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Taking Charge of Your Health


So nice to meet you guys, so my name is Dr. Talia Marcheggiani and I’m a naturopathic doctor and the topic today is just kind of generally what naturopathic medicine is I’ve given a similar talk here before but maybe you guys didn’t see it . It was last year. yeah alright so um so naturopathic doctors are we have the same amount of training as medical doctor so we get a four year undergrad degree in the sciences and then we do it four year degree in naturopathic medicine ok so we have the 8 years of school that a medical doctor does. yeah yeah so we have we have a lot of training and so really we’re kind of comparable to medical doctors rather than you know homeopathic doctors or acupuncturists or nutritionists. So we’re sort of on we’re similar in the amount of training to medical doctors. And so the definition of what naturopathic medicine is like a really broad definition is a primary healthcare model. So primary healthcare right, is like your family doctor so it’s not a specialist or emergency room it’s the person that you make an appointment with and talk to about your general health. The primary healthcare model that blends modern science with traditional and natural forms of healing. We believe in treating the whole person not just the disease and identifying and treating the root cause of ailments rather than simply suppressing symptoms. So, in that definition is a lot of stuff right so we have the primary healthcare model so we’re like the family doctor of natural medicine . So, we’re generalists. So some naturopaths will specialize in certain areas of health, like mental health or geriatric health, or you know pediatrics, but we’re trained generally. And we blend modern science and traditional and natural forms of healing so we’re very much like medical doctors up until the treatment things that’s kind of where we differ. So we do the same kind of intakes the same kind of history, and the same kind of diagnostics. And we do laboratory work and physical exams so all of that is pretty similar to the actual conventional model and then our treatment is where things change. Exactly so yeah. And while we’re doing our whole assessment we’re looking for what the cause is. Exactly. Yeah and we’ll talk about that today too. So I’m and then you know part of what we do as well as treat the whole person. So that’s why we spend a lot of time getting information from our patients we really long visits so my visits are from sixty to ninety minutes in length. So I spent a lot of time with people and because i want to get to know them i want to get to know all the different habits that they have in their lives and and all the things that determine what their health state is right and right so we don’t have someone come in who’s a you know high cholesterol patient we have someone come in and maybe one of their goals is to bring their cholesterol down or to prevent heart disease and that’s where we look at people ok so when we give —exactly –and so we give treatments that are going to help the whole person and not just treat the one thing. And then we look at the root cause instead of suppressing symptoms right so you think of like a headache when somebody comes in they say I deal with headaches I get headaches every week or every month then it’s a pain for me, literally and metaphorically. You know, so I get a lot of headaches. So instead of saying, okay here’s a medicine to get rid of the pain we asked what could be causing this right like why are you getting these headaches, right and then there’s a few reasons why someone might get headaches all the time. Alright so that’s our general definition and so this is really important because I think this is where we differ from conventional medicine so it’s not that naturopathic doctors don’t agree with drugs and surgery it’s that we don’t agree with when they’re implemented usually ok so we have this this pyramid and I got this from a naturopath lives in Montana so she made this um it’s called the therapeutic order so kind of like a hierarchy it’s like it’s like a kind of checklist for healing somebody right so let’s say somebody comes in with their headache so when we’re thinking of what to do to treat them we we look at this pyramid so giving somebody advil or you know a migraine medication is kind of here right so synthetic symptom relief relief use of drugs to palliate the pele just means kind of suppressing symptoms. Ok, so what we use we start with the foundation. So what are you eating? Are you drinking, (welcome) so what are you eating and drinking enough water getting outside is your water clean you know your food sources clean you have friends and social environments alright so those are the really is the air that you’re breathing clean those are like the really baseline determined to help those aren’t there then nothing that we prescribe will work right if you’re drinking water that’s contaminated with something doesn’t matter how much I don’t you take your not going to feel better right maybe your headache will go away but you’re not going to be better exactly yes exactly and then we kind of move up so then we do our around some of our therapies like acupuncture homeopathy or botanical medicine right so we start actually giving a therapy to help move your body in the direction of health right and then depending on how how much someone suffering right so how sort of weak their system is we might be a little bit more aggressive with treatment right so some people come in they don’t want to take a lot of supplements but because they’re further along the health disease continuum they might need a bit more intervention right to bring them back into balance and then is it so physical alignments we address the physical alignment like you know how’s your posture because you know if you’re kind of hunched it’s hard to breathe and then you’re not able to get the clean air act that we need to feel well ok and so after these have been exhausted if the person still not feeling better perhaps their disease state is advanced such that they just need some