Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of primary health care which utilizes the science of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease with a wide array of natural therapies. The philosophy of Naturopath is to stimulate the innate healing power of the body and to address the root cause of illness. The main focus of Naturopath is on the promotion of wellness and prevention of illness or disease.
Naturopathic Doctors and Medical Doctors are both considered primary health care practitioners. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in the same medical sciences and additionally have training in the naturopathic disciplines.The key difference between naturopathic and conventional lies in the philosophical approach and the therapies used.
Naturopathic Doctors provide individualized treatments that addresses not only the physique but also takes into consideration the individual’s environment, lifestyle, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Therapies used by a Naturopathic Doctors are all natural, safe, effective and non-invasive with the goal of finding and treating the root cause of the disease. This differs from allopathic or conventional which generally focuses on symptomatic care of disease with the use of pharmaceutical agents or other invasive therapies.
Discuss side effects of Naturopathic Medicine with your Naturopathic Doctors. Naturopathy benefits patients of all age groups – from pediatrics to geriatrics that are suffering from a variety of health concerns. Whether it is an acute or a chronic condition, a physical or psychological illness, Naturopath has something to offer. Typically, patients choose to visit a Naturopathic Doctor for one or more of the following reasons:
- To optimize health and address chronic health concerns
- To improve overall well-being and quality of life
- They are seeking alternatives with fewer side effects than their current medication(s)
- In search of treatments that best complements conventional
- To learn strategies helpful in disease prevention and health promotion
- To receive support in dealing with a range of symptoms from an undiagnosed illness that has not been addressed
Naturopathic practice is regulated under the Ontario provincial law. Similar to other family doctors, a registered Naturopathic physician must have at least 7 years of postsecondary education and training. This includes completion of 3 or more years of pre-medical sciences at a University followed by completion of 4 years post- graduate training at an accredited Naturopathic medical school (with more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience). Graduates must also complete 2 sets of North American Board Exams and maintain ongoing continuing education in order to have an active license to practice.
Areas of Training
In addition to training in naturopathic disciplines, Naturopathic Doctors are fully trained in all the medical sciences similar to medical doctors. The four areas of training in the four year, full-time Naturopath curriculum includes:
Sciences: Anatomy, Clinical Physiology, Histology, Microbiology, Biochemistry,
Immunology, Pharmacology, Clinical Pathology
Clinical Disciplines– Diagnostic approach in areas of study: Physical and Clinical diagnosis, Differential and Laboratory diagnosis, Radiology, Naturopathic assessment, Orthopedics
Naturopathic Disciplines – Naturopathic Doctors have knowledge of the diagnostic principles, practice, therapeutic skills and techniques in all six major disciplines that define the areas of naturopathic practice. They include, Clinical nutrition, Botanical, Traditional Chinese and Acupuncture, Homeopathic , Hydrotherapy, Naturopathic manipulation, Lifestyle counseling
Clinical Experience – Involves successful completion of 1,500 hours of clinical requirements with demonstrated proficiency in all aspects of Naturopath prior to graduation.