Naturopathic Medicine FAQ
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body, and unfavourable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than as an entity.
Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, intravenous therapy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
The principles of Naturopathic Medicine are as follows:
- First, do no harm.
- Act in co-operation with the healing power of nature.
- Address the fundamental causes of disease.
- Heal the whole person through individualized treatment.
- Teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.
Does OHIP cover Naturopathic visits?
OHIP does not cover Naturopathic expenses, however, most extended health benefits will cover Naturopathic visits. The best way to know if your insurance plan covers Naturopathic visits is to contactyour insurance company. We are happy to offer direct billing for our clients who have extended health coverage. Please ask about this service when you book your appointment.
How are Naturopathic Doctors (ND's) trained?
Naturopathic doctors take a minimum of three years pre-medical studies at university, followed by four years at one of four recognized colleges of naturopathic medicine. The education encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
In regulated (or licensed) provinces and states across North America , graduates must also pass rigorous standardized exams to qualify to practice. In Canada , naturopathic doctors are regulated in British Columbia , Manitoba , Ontario and Saskatchewan.
How are naturopathic and conventional physicians alike in training?
Naturopathic and allopathic (conventional) physicians are required to study the biomedical sciences at a four-year accredited graduate medical school. Included in this rigorous curriculum are biomedical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, minor surgery, and others. Both are required to complete a University undergraduate degree before completing further training at either a naturopathic college or medical school. Both kinds of physicians can diagnose a disease, predict its course, and prescribe treatment. The difference is in the methods of treatment prescribed. Naturopathic and conventional medicines are complementary and can co-exist.
What treatments do Naturopathic Doctors offer?
Naturopathic doctors use herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, clinical nutrition, vitamins and minerals, lifestyle counseling, physical therapies, hydrotherapy, intravenous therapies, and stress management techniques to help their patients heal.
Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?
Naturopathic Medicine has an excellent record of safety. This is largely due to its use of gentle, natural, non-toxic, non-invasive treatments. Naturopathic Doctors are trained to recognize when a treatment could interact with another medication or cause harm due to another health condition. Also, Naturopathic Doctors are trained to recognize conditions that are outside their scope of practice and will refer to another health care provider when appropriate.
What can I expect from my first visit to a Naturopathic Doctor?
During the first visit, your ND wants to get to know you as a person, what your health goals are and how you have managed your health in the past. Expect to be there for an hour to give your ND adequate time to complete the picture. As well as performing a physical exam based on your
health complaints, your ND will also ask you about your mental, emotional and spiritual health, your diet and lifestyle, and treatments you may be receiving from other health care providers. By the end of the visit, your ND will present an individualized treatment plan and may suggest further testing.