Naturopathic Medicine aims at treating the root cause of disease, and not just merely the symptoms. Unfortunately, medicine sometimes looks at an individual merely as a broken arm, rather than looking at the person with that broken arm. Naturopathic Doctor’s (ND) propose to try and look at the individual as a whole, and not merely their parts, and attempt to cure disease through this framework and looking for the cause of disease. A ND might, for example, look at the patient’s living conditions, nutritional status, safety, work conditions, etc., in an attempt to discover what caused the broken bone and how could it be prevented in the future. As a result, each individual is treated as just that, an individual. One treatment might not work for another simply because everyone is different, and the cause of disease can be completely different for two individuals even with the “same” condition.
Part of a NDs approach to care involves incorporating the principles of Naturopathic Medicine into one’s care. The principles of Naturopathic Medicine are: First do no harm, treat the cause of disease, teach healthy living and preventative medicine, heal the whole person, emphasize prevention, and support the healing power of the body. NDs strive to incorporate all of these principles into each patient case in order to treat disease, support the health of the individual, and prevent future disease. A state of balance and harmony is sought after in the body, and thus achieved through this approach to care, as well as through the use of Naturopathic Medicine’s various modalities. The modalities are used to support the patient’s own healing capabilities, and consist of: Botanical Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Hydrotherapy, Homeopathy, Physical Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and Lifestyle Counselling. These modalities or “services” will be discussed below.
Acupuncture treatments are based Traditional Chinese Medicine’s understanding of how the body works. Based on a person’s signs and symptoms, acupuncture points will be selected, and needles will be inserted into various areas of the body. Acupuncture can be beneficial in helping muscles to relax and releasing endorphins (natural pain killers), but can also bring organs back into natural harmony (helping them to work right). Acupuncture can be useful for many different conditions. For example, acupuncture can be used for diarrhea, colds, coughs, asthma, menstrual problems, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, swelling, injuries, weight loss, smoking cessation, allergies, fertility concerns, pregnancy, low back pain, fatigue, and more.
A botanical is another name for a plant or herb. A plant or a herb has
medicinal properties just like the different medications that you might be
prescribed by your medical doctor, with the added benefit of occasionally
having a more nourishing effect on the body. For example, some herbs contain
vitamin C on top of being beneficial for inflammation. Some herbs tend to also
have less side effect than some medications making them safer to use. The
different herbs are selected based on your individual presentation and are
combined to make a formula to benefit your personal needs. Botanical medicine
can often be used for a variety of different conditions and health concerns.
They can be used for menstrual concerns, digestive concerns, headaches, fevers,
infections, disrupted sleep, detoxification, stress, and fatigue, along with
many other concerns.
Many people get homeopathy and naturopathic medicine confused with one another. Homeopathy is one of the many tools in the Naturopathic Doctors toolbox. Homeopathy involves the use of finite doses of different substances such as plants, in order to achieve the desired health effects. It can also be described as a form of energetic medicine that helps to bring the body back into a state of balance. Homeopathy can be used in infants, children, and in those taking many different medications because it does not interact with other medicines. Homeopathy can be used for many different conditions or presentations, including ADHD, skin conditions, allergies, depression, anxiety, negative mindsets, and injuries.
Water can be a very powerful tool for healing that is often underestimated. As Naturopathic Doctors, we use water therapy, called hydrotherapy, which involves applying different methods of water to the body to promote healing. This might involve alternating hot and cold water applications to an area, or even using a sauna to nourish our bodies. Hydrotherapy has an added benefit of being inexpensive, because most of the time it is just a matter of applying water to an area. This form of therapy can be used to help those with digestive concerns, menstrual concerns, muscle aches and pains, joint pain, weight loss, fatigue, colds, and compromised immune systems. Hydrotherapy can even be helping in detoxification and improving overall health.
