Across the province, patients undergoing standard cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, are seeking out naturopathic doctors (NDs) for adjunctive care.  Many of the immune-supporting therapies NDs provide can help patients recover from cancer treatment faster and support overall health.  Commonly called “adjunctive” cancer therapy, NDs focus on decreasing negative side effects of conventional treatment; balancing a patient’s immune system; and providing concrete strategies for cancer prevention and health maintenance.

The protocols and therapies NDs employ may include botanical medicine (herbs, plants and plant extracts), clinical nutrition (using nutrition not to simply modify diet but prevent disease and improve overall health), as well as physical modalities, Asian medicine, homeopathy and counselling.  Some NDs work closely with oncologists and others in the cancer community to facilitate patient care.

However, navigating the diverse range of adjunctive cancer care available can be daunting.  Fortunately, BCNA member Dr. Neil McKinney has published the second edition of his Naturopathic Oncology: An encyclopedic guide for patients and physicians.  Dr. McKinney’s book has proven to be a very popular and practical guide to clinical success with cancer treatments.  His revised edition adds new therapies, refinements of protocols, expanded references and builds on his personal expertise focused on cancer care and advanced scholarship.  The comprehensive text outlines very detailed protocols to integrate support for surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and targeted adjunctive therapies.  It also goes into all the leading naturopathic medicines for a wide range of cancers, for complications and co-morbidities, as well as cancer emergencies.  Doctors find it a practical resource, as well as providing detailed information on mechanisms of action, scientific references and examples of protocols that have actually worked with cancer patients.  But while it is a succinct handbook for practicing clinicians, it’s also a useful resource for patients who are looking for qualitative information on alternatives and support to standard medical care, and a better understanding of the options available outside of common treatments.

Naturopathic Oncology: An encyclopedic guide for patients and physicians

by Dr. Neil McKinney

Tel. 888-722-4401

ISBN# 978-1-894953-98-6

Keep Writing Those Letters!

A Naturopathic Patient Sent This Letter to Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid

The following is a copy of a letter sent to the BC Minister of Health on October 19.  When you write to the minister, please remember to copy to BCNA as well.  Thanks!

October 19th, 2012

Dear Hon. Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Health

I wish to urge you to allow naturopathic doctors to access labs. My primary health care provider is a naturopathic doctor. This saves the health care system money because I am able to achieve a higher level of wellness through proactive lifestyle changes.

It frustrates me that my doctor is unable to access BC labs and is limited by the province from access to diagnostic tests — effectively undermining my doctor’s ability to provide care to me.

As a tax payer I am offended by the burden of costs that results from this policy. Each time I require a blood test, I make two unnecessary trips to a medical doctor. First, to have the test ordered; followed by a second appointment to get the test results (most medical doctors’ offices will not provide test results over the phone as they cannot bill for their time unless the patient comes into the office). These tasks could easily be done during my regular visits to my fully-trained naturopathic doctor; a doctor who can write my prescription but who is limited by the province from monitoring the impact of that prescription.

As a patient, I am among the 10 million Canadians* with a thyroid condition. It is standard medical practice to monitor patients with thyroid conditions through routine blood tests. In the past nine years I have had blood tests two to four times a year. Over the past nine years I estimate that I have had 22 blood tests. This has resulted in 44 unnecessary medical doctor visits, billed to government – a considerable unnecessary cost to the health care system. I am just one patient among the many in this province who choose a naturopathic doctor as their primary care provider; the overall savings to the health care system would be tremendous.

Please make good on your government’s promise in the 2008 throne speech and give Naturopathic Doctors full access to BC labs. It makes sense for improving patient care. It makes sense for reducing costs on the health care system. It just makes good sense and good policy.



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In 2008 the current Liberal government made a pledge to ensure that publicly funded and privately owned medical laboratories in BC were accessible to licensed naturopathic doctors. Unfortunately, that pledge has not been acted on.

