What is Naturopathic Medicine?
If we had to describe it in one sentence, we would say: It is a distinct form of health-care that treats the whole person, not just the symptoms, using non-pharmaceutical treatments.
The foundation of naturopathic medicine is to treat the whole person using natural therapies in order to assist the body’s own ability to heal. We aim to treat the root cause of disease, not only mask the symptoms. Treating the whole person means taking into account all of your symptoms, health history and current health status to assess for patterns and disharmonies. That might mean that we find a relationship between your digestive system and your eczema, or your food allergies and your migraines for example. Rather than treat the eczema with medicated cream, we work on your digestive system first and support your skin while the deeper healing is taking place.
What conditions can you treat?
We can treat most conditions and have experience working with all ages from newborn to geriatric. Whether your concern is a common cold or a chronic condition you have been suffering with for years, we can help. Some of the things we see most often include:
- Food sensitivities
- Skin conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis
- Thyroid conditions
- Weight issues
- Digestive concerns like bloating, IBS
- Attention deficit disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Infat colic
- Reflux, heartburn and indigestion
What can Naturopathic Medicine do for me?
No matter what you are dealing with, whether physical, emotional, or both, Naturopathic medicine can help. In fact, many patients start to feel better right after their first visit because they have had the unique experience of spending an hour discussing their health from head to toe and have been given treatment options that make sense.
Most of the people seeking out Naturopathic medical care include:
- Those looking for disease prevention and health promotion strategies.
- Have a range of symptoms that they have been unable to address on their own or with the help of other medical practitioners.
- Have been diagnosed with an illness and are looking for alternative treatments.
Does this sound like you?
If you said yes to any of the above, Naturopathic Medicine can help. The naturopathic philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body and to treat the root cause of disease. For many patients, this difference in approach to health provides them with a new perspective and awareness. By addressing the root cause(s) of disease and through the appropriate use of natural therapies many patients with chronic illness have found tremendous benefits.
It seems expensive. Why should I invest in Naturopathic care?
In Canada we are used to having free health care. It is great that if we break a bone we don’t have to pay-per-use for things like expensive x-rays, casts and doctor visits. But, emergencies aside, what about your health and wellbeing on a daily basis? Why do we shudder when it comes to paying $30 for a supplement that will prevent a disease or $80 to visit your ND for 30 minutes? To read more on this, visit my colleague’s blog. He explains how naturopathic medicine is worth every nickel!
Food For Thought
Did you know the average woman spends over $1000 a year on her hair, cosmetics and miscellaneous spa treatments? Sure, its great to look good on the outside, but imagine investing the same in yourself to feel great from the inside out! Not to mention preventing disease, having more energy and feeling more vital overall. Now that is money really worth spending.
What training do Naturopathic Doctors have?
Important note: Because New Brunswick does not regulate the profession, there are many practitioners who use the title ND without meeting the proper qualifications. Please be sure you are working with a member of the New Brunswick Association of Naturopathic Doctors to ensure safe, effective and professional advice. Find a member here.
To obtain a naturopathic medical credential (ND) that qualifies the recipient to sit for licensing examination students must have the following:
Prerequisites including three years of pre-medical sciences at a University with a cumulative grade point average 3.00 on a four point scale. Prerequisite courses: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory psychology and humanities.
Successfully complete a 4-year-full time program in an accredited school of Naturopathic Medicine that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
Pass NPLEX board exams that are written after the 2nd year and 4th year of study. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for Naturopathic doctors in North America.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as required by the provincial regulatory boards on an ongoing basis.
Areas of Training
Naturopathic Doctors undergo training similar to medical doctors plus they include the naturopathic disciplines. The four areas of training in the four year, full-time Naturopathic Medicine curriculum are:
- Basic Sciences – This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.
- Clinical Disciplines – Diagnostic medicine areas of study are physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, naturopathic assessment and orthopaedics.
- Naturopathic Disciplines – There are six major disciplines that define the areas of naturopathic practice. Each discipline is a distinct area of practice and includes both diagnostic principles and practices as well as therapeutic skills and techniques. They include: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulation and lifestyle counselling.
- Clinical Experience – All students must complete 1,500 hours of clinical requirements and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of Naturopathic Medicine prior to graduation.
For more on training visit www.cand.ca
Is Naturopathic Medicine regulated?
In Canada there are five provinces that have naturopathic regulations: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The Naturopathic Doctors Act of 2008 grants title protection for naturopathic doctors in the province of Nova Scotia. The New Brunswick Association of Naturopathic Doctors is also in the process of seeking regulation.