Welcome to the captivating world of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), an innovative and natural approach to addressing hormonal imbalances that’s here to offer a refreshing alternative to conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Embrace the warmth and support of a treatment designed to work in harmony with your body, providing you with a personalized path towards optimal hormonal health.

(Yes, our Naturopathic doctors at Higher Health can prescribe BHRT as part of your customized health plan.)

BHRT uses hormones that are chemically identical to the ones your body produces, allowing them to be more easily recognized and utilized. This means that you’re likely to experience a smoother, more effective treatment process compared to conventional HRT, which often relies on synthetic hormones that may not be an ideal match for your body’s needs.

On the other hand, synthetic hormones are chemically modified versions of natural hormones. While they can still have a therapeutic effect, their structural differences can sometimes make them less compatible with your body’s hormone receptors. This mismatch can potentially result in less effective treatment or even cause unwanted side effects.

Common hormones used in BHRT and how they can help you

Estrogen: Estrogen is a vital hormone for women’s health, responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and maintaining bone density, among other functions. In BHRT, different forms of estrogen, such as estradiol and estriol, can be used to help alleviate symptoms of menopause or other estrogen deficiencies.
Progesterone: Progesterone plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of female hormones and supporting a healthy pregnancy. In BHRT, natural progesterone is often used to counteract estrogen dominance, treat symptoms of menopause, or address other hormonal imbalances.
Testosterone: Testosterone is essential for both men and women, affecting muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive. BHRT can use bioidentical testosterone to treat low testosterone levels (hypogonadism) in men, and in some cases, to address certain hormonal imbalances in women.

Thyroid hormones: Thyroid hormones, such as T3 and T4, regulate metabolism and energy production in the body. BHRT can help individuals with underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) by providing bioidentical thyroid hormones that support optimal thyroid function.
Where do they come from?

Bioidentical hormones are typically derived from natural plant sources, such as soybeans and wild yams. These plants contain compounds called phytoestrogens, which have a similar structure to human hormones. Through a series of chemical processes, these compounds are converted into bioidentical hormones that are identical to those produced by your body.

Once the bioidentical hormones have been created, they can be compounded into various forms, such as creams, gels, pills, or patches, to provide personalized treatment options tailored to an individual’s unique hormonal needs. This customization allows healthcare providers to fine-tune the dosage and delivery method for each patient, ensuring the most effective and well-tolerated treatment possible.

Benefits of BHRT

Customized treatment plans
One of the most remarkable aspects of BHRT is its ability to provide customized treatment plans that cater to your unique hormonal needs. You’re not just another number in the system; with BHRT, you’re an individual with a specific hormonal landscape that deserves personalized care and attention. By working closely with your healthcare provider, you can develop a tailored plan that targets your specific imbalances and helps you achieve optimal hormonal harmony. It’s like having a bespoke suit crafted just for you, ensuring the perfect fit and maximum comfort.

Potential for fewer side effects
We all know how frustrating and challenging it can be to deal with unwanted side effects from treatments. But with BHRT, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that its use of bioidentical hormones, which are identical to those produced by your body, may result in fewer side effects compared to synthetic hormones. This means you can focus on the healing journey ahead, without the added stress of battling unpleasant side effects that could potentially slow down your progress.

Alternative delivery methods
We’re all unique, and so are our preferences when it comes to the way we receive our treatments. That’s why BHRT offers a variety of alternative delivery methods to suit your individual needs and lifestyle. From creams and gels to pills and patches, there’s something to accommodate everyone. With the help of your healthcare provider, you can choose the method that works best for you, ensuring that your treatment experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Holistic approach to health and well-being
At the heart of BHRT lies a holistic approach to health and well-being that encompasses not just your hormonal balance, but your overall wellness. This comprehensive perspective is all about treating the whole person, not just the symptoms. With BHRT, you can embark on a journey towards better health that addresses the root causes of your hormonal imbalances and empowers you to make lasting, positive changes in your life. So get ready to embrace a brighter, more balanced future, where you can enjoy a renewed sense of vitality and well-being.
When should BHRT be considered as part of a health plan?

Menopause and perimenopause
For many women, the transition into menopause and perimenopause can be a rollercoaster of emotions and physical changes. BHRT offers a gentle, compassionate approach to help navigate these turbulent waters, providing relief from symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and more. By restoring hormonal balance, you can rediscover a sense of peace and comfort, allowing you to embrace this new chapter of life with grace and ease.

Men aren’t immune to the effects of hormonal changes either. As they age, they may experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as andropause. BHRT offers a supportive and understanding solution for men dealing with symptoms such as fatigue, low libido, and loss of muscle mass. With bioidentical testosterone therapy, men can reclaim their vitality and regain the energy and strength they need to live life to the fullest.
Adrenal insufficiency

Our adrenal glands play a crucial role in our overall health, producing hormones like cortisol that help us manage stress and maintain energy levels. When these glands aren’t functioning optimally, adrenal insufficiency can arise, leading to symptoms such as chronic fatigue, weakness, and difficulty concentrating. BHRT provides a nurturing approach to help restore adrenal function and bring balance back to your body, allowing you to regain the energy and resilience you need to thrive.

Thyroid disorders
Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can have a profound impact on your well-being, affecting everything from your metabolism to your mood. With BHRT, you can address these imbalances using bioidentical thyroid hormones that are specifically tailored to your body’s unique needs. This personalized approach can help you regain control over your thyroid function and rediscover a sense of balance and harmony in your body.

Other hormone-related conditions
BHRT’s versatility doesn’t end there. Its gentle, individualized approach can be applied to a wide range of other hormone-related conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or insulin resistance. By addressing the root cause of these conditions and restoring hormonal balance, BHRT can help you reclaim your health and well-being, empowering you to live your best life, free from the constraints of hormonal imbalances.

How do you know if BHRT is for you?

Embarking on a journey towards hormonal balance is a deeply personal and important decision, one that should be made with all the information and understanding available to you. By learning about BHRT and its potential benefits and risks, you empower yourself to make an informed decision that is best suited to your unique needs and circumstances. It’s essential to take the time to research, ask questions, and weigh the pros and cons before diving into any treatment plan. You can always connect for a free consultation with one of our naturopathic doctors at Higher Health.

Remember, this is your health, your body, and your life. Taking charge of your well-being means making decisions that are rooted in knowledge and confidence, ensuring that your path towards hormonal harmony is as smooth and successful as possible.

The role of healthcare providers in guiding and supporting patients
Healthcare providers play an invaluable role in guiding and supporting patients as they navigate the world of BHRT. They are your allies, your mentors, and your champions, providing expert advice, answering your questions, and offering a compassionate, listening ear when you need it most. Their experience and expertise in hormone health can help you develop a tailored treatment plan that addresses your specific hormonal imbalances, ensuring the best possible outcome for your health and well-being.

In addition to their medical knowledge, healthcare providers also bring a wealth of emotional support and understanding to your journey. They recognize the challenges that come with hormonal imbalances and are committed to helping you overcome them, every step of the way. By partnering with a dedicated healthcare provider, you gain not only access to cutting-edge BHRT treatments but also the unwavering support and guidance you need to successfully navigate your path towards hormonal balance and overall wellness.

Now that you’ve gained valuable insights into the world of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, it’s time to take the first step towards a life of balance and vitality. We invite you to book a complimentary hormone consultation call with one of our naturopathic doctors.
Together, we’ll explore your unique needs, answer your questions, and help you uncover the best path to reclaiming your well-being. Don’t let hormonal imbalances hold you back any longer. Let our compassionate team guide you on your journey to a healthier, happier you. Seize the moment and schedule your free consultation today – your future self will thank you!

Click here to Book your Free consultation.


Holtorf, K. (2009). The bioidentical hormone debate: are bioidentical hormones (estradiol, estriol, and progesterone) safer or more efficacious than commonly used synthetic versions in hormone replacement therapy? Postgraduate Medicine, 121(1), 73-85.

Schwartz, E. T., & Holtorf, K. (2012). Hormones in wellness and disease prevention: common practices, current state of the evidence, and questions for the future. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, 39(4), 673-692.

North American Menopause Society. (2017). The 2017 hormone therapy position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause, 24(7), 728-753.

Cirigliano, M. (2007). Bioidentical hormone therapy: a review of the evidence. Journal of Women’s Health, 16(5), 600-631.

Women’s Health Initiative. (2002). Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 288(3), 321-333.

Hormone Imbalance Treatment

Hormone Imbalance Treatment: How Naturopathic Care Can Help

Are you struggling with hormone-related issues and seeking an effective hormone imbalance treatment? If you’re searching for a natural and holistic approach to achieve hormonal balance, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will explore how naturopathic doctors can help you address hormone imbalances and guide you towards optimal health. By the end, we hope you’ll be inspired to book a free consultation and embark on your journey to a healthier, happier you. Let’s dive in!

The Role of Hormones in Our Bodies

Our hormones are like tiny chemical messengers, responsible for regulating a wide variety of bodily functions, from our mood and energy levels to our metabolism and reproductive health. When our hormones are in balance, we feel great! But when they’re out of whack, we can experience a whole host of unpleasant symptoms. That’s where a naturopathic doctor comes in, offering a holistic approach to help restore balance and harmony in your body.

A Holistic Approach to Health

Naturopathic doctors look at the big picture, considering all aspects of your health and well-being to identify the root cause of your hormone imbalances. They understand that hormones are interconnected and that imbalances can be influenced by factors such as diet, stress, sleep, environmental toxins, and other individual factors. By addressing these underlying issues, a naturopath can help you achieve lasting hormone balance and overall health.

Tests and Treatments

When it comes to diagnosing hormone imbalances, a naturopathic doctor may use a combination of blood, saliva, and urine tests to gain a comprehensive understanding of your hormonal health. Each type of test has its unique advantages and can provide valuable information to help create a personalized treatment plan. Let’s take a closer look at each testing method:

Blood tests

Blood tests are the most common method for assessing hormone levels. They involve taking a blood sample, usually from a vein in your arm, and analyzing it in a laboratory to measure the levels of specific hormones. Some of the hormones that may be tested in a blood sample include:

Thyroid hormones: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine (T3), and free thyroxine (T4) levels are commonly tested to evaluate thyroid function.

Sex hormones: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and androgens levels can help assess reproductive health and diagnose conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or menopause-related issues.

Adrenal hormones: Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) levels can be checked to evaluate adrenal function and assess stress-related hormone imbalances.

LH, FSH, AMH can assist further in understanding Fertility and menstrual health concerns.

Fasting insulin can guide us in further understanding various conditions. symptoms and hormone concerns from sluggish metabolism and weight, to PCOS, inflammation, cardiovascular disease and brain health conditions

Saliva tests

Saliva tests are a non-invasive method for measuring hormone levels, making them a popular choice for some naturopathic doctors. Hormones present in saliva are thought to represent the biologically active or “free” form of the hormone, which can provide valuable information about how your body is utilizing these hormones.

