While I was doing my undergraduate degree at UBC in the late 1980’s, I experienced a debilitating depression and anxiety. I also had an eating disorder and was not coping with the stress I was under at that time.
Like most people, I had not heard about Naturopathic medicine so I was treated with medications that were not effective. After taking the medication that was initially prescribed to alleviate depression, I swung into a psychotic manic episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1.
In 1994, after surviving a suicide attempt (which left me in a coma, on dialysis waiting for a kidney transplant), I finally began the healing process after reading a book called “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. Up until this point I was living with the shame and stigma of having a mental illness and I had not accepted myself.
The sole reason I became a Naturopathic Doctor was because when I was struggling with my illness there weren’t many natural experts in the field.
After attending a Mental Health Regained Public Forum in 1999, I became a patient of Dr. Abram Hoffer’s (a nutritionally oriented psychiatrist) and experienced my first depression and anxiety free year in 13 years.
I also made some major life changes, such as resigning from my corporate job, where I reported to the CEO and travelled frequently and I began the process of inquiry into what I really wanted to be doing with my life.
After sitting with the question “If money didn’t matter, what would I be doing?” the answer revealed itself to me in a tiny whisper “Become a Naturopathic Doctor and help people heal from anxiety, depression , anorexia, bulimia, bipolar disorder (types 1 or 2), addiction, ADD/ADHD, etc using natural therapies and orthomolecular medicine – as you have been helped“.
Let me guide you on the path to wellness so you can fulfill your potential and be free from the mental prison you may be living in. My goal is to help people be the best they can be – so if you live in Edmonton, Alberta or elsewhere, please reach out for information on how my books, programs and resources that can help you on your journey.
What to expect from your Naturopathic Doctor By Dr. Chris, ND
I believe that everyone has within him/herself the power to become completely well. There is, in our planet, and within each one of us, a natural healing power. As we begin to come into harmony with its laws, this healing power will bring us steadily towards complete physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
As your naturopathic doctor, it is my responsibility to make sure that you have the information and guidance that you need to move from where you are now towards better health. I take this responsibility seriously and I know that naturopathic medicine can help you.
You don’t have to be sick to feel better. A naturopathic program is insurance for the future. You can begin to feel better now and you can reduce the likelihood of suffering and illness later in life.
You will find that I listen very carefully to what you have to say. I want to be sure that I understand why you came to see me. After I have gathered sufficient information through questionnaires, a complaint oriented physical exam and by listening, I will make suggestions based on my findings. Then we will discuss your situation and a treatment plan will be outlined. We will work together to meet your health goals. Follow up appointments are to be scheduled to reassess your condition and progress.
The cost of naturopathic health care is a concern for most people, but the truth is you cannot put a price on health. When you invest in your health, you broaden your horizons and open up opportunities for success in life. No expenditure is a better investment for a successful future.
If you currently experience good health, you may not notice any dramatic short-term gains. The goal, however, is to learn how to maintain your health as you grow older, for nobody can deny the incalculable difference between a future spent glowing in vital health and one spent suffering from degenerative disease. The sooner you begin to learn and apply the principles of naturopathic health care, the greater your prospects for a healthier and happier future as you age.
Naturopathic health care is for those who want to take control of their lives and their health. It is for those who want to understand which actions and attitudes contribute to better health and which detract from it so that they can make positive choices.
Each person is complex and this process of discovery is necessarily a gradual one. Deep-rooted conditions take time to uncover, but if there is progress – that is, if you are starting to feel better and have a better understanding of yourself, and you are feeling more in control of your life and your health – then you will know that it is worthwhile to continue.
NDs do place the highest priority on relieving your pain and discomfort as speedily as possible, but they know that the suppression of symptoms gives only temporary relief. Long-term gains are made only by addressing underlying causes. I will discuss your options with you so that you can make choices consistent with your short-term needs as well as your long-term goals.
Stressors may be structural, chemical, biological, mental or emotional in origin, but no matter what the source, the stressor should be identified, acknowledged and then strategies worked out to manage that stressor in a way that is acceptable to you and compatible with your life’s goals.
As your ability to manage stress effectively improves, your immune system will begin to function better. Your resistance to all types of disease will improve and the complaints you presently have will get better.
NDs are trained in emergency medicine, but will always refer people to the appropriate emergency medical care when the situation warrants it.
There are, however, many unpleasant acute conditions for which we can offer help to you and your family as NDs are trained to be primary care physicians. Many distressing conditions affecting children and adults can be quickly improved to help you avoid pain, loss of sleep, loss of work and anxiety. Naturopathic remedies are healthful – they work in harmony with your body and have few side effects. Don’t hesitate to call for an acute appointment – we have four NDs available to serve you.
Naturopathic health care is for children as well as young people and adults. The sooner you act to safeguard and maintain the natural pristine health of a newborn baby, the fewer the problems later on. You can do no greater service for your children than to support their health and give them an informed healthy start to life.
Our contemporary environment – our culture and belief systems, as well as our physical environment – generates stressors of many kinds which affect your children. The impressions created by commercial interests and the media as to what constitutes a good diet for your child can often lead to erroneous beliefs.
A deeper knowledge of nutrition can make a significant difference to your child’s present and future health. As NDs, we like to teach our patients about the many factors that can impact your child’s health and how to better manage these influences.
Some of the concepts which you will encounter in our clinic will be new to you, but we will always take the time to explain to you the reasons behind the things we will be doing and may also recommend some reading material.
Perhaps the most different, and for many the most challenging aspect of naturopathy, is that patients are encouraged to participate in their recovery and health promotion. Many conditions can be treated with minimal participation on your part, but the results in terms of your ongoing freedom from illness and distress are achieved when you are actively involved.
“Docere”, the Latin word for “to teach” is the origin of our word, “doctor”. One of the goals of NDs is to be educators – to share with you a broad and objective view of the factors which affect your health. NDs reach deeply into scientific and medical research. In addition, we study traditional healing knowledge from around the world. As a result, we can offer you principles for healthy living as well as specific solutions for specific problems.
The emphasis is to provide you and your family members with knowledge and understanding – the essential tools necessary for you to progress confidently towards better health. One side benefit, which may appeal to you, is that living according to naturopathic principles is holistic and benefits not just the people who practice it, but the whole planet, too.