Your Cold and Flu “GO-KIT”

It is not uncommon for the ND’s at StoneTree to get emails or messages over the weekend, after hours, or when they are away from home, from patients who are coming down with cold or flu symptoms and want to get on top of them right away. No one wants a full-blown cold or flu!

Of course, the first thing we always recommend is to get in as soon as you can for in IV Vitamin C drip.

(To learn more, check out this “60 Minutes” documentary on the benefit of Vit C in resolving infection, or this interview with Dr. Marik, MD on the value of vitamin C and sepsis.)

When patients can’t get into the clinic for the “big guns” the first question we ask is, What supplements do you have at home?

As you might imagine, not everyone has a fully stocked cold- and flu-fighting pharmacy at home, and most people didn’t have the best tools at their disposal when they really needed them.

Here is what we wish you had:

  • Zinc. Studies show that taking zinc at first sign of cold symptoms can decrease the duration of the illness. We have definitely seen evidence of this in practice. It’s important to note, however, that more zinc is not always better. Taking too much for too long can create trouble, but taking it acutely for a short period is okay.
  • Oil of oregano. It tastes like a spaghetti monster exploded in your mouth, but this herb is AWESOME at killing all things microbial!
  • Echinacea and Goldenseal. These two herbal medicines together are a double threat to winter illness! Echinacea is the immune booster and goldenseal is anti-microbial. Taking them at first sign of symptoms can often stop a cold before it even starts.
  • Vitamin C. Can’t get in for an IVC? Taking Vitamin C orally can help, too. Taking a 1000mg every hour to bowel tolerance is the way to go. Some people may get an upset tummy but for those who tolerate it, get a chewable option–it feels like you are popping like sweet treats all day.
  • Castor Oil. This magical oil moves lymph, which means it helps the immune system move around. Sore throat? Apply cast0r oil and cover with a scarf. Ear infection? Castor oil to the neck, topped with a gentle heating pad, gets the lymph moving and moves the congestion out.

Now You Can Have the Wishlist On Hand!

For the cold and flu season, we’ve put together a cold and flu “GO-KIT”. It contains:

  • Zinc
  • Oil of oregano
  • Echinacea-Goldenseal tincture
  • An immune booster called Pascoleucyn that is safe and effective for all ages

You can pick up your “GO-KIT” at the front desk for $74.99 + HST. (Bought individually the kit works out to $104.81.)

Questions? Stop by to pick up your kit, or contact the clinic at 705-444-5331.

Cancer Care Comes to StoneTree

For several years, we’ve been looking for an experienced naturopathic doctor whose sole job at StoneTree would be to work with patients with a cancer diagnosis.

We found him!

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Ehab Mohammed, ND to the StoneTree Clinic family. Dr. Ehab is a licensed naturopathic doctor, board certified from the College of Naturopaths in Ontario.

What’s really exciting for us, however, is Dr. Ehab’s long oncology history as a medical doctor in Egypt, where he obtained his medical degree, a master’s in ocology, and a medical doctorate in radiation oncology. Dr. Ehab practiced oncology for over 20 years, published 33 scientific research articles in recognized medical journals.

After graduating from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), Dr. Ehab spent a year on the adjunctive cancer care clinic shift where he managed patients under different types of conventional cancer care (chemotherapy, radiation, palliative care and surgery) with naturopathic supportive care.

If you know someone that needs support, our approach to cancer care strives to:
  • Decrease the side-effects of conventional cancer treatments
  • Support the patient’s immune system to avoid additional illness
  • Increase the effectiveness of conventional treatments
  • Improve overall health in an attempt to prevent the spread or recurrence of cancer
  • Help patients navigate the stress, information overload, and difficult choices created by a cancer diagnosis

StoneTree also offers alternative care for those patients who have exhausted all their conventional choices and are seeking new treatment options.

This is very exciting for us. Cancer touches lives every single day here in the Georgian Bay area, and this is something our patients need. We’re fortunate to be able to bring Dr. Ehab’s decades of cancer experience here to StoneTree!

Dr. Ehab will be starting at StoneTree Clinic, Thursday, November 16, 2017.  For more information, book an appointment, or contact the clinic at 705-444-5331.

It’s Here! The Pantry at StoneTree Clinic

We are so excited to introduce the newest service here at StoneTree Clinic!

The Pantry at StoneTree is a food resource for our patients who need to make diet changes, and for anyone who wants to find healthy food ingredients and pre-made meals that they can trust.

Improving nutrition is one of the cornerstones of what we do as Naturopathic Doctors. We almost invariably use diet change with our patients, and it’s great to see that the popular opinion is shifting to the realization that food is indeed medicine.

Of course, the idea of diet change is simple. But actually doing it? It’s one of the hardest things we ask our patients to do. Ask anyone who’s done an anti-inflammatory diet, or gone gluten- or dairy-free for any period. It’s not easy.

To help, we wanted to give our patients a resource to help make diet change a little easier.

