What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a unique and comprehensive approach to improving health and treating illness. Focusing on prevention, Naturopathic Physicians (NDs) support and stimulate the body’s inherent healing abilities with evidence based treatments. The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of illness, rather than simply treat or suppress symptoms. The patient is seen as a whole person and the ND takes the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions into account when diagnosing and developing a treatment plan.
Naturopathic physicians practice the six fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine:
- First do no harm by utilizing the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
- Identify and treat the causes of illness, rather than merely suppressing the symptoms.
- Doctor as teacher by educating patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
- Treat the whole person by taking into account individual’s physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and spiritual factors.
- Emphasize on the prevention of diseases by assessing the patient’s risk factors, heredity, and susceptibility to disease.
- Recognize and support the body’s inherent ability to heal itself.
What can naturopathic medicine do for you?
Naturopathic medicine treats all forms of health concerns — from pediatric to geriatric, from irritating symptoms to chronic illness and from the physical to the psychological.
In British Columbia, NDs are licensed to provide primary care. They are trained as general practitioners in complementary medicine, providing a full range of diagnostic tests and therapies, including diet and lifestyle counseling, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, physical therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, intravenous therapy and chelation therapy.
What can I expect on my first visit to an ND?
Naturopathic Doctors conduct a comprehensive intake focusing on a patient’s health history as well as their current medical issues. This history may involve a physical exam and the use of standard diagnostic instruments and laboratory tests. Naturopathic protocols are developed using not only standard lab tests but also lifestyle details such as dietary habits, emotional stress, exercise and exposure to environmental hazards.
Do naturopathic physicians prescribe drugs?
Naturopathic Doctors are trained and licensed to prescribe an extensive list of prescription medications in BC. These may be used along with the previously listed traditional naturopathic therapies, as deemed appropriate, to provide primary care with a focus on wellness and prevention.
Services recommended by Naturopathic physicians can include: