How to Identify and Treat the Root Cause of Chronic Symptoms with Dr. John Dempster, ND on The Healers Café with Manon Bolliger

In this episode of The Healers Café, Manon Bolliger (Deregistered naturopathic physician with 30 years of experience in health), speaks Dr. John Dempster, board certified in both Naturopathic and functional medicine,

Highlights from today’s episode include:

Dr John Dempster

I still don’t want to be doing a cookie cutter approach, but if you’re just using vitamins and diet, I want to make sure I’m treating that person, not the label that person carries. And so functional medicine to me really allowed us to start to peel those layers back and get super deep into understanding different types of nutrient deficiencies for example. Different types of microbiome imbalances. You know, it’s one thing to say, oh, yeah, you’ve got a parasite by looking at somebody. But that doesn’t always bear true. We’ve got to dive in there and really start to understand, do we have imbalances with parasites or bacteria or yeast or fungus overgrowth, possibly viruses?


Dr John Dempster

so autoimmunity in more cases than not is not caused by one thing that I’ve seen, it’s by a number of imbalances and what we aim to do with our patients is really try to help them leverage and find where these blind spots are, eradicate those so that we can leverage the healing processes in our body.

Dr John Dempster

It’s not that we possess a cure for any condition. But oftentimes, the more we’re learning about a certain autoimmune conditions, over 220 diagnoseable diseases right now that fall under that umbrella, and that might be a very conservative estimate. But what we’re seeing is that this is often a result of a perfect storm or a hurricane of symptoms that have or its underlying causes that have been out of balance for some time that create this almost synergistic wave that creates this reaction, this catastrophe, if you will, of symptoms.


Dr. John Dempster is board certified in both Naturopathic and functional medicine, and is the founder of The Dempster Clinic – Center for Functional Medicine located in Toronto, Canada.  He focuses on a functional medicine model to treat patients ranging from high performance individuals to those wanting to treat or reduce their risk of chronic illness.   Dr. Dempster is the founder of the Healthy Gut Institute, an in-depth, online program designed to help identify and treat the root cause of chronic digestive issues.

Dr. Dempster is featured frequently on national media outlets, and for more information on Dr. Dempster you can visit his website

Core purpose/passion: Helping my patients become advocates for their health, and to discover the root causes of their health issues.


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About Manon Bolliger

As a recently De-Registered board-certified naturopathic physician & in practice since 1992, I’ve seen an average of 150 patients per week and have helped people ranging from rural farmers in Nova Scotia to stressed out CEOs in Toronto to tri-athletes here in Vancouver. My resolve to educate, empower and engage people to take charge of their own health is evident in my best-selling books:  ‘What Patients Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask: The Mindful Patient-Doctor Relationship’ and ‘A Healer in Every Household: Simple Solutions for Stress’.  I also teach BowenFirst™ Therapy through Bowen College and hold transformational workshops to achieve these goals. So, when I share with you that LISTENING to Your body is a game changer in the healing process, I am speaking from expertise and direct experience”. Mission: A Healer in Every Household! For more great information to go to her weekly blog: For tips on health & healing go to: SOCIAL MEDIA:  – Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn  | YouTube  | Twitter  |  

About The Healers Café:

Manon’s show is the #1 show for medical practitioners and holistic healers to have heart to heart conversations about their day to day lives. Follow us on social media!


Welcome to the Healers Café. Conversations on health and healing with Manon Bolliger. A retired and deregistered naturopathic physician with 30 plus years of experience. Here, you will discover engaging and informative conversations between experienced healers, covering all aspects of healing, the personal journey, the journey of the practitioner, and the amazing possibilities for our own body, and spirit.

Manon Bolliger 00:13

Welcome to the Healers Cafe and today I’m with Leslie Nase. And let me tell you a little bit about her. She is the creator and CEO of Intuitive Animal Communication and Healing. She hosts a TV show called Books, Yarns and Tails, which is featured on Win Win Woman TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. She’s also a public speaker, intuitive healing coach, and a children’s author of “Who Paints the World” and there’s a lot more but I’m just going to welcome you and ask you, Lesley, when was the first time that you really felt compelled to go forward in the work that you do? And you can define the work in any which way you please?


