What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine or Naturopathy is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention through natural methods. Naturopaths use diet, exercise, stress reduction, herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, manual therapies like massage, and lifestyle counseling to treat or prevent disease. We emphasize a holistic, individualized approach to medicine that integrates traditional wisdom with current research. Naturopathic Medicine is a system of health care; for many, it is also a philosophy and a way of life.
Naturopathic therapies support and stimulate your body’s built-in ability to heal itself.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
A naturopathic doctor or naturopath is a medically trained professional. The Regulated Health Professions Act/RHPA regulates ND’s in Ontario (just like medical doctors). We treat mental, emotional and physical health conditions using natural treatments. These natural remedies include diet or nutrition advice, lifestyle changes like stress reduction and exercise, the best quality herbal medicine, nutraceuticals or plant extracts, vitamin and mineral supplements, acupuncture, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario can also order routine blood work like hormone blood tests, thyroid tests, and glucose levels. Although, if ordered by an ND, these tests are not covered by OHIP. We advise patients about appropriate tests to discuss with their medical doctor. If he or she orders them, they would be covered by OHIP. Our ND’s can also order more innovative testing that is not available through OHIP.
Employee benefits programs and private insurance cover visits with naturopathic doctors. Our regulatory body is the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO).
Is there any scientific basis for Naturopathic Medicine?
Does Health Insurance Cover Naturopathic Doctors?
The Ontario provincial health plan (OHIP) does not cover naturopathic doctors. However, private health insurance, employee benefits programs and health spending accounts do cover the cost of naturopathic doctor visits.
My doctors are stumped as to my condition, can Naturopathic Medicine help?
This is the type of patient that we often see, people who:
- didn’t respond well to conventional treatment
- don’t want to take medications
- want to manage their health more naturally
- have conditions for which there is no satisfactory medical treatment
- have conditions where the doctors are stumped and the patient wants a different approach
Our naturopathic doctors approach any health problem by determining what is going on with the patient’s physiology and how best to restore balance.
Can I combine Naturopathic Medicine with my conventional treatment?
Absolutely. Our naturopathic doctors are well versed as to what natural treatments will work well with your medications. And which ones may conflict with them. We can advise you accordingly.
Book an appointment with a naturopath here
By Dr. Pamela Frank, ND, updated Jan. 5, 2020