Please Ask the BC Government To Keep Their Promise

With an election on the horizon, and a recent cabinet shuffle, we are asking patients of naturopathic doctors across BC to write to the health minister and/or their MLA.

Write Your Local MLA or the Health Minister

Click the button below for a sample letter, mailing address and more.<br/ >
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In 2008 the current Liberal government made a pledge to ensure that publicly funded and privately owned medical laboratories in BC were accessible to licensed naturopathic doctors.  Unfortunately, that pledge has not been acted on.

Please Ask the BC Government To Keep Their Promise

With an election on the horizon, and a recent cabinet shuffle, we are asking patients of naturopathic doctors across BC to write to the health minister and/or their MLA.

Write Your Local MLA or the Health Minister

Mailing Address:

Hon Dr Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Health
Room 346, Parliament Buildings
Victoria  BC  V8V 1X4

Sample Letter:

Dear Minister,

I value the health care I receive from my naturopathic doctor (ND).  I am investing in my own health and expect my ND to be able to practice to the full extent of their education, training and expertise.  Unfortunately, arbitrary barriers in this province prevent my ND from having access to diagnostic tests. My taxes fund BC labs but my competent primary care provider cannot access them. This is not in my interest nor in the public interest—and it costs your government money.

In the 2008 Throne Speech, your government promised to remove barriers to NDs accessing labs but after several years this problem still has not been resolved. As we near the next election, your government has an opportunity to keep its promise, improve health care for all British Columbians and save health dollars.

Please advise me that you will keep your promise and that your government will act upon this Throne Speech commitment.

How You Can Help

Find Your MLA: you can find your local MLA at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia website The site lists MLA mailing addresses and email addresses. There is also a contact form at you can use to send them a message. Handwritten letters have the most impact (but an email is fine too!).

Thank You!

Please share this message and ask your network to show their support, too (click the green share button to the left of this article).

Announcement: Site Changes

Stay tuned for interesting articles and event announcements all year long, sponsored by the British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA).

BC Naturopathic Medicine Week 2013

We will continue to be your one-stop destination for information about BC Naturopathic Medicine Week. Next year’s event will be even bigger – exciting announcements expected soon!

Subscribe to this blog and you will receive an article in your email inbox or rss reader about once a month.

Please join us on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Visit for more information about the BC Naturopathic Association, or to find a naturopathic doctor near you.


Over 50 Events Across BC

By the end of BC Naturopathic Medicine Week last night, members of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association had held over 50 events across the province.

“I had a great time at my presentation at Gaia Herbal Dispensary. Very interactive group with great discussion.”

Dr. Mélanie DesChâtelets ND

Thank You!

Thank you for making our events so successful! We hope you had fun and learned a lot – and we hope to see you next year! Also a big thank you to the local businesses who opened their doors.

Upcoming Events – we have two more events in May below:

Natural Health Q&A in Burnaby BC

Dr. Charlene Chan, ND of Ray Clinic is available for free 15 minute consults at the Choices in Burnaby (Crest location) on May 24 4:00 – 6:00pm.

Visit the event listing for more information or call Choices to book your sesssion: 604-522-0936.



Health Fair in Surrey BC

On Saturday May 26, 2012 Avisio Naturopathic Clinic is holding its 5th annual free Health Fair from 12:00 – 4:00pm.

The Health Fair features samples of natural and organic products and foods personally selected by award winning Naturopathic Doctor and Whole Foods Chef, Cindy Quach BSc. ND. Also, attendees will be able to taste Dr. Quach’s fall season cooking class meals and recipes!

Please visit the event listing or blog post for more information.

BC Naturopaths Get Social

This year, events were promoted at the BC Naturopathic Week’s Twitter @bcnaturopath and Facebook page – please stay tuned to those pages or subscribe to this blog to receive updates about an even bigger BC Naturopathic Medicine Week in 2013!

