Monday, October 27, 2008

Homeopathy in Naturopathy

Today we had a guest presentation by Dr. Peter Fisher who is a Physician to her Majesty the Queen of England. Dr. Fisher practices Classical Homeopathy, although he does not like some of the connotations associated with the word "Classical." Dr. Fisher is also an editor for the journal Homeopathy and has a vast knowledge of the homeopathic research published in conventional medical journals.

It is such a privilege to get to see international speakers who broaden the understanding of a subject. I really appreciated his perspective on the effectiveness of homeopathy compared to placebo while showing meta-analysis demonstrating both the successes and failures of homeopathy.

Dr. Fisher stated that although the idea of homeopathy "is implausible," there are some theories on how it works. The most prevalent being the, "Memory of Water." I was intrigued by his DVD analogy. If a chemist were to analyze the petroleum constituents of a DVD disc, this would give no indication of the information stored on the disc. Likewise, when the chemical constituents of a homeopathic remedy are analyzed, water, alcohol, and sugar are the most likely chemical constituents found. And, just like the DVD, these give no indication of the information stored within the remedy. An interesting comparison!

Another topic that came up was the idea of homeopathic vaccinations. Dr. Fisher stated that there was not a shred of evidence that Homeopathic immunizations taken from nosodes work (nosodes are remedies made from diseased tissue). A Homeopathic professor at CCNM agreed but stated that there was some evidence that individualized treatments based on the totality of symptoms were often effective. Dr. Fisher noted that Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine using the cow pox virus in 1796 just a few years after Samuel Hahnemann discovered Homeopathy. He said that Hahnemann was excited about medical vaccinations (at least in their intent).

This issue of vaccination is such a hot topic lately, that I will be posting some links to interesting information at a later date.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2nd Year Update in Naturopathic Medicine

One thing that pleasantly surprised me about CCNM was that change can happen quickly in response to student feedback. As such, this was the first time that a "midterm exam week" without classes was implemented. So, our class just finished a mental marathon with nine exams in one week (10 if the practical exam in Homeopathy is counted separately). Unfortunately for my year, the change nearly killed us! The second year is notorious for being the crux year in Naturopathy, but this new format made things exceptionally difficult by condensing all the MT exams into one week. However, I believe our suggestions will lengthen "exam week" or provide some other beneficial solution for future years.

Otherwise, the second year is amazing. This is where we really get introduced to the skills of a primary health care practitioner and also begin other exciting complimentary modalities like acupuncture.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Exceptional Products VII

Camros Organic Eatery

This September, CCNM had the privilege to re-open its cafeteria under the new management of Camros Organic Eatery. This family owned company, from Toronto, shares many of the philosophies of Naturopathic Medicine and what better place to showcase their menu than at the Canadian Naturopathic College. As wholistic nutrition is foundational to naturopathy, I am so proud to have food provided by people who truly care about the impact of food on health. Furthermore, the management has been open to suggestions from the students and a special student menu, exclusive to CCNM, will be available in addition to their amazing meals.

Today, several students from CCNM met at The Camros Garden which is situated about a 45min drive North West of Toronto in the centre of a beautiful hilly woodlot. We spent the afternoon doing gardening work and learning about the processes involved in growing vegetables without artificial fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. A truly practical exercise in organic produce farming! It brought back memories of the hard work, yet community involvement, of the organic farming I helped with during highschool. I think everyone of us kindled a greater appreciation for the food in our cafeteria and are looking forward to going back to the farm when exams are done! Thank-you for the hospitality we were shown.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quote of the Month

"In order to change, we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Author Unknown