Naturopathy

Why See a Naturopathic Doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are well-trained, board-certified holistic medical practitioners. They spend considerable time with their patients to understand their current health concerns and individual needs. They are trained to investigate the underlying causes of illness, and in doing so, they consider each case thoroughly and uniquely. With access to comprehensive functional laboratory testing they can help in determining the actual physiological reasons causing your symptoms.

By addressing the underlying causes of illness and by implementing the least invasive natural therapies, patients are less likely to experience the undesirable adverse effects of medications. Naturopathic doctors tailor programs to suit an individual’s needs and work as a team with each patient to realize their health goals.

Having an integrated team of doctors is surely the best way to approach your medical concerns.

Conditions Commonly Treated

Food allergy
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Candida overgrowth
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Crohn’s disease
Ulcerative colitis
GERD and Heartburn
Constipation
Diarrhea
Diverticulitis

Borrellia
Babesia
Bartonella
Rickettsia
Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever
Ehrlichia
Brucella
HHV6 and others

Tendon/ligament strains and partial tears,
Osteoarthritis
Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Polymyalgia rheumatica
Fibromyalgia
Whiplash
Sciatica
ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL and meniscus tear of the knee
Rotator cuff and labral tears of the shoulder
Post -surgery
Shin splints
Sport injuries of all types
Tennis/Golfer’s elbow
Low back pain
herniated discs
Plantar Fasciitis
Carpal tunnel syndrome
TMJ syndrome

Common cold
Influenza
Allergies
Acute and chronic infections

Eczema
Psoriasis
Acne
Fungal infections (Tinea)

High blood pressure
Atherosclerosis
High cholesterol
Diabetes mellitus
Post heart-attack/stroke support

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Grave’s disease
Multiple Sclerosis
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Psoriasis/Psoriatic arthritis
Celiac disease
Crohn’s disease
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Meniere’s disease
Raynaud’s disease
Sjorgren’s Syndrome
Scleroderma

Fatigue
Chronic stress/burnout
Anxiety
Depression
Autism Spectrum Disorders
ADHD
Insomnia

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of training do Naturopathic Doctors have?

Naturopathic Doctors must complete an intensive 4-year medical program after their undergraduate degree. The first 2 years cover the relevant biological sciences (e.g., anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, bio-chemistry, immunology, etc.). These years will resemble conventional medical training quite closely. The following 2 years cover clinical sciences and integration. Here the focus is on the modalities (botanicals, acupuncture, nutrition, physical assessments) and learning how to decipher which modalities and in which combinations would serve an individual patient best. Finally, a 12-month supervised clinical internship is completed. Competence to practice as an ND is assessed through the provincial licensing process involving extensive written and practical examinations.

Dr. Meli has an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a focus in Behavioural Neuroscience. He completed his naturopathic training at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto and two internships at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic and the Sherbourne Health Center. He is licensed in British Columbia by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC) and is a member of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA) as well as the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND).

Who can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?

Without a doubt, everyone can benefit from working with a Naturopathic Doctor. Maybe you’re healthy and looking to stay that way or you’re feeling that ‘something just isn’t right.’ Maybe you’re ill and conventional treatments aren’t working or you would just rather leave pharmaceutical drugs to be the last resort. Wherever you currently stand, Naturopathic Medicine can help you by first supporting you in ensuring that the fundamentals of health (diet, lifestyle, sleep, stress management) are in place. Subsequently, we may investigate your individual physiological and genetic needs and address them as necessary.

Is Naturopathic Medicine research-based?

There are many elements that fall under the ‘naturopathic umbrella.’ Treatments involving IV therapy and genetics are highly and rigorously researched. In the realm of supplements and herbs, there is a fair amount of variability in the supporting scientific literature. For example, some products have dozens of studies supporting their efficacy and safety while for others, research might be in its preliminary stages (e.g., a small handful of studies). Energetic medicines such as acupuncture and homeopathy tend to have much less scientific validation at this point in time.

