Naturopathic ideology approaches each individual as a vital whole with an emphasis on overall health and disease prevention. This holistic approach uses many different treatment modalities and practitioners may recommend the incorporation of conventional medicine, when indicated The roots of Naturopathy stretch back to the Nature Cure Movement of Europe and its modern practice is professionally governed in Ontario by The Coalition for Naturopathic Medicine: an alliance of College of Naturopaths – Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors; Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors; and the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. With a focus on the philosophy of natural self-healing, rather than specific methods, Naturopathic practitioners employ a multi-treatment approach with a concentration on the following:
- Diet and Nutrition
- Acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine
- Herbal Medicine
- Physical Medicine
- Lifestyle Councelling and Prevention
1. First, do no harm and provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all times;
2. Recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature; inherent in each individual human being;
3. Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms;
4. Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health;
5. Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences;
6. Emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for individuals, each community and our world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Naturopathic Medicine uses the least invasive, most physiologically supportive methods possible, carefully chosen after a personalized analysis of your health needs. The ultimate goal of Naturopathic Medicine is prevention. This is accomplished through education and the promotion of lifestyle habits that create good health. A doctor will assess risk factors and hereditary susceptibility then design appropriate interventions to avoid further harm or disease.
Naturopathy is a distinct form of primary health care that combines modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The philosophy of Naturopathic Medicine views the individual’s total lifestyle as a key factor in increasing overall health and well-being. Based on prevention and the root cause of illness, Naturopathy also addresses emotional aspects so healing can occur at a deeper level and boost the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Naturopathic training closely parallels medical training including three years of undergraduate pre-medical sciences and a four-year full-time program focused on preparing clinicians for the challenges of a primary care practice. Naturopathic Doctors must pass regulatory board exams, including NPLEX for North American standards, and maintain their competency through continuing education.
Naturopaths encourage collaboration with conventional medical doctors as each has something complementary to offer. Naturopathic Doctors are trained to refer patients to other health care practitioners, where appropriate, and most frequently cross-refer. Health is a complex issue and therefore warrants multiple approaches in some situations.
At this time, naturopathic services are not covered by OHIP. You maybe covered under an enhanced health insurance plan provided by your employer.
Naturopathic treatments are based on traditional natural approaches using modern scientific knowledge. The most common include:
Good nutrition provides the body with vital building blocks. Personalized diets, vitamin and mineral supplements, and enzymatic therapies may be used to promote health, address deficiencies and treat disease processes. Education about healthy food choices is also emphasized.
The use of plant based medicines and compounds may be beneficial for certain conditions. A Naturopathic Doctor is trained to identify the interactions between herbs, medications and supplements.
Traditional medicinal formulas and cupping therapies are used to restore balance in the body.
A form of natural medicine that originated in Europe, Homeopathy is based on the energetic properties of naturally-derived substances that help the body expel disease and attain balance. Homeopathic products do not interact with medications, herbs or supplements.
Lifestyle is relevant to many health problems. A Naturopathic Doctor will help you identify risk factors and make recommendations to help you optimize your physical, mental and emotional well-being, as well as provide knowledge to empower you to improve your overall health and prevent illness.
A variety of hands-on techniques may be recommended for spine, joint and soft tissue symptoms. These include the therapeutic application of heat, cold, sound, and light. Electrotherapy, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercise and Naturopathic manipulative therapy are also proven approaches to healing and pain management.
The above information is only meant as a brief introduction to Naturopathic Medicine. If you would like additional information, please do not hesitate to ask Dr. Caversan.
You can also find additional information from the following sites:
- College of Naturopaths
- Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors
- Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors