written by: Amanda Roth, Bsc, N.D.
to be May 2004
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest
his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause
and prevention of disease." - Thomas Edison
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathy is a medicine that offers expertise in many modalities
practised by licensed doctors to aid in healing of any concern.
Naturopathic medicine encompasses thousands of years of medical
practice and theories to provide care based on certain principles.
1. This medicine works under the premise that the body has the
fundamental ability to create, maintain and restore health. When
obstacles are removed the body will inherently know how to heal
2. This medicine is the art and science of addressing the mental/emotional,
spiritual and physical aspects of the whole patient. It is in persistent
search to uncover and address the underlying cause of disease.
3. Different modalities are used to gently and safely direct the
body towards its own path of healing.
4. This medicine aims to educate or 'coach' patients in achieving
their own healthy and happy lifestyle in order to prevent disease
and promote optimal ageing.
Though there are many forms of natural therapies, the main modalities
taught to licensed doctors are:
· Botanical Medicine- Nature has provided a wealth
of resources in plants. These natural substances are compatible
with the body's own chemistry allowing a safe and gentle method
to help the body heal.
· Homeopathic Medicine- Based on the principle of
"like cures like.", homeopathy introduces diluted medicines
to the body that very specifically awaken the body's natural healing
and immune process.
· Physical Medicine-Naturopathic Medicine has its
own methods of therapeutic manipulation of muscles, bones, and spine.
N.D.'s also use ultrasound, diathermy, exercise, massage, water,
heat and cold, air, and gentle electrical pulses.
· Traditional Chinese Medicine-TCM theory incorporates
its own method of evaluating the body's disease state. Using herbs
and acupucture it is able to restore and harmonize the imbalances
present in disease conditions.
· Psychological Medicine-Mental attitudes and emotional
states may influence, or even cause, physical illness. Counseling,
stress management, biofeedback, and other therapies are used to
help patients heal on the psychological level.
· Nutritional Medicine-Educating patients on what
to eat that will allow the body to function optimally is possibly
the most important duty of a naturopath. This modality incorporates
many schools of thought on diet and nutrition.
Who Should See a Naturopath?
Many people see a naturopath on a regular basis as a primary care
physician. Naturopaths receive the same basic medical training as
M.D.'s. Even healthy people see a naturopath to find out how to
maintain their health. From injuries, allergies, digestive, hormonal,
skin problems to depression a naturopath will be able to provide
suggestions to help manage your concerns. Every naturopath will
have their own type of practice, emphasising certain modalities
and therapies. Find out who is in your area and check it out. Though
naturopathic care is not covered under OHIP, most health plans provide
insurance for care. Remember, in the long run, prevention is always
cheaper and easier than the difficult process of trying to cure
What can you expect from a naturopathic visit?
The first visit to a naturopath will certainly not be like what
you experience in going to your regular doctor. After you spend
over an hour filling out lots of questions about your background
and medical history, most first visits are over an hour and a half
long. Your naturopath will want to understand you in many aspects
of your life. He/she will treat you as a unique individual and will
allow you to tell your whole story. Your treatment plan will include
ways in which you can make positive changes in many areas of your
life to live a healthier life!
Is Naturopathic Medicine Regulated?
Naturopathic medicine is a regulated health profession (in Ontario),
licensing graduates of accredited programs. Regulated naturopathic
doctors are required to complete 3 years of pre-medical studies
at a recognized university, 4 years of full-time naturopathic education
at an approved college, and pass rigorous regulatory board examinations
that are standardized across North America. The Canadian College
of Naturopathic Medicine, in Toronto, is the only institution training
naturopathic doctors in Canada. The demand for naturopathic care
is growing drastically in the province and is presently under governmental
review to see how to better fit it into the present health care
To find a Naturopath in your area: http://www.oand.com/
For lots of other links check out the 'Links' page at: http://www.ccnm.edu/