Have more questions? See our FAQ for more information.
What Kind of Person sees Dr. Macdonald?
- Dr. Macdonald assists patients with a wide variety of concerns. She welcomes men, women and children into her practice.
- Dr. Macdonald has extensive experience in treating people with allergy-related concerns, women’s health issues, digestive disorders of all kinds and many other acute and chronic conditions.
- She often treats patients with complex health concerns such as chronic pain, cancer, autoimmune disease or neurological disease.
- She also treats healthy people who want to be healthier. For instance, people who are generally in good health may desire coaching to lose weight, review their supplements, do cleansing programs, enhance athletic performance, have a thorough physical exam and blood work, optimize their nutrition or have a Pap test.
Treatments and Services Available
The Macdonald Centre for Natural Medicine offers naturopathic care to patients from the Comox Valley, Courtenay, Port Alberni, Campbell River and Powell River areas. Our true specialty is solving health problems that no one else can. If you’re struggling, consider contacting us – it doesn’t cost anything to ask questions.
We offer a wide range of services, including clinical nutrition, laser therapy, homeopathy, supplementation and much more. Here’s a small selection of the treatment tools and services we offer in our Courtenay clinic.
- Complete health evaluation, lab testing and examinations
- Personalized health care plans
- Nutritional counselling
- Natural medicines
- Stress management coaching
- Laser therapy
- Bowen Therapy
- Pharmaceutical prescribing
If you’re considering your first visit to a naturopathic doctor, you may want to read our ebook. When you’re ready, call our office at (250) 897-0235 to book a visit or a complimentary “meet-the-doctor” visit. It’s a risk-free way to discover exactly how we can help!
Complete Health Evaluation and Examination
Many of Dr. Macdonald’s patients have commented that the health evaluation done in her clinic is the most thorough they have ever experienced. Unlike other alternative health practitioners, naturopathic doctors are physicians who can access a wide range of tools needed to diagnosis and treat their patients. Tools used to gather health information are as follows:
- Extensive health history forms
- 45+ minute initial consultation
- Thorough physical examination
- Gynecological examination and Pap smear
- Nutritional assessment
- Food allergy testing via Vega testing or blood testing
- Scratch allergy testing
- Laboratory testing
- Complete blood analysis – through standard medical testing
- Salivary hormone levels
- Parasite testing
- Blood type assessment
- Breast cancer risk assessment
- Heavy metals – hair analysis
- Blood sugar monitoring
- Adrenal stress testing
Personalized Health Care Plans
Personalized health care plans are created based on the doctor’s findings and the patient’s needs. The patient is coached on how to take steps designed to optimize their health potential at that time. Examples may be: cleansing programs for patients with digestive concerns, allergy elimination diets for people with food allergies, and herbal protocols or bio-identical hormone prescriptions for patients with hormonal disorders. No two people are the same; thus, each person is treated uniquely.
Naturopathic physicians are experts in nutrition. We know that nutrition can play a role in preventing and reversing many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Optimizing nutrition is also an important factor in treating many other disorders such as chronic infections, attention deficit disorder, digestive problems, headaches and many more diseases.
Food can be your best medicine. We do nutritional assessments on almost all patients and coach them on appropriate dietary changes.
Naturopathic doctors have access to high-quality nutritional and herbal supplements. They use high-quality supplements and carry products that have strict quality control. These supplements are generally not available through health food stores. At The Macdonald Centre for Natural Medicine, we select our supplements from the most reputable suppliers available. Herbs are fresh and organic when possible. Supplements are selected based on their high bio-availability, hypo-allergenic and natural materials. Many herbal tinctures are also available. For more information, contact our office. You are welcome to purchase multi-vitamins, calcium formulas, anti-oxidant nutrients and others from our office. To ensure your safety, Dr. Macdonald may require a brief consultation before dispensing some products.
From antiquity, plants have been used as medicines. Naturopathic physicians are professional, trained herbalists; they know both the historical uses of plants and their modern pharmacological mechanisms. In many cases, herbal medicine can provide safe, nontoxic therapy for medical concerns ranging from ear infections to cancer.
Homeopathy (hom’-ee-op’-a-thee) is a powerful system of medicine with a 200-year history of effectively treating people with a wide range of mental, emotional and physical problems. It is its own discrete system of medicine, but one in which many naturopathic physicians are well versed. Homeopathy is very different from herbal medicine or other types of supplements. It works on a very deep energetic level in the body. Homeopathic medicines are derived from a variety of plant, mineral and chemical substances. Homeopathy is based in the principle of “like cures like”. A practitioner seeks to prescribe a remedy that matches the unique symptom picture of the patient. For instance, there are about 30 homeopathic medicines commonly used for coughs. Finding the right one for each person requires the practitioner to know the unique characteristics of that person’s cough and match it to the unique actions of the correct homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy is also used on a “constitutional” level to evoke healing of mind, body and spirit.