Some of the hormones that can be tested using saliva samples include:

Cortisol: A saliva test can be used to measure cortisol levels throughout the day, providing insight into your stress response and adrenal function.

Sex hormones: Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels can also be measured in saliva, offering an alternative to blood tests for evaluating reproductive health.

Melatonin: A saliva test can be used to measure melatonin levels, which play a critical role in regulating sleep patterns.

Urine tests

Urine tests can provide a more comprehensive picture of hormone levels over a longer period, as they measure hormone metabolites excreted in the urine. This method can be particularly useful for evaluating adrenal function and assessing how your body is metabolizing hormones.

Some of the hormones that can be tested using urine samples include:

Cortisol and its metabolites: A 24-hour urine collection can provide a detailed assessment of cortisol production and metabolism, offering valuable insight into adrenal function and stress-related hormone imbalances.

Sex hormone metabolites: Urine tests can measure the metabolites of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, providing information about how your body is processing and utilizing these hormones. This can also include melatonin, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter components, glutathione and nutrient status.

Blood, saliva, and urine tests each offer unique advantages in assessing hormone levels and can provide a naturopathic doctor with valuable information to diagnose hormone imbalances accurately. Depending on your specific symptoms and health concerns, your naturopath may recommend one or more of these testing methods to gain a comprehensive understanding of your hormonal health and create a personalized treatment plan.

Yes, we can provide all at Higher Heath!

Naturopaths can prescribe Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can be a powerful tool in a naturopathic doctor’s arsenal when it comes to treating hormone imbalances. BHRT involves the use of hormones that are chemically identical to those produced naturally by your body, ensuring a safer and more effective treatment option compared to synthetic hormones. Your naturopathic doctor may recommend BHRT as part of your personalized treatment plan if your hormone levels are significantly out of balance or if you’re experiencing severe symptoms that affect your quality of life. BHRT can be customized to meet your specific needs, with dosages and delivery methods (such as creams, gels, patches, or capsules) tailored to your unique hormonal profile. In combination with dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal medicine, and other complementary therapies, BHRT can play a crucial role in helping you achieve optimal hormonal balance, alleviate symptoms, and improve your overall well-being.

Creating Personalized Hormone Imbalance Treatment Plans

Your hormone journey is unique, and a naturopath at Higher Health will work with you to develop a tailored hormone imbalance treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and health goals. This may include dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal medicine and supplements, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (if appropriate), stress management techniques, IV Vitamin Therapy and other complementary therapies.

Emphasizing Prevention in Hormone Imbalance Treatment

Our Higher Health naturopathic doctors focus on preventing health issues before they arise, helping you maintain long-term hormonal balance. By identifying potential triggers and risk factors, a naturopath can equip you with the tools and knowledge needed to take control of your hormonal health and prevent future imbalances.

We believe in the power of education and self-care, and we’ll support and guide you as you make positive changes to improve your hormonal health. We’ll provide you with practical advice and resources to help you navigate the challenges and celebrate the victories on your journey to better health.

What to Expect at Your First Consultation

Now that you know the benefits of working with a naturopath for hormone imbalance, let’s talk about what to expect at your first consultation. It’s normal to feel a bit nervous or unsure, but don’t worry – your higher health naturopath is there to support and guide you every step of the way.

Comprehensive Intake and Medical History

During your initial consultation, your naturopath will spend time getting to know you and understanding your health concerns. They’ll ask about your current symptoms, past medical history, family history, and lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, stress, and sleep habits. This information will help them identify potential underlying causes of your hormone imbalances which help create a personalized treatment plan.

Physical Examination and Diagnostic Testing

If necessary, your naturopath may perform a physical examination or order diagnostic tests to assess your hormone levels and identify any imbalances. As mentioned earlier, these tests may include blood tests, saliva tests, or urine tests. Your naturopath will use the results as part of your targeted treatment plan to address your specific hormonal imbalances and help you achieve optimal health.

Once your naturopath thoroughly comprehends your unique hormonal situation, they will collaborate with you to develop a tailored hormone imbalance treatment plan addressing your specific needs and objectives. This plan may include:

Dietary and lifestyle modifications: Integrating nutrient-dense foods, regular exercise, and stress reduction techniques can substantially impact your hormonal health.

Herbal medicine and supplements: Your naturopath may suggest specific herbs or supplements to promote hormone balance and overall well-being.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT): If suitable, your naturopath may prescribe BHRT to alleviate symptoms and restore hormone balance.

Stress management techniques: Mastering effective stress management approaches, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can enhance your hormonal health.

Other complementary therapies: Based on your requirements, your naturopath may recommend additional treatments like IV Vitamin Drip Therapy, acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic care to support your overall health.

Ongoing Support and Monitoring for Hormone Imbalance Treatment

Your higher health naturopathic doctor will accompany you throughout your hormone health journey, offering ongoing support and monitoring your progress. They will arrange regular follow-up appointments to ensure your treatment plan is working effectively and make any necessary adjustments. Open communication and active involvement in your treatment process are crucial to your success, so don’t hesitate to ask questions or express any concerns you may have.

Schedule a Free Hormone Imbalance Treatment Consultation Today

We understand that taking the first step towards improved hormonal health can feel intimidating, which is why we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with a naturopathic doctor specializing in hormone imbalance treatment. During this initial meeting, you can discuss your health concerns, ask questions, and learn more about how a naturopath can help you achieve hormonal balance and overall well-being.

By booking a free consultation, you commit to yourself and your health. It’s an opportunity to connect with a compassionate and knowledgeable healthcare professional who can guide you on your journey to better hormonal health. Plus, there’s no financial risk or obligation, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Click here to book your free consultation today.

Here are some resources about hormone imbalance treatments to help you learn more about the topic:

  1. Hormone Health Network: The Hormone Health Network is a valuable resource for information on hormones and hormonal disorders, including treatment options and patient resources.
  2. Women’s Health Network: This website focuses on women’s hormonal health and provides articles, resources, and expert advice on hormone imbalances and their treatments.
  3. BodyLogicMD: BodyLogicMD is a network of practitioners specializing in hormone health, offering resources and information on hormone imbalances and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
  4. The Endocrine Society: The Endocrine Society is a professional organization dedicated to the study of hormones and the treatment of endocrine disorders. Their website offers a wealth of information on hormone-related health issues and treatments.
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI): The NCBI website contains a vast database of scientific articles and research papers on hormone imbalances and treatments. You can search for specific topics, including hormone replacement therapy, natural treatments, and more.
What to expect

Hormone Doctor Toronto

What to Expect During Your First Visit With a Naturopathic Doctor Who Focuses on Hormone Health

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on finding the best naturopathic doctor with a focus on hormones in Toronto and preparing for your first visit! Hormonal imbalances can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being, and it’s essential to find a healthcare professional who understands your unique needs. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of finding a qualified naturopathic doctor, what to expect during your initial consultation, and how to make the most of your journey towards better hormonal health.

I. Introduction
A. Overview of naturopathic medicine and its holistic approach
B. Importance of addressing hormonal imbalances for overall health
C. Purpose of the guide: preparing for the first visit with a naturopathic hormone doctor

II. Finding a Qualified Hormone Doctor
A. Checking credentials and licensing
B. Verifying experience in hormone health and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)
C. Researching online reviews and recommendations

III. Preparing for the Appointment
A. Gathering relevant medical records and test results
B. Listing symptoms and concerns related to hormonal health
C. Preparing a list of questions for the naturopathic doctor

IV. The Initial Consultation
A. Intake process and comprehensive medical history
1. Discussing current symptoms and concerns
2. Reviewing past medical history, including hormonal issues
3. Examining lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, stress, and sleep habits
B. Physical examination, if necessary
C. Ordering diagnostic tests to assess hormone levels and imbalances

V. Diagnostic Testing and Evaluation
A. Types of tests that may be ordered
1. Blood tests
2. Saliva tests
3. Urine tests
B. Evaluating test results to determine the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances

VI. Developing a Personalized Treatment Plan
A. Discussing the results of diagnostic tests and their implications
B. Creating a treatment plan tailored to individual needs and goals
1. Dietary and lifestyle changes
2. Herbal medicine and supplements
3. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), if appropriate
4. Stress management techniques
5. Other complementary therapies, as needed
C. Setting realistic expectations for treatment outcomes and timelines

VII. Ongoing Support and Monitoring
A. Scheduling follow-up appointments to track progress and adjust treatment
B. Communication and collaboration with other healthcare providers, if necessary
C. Providing guidance and support for implementing and maintaining lifestyle changes

VIII. Conclusion
A. Emphasizing the importance of addressing hormonal imbalances for overall well-being
B. Encouraging open communication and active involvement in the treatment process
C. Wishing readers a successful first visit with their naturopathic hormone doctor in Toronto


I. Introduction

A. Overview of naturopathic medicine and its holistic approach
Naturopathic medicine is all about using natural therapies and focusing on the big picture when it comes to your health. Instead of just tackling your symptoms, naturopathic doctors (NDs) dig deep to figure out what’s really causing your health issues. They’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that takes into account your body, mind, and environment. The ultimate goal? To help you feel your best and keep you healthy in the long run.

B. Importance of addressing hormonal imbalances for overall health
Now, let’s talk about hormones. These little chemical messengers are super important because they control all kinds of functions in your body, like your metabolism, growth, and stress response. When your hormones are out of whack, it can cause a bunch of problems like mood swings, weight gain, and trouble sleeping. Plus, if you don’t get your hormones back on track, you could end up with more serious health issues down the road, like diabetes or thyroid problems. That’s why it’s so important to tackle hormonal imbalances head-on and get your body back in balance.

C. Purpose of the guide: preparing for the first visit with a naturopathic hormone doctor
This guide is all about getting you ready for your first visit with a naturopathic hormone doctor in Toronto. We want to make sure you know what to expect so you can feel confident and excited about taking charge of your hormonal health. We’ll cover everything from finding the right doctor to understanding the different treatments they might recommend. Our goal is to give you the knowledge and tools you need to make informed decisions about your health and work together with your naturopathic doctor to get the results you’re looking for.


Looking for a hormone doctor?

II. Finding a Qualified Naturopathic Hormone Doctor

A. Checking credentials and licensing
First things first, you’ll want to make sure the naturopathic doctor you choose has the right credentials and licensing. In Ontario, naturopathic doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO), so you’ll want to check that they’re registered with the college. Also, make sure they’ve completed the required training, including a degree from an accredited naturopathic medical school and any additional courses related to hormone health.

B. Verifying experience in hormone health and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)
It’s super important to find a naturopathic doctor who really knows their stuff when it comes to hormones. You’ll want to look for someone with experience in treating hormonal imbalances and, if you’re considering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), someone who’s well-versed in that as well. Don’t be shy about asking potential doctors about their background and experience in hormone health – they should be more than happy to chat with you about it!

