Thursday, July 29, 2010

IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Have you been feeling a little uncomfortable with your digestion? Gassy.. Bloated.. looking like you're pregnant when you're not? Problems with constipation, urgency, or loose stools? These are common symptoms that get lumped into the diagnosis of "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" (aka IBS) when doctors don't have an answer as to why you're feeling this way.

From the Western medical perspective, IBS is a "diagnosis of exclusion", which means that other illnesses (e.g. colitis, Crohn's, celiac's, etc) have been ruled out, so all that's left is this last possibility. It's a label that patients are stuck with all too often these days. At least a diagnosis is a step in the right direction, right? Well, not necessarily - there aren't medications for a disease that doesn't have biochemical pathway that can be targeted.

From the Naturopathic and Eastern perspective, there are a multitude of causes (and possible diagnoses) for these symptoms, and therefore a multitude of treatment options available. At our Naturopathic clinic, we will always take a detailed look at your diet, lifestyle, emotional state (e.g. stress), health history, and try to figure out where the distress originated from. There is always a root cause of health imbalances, and when we strive to balance these back to a healthy state, the symptoms naturally become corrected. For a list of naturopathic treatment options, visit our website.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reiki (Energy Work)

Reiki is the channeling of life energy from the universe, into the patient.

I have been doing Reiki since 2002, and continue to use it regularly as an adjunct to some of the other naturopathic therapies that I use. In particular, I like to add in a Reiki treatment when patients have acupuncture needles in place, as I find it augments that overall experience. Patients become more relaxed, and thus are able to allow their bodies to heal on a deeper level. Often the goal of acupuncture is also to move Qi (pronounced "chee") or energy; we try to either strengthening or regulating the flow of energy so that it is balanced within the body. The combination of hands-on energy work with the needles can make for an incredible acupuncture experience.

Other than combining it with acupuncture, I find it helpful for many patients who come with low energy, sluggishness, stress, anxiety, and a variety of other mental, emotional, or spiritual concerns. For more information on Reiki, feel free to visit my website at:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Detoxifying - what is it?

Detoxification is the neutralization and elimination of toxins in the body. Our bodies create toxins as by-products of chemical reactions, and we are also exposed to external sources of toxins (e.g. pollution, poor food choices) in a regular basis.

Doing a "detox" with your naturopathic doctor typically involves a temporary diet change and supportive herbs or supplements to support the detoxification chemical reactions. This combination can help the body work more efficiently, and help it remove toxins that may have built up in the body over time.

There is a very large range of detoxes, and contrary to popular belief, not all of them involve running to the washroom! Quality of detox products makes a big difference in the end result, so if you've tried one and feel it didn't work, there are likely other products more suited to your needs.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto

Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto

Naturopathic Medicine is such a diverse modality.  Treating health issues by correcting the root cause of the problem can go so much deeper than simply using a "band-aid" type approach.  With the many different natural therapies available to Naturopathic Doctors, individualized treatment plans can be tailor-made according to each patient's concerns and ability to participate in the healing process.  Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, Reiki, hydrotherapy, bodywork, lifestyle counselling and numerous other therapies can be combined, added, or subtracted from the naturopathic plan as concerns change.

I am in my fifth year of practice as a Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto (Yorkville), and I am so grateful for all the things I have learned, from the profession as well as from my patients.
-Vanessa Lee, BSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor