility regeneration plans for their clients.
Psychotherapy - Psychotherapists are often referred to as “shrinks,” which stems from the taboos surrounding mental health. Fortunately, Psychotherapy is considered far from shameful now as mental health is finally being understood as an imperative pillar for overall wellness. Psycho refers to the mind and therapy can refer to both mental and physical therapies, so the word psychotherapy is therapy of the mind. It is a form of talk therapy that refers to a variety of treatments that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
If you’re looking for the right modality of treatment for you, come ask us! We are happy to help with all of your wellness needs at both of our locations.
Dr. Kate Hunter, ND