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Ever Heard Of A Naturopath? Here’s Why You May Want To See One – Nicole Frehsee

An article in Prevention Magazine has come across several of our social media platforms and I wanted to share it with you.

The original article can be found here:



According to conventional wisdom, when you’re sick, you call the doctor. (And maybe your mom.) But your trusty MD may not be the only one who can cure what ails you—especially if you’ve paid him or her a visit already and still aren’t feeling well.

That’s where naturopaths come in. Naturopathic doctors, who are educated in the same basic sciences as medical doctors and attend four-year, naturopathic medical schools, take a holistic approach to healing and use natural approaches, like nutrition, herbs, and acupuncture, in addition to conventional ones, like drugs. Whereas an MD may prescribe medicine as a first line of defense—”take these pills to lower your cholesterol/cure your back pain/ease your anxiety”—an ND focuses on treating a problem’s underlying causes (say, poor diet and exercise or stress) versus just its symptoms. (And they’re just one of the 6 alternative doctors you should consider seeing.)

“We use drugs when necessary, but our goal isn’t to get a patient on right the drug so that they don’t experience symptoms. It’s to get them well,” says Jaclyn Chasse, ND, a New Hampshire-based naturopath and president-elect of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

While naturopaths take on any number of health problems, from colds to cancer, they may not be on the general public’s radar. (They’re currently licensed to practice in 17 states and Washington, DC.) “There’s a healthy skepticism surrounding what naturopaths do,” says Chasse. “But naturopathic medicine is not medicine-lite. In fact, I often see patients who are so sick because they haven’t gotten well in the conventional system.” Here, some reasons you may want to visit a naturopath.

Your blood pressure is creeping up, or you’re type 2 diabetic.

When it comes to chronic conditions, drugs can help initially, but at some point, they may stop working as well, says Jamey Wallace, ND, chief medical officer of Washington’s Bastyr University (one of 5 accredited naturopathic medical schools in the US). “That’s why making lifestyle changes is a focus,” he says. Sufferers of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes typically benefit from weight loss, regular exercise and, of course, a healthy diet, so a naturopath will help patients map out a plan to meet those goals. “I’ll spend time with a patient to identify obstacles to doing those things, and help them set up a schedule so they can practice them,” says Wallace.


Your hormones are out of whack.

Is your period irregular? Your PMS raging? A naturopath may be able to help. “Conventional medicine doesn’t have a lot of tools in this area—there’s nothing to support the body’s own hormone production but birth control,” says Chasse. “But certain herbs are incredibly good at bringing hormones back into balance by improving the connection between the brain and the ovaries, where the hormones are made.” Nutrition also comes into play with hormones, so naturopaths will dissect your diet if an imbalance is found (like MDs, NDs run blood tests to determine your hormone levels). Chasse’s tip: Antioxidants help the brain-ovary connection, so “your best bet is to eat the rainbow”—i.e. lots of colorful fruits and veggies. (For more nutrition advice, check out The Power Nutrient Solution, the first-ever plan that tackles the root cause of virtually every major ailment and health condition today.)

Your stomach is killing you.

If you’re struggling with anything from bloating to IBS to Crohn’s, overhauling your diet could be a better solution than taking meds. “Most digestive disorders respond well to dietary changes,” says Wallace. “I talk about food a lot. Naturopaths aren’t trained as nutritionists but we incorporate food as medicine in our practice.” Naturopaths also dig deep to find the root cause of your pain. “We might do stool tests to see if carbs or fats or proteins aren’t properly broken down, and we’ll want to know what types of probiotics do or don’t live in your gut,” says Chasse. “We tend to do certain testing that conventional doctors don’t really do.”

You’re feeling depressed or anxious.

While seeing your conventional doc for anxiety or depression symptoms might get you a prescription for meds or a psychiatrist referral, naturopaths work with patients to identify the underlying causes of their issues. (Note: They aren’t equipped to manage serious mental-health problems.) “We get a lot of training in counseling, about a Master’s [degree] level,” says Chasse. “We help patients reorganize their lives to limit stress, and we also work with herbs that help the body biochemically manage stress better.” You’ll likely leave your ND’s office with exercise and diet recommendations, too.


Your heartburn is out of control.