medication helped themselves feel better right so you think of like somebody who’s in palliative care for advanced cancer you give them you know pain medication to help them deal with their symptoms right it’s not ideal but you want to make somebody comfortable so that’s sort of where we think medication comes in it’s like you’ve exhausted your options for treating somebody to make this person’s been dealing with a headache we’ve looked at their diet everything is great and they’re still getting headaches then we’ll say okay you know let’s let’s do some pain relief you might need advil you might need a stronger medication and then finally I force interventions are things like surgeries right or really strong drugs so you’re really now being forceful and you’re changing the body in order to manage the disease management symptoms so it’s not that were against things like drugs and surgery it’s just that I’m and a lot of people that when they go to their doctor their kind about the stage where they need it right so they might be further along the continuum so it’s not that it’s bad that you get surgery you know people with knee replacements right like your knees it’s been regenerated so you need to get any replacement so it’s not that we disagree but we like to catch things before it gets that bad that makes sense yeah so this is kind of complicated this this idea but um this is kind of what we see we like to establish the the foundation of health before we start to look at drugs yeah this is not recognized by oh no it’s not recognized by ok but it would be too many people making science because generally that is this community a lot more money than always is my drop lines it yeah i know that that’s the thing right because these things are much cheaper than these like surgery you know how much that costs right and that’s painful exactly yeah it was the recovery times in most you have the choice but this is we and why we will I drops implicating you know absolutely and Angel blinking basic information probably and want water when you have a choice right well this one so this isn’t covered by open but it’s covered by then health benefits health benefits so if you have benefit as insurance nobody’s writer i think i have insurance yeah that box exactly happened and then another thing and that’s always there always limit things actually more than exactly yeah that’s what is that and you can also claim it on your taxes to its tax deductible all getting so yeah there’s a good FYI ready okay so some of the things that we’re concerned with when I meet with a patient right so let’s say somebody’s coming in with their headache so I don’t just want to know about your headache and this is why we spend a lot of time with people this is why we save it we treat the whole person so the things I lacerated and you guys might answer this in your head is you know how are you sleeping are you waking up in the middle of the night how long does it take you to go to sleep you know you do wake up and the sheets are scruffles and non-stop parade which is a sign that sleep was not as restful as a right when you wake up in the morning do you feel like you ready you arrested that you had a good night’s sleep so we ask all these questions we get really into these things how’s your energy and i usually have people score their energy on a scale of one to ten ten is the best energy you can imagine yourself you’re like bouncing off the walls and one or zero you can barely wake up and we we score people want people fall like six or seven right we want people like an eight or nine I want you to feel really good so I’m and you know and I did terrible excuse that you from your doctor is oh it’s a sign of getting older which I really had to get used to it yeah yeah yeahs already exactly you think you could get together yeah used to it well and your friend of mine was 27 years old and was told he was aging and that’s why it’s feeling tired 27 some aegyo so if you want to live 285 you got a lot of time to get used to being tired and not feeling well if I had already 27 you’re showing signs of aging and that’s normal right so that’s what your energy because energy is a sign that things are working well in your body if you feel like you’re you know you have a lot of energy if you feel like you have you want to exercise you want to move and you want to be a part of things that’s really good sign we asked what medications because we want to know you know where we know that I mean some people we don’t just take people off medication but not at all what we do but i want to know you know what are you taking so what’s worked before would be tried and some medications cause nutrient deficiencies right so things like statins right they cause a deficiency in coenzyme q10 which is not antioxidant vitamin so we’re gonna start and then they need to be supplementing right then we also that’s what exercise so how often are you moving when where what the type of activity you feel pain when you exercise what are some obstacles your exercise and we don’t just kind of say exercise we really so especially in my practice I have a course called motivational interviewing which is about really understanding you know somebody doesn’t exercise why that is right so instead of just saying oh go walk or join a class we really get into look at the obstacle be for this person right because we all know that we don’t know we should exercise but not all of us do so why write we really get into and we try to help people make positive changes i look at diet so obviously fruits and vegetables right be part of the diet but what kind of fat how much protein you know how often are you eating what are you eating what are you eating your meals you have an appetite do not have an appetite right are you gaining way to you losing weight how does your body feel left you feel tired after you eat you can bloated your digestion off i may ask all these questions really understand how your body’s dealing with with life and your lifestyle and wait right of the big one because you know there’s many reasons why we might our weight might slowly creep as we get older but i like