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A quick guide to understanding Naturopathic care

Naturopathic Medicine is a thriving field in Canada. It is said to be growing at a rate of 10 percent and is available throughout the country. It is a system of alternative medicine designed to treat or prevent diseases without the use of traditional drugs or techniques such as specific massages, diet, or exercise.

There are over 2,400 practicing naturopathic physicians in Canada and the figure has more than doubled in the last decades. More than 65 percent of the population relies on naturopathic care, according to The World Health Organization.

If you are interested in naturopathy then you have landed on the right page. Given below are some of the main frequently asked questions about naturopathic care.

What is a naturopath?

A naturopath is a practitioner of naturopathic medicine. There are different types of naturopathic doctors holding a variety of licenses. A naturopath is a practitioner of naturopathic medicine. There are different types of naturopathic doctors holding a variety of licenses. Naturopathic doctors are most popular as they are fully licensed individuals. They have to attend 4 years of specialized medical school to receive a recognized certification that allows them to practice naturopathy. Naturopathic doctors cannot only diagnose and prevent but also treat illness to establish and restore an individual’s optimal health. They do so by supporting the patient’s inherent self-healing process. The main aim of naturopathic doctors is to identify the true cause of an illness and not just to suppress symptoms. They develop detailed and customized treatment programs according to the needs of an individual. While most naturopathic doctors in Canada receive training in primary care, some may receive specialized education. There are several specialty associations in this field including Pediatrics, Oncology, Psychiatry, Primary Care, Endocrinology, Parenteral Therapies, and Environmental Medicine.

What does a naturopath do?

Naturopaths work like conventional doctors. Patients book an appointment and undergo a consultation that may involve interviews, physical exams, and lab tests. Consultation can last up to an hour and in some cases, multiple appointments may be required.

They offer non-invasive, natural solutions that focus on supplements, lifestyle changes, and nutrition. Lifestyle factors such as excessive drinking and smoking and a poor diet can impact one’s health very negatively. A naturopath can help figure out a nutritious meal plan according to your situation and recommend supplements or herbal medicines to support the body.

Licensed experts may even prescribe medications and serve as your primary care doctor. Some experts also receive training in childbirth and can help during the process.

They rely on the safest, least toxic, and least invasive therapies to identify and solve health issues.

Naturopathic doctors near you can address a wide range of health problems including diabetes, digestive issues, asthma, heart disease, chronic pain, allergies, respiratory conditions, menopause, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fertility issues.

If you’re struggling with fatigue and want to learn more about possible causes and how to combat it, check out this informative blog post.

What kind of training do naturopaths have?

Naturopaths—also called “Doctors of Natural Medicine,” “Doctors of Naturopathy,” and “Naturopathic Physicians,” — usually complete a four-year degree program that confers a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine or Doctorate in Naturopathy. In addition, they have to complete at least 4,100 college hours including clinical education hours. They have to complete at least 1,200 clinical hours, including a minimum of 720 hours in direct patient care. Graduates do not have to undergo post-graduate training, however, some may choose optional programs. In addition to a standard curriculum, naturopathic doctors study botanical medicine, counseling, physical medicine, homeopathic medicine, clinical nutrition, and acupuncture. Naturopaths may also receive licensure and certification; however, not all provinces presently require licenses. Only Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have these requirements.

What is naturopath treatment?

It is a form of alternative medicine that involves natural and non-invasive ways to ‘self heal’. It does not involve major surgeries or conventional drugs. The main aim of an ND is to reach the root cause of a condition and treat it instead of concentrating on just symptoms. Also, naturopathy is largely designed to prevent health problems and optimize one’s health.

How much does a naturopath appointment cost?

Naturopath prices differ from region to region and practitioner to practitioner. Some cities are costlier than others and experienced professionals tend to charge more. Expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $250 for an initial consultation. The consultation usually lasts for 60 to 90 minutes and includes a detailed evaluation and discussion of the patient’s requirements and medical history. Fortunately, most health insurance plans cover naturopathic medicine; however, the amount of coverage varies depending and most plans are in the range of $200 – $500 per year.

What is the difference between a naturopath and a family doctor?

