Dundas Naturopathic Centre
WHAT EVERY ND ASPIRES TO BE
The Dundas Naturopathic Centre is home to three of the most experienced NDs in the country. Founded by Dr Jim Spring, DC, ND originally as a chiropractic centre in 1981, Dr Spring went on to complete training as a naturopathic doctor and has practiced as such ever since. Dr Marilyn May, ND joined the clinic at about the same time Dr Spring completed his naturopathic training, and a few years later in 1990, Dr Paul Saunders, PhD, ND joined the team.
Six years ago I had the privilege of visiting Phoenix, Arizona, for an annual meeting of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. While at the conference, organizers had scheduled a bus trip to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) in Phoenix, and I jumped at the opportunity to visit the campus. At that time, I had never seen a naturopathic college other than the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Walking into the doors of SCNM was an experience diffi cult to describe; like a sense of being home… e familiar words of the naturopathic oath hanging from banners on the ceiling as you walk through the main corridor… Pictures of herbal medicines, displays of tools of the naturopathic profession. Stepping through the doors of the Dundas Naturopathic Centre was much like that experience; a sense of coming home.
The Dundas Naturopathic Centre represents the pinnacle of eclectic delivery of integrative medicine. e dispensary serves as a seminar in the art of custom compounding; a base cream serves as a vehicle for individualized botanical topicals; oils added to the cream are made from Dr’s Saunders and Mays personal garden; homeopathics are prepared by dropping liquid preparations into vials of naive pellets. Naturopathic doctors are trained in the use of approximately 400 herbs- seemingly the entire armament is on display in tincture form. Beyond herbal medicines and homeopathics, several hundred nutritional agents are made available, a range too broad to attempt to describe.
The facility itself is refl ective of the physicians who tend to its patients; modest, humble… A simple reception area, four large and spacious treatment rooms, decorated with beautiful pieces of art, and more diplomas and certifi cates than an individual could try to count. e dispensary is located at the epicentre of the facility, an area that sees a lot of traffi c. One gets a sense that this is where the three doctors meet as they dart in and out of patient visits to prepare the individualized prescription the present patient is to receive, discussing between them the formulation being compounded.
All three physicians embrace a style of practice that showcases the true art and science of naturopathic medicine; no tool comprising the scope of naturopathic practice is neglected. Each modality is called upon frequently with virtually every patient seen; spinal manipulation, bowen therapy, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, herbal medicine, counselling, meditation; any one patient can expect a prescription that represents the full range of healing techniques naturopathic doctors are trained to use.
IV therapies are also commonly employed; Meyer`s cocktails, IV vitamin C, and custom applications that one gets introduced to by enrolling in the parenteral therapy certifi cation curriculum, taught by Dr Saunders. A very wide array of integrative diagnostic tests are also utilized by the team, including food allergy panels, comprehensive stool analysis, urinary hormone profi les, urinary organic acids testing, provocation challenge heavy metal assessment, and many conventional tests.
Given the over 30 year tenure of the facility, it is not surprising to learn a reputation of impeccable care accompanies all three physicians. As IHP arrived to photograph and meet with the team, a patient visiting the clinic from Buff alo was wrapping up an IV treatment. Patients frequent the facility from across Ontario and neighbouring communities in the United States. Likewise the number of patients seen in a given week should not be surprising; Dr Spring averages upwards of 150 patient visits per week. Dr Saunders is available to patients three days per week, in order to make time for ongoing commitments of teaching at CCNM and responsibilities associated with his role as President of NPLEX. He still averages 10-15 patient visits per day. Dr May has chosen to balance practice with caring for her home garden and pursuing her interests as an artist and pianist, seeing 20-30 patients per week.
Dr Spring and Dr May have worked behind the scenes on behalf of naturopathic medicine for many years. Dr Spring has worked for the Board of Directors of Drugless erapy – Naturopathy (BDDTN) in the past 10 years, including eight years as president. Since that time, he continues to consult with the BDDTH and Transitional Council with regard to new legislation. He has been on the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) board for 20 years and has been the president of the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE) for the past fi ve years. Dr May is a past instructor in Nutrition and Endocrinology at CCNM, she has served as a past vice chairman of the Board of Directors at CCNM and as a President during the CCNM transition and as a requisitionist during the CCNM transition. Dr Saunders has chosen a path that sees training of the next generation of naturopathic doctors consume as much or more of his time than his clinical practice. In addition to serving on more boards than can possibly be listed here and maintaining an active role as Professor at CCNM for an array of courses, Dr Saunders is pre- booked for the next two years for receiving student externs to train with him in his practice. CCNM Intern Ashley Chauvin, was in fact present at the facility, fulfi lling a once per week for four month externship.
Visiting the facility is like walking into the home of a close knit family. Jan Rostron has been acting as offi ce manager since 1982. She describes in a heart warming manner what it has been like to see generations of families come through the facility – grandparents that fi rst came for treatment as newlyweds and now their children and grandchildren subsequently coming for treatment through the years as well. Dr Spring describes with satisfaction how fi ve individuals he treated as children and young adults have gone on to become naturopathic doctors. Carol Troitto has likewise been serving the clinic for decades; it was quite the site as we stood around trying to determine what Carol’s “title” was… I think we agreed on purchaser and offi ce assistant. Dr Spring’s wife, Gail, plays an instrumental role in the day-to-day management of the facility as she is responsible for all bookkeeping and accounting.
Dr Saunders took a bad tumble a year or so ago while out for a run… On my way out Dr Saunders jumped into Dr Spring’s offi ce for what has been an ongoing course of treatment to fi x his injured knee. Dr Spring performed a half dozen orthopaedic assessments in a handful of seconds, a series of tests that would have taken me a half hour to complete. ree or four adjustments later, the treatment was complete. Some applied kinesiology was used along the way, I think to help determine which manipulations were performed.
My visit to the Dundas Naturopathic Clinic was an amazingly inspiring experience. I strongly encourage each and every ND across the country, and the globe, to take a drive to Dundas Ontario some time. ree world- class physicians are showcasing the pinnacle of naturopathic care.