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June 8th to June 30th – B12 shots just $15

Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Clinic Happenings, Naturopathic Medicine, Uncategorized | 0 comments

June 8th to June 30th – B12 shots just $15

B12 injections are regularly $30 at our Parliament location, but for the month of June only, our patients get 50% off! Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes. It is possible for the body to develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. This deficiency is usually reported with symptoms of fatigue. B12 can be used to treat a variety of disorders including osteoporosis, diabetes, asthma, allergies, depression and sleep disorders. What Can You Expect? Increase in energy and concentration Improved Sleep Patterns, and feeling alert during the day Maintain a healthier lifestyle Nerve Cells & Red Blood Cells Helps to Prevent Depression & Fatigue B12 has even been reported to help with reducing allergies and improving daily stamina. With summer just around the corner, our lifestyles become more focused outdoors and active. If your next visit to the clinic includes a B12 shot, this summer you can take advantage of everything the weather has to offer you and your family. Don’t be stuck inside stuffed-up and napping on the couch! Book your appointment today by calling 647-352-5527 or emailing us at...

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9 Points to Using Your Naturopathic Health Coverage Benefits

Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Naturopathic Medicine, Uncategorized | 0 comments

9 Points to Using Your Naturopathic Health Coverage Benefits

It’s nearly the end of 2014, and many people are thinking about their extended health care plans. While naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP, it may be part of your benefits package through your employer. Dr. Mai Heath shares some points to consider about making the most of your benefits package to improve your health!   1. You may have extended health coverage and not know it. Many extended health care plans in North America cover naturopathic medical treatment. Contact your employer & insurance company to find out what your particular benefits are.   2. Not all coverage plans are created equal. Extended health care benefits may cover a variety of services from naturopathic medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage therapy, doula care, chiropractics, and more. Packages vary in the configuration of services that are provided coverage.   3. Don’t waste them. They are part of your salary. Having an extended health plan is a valuable asset. It is your right to use your benefits, not a privilege. You work and make sacrifices for your health coverage. Do not let them go to waste. Covered health services are a part of your compensation for the service you provide the company you work with. Therefore, they are a part of your salary.   4. Naturopathic Medicine can help you improve your job performance. Studies show that workers & employers alike benefit from naturopathic medicine. Natural therapies are associated with improved quality of life and less time away from work. It is also found to be more cost-effective than many conventional treatments and pain medication.   5. If you don’t use it, you loose it. Most insurance plans renew at the start of the calendar year. Very much like paid leave, benefits do not tend to carry over to the next calendar year. Therefore, should you fail to use health benefits before the end of the year they will expire and you will not be able to use these benefits. That’s like paying several hundreds to thousands of dollars in overdraft fees to your bank. That’s one heck of a penalty!   6. Family & loved ones in need can benefit (through you). Contact your employer & insurance company to find out the particulars of your coverage. You may be pleasantly surprised to find you have coverage for family, children, spouse, common law spouse, partners, and/or dependents. Don’t rob your loved ones of this opportunity for care.   7. But I don’t have insurance coverage! What about me? While many North Americans have extended healthcare benefits, not all do. Many of my patients don’t have coverage for naturopathic treatments. These patients pay fee for service and generally find that the improvement to their quality of life trumps the expense of the self investment. If you feel you are not in a financial position to get the care you need, make good use of the free consult offered by most Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). This is a good way to inquire about how they make their services accessible to everyone in their community. Some NDs offer varying price points for those in need, others take a specified number of compassionate cases on a regular basis, etc. Also, request a health coverage plan that includes naturopathic services from your employer and your insurance provider. Encourage your co-workers...

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The Ins and Outs of Naturopathic Doula Care

Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Doula Care, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Ins and Outs of Naturopathic Doula Care

