Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are licensed medical practitioners who are trained in medical sciences as well as natural therapies. All practicing NDs have completed an undergraduate degree prior to completing four years of naturopathic medical school, have passed NPLEX 1 and 2 (standardized North American Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exams in the biomedical sciences and clinical modalities respectively) and met the requirements to register with his/her provincial regulatory body.
During the last year of medical school, we complete a one-year clinical internship where we see patients under a licensed naturopathic doctor at one of the teaching clinics or satellite clinics located in the Greater Toronto Area. This exposes us to a variety of different conditions.
Naturopathic doctors conduct a medical history and physical exam much like you would get at your MD’s office using standard medical equipment and diagnostics. We are also trained in interpreting laboratory tests (and can order them at an additional cost to you). The main difference comes in the treatment approach. While your naturopathic doctor may recommend something to help alleviate the symptoms in the short-term, he/she is really working with you to help identify the root cause and addressing all aspects of you – mental/emotional/physical to develop a holistic, individualized treatment plan.
NDs practice according to the following 6 principles:
First, to do no harm
Our therapies are safe with minimal side effects as we strive to start off with the least invasive treatments that can help support your own body’s healing potential. We gradually work up the doses and treatment protocols to what will be therapeutic for you. While doing this we always check interactions with other medications you are on. There may be times when an ND may refer or suggest conventional treatment, but naturopathic medicine can be a great complementary add-on.
To Treat the Cause(s) of Disease
While we can provide treatment to help minimize your symptoms in the short-term, we are really working behind the scenes to help you identify and treat the root cause. This is why we ask SO many questions on all aspects of you – mental/emotional/physical – as the entire body is connected. If you can treat the root cause, the symptoms will go away.
To Teach the Principles of Healthy Living (Doctor as Teacher)
NDs will teach you about your health condition so that you are better informed. Once you are informed of what is going on within your mind & body, you will become empowered to take your health into your own hands
To Heal the Whole Person through Individualized Treatment
NDs are trained to address the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of a person and can create a treatment plan individualized to you as the root cause can be different in two people who have the same disease.
To Emphasize Prevention
NDs can help you optimize your health (even if you are already healthy) to prevent diseases in the long-term, especially if you are at increased risk due to a family history of a particular condition.
To Support the Healing Power of the Body
Every one of us has an innate ability to heal ourselves but sometimes, the terrain gets disrupted a little bit. NDs can help optimize your terrain and bring your body back into balance.