Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of healthcare with an individualized approach to patient care. The goal of naturopathic medicine is to establish the conditions for optimal health and wellness and prevent disease, using a natural approach to health care.
It is based the knowledge that the body has an innate ability to heal when the obstacles to cure are removed and the fundamentals of health are provided. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the importance of addressing the physical, mental, emotional, environmental and spiritual aspects of a person in order to identify and treat the root causes of disease.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are primary care providers who have graduated from a naturopathic medial school recognized and accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) and have successfully completed the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEx).
In Ontario, they are also registered with the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDT-N).
What training do Naturopathic Doctors have?
Naturopathic doctors have at least 7 years of post secondary training including biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, naturopathic therapeutics and a 12-month clinical internship. To enter an accredited naturopathic medical college one must have a university degree including pre-medical studies. The naturopathic program is a full-time, four-year program and only graduates of accredited institutions are eligible to sit for the national board exams in naturopathic medicine. The education includes 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. All told, NDs receive some 4,500 hours of academic and clinical training.
Graduates receive the title “ND” or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine/Naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic doctors are the only health care professionals who have extensive training in natural medicine as well as the ability to assess illness using conventional methods.
Is homeopathy different from naturopathic medicine?
Homeopathic medicine is one of a number of therapies that Naturopathic Doctors may integrate into a treatment program. Naturopathic Doctors perform a thorough examination including laboratory diagnostics and physical exams before prescribing any kind of treatment. Naturopathic Doctors are trained and licensed to provide homeopathic treatments as part of an integrated treatment program.
What do Naturopathic Doctors use as forms of treatment?
Naturopathic Doctors use a variety of natural treatments including: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, hydrotherapy and lifestyle counseling.
What do Naturopathic Doctors treat?
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to treat people with a wide variety of conditions ranging from acute to chronic, in children to the elderly. Naturopathic Doctors also treat people who are looking to maintain their health and teach people how to be proactive with their choices to live a lifestyle that can help to prevent disease.Some of the many conditions that can be managed with naturopathic medicine are listed in Conditions treated.
Can I see a Naturopathic Doctor and a Medical Doctor at the same time?
Yes. Although both Naturopathic and Medical Doctors receive similar training in biomedical and clinical sciences the main differences between our approaches to health care are the length of the visits, the types of therapies used and the philosophical approach to health and healing.
It is the goal of our naturopathic doctors to work with you and your family doctor to provide you with the best health care possible.
Can I use naturopathic medicine if I am on prescription medication?
Yes. Licensed Naturopathic Doctors have training in pharmacology and drug-nutrient-herb interactions. Naturopathic Doctors can also help you manage the side effects of medication. Naturopathic Doctors work together with Medical Doctors to ensure the best care for all patients.
Is naturopathic medicine covered by OHIP or extended health insurance?
Naturopathic services are not currently covered by OHIP, however, most extended health benefit plans cover a significant portion, if not all of a naturopathic doctor’s consultation fee. Check your benefits plan, or call your insurance provider for more information. Be sure to ask how much coverage you have, if there is a deductible per visit, if there is a limit per visit, and when your policy year ends.
What should I expect during a naturopathic visit?
The first visit is usually 60 minutes in length, with subsequent visits ranging from 30 -60 minutes, dependent on the nature of your concern, treatment options that have been chosen to address your health goals, and the predetermined goals of the particular visit. During the visit the ND will obtain a comprehensive medical history of your current and past health concerns, conduct a physical examination, and collect information about other areas of your life that impact your health (e.g. diet, exercise, stress, etc.) Lab tests may be ordered or requisitioned from your current health care providers as necessary.
All of this information will be reviewed in order to assess the disturbances to your health. At the end of the visit, your ND will discuss treatment options and develop an individualized course of therapy that is focused on addressing your health concerns.
Are you accepting new patients? How can I refer friends and family?
We gratefully accept new patients, and value your trust. The patient-doctor relationship is an important one, so we offer a free 15-minute ‘meet the doctor’ to allow any new patient to get to know us a little better before they make any commitment. Just contact us at 416-651-6602 or book an appointment online.