Does a slice of pizza for dinner mean reflux for dessert? Conventional antacids aren’t the only remedy. “Antacids are prescribed in inordinate volumes in this country,” says Wallace. Instead, modifying your diet and taking certain herbs may be the first logical steps to feeling relief. “There are a number of herbs that soothe the tissue in the stomach lining and esophagus,” he says. “With the herbs, in addition to some very basic diet changes, many patients come in and say their symptoms are gone.”

You’re suffering from an autoimmune condition.

Autoimmune conditions (everything from Celiac disease to rheumatoid arthritis to lupus), which result when the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells, signal that your body’s immune system is going haywire. As such, conventional doctors commonly prescribe drugs, like steroids, to get some of these conditions in check. Naturopaths, on the other hand, look to lifestyle tweaks. Chasse points to diet as a prime example. “Inflammation is the immune system overreacting, and certain foods cause inflammation,” she says. “We’ll put patients on an anti-inflammatory-diet—plant-heavy, with lots of fish and healthy fats and less red meat and sweets—and prescribe herbs to bring the body back into balance.”

You have cancer.

A disclaimer here: When it comes to battling any disease, we’re certainly not suggesting you ditch your MD in favor of a naturopath (in fact, some states have laws requiring that patients with certain illnesses see an MD before an ND can offer treatment). But in some cases, naturopaths can help optimize conventional treatments. Take cancer, for instance: Naturopaths can help minimize the side effects of chemo (which damages the immune system) so that patients are less likely to run into complications during treatment. “Studies have shown that natural therapies”—think acupuncture or taking certain herbs—”actually help patients do better on chemo,” says Chasse. “When cancer patients are also being treated by a naturopath, they’re more likely to take to the prescribed regimen without a problem.”

8 Tips for Feeling Fantastic no Matter What Your Age!

I often get told that I look much younger than I am and that I can’t be a doctor, I am too young! I admit it, it is flattering.  What is my secret? It’s not good genes because my family has its fair share of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and it’s not make-up because I don’t wear much! So what is it? Read on to find out.

Today’s society is very much bent on outward, superficial beauty, this is our cultural perception of beauty.  I believe there is a true beauty and it doesn’t involve appearance. As we age, women are scrutinized but we need to keep in mind that beauty is not just what is on the surface. As older members of society we need to teach the younger generations that life is not about being stick thin and flawless. Life is about being yourself, being happy, feeling fulfilled, and being kind to others. That is what makes you beautiful. The younger generation needs to learn this, and not be taught by media that thin is in. Lets us show them that wisdom, generosity, and knowledge is beautiful.

There is no magic pill that will make you look younger. You are probably already beautiful. Each and every one of those lines on your face, that you despise, is a lesson learned, a lesson taught, countless exams you have studied for, a child that makes you laugh. Those bags under your eyes are from late nights helping people, or late nights spent with close friends. Your stretch marks are reminders of your bodies amazing ability to grow and birth a child. Each line is a story to tell, not something to wish away.

None the less people are always looking for ways to look young.  So here are 8 pieces of advice for you.

Tip #1: This one is common sense, you know you should already be doing this, but I bet you don’t! Eat lots of fruits and vegetables! I try to eat 1 large fruit smoothie and one large salad every day. Juicing is also a great way to get more fruits and vegetables in to your diet. If you have tried to eat more fruits and vegetables, but just find it too difficult, try a greens powder. You can add a scoop of greens to your yogurt, smoothie, pasta sauce, etc. My personal favourite is Amazing Grass ( Fruits and vegetables are packed full of antioxidants, quenching free radicals within your body that cause pre-emptive aging. The skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables are also full of fibre that keeps you regular and reduces bloating, thus making you look thinner.

Tip #2: If I had $1 for every time I heard that someone skips breakfast or lunch, my student loans would be paid off and I would be one happy woman! Never ever skip a meal. I don’t care how busy you are. As soon as you skip a meal your body goes in to starvation mode and the next time you eat, your brain tells your metabolism to store the food as fat because you are in the midst of a famine. Food gives us energy and the vitamins and minerals essential for body function. That brings us to the next tip.

