What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a complete approach to health care that incorporates diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease using natural therapies.
Naturopathic doctors strive to help their patients achieve optimal health and well-being. Treatment is focused on preventing future illness, and improving overall health and vitality through individualized patient care and education.
What conditions can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic doctors are primary health care professionals trained to treat diverse medical conditions for men, women and children of all ages.
Some conditions that are successfully treated by Naturopathic medicine include:
• Digestive disorders – gas, bloating, heartburn/acid reflux, constipation, IBS/IBD
• Skin conditions – eczema, acne, psoriasis, hives
• Allergies & asthma
• Food sensitivities & intolerances
• Women’s health – PMS & menopause, cysts/fibroids, breast health
• Fertility enhancement, pregnancy health
• Hormonal imbalances
• Headaches & migraines
• Bone health – osteopenia/osteoporosis
• Cold & flu – prevention & symptom relief
• Sinusitis & chronic nasal congestion
• Heart health – cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure
• Arthritis & joint issues
• Anxiety & depression
• Stress & adrenal gland health
• Autoimmune conditions
• Children – digestion, teething, colic, ADD/ADHD, allergies, asthma, eczema, etc.
• General health promotion and disease prevention
What can I expect from my first appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor?
An initial Naturopathic consultation is approximately 1-2 hours in length to allow time for a thorough health assessment. During this visit, current health concerns, as well as relevant medical history, is analyzed. A pertinent physical examination may be performed, and further specialized laboratory or diagnostic testing may be recommended. A personalized treatment plan is then created to help patients achieve their health goals.
What are Naturopathic Therapies and Treatment Options?
Clinical Nutrition – As the pillar of health, nutrition is integral to ensure that the body has the essential building blocks for health promotion and disease treatment. Along with dietary recommendations, this includes vitamin, mineral, or enzyme supplements to address specific health concerns.
Homeopathic Medicine – Homeopathy uses minute amounts of natural substances to promote self-healing. Homeopathic medicines penetrate the cellular level, thereby stimulating healing processes in the body on every level. Homeopathic medicine was developed in the 1700’s and is commonly used in several European countries such as Germany and France.
Botanical (Herbal) Medicine – This refers to tinctures, capsules, or herbal teas for treating diverse health conditions. The use of plants for healing dates back to the beginning of civilization and is the foundation of modern pharmacology. *Naturopathic doctors are formally trained to understand the interactions and side effects of both pharmaceutical and herbal medications, so it is important for patients to provide their Naturopathic doctor with a complete list of current medications.
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine – This is based on balancing the flow of “qi” (energy) through meridian pathways in the body, and includes the use of acupuncture, acupressure, and Asian herbs, to harmonize all organ systems and restore balance to the body.
Hydrotherapy – Also an ancient therapy, this refers to the use of water as an effective form of stimulating circulation and promoting healing.
Physical Medicine – Diverse techniques for correction of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.
Prevention and Lifestyle Modification – Programs to modify behaviour, including exercise, stress management, breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as other coping strategies.
What Laboratory Testing is offered?
Blood, urine, hair, and saliva analysis are available to investigate a variety of health ailments. This includes food sensitivities and other allergies, hormone imbalances, digestive problems, candida, environmental toxicity, nutrient deficiencies, etc.
How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?
A minimum of 7 years of formal post-secondary education is required to receive the designation of Naturopathic Doctor. This includes 3 years of premedical university studies plus completion of a full-time 4-year program from an accredited Naturopathic medical school, which includes extensive medical education and clinical experience under the supervision of an experienced Naturopathic doctor. In addition, two sets of extensive North American licensing board examinations are required. To remain in good standing with the licensing board, Naturopathic doctors must continue their education throughout their careers. All Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario are licensed and regulated by the “Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy”, which strictly functions to ensure that Naturopathic doctors are fully qualified, and follow appropriate standards of practice.
*Optimal health is priceless! Most extended health insurance plans cover all or part of Naturopathic visits. Please check with your insurance company.