Many BC naturopathic doctors, clinics and schools are active on Twitter – here are links to the Twitter lists:

BC Naturopathic Doctors on Twitter

BC Naturopathic Clinics on Twitter

Naturopathic Schools on Twitter

The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) promotes events across the country at their Twitter account:  @naturopathicdrs.

Boucher Institute Seminars and Open House

On Saturday, May 12 the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine will celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week (May 7-13) with two free Introduction to Naturopathic Medicine seminars and a Clinic Open House on our campus in New Westminster.

Ever wonder how seeing a naturopathic doctor can benefit you and your family? Want to know more about the roots and principles of naturopathic medicine? Our Introduction to Naturopathic Medicine seminar captures the basics of naturopathic medicine (including nutrition, prevention and popular treatments), and delves into a brief history of the profession. This 45-minute talk is ideal for anyone who wants to explore the fundamentals.

The Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic Open House is a public favourite, and is suitable for all members of the family – from babies to seniors. We’re offering free spinal assessments; zinc tally tests (assesses zinc levels in the body); blood pressure measuring; blood glucose testing and AOB blood typing, as well as a limited number of 15-minute introductory consults.

Come alone, or with family and friends, and expect to gain a better understanding of the efficacy of naturopathic medicine and your total health picture.

Event Details

See the event listing at or Facebook. We strongly recommend that you pre-register with us, as seating and private consultations in the Clinic are limited.

Free Seminars

Lecture I: Introduction to Naturopathic Medicine – 11am – 12pm

Lecture II: Introduction to Naturopathic Medicine – 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Clinic Open House

10am – 2pm

*All our facilities are stroller and wheelchair friendly.

About the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine

The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine is a graduate-level, accredited naturopathic medical college located in New Westminster. We graduate naturopathic doctors who have a passionate belief in the value of complementary medicine and who are committed to leading our world toward sustainable health. Our campus is also home to the Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic. With first-rate natural health-care for the whole family, the Clinic equips our interns with essential hands-on experience in the art and science of practicing naturopathic medicine.

The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
#200 – 435 Columbia Street, New Westminster B.C., V3L 5N8
Telephone: (604) 777-9981

See all events details, including maps, when you use the event calendar.

In Celebration of Naturopathic Medicine Week, the Vancouver Island Naturopathic clinic invites you to drop-in to one of their Open Houses or register for one of their Free Lectures, May 7-12, 2012.

Open Houses

Receive a tour of the clinic, meet the Naturopathic Physicians, Clinical Counselors, Registered Massage Therapists and Acupuncturist- and receive a Wellness Gift and an entry into the draw for a chance to win our “Naturopathic Health Door Prize”.


Mon, May 7 & Wed May 9 & Thurs May10: 4-6 pm

Tues, May 8 & Fri, May 11 & Sat May 12: 12-2 pm

Definition of Naturopathy

Lecture Series

Cost: Free.

Registration: Contact reception @ (250) 881-1806.

Adrenal Fatigue: From Tired to Inspired

Date/Time: Monday, May 07, 2012 from 8:15-8:45pm

Presenter: Dr. Shalini Hitkari, ND

Food allergies: Is What You’re Eating Making You Sick?

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 from 5:15-5:45pm

Presenter: Dr. Katarine Holewa, ND

Am I in Menopause and What Can I do?

Date/Time: Friday, May 11, 2012 from 5:15-5:45pm

Presenter: Dr. Natasha Montroy, ND

Vancouver Island Naturopathic Clinic Inc.
Suite 204-4480 West Saanich Road
Victoria, B.C.  V8Z 3E9
(Royal Oak Shopping Centre above Life Labs)
*entrance around back next to Vision 2000
Phone: (250) 881-1806

See all events details, including maps when you use the event calendar.

Free healthy living events held in BC May 7-13.

During the week of May 7-13, 2012, naturopathic doctors across Canada will be conducting free events in local book stores, community venues and in their own clinics.

Check back for event announcements, get news delivered to your email inbox or RSS reader, or join us on Facebook or Twitter.