Individualized healthcare from a holistic perspective
Naturopathic Medicine offers individualized healthcare by approaching each patient from a holistic perspective. Often one condition may affect several body systems, and seemingly unrelated symptoms are part of a larger picture. In addition, a person's lifestyle, values, past traumas and social support affect their health in ways often overlooked in conventional care. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) strive to help patients tap into innate healing processes, and to live in ways that promote health and vitality.
Traditional Chinese medicine therapy for calm and wellbeing
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical therapy. It is one of the most researched medical disciplines to date; acupuncture points have been mapped on the body by the Chinese for over 2,000 years! Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of thin, sterile, nontoxic needles into the surface of the skin to stimulate/treat specific points and organ systems. The insertion of the needles, which can range in sensation from mild to unnoticed, helps to restore balance in the body by enhancing energy flow and encouraging balance among organ systems. Acupuncture promotes blood flow to the organs, and nervous system communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Most patients who experience acupuncture get a sense of calm and wellbeing as acupuncture tends to cause a release of endorphins in the brain. While acupuncture can be used for many health conditions and especially for prevention of disease, it is well known for use in the Western world for conditions such as insomnia, arthritis, tendonitis, PMS, fatigue, asthma, allergies, menopause, infertility, pain, indigestion, depression and anxiety. According to the World Health Organization, many common acute and chronic health disorders lend themselves to acupuncture treatment.
An integrated approach to your health
Functional Medicine truly blends the best of the personalized, proactive traditions of natural medicine with the predictability and reproducibility offered by state-of-the-art research and technology. It is an emerging model of integrative healthcare which applies the holistic perspective of diagnostics and treatment, in light of modern advances in research. It incorporates the latest in genetic science, systems biology, and understanding of how environmental and lifestyle factors influence the emergence and progression of disease.
What does this mean for patients? We can identify and quantify disease processes along a continuum of functional decline. In other words, you don't have to wait until your symptoms are so severe that we can apply a diagnosis code. We can catch diseases in their much earlier stages, which may not have a name, but which are causing symptoms. Once identified, the process(es) can often be slowed or even reversed through strategic use of therapeutic nutrients and application of lifestyle modification. Even better, we can minimize the need for pharmaceutical dependence which unfortunately seems to be the trend in our society.
As explained by the Institute for Functional Medicine,
Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. [ functionalmedicine.org ]
The complex balance of systems and your primary contact with the outside world
At Vancouver Wellness Clinic, you can expect that as part of our work together will include improving the digestive system functioning. In naturopathic and Chinese medicine (and several other medical systems around the world), the axis of health is the digestive system. It makes sense, since it's one of the primary contacts we have with the outside world, as we ingest food (and "no-food") throughout the day, every day. It's how we get our nutrition, but also how we are exposed to many harsh elements which compromise function in all body systems.
The gastrointestinal (GI) system is a complex balance of several systems, including the nervous, immune, muscular and glandular systems. GI complaints rank among the top reasons people seek medical care. Natural medicine can address specific digestive complaints (nausea, acid reflux, indigestion, abdominal bloating, gas and pain, diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, blood in stool), as well as symptoms you might not have considered as connected to the digestive system (headaches, brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, autoimmune diseases, undesired weight loss/gain, mood swings, anxiety, depression, etc). By addressing and correcting dysfunctional imbalances in the GI system, digestion and absorption of nutrients (and therapeutics) improve, and the body can resume it's natural healing processes.
Cardiometabolic disorders include interrelated risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (major cause of heart attacks and strokes) and diabetes (major cause of blindness, amputations, kidney failure, erectile dysfunction, etc). Cardiometabolic factors include blood sugar dysregulation (too high, too low or alternating), insulin resistance, visceral (abdominal) fat, blood pressure (usually too high), blood lipid imbalances (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, etc) and liver functioning problems.
Endocrine imbalances are conditions wherein one or more of the endocrine glands produce too much or too little of their respective hormones. Hormones are important chemicals which circulate in our blood and are used for communication between cells and organs of the body, growth, metabolism, response to stress and danger, reproductive functioning, and repair of the body.
Some common endocrine conditions are diabetes, low/high thyroid, infertility, irregular periods, menopausal symptoms, low libido, erectile dysfunction. In addition endocrine problems can manifest in a variety of chronic stress-induced conditions like anxiety, depression and fatigue. Complicating these matters is the delicate balance of brain neurotransmitters, which when out of balance can make symptoms worse, and the approach to treatment confusing.
The good news is that we have available extensive functional testing (see functional medicine section above) which can tease out an individual's unique set of imbalances, and which can direct us to specific treatments to get a person back in balance, and feeling like themselves again. In addition, we can identify underlying conditions which haven't manifested into symptoms but are contributing to disease. By testing in more comprehensive ways than standard medical tests, we can find out what is actually going on and implement a plan to greatly reduce patient suffering, and in shorter time. You deserve to feel well.
Stay tuned for more information on what we can help you with at Vancouver Wellness Clinic, LLC. Thanks for reading.