Interested in Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Bowen Therapy or the Neuroemotional Technique?

As the profile of Naturopathic Medicine in North America has been on the rise in recent years, I have increasingly been contacted by prospective Naturopathic Medical students who are interested frank feedback on my education and career as a Naturopathic Doctor in Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver & Port Coquitlam.

In fact, just this week, I received emails from three different individuals who, despite hailing each from different continents, all posed near-identical reiterations of this basic question.

When synchronicity blugeons me on the head like this, I can't help but take notice. :)

So, without further adieu, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a Naturopathic Medical career in the Greater Vancouver region of BC.

Lets start with some pros.

In short, my experience as a naturopath in the GVRD has been very rewarding thus far.

I mean that primarily in an emotional and spiritual sense, although this profession can no doubt be financially lucrative.

Of course, the value of doing something for which you have a passion cannot be underestimated, and certainly cannot be properly in mere dollars and cents.

On the other hand, there have naturally been downsides as well.

For instance, after completing my undergraduate Systems Engineering degree, I was fortunate enough to be accepted to both naturopathic (ND) and conventional allopathic (MD) medical schools.

While that doesn't sound like much of a downside, you'll see what I'm getting at soon! :)

I chose the former because, after having just left the cold, analytical world of engineering, I was careful to avoid thrusting myself back into another rigidly-mechanistic and numbingly-clinical program.

The scope of education at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine was certainly well-rounded enough to allow for training in somewhat non-clinical or alternative disciplines, such as electrotherapy and exercise rehabilitation training.

Additionally, the inclusion of the naturopathic core treatment disciplines:

  1. Homeopathy
  2. Botanical Medicine (Herbalism)
  3. Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM / TCM)
  4. Therapeutic Nutrition
  5. Psychological Counseling (including that of patients and their loved ones in near-death cases, or even through the death process, and cognitive behavioral therapy), and
  6. Physical Medicine (Naturopathic Physical Manipulation, similar to chiropractic, as well as Massage, Hydrotherapy, UV light, and ultrasound therapies)

gave me a plethora of useful skills that I still regularly use in my daily practice.

Nonetheless, as most graduates of the seven fully-accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools:

  1. Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
  2. Bastyr University
  3. Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
  4. National College of Natural Medicine
  5. Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
  6. University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine 
  7. National University of Health Sciences

would no doubt attest to, there's no shortage of clinical work involved in getting the ND degree! 

With extensive training in conventional clinical and biomedical sciences, such as:

  • Anatomy
  • Biomedicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Lab Diagnosis
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemical Connections
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Oncology
  • Physical Clinical Diagnosis

as well as an additional post-graduate phamaceutical therapy course, I along with many of my collegues have attained sufficient training to prescribe all but the most restricted pharmaceuticals along MDs.

However, note that this does not imply that I choose to prescribe pharmaceuticals on a daily or even monthly basis.

Instead, as eloquently stated by Dr. Christoph Kind, ND, the president of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA),

“In a sense, the ability to prescribe legitimizes the decision not to prescribe."

So, despite their seeming differences, there are many similarities between the depth, direction and focus of study in naturopathic and conventional (allopathic) medical schools alike.

This chart highlights the similarities between accredited ND and MD education - as well as the striking differences between the fully-accredited ND programs administered by the aforementioned seven schools (the leftmost two columns in the chart) and the non-accredited "ND" knockoff degrees issued in non-regulated states (the rightmost two columns).

As for my experience in my early years of practice, there were again some positives and some negatives.

One of the positives was that, by the completion of my ND degree, I had received a plethora of clinical training - over 2000 hours devoted specifically to seeing patients and making real-life treatment decisions - via the Boucher student clinic and intership.

This naturally helped to create a relatively smooth transition into the working world.

In fact, the interships I had completed presented me with job opportunities at multiple clinics on graduation.

As a result, I was able to begin part-time work between preparations for my week-long board exams, and this transitioned nicely into full-time work immediately thereafter.

On the other hand, due to the relatively low profile of NDs in North America today, as well as the degree of competition in Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Port Coquitlam, I could not simply put out my shingle and magnetically begin attracting patients.

Admittedly, this magnetic force has become increasingly stronger in recent years.

However, I reason that has more to do with the positive word-of-mouth being spread by some of my wonderful patients than the modest increase in either Naturopathic Medicine's public image or the general demand for NDs in the GVRD, particularly in the heavily-saturated Vancouver city proper.

However, going back to the beginning of my career, I certainly could not then rely on word of mouth.

Instead, I was forced instead to wear the dual hats of physician and entrepreneur, and to manage the health of my business in tandem with that of my patients.