Doula means “woman who serves,” but it might as well mean “safe space.” Doulas offer never-ending support without judgment or shame. We will rest with you, watch over you, listen to you meticulously, remember for you, and remind you of your goals and wishes when you forget or feel compromised. Doulas testify to the transformative moments when women become mothers and partners become parents & caregivers. We hold space for freedom in making changes, see you when you are compromised, and provide an advocate’s voice to keep you focused on your goals. Doulas are equipped to help you meet your fears head on and put them in their place.   Naturopathic Doulas differ from Conventional Doulas A naturopathic doula is both a naturopathic doctor  and a labour and delivery doula. ND Doulas differ from conventional doulas in that we bring naturopathic modalities into the birth room to aid with energy, mood, labour progression/augmentation, & pain management. These tools range and often include acupuncture/acupressure, homeopathy, massage techniques, hydrotherapy, & visualization.   Doulas differ from a loved one Though generally considered a confidant, doulas have a degree of objectivity that is not privy to a loved one whose life is also actively transforming during the labour and delivery process. This tends to mean that your doula can bear the weight of seeing you labor & experiencing the degree of sensation and stimuli necessary to birth your baby, all the while being a constant strength (with a clear mind) for you to balance your resolve on.   Concern: Doulas replace fathers/birthing partners during labour & delivery. In Truth: Doulas offer support to the partner, highlight their experience, teach them manual techniques to provide physical comfort to mom, free up their focus for emotional & sensual communication with mom.   Concern: Doulas attend ‘natural births’ which are generally ‘water births’ or ‘home births’ without pharmaceutical pain management or intervention. In Truth: Birth is natural. No matter how a mother births her baby a doula can provide valuable support. Birthing mothers in hospital and at birth centres often need the advocacy a doula can provide the most. While moms birthing at home often need the pain management, encouragement, & brainstorming a doula can provide the most.   Concern: If you have a midwife, you don’t need a doula. In Truth: Doulas differ from midwives in that midwives (like OBGYNs) prioritize the medical aspects of the birthing process (fetal heart rate monitors, pharmaceutical management, blood pressure, cervical dilation, effacement, etc). A doula’s priority is to meet each moment of the process (each contraction, each choice, each breath) with the laboring mother and address emotional, spiritual, ritual, informational, and transformational needs. Additionally, doulas do NOT “catch” (deliver) babies.   On a personal note… I’m grateful to have had doulas at both my births because events rarely go off without a hitch! My first born came 4 weeks before her estimated due date (EDD) making her 1 week premature. Thankfully, at that point she had gestated long enough to avoid any serious complication. However, this did limit our birthing options as we could not deliver or labour at home, and my mother had yet to travel to Toronto from Atlanta. My doula proved to be a woman who had “been there” & helped me understand what to expect...

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Managing Diabetes with your Naturopath

Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Managing Diabetes with your Naturopath

Millions of people have diabetes mellitus in North America, and hundreds of thousands are being diagnosed from year to year. This chronic disease results when the body is not able to make or use the hormone insulin. Insulin is necessary to convert sugar into energy. In diabetes, sugar circulates in the blood longer than it should causing internal organ damage. Most often tissues in the eye, nerves, heart, and kidneys are targeted. There are various types of diabetes. Type 1 is also called juvenile diabetes as it usually effects children and teens. Type 1.5 is “late onset” or adult Type 1. Type 2 diabetes is due to lifestyle and traditionally has had an adult onset though recently it is occurring more and more in children. Poor food quality, over eating, sedentary lifestyles, and obesity increase the prevalence of diabetes. Diabetes Type 1.5 is a relatively new diagnosis. Gestational diabetes (GD) occurs in pregnant women. Though temporary, it predisposes the child and mother to developing diabetes later in life. GD is one of the primary health concerns during pregnancy and can often result in larger baby size and complications during delivery. GD should be screen regularly during pregnancy and managed from a multifaceted approach. Addressing the autoimmune or lifestyle aspects of diabetes is key. Managing blood glucose levels is imperative. Lifestyle factors such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and healthy eating habits all benefit management. Your healthcare practitioner will help you tailor your diet to one that supports stable glucose control, including maximizing whole foods, fiber, and foods that require the body to need less insulin hormone to convert it in to energy. Exercise benefits all body systems and has the benefit of helping reduce blood sugar levels. It is important to limit alcohol, refined foods, and foods high in sugar. Eat several small meals throughout the day to maintain your blood glucose levels. Managing diabetes is a whole-system issue, and prime for a naturopathic approach. Naturopathic medicine is both evidence based medicine and traditional medicine. Evidenced-based trials support the benefits of various minerals, herbs, and foods that improve glucose control or manage secondary concerns resulting from Type 2 diabetes such as neuralgia. Adversely, there is also evidence that caffeine worsens glucose control profoundly. One major difference between medicine being therapeutic and toxic is the dosage. Visit a properly trained naturopathic doctor or credible healthcare practitioner to get information about how these interventions may be incorporated into a health care plan for you and how to properly incorporate an exercise regime.   Dr. Mai Heath, ND, is a doula, mother, wife, and Naturopathic Doctor. Mai has a special interest in pediatrics, perinatal care, and lifestyle counselling. You can email Mai or visit her blog here REFERENCES: http://www.healthydirections.ca/ http://www.diabetes.org/ http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/statistics/#fast...

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Health Benefits of Black Tea

Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Health Benefits of Black Tea

Teas are one of the many tools Naturopathic doctors use to aid patients. They’re gentle and have a wide selection herbal and caffeinated varieties. One in particular in the rich, full-bodied, Black Tea. I don’t mean taking your beverage plain, I mean the antioxidant-laden, most often caffeinated, Black Tea aka Orange Pekoe, Chai, English breakfast, Earl grey… Besides being quite tasty, this variety has significant therapeutic benefits due to it’s various properties (polyphenols, astringent, theaflavins, etc). Black teas can be used to effect the Central Nervous System, alertness, wean down from caffeine abuse, regulate bowel movements & bowel consistency, regulate the Immune System, allergies, promoting Renal function, boost metabolism, effect the Circulatory System, blood cholesterol levels, and a host of other concerns. Like all things therapeutic, Black tea should not be used for treatment without assessing the total picture. Black tea has tannins, which can effect how well your gut absorbs nutrients & other constituents. While antioxidant, it’s not as powerful an antioxidant as a green or white tea. I’d love to toss some ideas around about your health over tea for 15 minutes or so. I may pour you a cup of Black tea or give you some info on another variety or two. When you come to me, I’m happy to work around your schedule. I look forward to sharing an experience with you! Best in Health, Mai Heath ND Doula Come Tea & Chat with Dr. Heath, ND   Resources & References Natural medicine comprehensive database Distinctly tea Inc distinctlytea.com Dr. Keila Roesner   Dr. Mai Heath practices in Cabbagetown, Toronto at Paths to Vitality. She received her medical training from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Mai believes the therapeutic relationship is where the healing occurs. Educating patients on how to steer their own health outcomes is a conviction she’s developed after many years of work in education. Mai focuses her energies on total patient care through the mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual healing process. Eagerly guiding people on their wellness journey through individualized care and education leads to empowered and inspired communities. Mai has a special interest in perinatal care, family care, and lifestyle...

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Movember

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Movember

Movember

As the month of November draws to a close, the fabulous displays of manliness and mo’ pride impress us more every day. Everything from the David Suzuki to the Charlie Chaplin to the Mark Twain to the… A.T. Still? Yes, even the founder of Osteopathy had some excellent facial hair.   Whatever the shape of your ‘stache, we give a big thank you to all the men and women who raised funds around the world in support of prostate cancer research this month. We salute your MO-mentous achievements, even if the sides didn’t quite grow in the way you wanted them to.   Osteopathy can assist in the prevention of prostate issues. To understand how we can help, let’s have an in-depth look at the anatomy of the prostate gland.   Anatomy of the Prostate Gland   The Encyclopedia Britannica Online describes the prostate as a male reproductive organ that surrounds the urethra, and serves as a passage for both urine and semen.   Henry Gray defined the prostate as a firm partly glandular and partly muscular body.  He landmarks were within the pelvic cavity above the superior fascia of the urogenital diaphragm and in front of the rectum.  The arteries supplying the prostate arise from the pudendal, inferior vesical, and middle hemorrhoidal.  The prostates veins receive from the dorsal vein of the penis, merge to become a plexus surrounding the gland and then empty into the hypogastric veins.   Lymphatic drainage occurs in the internal iliac lymph node. Sympathetic innervation is supplied by the superior lumbar and hypogastric nerves.  These nerves are responsible for the speed of contraction during ejaculation.  The parasympathetic innervation is derived from the pelvic splanchnic and inferior hypogastric plexus.   In The Practice of Osteopathy, McConnell and Teall propose the secretory branches of the prostate gland are from the sacral nerves.  Its sensory contribution is located at the tenth, eleventh (twelfth) dorsal, first, second and third sacral as well as the fifth lumbar.   Its glandular function is to produce seminal fluid that contains fructose (energy for the sperm), amino acids, ascorbic acids and prostaglandins.   The Hypothalamus constantly monitors blood levels of testosterone.  When there are inadequate levels it releases GnRH(gonadotropin releasing hormone) and LHRH (Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone) to stimulate the pituitary.  Upon retrieval of this information the Pituitary releases both Gn (gonadotropin) and/or  LH (Luteinizing hormone).   The production of these two hormones affects the testes and produces increase blood testosterone levels.  Testosterone is known for stimulating the growth of the prostrate gland.  Testosterone will also power the growth of cancerous tissue because it cannot differentiate between normal tissue and abnormal.   Prostate Cancer   This is the most common cancer among men especially in men over 40.  Symptoms include altered urination, blood or white blood cells in the urine, pain during ejaculation as well in the lower back or pelvis.  Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of prostate tumors.  Prostate cancer can spread to other areas of the pelvic girdle including the seminal vesicles, rectum and bladder via the bodies extensive lymphatic system.   Treatment for the pelvic girdle and Prostate Gland   In the Philosophy of Osteopathy, Dr Still discusses the causes of abnormal growths below the diaphragm.  Since the prostate is a structure below the diaphragm we must...

