Dr. Cyndi Gilbert ND
I love what I do. Although it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, being a naturopathic doctor in private practice, with a side of teaching and writing, is absolutely perfect. I have a clinical focus in mental health, trauma, addiction, sexual/reproductive health, and LBGT2SQ health. As an ND concerned with accessibility, my practice is inclusive of diverse peoples, genders, sexualities, and families. I am committed to providing personalized, integrated healthcare for the long-term wellness of my patients.
What Kind of Naturopathic Doctor Am I?
- I listen to your health story and help to facilitate and support you in reaching your health goals, whatever they are.
- I understand the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, and sociocultural aspects of health.
- I help you to explore the personal and cultural meanings of health and disease.
- I believe in patient-centered care and education.
- I care about the environmental impact of my naturopathic practice.
I have always been interested in people and plants in a broad context. My happiest childhood memories involve plants and trees and being outside, either cross-country skiing or canoeing on a quiet, clear lake on the Canadian shield. Throughout my life, I have always spent time gardening, growing flowers and food. Even before hearing about the existence of naturopathic medicine, I knew I wanted to do something related to health, nature, and the environment.
I went to Trent University, getting my B.A. Hons degree in Cultural Studies. Even then, I was most interested in the way health and disease are defined and represented in culture. In my academic studies, I focused on the complex sociocultural relationships between health, disease, gender, race, and sexuality. I developed a critical eye for the way we define what is healthy and what isn’t, especially in relation to specific health conditions like PMS and menopause and mental wellness.
While I was studying, I founded a thriving community garden and began to learn plant identification, wildcrafting, and herbal medicine-making. I spent time on organic farms and studied with herbalists in Nova Scotia and Quebec.
After university, I worked for a national environmental NGO (non-governmental organization). As much as I loved getting paid to be an environmental activist, I knew that I wanted to focus more on the human health side of environmentalism and work more closely with plants. I moved to China, studying acupuncture and Chinese herbal traditions while I explored educational options for more training in North America. While living in China, I stumbled upon naturopathic medicine searching for herbal medicine schools, at once realizing it was the best fit for me (art + humanities + science + nature + eclectic = me).
What I Do Now
In addition to general naturopathic practice, I supervise student interns at the free teaching clinic at Queen West Community Health Centre. I have taught courses at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in botanical medicine and naturopathic philosophy, and acted as a teaching assistant for courses on hydrotherapy and health psychology. Nowadays, most of my teaching is focused on cultural safety/competency and trauma-informed care.
My latest book, Forest Bathing: Discovering Health and Happiness Through the Japanese Practice of Shinrin Yoku, published by St. Martin’s Essentials, is available everywhere May 7.
I am licensed and registered as a Naturopathic Doctor with prescribing rights by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.