Top 5 Reasons to see a Naturopathic Doctor
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1. A ‘whole-person’ approach can be your best option. NDs take the time needed to find root causes of illness or disease in a holistic fashion — that means understanding a person in all their aspects — body, mind, spirit and how they all connect. NDs then work to restore your natural health, rather than simply trying to alleviate certain symptoms. A naturopath will often promote strategies to prevent chronic illness or disease, or ways to increase your body’s ability to heal itself. (Read a personal story about healing through naturopathy from Best Health)
3. Naturopathic treatments are often the least invasive method of healing. Natural medicines also have few side effects, and NDs are trained to identify possible drug/botanic medicine interactions based on a patient’s existing medications. Naturopaths also understand that food can act as good or bad medicine — it can help or hinder optimal health.
4. Naturopathic Doctors coach their patients to be actively involved, encouraging them to take charge of their health through action, education and empowerment. They also take the necessary time to build close relationships.
5. NDs select from several different treatment modes to promote effective healing. Most natural health treatments and therapies have a long history of use — with this history comes the knowledge of safety and effectiveness.
Why see an ND when I can go and see my MD for free?
Sometimes a ‘natural’ approach to health care is the best first move. With an overburdened health care system, a Naturopath can take the time needed to build a complete picture of your state of health, and then make recommendations for the kinds of treatment to pursue.
Patients who first visit a ND often do so after having used conventional medical care. They may be dissatisfied with an approach or they may have hit a plateau in a healing journey. Perhaps the conventional health community were unable to provide acceptable answers or successful treatment solutions.
Also, having good health options is about having a good team of health practitioners working for you. This team may, for example, involve your family MD, your ND, a Chiropractor and a Registered Massage Therapist for joint or muscle pain. Other treatments may involve acupuncture or physiotherapy.
Good health care means having a range of alternatives for reaching your best state of wellness. Health practitioners specialize in different areas; where your MD often specializes in helping to manage symptoms, a Naturopathic Doctor works to find the sometimes hidden cause of the health concern. And our NDs aid you in an overall healing, sometimes working at the deeper levels of health.
Naturopathic doctors always want to determine the underlying ‘why’. This is what guides them in determining a treatment that works to heal the underlying cause of distress while removing or lessening the overlying symptoms.
Here is an example — a person who has suffered for many years with eczema and skin problems. They often come to the Natural Health Clinic after having used steroid creams and other lotions for years, and in some cases, decades. After in-depth consultation and a few dietary changes, we’ve seen patients become eczema free within a matter of weeks — they are then able to discontinue their meds on their own.
What exactly is naturopathic medicine?
Quite simply, it is a traditional type of medicine with a modern slant. Naturopathic doctors use diet, herbs (botanical medicine), massage, internal detoxification (removing toxins from the body), counseling for stress and nutritional supplements to help the body prevent and recover from a wide range of disease.
Most natural treatments are now scientifically understood with clinical trials that show why and how they are effective. In many parts of the world natural medicine is the main system of treatment, before pharmaceuticals and surgery are used.
How do naturopaths assess and treat people?
Assessment of health and illness is done with a detailed history, physical exam and lab tests. If necessary, referrals are made to general practitioners and specialists to confirm or rule out and pathology. Afterwards each person receives a personalized treatment program based on their body type and problem.
What education & training do naturopathic doctors have?
Naturopathic doctors (or “naturopaths”) need three years of university followed by four years at a naturopathic college to qualify for government licensing in Ontario. This includes working one year as an intern in a clinic under naturopathic supervision. Licencing also requires that they pass three days of comprehensive board exams and a set of practical exams to ensure clinical competency.
Is naturopathic medicine covered by OHIP?
Not currently, however, most insurance companies cover naturopathic services. Check with your plan administrator to determine your level of coverage.
How so I find a registered naturopath in my area?
Call the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic for a five minute consultation with one of our professional NDs. We would be pleased to work with you to determine if naturopathic medicine can help you. We can also refer you to other practioners or NDs if that is warranted by your situation.
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For more information visit the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors.