Doctor’s Choice Nutrition answers the question…

Naturopathic Medicine: What exactly is it?

Dr. Martha Reid of Doctor’s Choice nutrition will host a free public seminar on Wednesday, May 14th, from 6-7 pm, titled: Naturopathic Medicine: What exactly is it?

When: Wednesday, May 14th, from 6-7 pm

Where: 1190 Thurlow Street, Vancouver. V6E 1X3

Directions:  On the corner of Davie and Thurlow streets, beside the Starbucks and 1 block south of St. Paul’s Hospital

Register: 604-688-1169 – interested participants should call the clinic to register ahead of time.  Of course, the event is free, but space is limited.

Doctors Choice Nutrition VancouverDoctor’s Choice Nutrition

1190 Thurlow Street Vancouver BC


Dr. Martha Reid holds free events at her clinic in Vancouver’s West End the last Wednesday of every month.

Vitalia Health Care Inc. offers…

Free Services During Naturopathic Medicine Week

Vitalia Health Care Inc. is offering the following services FREE for Naturopathic Medicine Week! Call us at 604-566-9355 to book your appointment or visit us at

  1. Our BIO-IMPEDENCE ANALYSIS ($40 Value) shows your measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass……… an integral part of your 15 minutes health / nutrition assessment!  

You will also learn:

  • How toxic your body is
  • If you are drinking enough water
  • How many calories you are burning in a day
  • Your real age vs. your chronological age
  • If you are burning fat or muscle
  • How healthy your cells are
  1. Find out information about your heart’s health!  The Acoustic Cardiograph ($65 Value) is a 15 minute, non-invasive test that analyzes sound waves in your heart and can suggest to the doctor:
  • Whether your muscle function is optimal
  • If your body’s chemistry is balanced
  • If there are possible nutritional imbalances or deficiencies in your body



Vitalia Health Care Inc.

The Regent Medical Building Suite 460
2184 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6K 2E1


Dr Christina Coloma, ND is hosting free talks at Abby Naturopath Clinic on May 13, 14, 16 and 17 for Naturopathic Medicine Week.

Feel Great! Lose the Weight!
Free lecture on weight loss.
When: Tuesday and Wednesday May 13, and 14 at 6PM
Where: 2888 Gardner Court.
Call to reserve your seat. 604-556-4596 or email:
Raising a Healthy Child
Attention all moms!  Free lecture on Raising a Healthy Child.  What to do when your child gets sick.
When: Friday and Saturday May 16, 17 at 11 AM
Where: 2888 Gardner Court.
Call to reserve your seat. 604-556-4596 or email:
Dr Coloma ND

Cristina M Coloma, ND
Abby Naturopathic Clinic
2888 Gardner Court
Abbotsford, BC Canada V2T 5H9

In support of women for mother’s day and Naturopathic medicine week, Nanaimo Doctors are hosting two evenings of lectures, expert Q&A panels, prizes, snacks and special offers.

British Columbia Naturopathic Medicine Week – Nanaimo BC

We have a grocery store providing snacks, health food stores and professional distributors lined up to donate products, and also a goodie bag full of treats and special offer coupons for those involved.


Womens Health Nanaimo BC

Wednesday May 14

1) Dr. Tonia Winchester – Finding Your Fertility.  Discover 3 common causes that prevent couples from getting pregnant and learn simple strategies you can use to increase your chances of giving birth to a healthy, happy baby.

2) Kim Mosiuk – Yoga & Ayurveda

3) Dr. Karen Fraser – Cardiometabolic Risks In Women.  A discussion on our perception of these risks and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

4) Dr. Clare Craig – Naturopathic Treatments to Heal the Gut – Find out how the gut works, what makes it vulnerable, and what you can do to support healthier digestion and absorption.

Thursday May 15

1) Dr. John Yim – Mastering Your Moods.  Depression, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings can have a huge, negative impact on the quality of your life. Dr. Yim will share simple nutritional tips to help you in mastering your moods

2) Dr. Carmen Luterbach – Menopause – the Second Spring.  Menopause is the second spring; an awakening of new potential. Celebrate a
time of independence, passion and self expression. Explore new ideas to support this important life transition.

