Naturopathic Medicine is a primary health care system that combines modern scientific research with natural and traditional forms of medicine. It is unique in that it looks at the body as an integrated and connected system, and works to treat the root cause of disease instead of masking symptoms. Naturopathic medicine respects our bio-individuality and draws from a number of modalities, tailored to treat an individual. These may include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture and Asian medicine, lifestyle counselling, physical treatments, and homeopathy.
What does it take to become a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic Doctors complete four years of full-time postgraduate education and over 1200 hours of clinical experience. In order to become a Naturopathic Doctor, one must successfully complete two Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exams (NPLEX I & II), which are standardized exams used across North America. Naturopaths are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) under The Naturopathy Act. They are required to maintain continuing education credits to uphold their registration and good standing with their provincial or state regulatory body.
What can you expect from your Naturopathic visits?
Your first visit will last 60-75 minutes and will include a thorough intake of your present symptoms and past medical history. This visit may also include any physical examinations or lab work that will help to uncover the root cause of your symptoms, in order to come up with an individualized treatment plan. Your treatment plan will be tailored to you, and may include nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, herbal medicine, acupuncture as well as targeted nutrient supplementation. The length of the treatment plan, as well as the frequency of visits, will also be individualized to your condition, which will be thoroughly discussed with you during your visit. To give you an idea, I often see patients 1-2 times per month for 4-6 months as we restore the foundations of health, bring the body back into balance, and get to a place where they can truly thrive.
Please note that many extended healthcare benefits cover naturopathic visits. Speak with your insurer to determine whether you have coverage.