Training & Education

 

1.    How do you know if your ND has the proper traning and credentials?

A:  In North America naturopathic doctors (ND) have 8 years of post-graduate education and must complete a four year naturopathic medical program by an accredited college.  In addition to schooling, they must also complete a rigorous set of national level board exams to receive their professional license from the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) and meet provincial or state standards of practice.

 

2.     How do naturopaths stay up to date with current research and practices?

A:  NDs are eager beavers when it comes to learning.  In addition to time researching your case after each visit they are required to attend continuing education courses to maintain their licenses and will often take time out of their busy schedules to participate in courses to build their knowledge and skills, and to satisfy their nerdy sides.

Naturopathic Medicine

 

3.    What types of conditions can naturopathic medicine treat?

A:  Naturopathic medicine can be used to both prevent illness and to treat them when they occur.  Common conditions treated by naturopathic medicine include, but are not limited to:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Allergies

  • Asthma

  • Anxiety & depression

  • Arthritis

  • Colds & flus

  • Diabetes

  • Digestive problems

  • Fertility issues

  • Heart disease

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Heart disease

     

  • Men's health

  • Muscle pain & strain

  • Skin health

  • Weight gain

  • Women's health

4.    What's the difference between seeing you and seeing my family doctor?

A:    NDs take the time to understand you as a whole person.  Initial visits range from 1-2 hours so that we can get to know you on all levels; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  There is no "one fits all", or "one pill cure all" approach.  Your ND will take the time to understand and create a treatment plan that is tailored to meet your specific health needs. 

One of the biggest differences is NDs in Ontario don't prescribe medication, instead we use natural therapies to support and strengthen your body's own healing ability.  This means fewer drug side effects, lower risk of toxicity and a focus on optimizing health rather than treating disease. 

For more information about the naturopathic approach, here is a great article on patients' experience with naturopathic care and how it compares with a typical visit to the medical doctor.

 

5. How do naturopathic doctors diagnose?

A:  NDs are trained to perform physical exams and order lab work just as your MD does, but they also take an in-depth health history to better understand the root cause of your condition.  Naturopathic doctors are also trained in tongue and pulse diagnosis if they are considering a traditional Chinese medicine approach. 

 

6.   How do you determine treatment dosages?  Are there standards or is it determined case-by-case? 

 A:  Dosages are generally guided by standard amounts clinically proven to be safe and effective but individual factors such as age, sex, metabolism and vitality are also taken into consideration when your ND prescribes an herb or supplement.

 

7.    When is naturopathic medicine not appropriate?

A:  Though naturopathic medicine is great for preventative care and addressing chronic health problems (like diabetes, arthritis and digestive problems), it is not for conditions that require emergency care (ex. broken bones) or intensive drug therapy (ex. cancer). What naturopathic medicine offers in these situations are supportive treatments to improve vitality and promote healing.

 

8.    Is naturopathic medicine safe for infants? pregnant women? Nursing mothers?

A:  Many of the herbs, supplements and treatments offered by naturopathic medicine are gentle and with appropriate dosing can be very safe and effective for infants, pregnant women and nursing mothers alike.

 

9.    Can my naturopathic treatment be used in combination with my current medical treatments?

A:  Yes.  Naturopathic medicine is often used as an adjunctive therapy to conventional medications to help alleviate the side effects or even to help lower the dosage of prescription medication needed.

 

10.    What is the difference between homeopathy and naturopathic medicine?

A:  While NDs may decide to use homeopathy as part of their treatment plan, naturopathic medicine does not center around homeopathic philosophy but incorporates it along with other treatment modalities that NDs are trained in. 

 

11. What are some drawbacks of naturopathic treatment?

A:  Though naturopathic medicine is largely safe because of its gentle nature, it can have some side effects like digestive upset and/or a rash if you are allergic or sensitive to a treatment given.  Because naturopathic medicine isn't based on taking a pill, the biggest challenge to naturopathic healing can be the commitment required to make lasting lifestyle changes which may be difficult initially, but will prove to be beneficial long term.

What to Expect

 

12. How long do I have to see you for?

A:  The length of a treatment depends on many variables; the type of condition, how long you've had the health problem, treatment frequency and your commitment to treatment, but we generally expect to see some improvement within a month or two (provided that the patient is following treatment protocol).

13. Is naturopathic medicine covered under OHIP?

A:  At this time naturopathic medicine is NOT covered by OHIP but unlike the government, many employers are realizing the importance of holistic health and offer extended health coverage for naturopathic care.

14. Are prescribed medicines generally covered under OHIP?

A:  The types of therapies recommended by your naturopathic doctor can include herbs, supplements and homeopathic remedies which currently are NOT covered by OHIP.

What to Expect

 

12. How long do I have to see you for?

A:  The length of a treatment depends on many variables; the type of condition, how long you've had the health problem, treatment frequency and your commitment to treatment, but we generally expect to see some improvement within a month or two (provided that the patient is following treatment protocol).

13. Is naturopathic medicine covered under OHIP?

A:  At this time naturopathic medicine is NOT covered by OHIP but unlike the government, many employers are realizing the importance of holistic health and offer extended health coverage for naturopathic care.

14. Are prescribed medicines generally covered under OHIP?

A:  The types of therapies recommended by your naturopathic doctor can include herbs, supplements and homeopathic remedies which currently are NOT covered by OHIP.

Personal

 

15.  Are you a health nut and do you expect me to be one too?

A:  I love health and being healthy but I am far from being a health nut. I do believe in working to the best of your ability. What I expect of myself and my patients are small, realistic changes that will add up to benefit you over time and into the future.  

© 2015 by EnvisonHealthND with Sophia Ma, Naturopathic Doctor

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