Both naturopaths and family doctors aim for the same thing – to make their patients feel better – however, their approaches are very different. A naturopath uses non invasive and holistic treatment options to identify the main cause of the disease and improve the health of the patient. Naturopathic medicine is regulated in the country and its main focus is on an individual’s overall wellbeing through self-healing. Naturopathy encourages the use of herbal supplements, yoga, massage, and lifestyle changes to achieve the goals and invasive procedures are not a part of it. However, some small surgeries, such as stitching an open wound, may be performed by NDs. Unlike GPs, NDs do not use invasive techniques such as surgeries and medication to treat the problem. Also, NDs concentrate heavily on building your body’s natural defense system so you can be protected against diseases. Both doctors will, however, perform extensive exams and ask for lab tests. Moreover, multiple visits may be required in both cases.

What to expect from a naturopath on my first visit?

Visiting a naturopathic doctor is quite similar to visiting a conventional doctor. You will be spending anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes with your naturopath. The first consultation is usually longer as they use it as an opportunity to learn about the patient and ensure all questions are answered.

The naturopath will discuss your health history and may ask questions related to your concerns including your past and current health, lifestyle, and medication. They will also ask about your desired outcomes and health goals as it will allow them to prepare the right treatment plan for you.

Be honest with the naturopath and ask any questions you may have about the process or your health.

Expect a lot of diet-related questions including when you eat, what you eat, how much you eat, and if you avoid certain foods. There is a direct connection between what one eats and how one feels. Some doctors even ask patients to complete a food diary and provide minute details about their diet.

Once done with the questions, the naturopath will move to a physical exam and, if needed, prescribe lab tests. In the end, your doctor will offer some suggestions based on available information and findings and plan a follow-up appointment.

What is the difference between a naturopath and a homeopath?

Naturopath and homeopathy are quite similar but not the same. They are both known for being “alternate” forms of medicine and offering safe and non-invasive treatment options. Moreover, they share several philosophies as well but there are several differences between the two. A homeopath is not a naturopath and cannot offer the services that a naturopath does. On the other hand, a naturopath may be able to offer a variety of homeopathy-related services since naturopathic studies include homeopathy. A homeopath only uses homeopathic remedies that are made from natural substances but a naturopath may use a mix of treatment options including supplements, body work, counseling, hydrotherapy, nutrition, lifestyle changes, and homeopathy. Also, while one doesn’t need a medical degree to use homeopathy, NDs undergo four years of studies. Both can, however, treat all kinds of conditions.

Can a naturopath write prescriptions?

There is no straight answer to this question. Generally speaking, naturopaths can write prescriptions except in certain conditions. Rules change from province to province and some provinces allow licensed naturopathic doctors to prescribe medicines. However, they very rarely do so. They may, however, refer a patient to a conventional doctor who may prescribe medication. Most naturopathic care experts go with natural therapies with little to no side effects before they choose to use the prescription pad. They usually only turn to drugs when there is no better alternative and there is clinical evidence in the favor of traditional medication. Technically speaking, naturopathic doctors are not against conventional medicine. In fact, they seem to believe that conventional medicine and natural medicine aren’t mutually exclusive.

What does a naturopath treat?

A naturopath can treat almost all medical conditions including:
Moreover, they can also treat serious conditions such as cancers and diabetes.

How to Find a Naturopath Near Me

Visit Medimap and provide the required details including your location to find your nearest naturopath. You will be able to book an appointment by selecting your preferred provider and choosing your desired hour.

If you are interested in speaking to a naturopath for a health concern that you have, you can search on Medimap for a naturopath or walk-in clinic.

About the author

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Shereen Mohammed

Shereen is a passionate marketing professional with over 7 years of experience in executing traditional and digital marketing strategies across diverse industries. With a background in both agency and client-side roles, Shereen has successfully implemented effective marketing campaigns that have yielded a positive return on investment. As an energetic individual, Shereen possesses strong organizational and communication skills, ensuring seamless team coordination and collaboration. She thrives in process-driven environments, paying meticulous attention to detail while remaining focused on achieving results. With a proven ability to manage multiple projects in competitive and fast-paced settings, she is dedicated to driving success through strategic marketing initiatives.

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