WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopaths are primary care doctors who specialize in the practice of natural family health care. We are trained to identify root causes of disease and treat patients using natural therapies. My primary goal is not only to support your health from a whole person perspective but also to provide health education and inspire you in your journey of wellness.
What is the education of an ND?
Naturopathic doctors have training that has some similarities to other types of doctors. Naturopathic medical colleges offer rigourous training with stringent admissions criteria. Prerequisite studies include 3-4 years of pre-medical University studies, with prerequisite courses of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, psychology and humanities. Naturopathic studies are a 4-year-full time program in an accredited school that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, both North American and Ontario practical and written board exams must be successfully competed.
Areas of Naturopathic Training
The four areas of training in the four year, full-time Naturopathic Medicine curriculum are:
Basic Sciences - This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.
Clinical Disciplines - Diagnostic medicine areas of study are physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, naturopathic assessment and orthopedics.
Naturopathic Disciplines - There are six major disciplines that define the areas of Naturopathic practice. Each discipline is a distinct area of practice and includes both diagnostic principles and practices as well as therapeutic skills and techniques. They include: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, Naturopathic physical manipulation and lifestyle counselling.
Clinical Experience - All students must complete 1,500 hours of clinical requirements and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of Naturopathic Medicine prior to graduation.
How is Naturopathic Medicine different?
Naturopathic Medicine is a unique and comprehensive approach that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. NDs support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself, focusing on prevention and using natural substances and treatments. The primary goal of Naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of illnesses, rather than simply treating or suppressing symptoms. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body, and unfavourable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than as an entity.
Treating both acute and chronic conditions, Naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
NDs practice a comprehensive approach to treating illness and promoting health:
NDs use natural methods to promote healing and receive detailed training on interactions between conventional drugs and traditional naturopathic remedies to ensure patient safety.
NDs also help prevent and treat illnesses through lifestyle and nutritional counselling.
NDs can provide early assessment and treatment of many chronic diseases.