Health Care Services
The focus of naturopathic medicine is health promotion and the understanding that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. By identifying and removing obstacles to cure, the body is able to heal and move toward optimal health. The goal of naturopathic practice is to treat underlying disorders and to restore normal body function by enhancing the body's own healing abilities.
Disease prevention and preventing the progression of disease are principles inherent to naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic doctors work with patients to identify the root causes of disease and to address all the factors that are affecting a patient's health.
Naturopathic doctors are primary health care practitioners. They are trained to treat virtually all health concerns from acute to chronic, pediatric to geriatric and physical to psychological. Naturopathic doctors work with three main groups of people: 1) patients that are looking for disease prevention and health promotion, 2) patients with a range of health concerns and no clear diagnosis and 3) patients with chronic and severe illnesses.
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body, and unfavourable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than as an entity.
Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
Osteopathy is a form of natural medicine that aims to restore function in the body by treating the causes of pain and imbalance.
In Ontario, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners maintain, improve or restore the normal physiological function of interrelated body structures and systems, and enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself. They use various manual assessment and treatment techniques and modalities to help people of all ages and backgrounds who suffer injury, pain or other health concerns by easing the pain, reducing swelling, improving tissue mobility and promoting efficient healing. Restricted or constricted areas of the body – areas which are not moving normally or are “strangled” or “squeezed” may exist in the following systems:
Osteopathy is unique because it focuses on the root cause of pain, dysfunction and dis-ease in the body rather than simply masking the symptoms.
How Can Osteopathy Benefit Me:
There are many benefits to osteopathic treatment. Osteopathic treatment seeks to address the root cause of pain or illness, and relieve chronic pain. The practice also encourages the body to heal itself and rely less on medication.
Here are some other benefits that you may find relevant:
Increases range of motion in the joints
Reduces pain and stiffness in joints
Qualitatively and gently treats spinal problems resulting from poor posture or spinal disk injuries
Relieves chronic pain through non-invasive treatment
Decreases joint stress
Reduces tension in the body
Relieves tension headaches and migraine headaches
Helps the body to adapt to hormonal changes during pregnancy
Reduces visible scarring and adhesion on the skin
Treats trauma from accidents, sports injuries, and motor vehicle injuries
Increases circulation and healthy heart rate
Reduces blood pressure and associated diseases
Registered Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including, muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage Therapy is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.
How Can Massage Benefit Me:
There are tremendous benefits to be achieved through regular massage therapy treatments from a Registered Massage Therapist. Whether your need is to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension or attain relief from chronic pain, a therapeutic massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being.
Massage therapy can be an important part of your health maintenance plan by:
Reducing or eliminating pain.
Improving joint mobility.
Improving lymphatic drainage.
Reducing muscular tension.
List of conditions for which massage therapy, when provided by a Registered Massage Therapist, can prove beneficial:
Anxiety and depression, Carpal tunnel syndrome (repetitive strain)
Chronic Fatigue syndrome, Dislocations, Fibromyalgia and edema, Gastrointestinal disorders, Headaches, Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and bursitis, Insomnia, Kyphosis and Scoliosis, Muscle tension and spasm, Palliative care, Post-surgical rehabilitation, Pregnancy and labour support, Sports injuries, Strains and sprains, Stress and stress related conditions,Tendinitis, Whiplash
What To Expect:
Before the massage, the therapist conducts a thorough assessment to determine the needs of the child and to confirm that there are no reasons the child should not be massaged. Appropriate dress is always discussed and modesty is always respected. Some children prefer to have their clothes on, while others enjoy being covered with a sheet and blankets. Parents are often encouraged to remain in the treatment room for child comfort or if consent is obtain they may leave the child with the therapist. Massage techniques are applied for varying lengths of time: 30 minutes to an hour, depending on age and needs of the child/youth/teen. Some therapists work on a therapeutic/medical/condition-based model while other therapists work on the whole child, paying attention to the connection between mind, body and spirit, and focusing upon respect, self-worth and communication.
Therapeutic massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, pain and muscular spasm. Advanced techniques such as hydrotherapy, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, joint play and trigger point therapy are used during this therapeutic session. A postural and orthopedic assessment is incorporated in the treatment to determine a clinical impression for the primary complaint of pain. Depending on your condition and treatment goals, your Massage Therapist may want to see you frequently for the first few sessions and discuss a suitable treatment plan. A re-assessment after a few sessions will help determine the progress of the condition with objective measures and findings.
Massage Therapy has become an integral part of the athletic regimen. A growing number of trainers believe that massage can provide an extra edge to the athletes who participate in high performance sports. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from massage. Anyone who routinely stretches their physical limits through movement such as running, cycling, hiking, swimming, dancing, racquet sports, strength training and aerobics can benefit from regular massage therapy treatments.
Sports massage can be performed before, during, or after an event. It focuses on preparing the muscle tissue, relieving fatigue and flushing out toxins that build in the muscles after prolonged use. It also increases recovery time after heavy workouts and relieves muscle tension and joint pain which can lead to injury.
