Naturopathic FAQ

What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a unique system of health care which combines modern scientific knowledge with ancient wisdom and tradition. Naturopathic doctors identify and treat the root cause of health concerns. They take into account the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of each patient. A unique treatment plan is created according to the patient’s individual needs. The plan might include acupuncture, herbal or homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, and recommendations for dietary and lifestyle changes. The therapies and treatments recommended by the naturopathic doctor are selected to stimulate and support the body in its innate ability to heal itself.
What conditions can be addressed by naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic doctors offer care for a wide variety of health concerns, for people of all ages and stages of life.

You might visit your naturopath to consult about:

  • Acute concerns such as coughs, colds, fevers, earaches or headaches
  • Chronic concerns such as low energy, hormone balancing, digestion, nutrition, weight loss, fertility difficulties, or cancer
  • Mental or emotional concerns such as anxiety or depression
  • “Stage of life” concerns such as menopause, pregnancy or postpartum care
  • Supportive care such as sports nutrition to optimizing training
  • Prevention of conditions such as cardiovascular disease or cancer
Can I see my Naturopath as well as my family doctor?
We believe in a team approach to health care and are happy to work with other any other health care providers.
Is naturopathic medicine covered by OHIP?
While naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP, it is covered by most extended benefit plans. At your visit, we will print an invoice that you can submit to your provider.
What is the training process to become a naturopathic doctor in Ontario?

Naturopathic Doctors are required to have a minimum of 3 years pre-medical postsecondary education and four years at an approved Naturopathic College. College includes 4500 hours of classroom time in clinical studies, medical sciences and naturopathic therapies as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
Graduates are required to pass provincial and North American-wide naturopathic licensing exams (NPLEX) in order to register in Ontario.

Naturopathic Doctors are also required to take ongoing continuing education credits in order to maintain their license.

Do naturopathic doctors have specialties?
Some naturopathic doctors have a particular interest or a great deal of experience in treating certain conditions or client groups, but this isn’t referred to as a “specialty”. The naturopathic colleges do not offer any specialist-level educational programs for NDs. Some naturopathic doctors have additional training beyond the scope of the naturopathic college. An example is training in Precision Nutrition or IV Therapy.
Is naturopathic medicine regulated in Ontario?

Yes. The profession of naturopathic medicine has been regulated in Ontario since 1925. On July 1, 2015, proclamation of the Naturopathy Act brought the profession into the same legislative structure as other regulated health professions in Ontario. The provincial regulatory authority is the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO).

CONO
Telephone: (416) 583-6010
info@collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca
www.collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca

What’s the difference between naturopathic medicine and homeopathy?

Homeopaths are trained to practice only in homeopathy. They prescribe homeopathic remedies, which are highly diluted substances usually derived from plants and minerals (please see Homeopathy” for a more extensive description).

Naturopathic doctors are general practitioners of natural medicine. They have training in medical sciences, nutrition, herbal medicine, Chinese medicine (including acupuncture), physical medicine, lifestyle counseling and homeopathy. A naturopathic doctor will use any or all of these treatments, including homeopathy, to address your health concerns.

Both naturopathic medicine and homeopathy are regulated and licensed disciplines in Ontario, under the Regulated Health Professions Act.

Can Naturopathic Doctors prescribe hormones?
Naturopathic Doctors in Ontario who meet the Prescribing Standard of Practice requirements are able to prescribe and use a number of natural substances that are restricted under federal legislation. These substances include natural thyroid and bioidentical estrogen and progesterone. The naturopathic doctors at Healing Path meet the prescribing Standard of Practice requirements and would be happy to sit down with you to discuss the pros and cons of hormone treatment.
Is naturopathic medicine “evidence-based medicine” or “pseudo-science”?

Evidence-based medicine is an approach to decision making in health care that incorporates scientific evidence, the practitioner’s clinical judgement and the patient’s values, all weighted equally. This ensures that the clinician’s opinion is supplemented by all available knowledge from the scientific literature. It also identifies the importance of the patient’s rights and preferences for each treatment decision.

As a regulated profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), 1991, naturopathic medicine in Ontario embraces the term “evidence-based medicine” (see OAND description of naturopathic medicine)

The term “pseudo-science” is defined as a “claim, belief or practice presented as scientific but that does not adhere to the scientific method”. It has been used as a derogatory term in the media to refer to some natural health methods.

Naturopathic doctors have a strong science-based academic background. They are trained in scientific research methods and incorporate the latest research findings into their treatment recommendations. The claim that naturopathic medicine is a pseudo-science is based on misinformation about the training and treatment approach of naturopathic doctors.

Are Naturopathic Doctors “anti-vaccine”?

No. Vaccinations are outside the scope of naturopathic practice. Patients who wish to pursue vaccinations should consult with a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario or the College of Nurses of Ontario.
Individual patient choice, including the right to decline treatment, is a fundamental part of Ontario’s health care system. Naturopathic doctors support the patient’s right to choose whether or not to be vaccinated. They encourage their patients to be active participants in their own health care, and to make fully informed decisions.
The patient’s decision will not have any impact on their naturopathic doctor-patient relationship.

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