to ask about that too and is it a goal for your lose weight so digestion and so we talked about red getting nutrients from your food and and taking vitamins but if your digestion is not working then you can absorb those nutrients right so everything begins with your digestion if your digestion is often it’s very very common about fifty percent forty to sixty percent of people don’t have optimal digestion so this is a problem right because if I’m giving somebody a vitamin how do I know they’re absorbing it they might just be having really expensive p right you were or valve business so I want to know do you get heartburn do you feel bloated when you’re when you have a bowel movement is their pieces of food in your tools right that’s a sign that you’re not absorbing things I asked about pain so where and how long has that been going on for what does it prevent you from doing how you on a scale of one to ten how strong is your pain so we kind of differentiate is that muscle is it joins is it bone is nerve pain so we get into pain a lot right because pain is something that we deal with a lot it’s a sign of inflammation a lot of the time where they always ask about stress so a lot of you might have had the experience that when you go to your doctor they do it stress right well dresses like a whole umbrella for lots of things that could go wrong and and it also takes a lot of effort to manage right and so I get into stress with people so what are your coping mechanisms what you do some people you know watch TV with a drink alcohol right or they scream and fight breaks we all have different ways and some people are pretty good at managing stress they might go and exercise or they meditate right so there’s different ways there’s kind of productive ways of dealing with stress and non productive ways and there’s also some people that just have a lot of stress in their life right it’s really common for us to be pretty stressed out no matter where we are in our life stage and sometimes that stress is something we can manage sometimes it’s not right if we lose a partner or if something happens in our family that we can’t control it’s not really something we can we have to then build up our resources to deal with it but sometimes you know people work too much or worry about things that are worth worrying about right so then we we talk about that feels yes right right well things like financial stress right it’s something that it’s very stressful thing and going to a naturopathic might not help people for it right but unfortunately he captured anything applied to additional point for you exactly right so sometimes those things aren’t really kind man exactly yeah yeah we talked about you know how are you managing that stress like how does that stress occur for you what are the costs on your help and what can we do about that so it’s a big topic that we spend a lot of time on and then ask people IDK any supplements or vitamins right so some people will try themselves just go to a health food store and take maybe a multivitamin or calcium rain and so I look at what you’re taking is it a good quality supplement or is it a waste of your money is there something better you can be taking taking too many things a lot of times people are taking way too much stuff alright so I i might bring you down or I might help you choose a better brand or teach you how to take the supplements you’re taking right and then i’ll recommend my own um yeah so these are just some of topics that will address in our internet consult rights we really get into these different topics in addition to the thing that you’re coming in with because a lot of people are coming with a specific health concerns right knee pain or headaches or memory loss fatigue right ok so the big part of what we do which is different from a conventional system is that we’re looking at the root cause so I already kind of mentioned this and went into this but we’re looking at you know you have a tree but what’s underneath so you have your symptoms you have your the issues that you’re dealing with why is that happening so we’re using our science that we’ve studied for years to understand why does someone get ahead what’s going on in your veins in your arteries at the level of yourselves nutritionally or you know what’s going on in terms of inflammation why are you getting these things so we we asked a lot of questions to try and create a picture of what the roots of the condition of like right and we treat this oh you have a deficiency in magnesium so you get headaches so we give magnesium and headaches cool way right so we’re not kind of chopping down the tree we’re getting it out by its roots so it doesn’t keep coming back and so you know our bodies really really smart our body is amazing and it knows more than we know probably because if you think about him we’re using our bodies to learn about the body so we probably know less than what our body knows right our body’s been here longer than that sir body is 2 million years old something along that line yeah that’s the first humans right so I think you know everybody’s got something figured out to last for two million years then we’re struggling with the decades that we have right so for example one example of this and really understanding that symptoms are not always things to get rid of is in a fever so one thing that happens a lot in conventional medicine and this is happily changing want this to go change and it is but one thing that’s often done right especially with children your kid gets a fever give him tylenol bring down the fever right they’re sick but why do we get fevers is it just a problem that happens that we need to get rid of right not really um our favors when our body temperature goes up because we have a virus that we have a bacterial infection and the the body temperature goes up to kill those viruses or that bacteria and as our temperature goes up our immune system gets stronger too so having the fever’s actually helping us get over the illness more quickly ok so may not be very comfortable you might be sweating you might feel sick but you’re sick right you’ve got some kind of infection and there’s also problems right if children get to higher fever or even adults if your fever gets to a point that that’s problematic then you start to bring it down but that’s a very very rare thing that happens usually our body stays and in a certain temperature range that’s actually helping us fight the infection better so when we suppress our fever we might be actually prolonging the infection especially with something like tylenol that doesn’t kill the infection it’s just getting rid of the symptom that’s helping us kill it right so it’s a backwards kind of mentality and this is just one example of how symptom suppression is not actually honoring what our body does and what we believe is natural pass is that our bodies are always trying to heal themselves we have a power to heal right you can give your immune system immune system knows what to do when it gets an infection it fights it off you get sick your nose runs you might throw up get a fever and that’s your body fighting it off so our bodies are always trying to be healthy and so what naturopathic medicine does is tries to help the body heal it’s already trying to heal itself and we try and help it heal a little bit more maybe we remove an obstacle that’s in the way of it healing or maybe we give some herbs or supplements that help it work better but we’re not trying to fight it and like bring down the fever or reduce inflammation if we know inflammations kind of helping us heal and so another analogy is the dashboard analogy right so in your car and I don’t I i drive but I don’t have a car so I don’t know that it’s a mystery to me I know about the body I don’t know about machine and I borrow my brother’s car sometimes and there’s this like light that flashes it’s like and look at the car still working so i just kind of ignore it but would be what would be a really not smart thing for me to do would be to just be like oh there’s a light flashing and just smash the dashboard so the light turns off right we know we don’t do that with our car but that’s kind of what we do when we suppress fevers right as the fever is a symptom something’s not right and it’s telling us something and we’re just like take tylenol get rid of it right let’s just smash the dashboard no instead you figure out if it’s a few light you go get more fuel if it’s the air pressure in your tires that’s often you going to get more air in your tires if there’s something wrong with the oil you get the oil change you take care of your car you look at these signals as symptoms that something needs to be done to help your car run better right so unfortunately sometimes we take better care of our cars and machines than ourselves move we’ve kind of gone backwards unfortunately um and I just wrote some examples of this right so you know when the heart disease prevention is a huge topic this is a this is where most Canadians died of of cardiovascular disease so preventing cardiovascular disease is very high on priority list for people over the age of 50 on we look at you know your diet your nutrition so there’s a lot of evidence for Mediterranean diet lots of fish relatively meets good fats like olive oil lots of bed stables and fruits okay i’m getting lots of exercise moving right taking a supplement like Co Q 10 or fish oil and something that happens right is when you take a cholesterol-lowering medicine it depletes your Co Q 10 which is what actually helps prevent heart disease so if you’re honest and even more is important to take it coq10 supplement alright balancing inflammation for painting so i was mentioning that inflammation is a sign of healing and this is true when you’ve just injured yourself right maybe just hurt your knee in its inflamed but a lot of us have kind of chronic inflammation write these people to get headaches all the time even with pain all the time people just kind of feel unwell so if their signs of inflammation and then there’s lots of things we can do to find out why and a lot of it starts with digestion ok so you know if someone’s a lot of inflammation or a lot of pain look at has your digestion are you reacting to certain foods you have a food sensitivity or allergy & and then we might do some herbs like humans let’s to marrek whereabouts well II which are anti-inflammatory that Australia it’s an herb yeah okay and we’ll look at the social determinants of health right so what you’re and your social life you have purpose and meaning with your economic health right because that’s the source of stress we talked about already what’s your lifestyle where you kind of do every day when you wake up when you eating with your mindset are you in a good mood most of the time you balance your emotions do have a hobby so like all these kind of things that make someone’s life meaningful and that is going to help your health right his mental health is is also influences our physical health all right we might look at the root causes fatigue so you’re feeling tired all the time so it could be a bunch of things we look at those things run some blood work find out what the causes and we understand right that health is not just the absence of disease so just because you took advil and your headaches gone doesn’t mean you’re healthy right so health is not the absence of disease but it’s the physical mental and emotional well-being that we that we have so we’re striving for that with the people we work with and then this is this might be a bit overwhelming for the amount of time we have left but um you know so in terms of aging right and because that’s sort of a topic for this Center is looking at specific topics in preventing common things that happened as we age and ignoring that kind of excuse like oh its aging you’re not supposed to remember anything you know you’re supposed to be brain foggy supposed to be tired supposed to be in pain no want to on look at these things and prevent them because there’s a lot we can do so you bring help for example i gave a talk a few months ago about that i’m looking at you know kind of foods you’re eating balancing inflammation engaging in new activities writing all these things are helping with