February, 2011 |
The Naturopathic Institute of Advanced Medicine
a focus on functional medicine
The Naturopathic Institute of Advanced Medicine was founded in 2005 in Oshawa, Ontario by Leigh Arseneau, ND, with a commitment to off er functional medicine to patients. Functional medicine closely parallels the principal tenants of naturopathic medicine, highlighting the importance of individualized treatments, which goes hand- in- hand with recognition of limitations of “standards of care”. A standard of care addresses a pathology, designed to help most people, most of the time; individualized treatment recognizes the pathology exists as the result of a longstanding and often subtle shift in normal physiological functioning. e underlying physiological imbalance responsible for the presenting pathology varies considerably between diff erent patients; individualized therapy attempts to delineate the underlying imbalance. Functional medicine is a science-based, personalized system’s biology approach that deals with primary prevention and underlying mechanisms for serious chronic disease. It understands the gene-environment interaction infl uence on a complex physiological web, which ultimately translates into health and disease.
Leigh describes the ability of the clinic to successfully partner with local conventional healthcare providers as a key aspect driving the success of the clinic. Leigh as had the privilege to lecture to local groups of family physicians, pharmacists, and nurses, and as a result has received referrals from many diff erent health care providers. is has provided him the opportunity to assess cases from a system’s biology approach and provide another viewpoint for complex, chronic, multisystem conditions. One area of focus of the clinic is cancer management, with the local Lakeridge Health hospital oncology ward providing many of the patients seen. Leigh also makes time to lecture to the general public, which has included schools, churches, public seminars hosted by the Orthomolecular society, and others.
e clinic is serviced by three offi ce staff , two naturopathic doctors, an herbalist, a nutritionist trained in off ering FLT services, and a lab technician. A wide array of integrative diagnostic services are employed, including IgG food allergy testing, salivary hormone testing, urinary organic acids, provocative heavy metal assessment, and a micronutrient assay that assesses adequacy of a broad array of essential nutrients.
Management of traditional cardiovascular risk factors represents a considerable focus of the facility, and as such a well-executed, therapeutic lifestyle programs called First Line erapy for weight management is an integral component. Intravenous therapies have become a mainstay for the facility, principally utilized in integrative oncology, autoimmune disease, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain management, most notably Fibromyalgia. A broad array of injection therapies are employed, including IV vitamin C, glutathione, sodium bicarbonate, Meyer’s (spelt Myer’s) cocktails, Helixor and other personalized formulations. e clinic has also found tremendous success with a European injection therapy called Biopuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.
Leigh has partnered with an integrative MD (Dr Gordon Ko) in the Markham, Ontario area, and practices part time in the facility managed by Dr Ko. Leigh describes a tremendous satisfaction from practicing alongside a respected MD, treated as a colleague and equal. While outpatient naturopathic centres have successfully improved patients lives for many decades, there is no debate that partnering with local physicians allows for the naturopathic model of care to reach many more people than naturopathic doctors are able to reach on their own.
We are greatful to the team of the Naturopathic Institute of Advanced Medicine for allowing us to showcase their facility. It is our hope that ND’s may be inspired to reach out to local physicians after learning of the success of this centre. For every physician that creates an obstacle to delivery of naturopathic care, there is a better- read one waiting to fi nd a competent ND to help deliver integrative medicine to their own patient base.