About Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary healthcare system which combines modern scientific knowledge and standard medical diagnostics along with traditional tools of assessment and natural treatment methods. The goal is to address the underlying causes of acute and chronic illness by supporting the body’s own ability to heal and re-establish harmony. Naturopathic medicine uses an integrated approach to disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention that includes: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, Asian medicine, acupuncture, lifestyle counseling and other bioenergetic therapies.
Naturopathic Doctors (ND) are primary care physicians who focus on restoring and maintaining optimal health in their patients. They observe the individual as an integral whole including the physiological, structural, cellular, psychological, emotional, spiritual, environmental and lifestyle factors affecting health. They are trained to do a complete physical exam as part of the medical assessment along with performing additional lab services as required. Naturopathic Doctors provide patients with a truly integrative approach to health care. They cooperate with other branches of the medical system referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate, creating a collaborative healthcare team to maximize quality patient care. Read about the Naturopathic Doctors at the Good Earth Naturopathic Centre.
Naturopathic Doctors are required to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university before being accepted to the four year Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine program at an accredited medical college. The first three years comprise of intense scientific and medical training followed by a one year clinical internship where students must meet specific requirements of patient care in a timely manner before being eligible to graduate. All Naturopathic Doctors are required to pass phase 1 and 2 of Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), which is a group of standardized examinations utilized by all regulatory boards across North America along with relevant provincial examinations. Once these examinations are passed and all regulations are in place, a Naturopathic Doctor is granted a license to practice Naturopathic Medicine in their respective province of residence.
Naturopathic Doctors are the only regulated health professionals in the field of Natural Medicine in Ontario. As the regulatory body for the profession, the College of Naturopaths of Ontario supports the public’s right to safe, competent and ethical naturopathic care.
The College does this by setting requirements to enter the profession, establishing comprehensive standards, and administering quality assurance programs.
Acting in the public interest, the College holds Ontario’s regulated Naturopaths accountable for their conduct and practice. In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many provincial and federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
Naturopathic Doctors are guided by six principles that outline the naturopathic approach to health and healing and form the foundation of healthcare for each patient.
First Do No Harm
By utilizing procedures, remedies and therapies that are safe and effective, to increase your health and minimize harmful side effects.
The Healing Power of Nature
By restoring and supporting the powerful and inherent healing ability of your body, mind and spirit, and preventing further disease from occurring by recognizing and removing obstacles to health.
Identify and Treat the Cause
Through identifying and treating the underlying causes of disease rather than simply managing or suppressing the symptoms.
Treat the Whole Person
Through understanding the physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, spiritual and other factors that contribute to disease and creating unique treatment plans for each individual patient.
Doctor as Teacher
By educating patients on the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine, and empowering them to become more capable of maintaining their own health and well being.
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
By partnering with patients to assess risk factors and recommending appropriate naturopathic interventions to promote health and prevent disease in a proactive manner as a team.