What is Naturopathic Medicine all about?
How it all came to be…
The roots Naturopathic Medicine extend as far back as ancient Greece. Many of the physicians of the day believed that the human body had an inherent healing capacity, and that given the appropriate set of circumstances or treatment, people could often overcome illnesses and maladies without having to resort to extreme measures. This was often referred to as, “the healing power of nature.” The famous Hippocrates quote, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” symbolizes that belief. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Europe enjoyed a rich tradition of natural healing practices including; hydrotherapy, diet, fasting, herbal and homeopathic medicine. This idea that health followed natural principles began to gain popularity in North America in the early 1900s and has slowly risen and evolved to the present day. There is a new responsibility taking place, more than ever people are taking charge of their own health, looking towards diet, health lifestyle, and natural means to maintain abundant long lasting health.
Presently today, there are a number of Naturopathic Medical schools in the US and Canada that provide postgraduate degrees to attain a doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree. The requirements are similar to what one needs to graduate from medical school, including a minimum of three years of university, and four years of rigorous ND medical training. As well as courses on medical sciences, NDs focus train mainly in six areas including; diet and nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, acupuncture, physical medicine and manipulation(chiropractic like adjustments). Naturopathic Doctors have been fully licensed in BC since the 1930s as primary health care workers. After graduation many NDs go on to train and gain expertise in other areas of natural medicine, such as chelation therapy.
The primary philosophy of Naturopathic medicine and what sets it apart from the style that we have been accustomed to in modern western medicine has to do with an emphasis on trying to discover and treat the cause of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms. For example someone who suffers from migraine headaches may have unknown sensitivities to certain foods or food additives, and may also not sleep well, compounding their stress. Or maybe they are lacking in a specific vitamin, mineral or nutrient. An ND will go through all aspects of a person’s life and try to uncover all potential contributing factors that may influence the course of the person’s individual health needs. As much as possible NDs to assess each person and their particular set of health circumstances on an individual basis, and treat the person not the condition.
Meet Dr. Graham
A few words about his Education and Experiences
Dr. Graham Graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto) in 1997, and has been practicing in BC ever since. Following completion of his ND degree Dr. Graham did additional training and gained certification in; the use of intravenous therapies, neural therapy, chelation therapy and dark field microscopy. While early in his career Dr. Graham focused much of his practice on alternative and complementary cancer care, today he has a broad general practice caring for all ages, and addressing most health concerns.
Growing up in a household that was open to alternative diets and “health food” Dr. Graham was exposed early to nutrition and its affects on health. Being diagnosed with a life threatening illness at nineteen also served as (in the long run) a gift and education. Employing conventional and many natural therapies at this time helped him to not only regain his health but also served to ignite his interest in health and natural medicine.
Dr. Graham’s ideas on health mirror the general Naturopathic philosophy that a person’s body, their physiology, always strives to maintain health and to be healthy. That is the natural order of life. Most of the more common ailments encountered today such as blood sugar, skin and digestive problems often result from a worsening or imbalance in diet and lifestyle. This stress tends to negatively impact ones constitution or genetic make-up, and the next thing you know symptoms appear. By relying on a multitude of natural therapies which may include; therapeutic diet changes, appropriate vitamin/nutrient/herbal supplementation, detoxification, chelation therapy, stress reduction, homeopathy and others, Dr. Graham’s goal is to restore balance and improve physiology. When adhered to and followed properly substantial health improvements can be experienced.