We have been offering Registered Massage Therapy and Registered Acupuncture for several years at QSY in our wellness space. This June we are excited to welcome Laura, a Naturopathic Doctor, to our wellness practitioner team! Here’s a post where Laura introduces herself and her approach.
Hello! My name is Laura Tummon Simmons, and I’m a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) in Ontario. I’m very blessed to say I’m starting my private practice at Queen Street Yoga (QSY) in Kitchener in June of 2016. I grew up in the Waterloo Region and attended Cameron Heights, just down the street, before completing my degrees in Toronto. Currently, I’m transitioning back to the region, while completing an additional clinical residency program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. I became an ND because I believe in the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, and I wanted to establish long-term care with my patients.
People often don’t know about naturopathic medicine apart from what they may read in the public sphere, so for my first blog entry here with QSY I thought it might be a good place to start explaining a little bit about naturopathic medicine in general, and what you can expect if you or someone you know chooses to see me.
First of all, what is naturopathic medicine? Naturopathic medicine or naturopathy is a field of health care which involves the treatment of individuals with natural therapies and behavioural changes. These therapies aim to support each patient’s condition uniquely. Depending on your case some of these various treatments may include: acupuncture, botanical medicine, nutrition/dietary changes, supplementation, lifestyle changes, hydrotherapy, and counselling. Ultimately, the goals of treatment are to help identify causes of disease in a whole-person model, provide you with sustainable changes and education to help manage symptoms, and potentially prevent future harm. Naturopathic doctors are a self-regulated profession under the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
So, who am I as an ND? I find each ND is a bit different in their approaches, so here is a list of factors that I think describe my practice in general:
- I am evidence-based. This means that I take the best quality evidence available from a variety of sources including scientific randomized control trials and traditional information, clinical experiences of myself or others, and your preferences to make the most informed and suitable recommendations. This doesn’t mean everything I use has a scientific study behind it. However, it does mean I recommend changes with the most evidence first as much as possible and make personalized decisions based on what is best for you as a unique person.
- I use the therapeutic order in care. This is a defined way of ordering treatment decisions such that those interventions with the least harm and most potentially lasting effects are prioritized in care first. For example, an ND may try to remove obstacles to getting better (such as potential dietary allergens, lifestyle choices and habits) before suggesting additional substances. This process is all relative, and if necessary, symptom control is added before removing those obstacles. The goal is always to do no harm and manage your care in a way that is safest for you.
- My process of care as much as possible is driven by you. You are your own person, with your own needs, values, beliefs, and factors which may be within or outside your control. You know your needs and body best. If at any time I recommend something that is not working for you, we will problem solve ways to modify therapy – or change it completely – together. Therapy needs to work for you and your life.
- I am pro-collaboration with conventional care. People often expect that NDs are against everything from gluten to using medications for symptom relief. This does not describe my philosophy nor my scope of my practice. I always advocate for the safest care with the most impact. Pharmaceutical drugs are tools, natural health products are tools, diet and lifestyle changes are tools. They are all therapeutics we can use to reduce symptoms and manage our health. The key is using all these things in a safe, critical and informed fashion. I use those tools within my scope to help manage your health, and support the use of those your medical doctor may prescribe. I am happy to collaborate with your medical doctor if you would like, and in fact encourage it! Using naturopathic medicine should NEVER imply you should not use conventional care.
- I believe in education first. I love my job as an ND for the pure fact that it allows me the time to teach people about their health as an individual. The more you know, the more empowered you are to make the decisions that are right for you.
I’m so very excited to start my practice at QSY starting in June on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I look forward to meeting you on your health journey wherever you may be. If you have any questions about me, want to meet me, or want to discuss naturopathic medicine, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Some options for getting in touch include:
- Booking a 15-minute complimentary “meet and greet” consult with me online at lauratummonsimmons.janeapp.com
- Checking out my website: lauratummonsimmons.com or taking a peek at the QSY website
- Calling: 226-600-6623
- Emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need more information about naturopathic medicine you can check out these links: