What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing ability 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 a “thing”, treating the person not the disease.
Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, physical environment and lifestyle factors. The goal of this unique form of health care is to restore and maintain optimum health by treating the underlying cause of a condition, rather than the symptoms alone.
There are several principles that guide naturopathic doctors in their approach to helping you and restoring health and vitality. They are:
Why see a naturopathic doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are the only regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine in Ontario.
You can go to a health food store and look for various supplements that might address your health concern or ask the sales clerk for assistance. They will listen to your description of your symptoms and perhaps suggest a particular product.
- Do they have your entire heath picture or just a piece of your picture?
- Do they know whether you are on any medication?
- What is their medical training and experience?
A recent study found that health food store employees give misleading advice 88% of the time when asked for advice about supplements. Often these employees have little or no medical or nutritional training.
- Read about it here http://www.cbc.ca/news/health-food-store-advice-not-scientific-study-1.893155 or the actual study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20516267
In order to achieve licensure, naturopathic doctors must complete a four year postgraduate medical and naturopathic therapeutics program incorporating both classroom and hands-on clinical training. After graduation, naturopathic doctors must pass both standardized North American and Ontario specific examinations prior to qualifying for registration. In Ontario, Naturopathic Medicine is regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (http://www.collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca).