Naturopathic physician Ardyce Yik embraces holistic treatment and natural medicines
In naturopathic medicine, the aim is to address the underlying cause of illness, to treat the whole person and to focus on disease prevention, rather than simply treat or suppress symptoms. Dr Ardyce Yik, a licensed naturopathic physician from Canada, uses evidence-based natural medicines to help her patients to achieve optimal health.
She explains: "A lot of people might come not knowing what naturopathic medicine is about, and many expect a magic pill.
"If we really want to deal with the underlying cause, a lot of times we're actually supporting the body to heal, correcting certain imbalances in the body, and that takes time. When managing patients' expectations, I really need to tell them that it does take time for the body and mind to heal."
As a functional medicine practitioner, she uses a patient-centred approach, listening to their histories and investigating the link between genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that influence long-term health and chronic disease.
"In order to get to the bottom of things, I need to spend a lot of time with my patients. One of the first things patients will notice is that I am actually taking the time to listen to them. My visits can go up to one hour, and I believe spending adequate time with each patient allows me to understand them and understand their health condition. It allows me to get to the bottom of their health problems." Her assessment toolbox includes taking a thorough medical history, a physical examination and lab testing. Treatment often includes a combination of nutraceuticals, nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and counselling.
But when it comes to how long it takes to heal, that depends on many factors. For example, the body needs time to take in nutrition before it can be rebalanced. "It depends on the person and how compliant they are," Yik says.
Spending time with family is very important to Yik, especially with her two young sons. She also likes to explore new restaurants with her husband and go on regular evening walks together. "That's a chance for us to just wind down, to talk about life, to talk about the challenges at work and in the family. It's all about balance I find.
"Every day our family takes time to share with one another what we are thankful for that day. I truly believe that counting our blessings is really important, because by doing so we can cultivate a heart of gratitude, a heart of empathy and a heart of contentment. That's really important to me and my family."
One of the biggest lessons Yik has learned is that health is your true wealth in life. "Health is really like time - when you use it up, a part of it is gone forever. Especially in Hong Kong, where everyone is on the go all the time, they often neglect their health or put it as not much of a priority, only to later realise that without your health, you can't really do much.
"In my practice, I see a number of successful people, and they have spent a lot of time making money, accumulating wealth, only to later use that to buy back their health. In our busy lives, we really need to take care of ourselves." EN
"I got this watch as a gift, and I fell in love with it the moment I laid eyes on the elegant design and the soft curves. I've been wearing it ever since I got it. My husband travelled abroad a lot when we first got married, [then] he changed careers to start a family. He said, 'this is it - let's expand our family', and that's when he got me that watch."
"The watch was passed down to me by my mother-in-law when my husband and I got married and we relocated to Hong Kong. It has great sentimental value."