What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care system that integrates modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. It is based on the healing power of nature and it supports and stimulates the body's ability to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine focuses on disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies.
What Education do Naturopathic Doctors Have?
Naturopathic Doctors require a minimum of three years premedical studies at university level, followed by four years of study at an accredited school of Naturopathic Medicine. These four years consist of more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and supervised clinical experience.
Once students complete this program, they must pass the North American Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX) in addition to provincial examinations before establishing a practice.
What treatments Can I Expect?
- Clinical Nutrition: Clinical Nutrition examines the relationship between diet and health and is a vital part of naturopathic treatment. Special nutrition plans may be recommended and treatment may include nutritional supplements such as vitamins and minerals.
- Botanical Medicine: The use of plants for healing is the foundation of modern pharmacology. While the highly refined, specific drugs used today typically address only one symptom, the use of botanical medicine allows for many symptoms to be addressed simultaneously, without losing the nutritional benefits we derive from plants.
- Homeopathy: Homeopathy is a system of healing that uses dilute and specially prepared doses of natural substances to stimulate the natural healing ability of the body.
- Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine: Based on balancing the flow of energy through the body, utilizing acupuncture and oriental herbs. These treatments are often used in the treatment of chronic health conditions as well as for pain.
- Physical Treatment: Various types of bodywork may be suggested as part of your treatment. These range from relaxation techniques to Biopuncture for pain management and may include exercise programs to meet fitness goals.
- Lifestyle Counselling: We make health choices everyday (physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental) that affect our overall well-being. These are explored and the patient is educated about making wise, effective lifestyle choices.
Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
First, to do no harm, by using methods and medicines that minimize the risk of harmful side effects. To treat the causes of disease, by identifying and removing the underlying causes of illness, rather than suppressing symptoms. To teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine, by sharing knowledge with patients and encouraging individual responsibility for health. To heal the whole person through individualized treatment, by understanding the unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors that contribute to illness, and customizing treatment protocols to the patient. To emphasize prevention, by partnering with the patient to assess risk factors and recommend appropriate naturopathic interventions to maintain health and prevent illness. To support the healing power of the body, by recognizing and removing obstacles to the body's inherent self-healing process.