No one wants to admit that they aren’t managing their stress effectively, or that their lifestyle has become too much for them. We live in a society where we value the concept of the workaholic, and less so the idea of downtime. When I tell you that going to see a Naturopathic Doctor changed my life I’m 100% serious. I was at a point where I knew I was going to burn out (and fast) if I didn’t make some drastic changes, and because I’d only recently gotten into my groove with blogging I REALLY wasn’t ready to let that happen.
Initially, I went to see Naturopath Doctor Erin Balodis at Agricola Holistic Health for advice on natural approaches to cope with my anxiety, and the stress of my go-go-go lifestyle; not only did she help me get a grip on what was going on, she drastically improved the way in which I live and enjoy my life to this day.
My anxiety was and is completely hormonal so going on medications to treat something that happens a few days out of a month just never made sense to me. Besides, I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with anti-anxiety medications in the past, and I was really hesitant to take on the side effects (which for me are pretty intense) for something that only happens here and there.
However, anyone who experiences anxiety knows that whether it happens once a month or thirty you need to have go-to things that (a) work and (b) are quick and easy.
Thankfully Erin helped me find natural approaches to accomplish both; she truly a wealth of knowledge and her approach is kind and gentle which is exactly what I needed. Erin suggested some things I could use to treat my anxiety not only naturally and preventatively, but acutely as well.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
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 unfavorable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than as an entity.
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.
In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
Is Naturopathic Medicine covered?
Most health plans cover Naturopathic Medicine visits, but it all depends on your plan. Agricola Holistic Health offers direct billing for the following health plans: Blue Cross, Great West Life, Chambers of Commerce, and Sun Life Financial Manulife.
Some insurance policies require a doctor’s referral. To check your policy requirements, you can call your provider or email AHH with your insurance details and they will check for you! (amazing service)
If your plan does not direct bill you will have to pay upfront and submit your receipts for reimbursement. My plan is like this, but I’ve made peace with it because I figure you either pay now or you pay later 🙂 Investing in my health is never something I’m going to feel guilty about spending my money on because I want to be around to live it (and more importantly enjoy it). Also, it’s a great way to rack up the points on your Visa lol.
What services are offered with Naturopathic Medicine?
Nutrition – specific dietary counseling and clinical nutrition (supplements/vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals)
Botanical Medicine – herbal extracts in capsules, liquids, or as tea
Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture
Musculoskeletal Acupuncture (dry needling/trigger point therapy)
Injection Therapies -vitamins and Neural therapy (for chronic pain)
Tests – Adrenal function, Salivary hormones, Food sensitivity/allergy, Vitamin D, Neurotransmitter testing, Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, Heavy metal testing
What conditions can be treated with Naturopathic Medicine?
Women’s health (Menopause, menstrual irregularities)
Skin disorders (Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, etc)
Migraines and headaches
Colds and flu’s
Urinary tract problems
Pre and post-natal care
How we treated my concerns:
Anxiety, migraines, and stress management were my biggest concerns. Erin and I talked about a lot of ways stress can creep up on you or be made worse. She could probably write an autobiography about my life based on our discussions, but that’s what I love about Naturopathic Medicine.
While I fully respect Western medicine (hello I worked in the hospital for four years). I fully believe it has it’s place, and I adore my GP (she’s actually lovely), but they are SUPER short on time.
GP’s book in ten minute increments, so they really can’t go through your sleeping patterns, your eating patterns, your bowel movements (this is a thing so you better make peace with poop talk), your menstrual cycle (if that’s applicable), your fitness and stress levels and we should expect them to. Sure they can prescribe you meds, but I fully believe that you need to do your part too. There’s no band-aid fix for stress and anxiety.
I love my job but there are many factors (like any job) that cause me additional stress. From unpredictable deadlines to always being “on” and engaged to forever running from point A to point B to make it to events, travel etc. While these are also the things I LOVE about my job and I truly enjoy so much of it, that momentum is difficult to maintain if you’re not careful.
All the traveling and running around makes for a pretty inconsistent eating and sleeping schedule, and so Erin and I talked about creating more balance (as much as I can find it) in my life.