C. Researching online reviews and recommendations
When you’re on the hunt for the perfect naturopathic doctor with a focus on hormones, the internet can be your best friend. There are lots of online resources where you can find reviews and recommendations from other patients. Take some time to read through what people are saying about the doctors you’re considering. Keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different, so try not to focus on just one or two reviews – look for overall trends and themes in the feedback. And don’t forget to ask your friends and family for recommendations too! They might know someone who’s had a great experience with a naturopathic  doctor who focuses on hormones in Toronto.

III. Preparing for the Appointment

A. Gathering relevant medical records and test results
B. Listing symptoms and concerns related to hormonal health
C. Preparing a list of questions for the naturopathic doctor
III. Preparing for the Appointment

A. Gathering relevant medical records and test results
Alright, so you’ve found the perfect naturopathic doctor and scheduled your appointment. Now it’s time to get organized! Start by gathering all of your relevant medical records and test results. This might include things like blood tests, imaging studies, or any previous hormone-related treatments you’ve had. Having all this information handy will help your new doctor get a better understanding of your health history and make it easier for them to figure out the best course of action for your treatment.
B. Listing symptoms and concerns related to hormonal health
Next, take some time to think about the symptoms and concerns that led you to seek help for your hormonal health. Maybe you’ve been struggling with mood swings, fatigue, or weight gain. Or perhaps you’ve noticed changes in your menstrual cycle or libido. Jot down everything that’s been bothering you, even if it seems minor. This will help your naturopathic doctor get a clear picture of what’s going on and ensure that they address all of your concerns during your appointment.

C. Preparing a list of questions for the naturopathic doctor
Finally, don’t forget to come up with a list of questions for your naturopathic doctor. This is your chance to get all the information you need to feel confident and comfortable with your treatment plan. You might want to ask about their experience with hormone health, the different types of treatments they offer, or what you can expect in terms of results and timelines. Don’t be afraid to ask anything that’s on your mind – remember, there are no silly questions when it comes to your health!

IV. The Initial Consultation

A. Intake process and comprehensive medical history
1. Discussing current symptoms and concerns
2. Reviewing past medical history, including hormonal issues
3. Examining lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, stress, and sleep habits
B. Physical examination, if necessary
C. Ordering diagnostic tests to assess hormone levels and imbalances

A. Intake process and comprehensive medical history
Discussing current symptoms and concerns
When you meet with your naturopathic doctor for the first time, they’ll likely start by asking about your current symptoms and concerns. This is your chance to share everything you wrote down earlier and have an open, honest conversation about what’s been going on. The more information you can provide, the better equipped your doctor will be to help you get your hormones back in balance.
Reviewing past medical history, including hormonal issues

Next, your doctor will want to dive into your past medical history. They’ll be particularly interested in any previous hormonal issues you’ve had, but they’ll also want to know about other health concerns, medications, and treatments you’ve tried. This will help them get a better understanding of your overall health and any factors that could be contributing to your hormonal imbalances.

Examining lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, stress, and sleep habits
Your naturopathic doctor will also want to chat about your lifestyle. That’s because things like your diet, exercise routine, stress levels, and sleep habits can all play a big role in your hormonal health. Be prepared to discuss what you typically eat, how often you exercise, how you manage stress, and what your sleep patterns are like. Your doctor might also ask about your work environment, relationships, and any other factors that could be impacting your well-being.

B. Physical examination, if necessary
Depending on your specific concerns, your naturopathic doctor might decide to perform a physical examination during your initial consultation. This could involve checking things like your blood pressure, heart rate, and thyroid gland. Remember, this is all part of the process of getting to know your body and figuring out the best way to help you achieve optimal hormonal health.

C. Ordering diagnostic tests to assess hormone levels and imbalances
Finally, your naturopathic doctor will likely order some diagnostic tests to get a better idea of what’s going on with your hormones. These tests might include blood, saliva, or urine samples to measure hormone levels and identify any imbalances. Once your doctor has all this information, they’ll be able to come up with a personalized treatment plan that’s tailored to your specific needs and goals.


V. Diagnostic Testing and Evaluation

A. Types of tests that may be ordered
1. Blood tests
2. Saliva tests
3. Urine tests
B. Evaluating test results to determine the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances

A. Types of tests that may be ordered
Blood tests
Blood tests are a common way for your naturopathic doctor to check your hormone levels. They’ll typically ask you to visit a lab to have a sample drawn, which will then be analyzed to measure the levels of various hormones in your body. This can help your doctor identify any imbalances and get a better understanding of what might be causing your symptoms.

Saliva tests
Saliva tests are another option for measuring hormone levels, and they can sometimes provide more accurate results for certain hormones, like cortisol. To do a saliva test, you’ll usually be given a kit that you can use at home to collect samples at different times throughout the day. This can be especially helpful for tracking hormone levels that fluctuate throughout the day, giving your doctor a more complete picture of your hormonal health.

Urine tests
Urine tests are less common for hormone testing, but they can still be useful in some cases. Like saliva tests, urine tests can be done at home using a special kit. They can help your doctor assess hormone levels over a longer period of time, which can be useful for identifying trends and patterns in your hormonal health.

B. Evaluating test results to determine the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances
Once your doctor has your test results, they’ll take a close look at the numbers to figure out what’s going on with your hormones. They’ll be looking for any imbalances or abnormal levels that could be causing your symptoms. Keep in mind that hormones are complex, and it’s not always a simple case of one hormone being too high or too low. Your doctor will use their expertise to interpret the results and identify the underlying causes of your hormonal issues. This will help them create a personalized treatment plan that addresses the root of the problem and gets you on the path to better hormonal health.

VI. Developing a Personalized Treatment Plan

A. Discussing the results of diagnostic tests and their implications

B. Creating a treatment plan tailored to individual needs and goals
1. Dietary and lifestyle changes
2. Herbal medicine and supplements
3. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), if appropriate
4. Stress management techniques
5. Other complementary therapies, as needed
C. Setting realistic expectations for treatment outcomes and timelines

A. Discussing the results of diagnostic tests and their implications
Once your naturopathic doctor has a solid understanding of your hormone levels and any imbalances, they’ll sit down with you to talk about what it all means. They’ll explain the results of your tests, what they’ve discovered about your hormonal health, and how it might be impacting your overall well-being. This is a great opportunity for you to ask any questions and make sure you fully understand what’s going on with your body.

B. Creating a treatment plan tailored to individual needs and goals
Now comes the exciting part—working together with your doctor to create a personalized treatment plan that’s all about helping you feel your best. Your plan might include a combination of the following:
Dietary and lifestyle changes: Your doctor might recommend tweaks to your diet, exercise routine, and sleep habits to help improve your hormonal health.
Herbal medicine and supplements: Some herbs and supplements can be really helpful for balancing hormones. Your doctor will suggest the ones that are best for your specific needs.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), if appropriate: If your doctor thinks BHRT is a good option for you, they’ll discuss the details and make sure you’re comfortable with the idea.
Stress management techniques: Since stress can wreak havoc on your hormones, your doctor might suggest relaxation exercises, mindfulness practices, or other stress-reduction strategies.
Other complementary therapies, as needed: Your doctor may also recommend other treatments like acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic care to support your overall health and well-being.

C. Setting realistic expectations for treatment outcomes and timelines
Lastly, your naturopathic doctor will help you set realistic expectations for your treatment outcomes and how long it might take to see results. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different, and it can take some time for your hormones to rebalance and for you to start feeling better. Your doctor will work with you to monitor your progress, make adjustments to your treatment plan as needed, and celebrate your successes along the way. Just remember to be patient and stay committed to your health journey—you’ve got this!

VII. Ongoing Support and Monitoring

A. Scheduling follow-up appointments to track progress and adjust treatment
B. Communication and collaboration with other healthcare providers, if necessary
C. Providing guidance and support for implementing and maintaining lifestyle changes

A. Scheduling follow-up appointments to track progress and adjust treatment
As you embark on your journey towards better hormonal health, your naturopathic doctor will be there to support you every step of the way. They’ll schedule regular follow-up appointments to check in on your progress, see how you’re feeling, and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. Remember, healing takes time, and it’s essential to be patient and trust the process. These follow-up appointments are a great opportunity to discuss any concerns, celebrate your victories, and ensure you’re on the right track to achieving your health goals.

B. Communication and collaboration with other healthcare providers, if necessary
If you’re working with other healthcare providers, like your family doctor or a specialist, your naturopathic doctor will make sure to stay in the loop. They’ll communicate and collaborate with your other healthcare team members to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together to support your well-being. This can be especially important if you’re dealing with multiple health issues or taking medications that could interact with your hormone treatments. By keeping the lines of communication open, your healthcare team can create a seamless, integrated approach to your care.

C. Providing guidance and support for implementing and maintaining lifestyle changes
Let’s face it—making lifestyle changes can be tough, especially when it comes to things like diet, exercise, and stress management. But don’t worry, your naturopathic doctor is here to help! They’ll provide guidance, support, and encouragement as you work to implement and maintain the changes that are part of your personalized treatment plan. They might offer tips and tricks for sticking to a healthy diet, finding an exercise routine you enjoy, or managing stress more effectively. And if you ever hit a roadblock or feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor for advice and support. They’re in your corner and committed to helping you succeed on your journey to better hormonal health.

VIII. Conclusion

A. Emphasizing the importance of addressing hormonal imbalances for overall well-being
B. Encouraging open communication and active involvement in the treatment process
C. Wishing readers a successful first visit with their naturopathic hormone doctor in Toronto

A. Emphasizing the importance of addressing hormonal imbalances for overall well-being
As we wrap up our guide, let’s take a moment to remember just how important it is to address hormonal imbalances for your overall well-being. Your hormones play a crucial role in regulating so many aspects of your body and mind, from your energy levels and mood to your weight and reproductive health. By working with a naturopathic hormone doctor and taking a holistic approach to your care, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of achieving optimal hormonal health and enjoying a happier, healthier life.

B. Encouraging open communication and active involvement in the treatment process
Throughout this process, remember that open communication and active involvement in your treatment plan are key to your success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, voice your concerns, and share your thoughts with your naturopathic doctor. By working together as a team, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges and celebrate the victories that come with balancing your hormones. And always keep in mind that you are your own best advocate when it comes to your health and well-being.

C. Wishing readers a successful first visit with their naturopathic hormone doctor in Toronto
As you prepare for your first visit with your hormone focused naturopathic doctor in Toronto, we hope this guide has been helpful and informative. Remember to do your research, gather your medical records, and come prepared with questions and concerns. By taking an active role in your hormonal health journey, you’re setting yourself up for success. We wish you the very best as you embark on this exciting new chapter of your life, and we hope that you find the support, guidance, and healing you deserve. Here’s to a happier, healthier you!

If you’re ready to speak to one of our amazing Naturopathic doctors about hormone health, you can book a free consultation by clicking here.



