Cancer Therapy at Core Link

    –Dr. Payam Kiani, ND., B.Sc, FABNO-

My patients never cease to amaze me.

They all do, really, but particular awards go to my patients who are battling cancer. By far, they sustain the most poking       and prodding, invasive surgeries, harsh medications, and toxic therapies all with the hope that they will be cured.  They grin and bear the devastating effects of their disease and of the treatments that go along with it but, no matter what happens to their physical health, I always see one thing for sure: at their core they become stronger, more enlightened, and more conscious of the realities of life around them. What I’m saying might need a little explanation, but I’ll have to save that for another time.

I have to help them

 It’s for this grueling path that my patients with cancer take, that I’m inspired to continually find ways to help them.  I explore all avenues and some of my main goals are to improve their immune systems to prevent infections, to help them heal faster from their surgeries, to support them through chemotherapy and radiation, to reduce their side-effects while improving the effectiveness, to explore and provide experimental natural treatments in the search for a cure, and finally, to provide guidance to navigate through the forest of complementary and alternative therapies, that are worth-while trying.

Powerful tools to fight cancer don’t need to hurt so much

 Here are some of the tools I use to help fight cancer, without making my patients sicker – I focus not only on killing their cancer, but on making them healthier and stronger!  We want to beat the odds, and with these natural therapies we accomplish better outcomes and definitely better quality of life:

–           Diet and Nutrition

–           Herbal Medicine

–           Intravenous Vitamin Therapy

–           Acupuncture

–           Detoxification

–           Stress management

Tell someone that we can help

You probably know someone who is suffering from this disease, or you might be battling it yourself.   I want to be by your side as your expert advisor in natural, complementary, and alternative treatments to fight cancer and make you healthier.  To read more about our integrative cancer therapies please visit:

TCM Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a major treatment modality learned and prescribed by Naturopathic doctors along with their Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) training. TCM is sometimes known as Eastern or Oriental medicine and is a type of medicine that has been in practice for thousands of years. Naturopathic doctors are trained in the art and practice of TCM and will use this as part of your comprehensive health plan. It works very well with Naturopathic principles as it is gentle and works with the body. Acupuncture is a  great option for multiple health concerns including mental and emotional issues as well as physical pain and muscle tension. Remember that mind body connection is important in overall health and acupuncture gets your mind back in touch with your body.

How does it work?

The exact science behind how acupuncture works is not completely understood. There are, however, thousands of years of history behind its use and a large amount of clinical research in its favour.  Clinically, results can be seen in as little as one or two treatments. Some may describe that acupuncture needles move energy in the body (called Qi, pronounced “chee”) and balance other substances/energy in the body like blood, yin and yang. Your Naturopathic doctor will determine which substances are either deficient or excess and help to balance your “constitution” through knowing your history and details of your chief complaint. They will ask you “the 10 questions” to help determine your diagnosis and treatment plan. These questions have to do with determining your individual constitution; they are about temperature, sweat, the head and body, thorax and abdomen, food and taste, sleep, stools and urine, ears and eyes, thirst and pain. They may or may not tell you what they are treating, but some commonly seen conditions are things like Spleen Qi Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Heart Yang Deficiency, or Blood Deficiency. It’s important to realize that these terms do not mean that there is something wrong with your actual spleen, liver or other organs from a western medical perspective, but that there is an energetic imbalance that results in unpleasant symptoms that we experience.

Who can practice acupuncture?

Naturopathic Doctors, RMTs, Physiotherapists, and Acupuncturists are all people who may provide acupuncture services. The type of training and the type of Acupuncture practice may differ widely between all of these practitioners, so asking questions about what their training involved and what type of Acupuncture they provide is important. For example, not all RMTs or Physiotherapists use TCM principles but still may provide localized treatment for muscle stiffness or injuries. These treatments are still beneficial but may not be balancing to the overall constitution like they would be if performed by a TCM trained Doctor or Acupuncturist. Likewise, additional techniques like Moxa (heat) or electrostimulation and cupping may or may not be used by all practitioners, whereas these are included as part of Naturopathic training. The practitioners at Core Link Wellness all provide licensed and skilled treatments that differ slightly in technique, but are beneficial to a holistic treatment plan.

