How does Naturopathic Medicine differ from conventional medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine focuses on determining and treating the root causes of illness as opposed to conventional medicine which focuses on symptom management. This allows them to be used in parallel to create a comprehensive treatment plan for your health. Naturopathic treatments do not include pharmaceutical drugs or surgery, thus if these are necessary, you will be advised to speak to your family physician for treatment or referral to an appropriate specialist.
Is Naturopathic Medicine only used for disease prevention?
No. Naturopathic Medicine can also be used to treat many acute and chronic health conditions. For a comprehensive list please see conditions treated.
Can Naturopathic Medicine help me if I am already healthy?
Yes. much like a car gives us warning signs when the oil needs to be changed or the engine needs to be serviced, our own bodies give us warning signs before things start to overtly shutdown or malfunction. Naturopathic Medicine recognizes these symptoms and determines the underlying cause of disease, treating the problem before it becomes more serious.
How do Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) gather information?
NDs review an extensive client health history and perform a thorough physical examination. They ask about your lifestyle, diet, emotions, stress, exercise, and exposure to environmental hazards. In addition they use standard diagnostic instruments and laboratory testing.
Is Naturopathic Medicine regulated?
Yes, Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario under the Naturopathy Act, 2007 as outlined in the Regulated Health Professionals Act, 1991.
What type of training do Naturopathic Doctors receive?
Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) must complete at least 3 years of pre-medical sciences in university prior to applying to the four-year full-time Naturopathic Medicine program from one of five accredited naturopathic colleges in North America. The program includes over 4200 hours of classroom training, over 1200 hours of supervised clinical training, and studies in bio-medical sciences; clinical sciences; clinical education; and naturopathic sciences. In order to practice in Ontario, graduates must have successfully completed two sets of standardized North American examinations and one set of provincial examinations. Naturopathic Doctors are required to obtain yearly continuing medical education credits to maintain licensure.
Is Naturopathic Medicine the same as Homeopathy?
No, however Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathy overlap in certain areas. Naturopathic Doctors may use homeopathy as part of a treatment plan, but may also use acupuncture, botanical medicine, lifestyle counseling, nutritional counseling, or other modalities. Homeopathy is a specific form of alternative medicine that is based on the law of similars: using a low-dose of a substance that causes the symptoms of disease in a healthy person will treat those symptoms in a sick person.
Is Naturopathic Medicine safe to use with prescription medications?
Yes. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in preventing herb-drug interactions. NDs will only prescribe herbs and nutrients that are safe to take with your prescription drugs. A core principle of Naturopathic Medicine is: “First, to do no harm”.
Can Naturopathic Medicine help me if I’m suffering from a cold or allergies?
Yes. If you are suffering from an acute illness, like a cold, flu, sore throat, headache or infection, you can book in for treatment. Naturopathic therapies can help you recover quicker and can reduce the chance that you will need antibiotics or medications.
Seasonal visits can also be scheduled. Detoxification programs can be prescribed in the fall and spring, preventative measures can be made in the spring/summer to treat allergies, and immune-boosting vitamins, herbs and lifestyle techniques can be prescribed in the fall/winter to prevent and treat illnesses.
Can a Naturopath give me a yearly physical?
Absolutely! It is recommended that you schedule a yearly physical exam and blood/lab test review with your Naturopathic Doctor. NDs can order blood tests for patients or can get an authorized faxed copy of results from your Medical Doctor.
Are Naturopathic services covered by OHIP?
Unfortunately, no, Naturopathic Doctor’s fees are not covered by OHIP, however many employee health insurance plans provide coverage for Naturopathic services. Please confirm with your plan for more information on coverage.