Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary healthcare system that emphasizes prevention of disease, treating the cause of symptoms, encouragement of the body’s innate healing abilities. Naturopathic Medicine advocates personal responsibility for one’s own health. While firmly science-based, modern naturopathic medicine also preserves the centuries-old wisdom of successful natural therapies. Naturopathic physicians diagnose disease and treat patients by using natural modalities such as clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy, among others. Treatments are based on the individual needs of the patient, not solely on the generality of symptoms.
The principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
Licensed naturopathic doctors require a minimum of eight years of post-graduate education. This is composed of a pre-medical bachelor degree, which is then followed by entrance into a four-year, full-time program at one of six accredited naturopathic medical schools in North America. The program involves four years of graduate level study in the medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physical and clinical diagnosis, differential diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, immunology, cardiology, radiology, gynaecology, dermatology, pediatrics and other clinical sciences. Professionals receive intensive training in naturopathic therapeutics such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counselling. Licensed doctors trained in naturopathic medicine have completed over 500 hours of clinical training in outpatient clinics.
As general practitioners of natural medicine, naturopathic physicians treat a full spectrum of existing medical conditions as well as advocating preventative care to maintain your health. Many patients rely on them as their family Doctor, addressing all concerns from pediatrics and pregnancy to geriatrics.
Naturopathic doctors treat patients with acute conditions as well as those with chronic health concerns. Some of the conditions Naturopathic Physicians treat are:
No. Homeopathic medicine is one of the therapies that naturopathic doctors may integrate into a comprehensive treatment program. Naturopathic doctors are trained in homeopathy along with other natural medicine modalities as part of their educational program.
Your first visit involves a thorough health history. During this time your main health concerns, health history and medical records will be carefully discussed and reviewed. Please bring any medications or supplements that you are using and if possible, copies of your most recent blood work and any other relevant health records.
A partial physical exam may be conducted based on your presentation. If necessary, further testing such as laboratory tests and/or specialized diagnostic tests may be done on the first or second visit. Some recommendations as a starting point for your treatment plan will be made on the first visit.
The number and frequency of follow-up visits will depend largely upon the severity and duration of your condition(s), the pace of your progress and the type of therapy you’re using.
Most extended health care plans have naturopathic coverage. Contact your employer or insurance agent to inquire about the particular details of your plan.