Naturopathy is based on the idea that the body is self-healing. The body wants to return to a state of homeostasis or balance and generally has the means to do so. Naturopathy incorporates natural therapies including herbal and homeopathic remedies, water therapy, massage, acupuncture, nutrition and lifestyle counseling. The Naturopathic Doctor usually chooses an area of specialty and focuses more attention here in his/her practice.

A licensed Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate level Naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D. In addition, a Naturopathic Doctor incorporates holistic medical practices with an emphasis on disease prevention.


The concept of Homeopathy was developed by Samuel Hahneman in 1790.  In determining which remedy to use for a particular condition, Hahneman observed the reaction of a healthy body to a given remedy and deduced that the remedy could then be used to treat the same symptoms experienced.  Homeopathy refers to the “Law of Infinitesimals” and the “Law of Similars”.  The Law of Infinitesimals is based on the idea of using small amounts of a substance to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms.  Because small amounts are used, the medicine is generally considered safe for any segment of the population.  The Law of Similars suggests that like heals like.  Based on the Law of Similars, one observed the substance- plant or other material and based on what was seen, determined its function.


Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long and rich history.  The first and most authoritative text on acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is the Yellow Emperor’s Classic or  Huang Di Nei Jing, Basic Questions of Internal Medicine.  The legendary Yellow Emperor was said to have reigned from 2697-2597 B.C.  Modern scholarly opinion maintains that the work was written 2000 years later between the Chou and Han dynasties.  To this day and throughout history, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic is and has been foundational in the development of theories and applications of Chinese Medicine. Some of the concepts covered in the classic include, the forces of Yin and Yang, Tao, Theory of the 5 Elements, and application of the above theories to medicine.

9703997Tao, means the method of maintaining harmony between heaven, human and earth. Qi- literally means “the flow of something that is the source of vital energy to humans or animals.”  Inherent in the human body is a meridian system, which is analogous to a river system or electrical circuit. The meridians flow from one end of the body to the opposite end and then return to their place of origin intercepting and communicating with other meridians and organs on their journey. Qi flows through the meridian system connected to the exterior/interior, upper/lower area of the body.  In addition, Qi acts to defend the exterior from outside invasions. The body is considered to be in a healthy state when the energy can flow in the meridian system unimpeded.  When obstructions occur due to invading pathogens such as cold, heat, damp, dry, fire, or wind, or through trauma and emotions, the energy can stagnate and disease results.  Emotions are a natural component of our lives, however when emotions become too intense one way or the other, or linger for an extended period of time, their effect on the balanced system can be detrimental.

pic3[1]The concepts of Yin and Yang are foundational to Chinese medicine and date back to the “Book of Changes” or the “I Ching” written around 700 B.C.  In the I Ching, Yin and Yang correspond to nature’s ebb and flow and are represented by a solid line-Yang, and a broken line-Yin. The combinations of broken and unbroken lines signify all phenomena in nature as represented in states of lesser and greater degrees.  The Chinese character for Yin indicates a shady side of a hill, whereas the character for Yang is indicative of the sunny side of the hill.  In addition, Yang represents day while Yin represents night. In real life this would translate into daytime being associated with activity and nighttime with rest.  Further delineations are noted in the Yin/Yang chart.


image0033Most of us are familiar with the Yin/Yang symbol. You will notice that some aspect of the other is in each half of the symbol; Yin within Yang and Yang within Yin. The two forms are not independent, but are interdependent such that effects felt on one cause effects on the opposite form. All phenomena in the universe result from the interplay of the two opposing forces of Yin and Yang. The sun rises and sets, day becomes night, warm Spring/Summer days are followed by cooler and darker Fall and Winter months.

Choosing the correct acupuncture points and needling them effectively, may correct the imbalances in the body and modify the disease state. In choosing the appropriate acupuncture points, the practitioner often uses a system of balancing which incorporates the 5 Elements:

Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood

Each of these elements pertain to certain organs within the body- a yin organ as well as a yang organ. In total there are 6 ‘solid’ yin organs (Heart, Spleen, Lungs, Kidney, and Pericardium) and 6 ‘hollow’ yang organs (Small Intestine, Stomach, Large Intestine, Urinary Bladder, Gall Bladder, and Triple Energizer).
It is important to remember that when your practitioner states that there is an imbalance in a particular meridian, it does not necessarily mean that Western diagnosis will find that organ to be in a diseased state. Remember, Traditional Chinese Medicine utilizes a system of energetics, which can be difficult to measure under standard medical procedures.
image006Each of the organs is situated in a particular position symbolized by the circle. The organ preceding any one in the circle is the ‘mother of the ‘son’ that follows. Like a good mother, this organ is responsible for providing nourishment and encouragement for growth to the offspring. This cycle is called the ‘generating sequence’. Each of these organs should maintain a balance of energy in order for a healthy state to persist. Your practitioner will feel your pulse and observe your tongue and ask pertinent questions to establish the state of the relationship between the organs.

