- What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
A Naturopathic Doctor, known as an “N.D.”, is a licensed Health Care Professional who is educated in both Western as well as Naturopathic modalities. Naturopathic Doctors are University Degree holders derived from Acupuncturists, Osteopaths, and Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors, among others. Their primary focus is to treat the individual as a whole- physically, mentally, and emotionally, approaching illness from multiple perspectives to bring forth the underlying cause and to treat the patient with a variety of non-invasive, non-medicinal modalities and supplements.
Naturopathic Doctors are in high demand as many people have directed their health care needs away from traditional Western Medicine. Naturopathic Doctors are able to diagnose through medical laboratory tests, physical examinations, comprehensive health history and diet history. Naturopathic Doctors work well in conjunction with other Health Care Professions, including Medical Doctors, and are able to receive and incorporate previous medical laboratory test results into the naturopathic treatment. This approach allows the patient to be highly involved in their journey with Naturopathic Medicine, to offer input, and be included in decision making while working towards optimum health.
- How does Naturopathic Medicine differ from Conventional Western Medicine?
The primary difference between the practices of a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) versus a Medical Doctor (MD) is that Naturopathic Doctors differ in the philosophy of treatment, using therapies that are non-invasive, non-surgical, and non-medicinal. Naturopathic Doctors do not prescribe pharmaceuticals, but rather natural supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs. Naturopathic Doctors are Primary Health Care Professionals, as are Medical Doctors, both sharing similar education in terms of content and length of training. Naturopathic Doctors are trained intensively to assess and address the patient’s health history, lifestyle, mental, emotional, and physical health, and to treat the clinical impressions with naturally derived compounds. Medical Doctors often treat symptoms of illness with pharmaceuticals and/or surgery.
- Who should seek help from a Naturopathic Doctor?
Everyone can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine! One does not have to be “ill” in order to seek treatment from a Naturopathic Doctor. In fact, Naturopathic Medicine focuses greatly on prevention- that is, fine tuning your health by adding supplements where they lack, and improving wellbeing through individually designed treatment plans. A Naturopathic Doctor can preform IV Vitamin & Mineral Therapy, Acupuncture, and other modalities that are also beneficial to keep illness at bay.
People who have tried traditional Western Medicine to no avail commonly seek Naturopathic Medicine as an alternative, and even use it to compliment their on-going treatment with a conventional Medical Doctor. Those who have had a chronic illness or multiple complex illnesses that are undiagnosed can find answers to their questions through a Naturopathic Doctor.
- What conditions can Naturopathic Medicine address?
The following list describes the various conditions that Naturopathic Medicine treats:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic Fatigue
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Acute viral illnesses
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Addiction & more
If you have a question about treatment for a condition not listed above, it is best to contact your Naturopathic Doctor.
- What can I expect from an initial consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor?
Your first appointment can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. The Doctor will take you through an extensive interview about your health history, family history, current diet and lifestyle, as well as any current health records and testing that relates to the present condition or main complaint that has brought you to the clinic. The Doctor may request additional testing, which is often carried out during the first appointment. The most common tests include blood and urine tests. The Naturopathic Doctor will further discuss goals, a treatment plan, home-care, supplements, and/or any additional information you may need.
- What can I expect from follow-up consultations?
Follow-up consultations are, in general, shorter than the initial consultation, often lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour. Follow-up appointments often occur 1-2 weeks after the first appointment, and can become less frequent over time depending on the needs of each individual patient. These consultations often involve review of medical tests and changes to your health status since the last appointment. The Naturopathic Doctor suggests the frequency and duration of consultations, as per the treatment plan discussed.
- Does OHIP cover Naturopathic visits?
No, OHIP does not cover Naturopathic services, just as it does not cover Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy, among others. However, if you have Extended Health Care Benefits, there is a potential that Naturopathic Services are covered. Mai Medical Health Centre can direct bill to the following insurance companies:
- Sunlife Financial
- Standard Life
- Manulife Financial
- The Great West Life
- Cowan Insurance Group
- Desjardins Insurance
- Industrial Alliance
- Johnson Group Insurance
- Maximum Benefit
- Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan
- Does taking pharmaceutical medications interfere with natural supplements?
It is possible for pharmaceutical medications to alter the effectiveness or cause adverse reactions of natural supplements and/or herbs when taken together. This is why it is important to disclose an accurate health history to your Naturopathic Doctor, and to include a list of current medications and dosages. It is important to mention any allergies that you may have as certain supplements may be contraindicated.