If you don’t find the answer to your question below you can always contact us – we’re happy to help! The naturopathy section on altMD is also a good source of information about the profession.

Frequently Asked Questions About Naturopathic Medicine

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

How are Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s) trained?

What treatments do ND’s use?

What types of health concerns can be treated?

Is Naturopathic Medicine scientific?

Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?

What’s the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?

What’s the difference between a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Natural Medicine?

How do I know if I’m seeing a licensed naturopath?

Can I see a naturopath and my family doctor at the same time?

What can I expect / how does it work?

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine is a sensible and comprehensive approach to health care. I was drawn to it because it combines the best of modern medical knowledge with the whole-person approach common to older healing traditions. A Naturopathic Doctor’s (ND’s) goal is to find and treat the underlying cause(s) of your health concerns, rather than treating symptoms alone. My job is not only to help you feel better - but to do so in a way that’s in agreement with how you’re made.

ND’s follow some key principles in their approach to helping you improve your health:

  • First, do no harm – use safe and effective health care techniques with the least risk for all patients
  • Treat the cause – identify and treat underlying causes of illness, avoid suppression of symptoms
  • Treat the whole person – recognize each human being as an integration of mind, body, and spirit
  • Doctor as teacher – educate patients on their health, inspire rational hope, and encourage self-care
  • Nature knows best – cooperate with nature to promote an individual’s own healing capacity
  • Prevention is the best medicine – prevent illness by encouraging individual and community health

As outlined below, Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s) are trained to diagnose and treat the full range of chronic and acute health conditions.

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How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?

Naturopathic doctors take at least seven years of post-secondary education: three years pre-medical university studies, followed by four years at a recognized college of naturopathic medicine. This post-graduate work includes the following medical science courses:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • biochemistry
  • pathology
  • microbiology
  • immunology
  • pharmacology
  • laboratory diagnosis
  • clinical and physical diagnosis
  • radiology
  • minor surgery
  • obstetrics
  • gynecology/ women’s health
  • pediatrics
  • other clinical sciences

In addition, ND’s take multiple courses in six principle treatment modalities:

  • clinical nutrition
  • botanical medicine
  • homeopathy
  • acupuncture/traditional oriental medicine
  • naturopathic hydrotherapy/physical medicine
  • lifestyle counseling

Training includes 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience and 3,000 hours of academic education.

Graduates receive the title “N.D.” or Doctor of Naturopathic, and must pass rigorous international licensing examinations to be eligible to practice as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. To find out if your naturopath is properly licensed in Ontario, visit The Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy. Continuing education credits are required throughout an ND’s career to maintain professional standing.

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What treatments do ND’s use?

Naturopaths use a broad range of therapies, including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, traditional oriental medicine/acupuncture, naturopathic physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling. You can learn more about the services offered at Belmont Natural Health Centre here.

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What types of health concerns can be treated?

By providing a unique and comprehensive perspective on your health, naturopathic medicine offers effective treatments for a full range of health concerns including:

Acute Conditions

  • Colds and Flu
  • Ear and Throat Infections
  • Headaches
  • Intestinal Upset
  • Chest Infections
  • Bladder Infections

Female Health Issues

  • Menopausal Problems
  • PMS, Menstrual Disorders
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • Enhancing Health in Pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • Endometrioses, Uterine Fibroids

Chronic Illnesses

  • Food  & Environmental Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol
  • Heart Problems

  • Digestive Disorders, Constipation, IBS
  • Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne
  • Multiple Sensitivities
  • Cystitis, Prostatitis
  • Insomnia
  • Mental or Emotional Stress
  • Anxiety, Depression


Naturopathic medicine also enhances the care provided by other health professionals, providing a valuable link in an integrated approach to optimal health in chronic conditions such as those listed below:
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • MS
  • Weight management
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders

It is also common for someone to seek help for a concern without a specific diagnosis – “I don’t feel well, but my doctor says all the tests are normal…”. These are often my favourite cases!

