Naturopathic doctors treat a variety of acute and chronic conditions, individualizing treatment to each persons needs. Here are some of the tools we have available to help you on your path to good health.
- Lifestyle Counselling
- Stress Management Tools
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Botanical Medicine
- Healthy Weight Management
- Food Sensitivity & Allergy Testing
- Environmental Allergy Testing & Desensitization
- Natural Dispensary and Pharmacy Prescriptions
Nutrition, which involves the therapeutic use of foods and optimization of the assimilation and digestion of nutrients, is fundamental to the practice of Naturopathic Medicine.
Many health conditions, ranging from eczema to fatigue to mental illnesses (including anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar, etc), are often associated with or caused by underlying nutritional deficiencies &/or imbalances. Governed by your specific health concern, we will review your diet, identify food allergens/intolerances, correct nutritional deficiencies and guide you in optimizing your dietary requirements.
We recognize the difficulty in navigating the plethora of contradictory health trends & diets, which is why our individual assessment tools will provide you with a plan that meets your unique nutritional needs.
Good health, on all levels, is impacted by our daily practices and habits, our thought patterns, and the quality of our relationship with others and ourselves. Creating the space to explore these things allows us to examine what it is about our lives that is working for us and where we want to effect change. This is mindful living. Exploring and finding clarity helps us make choices about the life we are living, what gives our lives meaning and where we want to take our lives. This can shift a sense of being out of control and overwhelmed to a state of purposeful calm as we become more directing of our own lives.
We can help you Explore, Clarify, Set Intention and Create the Life that your heart desires.
Stress Management Tools
Stress is an innate, normal body response that when appropriately engaged, allows us to rise to threats, both real and perceived. This reaction needs to be self-limited, allowing our bodies to return to a state of relative calm.
In our modern world, stress for many people, tends to feel constant and insidious, which keeps the cycle of stress on a low, perpetual simmer. This can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health putting us at increased risk of the following:
- Weight gain or loss
- Memory changes
- Increase in allergies
- Digestive problems
- Immune system dysfunction
- Heart disease
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue
We have the tools and skills to help break the cycle of stress and recover from it’s long term effects.
We measure how your body is currently dealing using Heart Rate Variability Testing. It is an accurate, well-researched, non-invasive method of evaluating the balancing act between the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). This tool provides a baseline and a method of assessing your response to the treatments we will suggest.
We consider the information gathered and drawing from a variety of tools we design a personalized program that fits for you.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Women’s hormones begin to decline during perimenopause, reaching significantly low levels during menopause. Many women tell us “they just don’t feel like themselves”. For other women the intensity of symptoms can be debilitating.
Common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause include:
- hot and cold flashes
- dry skin and hair
- night sweats
- weight gain
- poor sleep
- joint and muscle stiffness
- vaginal dryness
- anxiety and depression
- urinary tract infections
- low libido
- memory changes
And for others they’ve heard the good, the bad and the ugly and are looking for the facts on what the research shows in regards to the benefits and the risks of using hormone replacement therapy.
At Hawthorne Centre we are trained in the safe use of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. We understand the safety precautions and the benefits.
We have helped thousands of women navigate this challenging, but rewarding time of life.
We are here to help you make informed, safe choices.
Acupuncture is Chinese therapy that involves the insertion of very thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body to affect the flow of energy and circulation.
It provides a drug free option to treat a wide variety of acute and chronic health concerns, both physical and mental/emotional in nature. It acts to restore the flow of energy, or chi, through meridians to allow the body to heal. In Western medicine it is considered to improve circulation, release muscle tension and modulate the release of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Studies have shown that acupuncture can increase the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers), thereby supporting the mainstream use of acupuncture for the treatment of pain and pain conditions without the use of drugs or surgery.
The World Health Organization has recognized Acupuncture to be effective for over 50 health conditions.
We have found it to be greatly beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety, improving mood and sleep. We use it often in working with women with menstrual disorders, such as PMS, irregular menses, painful menstruation, hot flashes associated with menopause and fertility issues. We use it successfully to treat headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and acute and chronic pain.
The use of plants and herbs as medicine has been employed by many cultures around the world since before modern drugs became available. They were used to treat many common ailments such as colds & flu’s, high blood pressure, diarrhea/constipation, sluggish digestion, scrapes/wounds, and even arthritic conditions. In fact, many of today’s modern drugs are derived from plants. This showcases the powerful ability of plant compounds to heal and treat illness.
At Hawthorne we aim to safely and effectively use botanicals to affect a particular body system (eg. heart, lungs, brain) or to achieve a specific therapeutic action (eg. calm the nervous system, soothe the digestive tract). Our preparations are driven by the highest quality standards and used with the utmost attention to safety. The intention with any formula is to promote and support your body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Healthy Weight Management
Gone are the days when the formula for weight loss or gain was as simple as “calories in, calories out”. Research in recent years have taught us that weight management is multifactorial. We will look at the role of hormones on metabolism, appetite, satiety and cravings. Gut health and the balance of your bacteria has also been shown to influence weight. Our trained physicians will do a through assessment of your health status as it pertains to your body composition goals and guide you in choices that will help you achieve life long results.
