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 cancer had made me so frustrated and slowed down.

Time was my enemy, and I had to get better.

Andy's homeopathic remedy, biofeedback and neuroemotional treatments helped my mood and bowels almost immediately.

The cancer didn't go away overnight, but began to recede gradually.

Even during this time though I could tell I was getting better.

I had more energy and motivation than I had had in 20 years.

So when the doctors told me the cancer had gone into partial remission, I wasn't surprised.

Colin Wood, Delta (Ladner), BC

The pain in my abdomen, hips, pelvis, back and intestines were there before pregnancy, but they all became 100 times worse during.

The pain was with me constantly, and just got worse as the pregnancy wore on.

Your bowen therapy was a lifesaver.

The pain was at a 9 or 10 out of 10 before the first session, but went down to a 5 or less afterwards.

With every bowen treatment, and your homeopathic remedies and emotional technique as well, the pain decreased more.

I can't say that the birth was completely pain-free, but it was way better than my first, and I'm certain I would've needed heavy-duty drugs if not for the bowen therapy.

C.P., Vancouver (Marpole), BC & Little Rock, Arkansas

My meniere’s disease, including the vertigo and nausea, went away after I was treated by Dr. Andy’s remedy, and the recurrences have become increasingly less frequent and intense. I've been doing so well that I haven't needed treatment for months!

F.L., Richmond, 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

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

Thank goodness for the bowen therapy!

I was worried I'd lose my leg because it was swollen and numb and sometimes painful to the touch.

All that changed after the bowen therapy.

The homeopathic remedy, and maybe the mental-emotional work, seemed to help too.

Actually, they must've helped, since I had a lot of other things get better too.

Like, I was concerned about my weight before, but I've lost 12 pounds in the past 4 months.

Even though that's not that much, I think I must've more muscle mass now, since people often comment on how much different I look.

Jen L., Burnaby (South Burnaby), BC

I've had three heart attacks, and my doctor told me I probably wouldn't survive another.

When he recommended Dr. Somody, I was afraid I would be put on a strict diet and exercise regime, or have to take lots of supplements.

But Dr. Somody just gave me one homeopathic remedy to take once, did some gentle Bowen therapy, and went back into the past causes behind my heart problems with his neuro-emotional releases.

I first noticed that I was less stressed in pressured situations, like at work or with my children.

I stopped getting the painful pressure in the chest, and could exercise and enjoy life again.

My blood pressure and weight have both dropped without me having to do anything with diet or exercise.

Although I think I am eating better now, since I seem to have a better internal sense of what is good for me now.

B.K., Quebec City, Quebec

My 100 year old aunt suffered a bout of shingles after which she had severe neuralgic pain in her left arm and around her torso. The pain was so bad that even her clothing couldn't be tolerated.

Dr. Andy conducted a thorough interview and prescribed a wonderful remedy especially for her.

Within days the pain was forgotten by her body and mind and has never returned. 

Margaret Ball, Vancouver (Kitsilano), 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

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

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