Our Philosophy

Heal. Balance. Evolve.

our philosophy

You may be coming to IMI looking for natural solutions to help recover from a simple illness such as a cold or cough. Or you might be coming to find natural health support for pregnancy, detoxification, or weight loss. You may need to reduce stress or balance your energy levels.

We can offer you professional, straightforward support for all these issues. The foundation of our practice is to "first, do no harm" and to activate the natural healing powers of the body. In most cases, we will prescribe natural health supplements, herbal tinctures, or homeopathic medicine, although we will recommend conventional medication and testing if necessary.

However, for most health conditions beyond a simple cold, there is a holistic component to true healing. Our minds, thoughts, emotions, and sense of connection to ourselves and the world are inextricably connected to our physical health and vice-versa. For example, if our mind is very agitated or we are experiencing strong emotions such as fear, these emotions will often affect our digestive system in the form of butterflies in the stomach or irritable bowels.

Increasingly, we have also found that clients are looking for a feeling of total well-being. We have responded to this growing interest by offering you an opportunity to find deeper harmony and health in your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. While the journey to total well-being is complex and unique to each individual, we have found some principles that are common to everyone — principles observed through years of our clinical practice, the study and application of ancient spiritual and healing traditions, and personal experience.

We call this integrated, holistic system of healing "Heal. Balance. Evolve."

Although, we present "Heal. Balance. Evolve" in a linear way, it is important to understand that it is not a linear process. Instead, it is more circular, like a spiral. People enter or return to each phase of the process at different times in their lives. In addition, all of the phases are inter-connected and inter-dependent. Our state of mind affects our physical health, and our physical health affects our state of mind. At the same time, there is also a systematic sense to the process.

Heal

"Heal," in this context, usually refers more to the physical symptoms that bring you or your family here to us. It may be a recurring infection, fatigue, an allergy issue, or any other physical illness you can name.

Often the first practitioner sought will be a Medical Doctor, Homeopath, or Naturopath. Our approach is to identify the causes of the illness, such as infection or stress, and to remove those causes with medicines and to suggest dietary and lifestyle changes. We normally educate and encourage our clients to take greater responsibility for maintaining their health, which supports better "balance" as well.

Most of our new clients' initial visit is to one of our Naturopaths. Naturopathic physicians restore the sick to health by stimulating the patient's own immune system and self-healing intelligence. Sometimes this intelligence is blocked by a food intolerance or toxicity or a lack of certain nutrients; other times it is caused by stress and emotional issues. Naturopaths look for the cause of illness, help remove it, and support the body's healing capacity with recommended supplements, corrected nutrition, and herbal remedies. Other lifestyle changes are often recommended, along with a more cleansing diet and some immune-boosting therapies.

Referral to counselling or stress management therapists may also be needed. However, even if the symptoms are stress-related, a Naturopath or Homeopath supports the healing process in a complimentary way by supporting the nervous and hormonal systems.

Physical healing often involves more movement and exercise so as to break away from the deleterious effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise is beneficial in so many ways. It enhances self-esteem, feelings of power and confidence (providing anti-depressive benefits), improves posture, and provides cardiovascular benefits. It is also detoxifying! IMI is affiliated with a fitness coach who practices a holistic coaching method for executives looking for a fitness regimen they can perform anywhere.

Physical healing often involves the support of a chiropractor or osteopath. At IMI we have both and find that their physical therapy produces results more quickly than medical physiotherapy in reducing musculoskeletal and nerve-related pain.

The physical aspect of Yoga practice is often a very helpful form of exercise during the first stage in healing. Asana practice cleanses the physical system of the body, which later allows for the possibility of increased energy flow and "balance" of energy, probably more than other forms of exercise. Other Oriental practices such as Chi Gung and Tai Chi also offer a similar opportunity. IMI can offer you private training in yoga that is specific to your needs.

Balance

While restoring physical health might appear as the primary goal, achieving balance in an individual's life is a much more complex and ultimately satisfying one. "Balance" is a concept central to oriental medicine — that the body will circulate its natural energy (chi) when fully healthy. Freely circulating chi promotes greater harmony within oneself and with others. It is an ongoing and lifelong challenge to find balance in the extreme fluctuations of our external and internal lives.

Balance is also achieved by circulating psycho-emotional energies so they are not repressed or blocked within. Sometimes physical symptoms are caused by disturbed mental or emotional states. Professional counselling may be required if the root of the symptoms is trauma, a relationship break-up, or an agitated mental state such as anxiety or insomnia. These conditions can also cause unhealthy thinking patterns and beliefs, which can lead to unhealthy behaviours. Healing these unhealthy patterns, wounds, or beliefs and bringing some steadiness to the mind is often a phase of healing and creates the possibility of attaining balance. Psychological counselling is key to this psycho-emotional balancing process in many cases.