  1. College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO): The official regulatory body for naturopathic doctors in Ontario. You can use their “Find an ND” feature to search for a licensed naturopathic doctor in Toronto.
  2. Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND): A national organization representing naturopathic doctors in Canada. Their website provides information about naturopathic medicine and how to find a naturopathic doctor.
  3. The North American Menopause Society (NAMS): A professional organization that provides information on menopause, perimenopause, early menopause, menopause symptoms, and long-term health effects of estrogen loss, and a wide variety of therapies to enhance health.
  4. Women’s Health Matters: An online health resource for women in Canada, providing reliable, evidence-based health information. Their website includes information on various hormonal health topics, including menopause, thyroid health, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  5. Hormone Health Network: An online resource that offers information about hormones, hormone-related diseases, and hormone therapy. This can be a helpful resource for understanding different hormones and their functions in the body.

Spring Detox

Spring Detox 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Cleansing Your System! Spring is a season of rejuvenation and renewal. The days are getting longer, the flowers are blooming, and the air is crisp and fresh. It’s the perfect time to clear the cobwebs, cleanse body and mind, and start fresh for the new season.

As Naturopathic doctors we believe that supporting your body’s detox and repair processes is one of the foundations for building higher health.

You see, toxins, inflammation and associated deficiencies can be a root cause of many health problems; which is why supporting your body’s detoxifying pathways is an excellent way to improve your health and well-being. By removing toxins from your body and repairing cellular processes, you can reduce your risk of disease, improve your energy levels, and even lose unwanted weight.

At our Naturopathic clinic, we emphasize the use of natural, non-invasive methods to support the body’s natural detoxification processes.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some natural ways to detoxify your body that you can do at home and one of our favorites that you can do at Higher Health.

Why Detoxify Your Body?

Happy and Detoxed

Your body is constantly exposed to toxins, whether from the air you breathe, the food you eat, or the products you use. For many people that will also include the foods they eat (which would be whole article on its own. So, we won’t be diving into that here.)

Simply living in the GTA amidst the busy main streets and nearby highways will greatly increase your toxic load. There are many papers that have been published about the increased risk of health issues the closer you live to busy roadways.

That being said, we all cannot just pick up and move to Northern Ontario, so it’s important to know how to help your body reduce its toxic load.

Toxins can build up in your body over time and lead to a wide range of health problems, resultant inflammation, blocked detox pathways, and nutrient depletion. Some common symptoms of toxin buildup include fatigue, brain fog, headaches, skin problems, digestive issues, and unwanted weight.

By detoxifying your body, you can remove these toxins, reduce inflammation, repair and restore function, and improve your overall health and well-being.

When it comes to unwanted weight, toxins can disrupt your body’s natural processes, including your metabolism.

By removing toxins from your body, you can help your metabolism function more efficiently, which can help lead to weight loss.

What Are Some Natural Ways to Detoxify Your Body

As Naturopathic doctors, we have many ways to help you detox your system. Here are a few examples you can do at home. They may seem simple, but they are powerful and you can start doing them right away.

A little further down, we’ll get into one of our naturopathic clinic’s preferred treatments.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest and most effective and simplest ways to flush toxins out of your body.  It also helps keep your body hydrated. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and more if you’re exercising or doing any type of sauna routine.   Quality of water matters, and that is a separate conversation…

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is another essential part of detoxifying your body, and it is underappreciated!  Focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains (avoiding refined), and lean protein. These foods provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, and they also help support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is another important part of detoxifying your body. Exercise helps improve circulation, which can help flush toxins out of your body. It also helps support your body’s natural detoxification processes by improving the function of your liver and kidneys.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can also help detoxify your body. Stress can lead to the buildup of toxins in your body, so finding ways to manage your stress is important for detoxification. Try practicing yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to help reduce your stress levels.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is another essential part of detoxifying your body. Your body does most of its detoxification while you’re asleep, so getting enough sleep is important for this process. Aim to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Lemon Water

Lemon Water Detox

Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is a great way to stimulate organ systems like your liver to preform it’s natural detoxifying processes. Lemons are rich in antioxidants, which can help remove toxins from your body (I don’t think this is accurate…) They also help alkalize your body, which can help improve digestion and boost your immune system. Squeeze half a lemon into a glass of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning.

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is a technique that involves brushing your skin with a dry brush. This can help stimulate your lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing toxins from your body. Use a natural bristle brush and brush your skin in circular motions, starting at your feet and working your way up. Do this for five to ten minutes before taking a shower.

Epsom Salt Bath

Taking an Epsom salt bath is another natural way to detoxify your body in the spring. It is rich in magnesium and helps to draw out toxins from your body while also improving your sleep, reducing stress, and supporting your digestion. Add two cups of Epsom salt to your bath and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

At Higher Health we use Ancient Mineral magnesium salts (magnesium chloride) because they are naturally-occurring trace minerals that deliver the fastest, most potent therapeutic benefits. It contains essential elements that no longer exist in ocean water today, and is totally free of any toxic contaminant.

Now we’re going to dive into an actual therapy to help you detoxify your body.

IV Drip bag

Our naturopathic clinic has been offering IV Vitamin Therapy for 13 years. Our naturopathic doctors have literally administered thousands of IV Drips.

While IV Therapy is great for many health benefits, it can also be great as part of a detox protocol.

IV (intravenous) vitamin therapy can help support detoxification in several ways:

  1. Increased hydration: IV vitamin therapy delivers fluids directly into the bloodstream, which can help support hydration and aid in the elimination of toxins and waste products from the body.
  2. Boosted immune system: Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and zinc can help boost immune function and promote the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  3. Antioxidant support: IV vitamin therapy can provide high doses of antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione, which can help protect against cellular damage and support the liver’s detoxification processes.
  4. Improved liver function: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium, and amino acids, which can support liver function and aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.
  5. Reduced inflammation: Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium can help reduce inflammation, which can support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  6. Improved digestion: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as vitamin B12 and magnesium, which can help support digestion and aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.
  7. Reduced oxidative stress: Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and glutathione can help reduce oxidative stress and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  8. Better sleep: Certain vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and vitamin B6 can help support the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin, which can help improve sleep quality.
  9. Hormonal balance: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as vitamin B6 and magnesium, which act as cofactors for hormone production.
  10. Reduced inflammation: IV vitamin therapy can provide nutrients such as bicarbonate, vitamin C and magnesium, which can help reduce inflammation and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Supporting the body’s natural detoxification process is essential for optimal health and wellbeing. With our range of natural therapies, including IV vitamin therapy, we can help support your body’s natural detoxification processes and help you achieve your health goals.

Why Detox in Spring?

Spring is a good time to consider detoxifying your body for several reasons:

Fresh Start

Spring is a season of renewal and fresh starts. Detoxifying your body in the spring can help you start the new season off on the right foot and give you a fresh start for the rest of the year.

Increased Activity

As the weather warms up, you may find yourself more active and spending more time outdoors. Regular exercise is an important part of detoxifying your body, so taking advantage of the warmer weather can help support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Less Comfort Food

During the winter months, many people tend to indulge in comfort food and may not make the healthiest food choices. Spring is a good time to break this cycle and start eating a healthier, nutrient-dense diet.

Our team of naturopathic doctors are dedicated to helping you feel your best, and we are here to answer any questions you may have about detoxification and health in general.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards a healthier you. We look forward to working with you!





Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a frustrating, often lonely condition that can leave people with little to no hope of having a ‘normal’ life again.
Often, people with chronic pain are told that their treatment options are limited, and that they may never live pain free again. It can be hard to stay positive when no hope is given.

As a naturopathic doctor with a focus on chronic pain, I’m here to tell you there is hope and I’m going to share the same tips I give my clients.
Tips you can do at home, without making massive changes to your lifestyle.

These tips are focused on helping to reduce pain, making the unbearable, bearable again, so you can do things like your shopping, go for a walk, even sit without being constantly reminded of the pain.

My goal is to share these with the hope it can offer relief from the pain and frustration and improve your quality of life.

In this article I’m going to share:

  • How chronic pain is defined
  • What causes chronic pain
  • Treatment goals for chronic pain
  • Natural treatments that have shown to reduce pain
  • The top 5 things you can do now to help with chronic pain

Disclaimer: The information shared in this post is for informational use only. It does not substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or any other information.

Chronic pain is caused by a variety of reasons and health conditions, so it is important that you seek medical care prior to implementing any recommendations. Some of these treatments may or may not be suitable for you, which is why we must individualize your treatment plan and ensure it is safe and effective for you.
If you wish to discuss how a naturopathic doctor can help with chronic pain, you can book a free call with Dr. Madeleine by clicking here.

How Is Chronic Pain Defined?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that remains constant or comes and goes for a time period of 3 months or greater. This can be experienced anywhere in the body, and often interferes with activities of daily living. Pain is subjective, meaning only the individual experiencing it can describe what it feels like.

Chronic pain is often difficult to diagnose, and typically requires a team of healthcare providers for both diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

When we ask patients to describe what their pain feels like, common words we hear are: aching, shooting, burning, stiff, throbbing, squeezing, and more.

What causes chronic pain?

A variety of conditions can cause chronic pain. Some examples include:

• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Osteoarthritis
• Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Headaches/Migraines
• Post-Traumatic Pain (due to physical, mental, emotional trauma)
• Cancer
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Endometriosis
• Interstitial Cystitis
• Vulvodynia
• Lupus
• Multiple Sclerosis
*Note: This is not an exhaustive list of conditions that can cause chronic pain.

Goals of treatment for chronic pain:

• Improvement of symptoms, daily functioning, and quality of life
• Working proactively to prevent any worsening of symptoms
• Providing emotional support throughout the journey
• Prevention of new associated symptoms that can arise

The Top 5 Things You Can Do Now To Help Relieve Pain!

1. Increase anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.

In many cases, chronic pain can be caused by high levels of systemic inflammation. This means that trying your best to increase anti-inflammatory foods and decrease inflammatory foods in your diet is very important.

Anti-inflammatory foods to INCREASE:

• Fatty fish (meaning high in omega-3s) including salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout
• Raw olive oil
• Nuts/seeds (walnuts, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds)
• Leafy green vegetables (spinach, Swiss chard, bok choy, broccoli, collard greens)
• Berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries)
• Spices and herbs (turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic)
Inflammatory foods to AVOID:
• Artificial sugars (soft drinks, fruit juices with added sugars)
• Refined grains (white bread, pasta, cereals, pastries)
• Fried foods
• Processed meats (bacon, lunch meats, cured meats)
• Alcohol

It can be hard to know what to cook or eat when dealing with chronic pain. Cooking can take a lot of time and exhaust you even further.
When working with Dr. Madeleine, she will create a customized nutrition plan for you, that is both manageable and sustainable for you and your needs.

2. Optimize your sleep by practicing sleep hygiene techniques.

The relationship between sleep and chronic pain is a complicated one. This is because chronic pain often causes sleep issues, while a lack of sleep leads to worsening of pain.