3) Amr Farghali – Natural hormones. Discover the difference between “Natural” and “Bio-Identical” and the role of your Pharmacist in helping you make your decision.

4) “Ask a Naturopath” – panel discussion with Naturopathic Physicians on common topics and questions that are frequently asked in their practices


nanaimo-north-town-shopping-centreDate: May 14 and 15, 2014

Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: North Town Centre Mall, 195-4750 Rutherford Road, Nanaimo, BC  (Formerly Rutherford Mall).

Please enter through the doors by London Drugs and the Scotia Bank


The Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic is celebrating the start of Naturopathic Medicine Week with an Open House! Drop by between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, May 10 for a range of free services including:

  • -spinal assessments
  • -blood glucose testing
  • -15-minute health consults
  • -blood pressure testing
  • -blood typing
  • -and more

boucher open house 2014

boucher-institute-naturopathic-medicineDate: May 10, 2014

Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm

Location: Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic, 435 Columbia Street, New Westminster

Boucher Institute of Natural Medicine



Has it been a year already?

Another Naturopathic Medicine Week is just around the corner and we will be announcing many exciting events across British Columbia.

In celebration of Naturopathic Medicine Week, the BCNA is hosting three special film screenings of GMO OMG, the cutting edge documentary about genetic modification and the global food supply.

  • Kelowna, May 13, Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Ave, 7 p.m. Buy Tickets
  • Victoria, May 13, Cinecenta, UVIC, 3800 Finnerty Rd., 7 p.m. Buy Tickets
  • Richmond, May 14, Richmond Cultural Centre, 7700 Minoru Gate, 6:00 p.m. Buy Tickets

For events in other provinces, check out the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors site.

For a full listing of our events, check out our BCNMW 2014 page.

Naturopathic Medicine Week is an annual, national event, which focuses on wellness, disease prevention and patient-focussed primary care. Join us at this unique fund raiser in support of the Family Naturopathic Clinic, a Victoria charity which supports low-income families with complementary medical care and nutritional advice, at no cost.

Canadian Naturopathic Care – No More GST

Patients get a break, naturopathic doctors get recognition. That’s what happened in Ottawa this month as the federal government conferred tax-exempt status for NDs.

When the GST was originally enacted, fewer than half of Canadian provinces had legislation governing naturopathic medicine.  While NDs have been regulated in BC since 1923, many provinces had no legislation.  Therefore, government decided that while dentists, chiropractors and other licensed health practitioners would be exempt from GST, NDs would have to charge their patients.

Since the 1990s, over half of Canada has become a regulated jurisdiction for NDs: BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia all have provincial acts governing the profession.  With the advent of the 2014 budget, now when a patient sees an ND there is no tax applied to any health service provided in-clinic.  Read the government press release here.  Read the national ND association press release here.

Read the news release from the Federal Government: CAND GST PR Feb 2014 Dept of Finance Budget PR Feb 2014.

Read the news release from the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors: CAND GST PR Feb 2014.

Ontario Naturopathic Medical College Will Be Able To Confer Bachelor Degrees

A second, no less significant advancement, was that the Ontario naturopathic medical college is under consideration to confer bachelor degrees.  While CCNM has existed for decades, and is recognized across Canada and the US as an accredited naturopathic college, the Ontario government has now created the opportunity to allow CCNM to formally provide degrees.  CCNM is one of only two accredited naturopathic colleges in Canada.  Find out more at


by Dr. Kristin Schnurr, ND

Many of you may have heard the show, ““Bacteria in your gut affects your mental health.” which aired on the CBC on October 11, 2013. If you missed it, here is the link: CBC.

Listening to this show reinforced for me the importance of ensuring gastrointestinal health for myself, my family and for everyone I work with. We already know that healthy gut flora promotes health by strengthening immunity, improving our digestion and absorption of nutrients, and by promoting healthy metabolism and preventing obesity.

