519-821-2240
Guelph, ON Canada
Barbara McKinstry N.D.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine





 
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Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathy is an interesting word. It is derived from "naturae" meaning "natural" and from "pathos" meaning "suffering". So the name means a natural way to relieve suffering.

Naturopathic doctors base their treatment programs on consultation, examination, and diagnosis. They recognize that health is influenced by many factors. Psychological, environmental, nutritional, and physical factors play an important role in health.

In Ontario, Naturopathic doctors are licensed and regulated. This helps protect the public interest by ensuring that credentials like ND (meaning Naturopathic Doctor) are used only by those qualified to do so. This also means that the person has completed an approved program of study, passed formal examinations and is licensed to practice. Regulation also means that there are exacting standards of practice. All regulated health professionals have boards or colleges which have the authority to grant or revoke licenses and discipline practitioners when appropriate. Other examples of regulated health professionals are doctors, dentists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, and midwives.

Naturopathic Medicine is a unique and comprehensive approach to improving health and treating illness. It is based on the healing power of nature. A healthy body is constantly processing physical stressors by cleansing and rebuilding. If these processes are impaired, the stressors begin to negatively affect health. Naturopaths use a combination of natural methods to support and stimulate the body's inherent ability to heal itself. Drugs and surgery are not applied. Instead, basic therapies such as botanical medicines, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, physical treatments, and health counseling are used. Often several therapies are combined for their synergistic effect in restoring the cleansing and rebuilding processes.

The different therapies just mentioned have the common attribute of helping the body's healing response.

Clinical Nutrition: Is concerned with the relationship between diet and disease. There is a large body of scientific knowledge now that supports what Naturopathic Doctors have been actually practising for more than 100 years. Naturopathic doctors focus on educating patients about food quality and preparation. A nutritional program may also involve vitamin, mineral. and enzyme supplementation.

Botanical Medicine: The use of plants for healing goes back to the beginning of civilization. It is exciting that there is an increasing body of scientific knowledge to support this centuries old practice. Naturopathic Doctors use plant medicines from around the world to treat patients.

Acupuncture: The body's energy moves along pathways called meridians. Where these pathways come to surface of the skin offers points which can be stimulated. Doing so helps organs, cells, and tissues by allowing energy to move more effectively and evenly. This results in healthier functioning. Acupuncture is effective for more than simply the popular notion of pain relief.

Physical Treatments: Naturopathic Doctors are trained in a variety of hands-on techniques for the spine, joints and soft tissues. This is known as naturopathic manipulative therapy. Other physical treatments help the body to function better by applying physical stimuli like water, heat and cold, pulsating currents, and therapeutic ultrasound.

Lifestyle Counseling: The habits and daily living choices we all make have tremendous influence on our health. Naturopathic Doctors explore these choices with patients to determine how they are affecting health.

Homeopathy: Ironically, a substance that in large quantity produces illness, will, if prepared in a special manner, cure that illness. This is the principle of "Like cures like". These substances stimulate the body's healing processes. Because Barbara has specialized in and become highly skilled and successful at Homeopathy, a larger more complete description of it is provided in other areas of this site


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