Studies have shown that a lack of sufficient sleep and poor sleep quality are risk factors for developing chronic pain. Why? Several mechanisms have been considered, one being the effects of sleep deprivation on the opioid system (our pain regulation system). It has been shown that sleep disruption impairs our body’s ability to turn off pain signals.

Where can we get started?

Sleep hygiene, a fancy way of saying healthy sleep habits, is very important to ensure our bodies are resting and recovering over night. Research has shown that daily pain intensity is correlated to the quality and duration of sleep from the night before.
It is so important to ensure you are getting a good night’s rest, and as Naturopathic Doctors, there is a lot we can do to help you optimize sleep. Try starting with this.

Sleep hygiene techniques:

• Set up a sleep routine: consistent bedtime and wake time every day of the week, consistent length of naps if needed
• Create a comfortable sleep environment: a dark and quiet room with a pleasant temperature, mattress and pillow that are comfortable for you
• Calming habits before bed: reading a book, listening to relaxing music, practicing yoga/meditation, taking a warm bath, journaling, etc.
• Use bedroom for sleep and intimacy only. Ideally, your office and social spaces should be separate from your bedroom.
• Avoid before bed: caffeine, alcohol, large meals, simulating activities (watching TV, using your phone/computer, all of which use blue-light which negatively impacts our sleep)

3. Manage your stress levels as best as you can.

Stress has a profound effect on chronic pain, and high levels of persistent stress have been associated with worsening of pain levels. This is in part due to our stress hormone, cortisol, that when released for prolonged periods causes inflammation and heightens our stress response – the opposite of what we want it to do. We want it to regulate our stress response in a balanced way. When our bodies go through this chronic stress response, the pain we experience is significantly worsened.

Managing your stress can be tricky, as experiencing chronic pain often significantly adds to stress levels. It makes sense. When we’re not feeling great, we typically experience some worry and stress around it. On top of that, things that we can’t control come our way and can add an extra layer of overwhelm.
Be patient with yourself and try to start somewhere.

The best place to start is with your BREATH. Here is a simple breathing technique that can help calm your nervous system and allow you to reset your thought patterns.
4-7-8 Breathing:
Breathe in for 4 counts, hold the breath in for 7 counts, and exhale the breath for 8 counts. Do this around 3-5 times.
This technique can significantly reduce symptoms of acute stress and anxiety.

4. Try to get your body moving every day.
Physical movement with chronic pain is so important, as it maintains the body’s mobility and range of motion, and can help to prevent worsening of symptoms.
With chronic pain, there is a tendency to avoid and be skeptical of physical movement. However, keeping the body moving helps to prevent pain levels being worsened by immobility and stiffness.

It can be challenging to get up and moving depending on the severity of your pain. If you need some relief prior to getting moving, using a heat application can really help. Applying heat to the locations of chronic pain increases blood flow to those areas and relaxes the musculature. This can help reduce pain and stiffness acutely to help you get up and moving.

When we say physical movement, we don’t necessarily mean vigorous exercise. We mean generally getting your body moving, if possible. That being said, if it hurts too much to move right now, don’t worry about this tip. We can work together to get you there.

It is important that your physical activity needs are properly assessed prior to implementing any major changes. As Naturopathic Doctors, we can help determine what type of physical movement is best for you and your needs.

Examples of physical movement for chronic pain:
• Short, regular walks
• Avoid sitting for extended periods of time and try to move every 30-60 minutes
• Gentle stretching, yoga, and/or Pilates
• Swimming or water aerobics, to allow for movement that doesn’t impact joints
• Light weight lifting

5. Anti-inflammatory supplementation, nutrients and/or herbs.

Supplements, nutrients, and herbs that have shown effectiveness for chronic pain include omega-3 fish oil, natural eggshell membrane (NEM), palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), magnesium, vitamin C, curcumin, boswellia… and the list goes on!

There are a couple of basic mechanisms that can explain how these products help with chronic pain. In many cases, pain is caused by systemic inflammation, and some of these supplements and/or herbs are known to be strong natural anti-inflammatories. Additionally, a couple of these supplements relieve joint pain and stiffness by adding lubrication to the joint capsule… kind of like adding oil to a stiff door hinge!

We recommend that you work with a Naturopathic Doctor to determine which products are best suited for you, in terms of safety and effectiveness. Depending on your case, some supplements and/or herbs may be better suited for you than others. That’s where we come in with our clinical experience and decide what will help you the most.

Chronic pain can be a challenging thing to live with. Thankfully, there are ways we can help you manage the severity, and our hope is to help improve your quality of life.

The 5 tips above are ways you can get started today. If you are looking for more individualized care with a treatment plan that is customized to your specific needs, book a free 15-minute consultation with Dr. Madeleine, one of our Naturopathic Doctors. She is passionate about helping individuals with chronic pain feel relief and hope for their futures.

Click here to book a free consultation with Dr. Madeleine.

FAQ about Chronic Pain:

What is better for chronic pain relief, hot or cold applications?
With pain that is chronic in nature, we see relief with hot applications as they improve circulation by increasing blood flow to the pain site. Hot applications also relax the local muscles and reduce joint stiffness. In terms of cold applications, they are typically recommended for pain or injuries that are acute in nature. This is because acute injuries involve high levels of local inflammation, and cold applications help reduce that inflammation quickly.

Does cold and/or damp weather worsen chronic pain?
We typically notice that cold and/or damp weather leads to worsening of symptoms with chronic pain. This is usually the case for arthritic and inflammatory causes of pain. Cold damp weather causes muscle and joint stiffness which can significantly worsen pain. Keeping your body moving to prevent stiffness is one of the best ways to ease this weather-related pain.

Do vitamin B12 injections help with chronic pain?
There is research to support that vitamin B12 injections are beneficial for neuropathic pain specifically, especially in individuals who are deficient in the vitamin. Vitamin B12 supports nerve repair and has shown to inhibit some pain-signalling pathways. We can test your vitamin B12 through blood work to assess if you have adequate levels, and this will help determine if an injection or supplementation is needed.

What are the most commonly prescribed medications for chronic pain and what are the downsides of taking them?

The medications we commonly see prescribed to patients are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and opioids including oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin).

Long-term use of NSAIDs has been associated with gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeds, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, liver and kidney injury, and more. Opioids are stronger pain medications and are highly addictive. Over time, our bodies get used to taking opioids, causing us to need more and more to get the same relief. High doses can cause serious side effects, which is why they are typically prescribed as a last resort compared to other pain medications.

As Naturopathic Doctors, we use an integrative approach where we work alongside the pharmaceutical medications our patients are taking, while ensuring they are aware of the benefits and risks. We work with our patients to determine what their wants and needs are for pain relief and create a realistic plan unique to them.


Immune System

Immune System

As a naturopathic doctor I believe having a healthy immune system is one of the most important factors when it comes to overall wellness.

It’s hard to improve your health and move it forward when you’re constantly run down, sick, or taking a long time to recover from the latest cold or flu.

I would say, before you can have more energy, better sleep, better skin, weight loss,  better mood…all the things people want when they come to see me…

You really need to focus on having a healthy immune system.

Immune health is the foundation for living in vibrant health – or as I like to say, “HIGHER HEALTH”.

Since we are in the cold/flu season, proactive immune support should be a top priority, and I want to help you do just that with my top tips for a strong and healthy immune system.

Those of you who follow me, you know I am big believer in IV drip therapy for immune health. For this article, I want to share tips you can do at home.
I can almost guarantee there will be a few you didn’t realize were as important as they are.

The good news is you can easily add these to your life right away without making huge lifestyle changes.

Quick disclaimer. The info I am about to share is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions or any other information.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s dive in!


Vitamin D
vitamin d

Between 70% and 97% of Canadians demonstrate vitamin D insufficiency.

Which is why I’m going to start with Vitamin D . – Having optimal Vitamin D levels are very important for maintaining a healthy immune system.

When our Vitamin D levels get too low, you can experience a decreased resistance to viruses, think cold and flu; meaning it’s easier to catch whatever is going around!

With typical viral infections, there are two phases… an inflammatory and an anti-inflammatory phase.  The inflammatory phase fights and clears the infection. This inflammatory phase is a good thing.

That’s where Vitamin D comes in.  Vitamin D helps to initiate the anti-inflammatory phase, where the healing begins.

If your Vitamin D is too low, it can become more difficult to move to the anti-inflammatory phase, and you can stay stuck in the inflammatory phase and symptoms persist.

Which means your colds will linger and it will take you longer to recover.

Vitamin D can also help fight inflammation…which we’re going to touch on a few times as it’s a huge factor for your immune health and overall wellness.

Anytime I run bloodwork, I will strongly recommend including Vitamin D – regardless of summer months, or even when someone is already taking it as a supplement.

Because, I’ve found many people to be unexpectedly low.

Living in the northern hemisphere, we are much less exposed to sun rays that help our bodies naturally produce Vitamin D.

When we are in the sun for those 2 glorious Canadian summer months, we are often wearing sunscreen, which does protect our skin from burns and accelerated aging, but also blocks the sun rays we need to convert to vitamin D.

When you cannot get your Vitamin D from the sun, here is how to make sure you are reaching your optimal levels.

The best way to get your vitamin D through supplemental form is in a healthy fat, which usually comes in drop or gel form.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, meaning it absorbs better into fat.

Drops or gel forms are emulsified, meaning they are broken down into tiny little fat molecules, making it much easier to absorb the fat molecules that contain the D.

Always ensure taking your Vitamin D with a healthy fat to aid further in the absorption – such as avocado, olive oil, fish oil, eggs, nuts, etc.. for a longer list feel free to reach out.


Glutathione scienc eimage
Now we’re going to briefly touch on oxidants. This is a huge subject and I’m going to focus on one very important piece for immune health.

Oxidants are everywhere – from walking down the street and breathing in car exhaust, eating certain foods, using house hold cleaning products, and even healthy activities like exercise, create oxidative stress. And guess what… viral infection causes massive oxidative stress on your body.

Too much oxidative stress can impair your immune health (and create further inflammation).

The answer is to give your body antioxidants, which you have probably heard about, but you might not have understood the role of antioxidants specific to immune health.

You want antioxidants in your system to neutralize oxidants BEFORE they can cause cellular damage and lead to inflammation.

Just follow a perfectly healthy diet and you’ll get all the Antioxidants you need, right?

Unfortunately in today’s world that is much easier said than done, so you need to consider supplementing.

My favourite antioxidant, is Glutathione – it’s arguably your body’s most powerful antioxidant which helps support healthy lungs, detoxification, liver function, and fight inflammation.

Glutathione is found naturally in your body and is actually produced by your liver and nerve cells.  It is made from three amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.

To help your natural glutathione production you need to up your antioxidant glutathione supportive foods.

  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, watercress and mustard greens.
  • Allium vegetables, including garlic, shallots and onions, also boost glutathione levels.

There are also Glutathione supplements that you can take.

They come on many forms and each one has its own benefit. Whether you take an oral, suppository, nebulized form, or by IV Therapy, make sure you are getting it from a reputable source.


