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 power 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 an entity.
In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited naturopathic medical programs, standardized North American Board Exams (NPLEX) and jurisdictional exams, national standards of practice and, regulation in five provinces to date.
Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient.
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
- Patients that are looking for health promotion and disease prevention strategies. Individuals that recognize that health doesn’t just happen by chance, that it is a lifelong process that involves a clear understanding of the factors that affect health and how to deal with them on a daily basis.
- Patients that have a range of symptoms that they have been unable to address on their own or with the help of other medical practitioners. With Naturopathic medicine’s broad understanding of health and the relationship between health, life and the environment naturopathic doctors are often able to offer patients a new perspective and provide safe and effective ways to restore health.
- Patients that have been diagnosed with an illness and are looking for treatment options. Naturopathic medicine is very effective in improving quality of life for those with serious and life threatening illnesses. It is used extensively and effectively for those patients that are looking to combine conventional and naturopathic treatments with the aim of minimizing side effects to drugs, surgery or conventional treatments.
Do no harm – Naturopathic medicine provides effective treatment with the least risk possible to patients.
Treat the cause – NDs focus on treating the root cause of your illness and avoid the suppression of symptoms.
Doctor as teacher – NDs spend time with their patients. This time allows them to answer questions, teach patients about their illness and explain treatment plans.
Individualized treatment – No two people are exactly alike. Since illnesses can be caused by many different factors, NDs create treatment plans specifically tailored to each individual patient.
Emphasize prevention – Prevention is the best medicine. The goal of naturopathic medicine is for you to be as healthy as possible to prevent disease from occurring. When our bodies are functioning optimally, they are in the best position to ward off illness.
Healing power of nature – The body has an innate ability to heal. Removing obstacles that interfere with the healing process and supplying the body with required nutrients stimulates its ability to restore optimal function and heal itself.
Today, more people than ever before are seeking and benefiting from naturopathic medical care and the number of naturopathic doctors is growing at record rates to accommodate this increased demand. Currently there are naturopathic doctors practicing in every province and all but one territory in Canada. The more than 2,400 naturopathic doctors across the country continue to be an emerging answer to Canada’s health care concerns.