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What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a unique approach to improving health and treating illness. The main focus is on prevention rather than just treating symptoms. Natural substances and treatments such as vitamins, minerals, herbs and acupuncture are used to support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself and prevent further illness. Naturopathic medicine focuses also on patient education and health maintenance. Naturopathic doctors, examine, diagnose and treat patients with programs tailored to each individual patient.

Naturopathic medicine has its roots in ancient traditional healing and has branched into modern, cutting-edge science so we can support optimal health with metabolic and detoxification therapies.

A visit to a Naturopathic Doctor involves an in-depth patient history, physical exam and possible laboratory tests. Based on this an individual treatment plan is designed to help facilitate the return to health. Virtually all chronic and acute conditions and people of all ages may benefit from treatment by naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic medicine offers options in health care for people seeking preventative care or to complement other medical treatments. Currently, Naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP but is covered by some extended health care plans.

The primary therapies used in naturopathic medicine are clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, oriental medicine and physical therapies.

Botanical Medicine | Botanical medicine involves the use of plants for their healing properties. For example echinacea and goldenseal are great for colds, ginger and peppermint for digestion and calendula for healing scrapes and cuts. It is very important to remember that even though the plants are natural they are still medicine and can interfere with certain prescription drugs; caution is advised when combining prescription drugs and herbal medicines.

Clinical Nutrition | Diet and Nutritional counselling are fundamental to Naturopathic Medicine. Education on healthy eating and specific dietary programs are always a part of a healing process. Identifying specific deficiencies or toxic excesses, or just plain poor food choices can be corrected by your Naturopathic doctor.

Homeopathic Medicine | Based on the principle that “like cures like” homeopathic medicines have been used since the 1700’s. Very diluted amounts of natural substances are used to stimulate the body to heal itself. Homeopathy helps to balance out conditions such as depression, ADHD, colds and sore throats, for example.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine | According to Oriental medicine the body is divided into meridians, each meridian corresponds to a different organ. Acupuncture and herbal formulas work to balance the meridians and therefore the organs they correspond to. Acupuncture can be used for numerous conditions such as sciatica and back pain, menstrual irregularity, headaches and quitting smoking.

Physical therapies | Therapies vary slightly depending on the naturopathic doctor, gentle soft tissue manipulation, naturopathic manipulation and craniosacral therapies are used to aid mostly musculoskeletal concerns, headaches and insomnia for example.

Lifestyle counseling | Counseling about stress reduction, exercise, emotional wellbeing and spiritual health help us achieve balance and happiness in every aspect. Your naturopathic doctor is a resource for you in helping achieve your health and wellness goals.

What can I expect when i visit a Naturopathic Doctor?
The goal of the naturopathic doctor is to understand the patient and all the factors which impact on his/her health. The ND will take an in-depth patient history at the first visit. In addition, the information from a physical exam and laboratory tests will assist in making an assessment and diagnosis.

A personal treatment plan will then be proposed to help facilitate your healing process. Your naturopathic doctor will do their best and advise you on how to achieve a healthful and vital state. If you sincerely apply their suggestions and focus on new healthy ways to live, we are sure you will be pleased with your results.

Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?
The safety record for naturopathic medicine is excellent. This makes sense given the emphasis on non-toxic, natural source medicines and gentle, non-invasive treatments. Side effects are rare and NDs are knowledgeable about contraindications between naturopathic remedies and conventional medicines.

In addition, NDs are trained to recognize conditions, which are outside their scope of practice and refer to other health practitioners when it is appropriate to do so.

Is Naturopathic Medicine scientific?
Thousands of modern clinical studies have validated a variety of natural medicines used by ND's Echinacea for the immune system and St. John’s Wort for depression are just two examples. Naturopathic schools encourage and facilitate research.

It is important to note that, since most naturopathic remedies are not patentable, manufacturers find little financial incentive in costly scientific studies. However, many naturopathic therapies find their research validation in conventional medical journals.

How are Naturopathic doctors trained?
NDs take a minimum of three years premedical studies at university, followed by four years at a recognized college of naturopathic medicine. The education encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.

There are six recognized schools of naturopathic medicine in North America. The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto), Bastyr University (Seattle), National College of Naturopathic Medicine (Portland), The University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport), Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (Scottsdale) and Boucher Institute (Vancouver). Graduates from these institutions receive a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree or diploma.

In regulated (or licensed) provinces and states across North America, graduates must also pass rigorous standardized exams to qualify for practice. In Canada, NDs are regulated in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Legislation is pending in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

What does it cost to visit a Naturopathic Doctor?
Fee schedules vary somewhat depending on the province, as well as on the ND’s practice focus and the length of the visit.

Currently in Canada, the fees charged by naturopathic physicians are not covered by any of the provincial medical plans.

Many private health plans cover all or a portion of naturopathic treatments. Patients are encouraged to request that their policy include coverage of all naturopathic services. Please contact us for fee schedule and information.

What can Naturopathic Doctors treat?
Naturopathic Doctors are primary care physicians. We can provide health care for a wide variety of health issues. This includes yearly physical examinations, to the common cold, to cancer and immune deficiency disorders.

Below is a list of things commonly treated by your naturopathic doctor:

Crohn’s Disease
High Blood Pressure
Prenatal concerns
Breast feeding challenges
Learning disabilities
Anti-aging strategies
Childhood nutrition
Digestive disorders
Enlarged prostate
High cholesterol
Postnatal Concerns
Optimal health goals
Liver detoxification
Mercury detoxification
Poor memory
Poor nutrition
Childhood infection
Heart disease

Sunrise Health Services and Wellness Centre | 413 Hibernia Street | Stratford, Ontario, Canada N5A 5W2
The information provided throughout this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.