Melatonin and your health


Melatonin has been known for helping people sleep as well as helping with anxiety support.

It is also key for immune health because of its powerful antioxidant benefits, particularly when fighting viral infections.

It is very good for lung health and reducing fibrosis or scarring – which is a negative consequence with significant viral infections that can affect breathing and oxygen status.

Here are 2 ways you can start increasing your melatonin levels.

Up your melatonin with light exposure first thing in the morning. Rain or shine!

You see, it’s actually your exposure to light in the morning that builds your storage of melatonin to then be released later at night.

It’s like you’re filling your gas tank in the morning so that you can drive your car later in the evening without issues.

You can also add a melatonin supplement to your nightly routines.

When choosing a melatonin supplement, I like liquid melatonin – because it absorbs right under your tongue (making a lower dose effective).

It’s very important to pay attention to dosing – everyone has their sweet spot…  too much and you will feel groggy the next day, not enough and you’ll be wondering what you spent your money on!

If it is in your budget I would suggest finding out where your melatonin levels are at.

There are some advanced tests that look at melatonin levels, and one of my favorites is the DUTCH.

If it’s not in your budget, then we need to find out what dose is best for you. Depending on what we find out during the intake process, I will usually start with 1-3mg, and then build from there.

Some people respond best to a low dose, others to 5mg, and others to 10-20mg.

You can also get an extended-release melatonin, which means it slowly releases in your system so that you can “stay asleep” (or fall back to sleep easier if you are woken by external causes).

One last thing on melatonin. I want to Circle back to melatonin for sleep and anxiety.

Your general immunity can be impaired by anxiety and sleep deprivation, so it makes sense to ensure your melatonin levels are optimal and your sleep wake cycles are in rhythm.

Melatonin really helps with this.

As we get older our bodies produce less Melatonin, so it’s something to strongly consider supplementing with as you age.


Stop the sugar

SUGAR AND Your Immune Health

I love my sweets and I wish there was another way to tell you this, but sugar does not help you have a healthy immune system in any way, shape, or form.

In my practice, high-sugar diets are probably the biggest driver of chronic inflammation which impacts immune health.

I’m going to share some of the why its bad for your health, and then some tips to help you move away from the cravings.

How does sugar drive inflammation:

  • By causing high blood sugar leading to a proinflammatory state.
  • By feeding proinflammatory gut bacteria which leads to leaky gut and decreases nutrient absorption.
  • By increasing fat production in the liver and creating inflammatory metabolites.
  • By raising insulin levels and decreasing the production of anti-inflammatory ketones.
  • By driving weight gain and obesity leading to to more inflammation.

Remember – Sugar calories are empty calories.

When you overeat (or overdrink) them, your body tries to get more in search of missing nutrients… but it never fills the void of missing nutrient.

The excess sugar gets stored as fat… and you contribute further to the endless inflammatory loop.

It is a very vicious cycle.

Do right away/start today:   To get the sugar monkey off your back, focus on healthy fats and proteins first.

Plan your meals to ensure good fats and proteins are part of every meal! This can help reduce sugar cravings.

And make your first bite of food in each meal the protein/fat option, which will slow the release of blood sugar into your blood stream.

This helps to create a more balanced insulin/blood sugar response, keeping you satiated for longer and minimizing excess sugar/glucose consumption.


Eat more protein
protein image


This is a good follow up to sugar, because not only will more protein help curb sugar cravings, it will also help your immune health.

Protein plays an important role in powering specific immune cells called T cells, which identify and attack viral invaders in your bloodstream causing infection.

A diet low in protein leaves you open to fatigue, weakness, and a low immune response.

Getting your protein from food is better than taking supplements and powders.

If you cannot get enough through food then look for a high-quality, bio available protein powder from a reputable company.


Immune System water

More water can mean better immune health.

So many of us walk around highly caffeinated and under hydrated.

Just as your lawn needs water to grow, your car needs gas to run, your immune system needs proper hydration to function optimally.

When you’re not properly hydrated, eliminating toxins and waste materials become a difficult task and eventually will contribute to wearing down your immune system.

Not only that, not staying hydrated diminishes energy levels and immune function over time.

If you are drinking less than 2L of water per day, it’s really important to figure out strategies to improve your hydration for improved immune health.

You can set a timer to remind you to get stand up and take a drink of water very hour. Sounds silly? Not at all. It works!

There are some people who just don’t like the taste of plain water. I would recommend adding some healthy flavors to it.

I always have chlorophyll in my water. It gives it a minty taste and has some antioxidant properties to it.

What ever you need to add to get more hydration into your body…make sure it does not have any sugar!


Stress and your Immune System
Immune System stress

Constant Stress Can Weaken Your Immune System.
Stress stress stress! There is no arguing, we live in stressful times.

I wish more emphasis on stress management was part of everyone’s health practice.

I’m talking about stress from work, family, and simple things like traffic, watching the  news.. this is the type of stress that is constantly spiking your cortisol and stress metabolites (catecholamines).

Chronic stress eventually exhausts your cortisol release, which then drives up inflammation and will lead to a weakened immune system.  *Note: cortisol is your natural anti-inflammatory hormone.  When you exhaust your stores, you are less able to manage inflammation.

When you are going through stressful times… double down on anti-inflammatory support such as antioxidant foods, supplementation, make sure you are hydrated, avoid sugar,  increase protein; and all the things we have covered so far.

When feeling stressed, or you knowing you’re about to enter a stressful situation, you want to shift from being in a…

Stress mode = Sympathetic fight flight mode.

To a rest mode = Parasympathetic mode.

The following simple exercise can help put you into a parasympathetic mode, calming your cortisol release, and lowering inflammatory processes.

Navy Seals are taught this to help them in stressful situations. It’s called BOX BREATHING and has been shown to lower stress and help you re-center.

 It’s really simple!

Step 1: Breathe in through your nose counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs as you visualize trace one side of an imaginary box or a door frame.

Step 2: Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Try to avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds, as you visualize tracing the second side of the box or door frame.

Step 3: Slowly exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds, as you visualize tracing the 3rd side of the box or door frame.

Step 4: Hold your breath for 4 seconds as you visualize tracing the 4th side of the box or door frame.

***Repeat steps 1 to 4 until you feel your stress going down.

You can do this multiple times a day and just about anywhere. I often find myself doing this when in traffic!

#8 (bonus!)
I know, I said 7, but I cannot talk about immune health and leave out IV Drip Therapy.

Some of the benefits this IV Drip can give you:

  • Supports your immune system with high doses of targeted nutrients
  • Reduces inflammation which helps decrease tissue damage associated with infections
  • Provides your system with antimicrobial and antiviral help to your system stay strong

There you have 7+ 1 tips and hopefully took away at least 1 that you can start using today to help improve your immune health.

There is so much more to having a strong immune system, from GI health to hormones and more, and each person has their own unique needs.

If you want to discuss how we can help you reach your best health or help you with a specific condition, you can book a free discovery call.



Mistletoe Therapy

Mistletoe Therapy

Mistletoe therapy has been used in cancer care since 1917 and is now among the most prescribed adjunctive cancer therapy in Europe for patients with cancer.
Mistletoe therapy can improve quality of life by lessening side effects such as fatigue, nausea/vomiting, low appetite, low energy, and pain associated with cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and/or radiation while simultaneously protecting healthy cells from damage. It has also been shown to improve overall survival in cancer patients.

How Does It Work?

Mistletoe extract contains lectins and viscotoxins that stimulates key cancer fighting immune cells such as NK cells and cytotoxic T-cells to improve our bodies defense against cancer. Cell studies have showed the ability of mistletoe extracts to directly target cancer cells through apoptosis which helps to supress tumor growth and spread.

Mistletoe extracts also contain flavonoids and triterpenoids which protect healthy cells from damage caused by excess radiation/drugs through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.

Is There Scientific Research To Support Mistletoe Therapy For Cancer?

Studies on the use of mistletoe therapy in cancer are ongoing, such as at Johns Hopkins Medicine in the USA. There are also more than 3000 publications and 150 clinical studies have been done on mistletoe thus far.

A summary of current findings:

  • Improvement in quality of life (reduces fatigue and pain; improves energy, mood, and sleep quality)
  • Improvement in overall survival
  • Safe to use alongside conventional therapies studied
  • Strong immunomodulatory effects (increases immune function, decreases tumor growth)

Breast cancer: In patients with breast cancer undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, mistletoe extract had no adverse interactions alongside chemotherapy and improved overall pain, appetite loss and neutropenia (decreased white blood cell count) as well as perceived quality of life.

As compared to breast cancer patients who received standard of care only, the administration of mistletoe was found to decrease adverse reactions (nausea, diarrhea, depression, fatigue, and mental symptoms) associated with standard of care cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy.

Pancreatic cancer: In patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer who received no further treatment for pancreatic cancer other than supportive care, administration of mistletoe extract was associated with improved pain, fatigue, appetite loss, sleep quality, body weight, and prolonged overall survival. No mistletoe-related adverse events were observed.

Colorectal and stomach cancer: In patients with carcinoma of the colon, rectum and stomach, long term use of mistletoe extract was found to prolong survival time.
Lung cancer: In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were provided with standard of care conventional treatments, quality of life was significantly improved for patients who were treated with concurrent mistletoe extract treatment.
In addition, the occurrence of adverse events associated with standard of care treatments were less frequent in the mistletoe treatment group.

How Is It Administered?
You can find many different ways to give mistletoe extracts, but it is most often given as an injection. Less common methods include orally or through an IV Therapy drip.
Mistletoe is most often injected under the skin (subcutaneously) on the abdomen or thigh 2-3 times a week, starting from a low dose and working up towards higher doses to continually stimulate immunity and provide quality of life benefits. Mistletoe therapy is a long-term treatment.

After careful screening of patient history and current health status, we will determine the type of mistletoe therapy best suited for you.
We will then familiarize you with the treatment, demonstrate how to self-administer mistletoe, and provide you will all the supplies needed to continue the therapy independently at home.

Is It Safe?
Mistletoe therapy has an excellent safety profile. It can be safely used during chemotherapy and/or radiation to enhance treatment outcomes and increase treatment tolerability.

It can also be used after curative treatment, or in palliative therapy to improve quality of life, stabilize disease, and reduce progression or recurrence. In general, mistletoe therapy is well tolerated in adults and has little side effects or negative interactions with other therapies.
Mistletoe therapy is not recommended for individuals with multiple sclerosis, lupus or uncontrolled hyperthyroidism with tachycardia due to its immune stimulating effects and potential for aggravating symptoms.

Does It Have Any Side Effects?
There are desired local reactions to mistletoe therapy that is caused by infiltration of activated immune cells. This reaction indicates to the practitioner that it is positively stimulating anti-cancer immunity and can help to determine the maximum dose for the patient at a given time. Desired effects:

  • Temporary localized redness < 5 cm in diameter and minor swelling and itching of the skin
  • Temporary elevation in body temperature
  • Improvement in general condition
  • Improved tolerability of chemotherapy and/or radiation
  • Long term: stabilization of disease progression

An anaphylactic allergic reaction to mistletoe extract is rare. It is important to let your health practitioner know of any pre-existing allergies before initiating mistletoe therapy.

