Frequently Asked Questions
Naturopathic medicine is a form of primary health care that can prevent and treat both acute and chronic illnesses. It takes a look at the whole person and root cause of your concern, rather than just the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Disease may present itself as a variety of well-defined symptoms (although this may not always be the case), and comes upon based on improper functioning of the body, and lifestyle habits that may interfere with optimal health.
Naturopathic Medicine uses evidence-based natural therapies to treat the cause of disease and includes nutrition and lifestyle support, acupuncture, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and more! Click here for more information about naturopathic modalities.
Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) require at least 8 years of post-graduate education – 4 years at a recognized university, followed by 4 years at an accredited CNME Naturopathic Medical School. The naturopathic program includes more than 1200 hours of clinical experience and more than 3000 hours of classroom training.
The curriculum at the school can be divided into 3 components:
Biomedical sciences: anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, and pharmacology.Naturopathic sciences: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, asian medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and lifestyle counselling.Clinical education: physical and clinical diagnosis, primary care, integrative therapeutics, parenteral therapy, maternal and newborn health, pediatrics, and mens and women’s health.
Most importantly, naturopathic doctors are regulated under provincial legislation and have successfully completed and passed standardized North American board examinations. To maintain an active license with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario, a ND must have malpractice insurance and complete a number of continuing education hours (to keep up with medical and naturopathic advancements).
Because Naturopathic Medicine focuses on the individual, Naturopathic Doctors take a thorough intake by delving into their current health status (physical, emotional, and spiritual), as well as their family history and lifestyle choices. Furthermore, naturopathic doctors follow current medical guidelines, order and assess lab work, and perform physical exams.
Using this information, a Naturopathic doctor is able to diagnose their patient and develop an individualistic treatment plan, while working together with their patient’s health team (that may include general practitioners as well as specialists). Treatment plans include naturopathic modalities supported by research and clinical evidence.
While Naturopathic Medicine is not covered by OHIP, appointments are covered by many insurance providers. Call your provider to determine if you and your family are covered.
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The duration of treatment really depends on the nature of your concern concern and if it’s an acute concern (occurring relatively recently, less than 4 weeks) or chronic concern (longer duration, more than 4 weeks). Moreover the efficacy of your treatment plan is dependent on you! If you are able to follow your ND’s recommendations, there is a greater chance that the treatment will help eliminate the root cause of disease and help get your health on track faster!