boosting brain health cardiovascular health we talked about so getting lots of exercise or the movement eating lots of healthy fats with your coconut oil or fish oil or olive oil and lots of fruits and vegetables right so doing these things that prevent heart disease improving sleep because as we age we produce less sleep hormone melatonin so sometimes we write especially if you’re not waking up rested digestion so again digestive enzymes and digestive acid tends to go down as we age so you guys are doing apple cider vinegar so that’s a good way to bring your stomach acid up to help you digest your food ok that’s why you’re taking it that’s it’s a good thing if you feel like that’s helping then that’s good thing I’m and especially when people are taking like heartburn medication right that’s that requires some supplementation because it depletes some nutrients so like b12 for example so that’s going to make you feel tired if your b12 is low and then with fatigue so that’s another common kind of sign of aging or something that will happen just as nutrients start to deplete so we look at that is natural path and we might recommend some supplements and vitamins to get people’s levels up so that their theirselves can work better excuse me exactly is the properties of that coq10 when what is it what is a antioxidant yeah so it’s um it’s a chemical that’s in our styles that helps us make energy and detoxify yeah and it’s pretty common lilo recently the mitochondria are like our furnaces in ourselves so those are what makes energy for us it takes our food and it creates energy for us for our bodies to work so a lot of the time with fatigue and inflammation the mitochondria are not working as well as they should know what kind of food can give you 12 so like fish and meat and eggs and those kind of things yeah alright and then bone health right to take calcium or not and that will be my next topic when I come here is talking about bones and calcium as I got a lot of questions about that last time you know but one really important thing to do for bone health is vitamin D right especially at this time of year and weight bearing exercise like walking ok so walking around and I mental health is another thing that we don’t talk about too much when it comes to seniors or even people my age or younger I work with youth and mental health that’s my kind of special focus and you know their stress stress that we don’t really acknowledged because it might be financial stress or maybe the stress of losing a spouse right things like that loneliness so finding meaning in purpose right so they’ve studied population in the blue zone so these are people that live the longest in the world so one places in Sardinia something a la grande all exactly Japan and they all wake up every morning with a sense of purpose and meaning for their life and right so it’s really important social activities like coming here is great you’re all on track for that I’ve been staying active again so exercises the theme here right we can’t say it enough ok so when you see a naturopath what kind of happens well so pretty my intakes are 90 minutes the first visit and the follow-up visits are about 60 minutes so we talked about you know all the things i mentioned before your medications are you on your sleep your digestion your chief concern so what the problem is that you need to see me before that you want to work on goals for health ok and i might have goals for you and i’ll tell you about them your energy i look at your diet diary so you write down what you eat for two weeks that’s fun and I i look at it and give you something but you know exercising what do you do for a living or what did you do for a living right this is really important for health family life etc etc we spend 90 minutes on that we get to know each other pretty well by the end of that 90 minutes i might do a physical exam listen to your heart take your blood pressure and I might ask you to get some blood taken some laboratory work so either fruit to a family doctor or through me ok and then our treatments is a combination and it depends on what’s going it depends on what’s going on with you what your goals are what needs to be worked on it depends on what you’re willing to do right what makes sense for you so not everyone can change their diet and not everyone has money for supplements so we talk about individualized for each person right but it might be a combination of diet and lifestyle supplement acupuncture so all-natural pads in ontario do acupuncture counseling I do a lot of just talking with people etc right herbs and things like that and all of these treatments are aimed at treating the roots ok so we might do some things to help with symptoms to help you feel better just in the short term but we’re looking at treating the root cause most of all that often takes a little bit longer to change right so you think about how long you’ve been dealing with something it might take half that or you know a couple months to really feel better so patients is a big part of it because we’re used to a system where you get a pill and you feel better put it within the day or two right quick fix that’s veggie cool yeah exactly and that’s it

4 thoughts on “All About Naturopathic Medicine – Educational Talk

  1. "All about naturopathic medicine.
    It isn't. See a doctor. Okay good talk!"
    -What this would've been, if you were honest.

  2. She is so dishonest in how she explains four years of science and then four years of natural medicine – a real family medicine doctor has four years of undergrad where they learn the basic sciences, biochemistry, intro psycology and intro sociology; then after taking a grueling entrance exam (MCAT) start medical school wherein the first two years they cover basic sciences and systems while consistently examined (regular exams and board exams)- the last two years are rotations in the various specialties each with their own shelf exams. Then the newly minted DO or MD has to do three year residency. Not just four years of pseudoscience and then be able to call yourself a pcp.

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