Manon Bolliger 00:34

So welcome to the Healers Cafe, and I’m here with Dr. John Dempster. He’s a naturopathic physician in Ontario, as a board certified and he is also practicing functional medicine, is the founder of the Dempster Clinic center for functional medicine located in Toronto. I think that’s about all I’m gonna give, and all the rest we’re going to discuss together. But before we start, well, welcome. And what got you interested in the first place in this whole field of natural medicine and natural solutions.


Dr John Dempster 01:29

From a young boy, my parents told me that I always had this interest in medicine, I came from a pretty normal background, you know, small town in northern Ontario. And my dad was a dentist, his dad was a dentist, I kind of thought maybe I’d end up being a dentist. But then at the age of 13, I am the oldest of four kids, and we lost two uncles within a year of each other to chronic disease. And we were pretty normal family growing up having hamburgers and having hot dogs, and you know, and just doing what kids do. But when my parents saw their brothers die, from chronic disease going through the standard of care that they were going through taking the medications, taking the chemotherapy, and we come into them say, well, how come they didn’t get better when they took their medicine? They didn’t have the answers for us. But I’ll never forget that suddenly, about, you know, months after these, after my uncle’s had passed, we were suddenly now drinking carrot juice before dinner and taking a shot of cod liver oil before breakfast. And I noticed this some changes like that. And as a teenager, you’re like, this sucks. We don’t want to be drinking that stuff, reading that stuff. But we…kind of my parents were strict. And they said, no, this is what you’re going to do. And you know, back in the 80s, this is the best that we had in terms of information. There was no internet, they were just learning on the fly through magazine articles and books and things like that. And low and behold, I noticed during my high school years, my parents were doing great, they were not getting sick, they were excelling in their athletics, and my dad’s career. And my siblings, and I were kind of doing the same in school with athletics and academics. And we just didn’t get sick. You know that there could …


be a lot of reasons for that. But I kind of remember thinking, wow, I want to do something to do with what is going on, because we talked a lot about nutrition in the house. And we were kind of that family that was buying food at the health food store, which again, it was kind of weird to do back then. But fast forward, you know, my passion and interest in medicine was still there. I didn’t know any different at the time, I was still wanting to be a medical doctor. And I went and did my premed degree. And then while I was doing my premed degree, I noticed a lot of my electives were clinical nutrition. I kept picking up these courses and doing my undergrad and taking a lot of clinical biochemistry and nutritional biochemistry. And then colleague of mine were chatting, this guy was also very much interested in medicine and applying to schools. And as we were kind of getting our resumes together in our applications together. He said, wait a second you love this nutritional stuff. Have you ever thought of naturopathic medicine? I was like, what’s that? Never even heard of it. never even seen a naturopathic doctor, nothing existed in our town. Never even heard of it. And but I kept, you know, it stuck out to me. So, I kept it in mind. And I kind of looked into it a little bit, but I was like, I’m not so sure. So, I’m literally applying dropping off my applications. And, I just…it just dawned on me that wait, no, it’s not this because I kept asking the medical schools they said, tell me about your nutritional program, because Hypocrites is the father of medicine, right? That means that we should be talking about nutrition and med school, right? There will often be silence on the end of the phone. And at best, I heard one answer and it said, four hours. I was like, Great four hours a week. No four hours in your entire med school career. I was like, wow, that’s interesting. So that was a big impetus for me to take the plunge into naturopathic medicine. And as I was doing, and I did, I didn’t look back. I will say at the beginning I was like did I do the right thing? I’m not sure. But I just kept following my passion which was a lot of the, you know, the science the evidence base, the clinical nutrition, which is there. Anybody who says that there is no science to naturopathic medicine isn’t doing their homework. And, and so I kept refining it and refining it, but I was very much interested in in really personalizing programs to people. And this is where my interest in functional medicine became apparent. And as I even graduated and started my practice, I immediately went became board certified as a functional medicine practitioner. And I was in a room of 80, doctors, all of which, I should say except for four, were medical docs. It was me and four others were either MDS or chiropractors. And it was amazing going through this because the beginning of Functional Medicine of the fellowship, there was a lot of stuff that we’d already learned in our four years in naturopathic medicine, and the medical doctors eyes were like this. They’re like, this is fantastic. And so, I just love the synergy. I love the energy. And to this day, I am very, very pro integrative medicine. I love bridging those two worlds together, bringing that Western medicine and naturopathic medicine together. And to me, functional medicine is a big key language for that, it’s a big way to communicate. And you know, we still have our…we’re not there. You know, there’s still a lot of divisiveness in some of these camps. But my passion is to continue to bridge these camps so that the patient can get the best of both worlds. When I first started practice, patients would come to me sheepishly, he’s like, can I tell my medical doctor, I’m seeing you? I’m like, yeah, I kind of hope you do. But of course, that doesn’t always bode well. And same with naturopathic medicine, there’s a lot of MDs that are opposed to allopathic medicine, and I think there’s a time and a place for both. And we need to all realize that, and really understand that it’s about treating that patient and we have to do our very best to always assess the needs of our patients.


Manon Bolliger 06:56

But I do agree with you with functional medicine, it’s like a language that sort of makes sense it’s different than trying to explain as in naturopathy, though, there is plenty behind it, you know, how Chinese medicine works or how well let’s not even go to homeopathy? You know, but, it’s or nutrition just alone, right, as a concept is much harder for many MDs. But I mean, a lot of my patients were MDs, and they’re coming for naturopathic care, because they’re tired of almost peddling drugs without the expectation of a true solution of the root cause they’re seeing it like, oh, this is, you know, this is more like, it’ll help you, it’ll calm things down, you’ll feel better. All of this is true. But it doesn’t necessarily get to the root cause. Right. And, and so it’s been, it’s been very interesting. I love being the bridge as well, I think that’s really very important. So, what is it about functional medicine that, let’s go into that a little bit, because not everyone knows what that is? And, and yeah, and your, your passion for it?


Dr John Dempster 08:17

Well, what draws me to functional medicine is that I’m also very keen on, you know, as science and technology evolve, I love to make sure that our profession is evolving too and to the best we can. And what I really like about what functional medicine brings to naturopathic medicine. And there’s some very big similarities we can get into that. But the difference is, is that we’re now using some very current testing procedures that are gonna allow us to gather data. And it’s not that we don’t learn about testing as an MD. But it’s very limited in our schooling. And so, I was very curious about how can I gather as much data so that I can customize a program? I still don’t want to be doing a cookie cutter approach, but if you’re just using vitamins and diet, I want to make sure I’m treating that person, not the label that person carries. And so functional medicine to me really allowed us to start to peel those layers back and get super deep into understanding different types of nutrient deficiencies for example. Different types of microbiome imbalances. You know, it’s one thing to say, oh, yeah, you’ve got a parasite by looking at somebody. But that doesn’t always bear true. We’ve got to dive in there and really start to understand, do we have imbalances with parasites or bacteria or yeast or fungus overgrowth, possibly viruses? You know, do we have any signs of intestinal permeability showing up? Do we have any signs of SIBO? You know, these are all questions that don’t usually get asked by a standard approach right now. And I say that with all due respect, it’s just not part of the existing training that a lot of the MDS are going through. And that’s fine. So that’s a big part of our conversation when a patient comes to me is that we start looking at those things. We start saying, okay, are there certain toxins in your environment and maybe you’ve been exposed to, other certain hormonal balances that might not have been detected. These are all parts of the conversation that will often bring to bring to the table.


Manon Bolliger 10:02

Well, I’m very tempted by the, the thoroughness of it and the individuality of it as well. And that’s actually one of the first things I did when I graduated 30 years ago is take a functional medicine course. And like you said, there were chiropractors, MDS, and maybe one or two MDs, you know, because we were taught it but not, yeah, not to the degree that this can actually allow you to, not wanting to find the root cause, but also to follow up and collect data so that we can speak in terms of this is what’s happened. And, you know, we can then show results no matter what modality we use. So, I think that’s how I saw it a little different is naturopathy offers modalities that can get beyond nutrition, also nutrition, but other ways of getting to the end results. And functional medicine allowed me to test that it was true. That’s how I used it, if you want to comment on that, or how do you see that?