How often do I need treatment?

Depending on if your condition is acute or chronic, treatment intervals will differ. For chronic conditions like low back pain or anxiety, 1-2 treatments per week for 6-12 weeks can be beneficial. For more acute conditions like a cold/flu or sports injury, 2-3 treatments per week for 2-3 weeks is more likely to help. This can be discussed with your practitioner to provide an individual schedule that satisfies your schedule, finances or insurance coverage.

If you are interested in Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, then 7-12 treatments either weekly or bi-weekly is required for lasting benefits.

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Are you interested in looking and feeling younger and healthier without the risk and cost of surgical procedures? Did you know that such a thing existed? It does! It’s called Facial rejuvenation acupuncture.

Recently Dr. Kelly McGuire, ND has become a certified Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture practitioner.  Based on the same treatment principles as TCM Acupuncture, but including localized points on the face and scalp for different conditions, this amazing series of treatments takes on average 5-10 years off one’s age. This method increases circulation to the face to help promote skin rejuvenation, improve muscle tone and increase collagen production and dispersal to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Additional conditions treated are baggy eyes, sagging cheeks and jowls (double chin),wrinkles around the lips and eyes, puffy face and eyelids, dry skin, acne, and redness in the face.

Considering that women will go through great lengths to work on their beauty, it brings me such joy and excitement to know that this method actually works and it works on beauty from the inside out. It’s gentle, lasting, and holistic in nature. A lot of other options for women, such as expensive and risky surgeries, chemical peals and spa treatments can have positive benefits in the short term, (after some pain and serious risks) but they don’t work on health and beauty from a deep level.

Using facial rejuvenation acupuncture is an amazing way to take a positive and preventative approach to your health and beauty. I welcome you to book an initial consult to see if Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture and TCM Acupuncture are the right choice for you. Some conditions like migraines and high blood pressure are contraindicated for FRA, but can be treated using constitutional TCM Acupuncture.


The pain in your buttocks may not be just from your taxes…

By Erin Rothenburger, RMT

The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttocks region functioning primarily to external (outwardly) rotate the hip and leg.  Pain syndromes can occur as a result of overuse in activities such as running or skating, with prolonged sitting, muscle strain from sudden movement, direct trauma, or even from habitually sitting on a wallet.

Often associated with piriformis problems can be pelvic imbalances, sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, overpronation while walking and running, tight hip flexors (front of the hip), weak hip abductors (soft side of the hip), as well as sciatic nerve symptoms.

The sciatic nerve is relatively large and runs underneath the piriformis muscle.  In 15-17% of people the nerve runs through or partially through the muscle. Tightness and spasm of the piriformis can lead to a nerve entrapment syndrome causing pain, tingling and numbness into the leg.

Massage therapy can provide relief and assist with recovery from pain and dysfunction by manually releasing the muscle, mobilizing the SI joint, addressing pelvic imbalances and overpronation issues, as well as improving circulation, tone and tissue health in the areas involved.

Stretching of the piriformis muscle should be applied carefully and in a gradual progression.  Symptoms may be reproduced during the stretch.  Simply lessen the time in the static position and lessen the intensity, but continue.

(Click here to learn more about the stretch from Kathleen Simpson, our Pilates Instructor)

Consult your health care professional to determine if the source of the pain is indeed the piriformis muscle and not a spinal problem, nerve root or disc problem, or bursitis.

Global Health and NDI – A Life Changing Medical Brigade

Global Health and NDI – A Life Changing Medical Brigade

By Dr. Kelly McGuire

February 2013,

Myself with local volunteer

In February of 2011, I ventured on a life changing experience to the remote island of Ometepe, in Nicaragua. Through the organization Natural Doctors International (NDI) I joined the forces of global health. I went on an  international medical brigade to bring help to those experiencing life in a developing country. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Largely due to the pioneering work of NDI’s co-founder and executive director Dr. Tabatha Parker, a model of naturopathic care and public health is now a reality in Los Angeles, Ometepe – the island made of two volcanos. I’m honoured to be part of this experience and wanted to spread the awareness of this global health organization. We can all make a difference by donating, promoting volunteerism and social responsibility, and building personal relationships with likeminded people interested in the future of our health and planet. We are reminded this February to spread love and hope in small and big ways. Reflecting back, exactly two years ago, I’m happy to share some of my experience.