Tip #3: Processed foods have become a staple in our diets. They are easy to find, quick to eat, and require little to no preparation time. Processed, prepackaged, or microwaveable food has little nutrients in it. Diabetes and heart disease are modern plagues caused by unhealthy diets. So throw out your microwave Peterborough! I threw mine out 6 years ago. When we eat nutritionally empty foods likes chips, white pasta, pop, microwaveable meals, candy, we aren’t feeding our body, we are starving it! An hour after you eat you are hungry again, and that is because your body didn’t receive what it needed to function! So you eat more! By eating a diet full of nutritionally dense foods you satisfy your body at a cellular level! Beauty starts from the inside out, how much more inside can you get than the cells that compose your body!

Tip #4: Sleep! Sleep is usually one of the first things we cut from our lives if we get too busy. Sleep and working out. Sleep is when our bodies heal from a long day. Aim for 7 hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep it is important to have your health assessed by your healthcare provider. You should wake feeling rested with energy to last the day. Sleep gives you more energy, which makes you feel younger!

Tip #5: Skip the gym, who likes the gym anyways!? Not me. I have tried the whole gym membership thing, but I just can’t do it. It’s boring! My advice to you is to incorporate enjoyable physical activity in to your life. The physical activity we do at a gym is very artificial, and can injure you if not done correctly. The best form of physical activity is one that also keeps you in touch with nature. Biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking, gardening. Not only are these activities going to keep you fit, they will lower your stress level, help you sleep at night, raise your metabolism, help you lose weight, lower your cortisol, I could go on and on. Most importantly they are FUN!

Tip #6: Everything in moderation isn’t always the case!  Less is more, especially when it comes to cosmetic products. Your skin needs to breathe. Applying topical chemicals only makes your skin age faster. Let your skin breath fresh air, your skin will love it just as much as your lungs love it! Use coconut oil instead of moisturizer, wash your face with water, minimize the amount of make-up you apply.

Tip #7: Be mindful, caring, loving, generous. Smile more. Be kind to those who are not kind because they need it the most. Stop and enjoy your life more often.

Tip #8: Ok, by now I’m sure the majority of you are thinking “Ya, ya I already know this stuff”, here is something you may not know! Cosmetic acupuncture is a fantastic and non-invasive way to reduce lines, wrinkles, and bags under your eyes. It improves your complexion, and evens your skin tone. If doing the above 7 things do not make you look and feel younger, why not try this! Cosmetic acupuncture is safer, less invasive, and less expensive than Botox and facelifts. Acupuncture in general, is incredibly relaxing, reduces stress and your cortisol level.

Give it a try Peterborough!

The P word and the T word

Here is a math problem for you: The average woman menstruates for 40 years and uses approximately 20 tampons per menses. How many tampons will she use in her lifetime? Answer: 9,600. That’s A LOT! With the number of menstruating women in North America and the number of chemicals found in tampons and pads, the toxicity level is not just a concern for women, but also an environmental concern.

Unfortunately, determining the exact ingredients in tampons and pads is next to impossible. Manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients like food, drug, and cosmetic manufacturers are.  This is absurd because they come in to close contact with one of the body’s most porous and highly absorbent mucous membranes for extended periods of time.

Over the years tampon and pad manufacturers have entered an amazing race to find the perfect combination of fibers and chemicals to create a comfortable, leak free, super absorbent, odour free, easily inserted tampon. Some are now scented, and some have plastic-coated cardboard or plastic applicators.

Current tampons contain a mix of rayon and cotton with paraben preservatives. Some are also scented, which means in addition to the normal chemical soup of ingredients they also have a combination of neurotoxic chemicals that happen to have a pleasant smell. Approximately 84 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on 14.4 million acres of cotton each year! Pesticides are among some of the most toxic chemicals known to man.  Seven of the top fifteen pesticides used on cotton are known human carcinogens. Cotton is also one of the most genetically modified crops in the world.

Rayon is made from wood pulp. The conversion of wood to rayon involves hundreds of chemicals including chlorine to bleach the wood. During this bleaching process chlorinated hydrocarbons are produced. Dioxin is one of these hydrocarbons. The FDA recently released as statement stating that current bleaching methods do not use chlorine gas, but chlorine dioxide along with other chlorine-free bleaching agents. The FDA then goes on to state that these chlorine-free bleaching agents can generate dioxin at lower levels. While dioxin levels have been reduced, they certainly have not been eliminated. Chemicals like these are not eliminated from the body, they are stored in fat cells and accumulate over time.

