Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that Naturopathic Medicine may be new to you and we are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Here are the answers to some of the most common, general questions.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
A primary health care system that combines evidence-based scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The philosophies of Naturopathic Medicine are to support the healing power of the body and treat the root cause of diseases. We view symptoms of disease as signals of underlying dysfunction and an indication that there are lifestyle habits that may be causing harm. Naturopathy considers disease to be more of a process, rather than an entity. We believe in non-invasive, preventative approaches and aim to attain optimal health for our patients. Naturopathic Doctors look at your body as a whole to determine the areas that need to be addressed and can use a number of different types of treatments to do so. These therapies include: clinical nutrition, lifestyle counselling, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, physical treatments, hydrotherapy and homeopathic medicine.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic Doctors, otherwise known as “NDs”, are provincially-regulated primary health care providers and are considered to be general practitioners of natural medicine. Their training and education is extensive, and must include an undergraduate study, followed by four years of training at an accredited Naturopathic college. The latter includes a one-year clinical internship. NDs take time to listen to their patients and become fully informed of their health history. They use a combination of standard medical knowledge and diagnostic skills with a wide range of natural therapeutic treatments. Their approach is thorough and individualized to each patient. They assist their patients in finding balance throughout their body, mind and environment to achieve optimal health.
What Can I Expect From a Visit?
Your initial visit will involve a lot of questions to obtain a thorough and complete picture of your health. Naturopaths view the body as an integrative whole and need to consider all its systems to be able to find connections in the patterns of disease. They will ask about your physical, mental, emotion, and spiritual health. Expect this visit to be between an hour to two hours. It is helpful to bring a list of medications or supplements you are taking and any recent, attainable lab/bloodwork results. They will usually perform relevant physical examinations in the first appointment, but may do so in the next follow-up appointment instead. The goal of this visit is to create a direction for your treatment plan, potentially request further testing and may include an initial treatment. Your complete treatment plan will be provided and discussed in your next follow-up visit. This allows your Naturopath to obtain and review all your information, to research and investigate potential treatment options, and select an individual plan that may best suit your needs.
What Conditions Can Naturopaths Treat?
Naturopathic Doctors are able to treat a wide range of health concerns, including both acute and chronic conditions. They address physical, mental, emotional and environmental concerns. If a condition is outside of their scope of practice, or for any other reason an ND is unable to treat your condition, they will refer you to another health care provider. Some examples of conditions that Naturopathy can treat are outlined under the “Services” section of this website. However, as further guidance, NDs are able to help those seeking help with the following:
Health promotion and disease prevention strategies
Those experiencing a range of symptoms that they feel unable to address on their own or with the help of other medical practitioners. Naturopaths can offer an alternative perspective on different, potential approaches to safely and effectively restore health
Those diagnosed with an illness and who are looking for different treatment options. Our approach is very effective at improving quality of life for more serious illnesses and has been shown to enhance outcomes or minimize side effects when use in conjunction with recommended conventional treatments.
What type of treatments can I expect?
As described in the “Services” section, Naturopaths can select from a number of different natural treatment methods. They include: clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, lifestyle counselling, botanical/herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, physical medicine and homeopathic medicine. Each patient is approached differently and is provided with an individualized treatment plan designed for them. My approach involves working collaboratively with you to create a treatment plan you are comfortable with and confident in. You are in control of your own health and treatments, so if there are any approaches you are not open to, please do not hesitate to let me know. Additionally, if there is anything you have already tried before, it is important for me to know as well. It is sometimes necessary to try a few different methods of treatment in order to find what works for you. Please be prepared to put some time and effort into your health, this method of medicine does not usually provide easy fixes and requires your participation and motivation. I will be here to support and guide you on your healing journey.
Is Naturopathic Medicine Covered by OHIP or Health Insurance Benefits?
At this time, Naturopathic services are note covered under OHIP. However, it is at least partially covered under most private insurance companies. Contact your insurance provider to find out more. We offer direct billing at our clinic, so we can submit your insurance claims in office. This saves you from having to do it and wait for the reimbursement.
Where Can I find Out More About Naturopathic Medicine?
The sources of this information are:
For information about the education requirements of Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario/Canadian, please visit the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
For information on regulatory matters, or to verify that an ND is registered visit the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) or call them at 416-866-8383