Various techniques are used including fascial release (targets the connective tissue surrounding muscles), deep tissue massage, advanced stretches, and other Swedish techniques. Friction techniques are used to alleviate scar tissue and to help realign muscle fibers.
Pre & Post Natal Massage
Getting regular massage is a great way to support the body as it adjusts to the changes that occur during pregnancy. Studies have shown that pregnancy massage helps improve to mood, decrease swelling, ease pain, decrease depression and anxiety, and increase relaxation. All of our therapists are trained in pregnancy massage and will modify treatment techniques and positioning depending on the presenting trimester. Our therapists focus on meeting the therapeutic needs of the client as she goes through the physical and emotional changes related pregnancy. We offer various positioning and pillowing options to ensure client comfort including angled pillow support while laying supine, pillows for side-lying, and body cushion systems to allow pregnant clients in the first and second trimester to lay face down without causing strain to the abdomen or low back. You can discuss these options with your therapist to choose which one is right for you.
During the first and second trimester of pregnancy, massage therapy treatments are generally recommended once a month. As the third trimester approaches, treatments can be increased to twice a month to address aches and pains related to postural and hormonal changes. Closer to the due date treatments can be booked weekly to prepare the body and mind for labour. Benefits of Massage Therapy during Pregnancy is that it helps to relieve stress and promotes relaxation, decrease muscle tension, spasms and cramping, relief of sciatic nerve and joint pain, decrease frequency and intensity of headache discomfort, increases circulation of blood and lymph, decreases swelling in arms and legs, decrease stress on weight-bearing joints and offers emotional support and a nurturing touch.
Relaxation Massage is often synonymous with Swedish Massage. Swedish Massage involves a variety of techniques designed to ease muscle aches and tension, improve muscle and joint mobility and promote relaxation. Effleurage – gentle gliding technique used on superficial muscles Petrissage – kneading and squeezing of the deeper muscles and tissues Tapotement – rhythmical movements and tapping performed with the edge of the hand or heel of the palm Stroking – a very gentle gliding technique with only minimal pressure applied to the skin
Swedish techniques also increase local venous and lymphatic return. This increase in circulation helps supply the skin and organs with more oxygen creating a relaxing effect on the body leading to improved sleep and digestion.A Relaxation Massage is generally a full body treatment which is 60, 75 or 90 Minutes in duration and includes the back, neck, shoulders, legs, hips, feet, arms, hands face and scalp. Relaxation/Swedish techniques can also be integrated into a Therapeutic Massage or Pregnancy Massage.
Pediatric and Youth Massage
Massage Can Help Children in the following areas: Improves circulation and skin nutrition, stimulates growth, eases aches and pains, increases flexibility and function of muscles and joints. Great for youth who play sports, instruments, or video games. Supports and increases thinking and verbal skills. Helps children relax and learn to calm themselves and be better able to manage stress. Helps relieve depression and anxiety. Increases speech and language skills and helps to build trust, friendship and respect.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage focuses on the deeper layers of soft tissue. It aims to balance and decrease muscle tone, correct body posture and release muscles from chronic pain. This type of massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, but the pressure is generally more intense and more focused as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension and adhesions. Deep pressure should result in what we like to call “sweet pain”. If the pressure causes pain that becomes uncomfortable or causes you to hold your breath, it is most likely too much pressure. Our therapists will check in with you throughout the treatment but you should always feel free to speak up if you would like the pressure adjusted.
Undoing chronic knots and tension built up over time is best achieved with an integrated program that includes exercise, posture analysis, relaxation techniques and a regular program of massage. So it is important to remember that increasing the pressure and pain will not necessarily lead to eliminating knots in one treatment.
Deep Tissue Massage works well with Myofascial and Trigger Point Release Techniques and can also be added into a Relaxation Massage, Pregnancy Massage or Sports Massage.
Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites--commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called "qi" (pronounced "chee") flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, and improve sleep, digestive function, and sense of well-being.
Medical Acupuncture is based on meridian channel pathways and points are chosen based on area of pain and blockage of energy. Medical Acupuncture helps with pain management, inflammation, and trigger points. Traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture can also help conditions that medical acupuncture is beneficial, however, can also influence conditions of infertility, auricular acupuncture for addictions such as smoking, and can also help with weight loss. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in this area of TCM acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine
How does Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine work and what can they treat?
