What is Naturopathic Medicine?
The term naturopathic medicine refers to a distinct system of primary healthcare that uses a comprehensive approach to preventing disease, promoting health and optimizing well-being. Naturopathic doctors integrate current scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom. Natural methods and substances are used to support and stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
The primary goal of naturopathic medicine is to treat the underlying cause of the illness rather than individual symptoms.
Each patient is viewed as an integral whole as the naturopathic doctor develops an individualized treatment plan based on the physical, mental, emotional and environmental factors specific to the individual being treated.
Naturopathic doctors can also complement and enhance health care services provided by other health care professionals. They provide patients with a truly integrative form of health care.
Why Choose a Naturopathic Doctor?
A naturopathic doctor has premedical training and four years of comprehensive medical training in both conventional and naturopathic areas. For this reason, when you go to a naturopathic doctor you can be sure that she understands the interactions with any drugs and herbs you may be taking and your particular health care concerns. Naturopathic doctors are the only complementary health care professionals that are licensed and regulated by the government to do acupuncture in Ontario. Inform yourself about the training your practitioner has and be sure that they have comprehensive training in treatment.
What Methods Do Naturopathic Doctors Use?
Clinical nutrition examines the relationship between diet and health. Special diets may be recommended, and treatment may include nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other nutraceuticals.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Based on balancing the flow of Qi (energy) through meridian pathways, Chinese medicine includes the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Botanical (Herbal) Medicine
The use of plants for healing dates back to the beginnings of civilization and is the foundation of modern pharmacology. Plant substances from around the world are used for their healing effects and nutritional value.
Based on the principles of “like cures like” homeopathic medicine was developed in the 1700’s. Minute amounts of natural substances are used to stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities.
Lifestyle Counselling and Stress Management
Physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental factors affect health. Naturopathic Doctors help patients to make effective lifestyle choices.
Manipulation and Myofascial Release
Manipulation and Myofascial Release involve the correction of stress or trauma-induced malfunctions of muscle, connective tissue, and the skeletal system.
Cranio-sacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the cranio-sacral system, which is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
The therapeutic use of water (hydrotherapy), light, electricity, ultra-sound, massage and exercise are some of the physical therapeutics used by Naturopathic Doctors.