Too much of the wrong bacteria can make us ill and too little of the healthy bacteria can leave us vulnerable to illness. Symptoms of dysbiosis or an imbalance of good bacteria intestinally include: digestive upset, bowel irregularity, fatigue, allergies, skin conditions, headaches, autoimmune conditions, anxiety and depression.

Recently, there has been significant research emerging on the connection between gut flora and mental health. A recent study in the journal Gastroenterology shows that healthy gut bacteria play a major role in mental health and pain sensitivity. Scientists at UCLA showed a direct link between probiotics consumed and elevated amounts of the important mood regulating neurotransmitters: Serotonin and GABA.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. It regulates intestinal movement, mood, appetite, sleep, muscle contraction and cognitive function such as memory. GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. People with low serotonin production typically suffer from depression. And, people with low GABA production typically experience anxiety.

This research is important as it points to the importance of addressing gastrointestinal health in the management and treatment of anxiety and depression. As Gregor Reid, PhD, a professor of microbiology, immunology and surgery at the University of Western Ontario stated, “There isn’t a drug on the market that can match probiotic bacteria for its far-reaching implications on health.

How to Cultivate Healthy Gut Flora

  1. Our first microbes are introduced in the vaginal canal after the natural birth process, and are delivered through breast milk. We inherit our gut flora from our mother at birth, where it settles in the baby’s sterile system and becomes the microbiome of the gut. Breastfeeding is another way the mother passes her beneficial flora to her baby. Bottle fed babies acquire completely different gut flora than those that are breastfed.
  2. Healthy digestive microbes come from ingesting uncooked and live culture fruits, vegetables, and dairy products that contain live probiotics. Routinely eating some fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso or kombucha can also assist in replenishing healthy bacteria. It is important to ensure the products are guaranteed to contain live cultures since many brands destroy the essential bacteria with high temperature processing during the manufacturing process. If it’s in the fridge at the store it is more likely to contain live culture, if it’s on the shelf it has been pasteurized. Making your own yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha or kefir assures an active bacteria content.
  3. For some people, the level of depletion of beneficial organisms in the digestive tract requires the consumption of a daily probiotic supplement in order to replenish beneficial bacteria. It is important to consider that infants, children and adults require different combinations of specific bacteria. And, it is important to be cautious with dosing in the treatment of skin and autoimmune conditions. A ND will help you determine the right bacterial strains and optimal dosing for your individual health.

Dr. Kristin Schnurr, ND is at the Sage Clinic in Victoria BC.


Dr. Juliet Ghodsian, ND shares these 5 steps to keep your terrain clean and functional this winter. The end result is a happier and healthier you.

A French physiologist, Claude Bernard, once said “The Terrain is everything, the germ is nothing.”

An interesting thought, but what does that mean?

It means that simple exposure to a bacteria or virus does not mean you will get sick.

But isn’t that contrary to most of our beliefs about hygiene and health?

…Wash your hands! Don’t put your fingers in your mouth. Flu season is coming!

Let’s take a step back and explain the most important words in the quote:


The Terrain refers to the internal environment in your body: mucous membranes, digestion, detoxification and elimination organs, immune system cells, and energy production cells.


These can be bacteria, fungi or viruses.

We are covered with germs inside and out all the time! Why do some bugs make us sick, but not others? Why did you get sick but not your neighbour?

The answer is simple. The health of the Terrain of your body determines how responsive your immune system will be to infection, and how effective it is at beating it. Boosting your immune health to keep the bugs at bay this winter involves more steps than just “Take some extra vitamin C!”

