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

The tics and spastic outbursts were able to be gradually helped by the homeopathic medicine and bowen technique.

Until now, I barely have them at all.

The neuroemotional work also helped restore my mobility.

Margret D, Burnaby (Brentwood, North Burnaby), BC

I found that the remedies prescribed by Dr. Somody had a huge impact on previous debilitating female health problems that I had struggled with for years.

I feel that I can live my life the way I want to without having to worry about menstrual pain or bladder issues.

Dr. Somody has a caring and sensitive nature when he deals with his patients.

He makes a patient feel empowered by validating her own insights with regards to health matters.

When Dr. Somody uses emotional healing methods, a patient feels as if a weight has been lifted almost instantly.

I recommend him to my friends and family very often.

J. Sall, Port Coquitlam, BC

Distance had been created between myself and my wife - in our sex life and our marriage in general - when I came to see Dr. Somody. The naturopathic counselling and homeopathic remedy quickly helped me to overcome my ejaculatory control issues. and my marriage and sex life are doing good now.

Brian C., Port Coquitlam, BC

My daughter was going through a horrible period of battling with anorexia, bulimia, and cycles of binging, starvation, and over-exercise.

Her electrolytes were so messed up that, even though she would try to hide it, she was having major problems with coordination and concentration.

She hadn't had periods for at least two years, her hair, teeth and nails were weak and brittle, and the doctors said that she was heading towards osteoporosis.

Dr. Andy was so compassionate and helpful, and his homeopathic remedy and mental-emotional releases seemed to make a difference almost immediately.

Even though my daughter didn't start to gain weight for a couple of weeks, I could see her brighten, relax, and open to the possibility of change.

Little by little, she started eating a little more and relaxing her rigid ideas about food.

It also helped that Dr. Andy was able to tell her what foods were good for her body.

Today, my daughter is happy, healthy, and has no more concerns about weight or body image.

Her periods are normal again too, and she doesn't even have anymore bad dreams or disturbed sleep either.

J.D., West Vancouver (British Properties), BC

Her spasms, aggression, and itching rash have gotten much lesser since the homeopathic treatment.

S.T. (dog owner), West Vancouver (Dundarave), BC

Physically, I wasn’t sick in the sense of major disease or sickness. But if I was to keep going the way I was. I would have been for sure soon!

Being troubled with stomach issues for sometime, and having emotion issues I wasn’t even aware of.  

Before I met Dr. Andy Somody, my journey first started at a walk in clinic, where I was put through some blood and stool test after a quick intake. 

My test came back and I was told I have a parasite. I was put on antibiotics and it completely wiped me out. It wasn’t a pleasant experiences at all! 

After all that, I still had painfully stomach issues. I guess it wasn’t the parasite. That upset me a lot to think I poisoned my body for no reason with drugs. I was then told that I had IBS.

After doing some research about IBS I thought it was time to get a second opinion. Why do western doctors just treat the “what” and not want to figure out the “why” so it wont happen again? The reason I went to the walk in clinic in the first place was because my family doctor was a drug pusher who really didn’t listen to me and made me stupid for not wanting to put drugs into my system. 

I chose then to see Dr. Andy Somody.

I called him up made an appointment for the next Saturday. 

I was very pleased that I didn’t need to take anymore time off work and that he was available on Saturday.

My first appointment reassured me that this was the right choice for me.

Andy listened to everything I said.

He asked me question, that I never I been asked before.

He provoked thoughts in me that I never even new existed in me.

My cure was a simple but profound one.

I was stressed out from work and I was going down the wrong path in life. The balance in my life was way off.

I am pleased to say that the pieces of my life are coming together and I’ve never been happier!

(which I never thought could happen, because I thought I was already happy.)

The pieces were always there in front of me - I just didn’t know what to do with them.

I owe Andy for helping me figuring it out, by opening my mind and spirit.

By listening and showing me love and compassion.

Andy has a true calling for naturopathic medicine.

Which has inspired me do what I love.

I am free of all pains and have learnt the ability to listen to my body for what needs it has at the time.

Thank you, Dr. Andy!

Jennie Robinson, Richmond, BC

My jaw had been frozen shut by a bony fusion, and nerve damage from many destructive surgeries.

I had such severe and destructive scar tissue in my mouth.

Andy's homeopathic remedy, neuro-emotional work, and especially the Bowen therapy helped to unlock my jaw and break up this scar tissue.

My nerve pain is also less intense than it's been in years, and is still getting better with every treatment.

Brent G, Burnaby (Whalley, North Surrey), BC

The trembling and shaking is not noticeable anymore, and the muscle weakness and tension is getting less.
It seems like it's gotten better every time I've seen you, so I have hope for it soon going away absolutely!
My eye sight is also stronger through the treatment, and I am not so forgetful or confused now.

Elle C., Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

My urologist couldn't really figure out what was going on with the swelling, inflammation and pain in my scrotum.

I was told I had epididymitis, varicocele, and hydrocele.

But none of the diagnoses really fit.

Like you said, though, the homeopathic remedy is really like the diagnosis and cure at the same time.

And the bowen therapy decreased the swelling and pain slowly but surely.

My wife and I had resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren't meant to have kids.

So when we got pregnant last month ... we were shocked.

I still can't wrap my mind around how your treatment works ... but I can't deny that its worked for me.

L.N., Langley (Aldergrove) / Victoria (Sooke), BC

My hands, fingers, elbows, and knees would just blow up every few weeks and get really red, swollen and painful.

Then I injured my achilles tendon, and ended up having bell's palsy somehow.

Dr. Somody's bowen therapy really helped my joints, and my attacks are more few and far-between now.

Even when they do come these days, they're much weaker.

Between the bowen, homeopathy, and neuroemotional feedback releases, my joints and achilles are feeling pretty great these days.

The Bell's palsy took a little longer to release, but once my joints got to the point of being mostly cured, things started moving in my jaw and face again.

Even my periods are more regular these days.

Catherine, West Vancouver (Lions Bay), BC

Pages