Hey everyone!!! I'm Candice who is the new Naturopathic Doctor here at EWS who happens to also have additional training in Functional Medicine. Most of you may know what a Naturopathic Doctor is but I'll take a guess, that most, probably do not know much about Functional Medicine.
So what is Functional Medicine and how does it differ from Naturopathic Medicine?
At their heart, both Naturopathic and Functional Medicine are about finding and healing the root causes of chronic illness. They both take a patient centered, whole-person approach. And they are both evidence-based.
Where Naturopathic Medicine excels - and differs from Functional Medicine - is in its inclusion of vitality. This core understanding that, if left alone, the body can heal itself, that the most powerful healing therapies simply stimulate the body’s innate healing ability.
The body is capable of healing on its own. Therefore, the most minimal effective amount of intervention is necessary and the focus is more about removing the obstacles to cure that are overloading the body’s innate healing capacity.
Where Functional Medicine excels is examining the smaller pieces of the puzzle which may not be working - where there may be the need for external intervention, such as in the use of nutritional supplements.
My primary reason for obtaining additional training in Functional Medicine was to learn how to effectively incorporate functional testing into my practice to offer objective data to patients and help inform their treatment plans.
For example, there is a functional test called an organic acids test which allows us to assess what is happening at the cellular level - to assess mitochondrial function, detoxification pathways, neurotransmitter levels, nutrient status and oxidative stress levels. We can then use this data to inform what may need to be removed (i.e. pathogens, toxins, stressors or trauma) and what may need to be added (i.e. nutrients, healing frequencies).
I find functional testing helps take a lot of the guesswork out of the healing process. It helps us move away from a “trial and error” approach. The treatment required at the physiological level becomes more obvious.
I combine the philosophy and approach of Naturopathic Medicine - supporting the healing power of nature, the body’s innate ability to heal itself - with the cutting-edge technology available through functional testing that provides objective data to help inform the action steps we take together.
Basically, the philosophy and principles of Naturopathic Medicine combined with the utility of Functional Medicine to offer the best of both worlds to you, the patient, to serve you in the best way possible.
A Case Study To Help Illustrate the Approach
I can have multiple patients come to my office with the same diagnosis, yet they will each need a different treatment plan to address their unique underlying imbalances.
For example, recently I had two different patients both diagnosed with Type II Diabetes who received completely different treatment plans.
From an extensive health history I learned that the first patient was a male who worked with lead pipes on his job. As well, he was an avid fisherman and had a habit of holding the lead sinkers in his mouth as he tied them to the fishing line.
Lead toxicity can negatively impact blood sugar levels and metabolism. Heavy metal testing confirmed this suspicion of high lead levels. For this patient, his body’s detoxification pathways - his body’s natural ability to break down toxins - was being stressed by the environmental exposures to heavy metals.
His treatment plan focused on supporting drainage and detoxification and removing the heavy metals. This led to significant improvements in his blood sugar levels.
The second patient was a woman who shared that her diet consisted primarily of simple carbohydrates and sugars. She had turned to comfort foods as a coping mechanism to deal with emotional trauma from a difficult family situation.
In her case, the blood sugar dysregulation was more lifestyle-driven, but there was a strong mental-emotional-spiritual component underlying these lifestyle habits. So a big part of this patient’s treatment plan was addressing the emotional trauma - letting her nervous system know it was safe.
Over time she found new awareness and was able to stop herself and ask, “Why do I feel like I need sugar at this moment?” This led to her transforming those behavioural habits and regulating her blood sugar.
If the first patient had received the second patient’s treatment plan he would not have healed. And vice versa. Both patients were able to control their blood sugar without resorting to prescription medications because of the individualized approach.
If you are curious to know more, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I'll be more than happy to answer your questions!
Or if you are ready, book in with a virtual 15-minute discovery consultation with me HERE!