Tools we use:
A thorough health history.
Lab when needed to get a deeper look at your nutritional status, food reactions and hormones.
Body Composition Testing (BioImpedence Analysis)
Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA) is a method of assessing your body composition, the measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass. It is an integral part of a health and nutrition assessment.
Research has shown that body composition is directly related to health. A normal balance of body fat is associated with good health and longevity. Excess fat in relation to lean body mass, altered body composition, can greatly increase your risks for cardiovascular disease diabetes, and more. BIA allows for early detection of an improper balance in your body composition, which fosters earlier intervention and prevention. BIA also provides a measurement of fluid and body mass that can be a critical assessment tool for your current state of health.
Since “fat loss” is the goal when people set out to lose “weight” and “muscle gain” is the goal when people set out to gain “weight”, we monitor body composition changes (fat weight vs. lean fat free weight) rather than weigh-ins.
Food Sensitivity & Allergy Testing
Accurately determining food allergies/reactions is not always an easy task and there is no perfect test. However, we offer a number of ways to gather the information needed to make the best nutritional choices.
A food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body’s immune system. An allergy can present as a variety of symptoms from mild to severe and with different expressions including, but not limited to:
- digestive symptoms
- chronic ear infections
- joint pain
- concentration and behavioural problems
- skin problems
- anxiety, depression
When considering whether you have a food reaction it is necessary to understand that there are immediate and delayed reactions. If you have been tested by skin prick testing by your doctor you have likely been tested for immediate reactions only. A negative result does not preclude delayed immune reactions or food intolerances. Through our testing and interpretation we take a deeper look.
Reactions to food are not always a result of IgE mediated allergies. These types of reactions, immune mediated or not, are referred to as food sensitivities or food intolerance’s. These reactions can produce symptoms that may mimic those of a food allergy, however are non life threatening.
Types of testing we offer:
Elimination/Challenge Diet: This is considered the gold standard in determining food reactions. It involves following a restricted diet for a minimum of 23 days and then reintroducing foods in a systematic way to determine the offending foods. We often use the results of electrodermal screening test to help guide the initial starting point of the restricted diet.
Electrodermal testing: This is a screening test using the Biomeridian MSAS machine that utilizes the principles of acupuncture and meridian pathways. By measuring the bioelectrical impulse at the site of an acupuncture point on the hand, foods are evaluated to see if the flow of Qi or energy that passes through the meridian is weakened or enhanced. It has proven to be a valuable clinical tool that can identify problem foods. Research, from a Western perspective, has yet to provide a scientific explanation for this tool, however, the BioMeridian device is FDA approved as a galvanic skin response, Class II medical device.
ELISA testing: This method of testing measures antibody-antigen complexes to
individual foods and is offered in a panel of 96 foods to test for both IgE and IgG reactions. IgG reactions are elevated with delayed responses to foods. See RMA labs for further information.
Environmental Allergy Testing & Desensitization
Skin Prick Test (SPT)
At Hawthorne Centre we use Skin Prick Testing (SPT) to identify immediate allergic reactions (IgE) to common environmental allergens. During this test, a drop of solution containing the allergen is placed on your forearm. Using a very small needle the surface of the skin is scratched to allow a tiny amount of the solution to enter just below the surface. The SPT is generally not painful and there is no bleeding. The scratching on the surface of the skin feels similar to a fingernail scratch. Once administered your reactions will be measured 20 minutes later.
Allergy Desensitization Treatments
Once your allergies have been determined, we offer two methods of desensitization:
SLIT method (Sublingual Immunotherapy)
This is an at home treatment. Treatment is provided in the form of serial dilutions which uses small doses of the allergen under the tongue to build tolerance. This type of therapy has minimal side effects, is less invasive than traditional allergy shots and is easy to use. It is most effective to start therapy before the allergy season begins, usually 1-2 months before, however can be started at anytime. This therapy is suitable for children 3 years and older, non severe asthmatics and other populations who are unable to tolerate traditional injections.
If you have a severe life threatening allergy, we recommend you consult with your Allergist for the most suitable treatment recommendations.
This is an in office treatment. Treatment is provided in the form of homeopathic sublingual dilutions, another form of immunotherapy. Our staff administer the solution at timed intervals, from a higher dilution to a more concentrated dilution. It is suggested that this is done 1-2 months before the onset of your allergy season. If allergies are severe it may be necessary to repeat on a monthly basis.
Natural Dispensary and Pharmacy Prescriptions
We carry our own in-house dispensary, using only products that are professionally regulated and suppliers that assure the highest quality ingredients through third party quality control.
ND’s in BC were granted the authority to prescribe in 2009. This has allowed access to standard pharmacy products as well as being able to customize our prescriptions through compounding pharmacies to find the dose that is right for you. We work closely with pharmacists that are knowledgeable in the “marriage” between natural medicines and pharmaceutical medicines.