Stress Management Counselling
Counselling and lifestyle modification techniques are essential to the naturopathic practice. Dr. Macdonald has an undergraduate degree in psychology and has done training in hypnotherapy and other counselling techniques. She often teaches patients relaxation techniques in one-on-one sessions and she teaches noon-hour Relaxation through Guided Imagery classes. For more information, call our office at (250) 897-0235 or contact us.
Laser therapy is a high-tech solution for people suffering from spinal, joint and muscle pain. It is a painless therapy that promotes rapid recovery from acute and chronic pain. It is a highly effective treatment backed by extensive scientific study. Thousands of people no longer live with pain thanks to laser therapy. For more information on how laser therapy can help relieve your pain, click here.
Bowen Therapy is a hands-on bodywork technique, treating muscle, joint and back pain. It is a gentle, relaxing treatment that takes about 30 minutes per session. Simply stated, the Bowen Technique resets the body to heal itself. The work consists of gentle rolling connective tissue techniques using a light touch and may be done through clothing. There are frequent important pauses between these movements, which give the body time to benefit from each set. By combining movements, both in placement and in combination, the practitioner is able to address the body as a whole or target a specific problem. The Bowen Technique balances and stimulates energy flows, resulting in a deep sense of overall relaxation. The restorative process begins once the body is relaxed, and continues as the body allows. Healing occurs by affecting the body’s autonomic nervous system, which creates homeostasis at the cellular level.
Courtenay naturopathic physician, Dr. Deidre Macdonald, was part of the first group of naturopathic physicians in Canada to be granted the authority to prescribe pharmaceutical medicines. After a rigorous pharmaceutical upgrading course taught by UBC pharmacy instructors in 2010, she successfully completed oral and written examinations and received her pharmaceutical prescribing licence.
The prescription medicines available to naturopathic physicians include most prescription medications that general practitioner medical doctors have access to. Among the medicines not included are pain medications, steroids and chemotherapy drugs.
Helping women with hormonal issues is a passion for Dr. Macdonald. She can prescribe bio-identical hormones for women with menstrual issues, menopausal issues, thyroid problems and more. For more information, click here.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic physicians are general medical practitioners who are specialists in natural medicine. They are extensively trained in modern medical science at accredited medical schools. Naturopathic physicians treat disease and restore health using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, counselling, and pharmaceutical medicines. We tailor a personalized treatment plan based on the needs of the individual, often working hand in hand with other branches of medical science. The patient is encouraged to take responsibility for their health and is educated about how to use safe, natural approaches to optimize their health.
Naturopathic Medical Education
Naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous medical training. To be licensed in British Columbia, they are required to complete an undergraduate degree including “pre-med” sciences. They then must obtain at least four years of post-graduate training from an accredited naturopathic medical college. This post-graduate work includes medical sciences such as:
- laboratory diagnosis
- clinical and physical diagnosis
- minor surgery
- gynecology/ women’s health
- naturopathic therapeutics
- other clinical sciences
The education includes 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. All told, NDs receive approximately 4,500 hours of academic and clinical training. Graduates receive the title “N.D.” or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, and must pass rigorous international licensing and board examinations to be eligible to practice as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in the province of British Columbia.
Dr. Macdonald completed additional training and was granted the authority to prescribe pharmaceutical medicine.
Continuing education requirements in both naturopathic medicine and pharmacology are required to ensure that physicians stay current in the ever-changing field of medicine.
Philosophy and Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
There are six time-tested medical principles on which naturopathic medicine is based. These principles make as much sense in today’s modern world as they did 200 years ago.
1) First do no harm. Naturopathic physicians seek to do no harm with medical treatments by employing safe and effective natural therapies. They seek to produce “side-benefits,” not side effects.
2) Nature has healing powers. Naturopathic physicians believe that the body has considerable power to heal itself. The physician facilitates and enhances this process with the aid of natural, nontoxic therapies.
3) Identify and treat the cause. Naturopathic physicians are trained to seek the underlying causes of a disease rather than to simply suppress symptoms. Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s attempt to heal itself, while the causes can spring from the physical, mental / emotional and spiritual levels.
4) Treat the whole person. Naturopathic physicians are trained to view an individual as a whole, being composed of a complex set of physical, mental / emotional, spiritual and social factors.
5) The physician is a teacher. Naturopathic physicians are primarily teachers – they educate, empower and motivate patients to assume more personal responsibility for their health by adopting a healthy attitude, lifestyle, and diet.
6) Prevention is the best cure. Naturopathic physicians are preventive medicine specialists. Prevention of disease is accomplished through education and by encouraging life habits that support health and prevent disease.