If you feel like joining the health care revolution, a visit to see a naturopath may be the artillery you need for a successful coup.

In honour of World Health Day (April 7), I decided to sit down with a naturopathic doctor to learn about the benefits of an integrative health regime. Dr. Erin Wiley, director of the Integrative Health Institute (located on the second level of 46 Sherbourne, just south of King St.) encourages clients to set up a health team with a variety of practitioners. With no bias or preference amongst different fields, Dr. Wiley believes that having a robust and diverse team with different areas of expertise allows patients the ability to navigate the intricacies of their body while empowering them with the ability to make decisions. When describing her take on varying approaches to medicine, she says, “If you can’t go through the door, open the window,” meaning that that often we focus too heavily on the most common treatments when in fact there are additional and unconventional options that are sometimes more effective.

Dr. Wiley shared with us three quick tips when it comes to health and wellness, which all encompass one common theme: the importance of listening to your body.

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Symptoms are a sign
Symptoms signify that we need to fix a problem before it becomes a bigger issue. For example, when we get a headache, we rarely take the time to discover the root cause of the problem (which could be a variety of things – dehydration, diet, stress, etc.). Instead, it’s common to pop a Tylenol and wait for the migraine to pass.

Let’s think of this in a different way. Take a car, for example. If you are driving down the highway and your maintenance light comes on, what would you do? Would you simply cover the annoying yellow light with a piece of tape so that you don’t have to look at it? No, because you know that your car will eventually break down and the costs will be astronomical compared to the simple and cheap oil change that was required. The same applies to your health when you mask symptoms and ignore the cause. Symptoms are a natural way for the body to tell us when we are not operating in an optimal fashion. These warnings should be taken seriously before what might be a relatively minor issue turns into something more serious.

Lifestyle changes do not need to be complicated
When we get excited about making healthy changes in our lives, it’s easy to get captivated with new diet trends, cleanses, and complicated workouts. For most people, focusing on simple goals leads to the best results. Realistic targets and sustainable personal development – get enough sleep, drink more water and less alcohol, eat less sugar and more vegetables, and get up and move! yoga

Just because something is common, does NOT mean that it is normal
Even if everyone in the office seems to hit that wall at 3:00pm, that does not mean that it is normal. Because symptoms like headaches, fatigue, etc. are so common in our society, we often overlook the underlying issue and accept them as a normal part of our day to day. Let’s look at back at our first point — these symptoms are a sign of something greater that is happening in your body.

To improve your quality of life and prevent illness and disease, consider an alternative path to a healthier lifestyle and schedule an appointment to learn more about the benefits of naturopathic medicine.

What are your thoughts on naturopathic medicine? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.