Despite having been well-trained for this businessman role, it was one I once long resisted, idealistically (and very stubbornly) shunning self-promotion in favour of intensive focus on patient care - which, after all, was what I became a doctor to do!

But at the end of the day, if one chooses to take the road less traveled, it's only natural that one must learn to blaze a trail.

And once that path has been cleared, the possible destinations to which it may be followed are limited only by a Naturopathic Doctor's drive, passion and imagination.

Naturopathic Medicine & Homeopathy Testimonials

I've always had an addictive personality, which can be great when I put it towards something productive, like work.

Last year, before your homeopathic prescription and the neuro-emotional treatment, I was a full-blown alcoholic, and smoked four packs a day.

I'd lose myself in destructive things like gambling and food.

Now I only drink or smoke socially and irregularly ... once or twice a month maximum.

And I'm in control the whole time.

The doctor tells me my liver is doing much better too.

I'm also not coughing or hacking up stuff like I had.

C.P., Parksville, BC

I had a constrictive sensation in throat – like someone was pushing on it with a nail – and stabbing pain where the jaw meets the ear.

The left side of my head went numb and I had a really really loud & tinny sound in my ear.

Then I started having bursts of vertigo. Andy's homeopathic and naturopathic treatments, and all the neuro-emotional work we did, made my throat pain,  much less, and after a couple of months, they went away totally.

A.P., Richmond, BC

I truly believe that, without Andy's homeopathic remedy and the neuroemotional work we did, I wouldn't have come back from my thyroid cancer.

I've been cancer-free for almost a decade now.

I also used to have to avoid cell phones and X-rays because they would make me feel like crap and affect my bowels, but am not so sensitive to radiation now thanks to the homeopathy.

James L, Delta (North Delta), BC

For most of my life, I felt as though I couldn't breathe - there was so much mucus and congestion in my lungs and nose.

I was sick a lot too, in my lungs and nose, plus infections in my bladder. 

But I would also get this same congested feeling when I would get panic attacks.

Andy's homeopathic remedy, bowen treatment, and neuroemotional exercises let me get to the source of my sickness and cure it.

Now I only rarely get sick or panicky.

And I always seem to get over it pretty quickly when it does come.

The change in my mood is like night and day too.

Carol K., Burnaby, BC

I have seen a huge shift in myself - mentally, physically and emotionally.

It's awesome! 

Things are going really great and most importantly I am connecting on all these different levels. 

Yesterday, I was jumping on my bed with my kids and I wasn't having those crazy heart palpitations, I wasn't even out of breath, I am not cold...I could go on and on...thank you.

Tamar Conner, Kentville, Nova Scotia

The homeopathic remedy treated all my sexual symptoms very well.

And I'm not constantly running to the bathroom.

Also, my MD told me my prostate is smaller now.

G.G., Coquitlam (Coquitlam Town Centre), BC

Before coming to see you, if I ate anything but raw food, I'd feel like my abdomen was so bloated, painful and swollen.

I would get tired and fuzzy in the head from eating almost anything!

Another naturopath diagnosed me with leaky gut, but the supplements she prescribed didn't really help that much.

Your homeopathic remedy and Bowen therapy made a huge difference though.

And I was happy to not have to take so many vitamins!

The mental-emotional technique also made me aware of the past events that had probably contributed to my health problems.

I also appreciated that you could tell me what foods were good for my body, and which foods I was allergic to.

Although, as you told me would happen, it seems these allergies have become less with time, I can now eat almost anything without having any gas, pain, confusion or tiredness.

Bernadette, Vancouver (West Point Grey), BC

Andy responded so compassionately to my nephew's diagnosis of this life threatening and shocking skin disease, and quickly found the remedy that miraculously turned the disease around.

You could actually see the lesions disappearing and within hours he was on the road to full recovery.

Thomas Schell, Nova Scotia / New Brunswick

The deep abscess and pustules don't bother me anymore - thank you!

My eyes and sleep are also better since the homeopathic remedy.

Katherine, Delta (Tsawwassen), BC

Tyler's really doing much better since your homeopathic therapy.

A couple years before, he had chelation for excessive copper toxicity, and that seemed to make him better for a time.

But then he just seemed to absorb it back from everything around him ... even though I was making sure to filter his water and only give him pure, organic foods.

And we were back to square 1.

With your homeopathic treatment, though, it seems like Tyler's body has learned how to clear out the copper for himself.

Either that, or he doesn't respond so badly to it anymore.

All I know is he's just back to his old self again, like he was before the vaccination.

Claire S., Langley (Brooksville), BC

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