Naturopathic Medicine is a health system that blends scientific knowledge and natural forms of medicine. When someone has symptoms (for example headache, allergies, or frequent colds), it is considered by a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) as a warning sign of improper functioning of the body. There are several reasons that this may happen and the goal is to treat the underlying cause of the problem while managing symptoms to create long term health.
Naturopathic Medicine can help with both acute and chronic conditions. Treatments are tailored to the individual patient based on physical, emotional, environmental and lifestyle factors.
In my practice, I use nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy to treat patients. Not all of these are used with each patient. My treatments and suggestions are formulated based on individual needs and realistic expectations. I try to meet patients where they are in terms of commitment to health, willingness to make changes, preferences to certain treatments and products.
In Canada, Naturopathic Doctors are trained in physiology, pathology, anatomy, biochemistry as well as the natural therapies mentioned above (such as nutrition, acupuncture, botanical/herbal medicine, homeopathy).
I have also done additional academic education with my PhD in pharmaceutical sciences and post doctoral fellowships both in safety and regulation of Natural Health Products as well as in pregnancy nutrition.
Licensing and Registration:
NDs are licensed and registered as primary health providers. As an active ND I have registered with our professional associations and licensing organizations and continue to update my skills and knowledge with many continuing education training courses every year.
I am also qualified as a registered acupuncturist (RAc) which is separately licensed health profession.
As a researcher and lecturer, I keep up-to-date and current therapies and scientific evidence.
Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by insurance?
Yes, most extended health plans cover Naturopathic Medicine. In addition, many health insurance plans will cover separately for registered acupuncture so visits with me can be billed under either category for those patients receiving acupuncture. Check with your provider for details.
What is the difference between Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an independent natural therapy and system of healing that is part of the repertoire of therapies employed by Naturopathic Doctors. In contrast, a Homeopath is exclusively trained to practice Homeopathy. Naturopathic Medicine encompasses homeopathy and several other natural therapies, and treatment integrates aspects of each of these therapies.
What should I expect when I visit a Naturopathic Doctor?
During the first visit, your ND wants to get to know you as a person, what your health goals are and how you have managed your health in the past. Expect to be there for an hour to give me adequate time to understand your health history and current concerns. As well as performing a basic physical exam based on your health complaints, you will be asked about your mental and emotional health, your diet and lifestyle, and treatments you may be receiving from other health care providers. By the end of the visit, you will receive an individualized treatment plan and possibly suggestions for further testing, if needed.
The subsequent visits are 30 mins long, and involve going over a review from previous visits and updates of your symptoms and concerns. We will discuss a detailed treatment plan, involving naturopathic modalities that are indicated for your specific health concerns, and to address your goals. Treatment protocols generally are comprised of a combination of a few naturopathic modalities, best suited to the individual. These include Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture, Clinical Nutrition/Diet, Botanical/Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, and Lifestyle Counselling.
After a treatment plan has been initiated, variables that will influence how often you see your Naturopath include how acute or chronic your conditions are, your compliance to the protocol, how complex your health concerns and health goals are, and how your body responds.
Unfortunately, there is not a set pattern to treatment plan, as every person is unique, and responds differently to treatment – in Naturopathic Medicine, we respect a person’s inherent individuality and attempt to work in harmony with it. As a general rule, treatments are more frequent initially, and as your health improves, frequency of visits diminish.