Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of health care that addresses the root cause of disease or illness. Naturopathic Doctors (NDís) are highly educated primary care providers who integrate current medical knowledge of diagnostics and testing with a broad range of natural therapies (see Treatments) to promote health and healing. NDís recognize that the body is a complex integrated system that is influenced by genetics, the environment, foods, thoughts, emotions, and physical trauma. NDís also understand the value of taking the time to listen and comprehend the complexity of each individual; and to provide the needed support and various treatment options to achieve your personal health goals.
What training to Naturopathic Doctors have?
NDís have a minimum of 7 years post secondary education. A Bachelors degree (minimum 3 years) is required to enter Naturopathic Medical School; then the naturopathic program is comprised of 4 years full time study and 1500 hours of clinical internship. There are currently only two accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools in Canada. Further, two sets of extensive licensing board exams are required in all regulated provinces.
Are Naturopathic Doctors Regulated in Ontario?
Yes! In fact, Naturopathic Doctors are the only regulated natural or ďalternativeĒ health practitioners in Ontario. NDís are governed under the Drugless Therapy Act and are registered / licensed by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy - Naturopathy (BDDT-N).
FYI: Current legislation is in the process of changing the regulation of NDís to be included under the Registered Health Practitioners Act (RHPA). The RHPA is the legislation which currently governs medical doctors (MDís), dentists, and veterinarians.
Why is my first visit with a Naturopath 75 minutes long?
The initial 75 minute visit allows time to establish a detailed understanding of your case - including a complete health history with current health status and contributing factors to any health concerns. This time also allows for a physical examination and any recommended laboratory or diagnostic testing. Naturopaths will not see you for 5 minutes, then send you on your way with a prescription. Rather, they take the time to listen and consider all aspects of your health and well being. They work with you, to help you achieve your health goals.
Are Naturopathic Doctors covered by OHIP?
Unfortunately, no. Currently, ND services are not covered by OHIP; however, most employee benefits and private health insurance plans do cover ND visits. Check with your respective insurance providers for details on your coverage.
Where can I find out more about Naturopathic Medicine?
For more information please visit the
Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors or the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors.
Naturopathic doctors are guided by six fundamental healing principles:
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.
Copyright © 2009 Ruth Shuster ND ∑ All Rights reserved ∑ Clarkson & Port Credit, Mississauga, Milton