What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a comprehensive and distinct philosophy and system of primary health care that employs a natural, non-pharmaceutical approach, blending science with traditional forms of medicine. Naturopathic medicine uses natural substances and treatments to heal the body and correct imbalances by integrating scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom. As a holistic form of medicine, naturopathic medicine addresses the underlying cause of illness, rather than merely suppressing symptoms. It views disease as a process rather than an entity, and considers symptoms to be warning signs of an underlying imbalance. The focus of treatment is on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the individual, and involves the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases or conditions to restore, maintain, and promote optimal health through patient education and empowerment.
What training does my naturopathic doctor have?
All licensed Naturopathic Doctors have completed a minimum of seven years post-secondary education. This includes a minimum of three years of pre-medical studies in the sciences, followed by four years of full time study at a recognized and accredited College of Naturopathic Medicine. Naturopathic doctors receive 4500 hours of extensive training in biomedical sciences including pathology, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, and naturopathic principles and therapeutics aswell as 1500 hours of supervised clinical education. To become a licensed Naturpathic Doctor, one must complete 2 sets of extensive medical licensing examinations called NPLEX – the CNME standard for all jurisdictions licensing Naturopathic Doctors in North America.
Naturopathic Doctors are the only regulated health profession in the field of natural medicine. In Ontario, the Naturopathic Doctor must be licensed and registered with the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDT-N) to ensure that s/he is qualified to practice naturopathic medicine.
What can I expect during my visit?
Your first visit with your naturopathic doctor will be approximately 75 – 90 minutes in length. During this time your naturopathic doctor will collect information about you, including your chief concerns, health history, and health parameters. Your naturopathic doctor will measure vitals and perform a tongue and pulse diagnosis, looking and listening for any additional signs of imbalance. This time will enable you to begin your relationship with your naturopathic doctor and to discuss your health concerns, expectations for treatment, and any additional information that you feel may be relevant to your case. The information provided in this consultation will enable your naturopathic doctor to develop an understanding of you as an individual, and to devise a comprehensive treatment plan to suit your needs. Your second visit will be one hour in length and during this time your naturopathic doctor will gather any additional information and perform a complete physical exam to assess your health. Your naturopathic doctor will answer any questions you may have, discuss and explain the various treatment plans and options available to you, and decide on the frequency of follow up visits for your particular case.