The Pantry at StoneTree is a food store where ALL the things for sale are gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. In addition to cooking ingredients and snacks, there are pre-made freezer meals that have all been taste-tested and are delicious. Now, you can have a week of meals ready to go that are filled with the right ingredients to get you started on your diet change.

Drop by the clinic to watch The Pantry grow, to try some delicious and healthy food, and to give us ideas for new foods. We’ll be adding new products all summer, filling the shelves with helpful ways to support your healthy changes!

Happy Birthday Canada!

We have a lot to celebrate!

  • Canadians are living longer than ever with an average life expectancy of 82 years.
  • Almost 90% of Canadians reported feeling in good to excellent health—the highest proportion of people among G7 countries.
  • 70% of Canadians considered their mental health to be either very good or excellent.
  • The proportion of Canadians who smoke is decreasing overall. Just under 4 million Canadians currently smoke – in 2002 there were 5.4 million.
  • More Canadians are completing their high school and post-secondary education than ever before—in 2015, 90% finished high school and 66% were a post-secondary graduate.

For this and so much more we are grateful to call this great country home.

Keep up the great work!

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is Here!

One of our most popular blog posts from this year was Dr. Tara’s Best Menopause Advice. It’s a real-life account of our own Dr. Tara’s peri-menopausal adventures, ending in some solid naturopathic advice: eat right, exercise regularly and deal with your adrenal glands.

Sometimes, however, the peri- and post-menopausal hormonal situations need more than the basic approach. And while many women have pursued conventional hormone replacement therapies like Premarin, many more are scared off by the side effects and possible cancer link.

That’s where bioidentical hormone replacement comes (BHRT) comes in.

BHRT is about restoring normal hormone balance using hormones that are identical in their molecular structure to the ones in your body, allowing for lower dosages and fewer side effects.

Local Area Access to Bioidentical Hormones

Through the years, many of our patients have been frustrated by their inability to access BHRT in the Collingwood area. Things like natural progesterone cream, desiccated thyroid and “biest” estrogen replacement were treatments you could read about but not easily get your hands on.

Historically, ND’s in Ontario couldn’t access these substances, and local family doctors, without extra training, did not feel able to prescribe them. Our patients would have to make the trip down to clinics in the city to get access to these effective, natural alternatives.

In 2016, Ontario ND’s were granted prescribing authority with limited access to natural hormones. That means we ca now prescribe natural thyroid and some hormone creams, but not always enough to get the job fully done. Off our patients go to Toronto again.

With this in mind, StoneTree Clinic is happy to welcome the newest member to our team, Dr. Gervais Harry, MD.

Dr. Harry brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He has been a practicing physician for over four decades, with training in Family Practice, Obstetrics Gynaecology, Neurosurgery, Pediatric Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Nephrology, General Surgery, and Urology. He was a Urological surgeon for 25 years and has worked in family practice for 15 years. We’re very fortunate to have him with us!

Dr. Harry’s true passion, however, is Bioidentical Hormone Restoration Therapy, and it’s what he’ll be bringing to the StoneTree Clinic team starting in January. No more drives to Toronto!

Dr. Harry is offering complimentary 15-minute “meet the doctor” visits if you would like to learn more. You can book online, or by phone at 705-444-5331. Please note that Dr. Harry’s services at StoneTree are not covered by OHIP, but are fee for service.

Holiday Hours

Hi All,

A quick update on clinic hours for the next couple of weeks:

  • This year, the clinic is closed from Friday, Dec 23rd through Monday, Dec 26th
  • We’ll also be closed Monday, Jan 2nd, 2017. 

Otherwise, clinic hours are the same as usual. All our docs are here, and there are IV’s available every day that we’re open.

If you need care, or are trying to use up your benefits before year end, you can book online, just call the clinic at 705-444-5331.

Remember that it’s Doctor Tara’s last month of seeing patients before her two-year leave.

Happy Holidays!

The StoneTree Team

We’re Moving!

We are moving!

Saturday is the big day. After four months of renovations we are finally ready to move into our new home at 27 Third St here in Collingwood.

According to local lore, this historic building has been a medical office in Collingwood for 100 years. Many people have stopped by over the last few months and told us their stories about the building—including being born in it! It’s obvious how connected the community is to it. We are so happy to be a part of this legacy.

The new space is only one block away from the StoneTree you are used to. Here’s what you need to know about our new home:

  • Our new address is 27 Third Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1K4. Phone number is still 705-444-5331.
  • The main entrance is at the front of the building (Third Street).
  • We have free parking in the back, accessible from the laneway at the side of the building.
  • We also have wheelchair accessibility through the back door at the massage therapy office, as well as an accessible washroom inside.

We’re now open Monday until 8PM in the evening, so you’ll be able to get your supplements after work. Dr. Candice will also be seeing patients that evening until 8PM, and Dr. Kendra until 6PM.

As for the rest of us, don’t worry–you’ll see all the same faces in the office. Drop in anytime for a tour. We can’t wait to see you all there!