Acupuncture is a medicine dating back over 5000 years ago to ancient China. This medical model is based on the premise that the body is an interrelated system of energetic pathways. These pathways flow throughout the entire body and are all connected to each other at some level. The energy running along these pathways is called Qi, or ‘vital energy’. When the body is in balance, the Qi runs smoothly and nourishes every part of the body. When the body falls out of balance due to either: stress, overwork, poor dietary choices/habits, injury, climactic influences, etc., the energetic pathways no longer run in smooth succession. Instead the body becomes imbalanced, and one will feel unwell, out-of-sorts, have pain, sleeping disorders, digestive disturbances, headaches, menstrual issues, and the list goes on. Basically, Acupuncture can treat almost any case that doesn’t require emergency medical services or acute surgery. Examples of conditions that Chinese Medicine can treat include:
-Gastrointestinal disorders (such as abdominal pain, constipation, IBS or acid reflux)
-Gynecological disorders such as (menstrual cramps, infertility and menopausal symptoms)
-Musculoskeletal disorders (such as neck and back pain, sciatica, tennis elbow and frozen shoulder).
-Headaches, migraines and hypertension
-Anxiety, insomnia and restless sleep
-General health and wellbeing
-Addictions such as smoking and food addiction
By placing tiny, thin stainless steel needles into strategic areas on the body where the meridians run superficially, a well-trained Traditional Chinese Medicine Practioner is able to help re-balance the body and therefore diminish or rid one of their ailments be it physical or emotional. When the body is flowing smoothly, so does one’s mind and health!
What can I expect during a visit and how many treatments are needed?
You first visit will be 90 minutes as Acupuncture diagnosis requires a very detailed intake. You will be asked questions about all of the systems in your body, your tongue will be looked at, and your pulse will be checked. This helps to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan that works specifically for you. Once this is completed, you will lie on the table and the treatment will be performed. Once the needles are in, you are left in the room to relax with soft music for 20-30 minutes.
All follow-up treatments are 60 minutes in length. The amount of treatment needed usually depends on the severity of and length of time that you have been feeling unwell. If your condition is relatively new and mild, often only a few sessions are necessary. For chronic and severe cases, long-term treatment is the most beneficial.
Is only Acupuncture used? Are there any other treatments performed?
Acupuncture is normally the main method of treatment, but there are many other forms of treatment modalities that can be used or combined with the Acupuncture. I am trained to practice: Chinese Herbology, Cupping Therapy (using suction cups to increase circulation), Moxibustion (a hot cigar-looking stick with a warming herb rolled inside; it is burned and then put over the skin to heat certain points), Tui Na (Chinese therapeutic massage), Electro-Acupuncture (placing tiny clips on certain needles and having them stimulated with a very gentle electric current), Chinese Dietary Therapy, and Gua Sha (‘scraping’ the skin to increase circulation and relieve pain). I also have my 1st degree of Reiki training.
What is Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is the gentle placement of tiny, thin needles into the body and face to bring out your most radiant, natural beauty. It works by rebalancing the body to a state of health, which in turn, reflects on the face. The only side effects tend to be better sleep, increased energy, better digestion, and much more! Please ask front desk for an information handout to find out more.
What if I am seeing another therapist of sorts?
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology is a medicine all of itself. However, this is not to say that acupuncture can be, and at times should be, combined with other therapies. At Complete Integrative Care we are patient-focused. Since we have so many highly skilled therapists working under one roof, we are able to give the best care possible to each patient. If I feel that a patient would benefit from another therapy more than Acupuncture, or would work even better alongside my therapies, then I refer the patient on. We have found that the healing time for many patients has been much faster at our clinic than just on our own, as we can tailor our care to each individuals needs. It is recommended that you always have regular check-ups with your doctor to have the most well-rounded health care possible.
Cosmetic Acupuncture-is purported to improve skin and act as an anti-aging treatment in part by stimulating the production of collagen (a protein that acts as a major component of your skin). It’s said to naturally help make the skin look younger, smoother, and all-around healthier. Usually 10-12 sessions are recommended to see improvement.
Reiki-a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.
Herbal Medicine-Herbal medicine uses plants and natural substances for therapy or medicinal purposes. This can comprise of herbal teas, decoctions or patent pills.
TDP Lamp-With the functions of promoting, metabolism, regulating physiological deficiency, diminishing inflammation and easing pain, the TDP Lamp has proven to be extraordinarily effective in treating numerous ailments such as muscular soreness and pain, soft tissue injuries, arthritis and various skin conditions.
Gua Sha-is the practice of using a tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain, promote blood flow and relieve tension.
Moxibustion-is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called "moxa" are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.
Electroacupuncture-Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles. According to some acupuncturists, this practice augments the use of regular acupuncture, can restore health and well-being, and is particularly good for treating pain.
Cupping-is an ancient form of Chinese medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood circulation, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Tui Na-is a form a Chinese medical massage used largely in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries or pain. When muscles contract, they can compress the vessels preventing a sufficient supply of blood.
Exercise Therapy is a regimen or plan of physical activities designed and prescribed for specific therapeutic goals. Its purpose is to work towards the restoration of normal musculoskeletal function or to reduce pain above and below the site of injury caused by diseases or injuries through neuro reeducation, gait training and therapeutic activities. It is highly repetitive and intensive in nature, requiring time and dedication on the part of the client to encourage neuroplasticity. The therapy is provided by professionals with an educational background in exercise science, exercise physiology, or other similar degree.