Naturopathic Medicine, or Naturopathy is a distinct primary health care system that embodies the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Naturopathic medicine integrates medical and laboratory sciences, and physical and clinical diagnosis skills with a proficient understanding of the interconnection of systems to provide an authoritative view of whole body health.
It provides the patient with a perspective on health that is different from the current disease-focused model and considers their vital force (vis medicatrix naturae) just as it considers their environment, life experiences, ability to adapt and the totality of physical symptoms and responses.
With this understanding, the Naturopathic Doctor is able to approach health care complaints, with the more lasting approach of treating the cause of the problem. Naturopathic medical philosophy honors and encourages the body’s innate wisdom to heal and favors a holistic approach using the least invasive measures necessary for the improvement or resolution of dis-ease.
In treatment, Naturopathic Medicine blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine that are safe and effective. It also incorporates modern and traditional mind-body approaches to health and disease.
Each treatment plan is created specifically for the individual and is reassessed and adjusted as the body responds.
Treatment modalities may include:
- Plant-based Medicines
- Clinical Nutrition
- Hydrotherapy and other self-care
- Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
- Lifestyle Assessment and Counselling
- Homeopathic medicines
- Biotherapeutic drainage
- Vitamin and mineral therapies
- Mind-body therapies
What to Expect
An in-depth gathering of patient information occurs during a detailed intake process and appropriate physical exam. Lifestyle and diet are assessed specific to the patients main healthcare concerns, and a path to health is established with a plan to correct presenting concerns in the shorter term and prepare the body to prevent illness in the long-term.
Existing laboratory and imaging results are easily interpreted by an ND, and further testing may be recommended for confirmation or to expand understanding of an individuals state of health.
In Canada the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes two accredited educational institutions providing a four year degree program , professional licensing and national standards of practice. Naturopathic Medicine has been a regulated health profession in Ontario since 1925. On July 1, 2015, the Naturopathy Act was proclaimed, bringing the profession into the same legislative structure as other regulated health professions in Ontario. The provincial regulatory authority is the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO).