Inflammation... Think red, swollen, hot, painful. While we might at one point or another describe our joints, wounds, and tonsils that way; we rarely consider that our insides might also be inflamed too. What’s more, consider that our immune system regulates all of this inflammatory activity.
The immune system gets a lot of credit for fighting off colds and flus, but its main function is to keep a close eye on the body. The immune system keeps track of what is attacking the body and what parts of the body needs repair. In fact, the red, hot, swelling we associate with inflammation is just the immune system’s way of bringing attention to a damaged area. At the right place and time inflammation is a healthy sign that the immune system is working. Disregulation of the immune system however can cause chronic inflammation, which is the root of many (dare I say all?) of the chronic diseases that plague our society today.
An exciting study from the American Journal of Medicine found that the proinflammatory signals present in people with rheumatoid arthritis were also present in people with high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and allergies. They also found that people with arthritis were also more likely to develop heart disease and stroke later on. (1) This further confirms that these diseases all share the same inflammatory origins and that chronic exposure to proinflammatory signals increases a person’s risk for other diseases in the future.
Emphasis cannot be placed enough on the importance of supporting healthy function of the immune system to prevent chronic disease! This can be achieved through diet, lifestyle, and naturopathic intervention. Look for the bigger picture.
A number of different approaches may be used throughout the course of naturopathic care. Treatment modalities include:
Clinical nutrition examines the relationship between diet and health.
Botanical medicine is plant-based medicine that involves the use of herbal teas, tinctures, capsules and other preparations to assist in recovery from illness.
Homeopathy is a form of medicine based on the Law of Similars: that is , the use of tiny doses of the very thing that causes similar symptoms in healthy people. These minute doses of plant, animal or mineral origin, are used to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself.
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture are based on a 5000-year-old practice of balancing qi (energy) in the meridian pathways of the body. Pulse and tongue diagnosis help the ND decide on the direction of treatment. The goal of each treatment is to create balance and harmony in the mind and body. Acupuncture, the insertion of sterile needles in specific points of the body, is a highly effective treatment for many conditions.
Hydrotherapy is the use of hot and cold water to stimulate healthy circulation in the vascular and lymphatic systems of the body.
Physical Medicine refers to the use of hands-on-techniques such as soft tissue and spinal manipulation, as well as various types of electrical stimulation and therapeutic ultrasound for the purpose of treating musculoskeletal and neurological problems.
Intravenous therapy uses high doses of vitamins and minerals, which are administered intravenously for enhanced absorption into the body. This treatment can be used for many conditions including immune problems, cancer treatment and neurodegenerative disease. The naturopathic doctor is licensed to perform this treatment and administer IVs personally.
Naturopathic doctors are committed to educating and guiding their patients to make positive lifestyle changes towards optimal health. By evaluating the environmental, mental, emotional and physical aspects of your life, the ND can help you make choices which will enhance your well-being and reduce stress levels.
Naturopathic medicine is a unique and comprehensive approach to improving health and treating illness. Focusing on prevention, and using gentle non-invasive natural treatments, naturopathic doctors (ND’s) support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic treatment can complement conventional medical treatment or be used effectively on its own.
The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of illness, rather than simply suppress symptoms. Each person’s unique physical, mental and emotional state is considered in developing a personalized healthcare plan.
Most of the services offered at Vitality Physical Medicine are covered under your extended health care plan. Please consult your benefits manager for detailed information on your personal health care coverage.
Naturopathic medicine offers safe and effective treatment for all types of health problems. From infancy to old age, naturopathic medicine can be used safely and successfully. These can be problems such as ear infections, food allergies, environmental allergies, pre-menstrual pains, digestive problems, thyroid problems, weight loss programs, cancer treatments, osteoporosis and much, much more.