One limitation of researched-based medicine that is important to acknowledge is that it seeks statistical significance from large groups of people assumed to be ‘similar enough.’ For example, a study might group 1000 people with a diagnosis of type-2 diabetes and determine that a particular herb or drug is ‘overall’ useful to this group in managing the disease. By contrast, the premise of naturopathic medicine is to treat the individual human being, not the statistical group, not the average, and not solely the diagnosis.

Dr. Meli is particularly research-oriented in the development of his treatment plans but understands these limitations. He strives for a deep understanding of how therapies work at the biochemical and cellular level to ensure effective, safe treatments. By attending several conferences per year and continually reading scientific papers, he stays abreast on the latest research in several of his fields of interest. Each of the supplements and herbs offered by Dr. Meli has been thoroughly examined and meet strict standards for quality and efficacy

Do Naturopathic Doctors work with Medical Doctors?

Yes, absolutely. The two fields are complementary to each other, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Dr. Meli encourages an open, collaborative approach with your other healthcare providers and communicates with your medical doctor when the need arises.

What is Functional Medicine? How is it different from Naturopathic Medicine?

The term ‘Functional Medicine’ is relatively new and relates to work spearheaded by Dr. Jeffery Bland at the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM). It comprises much of what Naturopathic Medicine has long been promoting and the two approaches complement each other nicely. Fundamentally, where the two disciplines meet is in the shared appreciation of the body functioning as an interconnected web of systems. As opposed to the classical sub-division of medical specialties based on organ systems (i.e., cardiology for heart conditions, dermatology for skin conditions, endocrinology for hormone-related conditions, etc.) the focus of both Functional and Naturopathic Medicine is on the processes or functions required for health and those that promote disruption of cellular function. They include:

Assimilation of nutrients through proper digestion, absorption, and utilization of nutrients which in turn requires balanced microbial flora in the gut

Immune function, which depends heavily on inflammatory status and the microbial flora in the gut

Cellular energy capacity, which depends on cell mitochondrial function, which in turn depends on nutrient availability and absence of toxins

Elimination of toxins, required to decrease overall concentrations in the body, which depends on lifestyle factors (exposure), liver function (detoxification) and digestive system motility (i.e., not being constipated)

Transport of vital substances through blood and lymph, which depend on nutrient availability and the absence of toxins

Communication between cells and organ systems, which depend on adequate production of hormones and neurotransmitters, which in turn depends on nutrient assimilation

-Structural integrity of the muscles, skeleton and membranes, which depend on all of the factors listed above.

Hence, when perceiving health and disease through this lens, it becomes evident that diagnoses such as ‘IBS’ or ‘generalized anxiety’ or ‘insomnia’ and so on, only tell a small portion of the story.

Dr. Meli is trained as a Naturopathic Doctor and is also very well-versed in functional medicine, approaches which are particularly suited when treating more complex chronic diseases or those conditions for which there is ‘no cure.’

What makes Dr. Meli different?

With a calm demeanor, he listens attentively and works with you through the investigation process. He creates a comfortable environment to ask questions and aims to empower his patients to make the most of this powerful medical system. His passion for seeing his patients achieve their highest potential is evident in his thorough history taking and treatment planning. By blending naturopathic and functional medicine, his treatments are comprehensive, holistic, research-driven, safe, and most importantly, effective.

He chooses to have a diverse, general practice and welcomes all new patients. His special interests are in genetic analysis, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

Are Naturopathic Services covered by my insurance company?

Although every person’s plan is different, most major insurance companies do offer coverage for naturopathic services. Typically 80%-100% of the visit fees are covered to a particular maximum dollar amount. Directly billing from our office to your insurance carrier is now available to make the process easier and to avoid the delays involved in reimbursement claims. We direct bill to the following insurance companies: MSP, Pacific Blue Cross, Green Shield, Great West life, Sunlife, Desjardins, Industrial Alliance, and Standard life.

Contact your employer or insurance company directly to learn about your coverage for Dr. Meli’s services.

The Guiding Principles of Naturopathic Medicine are:

  • First, do no harm.
  • Act in co-operation with the healing power of nature.
  • Address the fundamental causes of disease.
  • Heal the whole person through individualized treatment.
  • Teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.

Guiding Principles of Naturopathic Medicine