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Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine Services

Naturopathic medicine is a system of healing that focuses on supporting and stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach, which means that it focuses on the whole person rather than on a person’s illness. Here at Tri City Physiotherapy we want to treat the “whole you.”

Our Naturopathic doctor (ND) works with our whole team combining modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural therapies to compliment.  In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.

The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease. 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.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

NM can be understood as primary health care system and practice that use traditional and scientific knowledge, to address in a wholistic way patients concerns, and support them in the process of healing from diseases process. In addition, as primary health care provider the Naturopathic Doctors (ND) have a relevant role in the promotion of health and prevention of the diseases. The activities of NDs are guided for the NM principles.

The 6 Principles of Naturopathic Medicine are:

  • Do not harm.
  • Restore and support the healing power of nature.
  • Identify and treat the cause of disease.
  • Treat the whole person not just the disease.
  • The Doctors have a role as teacher.

History of Naturopathic Medicine

The origin of naturopathic medicine as an organized profession in North America dates to European doctors in the 1600s and 1700s who incorporated herbal medicine and traditional therapies and ultimately their legacy made its way here. Modern-day naturopathic medicine also emphatically embraces multicultural holistic practices that are integral to so many countries and cultures across the globe. Additionally, ND programs work hand-in-hand with leading research institutions to grow the body of evidence supporting natural therapies.

The term ‘naturopathy’ was formally codified in North America and attributed to Dr. Benedict Lust. Dr. Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York in 1902. By the 1920s naturopathic practice acts were increasing across North America. However after WWII, demand for naturopathic education was on the decline as surgical and pharmaceutical therapies grew in stature and demand.

In the 1970s, a resurgence in naturopathic healing resulted in rapid growth and maturation of the naturopathic profession to where it is today. Public demand has continued to grow for the many natural therapies and root cause-based approaches core to naturopathic practice. Access to naturopathic doctors has been expanded through increased insurance coverage and legislative recognition. The profession is poised to continue to grow and provide evidence-informed natural therapies to the masses.

Common Naturopathic Medicine Questions:

How are naturopathic doctors different from medical doctors?

Much like family doctors, naturopathic doctors act as general practitioners to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions in patients of all ages.

While medical doctors employ pharmaceutical and surgical interventions to treat physical symptoms and health conditions, naturopathic doctors focus on the specific needs of the individual, addressing the cause of illness through selecting highly effective natural treatments with the least risk of side-effects.

Naturopathic therapies can often be used effectively on their own, but may also be used to enhance the effects of conventional medical treatments, or to help manage the side-effects of conventional treatments.

Homeopathy is one modality used by naturopathic doctors. This system of medicine originated in Germany, and involves the use of substances in a diluted form to stimulate the natural healing power of the body. In addition to homeopathy, naturopathic doctors use traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, nutrition, botanical (herbal) medicine, hydrotherapy, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling.

A homeopath only uses homeopathy. In addition, homeopathy is not a regulated or licensed health profession in Ontario. Naturopathic medicine is regulated and licensed in Ontario.

Naturopathic doctors obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of medical doctors. Naturopathic doctors require a minimum of three years of pre-med postsecondary education, plus four years of fulltime study at an approved college of naturopathic medicine. The four-year naturopathic medical program incorporates over 4,500 hours of classroom training in basic medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND). Following the completion of their program, Naturopathic doctors must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing in Ontario. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America.

Naturopathic doctors are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.

Naturopathic doctors are the only regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine in Ontario. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925 Drugless Therapy Act and are registered (licensed) by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDTN). The BDDTN functions to ensure that naturopathic doctors are properly qualified to practice naturopathic medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.

Naturopathic doctors are also regulated in Canada in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

As primary healthcare practitioners, naturopathic doctors can treat the same conditions as a family doctor, and may refer out to specialists or other healthcare professionals when necessary. Using gentle and highly effective treatments selected to meet your specific healthcare needs, naturopathic medicine can have excellent results in the treatment of the following:

  • Acute conditions, such as colds and the flu, ear and throat infections, headaches, seasonal allergies, and intestinal upset
  • Chronic illnesses, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune conditions, hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart problems, eczema, psoriasis, acne, digestion, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and environmental illnesses, cystitis, prostatitis, impotence, and Cancer (prevention, minimize side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation, reduce recovery time, support immune system)
  • Women’s health issues, such as infertility, PMS, menstrual disorders, menopausal symptoms, fibrocystic breast disease, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and enhancing health in pregnancy
  • Other issues, such as mental or emotional stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and attention deficit disorder

Naturopathic doctors believe in an integrative care model, combining naturopathic and conventional treatments for the best patient health outcomes. We have reached an age where there is ample scientific and empirical evidence to support the use of both conventional and alternative treatments, and integrating a naturopathic doctor into your healthcare team is essential for ensuring the best healthcare provision.

Naturopathic doctors often consult with medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, and other healthcare professionals on cases, and am happy to work with your family doctor, medical specialists, or other healthcare providers.

Your initial naturopathic visit is approximately 60-75 minutes in length, and is used for a detailed health history review, discussion of your present health concerns, health goals, and relevant physical examination. Lab testing may be recommended to aid in assessment and diagnosis, and preliminary treatments are outlined.

In the second visit, a comprehensive individualized treatment plan is discussed.

Follow-up visits are between 30 and 45 minutes in length, and are used to implement appropriate naturopathic treatment modalities, monitor progress, and re-assess the treatment plan.

Naturopathic medicine is currently not covered by OHIP. Most extended health insurance plans cover naturopathic treatments. Please contact your employer or individual insurance broker to determine the extent of your naturopathic coverage.

It is important to consult a naturopathic doctor if you are considering using natural treatments while on prescription medications. Naturopathic doctors have the highest degree of training in the health-care field in drug-herb and drug-nutrient interactions, selecting treatments on an individual basis to have the highest degree of safety and efficacy. Part of your treatment plan will also address the depletion of essential nutrients specific to your prescription medications.

Coverage Options:

Tri City Physiotherapy services are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare – such as OHIP. Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us at 1 (519)-620-2229.

At Tri City Physiotherapy we believe your health should come first. We take care of the paperwork so you can focus on getting better, plus we offer direct insurance billing, saving you time and up front costs.

Learn more about coverage options available at Tri City Physiotherapy.

Schedule an appointment today to get the treatment you need, and the care you deserve.