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Happy Valentine’s Day: Osteopathy and Heart Health

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Happy Valentine’s Day: Osteopathy and Heart Health

  Think of the heart and most people think of pictures like those found on Valentine’s Day cards. That’s especially true every February, the month of love. Valentine’s Day is a time of year that we dedicate to the special person in our life. Even though we spend most of our time dealing with the emotions attributed to our heart, it’s not just the ups and downs of love that we should think about around Valentine’s Day, but the health of our hearts as well.   Heart disease and stroke will take one in three Canadians before their time. This equates to more than $20.9 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity. These are devastating realities that every health care practitioner must face each day. Every seven minutes, someone dies from heart disease or stroke in this country.   Dr. A.T. Still, the founder of Osteopathy,  had a lot to say about the heart, its function, all that supplied it and all that it supplied. “All are indebted to the heart for their material size, and all qualities of motion and life sustaining principles of the human body,”  he wrote. Every single piece of our complex human physiology needs fresh nourishing blood supply to survive. This system must be complete working order. It takes a finely tuned interactive system for us to sustain a fully functioning life.   Even though we are discussing the Osteopathic role in treating heart-related concerns, we must remember that we can never discuss the circulatory system in isolation. Dr. Still did not care just about the heart pumping blood around the body, but also the nerves that supply this organ with action. “I think much of the diseases of the heart are not of the organ but from a feeble supply of electricity that is cut off in the medulla or heart nerves, between heart and brain,” he wrote.   There are many concerns to a classically trained Osteopath, like those at Paths to Vitality,  when discussing the treatment of a nutrition-based disorder. Blood is the essence of everything we do and everything we are. Blood provides nutrients and oxygen to our cells. It transports hormones and immunological agents. Its importance to our vitality is immense.   The goal of an Osteopath is to evaluate the unique body we are treating and identify the obstructions present in the anatomy. It is imperative to zoom in and out with our intentions, thoughts and understanding of the underlying physiology. Globally, where are the lines of force acting on the underlying physiology?  How are they affecting the local group of segments and what traumatic effect have they produced on the focal element in our physiology? The essence of life depends on the efficiency of the vital forces found in our nerve function as well as fluid supply and drainage.   Dr. Still claimed that if an Osteopath truly understood anatomy and observed their diseased patient, “he will find one of three conditions; interference with the nerve supply, the arterial supply or the venous return due to pressure or wound.” In addition, he could be even more precise with his eventual diagnosis of all diseases of the heart. “Heart disease is never found without an impingement of the pneumogastric nerve at some point.” This is an extremely...

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Let’s Talk: Osteopathy and Mental Illness

Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Mental Health, Osteopath of the Month, Osteopathy | 0 comments