Tales from my travel journal February 2011



Pictures from left to right : Clinic snapshot. / Supplies closet. / Farming day water break.

Armed with our mosquito nets and scrubs and arriving as an eclectic group of individuals with our unique ideas on how we can change the world, we returned as a cohesive force empowered by the experience we had. NDI’s unique brigade experience living in homes with locals, and popular education style of delivery and practical experiences beyond words changed me as a person and physician. From struggling to communicate with a Spanish dictionary over dinner to tending the fields, working in clinic and attending lectures the journey challenged us on so many levels.

Our house mom’s welcomed us in like daughters and their children and grandchildren were our brothers and sisters. Even though they have next to nothing compared to the standard of living we are used to in Canada, these individuals showed us true happiness. Life really comes down to the simplicity of health and happiness regardless of our possessions. I learned that its easy to take for granted the standard of living we are used to and how personal choices can impact the larger global community. Our use of water in particular concerns me, especially when you realize it is possible to take a shower out of one small bucket of cold water.


Pictures from left to right : Farmer group shot. /Home-stay siblings. /Plantain and nap in kitchen

One case in clinic that particularly touched me was when a man broke down crying during his interview when describing his experience with stroke. Even though my broken Spanish was unable to express empathy it was mutually understood as his eyes thanked me and I handed him his free treatment. He held my hand for a moment and squeezed. The days in clinic brought other crazy experiences of finding green pus and other fungal or insect infestations in the ear canals, possible rabies infected dog bites, many stomach aches and digestive complaints from parasites, back pain due to kidney stones, back pain from working as farmers, and severe dehydration due to environmental conditions. We also treated many common cases of cough and cold, cardiovascular disease and diabetes as well as malnutrition.

A necessary part of the educational process was sharing stories and the emotional impact of our experiences as a group and reflecting on the privilege and responsibility it takes to be a physician in another culture. Often our own tears would be shed after exhausting days in the heat treating many patients. Naturopathic medicine has a lot of offer the world and thanks to Dr. Parker a free health care clinic remains in Los Angeles that continues to demonstrate the impact our medicine can have. Many brigades since mine have continued to enrich their understanding of global health through NDI. To learn more about NDI check out their website at

In light of Valentine’s Day falling in February, lets all think of donating a little love and support to this amazing organization. Even if that simply means sharing and promoting awareness.



Pictures from left to right : Dr. Parker lecturing. / Island of Ometepe.


Resolving to Get to the Root

By Dr Kelly McGuire

When one year ends and another begins its only natural to reflect on last year’s happenings and strive for improvement in the coming year. Looking back on history often helps us in preparing for the future. This is exceptionally true with regards to health.  Family history may be the most obvious aspect of one’s history affecting health but social, sexual, mental/emotional and lifestyle history also plays a large role in shaping one’s state of health. Reflecting back is an integral part of shaping our inner dialogue of goals, fears, and of course New Year’s resolutions.

The problem with resolutions is that they tend to be extreme, unachievable and leave us feeling disappointed with ourselves, when we inevitably fail. I’m proposing a new set of resolutions that are based directly on the naturopathic principles of medicine. Naturopathic Doctors have dedicated themselves to the original principles but with a spin they can apply to everyone! They are not meant to happen overnight but to support a gradual shift in consciousness and attitudes.

First do no harm – Don’t set yourself up for failure by resolving to go to the gym everyday when you currently don’t go at all. Go easy on yourself. Resolve to look into the type of exercise you love to do and brings the best result. This not only applies to exercise but diet, lifestyle and mental health as well. Setting realistic goals will prevent harmful negative feedback on our whole body. Remember that health is a continuum and we all exist at a unique place on that continuum.

