The Best of Both Worlds

The Nielsen Homeopathic and Integrative Clinic, based in Calgary, has developed an integrative, preventative approach to health care, treating all aspects of a patient’s well-being in a single, complete package, one that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Without forcing clients to choose between so-called Western medicine and homeopathic protocols, the Nielsen Clinic delivers the best of both worlds, thanks to Dr. Vijay Nielsen, DMS, HD, who runs the clinic with his wife, Dr. Kerissa Nielsen, DMS, HD.

A husband-and-wife team: Dr. Kerissa Nielsen and Dr. Vijay Nielsen.

In homeopathic medicine, we seek to use the body’s own immune system to fight disease and achieve balance in the body. We are after the root cause versus treating symptoms. In our clinic, my wife and I are responsible for the homeopathic medicine. On the integrative side, we have a medical doctor, registered psychologist, chiropractor, acupuncture, physiotherapist, dietitian, massage therapist, craniosacral specialist, and family coach on staff.

I think that one of the greatest frustrations people have in terms of their health care is that they feel they don’t have a choice between traditional medicine and alternative—that they have to use either one or the other. Here they can have both. The goal for us and our colleagues in both spectrums of medicine is to restore health, which improves patients’ quality of life and promotes vitality and wellness. The client is relieved to find that in our clinic everyone involved in their care is on the same page. We’re all working together to keep them on track to best recover and restore their health.

I think that the reason for the healthcare system breakdown is due to the fact that it is designed on a model of disease management instead of on one of disease prevention. In contrast, our clinic empowers clients, giving them options.

It’s a change in the mind-set of people. Most patients start feeling better, and once they have regained their health, they check in with us once or twice a year. They can come to us and see us for alternative care such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage, while also having an option to consult a medical doctor, if that is needed. While most patients say they prefer this sort of integrative approach, big change takes time, patience, and education to change the mind-set of health and wellness.

Although patients do pay out of pocket for our services, we believe that alternative/complementary medicine plays a greater role in improving healthcare than once thought. Why? Because we are getting patients better at a reduced cost and reducing the dependency on traditional medications.

I think the Canadian model of public health care will undergo huge transition in the next decade. Insurance companies don’t make money on sick people with the cost of medications, procedures, etc. I believe preventive medicine makes financial sense for everyone concerned. As an example, when we treat you for a migraine in a complementary medicine setting, you may also receive an evaluation for back pain and other symptoms. Then our chiropractor, acupuncture, and nutritionist can provide a team approach in helping lower cholesterol, address depression, avoiding multiplication of medications, and getting proper counseling about supplements.

We’ve had really good success with multiple-sclerosis (MS) patients. MS can be very costly to manage. The injectables are highly expensive, with treatment costs reaching $16,000–25,000 yearly. We have a young MS patient who came to see us; her numbness and tingling was reduced, she gained strength in her legs, and her flare-ups were reduced after the first month with us. Her strength is back to where it was before the diagnosis and is currently symptom-free. She is back to her normal self, physically and emotionally.

Much of our focus is on preventative medicine. For example, we offer breast thermography imaging, which helps determine your breast health. We look at family history and perform lab tests, all of which are important in determining your risk for chronic disease.

We haven’t done much for advertising for our clinics. We have grown strictly by word of mouth. What differentiates us is that we offer a complete platform of health-care practitioners. When clients leave our clinic with their health restored, we know we’ve succeeded in changing the mind-set from reactive to proactive, which is how you get to preventative.

We feel privileged that people have entrusted us to be a part of their health journey, and look forward in continuing to provide the best of both worlds: complementary and traditional medicine.