WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of healing... a philosophy, science and art of practice that seeks to promote health through education of right living and the rational use of natural agents.
Naturopathic Medicine is a modern version of the Hippocratic Empiric therapeutic philosophy founded on respect for the organism's self healing capacity. The human body possesses tremendous power to heal itself through the balancing mechanism of homeostasis. The Naturopathic Physician uses those therapeutic substances and techniques, which stimulate and support the body's self-healing processes.
Naturopathy does not overpower the body. The physician assists the healing efforts that the body naturally produces.
Naturopathic Medicine is a holistic approach to health in treating the whole person; the naturopath searches for causes at many levels and attempts to eliminate the fundamental cause of illness, not simply to remove symptoms.
One of the focuses of my practice has always been treating each person as a unique individual. This means finding a treatment program that is tailored to their particular condition, sensitivities and needs. This requires a means of testing the compatibility of different possible treatments with the individual patient. More and more people are sensitive to various medicines, supplements or vitamins, even if they are 'natural'. It is important to determine whether a remedy is compatible and effective for the patient ahead of time, before you send them home with it.
We are inundated with information about wht is good for us and what is bad for us, and it keeps changing from day to day. The implication from the 'evidence based' science literature is that if something is deemed good by research studies then it is good for everyone. However in the reality of clinical practice this is not true and we can save a lot of disapointment and grief for the patient by testing our prescriptions to determine compatibility before they actually start consuming them.
Another aspect of individuality is that certain supplements can be much more effective than others for a given individual. If they need a liver supplement, which one of the many will be most effective for this individual at this time. There are a number of ways of doing this kind of testing and they depend on our understanding of energy fields or frequencies of substances and their interaction with our body energy field. Electrodermal screening where we measure the electrical skin resistance changes at acupuncture points is a common method. Applied kinesiology where muscle strength changes indicates compatibility of substances is another method. Auricular medicine is a form of ear acupuncture using a pulse reflex to determine compatibility. It is now possible to determine the ability to metabolize drugs and other substances genetically. There are many other methods.
Another aspect of individuality is in the area of diet. Many people are adversely affected by foods that are perfectly fine for other people. Dr D'Adamo's blood type diet is a step in the process of diffentiating people by ABO blood type and determining what foods might be problematic for them.
It is becoming apparent that many processed foods or genetically modified foods are not healthy for anyone and yet some people are much more sensitive than others. Some individuals have very robust constitutions and can tolerate a great deal of poor diet and toxicity than others. Some are more like the canary in the coal mines, who are the first to have a problem with a toxin or a food or a chemical. This whole phenomenon has a lot to do with toxin exposure in our world. The more toxins we are exposed to the more sensitive we tend to become to these toxins and chemicals and other apparently unrelated substances. Once this gets going we can become hypersensitive and over reactive and it takes considerable effort to get back to functioning more normally.
THE NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIAN
The naturopathic physician is trained as a general practitioner able to provide a wide range of individual, family and community health care services to persons of all ages.
Naturopathic physicians practice preventive medicine by using natural therapies to promote optimum health and by helping people to understand how the choices they make about their lives have an effect on their health.
Dr. Tom Glew, BSc, ND
Dr. Glew is a BC Certified Naturopathic Physician practicing since 1982 in Vancouver. He attended the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon for four years after graduating with a BS degree from UBC and working in research for five years. He is a member of the board of the Boucher Institute of Naturopathy since 2007.