It is well known in the scientific community that dioxin disrupts multiple endocrine (hormonal) pathways and causes cancer, birth defects, immune suppression, infertility, and miscarriage to name a few. Here we are directly exposing our cervix, uterus, and vagina to this chemical. Endometriosis has been directly linked to the endocrine disrupting effect of dioxin.

Studies also show rayon to be an abrasive fiber. Insertion and removal of tampons creates micro-cuts in the vaginal wall in which fibers of the tampon embed themselves. These micro-abrasions are also a direct link to the cardiovascular system which circulate blood and absorbed chemicals through the entire body.

If negative health effects are seen with tampon use, imagine what effects it has on the environment and wildlife. Approximately 6.5 billion tampons and 13.5 billion pads PLUS their packaging and up in landfills or sewer systems every year. Thousands of tampon applicators are even collected from costal shores! It takes these products up to 25 years to breakdown! Recently many of us have switched to re-usable grocery bags, and re-useable water bottles to prevent the accumulation of plastics in the environment. Why can’t we do this with our feminine hygiene products?


There are all-natural, organic, non-GMO, 100% cotton pads and tampons available. Check out Joanne’s Health Food Store in Peterborough and Lindsey for a good selection of them. My favourite alternative is the menstrual cup! For the past 5 years I have become incredibly close with my DivaCup. I love it, and would never, EVER consider switching back to conventional tampons/pads. The Keeper, the MoonCup and the DivaCup are the more economical and environmentally friendly menstrual cups. They usually hold one ounce of fluid and can be worn for up to 12 hours, which means you only need to empty it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. These cups leave behind no harmful residues (made of silicone) and there is no risk of infection (toxic shock syndrome). Once you get the hang of how to insert the cup properly there is no risk of leaks either! Best of all, they have a 10 year life expectancy. Have I convinced you yet? Maybe this will convince you… the last math equation for this blog involves another P word, PRICE:

$10/month on tampons x 10yrs = $1,200

$40 upfront cost of menstrual cup x 10yrs = $0.32/month!

Happy menstruating!

Moola for your Doula

As a naturopathic doctor, I quite frequently get asked “why should I pay for my health care when I get it free from my medical doctor?”. After reading an article by a colleague of mine about that very topic (check it out here:, I was inspired to write a similar one about doulas. In Peterborough, I have found doulas to be under appreciated. Many doulas in town are trying to make this their career, however since we are paid very little for our time, it is difficult! I’m hoping this blog post will help explain to expecting families what they are getting for when they pay for a doula.

I want to ask you a question, and please think about it for a few minutes: How much would you pay for something that lowers your chances of needing a c-section, improves your relationship with your baby and your partner, lowers your level of pain, helps you make informed decisions, reduces the need for interventions like forceps, vacuums and medications, AND improves your success with breastfeeding? If a drug were able to accomplish this, medical doctors would be all over it! For many women the day they give birth to their child is the most important and memorable day of their life. If you could put a price tag on a positive experience, an experienced companion, someone to hold your hand, encouragement, an extra set of hands, what would the price tag be?

Many people see a doula’s price tag and think: why on earth would I pay that much for emotional support during labour? Well folks, the mystery of how a doula sets her fee’s is uncovered here, keep reading!

When a doula accepts you as a client she is giving you her guarantee that she will be on call 24/7 for at least 2 weeks prior to your due date until you deliver your baby. Living on call is a stressful lifestyle, and not one many of us can handle. Being on call requires a high level of personal sacrifice: birthdays, work, relationships, vacations, holidays, and sleep are all sacrificed.

While a doula’s fee’s may seem intimating at first, when you factor in the amount of time a doula spends researching on your behalf, driving to and from prenatal and postnatal visits, having prenatal and postnatal visits, gas, food, parking at the hospital, supplies to fill her doula bag, she really isn’t making much moola.  The longest continuous labour support I have provided was 36 hours, after accounting for prenatal visits, postnatal visits, travel time, email and phone communication, gas, and parking at the hospital I was making approximately $5 an hour. Women do this kind of job because they have a passion for it, not because of the money.

