Dr. Nicole van Poelgeest’s path to becoming a naturopathic doctor was influenced by her own health, a fascination with the intricate workings of the human body, and a passion for all things nature. The first appointment with her naturopath a decade ago was the moment she thought, “Aha! Here’s a model of health care that is preventative, holistic, and places patients at the centre of their own care.”
Keeping this paradigm in mind, Dr. van Poelgeest has a family practice with a focus on digestion, autoimmune conditions, emotional health, and adjunctive oncology treatment. Integrating traditional medicine practices with contemporary research, she uses natural, nutritional, and if necessary, pharmaceutical remedies to tailor treatment to the individual. While naturopathic doctors are trained in a variety of therapeutic interventions, Dr. van Poelgeest primarily uses diet, lifestyle, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and mind/body therapies to create customized health plans for her patients.
Doctor comes from the latin word, docere, meaning "to teach." Dr. van Poelgeest espouses this principal in her practice, ensuring patients understand the conditions for which they are seeking advice as well as their treatment options.
Recognizing that health is not simply the absence of disease, Dr. van Poelgeest is committed to helping to patients restore equilibrium to body, mind, and spirit.
Following a BA from UBC, Dr. van Poelgeest completed four years of medical training at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine where she was recognized with the award for clinical excellence.
Dr. van Poelgeest is a licensed naturopathic doctor with certifications in IV therapy, pharmaceutical prescribing, and acupuncture. She is a member in good standing of the following:
• College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC (CNPBC)
• BC Naturopathic Association (BCNA)
• Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)
Naturopathy is holistic, preventative health care that draws from traditional medicines and incorporates contemporary research into an evidence-informed approach. Naturopathic medicine aims to treat the whole person and address the cause of your symptoms using the most natural treatments possible. Best suited for those who want to be participants in their own health care, naturopathic medicine aims to get to the root cause of what's ailing you and in doing so, requires you, the one who knows your body best, to be involved.
Every treatment protocol is individualized and may include one or a combination of the following therapies:
◦ Diet and lifestyle counselling
◦ Food sensitivity testing
◦ Mindfulness counselling
◦ Stress reduction techniques
◦ Sleep hygiene
◦ Pap and gynecological exams
◦ Hormone testing
◦ PCOS treatment
- Physical exams
- IV vitamin infusions
- Adjunctive oncology treatment
What can I expect from a first appointment?
An initial appointment is an hour and subsequent visits are up to 30 minutes. This gives time for a thorough medical history and any necessary physical exams. Treatment is individualized and depends on your preferences and goals.
How is naturopathic medicine different from conventional medicine?
Naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine are compatible and complementary approaches to health. They are not mutually exclusive! In fact, when used together studies have shown that a person's health can be improved:
"Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease..."
"A naturopathic approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease..."
"Adjunctive naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes..."
"Naturopathic Care for Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial"
However, there are some differences:
- Naturopathic medicine focuses on determining the underlying cause of symptoms and looks at the health of the individual from a holistic perspective; taking into account various physical symptoms, lifestyle factors, diet, and mental health.
- Many naturopathic doctors can prescribe pharmaceuticals and indeed will, when necessary, but they have several other options that they may try first if deemed safe and the patient is interested. This includes herbal medicine, supplements, acupuncture, lifestyle and nutritional counselling, etc.
- Naturopathic doctors generally have more time to spend with you. Typically a first visit is an hour and follow up visits are 30 minutes.
- Naturopathic medicine believes that the body has an innate ability to heal. Disease is not static and even chronic conditions can go into remission with the right treatment.
Most extended health plans offer reimbursement for naturopathic medicine. For those who are eligible, there is also MSP premium assistance, which provides a contribution of $23 dollars per visit up to 10 visits per year.
For all natural, locally-made and wonderfully indulgent skin care: Sangre de Fruta
Fascial work and massage: Therapy Health Studio
Physio, RMT, chiro and counsellors: Honey+Garlic
Health food stores: Finlandia, Quidditas, Victoria's Health Store
Healthy food out: Tractor, Eternal Abundance, Sula
Athletic Coaching: Rugged Conditioning
Vancouver Naturopathic Clinic1308 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V6H 4A6
Monday – Thursday 8am – 5pm
Friday 8am – 4pm
Saturday 10am – 3pm