About Aoife Earls
Why I Became a Naturopathic Doctor
My path to becoming a naturopathic doctor began with an escalating case of eczema (atopic dermatitis). From the age of twelve, my eczema worsened steadily, and despite the efforts of several specialists and various damaging medications including cortisone, prednisone, and Protopic, the symptoms never went away for more than a few hours.
I knew that constant use of immune suppressants and topical steroids was not a reasonable long-term plan.
When I had my wisdom teeth removed mid-university I couldn’t eat solid foods for several days. At the same time my eczema began to clear and I felt less inflamed. When I started eating again, I ate oatmeal and pasta, and began to itch within 30 minutes. I started exploring my internal health as the cause of my skin irritation.
I realized that my inflammation was very much connected to the food I was eating and completely eliminated gluten. It was the tip of the iceberg.
I pursued naturopathic medicine, and my eczema was more or less gone. Two years ago, I was officially diagnosed celiac, and I am a huge advocate for outside-the-box thinking with respect to chronic disease.
I have completed a Bachelor and Masters of Science at McMaster University in Hamilton ON.
I then enrolled and completed the 4-year Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
I have completed a certificate in Applied Mindfulness at the University of Toronto.
I am also certified to prescribe some pharmaceutical medications, including bioidentical hormones.
Naturopathic doctors are educated in a four-year medical program that combines both conventional medical courses ( i.e. anatomy, physiology, immunology, pharmacology ) as well as courses that combine other modes or methods of treatment ( i.e. traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, botanical [ herbal ] medicine ), nutrition).
Naturopathic doctors at minimum have a 3-year post-secondary university level degree with basic science courses on top of their 4 year medical school courses, and such most naturopathic doctors have been in school for at least 7 years. All naturopathic doctors in North America write board exams and perform clinical board examinations in order to become licensed in their province ( or state ). Some naturopathic doctors, like myself, are also licensed to prescribe pharmaceutical medications within their scope of practice.
Naturopathic doctors are regulated under the Regulated Health Professionals Act, under the
College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
How treatment works
I treat by finding the root cause(s) of your condition. This is not a linear process and takes effort, honesty, and patience on your part. The tools I use to facilitate these changes with you include:
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture uses small needles to balance the flow of Qi (pronounced “chi”) or energy blocks in the body. It is highly effective for muscle pain and trauma, however is used extensively for many chronic conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine is the larger umbrella of health treatment of which acupuncture is a tool.
Botanical (Herbal) Medicine
This is where our current pharmaceuticals or drug therapies have their origins—from plants. Many plant extractions through dried herbs (in capsule form), liquid forms (called tinctures), and teas, can be used to heal your body.
Treatment may include dietary modification and nutritional supplementation such as vitamins or minerals. If in-depth nutritional counselling is required, a referral to a nutritionist may be considered.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like cures like” and uses minute amounts of natural substances to stimulate the self-healing abilities of the body.
Your body and your mind are connected, and influence one another. If this relationship is out of balance, you will not achieve physical health. As so many of my patients experience severe stress, we integrate tools to change their lifestyle as well, for example developing better sleep habits, meditation training, encouraging regular physical therapy, and sometimes referral to a licensed psychologist.
Hands-on techniques can be used when required to manipulate the spine, joints and soft tissues. Techniques will be taught for you to perform at home to continue therapeutic protocols and goals outside of the office. You may also be referred to a physiotherapist, osteopath, or chiropractor.
I am licensed in Ontario to prescribe some pharmaceutical medications. Currently, that includes hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid supports when required for certain conditions. An appointment and laboratory work will be required before dispensing of these medications is permitted.
Common health concerns that I treat
I treat everything a general practitioner would treat, including but certainly not limited to:
- Common cold
- Gastrointestinal concerns:
- Celiac Disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Parasitic and bacterial infections
- Women’s Health:
- Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramping and pain)
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Amenorrhea (absence of menstrual cycle)
- Pre- and post-pregnancy support
- Urinary tract infections
- Yeast infections
- Men’s Health:
- Prostate health
- Mental Health:
- Bipolar disorder
- Children’s Health:
- Failure to thrive
- Mental health
- Autoimmune conditions