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Breaking down barriers to naturopathy

People are often not aware there is an alternative to traditional medicine and their regular medical doctor
Santana Orel

Santana Orel says she feels fine but Dr. Ingrid Pincott sees some abnormalities as she tests Orel’s organs for signs of illness.

“Is your throat feeling a little sore?” asks Pincott, who, through organ testing, can sniff out illness before a patient actually feels sick.

“She didn’t have systems, but the tonsil part came up,” Pincott says shortly after administering the test from her quaint, sunny office in the tower next door to the Tidemark Theatre. “She may have allergies or getting over something. If she goes home and takes extra vitamin C or echinacea she should be okay.”

As a naturopathic doctor that’s what Pincott’s work is all about – warding off illness and disease before it strikes.

“We’re not waiting until people get sick,” Pincott says. “We prevent people from getting sick. It’s a safe, effective, and proactive approach.”

Pincott, the only naturopathic doctor in Campbell River, has been practising naturopathic medicine for 26 years and is a pioneer of sorts in her field.

After receiving her Registered Nurse credentials from Royal Jubilee Hospital in 1979, Pincott was one of the first women since the 1930s to practice naturopathic remedies in Vancouver, where she practised for 11 years before relocating to Campbell River in 1996.

Pincott sees patients with an array of medical issues – from cancer to high blood pressure.

“I treat everything, all sorts of conditions,” Pincott says. “I have people coming in because they’re infertile, I’ve treated kids with attention deficit, I’ve treated kids with autism.

“I treat men with prostate problems, you name it.”

Pincott has several patients with asthma. She works with them to help them reduce their dependency on their inhalers, prevent chest infections, and help them with allergies – measures to thwart an asthma attack.

“They may have a propensity for asthma but we can definitely help make them feel better,” Pincott says. “We teach the underlying causes of disease. For example, with asthma, it’s dairy (products).

“Getting people off dairy is a big one.”

Pincott says people who come to see her are typically motivated to put in the work at home because her services are all out of pocket, and not covered by the BC medical plan.

She says the greatest barrier to her field is education.

People are often not aware there is an alternative to traditional medicine and their regular medical doctor.

“We’re a tiny profession compared to the medical profession, so that’s what we’re up against – trying to educate people,” Pincott says. “I’m big on the idea that the public doesn’t have to choose. You can do your regular medical approach plus do this. It’s complementary so they don’t have to decide to do one or the other.”

In an effort to reach out to people, Pincott has several binders full of educational newspaper clippings and a bulletin board full of health pamphlets in her waiting room, which she calls an “educational centre.”

Pincott encourages people to come in and find out more about naturopathic medicine.

She also has her office open to the public every Tuesday for free candida testing and taste testing.

The candida test is a five-minute, electro-dermal acupuncture that gives the doctor an idea of a person’s intestinal health. It also determines how sensitive a person is to yeast growth in the gut.

The taste testing gives people the opportunity to come into Pincott’s office and try nutritional supplements such as cod liver oil.

During last week’s Naturopathic Medicine Week, Pincott had more than 50 people come through her office for the free candida and taste testing.

“Basically my office is always open for people to drop in and to find out what we’re all about,” Pincott says.

To book a time for free candida testing or free taste testing, call (250) 286-3655 or 1-800-898-6699.

To find out more information, visit Pincott’s website at

Pincott writes a monthly column for North Island MidWeek as well as monthly Ask the Expert pieces in the Mirror.