Naturopathic medicine is science- and evidence-based medicine that can help you achieve a high level of health and vitality.
The goal of naturopathic medicine is to find and treat the cause of your health issues/concerns. We recognize that your health history is unique, and therefore we will treat you as an individual, not simply treat your symptoms.
What is the difference between a naturopathic (ND) and an allopathic (MD) doctor? Your medical doctor is a specialist in disease diagnosis and symptom management. Naturopathic doctors focus on the function of your body and emphasize the promotion of health. Naturopathic medicine is ‘complementary’ rather than alternative; it is utilized in addition to allopathic medical care, not necessarily as a replacement for, because there is a place and need for both.
What conditions do NDs treat? Naturopathic doctors have a broad range of patients in their clinics. Ages range from newborn to the elderly. Conditions range from nagging symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, skin problems, joint pain, hot flashes, allergies, elevated blood pressure, etc. to diagnosed states including cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. NDs also excel at preventive medicine.
What happens during my first visit to a ND? You will bring a completed multi-page intake form to your initial 1-hour consultation. During this time the doctor will go over your main health concerns, ask a variety of questions to assess your varied body systems, perform a pertinent physical exam and answer your questions. Basic recommendations will likely be given at this time, with a more specific treatment plan presented at your second visit. Naturopathic doctors have many lab tests available to them, including food intolerances, hormone levels, environmental toxins, as well as most standard blood tests; one or more of these may be recommended.
What kind of treatments do NDs use? Naturopathic doctors are trained in a variety of modalities which they combine, as appropriate, for each individual patient. These include:
- botanical (herbal) medicine
- clinical nutrition
- psychological and lifestyle counseling
- spinal manipulation
- acupuncture and Chinese medicine
- parenteral (intravenous) therapy; additional certification required
While all licensed NDs are trained in the first 6 modalities, each doctor has a unique practice which may include only a selection of them.
How are naturopathic doctors trained? To be called a naturopathic doctor in the province of Ontario (including the other 4 provinces and 16 states which are regulated) individuals must have accomplished 3 things:
- obtained at least 3 years education at a university, including specific premedical sciences,
- graduate from a 4-year full-time program at an accredited naturopathic medical college (over 4,500 hours classroom time, 1,500 hours supervised clinical experience) and
- pass all 19 licensing exams (www.nabne.org).
To find a licensed ND near you, go to www.cand.ca