Treat the cause – The root cause of our health concerns is not solely based on one factor like family history. Explore other potential factors like thought patterns, ingrained emotional patterns, diet and lifestyle history. Getting at the root takes some self-work and thought. Don’t simply accept your current state of health and treatment plan as the be-all end-all of solutions. Resolve to take a history lesson on your own health to help discover all possible causal factors and develop the best plan in moving forward.

Teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine – Knowledge is power! If you know something that has helped you or a loved one, share it with someone else! Whether it’s a new hot yoga class that has you feeling cleansed and energetic or a gluten free, dairy free recipe that doesn’t taste like cardboard, share it! Make it a resolution to teach each other important lessons when it comes to health and wellness.

Heal the whole personIt’s easy for history to repeat itself and fall into old habits of tending to only the most obvious issues of our health, symptoms. Remember that there’s more to health than physical symptoms. Resolve to take a more holistic approach to your wellbeing by considering all factors that are within your control to improve. Think about the spiritual, emotional, as well as physical areas of your-self that need healing attention.

Emphasize prevention – Instead of waiting until there are symptoms to treat, make sure you are taking a preventative approach by investigating your risk factors and adopting the healthy habits that will reduce the likelihood that your health will deteriorate. We are all getting older, but we can control the speed of our natural decline and the quality of life we experience by adopting preventative attitudes.

Support the healing power of nature – Our body knows how to be healthy, and wants to exist in a state of balance known as homeostasis. Look into the possible factors that may be an obstacle to your body’s own healing ability. These can be medications, habits like caffeine, smoking, sugar addiction or attitudes that re-enforce complacency instead of self responsibility. Resolve to remove the obstacles and work with nature to get back to a balanced state.

Remember, health does not change overnight. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making resolutions to become a brand new person in 2013. Instead, think about the principles you apply to your daily life and challenge yourself to adopt a naturopathic thought process over time. Resolve to get to the root!

Our Healthy Resolutions for 2013

  • Erin decided to make a daily conscious effort to be grateful for all the awesome things and people in her life.
  • Caren wants to appreciate her family and loved ones more and spend more time with them!
  • Lisa will join dance class once a week.
  • Steve is going to start Pilates one day per week!
  • Lynda committed not to sweat the small stuff!
  • Jason will drink a little less coffee and eat a lot more veggies!
  • Dr Glory‘s resolution would be to take 2 minutes a day to focus on deep breathing.
  • Dr Kelly will start hot yoga classes as part of a healthy detox.
  • Dr Payam is going to do hot Yoga every week at Moksha Yoga studio.
  • Michelle has decided to drink more water and walk at least once a week.
  • Caroline will get rid of her Ziploc addiction and will rely more on reusable glass containers.
Healthy Tips for Shovelling Snow

Healthy Tips for Shovelling Snow

By Steve Nagy -RMT & Osteopathy (thesis writer)

With the change of seasons, I would like to offer some sound advice before the snow falls and have included some suggestions for clearing the pretty white snow from our driveways and sidewalks.

If you have preexisting back conditions, consider working in short durations so as not to fatigue or irritate your spine.  If there is any chance of irritating a bulged disc, use extreme caution and better yet, find a young strong individual who could use a few dollars.  It may be a wise investment.  If all is well, before heading outside, begin with some hip circles while indoors and your body is warm  This will energize your spine and put some additional blood into the muscles for fuel.  Gentle toe touches without bouncing at the bottom will also get you ready to tackle the flakes.

