Naturopathic Medicine is a system of healthcare that takes a holistic and natural approach to assessment, diagnosis and treatment of an individual, with emphasis on prevention and health maintenance. It is eclectic in using a combination of several different disciplines of natural healing — including nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, lifestyle counselling, and traditional chinese medicine — selected to coincide with the patient’s individual constitution.
In Naturopathic Medicine, an individual’s “innate intelligence” — which is the natural tendency for the body to properly ‘know’ how to respond to disease (akin to immune system) — is recognized.
This inborn energy is assisted and strengthened by Naturopathic treatment. In this way, a patient’s treatment cooperates with their own healing rather than simply suppressing the symptoms and ignoring their origin. In Naturopathic Medicine, the cause is determined and treated. The end result is that health problems are properly addressed and treated without creating new ones.
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.
Naturopathic Medicine views health as the totality of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Is Naturopathic Medicine different from Homeopathy?
Yes, Naturopathic Medicine is different from Homeopathy, but the two types of medicine are often confused.
Homeopathy is an independent natural therapy and system of healing that is part of the repertoire of therapies employed by Naturopathic Doctors. In contrast, a Homeopath is exclusively trained to practice Homeopathy. Naturopathic Medicine encompasses homeopathy and several other natural therapies. Naturopathic treatment integrates aspects of each of these therapies.
What training do Naturopathic Doctors have?
Naturopathic Doctors are trained at an accredited Naturopathic school — The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine is currently only one of two schools in Canada. Minimum requirements to enter a Naturopathic College are three years of pre-medical undergraduate courses, although most students have completed university degrees.
The Naturopathic Medicine program is structured over four years and includes rigorous training with over 4500 hours of medical sciences, clinical sciences, and naturopathic therapies. Fourth year students intern for 1500 hours under the supervision of licensed Naturopathic Doctors, seeing and treating patients in a clinical setting.
After graduation, candidacy for licensing in Ontario is obtained after completion of the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX). These are regulated by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE) who determine eligibility for licensure of NDs in states and provinces across North America.
What treatments are Naturopathic Doctors trained to perform?
A combination of these treatment methods will be used to help you best address your individual health concerns, naturally.
What conditions can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?
Many medical conditions can benefit from Naturopathic treatment. Because it uses a holistic and preventative approach to treatment, often overall health and energy will also improve. Naturopathic treatment can be beneficial for many diverse health concerns including the following:
Naturopathic services are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). However, the majority of extended healthcare insurance policies do provide full or partial coverage for treatment by Naturopathic Doctors.
Contact your employer or private insurance agent to determine the extent of your coverage.
How is Naturopathic Medicine regulated?
Regulation of Naturopathic Medicine in Canada varies from province-to-province. In Ontario, Naturopaths are regulated by The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) under the framework outlined by the Regulated Health Professionals Act. CONO is the regulatory body that licenses Naturopathic Doctors and establishes proper standards of practice for the profession.
In Ontario, the public can contact CONO to verify that a Naturopathic Doctor is registered to practice in the province.
How often will I need to see a Naturopathic Doctor?
After a treatment plan has been initiated, variables that will influence how often you see your Naturopath include your compliance to the plan, how complex your health concerns and health goals are, and how your body responds.
Unfortunately, there is not a set pattern to treatment plans, as every person is unique and responds differently to treatment – in Naturopathic Medicine, we respect a person’s inherent individuality and attempt to work in harmony with it.
As a general rule, treatments are more frequent initially. As your health improves, frequency of visits diminish.
For further questions about naturopathic treatments and how it can help your health, visit our Services page or Conditions Treated page. If you have more specific questions, please feel free to contact us.