Lifestyle Counselling involves guidance on making changes to various areas of your life such as exercise, sleep, working conditions, etc. It can also mean support through emotional upsets, trials and tribulations. Changing different aspects of your lifestyle can be helpful for any condition really, from allergies to catching your Z’s. Lifestyle can also have the impact of treating the root cause of your condition, without dealing with a lot of harsher interventions such as being put on medications that might have not so great side effects.
Nutrition means dietary counselling. So, what does that mean, well it means guidance and support through changes to your diet, such as cutting out gluten, or increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you are eating. This can also mean assessing whether you are getting enough nutrients to meet your body’s needs, which could mean supplementing with a vitamin or mineral on top of diet changes. Though this can be challenging, these are often easy and inexpensive changes one can make in order to live a healthier life. Having guidance in changing dietary patterns, or supplementing nutrients, can be beneficial for fatigue, low energy, high cholesterol, diabetes, atherosclerosis, pain, weight loss goals, digestive concerns, joint pain, and overall health.
As a naturopathic doctor, we can provide primary care, which involves taking a thorough assessment of your particular condition, symptoms, or concerns. We do this by asking questions, conducting necessary physical exams, obtaining appropriate lab work (e.g. blood tests, urinalysis, etc.), and combine all of these findings together to determine a diagnosis and the root cause of your particular condition. Upon discovering the root cause, we then either provide you with treatment in order to help you with your concern or may even refer you to a different health care provider that may have a more appropriate form of treatment for your concern. As a naturopathic doctor in training, my primary goal is looking for the root cause of your condition, and providing appropriate, timely treatment for that condition.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the premise that our bodies should be in a state of harmony and balance, when they are not, disease or sickness can result. So, the goal of treating by means of traditional Chinese medicine is to bring the body back into a state of balance through herbal preparations, acupuncture, and diet and lifestyle. Traditional Chinese medicine views the body and its organs differently, which can have the benefit of explaining an individual’s current state, when maybe Western medicine is unable to. Diagnoses’ are made based on the individual presentation that you have, and a treatment plan is made that fits your specific needs and concerns. This form of medicine can be useful in treating many different disease or sickness patterns including muscle or joint pain, fatigue, low energy, asthma, GERD, motion sickness, digestive concerns, uterine prolapse, depression, mood disorders, menstrual concerns, frequent colds, colds, infertility, low or high libido, and stress.
Dr. Elisha Cook ND can order similar tests to your medical doctor, but they are to be paid for out of pocket. in addition, she can order other diagnostic tests such as food sensitivity testing and heavy metal hair analysis. For more information please contact us about these testing options!
About Dr. Elisha Cook ND
Plattsville Natural Health Clinic (PNHC) was founded by Dr. Elisha Cook ND, who has a passion for helping people get to the root cause of their health concerns, and live with a high quality of life. This passion for healing has been evident through Dr. Elisha Cook ND’s whole life.
With this passion in mind, she went on to complete a four year Honours in Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Western Ontario. While here, she received extra training in areas including Motivational Interviewing, Occupational Health and Safety, and Health Promotion. Upon graduating, Elisha began her educational journey at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto Ontario. She completed the four year professional post – graduate program, which included one full year of internship at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic, and a portion of the year spent at Anishnawbe Health Toronto (a health clinic specific for the Aboriginal population). During this internship, she saw a variety of health complaints and mastered the skills needed to become the naturopathic doctor that she is today. Elisha Cook graduated from the program, having completed her Bachelor of Naturopathy, completed all board exams for certification, and has since been practicing as a licensed Naturopathic Doctor since.
Elisha practices both at Plattsville Natural Health Clinic in Plattsville Ontario, and at Meyers Chiropractic in Woodstock Ontario.
Elisha has a special interest in mental health including anxiety, stress and depression; pain management; and weight loss; but welcomes patients of all ages and levels of health. Book an appointment with Dr. Elisha Cook ND and see how she can help you with your health care needs, and help you achieve your health care goals.