Let’s Talk: Osteopathy and Mental Illness

  February 12th is Bell Canada’s “Let’s Talk Day,” a day to raise awareness about mental health in Canada and to raise funds for mental health programs and community initiatives across the country. Canadian Olympic athlete Clara Hughes is the frontwoman for this campaign, which has been a blessing to many who suffer from anxiety, depression and various forms of mental illness.   The Canadian Mental Health Association defines mental health as “not only the avoidance of serious mental illness. Your mental health is affected by numerous factors from your daily life, including the stress of balancing work with your health and relationships.”   The Canadian Psychology Association has named February Psychology month as well, “to generate grassroots activities that will raise Canadians’ awareness of the role psychology plays in their lives and in their communities.”   This time of year also contributes to the increase in patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects many Canadians during the long Winter months. Bodyandhealth.canada.com reports that for most people it tends to be worse in the fall or winter, making it an extreme form of the “winter blahs.” Some people, however, experience symptoms in the late spring or early summer. It is estimated that about 2 or 3 out of every 100 people are affected by SAD. About 15 out of every 100 people have less severe symptoms of SAD called the “winter blues.” Some believe that SAD may be related to the levels of melatonin in the body, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland.   All of this means that February is the perfect time to discuss our Osteopath of the month, A.G. Hildreth, who was a leading contributor to the development in dealing with mental illness through Osteopathic manual approaches. In addition, the Dr. Andrew Taylor Still quote chosen this month describes his views on the interconnections between mind, body and spirit.   Mental illness have always been seen as a taboo subject. We can talk about our friends or families physical ailments, but when it comes to listening to people who are suffering from crippling emotional and mental issues many people struggle to understand, or feel like it’s “just a phase.” Since we know that the body is a dynamic unit of function and that the structure and function are intimately connected it would make sense that physical ailments lead to mental concerns and vice versa. Dr. Still wrote in The Philosophy of Osteopathy, “There is one indispensable item to control this active body, or machine, and that is mind. With that added the whole machinery then works as man.” It would be a logical thought (fourth principle of osteopathy) that the application of Osteopathic manual therapy would benefit people dealing with their illness.   You may ask, “can Osteopathy really help with illnesses related to the mind?” Dr. Still, his sons and Dr. Hildreth believed that many disturbances of the mind could benefit from the correction of the structure and function of the human body.   In Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine, under the chapter “Osteopathic Considerations in the Behavioural Sciences” they state that early Osteopaths noted there seemed to be movement restrictions associated with certain mental illness. The authors describe that they found considerably less freedom of suture motion and cranial vault resiliency in...

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UN World AIDS Day 2012: Can Osteopathy Help With AIDS?

Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

UN World AIDS Day 2012: Can Osteopathy Help With AIDS?

World AIDS Day, observed every December 1st, serves as a reminder that the fight against HIV has not gone away. It’s a very serious disease that still affects  more than 33 million people around the world, including five million young people, and approximately 2,400 people around the world become infected every day. It’s a disease the must be stopped, and there has been major progress in AIDS research and improved health care over the last few years. So much so, that the UN is pushing for governments around the world to contribute to “getting to zero… zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths – by 2015.”   We have all heard about the development of vaccines and anti-retroviral treatments related to AIDS, but the use of Osteopathic Manual Therapy to treatment may not be something you have heard before, so please bear with us. First, a few sentences about AIDS and how it affects the body. Then, a look at how Osteopathic Manual Therapy may help.   Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection, when a person’s immune system is severely damaged and has difficulty fighting diseases and certain cancers. Currently, people can live much longer (even decades) with HIV before they develop AIDS, because of combinations of medications that were introduced in the mid 1990’s. Before then, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. However, these medications come with costs and side effects, and need to be taken for the rest of a person’s life.   HIV is an infection resulting from 1 of 2 similar retroviruses (HIV-1 and HIV-2). A retrovirus is an RNA virus that is duplicated in a host cell, using the reverse transcriptase enzyme to produce DNA from its RNA genome. HIV primarily infects vital organs of the human immune system such as CD4ymphocytes (a subset of T cells), macrophages and dendritic cells. HIV infection leads to low levels of CD4+ T cells through three main mechanisms:  Direct viral killing of infected cells  Increased rates of apoptosis in infected cells  Killing of infected CD4+ T cells by CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes that recognize infected cells   When T cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell-mediated immunity is impaired, increasing risk of certain infections. Risk of subsequent manifestations related to immunodeficiency, is proportional to the level of  lymphocytes. Manifestations range from asymptomatic carriage to AIDS, which is defined by serious opportunistic infections or cancers or a CD4   How does an Osteopathic Manual Therapist treat their patient to truly make a positive impact on the overall vitality of the patient? Hollis D.O. reminds us that Osteopathy is nature’s method of curing disease. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association reported a study that demonstrated that a layperson taught a couple of techniques in Osteopathic Manual Therapy produced a beneficial impact on white blood cells in AIDS patients. It could be deduced that this result would be greatly improved by a highly skilled and fully trained Osteopathic manual therapist.   Dr. Karen Sandler, D.O. is a member of the American Association of HIV Medicine and is considered a HIV/AIDS specialist. She performs OMT on all...

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Grand Opening of Cabbagetown Clinic

Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  Come out to see our brand new clinic in Toronto’s historic Cabbagetown! We’ll be there Friday and Saturday to tour you around the space and talk about what Osteopathy can do for you. To book an appointment with one of our professional Osteopathic Manual Pracitioners for our new clinic, call...

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