Dr John Dempster 11:17

Yeah, first of all, I think you’re absolutely right, we have a lot of modalities at our fingertips as an MD. And I think that’s a pro. And I think it’s also something we have to be careful of, so that we’re not too diluted. And so, you know, that’s why I think a lot of MDs will hone in on certain modalities and become experts in those modalities, you know, as you know, we cannot call ourselves specialists in anything, but we can really hone in and become a…have a strong focus in an area. And that, to me, is what drew me again, more into the clinical nutrition into the biochemical side of things. That’s my interest. That’s my strong expertise. Is there a time and a place for acupuncture? 100%, you know, we have one of my associates in my clinic is an absolute expert in acupuncture, and she’s fantastic. And, you know, anything that’s been around for 1000 years, you know, we don’t need to run RCTs anymore, that’s been around for 1000 years, because it works. And, excuse me, yes, we still need to run RCTs. But the point being is, is that, you know, that’s the test of time, and so that there’s certainly some merit to that. Same with homeopathy, same with lifestyle medicine, these are all very, very important modalities. But every MD has their own little language that they speak and their own passions, and I think we have to draw upon our passions to be an…to excel in a certain area. And that’s why, you know, it’s such a great profession in a way because we’re so unique, but we also have to be careful that we’re not so diluted in different directions that we don’t have this cohesion as an entity and as a community,


Manon Bolliger 12:37

I think that’s a real risk, but it makes us like, almost like general MDs. It’s like, then, you know, I actually taught homeopathy at Buchay for, I don’t know, 10 years or 12 years. And, and it was interesting, what I would tell my students is, you’ve got just about enough knowledge, to not actually take on chronic cases and know to refer to somebody who goes full in on homeopathy. Because knowing a little bit about, you know, about it isn’t practicing it fully. It’s like, knowing it exists. And you know, I’m not saying don’t give Arnica are obvious things that you know, may come up, but to get good at anything is the same. Like I, you know, I love Chinese medicine, but do I practice it? Or did I, I’m sorry, I got to do everything in the past now. Did I practice it? No. Did I use the knowledge and understanding of it to do even Bowen therapy? Absolutely. Because it’s a body of knowledge, but to say that I’m an expert in acupuncture? No, unless I was focused on it. So, I think yeah, that’s a…it’s a very interesting thing or positioning as naturopaths you know, it’s not enough to say oh, just go see any naturopath. It’s like you almost have to have what is it that you want to not just you know, what even what modality are you aligned with? Or what do you believe as a client or patient?


Dr John Dempster 14:21

That’s why we all hone in on certain generally speaking will attract certain types of patients.


Manon Bolliger 14:25



Dr John Dempster 14:26

I work a lot with autoimmune patients, and about half of my practice is autoimmune another significant portion of my practices digestive related issue. So that’s a big part of what I attract, and you know, probably based on the way I communicate and based on the trainings that I’ve had.


Manon Bolliger 14:43

You know, I would love I’d love to talk about the cup but also because auto immune problems are definitely on the rise. What, would be like the approach to somebody who would come to see you? Can you walk us or a case that you know, but without names?


Dr John Dempster 15:04

Obviously. Yeah, I think this is where functional naturopathic medicine have a real powerful window to shine. It’s not that we possess a cure for any condition. But oftentimes, the more we’re learning about a certain autoimmune conditions, over 220 diagnoseable diseases right now that fall under that umbrella, and that might be a very conservative estimate. But what we’re seeing is that this is often a result of a perfect storm or a hurricane of symptoms that have or its underlying causes that have been out of balance for some time that create this almost synergistic wave that creates this reaction, this catastrophe, if you will, of symptoms. Because if you’re thinking of, you know, think of shagreens and think of lupus or think of Hashimoto’s, you know, that’s fine. They’re generally speaking, Hashimoto’s is attacking the thyroid, I understand that. But how did that happen, we now have to talk about what’s going on with stress, what’s going on with reactions to certain foods in your body, which is massive, what’s going on with the integrity of your gut lining and the microbiome in your gut? What’s going on with nutrient deficiencies, has there been any exposure to heavy metals, there’s…and that’s just a small start to what can cause Hashimoto’s, you know, let nonetheless, what’s going on with your genetics and so forth. So we have to now unravel this almost like a layered onion, you have to just start peeling these layers back and start to understand where those little blind spots is what how I communicate with these with my patients, things that we can’t see on the surface that might be festering and fanning the flames. And so autoimmunity in more cases than not is not caused by one thing that I’ve seen, it’s by a number of imbalances and what we aim to do with our patients is really try to help them leverage and find where these blind spots are, eradicate those so that we can leverage the healing processes in our body.


