What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care system which fuses modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural medicine. Its foundation is based upon an individualized holistic approach that emphasises prevention, treatment, and optimal health. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate and support the natural healing force within the body and to treat the underlying cause of disease.

Naturopathic Doctors treat both acute and chronic conditions with treatments that are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, psychological, spiritual, environment, and lifestyle factors are all taken into account. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, and Asian medicine/acupuncture are used in treatments that is tailored to each individual.

 

What training do Naturopathic Doctors receive?

Naturopathic Doctors are highly educated primary health care providers. Prior to entry into the naturopathic medicine program, students have completed a three- or four- year Bachelor’s degree, with emphasis of pre-medical studies. The naturopathic medical program itself is a four year degree which consists of training in medical and clinical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and medical diagnostics. Students receive 1200 hours of supervised extensive clinical experience. Graduates must successfully pass two sets of provincial licensing board examinations and maintain ongoing continuing education.

 

What conditions can Naturopathic Medicine treat?

Naturopathic Medicine treats all forms of health concerns. Naturopathic Doctors are primary healthcare providers, thus they manage a variety of acute and chronic conditions. This includes:

Digestive concerns

Irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohns, acid reflux, food intolerances

Cardiovascular diseases

High cholesterol, high blood pressure

Stress and mental health

Anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, insomnia

Skin conditions

Acne, eczema, psoriasis

Respiratory conditions

Allergies, asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Musculoskeletal conditions

Arthritis, inflammation, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome

Endocrine disorders

Thyroid conditions, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, adrenal fatigue

Depleted immune system

Colds and flus, infections

Autoimmune conditions

Women’s health

breast health, endometriosis, menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, urinary tract infections, pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, yeast infections, infertility

Men’s health

Prostate health, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction

Pediatrics

Ear infections, colic, teething, ADHD, autism

 

 Natural therapies used

Clinical Nutrition

Examining the relationship between diet and health and managing the amount of nutrients in a patient’s diet.

Botanical Medicine

The study and application of the medicinal properties of plants.

Traditional Asian Medicine and Acupuncture

A thousand year old medical system used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness.

Physical Medicine

Includes massage, exercise therapy, manipulative therapy, and hydrotherapy to restore the skeletal system, joints, and soft tissue as well as support immunity, healing, and detoxification.

Homeopathic Medicine

A natural, nontoxic therapeutic approach to healing which uses minute dilutions of a plant, mineral, or animal substance to stimulate the body’s innate ability to heal.

Prevention and Lifestyle Counseling

Providing support and fostering healthier life choices.

 

 The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

  • First, Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
  • Naturopathic Doctors utilize therapies that minimize the risk of harm and apply the least possible force to restore health.
  • The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
  • Naturopathic Doctors recognize and support the inherent self-healing ability of the individual.
  • Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causum)
  • Naturopathic Doctors seek to identify and treat the underlying causes of disease.
  • Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
  • The primary role of the Naturopathic Doctor is to educate and support each patient in taking responsibility for their health.
  • Treat the Whole Person
  • Naturopathic Doctors recognize that health results from a complex interaction of many factors and focus on treatment of the whole person through individualized care.
  • Focus on Prevention
  • A primary objective of the Naturopathic Doctor is the prevention of disease through encouraging a healthy lifestyle and controlling risk factors.