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 had mono years ago, and then started getting all these immune problems - wheezing, itching, coughing up phlegm, and having really low energy levels.

And it used to feel like I was allergic to everything!

I got sicker and sicker for years before I found Andy.

His homeopathy and neuroemotional technique gradually made me feel stronger and healthier.

Now I just get infections once or twice a year, and when I do, they're not severe or debilitating at all.

Even my dyslexia and reading problems seem to have gotten better with the Bowen technique and biofeedback.

G.D., Burnaby, 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

I had been living with prostate cancer for months, and the symptoms just got to the point that I had to do something.

The pills that my regular doctor gave me just made me dizzy and tired.

So I went looking for natural alternatives. 

After getting lukewarm results from the acupuncturist and chiropractor, I decided to then see Dr. Somody.

The homeopathic remedy and bowen therapy treatment he gave me made my urination more controlled and regular.

I went from having to get up four times a night to pee to being able to sleep through the night.

My eyes and hearing have also improved, and don't have to live with that annoying chronic cough now either.

R.L., Chilliwack, BC

The shoulder is a lot better! Before I couldn’t even lift things with it - now I’m back gardening and skating regularly. 

My cold actually went away very quickly with the treatment, too – I felt better almost immediately.

My sinuses don’t hurt like they used to, and I don’t get the headaches any more either. Where I injured my head with the concussion doesn’t hurt anymore, and I don’t think I’m as accident prone as I was before either.

I’ve even lost weight over the last few months. 

I originally had a tendency to run around and try to do way too many things at once, and then only do things half or three quarters of the way. The remedy has helped me learn to gather myself a bit, to get an overview of what’s going on, so that I feel more structured to plan my food and my work.

With my work, I’ve been able to work long hours and then relax after since we began the treament.

Also, when I am at home and with the kids, I am capable of talking to them and doing other things at the same time.

Finally, the anxiety, high blood pressure and palpitations are also much better. I don’t even pay attention to the numbers anymore. I know what I feel, and since your treatment, I feel much better with all of this!

S.A., Richmond, BC

Penetrative sex had always been painful and almost impossible for me, and I had started to think I just wasn't meant to have a pleasurable sex life! The homeopathic remedy and naturopathic recommendations have allowed me to enjoy sex with my current partner for the first time ever, and we are both very happy!

Stephanie, Richmond, BC

The frozen shoulder is completely cured, and I don't have any more pain in my shoulder, hip, leg or other joints.
I no longer have a cough, and my anxiety is much better, thanks to Andy's naturopathic and homeopathic treatments

Judy R., North Vancouver (Braemar), B.C.

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

A couple of days after Dr Somodys homeopathic remedy and Bowen treatment, my breast got hot and some smelly, pussy discharge came out of the nipple!

I felt a lot more energized after this.

And then, after a few weeks, the doctors told me that the tumor had started to shrink!

Even my skin and gut are doing better.

I'm feeling optimistic about the future for the first time in months!

Ilona, Surrey (Newton / Fleetwood), BC

The standard doctors just kept giving me more antibiotics that did nothing.

But after the homeopathy and Bowen therapy, my fever started to go down, and so did the cellulitis.

Then my skin boils and impetigo slowly began to improve over the next few weeks.

My back also feels better and stronger now than it had before the Bowen and neuroemotional releases.

Clint M., Victoria, BC

My blood sugar was crazy - going up and down, and really all over the map.

My eyes and kidneys were really getting destroyed by the diabetes, and I already had had problems with both of them before!

Andy's homeopathy, naturopathic and neuroemotional techniques helped my blood sugar stabilize when nothing else was helping.

I notice the swelling and urination problems are much less now. I even got new glasses because my vision's so much better!

Anna L, Pitt Meadows, BC

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