Commercial Break 16:50

Manon Bolliger here and I want to thank you for taking actionable steps towards engaging your healing journey, and helping others discover their path by watching, sharing, subscribing, and reviewing these podcasts. Every review and share helps spread the word these different perspectives and choices and options for healing. And to thank you, I’d like to invite you to sign up to my free seven sequence email tips on health and healing for everyday life. You can go to tips, thanks so much.


Dr John Dempster 17:29

By removing some of those obstacles, you know, there’s an old saying by one of my mentors that I love, Dr. Mark Hyman, he used to say look, if you step on a thumbtack doesn’t matter how many Tylenol you take, you still got to take the thumbtack out of your foot. You know, if you can manage the pain, manage the pain, manage the pain. But until you actually remove that thumbtack you’re not getting ahead. And so, this is why I think we’re seeing in a lot of the cases with autoimmunity right now if we’re not taking an integrated approach, we’re going to be on stronger and stronger medications. And I’ve seen that many times. And like I said, from the very beginning, there is an absolute time and a place for Western medicine. And specifically, with some of these chronic diseases, we do need some help at times. And at times, patients have done great without them, really you have to be patient centered. And this is also what my passion is addressing the needs of that patient, if they’re in chronic pain. Well maybe, and they can’t work, and they can’t walk, maybe we should work on getting that pain reduced somehow so that at least we can get a quality of life while we’re chipping away at the root cause because as you and I both know, going at a root cause resolution pathway doesn’t happen overnight. This often will take weeks months and sometimes well over a year to fully get those blind spots addressed and removed. So, it can be a lengthy process and for that person to be sitting in a wheelchair for say, in so much pain that they’ve lost a life of not doing anything sometimes we do need to make some concessions and then do allow that symptomatic approach to be part of their therapy.


Manon Bolliger 17:37

For sure. Yeah. I was wondering if you have yet because it clinically it’s not very evident yet. But there’s talk about a potential…one of the effects that a lot of people are receiving which is like an AIDS like syndrome, which is an immune disorder obviously. I would imagine that how you come into it is going to affect also how you how you might be able to get out of this conundrum you know, when your immune system is weakened. I would imagine that Yeah, it’s like everything else your health to start with will be one of the determinants on how easy it is to deal with any other trigger to your immune system. Have you had and then he cases yet of this or I know I did way back, but that’s another you know, another type?


Dr John Dempster 20:06

Speaking of AIDS as we know it? Is that what you are speaking of?


Manon Bolliger 20:09

Yeah, like from it’s one of the side effects that people are noticing from the therapies that are in use right now to deal with the pandemic.


Dr John Dempster 20:24

Yeah, I’m not sure I can comment on that. I haven’t seen, you know, anything that would stand out to that regard. Do we work with people with immune issues? We’ve always have, and we always will. Right. You know, I can’t say that I’ve seen any anything that would suggest that this is as a result of something different in the last couple of years. Not to say that it’s not there. I, you know, we see people that are sick every day, and I’ve been doing this for 15 years. So, I haven’t necessarily seen a change in that, if that’s what you’re asking.


Manon Bolliger 20:51

No, yeah, I would imagine not that it wouldn’t come up yet. But I’m thinking more on a positive note that it’s…that the body can deal with this. If you’re having the same approach, it doesn’t matter whatever you’re like, whatever the extra thing that tips, the tea, you know, like, What’s the expression in English, your cup is full. If you have one more thing, it overflows, right. So I would imagine that the approach to any immune disorder, because I think there’s quite a fear that there will be more immune disorders, is the same approach you would take 30 years ago, as you would take now, as you would take, you know, in the future, it’s individual, and it depends what’s in your cup to start with?


Dr John Dempster 21:45

Well, yeah, there’s so much we can do to help support the immune system. And that’s not to say that there’s not a role for anything else, I won’t, I won’t go down that rabbit hole. But what I was going to suggest is that yes, I mean, if we’re trying to improve somebody’s immune system, we should be looking at the gut, the gut is where 80% of your immune system lies, we should be measuring not just throwing nutrients, but we should be measuring nutrient levels to understand truly what that person needs. This work to me is all part of an integrative complementary approach to an immune protocol.