How Much Does It Cost?
$20-25 per treatment (2-3 treatments per week) per injection. If you were to use IV Therapy for mistletoe therapy, prices can range from $125 and up.
There are also oral supplements with mistletoe extract on the market. These range in quality and it would be suggested to talk to a professional about the brand before ordering online.

How Do I Start Therapy?

If you want to take full advantage of mistletoe therapy, make sure that it’s part of your overall health plan. This means you could also add IV therapy and would want to look at the foods you are eating.

Before initiating mistletoe therapy, an initial consultation is required for a comprehensive assessment of your health history and current health status. This consultation will also help to determine the type of mistletoe extract and treatment plan best suited for you.

Following the initial visit, a shorter consultation is required to familiarize you with the treatment, demonstrate how to self-administer mistletoe, and provide you will all the supplies needed to continue the therapy independently at home.

Follow-up visits are scheduled to monitor tolerance and response to treatment as well as if there are any changes to your conventional treatment which may require modification of mistletoe therapy.

Naturopathic medicine is a great option for those who are looking to supplement their conventional cancer treatment with something that will help them feel better, not just during the process of fighting it but also after surgery or chemotherapy.

If you want to find out more about mistletoe therapy, you can book a free 15 minute call with Dr. Irina Chan, ND by clicking here.


Does Facial Acupuncture Really Work Without Side Effects Of Botox, Laser, And Chemical Peels?

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of acupuncture or maybe even tried it in the past. Have you ever thought about facial acupuncture for wrinkles and rejuvenating your skin without the serious side effects of Botox, laser treatment, and chemical peels?

If you haven’t yet, then this article will tell you everything you need to know about how facial acupuncture can help you look and feel younger.

As you age, your body’s ability to produce collagen decreases which contributes to visible signs of aging: wrinkles, dry skin, dull complexion, and sagging skin. All things we would rather live without!

There are many lotions, creams and expensive serums people use to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. While some work better than others, the results are temporary.

Looking for a more long-lasting solution, some people turn to more invasive procedures that come with an elevated risk of side effects. With some being quite serious.

Some of these facial treatments include:

  • Botox – You are literally injecting a toxin into your face
  • Chemical peels – A chemical peel literally uses chemicals to remove layers of skin
  • Laser treatment – You are using a laser beam destroy the outer layer of your skin

All have some serious side effects you really want to avoid.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in acupuncture, and some get additional training for facial, or cosmetic, acupuncture.

What Exactly Is Facial Acupuncture?

Cosmetic (or facial) Acupuncture & Facial Rejuvenation is the new and improved way to get rid of those unwanted signs of aging!

It works by guiding fine needles into key points on your face, neck or other areas where you want to rejuvenate.

This treatment helps reduce visible skin imperfections such as wrinkles while also promoting radiant looking healthy glowing complexion. There are minimal side effects so there’s no need for risky invasive treatments with a lot of harmful side effects.

You can see 3 sizes of facial acupuncture needles next to a quarter to give you an idea of just how tiny they are.

How Does Facial Acupuncture Work?

Facial acupuncture involves the insertion of ultra-fine, sterile needles into the superficial layer of the skin.

This process accelerates collagen and elastin production to increase volume and smooth out fine lines located on the forehead (frown lines), eyes (crow’s feet), cheeks, around the mouth (smile lines), and neck area.

In addition, facial acupuncture promotes circulation and increased blood flow to the face. By increasing blood flow, additional moisture and nutrients flow to the surface of the skin to promote healing and regeneration of new dermal tissue, which is useful for reducing the appearance of age spots, acne scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Additional acupuncture points can be added to treatment to address other concerns such as sleep, stress, anxiety, pain, and digestion.

Why should you try Facial Acupuncture:

  • Helps to naturally reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production
  • Lightens acne scarring, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and other scars
  • Increases blood flow the surface of the skin to promote skin healing
  • Helps lymphatic drainage of the face to detoxify the skin of dirt, toxins, and other impurities
  • Improves skin tone, texture, and elasticity for younger-looking skin
  • It’s 100% natural. You are not injecting toxins, using chemicals or harmful lasers

How Long Is a Facial Acupuncture Session?

A typical session is 45-60 mins long and includes facial massage, gua sha and jade rolling that can promote lymphatic drainage, reduce puffiness, and release muscle tension in the face.

Is facial acupuncture safe?

Yes, facial acupuncture is considered safe when performed by a licensed acupuncturist or Naturopathic doctor. The needles used are sterile, thin, and disposable.

However; facial acupuncture is not recommended for those who are concurrently getting microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing or have had cosmetic surgery less than four months prior.

It is also not recommended for those who have severe migraines or who are currently taking Accutane or oral isotretinoin.

What can I expect during a facial acupuncture treatment?

During a facial acupuncture treatment, very fine needles are inserted into specific points on the face. You may feel a small prick when the needles are inserted. After the needles are inserted, you will likely feel relaxed and may even fall asleep. Most treatments last between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

facial acupuncture
Dr. Tara Campbell receiving a treatment from Dr. Irina Chan

Does facial acupuncture hurt?

No, this treatment should not hurt. The needles used are very fine and most people report feeling relaxed during the treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed will vary from person to person depending on your individual goals and needs. For general anti-aging purposes, most people receive 1-2 treatments per week for 5-7 weeks. For more specific concerns such as acne, a series of 8-10 treatments may be recommended.

Benefits vary from person to person and can last for years following 10-14 sessions. Most people feel improvements in hydration, radiance, and muscle tone after just a few sessions. However, repeated treatments are required to see noticeable improvements in skin texture, elasticity, and discoloration. We recommend monthly sessions for maintenance of benefits.

What are the side effects of facial acupuncture?

The most common side effect of facial acupuncture is minor redness or temporary discomfort at the needle sites. Other possible side effects include bruising, dizziness, headache, and fatigue. These side effects are typically mild and resolve on their own within a few days.

Is facial acupuncture covered by insurance?

Facial acupuncture is not typically covered by insurance. However, some insurance plans may cover facial acupuncture if it is being used for medical purposes such as headaches or pain relief. Please check with your insurance provider to see if facial acupuncture is covered under your plan.

Does facial acupuncture really reduce wrinkles and help skin look younger without all the side effects of Botox, Laser and Chemical Peels?

Yes, facial acupuncture can help to reduce wrinkles and promote radiant skin without the side effects of Botox, laser, and chemical peels. Facial acupuncture is a natural, non-toxic, minimally invasive treatment with little or no side effects or recovery time.

Can facial acupuncture help acne?

In addition to addressing diet, lifestyle and other factors, facial acupuncture helps to reduce the severity and frequency of acne lesions by reducing inflammation (redness and swelling) and preventing the build-up of dead skin cells, oil, and impurities on the face. It can be also very beneficial for acne scarring. Needling into scars induces small skin perforations that stimulate the break down of scar tissue and enhance the regeneration of new skin tissue. The result is a lesser appearance of acne scarring and hyperpigmentation over time. Compared to chemical peels or laser resurfacing, facial acupuncture does not artificially get rid of the superficial layer of the skin that can result in complications such as burning, prolonged redness and swelling, dryness, scabbing or infections.

What to do after a treatment?

  1. Avoid applying makeup for at least 24 hours.
  2. Avoid prolonged direct sun exposure for 72 hours.
  3. Avoid swimming, hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas for at least 72 hours.
  4. Avoid facials, glycolic acid (such as alpha hydroxy acid), salicyclic acid, and retinol treatments for 1 week.
  5. Avoid exfoliants, scrubs, or using powered cleansing brushes (like Clarisonic) for 1 week.
  6. No tanning beds for a least 1 week.
  7. Do use a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water to wash your face. Gently pat your face dry.
  8. Do wear sunscreen to protect your skin from UV damage.
  9. Do drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Who is facial acupuncture for?

This treatment is beneficial for anyone 21 years and older who is looking for natural treatment to prevent and minimize visible signs of aging, minimize acne and acne scaring, and maintain youthful, radiant skin.

It is not recommended for those who are concurrently getting microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing or have had cosmetic surgery less than four months prior.

It is also not recommended for those who have severe migraines or who are currently taking Accutane or oral isotretinoin.

Is this only for women?

NO! This is a great treatment anyone can do.

I hope this article has helped you decide if this type of acupuncture is for you. If you want to find out more about this treatment, you can book a free 15 minute call by clicking here.


IV Drip bag

Is IV Therapy Safe?

This is one the questions I get asked most when introducing someone to IV therapy for the first time. Is IV therapy safe?

The short answer, after doing thousands of IV drips on clients over the last 12 years of clinical practice, including doing them myself (even during pregnancy) as part of my health routine, the short is yes.

I’m sure if you’re wondering, “Is IV Therapy Safe?” then you’ll want some more detailed info, which I will share in this article.

First off, all the nutrients in the IV Drip bag are water soluble – meaning your body/your cells will take in what they are able to absorb. Much like increased intake of water overtime, your body learns how to absorb the increased supply of nutrients in your blood stream. Water soluble means you pee out whatever your cells do not take in, where fat soluble nutrients can reach excess.

You cannot overdose on water soluble vitamins contained in the IV Drip, but you can overdose on fat soluble nutrients if not monitored properly. IV nutrients are only water soluble.

Additionally, the IV Therapy doses for wellness are actually quite a low dose (5-20g) within your blood stream when compared to other IV treatments.

When people say you pee out IV vitamins, this is true. You also pee out all food and oral based vitamins as well. In fact, you pee out medication. Our bladders and kidneys are constantly working to clear nutrients after our cells have taken in what they need.

Is IV therapy safe when pregnant and when breast feeding?

Is IV Therapy Safe during pregnancy

IV therapy is safe for pregnant women and for women who are breastfeeding. It’s safe because it’s the nutrients you get naturally from your food. There aren’t any drugs or foreign substances going into your bloodstream. You’re just getting more of what’s biologically available anyway. Because the nutrients we use are all water soluble, your cells decide what to take up and how much to let in. The nutrients don’t build up in your body.

I had my baby at 40 and believe doing regular IVs throughout pregnancy not only helped me have a healthy baby, but helped to speed up my recovery after birth.

Is IV Therapy safe when taking medications?

I’ve given IV treatments from teens, to pregnant women (myself included), to 90+ years of age and on multiple medications.  When someone is on medications, we always look at which medications the person is on and the impact that the nutrients in the IV drip bag may have.

For example, I avoid calcium when patients are on calcium channel blocker medication for hypertension or has an arrhythmia.  We avoid potassium when kidney concerns, and we avoid calcium when a patient is on antibiotics.

Before you receive your first IV drip, we have an initial consultation which covers and current medication you are on.

Is IV therapy safe from getting an infection from the needle?