The StoneTree Clinic Team


In January 2002, in the shared office of a local chiropractor, I saw my very first patient as a Naturopathic Doctor. At the time, it seemed like every person I spoke to asked, “What’s a naturopathic doctor?”

A lot has changed since that cold January. One patient led to another. And then another. In 2003 we moved to the Erie Street Medical Building where we spent five years, and Dr. Shelby Worts joined the team. We also started offering intravenous vitamins and minerals, a treatment that was far less common then, but now has found mainstream exposure.

We grew again and moved to our present location, were we added hydrotherapy and two new team members at the front desk. Dr. Kendra Reid joined us three years ago and we recently welcomed our newest naturopathic doctor, Dr. Candice Soldaat.

It’s been a slow, steady, but more than anything rewarding process. Every time we grow, it means we’re helping more people feel better, and every year I think we get better at it. I’m thrilled to share that this week we celebrated the 5,000th patient at StoneTree Naturopathic Clinic.

Those 5,000 unique souls have brought more than their health challenges to us–they’ve brought us an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to do what we all became doctors to do in the first place: to care.

As we make plans for our next transition to our new clinic home, I want to thank you all for trusting us with your health, and that of your family, friends, and colleagues. It’s an honour. Thank you, too, to my amazing colleagues and team here at StoneTree—I don’t know how, or what, I’d do without you.

I often tell patients that health is a journey. It turns out that health care is, too. Thank you for being part of mine.

Yours in good health,

Tara Gignac, ND

Collaborating with Your MD Just Got Easier

For many years we’ve been ordering lab tests for patients. It’s a great way for you to have input into what tests you want, and how often—after all, when you pay for your own lab tests, you’re in charge. It also lets you request tests that simply aren’t available through OHIP, like serum levels of vitamin D, for example.

Some patients, however, still like to have some or all of their lab work done through their MD. In the past, we’d have to requisition those results from the MD—a process that was cumbersome for patients and doctors on both sides.

CC’s for Everyone!

Naturopathic Doctors are now regulated under the Regulated Health Care Practitioners Act. It’s the same act that regulates all health professionals in the province, from medical doctors and nurses, to physiotherapists, chiropractors, and more. And that means one more barrier to working together has been removed.

When you get a requisition for lab tests from your medical doctor, there is a section that says “copy to”. When your naturopathic doctor’s name is put in this section the lab results will automatically be copied to that ND. No more signing of “Release or Records” and waiting for results to arrive. The reverse is also true—when we add your MD’s name to the “copy to” field, your medical doctor receives a copy, too.

This is great for us because we get your labs faster, and great for your MD because they don’t have to deal with cumbersome release of record requests. Mostly, though, it’s great for you, the patient, beacuse you have more control over your health care information.

When ND’s were regulated under the Drugless Practitioners Act if was more difficult for the professions to work together and share information. Collaborating just got easier!

Scar Therapy and Back Pain Relief

For fourteen years I’ve had low-grade low back pain. Not enough to really get in the way of my life, but enough to get me to the RMT now and then, and enough to keep me going to yoga regularly.

When it flares up, I always blame it on driving too much, sitting too much, not getting to yoga enough, not stretching enough, etc.

Until recently.

I was in the office of Dr. Jen Fawcett, DC, a chiropractor here in Collingwood, and we started discussing the use of Graston Technique for scar therapy.

Graston Technique employs the use of stainless steel tools to rub adhesions in the muscles and scars in the connective tissue to promote the healing and reintegration of the tissue. Dr. Jen said she used it a lot on post-surgical scars, and I told her I had a C-section scar, and that since the birth of my daughter I’d had a hard time building core strength. She suggested we treat the scar and see what happens.

Keep in mind, I hadn’t even told her about the back pain – it was something I had just come to accept as part of my everyday life. But several days after my first treatment, I was halfway through a yoga class and realized that my low back didn’t hurt when I stood up from a forward bend. Then I realized I had spent all weekend driving and my back didn’t hurt either. Then I realized I had been up and down out of my chair all day at the office and never moaned like an old lady once.

WOW! One treatment of a 14-year-old scar and a daily pain seemed to be magically gone. Since then, I have had two more treatments and my daily low back pain has not returned. I couldn’t be happier.

Do You Have a C-Section Scar?

Coincidentally, another Collingwood-based health care professional is doing a research study on the exact same issue.

One of our local RMT’s, Colin McArthur, is currently working towards becoming an osteopath. His senior research project is to study of effect of scar therapy for C-section scars on low back pain and range of motion.

Based on my experience, it was a no-brainer to help him spread the word.

If you are a women between 20 and 45 years old, have had a transverse C-section, or what’s called a bikini line scar, and NO other abdominal or back surgeries, are 12 months post-partum and NOT using an IUD and most importantly are experiencing low back pain or a decreased range of motion in your back, contact:

Colin McArthur

You may be eligible to be part of his study. In return, those who fit the study criteria will get free scar therapy, as well as a full osteopathic treatment at the end of the study period.