Manon Bolliger 22:17

Yeah, so how would you do that? Because I mean, I know I think most people know that the immune system is largely in the gut. But how? How would you again, let’s say if I didn’t know that I had gut issues, how would you approach it? And what do I need to know myself to suspect that maybe I could get help by somebody who does functional medicine or is a naturopath? And does it. like, what do I need to know?


Dr John Dempster 22:50

Well, I think first thing is, is you don’t need to be sick to seek the care of an…or a functional medicine doc, you know, I’ve alluded that large part of my practice is disease oriented, but there’s another group of my patients that are fantastically well and healthy and want to remain that way. And they would…


Manon Bolliger 23:06

Optimize it


Dr John Dempster 23:08

Take it to a whole nother level, they may have seen something in their family trends that they’re a little bit concerned about. And you know, they want to take action. But you know, what can they do back to your question is, is when what if I was to sit down with you as a patient right now, I’d be taking your history Manon, I’d be actually sending you a an intake form, and I’ll walk you right through what to do, I would be sending you an intake form days before your appointment that takes you one to two hours to fill out, not because we want to torcher you because I want to learn as much as I can before I actually meet you in person or telemedicine before we even meet. And so, it’s a very thorough questionnaire on your medical history. And we’re looking for all these little clues, almost like little breadcrumbs that are going to start to lead us down a conversation point that could somehow reveal these blind spots. And, so that questionnaire is not to diagnose, but it’s rather to give me an idea. Okay, so where do I need to focus my work up with somebody, we have a number of different labs at our fingertips. So not every patient is going to get, you know, 140 different tests done on them. There, we’re going to be very selective about that. But if you came to me and you were worried about your immune system, and you were suspicious of something that was going on in your immune system, I would be highly recommending that we measure where how your gut is functioning, whether or not you have digestive issues is beside the point. And it would still be very prudent to know do we have enough of our good bacteria and there’s a number of very key strains that we can analyze using certain labs these days, using a three point or three day stool analysis and, and this is very different than usually the traditional stool analysis. Sometimes these, these ones that functional medicine practitioners utilize, will go down to labs, often they’re in the States or some in Canada, but they will give us pages of data and it’s not that more data is always better, but sometimes we do want to look a little bit more in depth and especially in these areas. I would also be measuring your nutrients Manon, I’d be making sure that not just vitamin D and B 12. Yeah, measure but all the other 32 main players that are often significantly involved with the immune system, and we’d be looking to specifically identify have you had any massive deficiencies that could be in your way as hindering your own immune system to function? We’d be talking about how are you managing stress, you know, a lot of us are have been through a lot, not only our whole life, but through the last couple of years, especially, you know, if cortisol, which is one of your main stress hormones is chronically elevated, it’s going to suppress your immune system for time after time. And we’re meant to have short bursts of cortisol. But if we’re having these constant bursts of it, we don’t have this recovery time, then we’re going to be a little bit more exposed or a lot more exposed. And that’s just to name a few things. But again, it’d be very specific, according to our meeting and our intake with you, and how we would go down.


Manon Bolliger 25:49

And where do you see the biggest…you had mentioned stress, you know, and some people believe strongly that if you can manage the stress, you know, mentally, emotionally and all those levels, it will impact the way your physiology the way your body responds to stress. When do you refer people? Or do you refer people? Like, is there a limitation to the nutrient…like getting rid of, you know, all the nutrient deficiencies rebalancing? Like, have you found that that is enough for…I mean, again, I know we always attract our types of patients? So, it’s a caveat I’m putting in, but have you found that people need also sometimes more? To be able to deal with their gut health, for example, or their immunity? I mean, it’s all the same in the end.


Dr John Dempster 26:53

Most definitely. Most definitely. We, you know, we talk a lot about the pillars of health with our patients and the pillars of health are eating right, thinking right, drinking right, sleeping right, destressing right, and pooping right. And so those are just to name some of the big ones. But you know, if I have somebody who’s dealing with some trauma, emotional, or some form of trauma that has not been resolved, whether it’s continuous, or in the past, we refer all the time to therapists and to psychiatrists, we have them get in touch with their MD to get that referral, we cannot refer directly to specialists in Ontario. But that is a big factor. I used to host a summit called the Mental Wellness Summit. While we were the largest summit online for helping people understand alternative and complementary ways to help support you know, anybody going through anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc. And we would interview some of the top doctors in the world, taking this complementary integrative approach. A lot of them were MDs, PhD, psychiatrists, and so forth. And so that’s a big part of my referral system. Same with a lot of the anatomical imbalances, you know, if we’re dealing with any form of…we refer to a lot to ask the osteopaths and chiropractors, because, again, biochemistry as you were kind of alluding to, can nutrients take you all the way? No, they are one cornerstone, we’ve got to make sure that all these cornerstones are set in place for true healing to take place. And it’s just a big cornerstone that tends to get overlooked. So that’s why I focus on what I do, but all the other ones are equally important.