If you have a single or double driveway, begin with your spine relaxed and shovel blade on the ground at a slight angle.  Start from your garage door and mark a path down the mid-line to the street so as to cut the driveway into two halves. The angled shovel will allow the snow to glide to the side so that you are not pushing the entire amount in front of the shovel.  Now return to the top of the driveway with the same angled shovel technique.  Now you have a space.  The snow to each side of the space will be directed to that side of the driveway.  I like to think that the snow didn’t fall all at once, so you shouldn’t try to remove it all at once either.  If is is light and shallow, take a shovel width of snow and direct it from the halfway space to the driveway edge walking at a casual pace.  When reaching the end, with the strength of the legs and a gentle lift, direct the snow off the driveway.  Now turn around and walk to the mid-line and grab a shovel width from the mid-line to the edge, gentle lift and continue.  If the snow is too deep, use a half shovel width or less so that you can maintain a gentle walking speed without feeling any back strain.  If you anticipate a heavy snowfall, try to tackle your driveway in stages so that it doesn’t pile up too high.

  • Remember to take your time.
  • Work within your limits.
  • Treat your back and heart with proper respect.
  • Warm up before going outside.
  • Lift with your legs and don’t try to heave the snow with your back.
  • A gentle pace can make clearing snow healthy exercise.

How Could You Benefit From Intravenous Therapy?

Intravenous therapy (IV) is a wonderful tool that your naturopathic doctor can use to better your health.

Dr. McGuire recently received her certification for IV therapy and is excited to be able to provide this treatment to her patients at Core Link Wellness Centre and Kiani Naturopathic Clinic.

IVs have a wide range of clinical applications and can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Most notably they are extremely helpful to deliver vitamins and minerals directly to your cells! Think of it this way… when you take vitamin C orally, your gastrointestinal absorption gets in the way of delivering the full dose you took to your blood stream and ultimately your cells. You may think increasing the dose would give better effect but it usually results in higher urinary excretion (peeing it out) and perhaps diarrhea. By giving nutrients directly to the blood stream you by-pass the gastrointestinal tract and exponentially increase the availability of the nutrients for your cells to use. Plus you can avoid some of the side effects of high doses taken orally, such as diarrhea.

The common formula given is tailored to the individual but usually contains some combination of Magnesium, Calcium, B12, B6, B5, Bcomplex and vitamin C. Sometimes other nutrients are added or taken away depending on the individual and what they need treatment for. These nutrients are essential for your body to perform its normal functions!

Common indications for IV therapy:

  • Athletic performance
  • Muscle spasms and fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Migraines and other headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Digestive issues
  • Drug withdrawal
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infections in general
  • Allergies and sinusitis

An initial assessment is necessary before treatments can begin. Laboratory screening tests may be necessary depending on your age and general level of health. Naturopathic health care has many tools to offer its patients and of course diet and lifestyle are primary changes as part of a complete treatment plan.

What is Osteopathy?

By  Jason Brandow – DOMP 

Osteopathy is an approach to healthcare that emphasizes the role of the musculoskeletal system in health and disease. It is practiced in Canada, the European Union, and Australia. Osteopathy is not to be confused osteopathic medicine in the United States. Osteopaths in Canada use a manual, hands on approach to assess and treat patients, whereas Osteopathic Physicians from the United States are medical doctors who treat with pharmaceutical drugs and surgery.

Osteopathy is a form of complementary medicine, emphasizing a holistic approach and the skilled use of a range of manual and physical treatment interventions in the prevention and treatment of disease. In practice, this most commonly relates to musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain, but is not contained to these issues. Osteopathic treatments have been proven to treat everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Asthma, to Gastric Reflux/Heartburn, as well as countless other chronic conditions. Osteopathic principles teach that treatment of the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles and joints), along with the viscera (organs and related tissues) and craniosacral system, stimulates the recuperative powers of the body to fight the disease or chronic issues on its own, without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.

What can be treated using Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a gentle, non-invasive therapeutic approach used to treat:

·         Back pain

·         Headache

·         Neck pain

·         Shoulder pain

·         Athletic or work related strain injuries

·         Muscle or ligament strains, ankle, elbow, knee

·         Pregnancy and childbirth, gestation, labor and post-partum

·         Muscle tension headache independent or associated with migraine

·         Sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, Otitis media

·         Infant colic, plagiocephaly

·         Osteoarthritis

·         Pneumonia, bronchitis, congestive heart failure

·         Gastric reflux/Heartburn

·         Anxiety and depression

·         Vertigo