In addition, a cycle called the ‘Controlling Cycle’, is generated across from one element to the next and its job is to keep the organ in check. At times the response is excessive and this is called ‘Over-Controlling and leads to a situation of disharmony. When the organ being acted upon retaliates, this is called an ‘Insulting Sequence’. Whereas, the first two sequences – Generating and Controlling are efficacious to a balanced system, the Over-Controlling and Insulting provoke and imbalance in the body.



What is a doula?

The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Birthing is a transformational process requiring the mother to engage all of her instincts and resources of energy. It is a time of expectation and yet of encountering the unexpected and as such, the birthing process may be a daunting experience for those involved. The doula will provide or direct the parents to information that may help to answer some of their questions. The root of fear is ignorance they say, and birthing is not something to be feared. A little knowledge of what is involved may help to alleviate any fears that may present. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

A Birth Doula

  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care   providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level
  • Provides post-partum support with breast-feeding and easing into transitional changes

A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).

A Postpartum Doula

  • Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from  birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary

A postpartum doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials PCD(DONA).
Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

Why use a doula?
DONA International doulas mother the mother. Women have complex needs during childbirth and the weeks that follow. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences. DONA International doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. We are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and   cesareans
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

Research shows parents who receive support can:

  • Feel more secure and cared for
  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • Have greater success with breastfeeding
  • Have greater self-confidence
  • Have less postpartum depression
  • Have lower incidence of abuse

Role of the Doula

In nearly every culture throughout history, women have been surrounded and cared for by other women during childbirth. Artistic representations of birth throughout the world usually include at least two other women surrounding and supporting the birthing woman. One of these women is the midwife, who is responsible for the safe passage of the mother and baby; the other woman or women are behind or beside the mother, holding and comforting her. The modern birth doula is a manifestation of the woman beside the mother.

Birth doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth, although they may or may not have given birth themselves. The doula’s role is to provide physical and emotional support and assistance in gathering information for women and their partners during labor and birth. The doula offers help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement, and positioning. She also assists the woman and her partner to become informed about the course of her labor and their options. Perhaps the most crucial role of the doula is providing continuous emotional reassurance and comfort.

Doulas specialize in non-medical skills and do not perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or fetal heart rate monitoring. Doulas do not diagnose medical conditions, offer second opinions, or give medical advice. Most importantly, doulas do not make decisions for their clients; they do not project their own values and goals onto the laboring woman.

The doula’s goal is to help the woman have a safe and satisfying childbirth as the woman defines it. When a doula is present, some women feel less need for pain medications, or may postpone them until later in labor; however, many women choose or need pharmacological pain relief. It is not the role of the doula to discourage the mother from her choices. The doula helps her become informed about various options, including the risks, benefits and accompanying precautions or interventions for safety. Doulas can help maximize the benefits of pain medications while minimizing their undesirable side effects. The comfort and reassurance offered by the doula are beneficial regardless of the use of pain medications.

PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION (the fee for this service is $250.00)

Information taken from one of our clinic doulas webpage: www.marleyrobyndoula.ca

It’s believed consuming the placenta can:
-Help to balance your hormones
-Replenish depleted iron levels
-Assist the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy state
-Reduce post-natal bleeding
-Increase milk production
-Increase your energy levels
-Reduce the risk of developing postpartum depression

It has been shown to support a happier, more enjoyable post-natal period

We use two different methods to encapsulate a placenta

#1 Traditional Chinese Method:
This is our most preferred method as the placenta is fully cooked. According to TCM theory, childbirth depletes the wei chi, which is the body’s protective immune capacity. The TCM method calls for the placenta to be steamed before it is dehydrated and encapsulated. Thus restoring the heat and the wei chi.

#2 Raw:
This method skips the steaming and the placenta goes straight into the dehydrator. According to raw foodists heating anything above 118 degrees depletes nutrient levels. If this is something you would like to prevent choosing the raw method of encapsulation may be the best option for you.

Placentas can produce anywhere from approximately 50-150 capsules depending on their size.

We recommend working up to a dose of maximum 4 capsules per day. I also will set aside a weaning bag of 21 capsules so you may wean yourself off of taking them (one week of 2 capsules a day and the last week of 1 capsule a day). This is important as they do work on the hormones and you want to ensure a smooth shift.