The chance of infection from the needle stick is extremely minimal. There’s so much precaution leading up to inserting a needle into a vein. We’re very careful to use sterile techniques. It goes without saying that we never reuse needles.

On top of that, we are extremely skilled at putting in the needle. After thousands of IVs, I’d challenge anyone to find a team of more veteran vein-finders than we have on staff.

Every once in a while, inserting the needle can cause a slight bruise. Or there might be some slight irritation from the skin. This can be reduced or avoided by being well-hydrated before starting the treatment to dilute the very slight acidity of the IV fluid.

But typically, the most common side effect people feel is a warming sensation, and that’s the B vitamins, which dilate the blood vessels, so that’s a healthy sensation.

While we work with needles, and many of us have baggage when it comes to needles, our process is entirely safe, sterile, and simple.

Does IV Therapy Hurt?

A question I often get asked before someone starts IV therapy is “Does it hurt?” Well, everybody has their own pain threshold, but basically, there’s very, very little discomfort.

We use a butterfly needle at Higher Health, which is the smallest needle possible, so most people barely feel it when it’s inserted.

Butterfly needle. Is IV Therapy Safe
(Inserting a butterfly needle. It’s tiny!)

In fact, even the most needle-phobic people are surprised at how little they feel it. Sometimes these patients, who can’t bear to watch me put the needle in, ask me when I’m going to do it. I have to tell them it’s already in place!

There’s just that initial tiny pinch, and then there’s no discomfort while you’re on the IV. We also have cream that we can put on that desensitizes the area.

You may also have a hospital or blood drawing story where a nurse couldn’t find your vein, poking your arm 15 times to get it right. I’ve heard plenty of those stories, and I can tell you we are vein whisperers.

Where Do the Vitamins Come From?

We receive our vitamins in vials from a highly regulated licensed compounding pharmacy, which follows standardized compounding procedures to make the vitamins from a synthetic base, producing a sterile pharmaceutical grade end product. We also purchase sterile bags of medical-grade solution. The vitamins are pure and contain no preservatives or additives.

Then at our clinic, in an isolated room designated for sterile compounding, our specially trained technicians, wearing sterile gowns and gloves, compound the vitamins and the solution, creating the vitamin infused bags you see in the IV lounge.

A base IV drip bag contains Vitamin C, Magnesium, calcium, minerals, B vitamins, specific amino acids and antioxidants.  Depending on your health goals, we add additional nutrients.

How long has IV therapy been in use for improving health?

The Origins of IV Vitamin Therapy

Most of us are familiar with the IV therapy commonly used in hospital settings, where an IV bag delivers medicine or nutrients into a patient’s bloodstream.

In this case, it’s referred to as “parenteral nutrition” or TPN. A person may need TPN because of a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder (or other) that severely limits the ability of their digestive tract. A person may not be able to swallow food, move the food through the digestive system, or absorb nutrients from the food, conditions common to those with Crohn’s disease, cancer, short bowel syndrome, or ischemic bowel disease.

However, critically ill patients who cannot receive nutrition orally for more than four days are also candidates for TPN

Naturopathic medicine posits that if total parenteral nutrition is good for someone who can’t eat, it can also ‘s good to optimize your health.  It makes sense to think that with improved nutrition, by any means, you can feel better. for you when you’re not feeling your best.

In the 1960s Dr. John Myers, a physician from Baltimore, Maryland, pioneered a treatment of vitamins and minerals delivered intravenously. He noticed the patients he was giving micro-doses of vitamins to were doing better than his other patients who weren’t taking the IV solution. Later dubbed the “Myer’s Cocktail,” it included magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C.

In the years since Dr. Myers, other micronutrients have been found to be effective in treatments. The IV dip has likewise been used to treat a range of illnesses.

While little was known about IV therapy a few decades ago, today an ever-expanding body of research shows its application in a number of studies.

At Higher Health we use IV Therapy to treat many conditions. You can find more on that by clicking here. 

Research also shows that “high dose intravenous vitamin C appears to be remarkably safe. Physicians should inquire about IV vitamin C use in patients with cancer, chronic, untreatable, or intractable conditions and be observant of unexpected harm, drug interactions, or benefit.”

In recent years, most new patients walk in with the understanding they need way more nutrients than those they get from food. Social media has played a big part in increasing the awareness of IV Therapy and its wellness benefits, as celebrities and health-conscious influencers have helped accelerate the prevalence of IV therapies.

I hope this article has helped you decide is IV Therapy safe for you. If you have any questions about IV Therapy or your health in general, you can book a free introductory consultation by clicking here.

Sincerely, Dr. Tara Campbell, ND


Choosing the right diet

Cancer Prevention Diet

What is the easiest Cancer prevention diet and why should we be paying attention to our diet when it comes to cancer?

To start, the World Health Organization states that ‘between 30 and 50% of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies.’ This includes maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, regular physical activity, reducing alcohol and tobacco use and other environmental exposures.

When it comes to diet, a study found that the highest quality diets as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index is associated with not only a 16% decrease in cancer incidence but also a 22% reduction in cardiovascular disease, 18% reduction in type 2 diabetes, and 15% reduction in neurodegenerative diseases. Among cancer survivors, diets of the highest quality resulted in a 12% reduction in all-cause mortality and 10% reduction in cancer mortality.

As you can see here, eating healthy plays a key role in reducing cancer risk, as well as other risk factors like preventing any heart complications, type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

To take that one step further, you may want to focus on a cancer prevention diet.

In this article Dr. Irina Chan, ND, discusses the research around the ideal way of eating when it comes to a cancer prevention diet. What foods to eat and more importantly…why.  We will also touch on which ones to avoid, no matter how strong the cravings!

So what is the ideal cancer prevention diet?

There is growing information and research suggesting that a Mediterranean diet can lower cancer risk.

What makes a Mediterranean diet so great when it comes to reducing cancer risk?

For starters, it’s high in antioxidants, which prevents oxidative damage.

Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals can cause harm if their levels become too high, and they’re linked to many illnesses including diabetes, heart disease or cancer among others!

Your own antioxidant defenses keep them under control, but you may want a little help from food like following a Mediterranean diet.

Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to increased risk of bladder, breast, colorectum, endometrium, kidney, liver, and pancreatic cancer. A Mediterranean diet is high in fiber which helps to maintain a healthy blood sugar balance, thereby preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.

But wait, there’s more!

The high fiber content associated with the Mediterranean diet also helps support a healthy gut microbiome and a healthy immune system, which is our bodies natural defense mechanism against cancer.

So how effective is the Mediterranean diet when it comes to lowering cancer risk?

To answer this question, a systematic review looked at over 117 studies with over 3 million participants. This is quite a large sample size and something we want to look at.

The authors of this study concluded that those who had the highest adherence to a Mediterranean diet had a 13% decreased risk of cancer death, 6% decreased risk of breast cancer, 17% decreased risk of colorectal cancer, 44% decreased risk of head and neck cancers, 16% decreased risk of lung cancer, 13% decreased risk of bladder cancer, 30 % decreased risk of stomach cancer, and 36% reduced risk of liver cancer.

Those are some pretty amazing reductions you can achieve by changing the way that you eat. One of the great things about eating a Mediterranean diet is that it’s easy to prepare, tastes great, and will keep you satisfied long after you’ve eaten.

So what consists of the Mediterranean diet?

You can find on the internet a lot of different resources on the Mediterranean diet including what you should be eating and how many servings you should be having of each food item. But I really like the diagram below (from Intermountain Healthcare) because it shows an easier and more flexible way of adopting a Mediterranean diet.

cancer prevention diet
cancer prevention diet ok to eat
cancer prevention diet
cancer prevention diet, sometimes ok to eat
cancer prevention diet
cancer prevention diet. never ok to eat.

The Mediterranean diet includes ample amounts of fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds every day. In addition, you can enjoy approximately two to three servings of fish and seafood, poultry and eggs, as well as cheese and yogurt on a weekly basis. Foods to limit include red meat (no more than 1 steak a week), processed meats, alcohol, added sugar, high salt intake (less than 1 tsp a day), and processed foods.


Why limit such foods?

Studies looking at the incidence of cancer in those who consumed the highest amount of red meat vs those who consumed the lowest amounts had a 9% increased risk of breast cancer, 10% increased risk of colorectal cancer, 26% increased risk of lung cancer, and 22% increased risk of liver cancer.

Similarly, studies looking at the incidence of cancer in those who consumed the highest amount of processed meat vs those who consumed the lowest amounts had a 6% increased risk of breast cancer, 18% increased risk of colorectal cancer, 12% increased risk of lung cancer, and 24% increased risk of stomach cancer.

Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and juice is associated with a 12% increased risk of cancer. Moreover, consuming excess sweets that are high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes which has been strongly linked to increased cancer risk.

When it comes to salt intake, higher dietary salt intake is associated with a 25% increased risk of stomach cancer. Not to mention, excess salt intake can increase risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney failure.

What about BBQ and fried foods?

It’s not just what we put into our bodies that matters; it’s also how we prepare it. There are many healthy ways to prepare your meals including lightly sautéing, boiling, and steaming. However, one should limit consumption of fried, smoking, charred, BBQ and grilled meats.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are formed when protein such as fish or meat is smoked or cooked at high temperatures. This includes grilling, BBQ, charring, roasting or frying. Any method of cooking that can char or burn food will produce PAHs. The smoked and burnt bits of meat are laden with PAHs that have been found to be highly toxic and carcinogenic to humans. Cumulative exposure to PAHs has been associated with elevated risk of breast, lung and bladder cancer. Other sources of PAH include cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes, and smoke from wood or coal burning,

If you wish to enjoy BBQ ribs or grilled steak and want to limit PAH exposure and cancer risk, consider choosing leaner cuts of meat to reduce fat dripping and burning, cooking at lower temperatures for a longer duration of time, and removing the blacken portions from the meat.

How you eat is as important as what you eat. Up until the last few years we were advised by experts to eat a certain way, which as we dive into the data, is clearly not the healthiest way.

How do I get started?

When it comes to how to eat a cancer prevention diet, you can slowly incorporate tasty, plant-based and minimally processed whole foods as part of your daily diet.

The harder part will be removing refined sugars and processed foods from your life. In practice, I don’t usually advise anyone to completely eliminate such foods from your diet. Going cold turkey is not the best way to lead a healthy and sustainable diet. Restrictive diets can result in insufficient caloric consumption, dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, and can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.

We all have cravings. We can celebrate with cake and champagne. We can have pizza nights.

The most important part of maintaining a healthy diet is to develop mindful eating habits, such as listening to hunger cues, not overeating, and noticing how food affects our mood and overall health. When we are more aware of what foods we are putting in our bodies and how they make us feel, it influences healthier food choices.

Remember, every small step towards a healthier you is worth celebrating!

If you have any questions about your health, cancer prevention, or integrative cancer care, you can always book a free consultation with Dr. Irina Chan, ND by clicking here.