Not only are you paying for her tangible supplies and her time, you are also paying for her training, her experience and her knowledge of pregnancy, natural labour, medicated labour, breastfeeding, postnatal care and breastfeeding. Being a doula, allows us to see how docs do it, how midwives do it, and other how doulas do it. For the most part each health care provider is only familiar with his/her way of doing things, however, doulas see it all, which is one of the things that makes us unique. Being a naturopathic doctor adds another degree of uniqueness to the care I offer my clients. Naturopathic doctors have a wider scope of practice, allowing us to use natural means to induce labour, to turn breach babies, to alleviate pain, and to help emotional momma’s cope. Naturopathic doctors are also covered under many benefit plans!

I can understand the hesitancy to pay for a doula. Putting a price tag on something as intangible as piece of mind, preparedness and reassurance is not something we are used to. I hope that by reading this article you have gained appreciation for what a doula does for her clients, and maybe even consider having a doula attend your birth.

Why Should I Pay for Naturopathic Medicine?

A good friend of mine Dr. Justin Gallant ND wrote this amazing article recently. I frequently get asked: “Why should I pay for my healthcare when I can see my family doctor for free?” Justin has a great answer to this question, read on or click here:

Why Should I Pay for Naturopathic Medicine?

Dr. Justin Gallant, ND

A couple of people have told me that they have a hard time justifying paying to see a Naturopathic Doctor.

Hopefully this analogy will help shift the mindset:

Scenario 1: You pick up a car for $500 to last you through the winter. You go to start it up and all of the sudden you hear a terrible noise coming out of the muffler. It’s just a beater so it’s reasonable to just patch up the hole. You’re going to get rid of it after the winter anyway right?

Scenario 2: You’ve saved up to buy that new car you’ve always wanted and a couple months later you hear that dreaded noise. You want this car to last at least the next 10 years. That hole is a just a small sign of things to come so it’s better to get a professional service to fix your car (i.e. mechanic or dealership) and get the whole part replaced. After spending hundreds of dollars on your car, your bank account isn’t happy but you won’t have to worry about the problem coming back for a long time.

Scenario 3: You’re born with a priceless body that scientists would not be able recreate with billions of dollars. Your body is not disposable; you want it to last a century. If you don’t want to patch up a decent car that you hope will last a decade I would hope that you would not want to just throw a patch on your body that has the potential to last 100 years. By the time you’re retired would you rather be driving around that car that you decided to patch up every time something went wrong or would you prefer to have that ol’ classic car that looks brand spankin’ new and everything runs perfectly. You’ll be the envy of all your peers. We don’t have the option to sell or trade our bodies so it’s important to seek professional services in order to keep them in optimal shape.

Regarding your health,

While those temporary patches are important while you work on finding a solution, they shouldn’t be depended on for life. It might be necessary to apply a patch until you can find the right person to fix your problem or until you can get the money to pay them but the mindset of, “That’s good enough” shouldn’t suffice. Most of us get one chance with our body and our health is what will maintain it so we can enjoy it for as long as possible.

If you’re willing to spend over $20 000 on a vehicle and dish out hundreds of dollars at a time to keep it tuned up or to repair it, you should not be afraid to treat your health the same way. You’re more important than your car.

Our bodies are miraculous machines, they can enable us to do so many things or they can literally be the death of us. We have to cherish and invest in our irreplaceable bodies rather than the replaceable material things in life. We have to look at our bodies as if they are the vehicle that will get us through the next 100 years and treat it as such.

A couple of other things to keep in mind:

•The less a Doctor is paid per patient, the more patients that Doctor will try to see

•Aside from the advanced education, research and experience your ND utilizes to help improve your health, most ND’s spend a lot of out-of-office time working on each patient’s individual case. It’s better to treat the price you pay as if it’s “per health” rather than “per hour” because you might sit down with your ND for an hour but they could spend a whole day working up your case.

•If money is an issue, just like most other professions, most ND’s will be able to work something reasonable out for you.

•If you have benefits, depending on the company you could get the first 4 visits for free or 80% off of all of your visits.

•Most people you talk to who have been to an ND have no problem paying for the service, these people realize how valuable their health is because the majority of them have realized how severely poor health can affect their life.