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Is Naturopathic Medicine scientific?

There is an enormous body of evidence supporting naturopathic medicine, and it’s quickly becoming a common, mainstream health care choice. You’ll be surprised to discover just how practical and scientific our work at the clinic is. We rely a great deal on lab testing and logical clinical assessment. The main differences are our desire to get to the root of what’s causing your health concerns, and to do so from a whole-person perspective – please see What is Naturopathic Medicine? above.

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Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?

The safety record for naturopathic medicine is excellent. This makes sense given the emphasis on natural, non-toxic medicines and gentle, non-invasive treatments. Naturopathic doctors are knowledgeable about interactions between naturopathic treatments and conventional medicines. We are also trained to recognize conditions which are outside our scope of practice, and to refer to other health practitioners when appropriate.

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What’s the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?

There are two significant differences. First of all homeopaths are trained specifically to use homeopathy as a treatment tool, whereas naturopathic doctors use homeopathy as one of several treatment tools.

The second major difference is that homeopaths are not regulated or licensed in the province of Ontario, therefore anyone can call themselves a homeopath regardless of training. Naturopathic doctors must complete and maintain their training and license as outlined above in How are Naturopathic Doctors Trained?

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What’s the difference between a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) and a Doctor of Natural Medicine?

Unlike an ND, a Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM) is not regulated and licensed in Ontario.
Anyone, regardless of training and education, can call themselves a Doctor of Natural Medicine in this province. There is no independent regulatory body that ensures that these individuals have appropriate training, or that standards of practice are being maintained. If a client has any concerns their only recourse is a court of law. Most health insurance companies only cover practitioners that are licensed.

The regulatory board for Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario is the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDT-N). This board is a government-appointed board that is independent of any of the naturopathic associations and its job is to protect the rights of the public and to ensure a standard of patient care.

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How do I know if I’m seeing a licensed naturopath?

The Board of Directors or Drugless Therapy maintains an up-to-date list of registered naturopaths in the province of Ontario at: http://www.boardofnaturopathicmedicine.on.ca/doctors_list.html

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Can I see a naturopath and my family doctor at the same time?

Absolutely! Naturopaths are well trained in understanding interactions between natural treatments and conventional prescriptions. It is often a patient’s goal to reduce the need for prescription medications or avoid invasive procedures, and we can achieve this through cooperation with your other healthcare providers.

Even in cases that clearly call for conventional medical intervention, such as surgery, your naturopath can help before and after your procedure to help accelerate your recovery. Also see What types of health concerns can be treated?.

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What can I expect / how does it work?

Many factors contribute to the program of care including the type of condition treated, response to treatment, client compliance, and the types of treatment used such as acupuncture or NAET. Generally, treatment begins with two to three separate visits.

Initial Visit (75 minutes)

The goals of the initial appointment are to gather a complete medical history, perform appropriate physical exam, treat acute conditions, and set the foundation for the treatment of chronic conditions. You are asked to bring a completed intake form and any recent lab results you may have. Further lab tests may be requested, acute treatment is provided, and where appropriate basic treatment for chronic conditions is started.

First Follow-Up Visit (30-45 minutes)

The goals of the first follow-up visit are client education and the initiation of a comprehensive treatment plan. A treatment plan may include one or more of the following: nutritional supplements, botanical and homeopathic medicines, dietary and lifestyle counseling, acupuncture, or NAET.

Second Follow-Up Visit (30 minutes)

The goals of the second follow-up visit are to determine client response to treatment, modify the treatment plan if appropriate, and provide supportive treatments where necessary.

Ongoing Care (15-30 minutes)

A complete treatment plan may requires further visits over the long term, depending on a number of factors as outlined above. Once a client has experienced a positive response to care ongoing treatment for secondary health concerns, acute conditions, and preventative care is often sought.

In our office you can expect a high degree of personal attention, strict confidentiality, and a wide range of health care services designed to help you find your best level of health.

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