When you are stressed you need to replenish what you’re burning up. Makes sense right? Think of it like filling your car up with gas (you need it or it doesn’t run). To help support my busy lifestyle, I started taking an adrenal support tincture (which I think is the cutest word ever), but basically, it’s a blend of herbs (so it’s super gentle) that help nourish your adrenal glands to help them properly do what they do. Basically, you take a few drops of the tincture with a little bit of water on an empty stomach (I take it as soon as I get up), and you take it until the bottle is gone.
I’ve been taking the tincture for about 8 weeks now, and I’m definitely already noticing a difference in my stress levels. It’s actually kind of crazy I wasn’t sure it would do anything for me, but I don’t feel that pressure in my chest that I used to, and things that would send me over the edge don’t really anymore.
In addition, my biggest concern was migraines. Anyone who gets migraines knows they are actually the worst possible thing your body can ever experience, and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.
Anything other than a migraine you can push through, or at least maybe watch some Netflix while you’re in your misery, but not a migraine. I get visual disruptions with mine, so I’m actually blind in my right eye (it’s truly as terrifying as you imagine) and because of the level of intensity, you can develop a fear of getting another one.
To help treat and prevent migraines, Erin suggested a number of things, but most importantly to start taking Magnesium Glycinate. As a good patient (I mean let’s be real I was willing to try anything at this point) I did as she suggested and I’m happy to report that I honest to goodness think it’s the only way I got through the bananasness of traveling to Toronto for fashion week.
Along with the magnesium, Erin also suggested a few other vitamins to take regularly and others to have on hand to treat migraines (when they happen), and I basically don’t leave home without them because I really never know when a migraine will strike. It puts me at ease knowing they are always with me, and I can deal with whatever life throws at me.
Along with the herbal supplements, we’ve also been doing acupuncture (see a sneak peek below). I LOVE that Erin provides this service along with her practice because it means (a) I don’t need to make a separate apt (b) I also don’t need to explain anything to her because she already knows my situation. It really just makes things SO much easier, and efficient and when you’re busy like me it’s basically a life saver.
Acupuncture, while I know, seems scary to most people really I promise you it’s not scary at all, in fact, I almost fall asleep every time. I find the experience to be very meditative. I always say that I feel like I just did an hour of yoga, but really all I had to do was lay there. If you’re looking for something to help with stress, weight loss, hormonal balance, libido, or pain I would highly highly highly recommend acupuncture.
DISCLAIMER: These suggestions were custom tailored to me, so please DO NOT start taking these supplements without consulting a professional first. While natural supplements are considered more gentle (and some of them truly are) they are not always appropriate for every situation.
Kind, knowledgeable, and just a pleasure to talk to Erin really is the best! And like I said having natural options that I can turn to time and time again (and I know work) was life changing for me.
I’m not kidding when I tell you that I was a mess when I first stepped into Erin’s office, and I’m so happy that I made that initial step to take my health into my own hands.
I’d never been to a naturopathic doctor before, and I wasn’t really sure how I could even benefit from it, but now I know it is a much-needed component for my overall health.
Whether you have digestive concerns, weight or acne concerns I honest to goodness think there’s a natural way to assist in healing the problem, and if nothing else you can learn if there’s anything you’re doing to make it worse.
Want to get a feel for what it’s like to see naturopathic doctor Erin Balodis at Agricola Holistic Health? Check out the video below. (Make sure to click that HD button)
I can’t leave you without saying a HUGE thank you to everyone at Agricola Holistic Health. I don’t even know where to begin. Y’all are amazing, and I feel so blessed to have stumbled upon your clinic. And special thanks to Brendan Clinton for shooting this amazing video. He was such a joy to work with 🙂 and he’s SO talented. Please check out his work here and contact him here.
To book an apt (which you can do online at ANYTIME of the day #bestthingever) click here > Agricola Holistic Health.
**This post was sponsored by Agricola Holistic Health, however, all opinions expressed are my own.
I am betting this post will help a lot of people. Well done. I feel so much more informed about this type of practice after reading your story.