Naturopath offers alternative approaches to health care

Naturopathic medicine, while gaining in popularity in recent years, still is a relatively unknown science to many.
Naturopathy is not so much a form of treatment as a number of therapies used together to help the body fight and prevent disease.
Everything from a simple change in diet, to herbs and supplements, to acupuncture and hydrotherapy are used in naturopathic medicine.
The main philosophy that drives this approach to health care is the treatment of the whole person—taking into account mental, emotional, and spiritual, as well as physical states—as opposed to the individual parts.
Training for naturopathic doctors includes a minimum of three years of university in premedical science, followed by four years at a recognized college of naturopathic medicine.
Dr. Lynn Tintinalli, N.D., is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, and has been practising in Thunder Bay for two years.
She’s been coming to Fort Frances once a month for the past year-and-a-half to treat patients who otherwise would not have access to a naturopathic doctor, and she said the response has been good.
Patients who see her can expect a longer and more in-depth visit than they would have with most family doctors.
“I spend about an hour-and-a-half to two hours with the patient on the first visit, and I get down all their history,” Dr. Tintinalli said.
“I like to take the time and see everything that’s going on with the person: their likes and dislikes, how they sleep, bowel movements. Everything physically, mentally, emotionally about the person,” she added.
From there, she puts together a treatment plan, which can include acupuncture, herbs, supplements, or nutrition.
“Sometimes I’ll just start with the diet on the first visit so we can rule certain things out like food sensitivities,” Dr. Tintinalli explained. “There’s usually quite a bit of a difference just through that.
“Then it’s just fine-tuning it.”
Naturopathic medicine can treat a wide range of illnesses, from emotional disorders like anxiety and depression, to women’s health issues like menopause, endometriosis, and pregnancy, to chronic illnesses like migraines, arthritis, asthma, digestive disorders, and cancer.
Dr. Tintinalli treats all of these, but said women’s disorders and migraines are the two most common complaints.
Many times, she said, a patient will have several things wrong with them, but only one root cause.
“I look at the underlying cause of what’s happening,” she remarked. “It’s putting it together to see where it’s coming from—the underlying disorder. A lot of it can be food intolerances or nutritional deficiencies.”
The key to determining this underlying disorder is in listening to patients as individuals. “Everyone’s condition is different. I look at each person as an individual and treat them that way,” Dr. Tintinalli said.
For example, five people suffering from migraines will not necessarily receive the same treatment. “It’s all pertaining to how they experience it and what their symptoms are,” she noted.
Dr. Tintinalli next will be in Fort Frances on the afternoon of Oct. 24 and the morning of Oct. 25. To book an appointment, call Northern Nutrition at 274-6613.