Here are the top 5 things you can do to clean up your Terrain and super-charge your immune cells for the fall and winter season:

  1. Secure the Borders: Protect your Skin!  Keep hydrated and eat plenty of healthy omega 3 oils to preserve the integrity of your skin, mucous membranes, and the internal skin that lines the entire digestive tract. This is your # 1 defence against invaders.
  1. Take out the garbage: Detox and Eliminate.  The chemical exposures that your body has to process from air, food and water contamination are a real concern. They often surpass the liver’s ability to metabolize, and we end up with deficiencies and backlog of toxins. These toxins cause disruptions in energy, hormone and immune cell production leaving you more susceptible to infection. Visit your naturopathic doctor to discuss the most effective ways to keep your system clean this season.
  1. Stock the arsenal: Keep you diet clean and green.  Be sure to provide your body with plenty of clean, organic produce to make sure you have enough antioxidants and minerals available for immune cell use. Green smoothies and kale chips are great ways to get kids eating superfoods. Come in for an IV vitamin infusion of vitamin C and B complex to start you off on the right foot.
  1. Prepare for Battle: Stay Calm!  Studies have shown that stress causes increases in the hormone cortisol which in turn depress your immune response. Take a deep breath and book in for Bowen therapy or Craniosacral Therapy to balance your nerves and get your cortisol levels under control.
  1. Send in the troops: Immune support.  Naturopathic medicine has a treasure trove of herbal, homeopathic and nutritional substances that will prime your immune cells and prepare them to respond quickly and effectively to any invaders. Talk to your ND today and find the best remedies to fit your constitution and lifestyle.

This article by Dr. Juliet Ghodsian, a licensed naturopathic doctor at Sage Clinic in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood.

This article by Dr. Ingrid Pincott, ND originally appeared in the North Island Midweek.

How is the school year going so far? If you are noticing bad or violent behavior in your children here are a few things to think about to help curb this disturbing trend.

  1. Is your child getting enough sleep? Often this relates to deficiencies of minerals and nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D. It is also important to disengage from the mad rush of life one hour before bed such things as as avoiding video games and TV. This helps turn off noisy thoughts to get a good night’s sleep. It is recommended to read a book, take a bath or work on a hobby instead.
  2.  Brains are starving these days due to malnutrition and being exposed to excitotoxins prevalent in the food supply such as MSG and artificial sweeteners. Diet sodas are loaded with artificial sweeteners which have been shown to increase the cravings for sweet and increase the risk of obesity because of its effect on insulin. Fruit juices even though “natural” are not much better due to the sugar content. Instead learn how to make herbal iced teas using stevia or xylitol and show your children how to make them. To help with cravings for sweets make sure your child is getting enough B complex and protein.
  3. B complex is well known to help with irritability and is important at any age. The late Dr. Hoffer, a psychiatrist in Victoria, helped to popularize Orthomolecular Medicine and the use of high doses of niacin to treat psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, attention deficit, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and bipolar disorder as told by Dr. Saul the co-author of Niacin: The Real Story.  These patients are beyond deficient, they are niacin dependent and must remain on high doses of niacin to remain well. This is much better than relying on pharmaceutical drugs for these conditions. In fact the modern symptoms of pellagra, deficiency of vitamin B3 (niacin) include anxiety, hyperactivity, fatigue, headache, insomnia and hallucinations.
  4. Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s) found only in  fish oils are known to change the levels and functioning of both serotonin and dopamine, both of which play a role in feeling pleasure. Omege 3 EFA’s increase the blood flow to the brain. People with depression often have compromised blood flow to a number of regions of the brain. There are many good tasting fish oils on the market including herring oil, sardine and anchovy oils as well as cod liver oil. Our brains need cholesterol to function properly so foods such as eggs, coconut oils and healthy animal fats including organic butter, should be part of the regular diet. Dr. Perlmutter a prominent functional medicine neurologist, advocates a high fat diet for the optimal functioning of the brain, providing that the fats are from healthy sources.
  5. Zinc deficiency is linked with angry aggressive and hostile behavior and is found in my customized popular B complex formula. Food sources include red meat and shellfish.
  6. Anxiety is often a component of bad behavior. The above nutrients are critical for the management of anxiety but I also recommend the use of homeopathic remedies. These are easy to take as they are mixed in a water bottle or taken directly into the mouth. Rubimeds are combination remedies that are very effective at balancing mental and emotional conflicts that are subconscious.

Taking enough of the above nutrients to be therapeutic is important so check with your naturopathic physician about optimal dosages for you and your family and inventive ways of getting your child or teenager to take them! Of course when you treat your child the whole family benefits!