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Naturopathic Medicine

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

 
Naturopathic doctors (ND) are primary care providers that are medically trained and naturally focused. Blending modern medical practices with traditional healing philosophies, the scope of naturopathic medicine is the most extensive of any complementary healthcare provider in Ontario with access to conventional lab testing, prescribing privileges on select bioidentical hormones and therapeutic vitamins, and with comprehensive training in the use of a variety of natural healing therapies.

 

Similar to a visit with a medical doctor, a visit with an ND involves a complete health intake, physical exams, and lab testing to adequately assess and diagnose your health concerns. While treatments with prescription medications are beyond the scope of naturopathic medicine in Ontario, NDs are required to study the use and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and how they interact with supplements, herbs, and nutrients. With this knowledge, ND’s work to safely integrate natural treatments with conventional ones. As such, ND’s work as part of your health care team to ensure your health concerns are addressed and treated safely and effectively.

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What set’s naturopathic medicine apart from conventional medicine is in the approach and treatment. ND’s use a holistic approach that assesses the whole person and takes the time to consider the physical, mental, emotional, genetic, social, and environmental factors as contributing to the overall health of each individual. Rather than treating disease, ND’s treat the individual and recognize that each person expresses illness differently. Treatment plans are carefully crafted with the aim to identify and remove the underlying cause of the illness to facilitate the natural healing process – beyond the suppression of symptoms. NDs also emphasize disease prevention and empower patients with the knowledge needed to take responsibility for optimizing their own health.

Jess McShane Photography - 20-10 - Doubi
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Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

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Do No Harm

Utilizing the most natural & least invasive therapies 

The Healing Power of Nature

Trusting the body's innate wisdom to heal itself

Identify & Treat the Cause

Identify underlying cause to dis-ease and removing obstacles to healing

Doctor as Teacher

Educating and empowering patients with the motivation to make health changes

Treat the Whole

Person

Understanding patient from a physical, emotional, and spiritual perspective

Prevention

Supporting the foundations of health to ensure vitality and prevent disease
 

The Therapeutic Order

The therapeutic order demonstrates that an unhealthy foundation may give rise to negative health conditions and the first steps to better health are to assess and identify obstacles to healing and to establish baseline health practices

Establish the Foundation of Optimal Health

Stimulate Self Healing Mechanisms

Support & Restore Weakened Systems

Address Physical Alignment

Natural Symptom Control

Synthetic Symptom

Relief

High
Force

Interventions

The next step is to address deficiencies such as inadequate nutritional intake and excesses such as chronic stress causing addictive behaviours. Some conditions can first be treated supportively by encouraging intake of particular nutrients or by re-framing perceptions of stressors before introducing substances to assist in controlling the symptoms or to 'push' your body back into balance. 
Symptom control is addressed first with consideration of natural substances that have been proven to be effective with minimal side effects and weighed against the use of pharmaceutical medications. 
High risk interventions such as surgery or chemotherapy that may cause a host of side effects are ranked last in the treatment order. 

Education & Regulation

Regulation
Naturopathy is a regulated health profession in Ontario. All Ontario naturopathic doctors (ND) must be registered and in good standing with the provincial regulatory body, College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) under the Naturopathy Act (2007) to ensure all NDs have the knowledge, skills, and judgement to maintain their roles. 
Used Books
Education
 
NDs require rigorous training that includes a bachelor degree with premedical requisites followed by a 4 year degree at an accredited naturopathic medical college. To qualify for licensing, NDs must have successfully completed entry-to-practice examinations and require continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain licensure. 
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Interested in Learning More?

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