Naturopathic care is a safe alternative to prescription or non-prescription drugs. We can help you feel better by way of clinical and IV nutrition, vitamin and mineral supplementation, acupuncture, herbal medicines, homeopathy, and other bodywork treatments.
About Dr. Luis
Dr. Jennifer Luis completed her undergraduate degrees in Cell Biology/Genetics (1996) followed by a Bachelor of Education (1997) at the University of British Columbia. After teaching secondary school in Vancouver for a number of years, she completed her 4-year Naturopathic medical training at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in British Columbia.
In British Columbia, Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are primary healthcare providers. NDs are trained very similarly to medical doctors but differ in the approach. Naturopathic doctors work towards determining and treating the underlying cause of disease, choosing not to mask symptoms with potentially harmful drugs. Naturopathic doctors incorporate clinical nutrition, vitamin/mineral supplementation, lifestyle counseling and coaching, IV nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and bodywork into treatment plans tailored to each patient. The first visit involves a thorough investigation of symptoms and health concerns, and lasts one hour.
Full Array Of Naturopathic Services & Diagnostic Testing Available Including
It is an exciting time when future parents start discussions about having children and begin family planning. To help support conception and a healthy pregnancy, it is important to ensure that both parents are in good health. Approximately six months prior to conception a gentle detoxification is recommended as well as dietary and nutritional counseling for both parents involved if possible. Hormone balancing or optimizing may also be explored if difficulty conceiving is present.
Acupuncture is an excellent treatment to assist with fertility, reduce stress and insomnia and begin the natural induction of labour if required. It is also an effective treatment for turning breech babies and supporting physical and mental well-being before, during and after pregnancy.
Naturopathic medicine is very safe and effective for children and babies of any age. Gentle treatment options such as homeopathy, Bowen therapy, dietary counseling and supplementation can help treat common ailments by treating the root cause of symptoms and medical concerns.
Bowen Therapy is a physical approach that uses the natural connections between the body and the brain to stop pain patterns. Bowen technique can enhance other treatment forms and initiates improvements in health. Each session consists of sets of soft tissue manipulations on fascia, muscle, nerves and tendons followed by brief pauses, which enable the body to benefit from the effects.
In today’s world, people are constantly put in situations that contain stressors, causing the body to work in overdrive or “fight or flight” mode. This, in turn suppresses the immune system and healing will not take place. Bowen therapy can be thought of as a nervous system reboot where our central nervous system returns to the “rest and digest” mode instead of the fight or flight mode.
Bowen sessions last between 30-45 minutes during which the patient is fully clothed and is usually laying down. It is recommended that sessions are booked weekly for 3 weeks at which point a reassessment will take place to determine if further sessions are required. Typically 3-5 Bowen sessions will reset the body and the issue at hand will be resolved. Common concerns that are well addressed with Bowen include back, shoulder or knee pain, any muscle or joint pain or decreased range of motion, infertility, bed-wetting, carpal tunnel syndrome and more.
Acupuncture is a therapy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involving the use of thin needles being inserted into specific locations in the body. Acupuncture points are located on energy channels called meridians through which Qi flows. Qi is an ancient term which describes vital energy and life force and can be blocked, deficient or in states of unbalance when a condition or injury is present. Acupuncture is successful in treating conditions of gynecology, gastroenterology, neurology, low back pain, arthritis, injuries and musculo-skeletal disorders, headaches & migraines, stress, addictions, immune system disorders, respiratory system disorders, depression, and more.
A careful TCM examination takes place before points are chosen which involves questioning, observations and evaluations of pulses on the wrist and appearance of the tongue. An individualized protocol is then developed and needles are placed into points corresponding to the health picture of the patient. Acupuncture appointments are 45 minutes long and it is recommended that visits be scheduled once per week.
Hormones are important messengers in the body that stimulate organs and body systems to function in homeostasis or balance. When hormones are not produced in adequate amounts or ratios to each other, we can experience symptoms such as fatigue, depression, stress, low libido, insomnia, excessive or absent perspiration and more.
Laboratory testing can take a detailed look at the body’s hormones and relate symptoms to deficient or excess production. Once results have been reviewed and analyzed, appropriate therapies can be discussed.
Hormones can often be balanced using diet, exercise and herbal medicine to reduce symptoms and improve hormone productions. Alternatively, bio-identical hormones that have the same make-up as those produced in the body are also very effective. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is commonly used to treat symptoms of menopause and is also used in cases of menstrual irregularity, infertility and maintaining pregnancies where there is a history of miscarriage.
When finding it difficult to lose weight or stick to a diet it is helpful to take the approach of a medically supervised program. Often there is an underlying cause of weight loss difficulties such as food sensitivities, hormone imbalances and excessive stress. These barriers will be discussed and relevant laboratory testing can help to determine specific causes to weight retention.
Once barriers have been addressed, an individual program is designed to promote safe, permanent weight loss, which involves nutrition counseling, supplementation and exercise routines as a base. Additional therapies such as acupuncture, detoxification, IV therapy and B12 injections may also be recommended. Regular office visits and follow-up emails will ensure that goals are met and maintained.
Once or twice a year it is a good idea to reset the body and get rid of excess toxins. Toxins include chemicals that we can’t digest such as pesticides, additives, food dyes, and non-food ingredients found in over-processed foods. Toxins also can be inhaled through the lungs or absorbed into the skin such as with use of various creams and lotions. Storage of toxins is usually in fat cells where they can accumulate over time.
When toxin loads get high, metabolism slows down and the liver is unable to detoxify at optimum levels. This can lead to fatigue, poor digestion, weight gain, cravings, fluid retention and hormonal imbalances. A proper detoxification gives the body a break from high exposure to toxins and at the same time optimizes liver function and excretion of these unwanted chemicals. Dietary elimination of common allergens and supplementation for the liver and digestive track are a part of the 3-week detoxification program offered at Downtown Wellness. Upon completion of this detox, patients feel more energetic, have eliminated sugar cravings, improved the appearance of skin and potentially lost weight.
Intravenous vitamin and mineral therapy is an excellent route to get nutrients into the body and bypassing the digestive track thus are especially helpful for people with digestive disturbances. IV Vitamin C is used due to its potent antioxidant properties, immune stimulation and wound-healing functions. Vitamin C can be administered in high doses over about 1 hour in cases of immune dysfunction and cancer for example or in moderate levels as is found in a Myer’s push. A Myer’s push is a smaller version of a vitamin and mineral cocktail that takes about 15 minutes to administer and is excellent when symptoms of an on-coming cold or flu are present. Other ailments that can be improved by IV therapy include PMS, migraines, chronic lung conditions, IBS/IBD, hepatitis, adrenal fatigue and frequent illnesses.
Extensive testing is available at Downtown Wellness Centre. Using a variety of labs from both Canada and the US a complete array of diagnostics can be ordered. Tests that are commonly performed at local laboratories that are ordered by medical doctors can be done in-office. Saliva, urinary and blood testing provide a more detailed look into hormones, food and environmental sensitivities, cardiac health, digestive function, neurotransmitter production, toxic metals and profiles of nutrient deficiencies.
Common tests that are performed include:
- Female hormone panel
- Male hormone panel
- Adrenal stress index
- Comprehensive thyroid panel
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Cardiovascular profile
- Comprehensive stool and digestive analysis
- Neurotransmitter testing
- Health profile of vitamins and minerals
- Toxic metal and essential minerals
For More Information:
About the services at DTWC or to schedule a complementary 15-minute visit to see if naturopathic medicine is right for you, please contact our office. Naturopathic services are covered by most extended health care plans in BC.