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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 www.ccnm.edu.

 

by Lorne Swetlikoff, ND

By delaying and preventing the onset of degenerative conditions, naturopathic medicine can enable people to age healthier, delay retirement, and positively impact the sustainability of our health care system.

1 out of 3 Canadians is a Baby Boomer

According to Statistics Canada’s 2006 census, one out of three Canadians is a baby boomer (born between 1946-1965) and make up the largest group in our population. There is significant concern that this demographic shift will place a significant burden on our health-care system challenging its sustainability.

Age-related conditions like dementia, arthritis, and heart disease are common amongst the elderly. These conditions are degenerative and require patients to be continuously engaged with their doctors and health system. If Canadians are aging and older Canadians get age-related conditions, then health-care delivery costs are set to rise significantly. Who is going to pay for this? Certainly not younger Canadians as that population group continues to shrink.

Preventing age-related infirmities is an essential strategy in dealing with this issue. By keeping Canadians healthy, it is more likely that they will live longer, have more productive lives, perhaps retire later, and reduce health-care needs.

How do we keep Canadians healthy?

Recognize that decrepitude and degeneration are not normal aspects of aging but are states of disorder that are diagnosable, treatable, and more importantly preventable.

Our current medical system is focused on diagnosing and treating disease. This is important. but it’ a reactive approach to something that has already happened. To strengthen our system, we need to be proactive and prevent disease. Preventing degenerative diseases requires continuous assessment of health parameters and undesirable trends over the course of one’s life. Intervention then becomes a system of keeping people healthy.

The basic philosophical premise of naturopathic medicine is that there is an inherent healing power in nature and in every human being. The ND’s responsibility is to strive to understand the minimum level of intervention that will stimulate the body’ self-healing processes

Restoring unique biochemical deficiencies to a normal physiological balance and intervening with natural therapies to support a patient’s condition may help make them feel more vital, and energetic, and move them out of their decline.

Some useful steps that you can take to make sure that you increase your longevity and vitality and don’t slide into old age prematurely:

  • Undergo periodic screening for biological health markers like hormone deficiency, vitamin mineral deficiency, amino acid deficiency, chemical toxicity levels, inflammation markers, digestive analysis, blood sugar levels and heart evaluation to determine your current state of health. Such intervention is aimed at restoring the normal physiological balance of the body.
  • Strive to identify the cause of your problem by visiting a naturopathic doctor.  Don’t just treat symptoms, which often allows the real disease to progress past the point of recovery.
  • As appropriate, use natural therapies as a first resort to stimulate the body to heal.  Customize your treatment plan to meet your biochemical needs and re-evaluate that plan to changing circumstances, stresses, and experiences.
  • Keep in mind that prevention is not just taking a test. For example, taking a PSA test to rule out prostate cancer, or a having a mammogram to check for breast cancer are important procedures, but it’s important to determine your individual risk factors for cancer and then make the necessary changes early in your life to enable healing, wellness and longevity.
  • Educate yourself and gain the appropriate awareness to make smart health choices now to increase longevity in the future.

A statistic from the late 90s showed that by delaying nursing home admission by just one month, it would save the U.S. health-care system $3 billion a year. Naturopathic doctors help people get well, and have effective strategies in preventing, delaying, and treating age-related diseases. This can have a positive impact on our aging population and in reducing the associated health-care.


This article originally appeared, in a longer version, on CBC.  Dr. Swetlikoff is a licensed ND in Castlegar and Vancouver.

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. www.sageclinic.com www.drkristinschnurr.com

 



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.

Sincerely,

Z.

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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 www.leg.bc.ca/mla/. The site lists MLA mailing addresses and email addresses. There is also a contact form at www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-4.aspthat 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).