What does a 'Naturopathic Doctor' do?
Naturopathic Medicine is a primary health care system that combines modern scientific research with natural and traditional forms of medicine. It is unique in that it looks at the body as an integrated and connected system, and works to treat the root cause of disease instead of masking symptoms. Naturopathic medicine respects our bio-individuality and draws from a number of modalities, tailored to treat an individual. These may include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture and Asian medicine, lifestyle counselling, physical treatments, and homeopathy.
Majority of Naturopathic Doctors (ND) in BC are also certified in Prescriptive Authority, allowing us to make pharmaceutical recommendations, whether that be to adjust the dose, change, or prescribe when indicated. Though contrary, it equips NDs to optimize your care.
What does it take to become a Naturopathic Doctor?
Licensed naturopathic doctors attend a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and are educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also study holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. This includes over 1200 hours of clinical experience and over 3000 in didactic hours. In order to become a Naturopathic Doctor, one must successfully complete two Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exams (NPLEX I & II), which are standardized exams used across North America. In BC, Naturopathic Doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC). They are required to maintain continuing education credits to uphold their registration and good standing with their provincial or state regulatory body.
What can you expect from your Naturopathic visits?
Your first visit will last 60-120 minutes and will include a thorough intake of your present symptoms and past medical history. This visit may also include any physical examinations or lab work that will help to uncover the root cause of your symptoms, in order to come up with an individualized treatment plan. Your treatment plan will be tailored to you and may include nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, herbal medicine, acupuncture as well as targeted nutrient supplementation.
The length of the treatment plan, as well as the frequency of visits, will also be individualized to your condition, which will be thoroughly discussed with you during your visit. To give you an idea, I often see patients 1-2 times per month for 4-6 months as we restore the foundations of health, bring the body back into balance, and get to a place where they can truly thrive. What conditions can Naturopathic Doctors treat?
Majority of patients seek NDs to treat many common conditions such as:
Nervous system: Anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, postherpetic neuralgia, sciatica, ADHD, autism
Respiratory system: Asthma, COPD, Pneumonia, Respiratory tract infections
Digestive system: Constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), ulcerous colitis, Crohn’s disease, gastritis, Celiac disease, food intolerances
Dermatological system: Ezcema, psoriasis, warts, (fungal) skin infections, acne, acne rosacea
Uro-genital system: PMS, perimenopause/ menopausal health concerns, hot flashes, menstrual migraines, vaginitis, fertility issues, vaginal dysplasia, side effects from miscarriages, urinary tract infections, painful periods, prostatis, BPH
Musculoskeletal system: Arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains, strains, athletic injuries, fractures, gout
Cardiovascular system: High cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, irregular heartbeat, varicose veins, hemorrhoids
Please note that many extended healthcare benefits cover naturopathic visits. Speak with your insurer to determine whether you have coverage. Interested in talking more about working with your health? Book a complimentary 15-minute Meet and Greet and let's talk to see if Naturopathic Medicine is the right fit for you! You can book online at https://chirofamily.janeapp.com