I wanted to comment on my short interview done on Mind/body/radio.com on November 5, 2019. I was super happy to be a guest on their program. This opportunity came to me out of the blue so I am grateful for the exposure. I will say they sent me some preparatory questions in advance and I sent in three pages of answers. The interview did not touch on any of these questions that I had prepared for so I wanted to make some comments about the questions I was asked. I was asked the difference between seeing a naturopathic doctor vs a conventional doctor and I said that we have a more holistic approach and look at the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical cause of illness. I wanted to add more thoughts.
We can order blood work much like conventional doctors but unfortunately you will have to pay out of pocket for these tests. If I want you to have a test that you could get from your doctor, free of charge, I may send you back there to get that test. We look for root cause and can order functional medicine testing if needed for our patient; these tests look at how the body is functioning and give more clues about the body’s organs and systems. There are medical doctors that are able to order these tests too but they are functional medicine doctors and should have that in their title or on their website. We pride ourselves in educating our patients and empowering them to take care of their health. We ask a lot of questions so we understand our patients and can best choose the appropriate medicine or treatment for them, whether it be an allergy elimination diet or a particular diet that we have chosen for them based on their history, botanical medicine and the form (capsule, tea, or tincture), homeopathy (single remedy or combination remedy (Unda)) and recommendation of exercise, meditation, breathing exercise, or guided imagery depending on the particular problem. The more I know my patient, the more I am guided to select an appropriate medicine or treatment for them.
Other principles of naturopathic medicine, which help you understand how I work are Identify and treat the root cause which I spoke on a little on. We look at all the factors that can affect health and spend a much longer time to understand what is going on. We ask a lot of questions of our patients. I spend 90 minutes in a first visit asking these questions.
Another principle of naturopathic medicine is Do no harm. We choose therapies that are natural and noninvasive so our patients are safe. We recommend surgery as a last resort for a health problem typically and don’t want to resort to treating a particular problem with pharmaceutical drugs if it can be helped.
We believe in the healing power of nature. We believe the body has an inherent ability to heal itself given the right environment. We remove the obstacles to cure whether it be too much stress or toxins in the environment, emotional stress coming from relationship difficulties, or any other source of ill health that we can identify. The body is striving to maintain a state of homeostasis. We support that homeostasis so the body can heal itself. We don’t just treat symptoms. We treat the cause.
We look to the healing power of nature in the food that we ingest, the healing plants that grow on the planet that have medicine for our bodies, we utilize sunlight and Vitamin D to support our health. We use medicines derived from plants, animals, and minerals (homeopathy) to treat disease. All of these medicines are gentle and non-invasive. If we choose organic medicine, these inherently work better and support our physiology more appropriately with fewer side effects.
Naturopathic doctors believe in preventing disease and we educate our patients in essential foundations of health whether it be right diet, exercise, stress management and lifestyle practices that support optimal health. Prevention is much easier than treating a well rooted disease that is already established in the body.
Make sure if you are going to see a naturopathic doctor, that they are registered. If they are registered, then they graduated from an accredited school for naturopathic medicine (at least four years of schooling after completing a Bachelor of Science degree first). That means the particular Doctor has passed board examinations (after our schooling finished), in order to prove we are competent to practice. Then, every year, we have to go through a renewal process for our association. This means we have to list all the courses that we took for continuing education credits during that year. we also have to assess ourselves in many different areas to maintain competency and have a learning plan for each year in place to be documented and completed during the year. I have been selected twice for an evaluation by our regulatory college to ensure I am practicing up to standard (and I have passed twice!). Our regulatory body in Alberta is the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta. Our national body is the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. I wanted to make that clear to anybody that is looking for a registered naturopathic doctor that this is the college that regulates us.
You can go to my website www.robinvinge.com to read about how I practice to understand how my practice might be different from another naturopathic doctor that is more “test heavy” in their approach. I have a more counseling based practice. I do offer testing though and have the Dutch Hormone test in stock which is a great way to measure hormones and their metabolites especially estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, adrenal hormones such as cortisol and DHEA, melatonin and can evaluate indirectly neurotransmitters and B vitamin levels from four simple urine strips. If you have any more questions about how I practice, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org attention: Robin in the meantime!