SOUTHERNERS seeking alternative relief to a health issue, now have the option of Sherene Ramtahal, who earlier this year opened a Naturopathic Clinic in San Fernando.
The clinic at St. Joseph Village and offers services such as homeopathy - a system of medicine that promotes general health, by reinforcing the body's own natural healing capacity.
It deals mainly with symptoms of diseases, acupuncture- an ancient Chinese method of placing sterile needles at specific points along the body to treat physical illness, botanical medicine- plants or substances that come from plants that could be used to treat or prevent disease, clinical nutrition, lifestyle counseling, therapeutic massage, cupping- glass cups placed on the surface of the skin in an attempt to draw blood toward or through the surface.
In ancient times it was used for disorders associated with an excess of blood and healthy weight management. Ramtahal also sells herbal products.
Ramtahal, who has a first degree in biology obtained from the University of Western Ontario, Canada said the reason she became involved in Naturopathic Medicine was because of a friend.
"A friend told me about it and I was already doing that in terms of taking natural supplements, watching my diet and so on. I have always been health conscious."
So she pursued her masters and doctorate degrees at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM).
"I learned about CCNM and their programme from research I did, as I was always interested in health and wellness. I was attracted to this programme since it focused on health and wellness, prevention of illnesses, and treatment of medical problems using natural supplements.
It is a relatively new programme and the popularity of Naturopathic Medicine has grown over the past years in the United States of America, Canada, England and Europe."
She said, "Naturopathic Medicine is a unique system of primary care that incorporates modern medical scientific knowledge with historic and natural forms of medicine, to address the root cause of illness and to encourage health and wellness. Rather than merely treating or suppressing symptoms, the primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the underlying cause of disease. The individualised treatment plans are selected based on a thorough assessment of the patient’s mental, emotional, genetic, physical, social and environmental factors. "
Common conditions treated by Naturopathic doctors include fatigue, hormonal issues, allergies, skin conditions, depression/anxiety, thyroid imbalances, weight ,management, diabetes, elevated
cholesterol, blood pressure, headaches, fibromyalgia- extended pains in joints and muscles.
Ramtahal said, "The Naturopathic Doctor not only alleviates specific concerns and conditions, but also considers the mental, emotional, genetic, physical, social and environmental factors that affect the individual patient and as such bases the treatment plan on the whole person."
She said, "A Naturopathic Doctor will take the necessary time approximately one hour or more to attain a comprehensive patient history, gathering information on the mental, emotional, genetic, physical, social and environmental factors affecting your health. In addition to the vital examinations, a complaint-oriented physical exam is performed. Based on the information acquired during this initial consultation, an individualised treatment plan is formulated to aid in achieving optimal health."
She said in Trinidad and Tobago there was no regulatory board to register Naturopathic Doctors but there were several foreign qualified Naturopathic Doctors practicing locally.
Ramtahal does all the practical work at her clinic. She has an assistant who sees about all her administrative work.
She also operates out of Chaguanas in an office she shares with a family doctor. She is considering opening another office and clinic in St.Clair.
Most clients visit Ramtahal for treatment in acupuncture, massage therapy and weight loss. She said many also complain about hypertension and digestive problems.
She said the feedback from her customers has always been positive.
"They feel a lot better then when they have tried conventional medicine. They see a great improvement."
For more information Ramtahal can be contacted at 739-1552 or email@example.com.