Monday, February 22, 2010

Integrative Health Institute

Last week I had the privilege to preceptor with Dr. Walker who is a co-founder and clinic director of the Integrative Health Institute (IHI) on King and Sherbourne downtown Toronto. I believe the model of care established to be one of a kind so far in the Toronto area, if not Ontario. Although there are other multidisciplinary clinics that revolve around a Chiropractic approach or a Medical Doctor's paradigm, the IHI is based on a unique collaborative of patient centered care. The practitioners are able to coordinate appropriate treatments for their patients based on a therapeutic order of intervention and utilizes Registered Massage Therapists, Chiropractors, an Osteopath, Clinical Counselor, and Medical Doctor.

To book an appointment at the Integrative Health Institute call, 416-260-6038 or visit their website at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who Owns the Podium?

I absolutely love the Olympics. My wife and I personally know several Olympic athletes and know first hand the dedication and perseverance it takes to struggle through many hardships in order to realize their dreams. Additionally, as an exercise physiologist and coach, I have tremendous appreciation for what the human mind and body can do in sports.

Although I certainly realize the necessity for their funding, one thing that slightly taints my experience of watching the games is the irony of the largest sponsors: Coca-Cola and McDonald's. What is problematic, from a public health perspective, is that these sponsors are much more than indirectly associated with the sports (like cigarette brands were to car racing). Rather, the perception portrayed is that they are directly a part of the athletes lives. It would seem that a McDonald's breakfast, lunch and supper contributes to gold medals. The athletes appear to be eating there every day and they even bring their parents! Are Coca-Cola and McDonald's really the meals of champions? Unfortunately, I do realize that the answer is yes for some athletes (along with Kraft Dinner and other nutrient void foods) because Canada's athletes are often not able to afford the quality of foods they would like to purchase. And that is an entirely different topic...

But, it is not the athletes I am worried about since they do enough exercise to negate many of the side effects of a fast food diet (Also, it is highly unlikely their diet constitutes fast food to the degree that we are led to believe by the commercials). Instead, the youth are the real targets here. The movie, "Supersize Me" highlights some of the psychology behind fast food marketing - it's quite amazing.

Check your provincial association for Naturopathic Doctors who work with performance athletes for a thorough investigation of nutritional measures for competition, recovery and rehabilitation.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Beyond Compartmentalization

This semester has the largest spectrum of health philosophies I have encountered yet as a CCNM student. On the one hand, we have courses that teach scientific best practices and algorithms like Emergency Medicine, Primary Care, Radiology and Phlebotomy, and on the other there is the "energetics" of Homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is enough to make anybody's head spin!

Although one way to deal with this disparity is to compartmentalize the information and put up walls between the modalities, I find that selecting and assimilating a patient centered approach from what works from each modality is ideal - best practices first of course. For example, the most important skill I have learned from homeopathic medicine is the art of interviewing. Hands down, there is no better or more thoroughly investigative interview process than in homeopathy. The techniques are so involved that many critics credit the process to the cases of success.

This is a situation that is most likely unique to naturopathic medical school and I believe it will ultimately give ND's a corresponding unique approach to health care.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quote of the Month

“Some people find fault like there is a reward for it."
Zig Ziglar