Sometimes Life Coaching with a Holistic Life Coach is an excellent choice to support your life changes. A Holistic Life Coach will help motivate you and teach you to develop effective strategies for becoming healthy and balanced.

Several other approaches can be used to help attain balance. One idea in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is to have acupuncture and herbal treatments seasonally to keep this energy balance, thereby preventing disease. Generally, TCM goes beyond mere treatment of symptoms by looking at the balance of the internal organs. This balance is seen as essential for creating mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

In the complete healing system of Yoga, the physical postures correct structural problems and work on the physical health of the organs to allow the natural energy (in yoga called prana) to flow. Once there is more ease in the physical system, yoga practice moves towards a more subtle focus on the breath and breathing practices such as pranayama. These powerful practices balance energy, the nervous system, and the hormones of the endocrine system.

Physical manipulation, such as Osteopathy, can also correct nervous system imbalances, while healing modalities such as Naturopathy and constitutional Homeopathy can support the balancing of the nervous system and hormones. As mentioned previously, treatments from Naturopaths, TCM practitioners, and Homeopaths can support the nerves and hormonal system. Herbal therapies and some supplements are excellent at giving this type of support to assist the balancing process.

If you suffer from high levels of stress, this type of support is necessary, ideally in conjunction with a simple, daily body-mind practice such as Yoga, Tai Chi, or Meditation. These practices will support you through lifestyle changes, help cultivate awareness for greater self-care, and begin to steady the mind.

Evolve

All of us struggle with maintaining health and making healthy choices. Even though we have plenty of information on how to stay healthy — eat well, exercise, reduce stress — we might still reach for a chocolate bar or a glass of wine during moments of strong emotion or restlessness. Or, our anxieties deprive us of a good night's sleep. Our unhealthy behaviours and choices are often the result of old habits and embedded thought patterns that can in an instant sabotage all our good intentions to live healthily.

We cannot under-estimate the effect that our "wild-horse mind" can have on our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Our mind and emotions have a huge effect on the physical health of our organs. Stress is known to be a significant factor in major fatal illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. As human beings, we have the potential to disentangle ourselves from old habits by cultivating awareness of our own patterns and tendencies and to steady our "wild-horse" minds. Many have turned to meditation to accomplish these goals, but it is not as easy at it first appears. Our minds are naturally distracted and with modern, stressful living, this tendency towards distraction is only increasing!

However, with even a little practice, the mind can be tamed gradually. Building the capacity to be "mindful" puts us in touch with our natural intelligence and helps us to more clearly see our tendencies and the nature of reality. This clarity has profound effects on our physical, emotional, and mental health, and brings a deeper meaning to our lives in general.

Through practice, we begin to embody deeper spiritual values such as self-love and compassion. Buddhists might say that we "awaken to our true nature." At first we may experience these inner states only as "peak" experiences. Eventually — with practice — the driving forces, reactions, and desires of the ego are balanced with the connective presence of the heart. We begin to cultivate "being here in the moment" with greater mindfulness and wisdom.

Other natural developments include the capacity to really be there for ourselves, to listen more deeply to others, and enjoy mindful relationships as spiritual practice.

This "evolution" towards such ways of being seems to be an increasingly common calling and is often a lifelong journey towards full awakening. Helpful practices include:

• Meditation or similar contemplative technique (for beginners, a qualified teacher is necessary)

• Body-mind practices such as Yoga, Chi Gung, or Tai Chi

• Yoga, meditation, or wellness retreats

• Mindfulness practice

• Mindfulness-based psychotherapy (with a qualified therapist)

• Finding an authentic spiritual teacher or a spiritual master

At IMI, we support this personal growth and evolution through workshops as well as with regular meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and meetings. We intend to provide a venue for meaningful connection and relationships to develop in regular men's, women's, and meditation-style gatherings.

In addition, our psychotherapists practice mindfulness-based therapy. This approach allows the client to uncover his or her own issues through "mindful presence" grounded through the therapist. Mindfulness-based therapy is not directed by the practitioner, as with many other psychotherapies. In our observation, the effects of mindfulness-based psychotherapy are more profound and lasting.

At IMI, we are not very keen on many of the New Age therapies purporting to give spiritual benefits. Some therapists are, however, naturally gifted healers. With a gift of special sensitivities, they sometimes provide a special "spiritual" insight that may release much suffering. IMI offers an opportunity to work with well-grounded practitioners with this healing capacity in order to support our clients' "evolution".

IMI Is Committed to Supporting Your Total Well-Being

Every practitioner at IMI is committed to creating an individualised plan for your health. Relying on our years of clinical practice, the study of ancient spiritual and healing traditions, and personal experience, we strive to Heal the body of illness, Balance your physical and psycho-emotional energies, and help you Evolve towards a more mindful way of living. Our philosophy, "Heal. Balance. Evolve." is our foundation in supporting your journey to a feeling of total health and well-being.