Manon Bolliger 28:23

Yeah. Well, that’s, of course, I share the same opinion as you. But I just thought I check because of your focus, but it’s still it’s a, it’s one, you know, for me, I discovered something I eat lots of greens, I eat what I believe to be well, and I did a test and I’m vitamin C deficient. And it’s like, how on earth is that possible? You know, and so I got my, I guess I shouldn’t say anything, otherwise, it gives people too much information, let’s say a relative in general, and it was there too. Right and then it’s like, oh, okay, now there’s, you got to look deeper what’s going on here? Because there’s something not, you know, not happening. And it’s not, it’s not always obvious, even with nutrition, you know, until you test it, and then you go okay, you know, and then you know, vitamin C may be a bit of the answer, but in this case, obviously not because it’s an absorption, there’s more to it. Right? So, it’s, yeah, it’s interesting how all the information helps. You know, everything about a person every piece you can get really can help direct their health in in a better direction. So, do you do you do telemedicine you mentioned this right?


Dr John Dempster 29:51

We do. Yeah, we see patients through telemedicine, and I’m located in Toronto, so we still have patients and we’re permitted in Ontario right now to see patients in person. So, we are quick to do both. And it’s obviously been very different during the pandemic, but was before you know, people were coming in from all over the place, but now with travel being somewhat restricted and hopefully opening more up all the time, but right now telemedicine has been very helpful for those that live in a small caveat in Ontario, we can only do telemedicine with patients who are in Ontario.


Manon Bolliger 30:23

Correct, yeah.


Dr John Dempster 30:24

So, we have patients that will, will phone in or do a video conferencing from all over Ontario.


Manon Bolliger 30:32

So, we’ll put your information out so people who are in Ontario


Dr John Dempster 30:40

Happy to help yeah.


Manon Bolliger 30:41

Can connect with you. And, anyway it was really informative. And are there any last words you want to leave?


Dr John Dempster 30:50

Well, sure. I mean, we I’d be happy to chat about the gut and more depth if you’re interested in that. But at the same time, I always tell people right now who are listening, and you know, I speak a lot on summits where there’s this avalanche of information of things to do and take away steps of things to do that it can be very overwhelming. If anyone right now is listening and thinking, wow, you know, and we haven’t really gotten into too much treatment stuff today. But just in general, the more we’re learning and absorbing about being healthy and well, it can be very overwhelming and intimidating. I say, look, it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress, just do one thing better the next week than you did the previous week. Let that have like a compounding interest like effect and over time, you will see a significant change. It’ll be sooner than you think. So don’t think about you know, changing everything at once and having everything happen all within a week. It’s going to take some time. And what I love about functional medicine is it can provide you maps that are going to help you get to the end more efficiently. Take out the guesswork and reduce the guesswork as much as you can. And just allow this process to be less overwhelming and less shotgun like approach like shooting in a million directions and hope something sick sticks. We want to really try to tailor this to the person so don’t be afraid to be feeling overwhelmed right now. Just know that you don’t…it shouldn’t be a crippling procedure. It should be something that is very invigorating and inspiring and saying yes, I can become an advocate for my health and get things moving.


Manon Bolliger 32:15

Alright, well I’ll leave it right on those words. And thank you very much for your time.


Dr John Dempster 32:21

You’re very welcome. Great to be here.


ENDING: 41:33

Thank you for joining us at the Healers Café with Manon Bolliger. Continue your healing journey by visiting and her website and discover how to listen to your body and reboot optimal health or

  * De-Registered, revoked & retired naturopathic physician, after 30 years of practice in healthcare. Now resourceful & resolved to share with you all the tools to take care of your health & vitality!