Frequently asked questions:

What is a naturopathic doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are highly-trained, qualified primary care providers in complimentary and alternative health care. Naturopathic doctors receive training at an accredited 4-year post-graduate naturopathic medical college. At the accredited college they receive education in basic science, medical science, disease diagnosis, lab diagnosis, pharmacology, pathology, and clinical management. They are trained in a number of natural or traditional therapies, and are experts in when to apply which natural therapy, given their extensive training in almost all natural therapies. They undergo clinical rotations, and are trained in the safe management of people using natural therapies when and where it is applicable.

Are naturopathic doctors regulated in Quebec?

No, naturopathic doctors are not regulated in Quebec. This means that anyone may call themselves a naturopathic doctor. The Quebec Association of Naturopathic medicine or the Association de médecine naturopathique du Québec is the only naturopathic association in Quebec to advocate for the regulation of high-quality trained naturopathic doctors, similar to the other regulated provinces in Canada. Support for naturopathic doctors in Quebec is greatly welcomed and appreciated. The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors is the national association that supports the regulation of naturopathic medicine.

What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?

Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is an umbrella profession that blends all natural therapies. Furthermore, the practice of naturopathy takes a primary care model, in that the education and training encourages highly skilled practitioners with knowledge in patient management. Naturopathy utilizes clinical knowledge, and blends that with evidence-based research, traditional medicines, and clinical judgment. Homeopathy is one of many natural therapies that encourages healing guided by a set of principles of practice, in the same way that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is guided by a similar set a principles based on observation and nature. Some naturopathic doctors may or may not practice homeopathy, or other healing modalities, however all naturopathic doctors receive training in homeopathy, TCM, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, nutrition, and massage.

Is there research for naturopathic medicine?

Yes, many schools and centres are now undergoing research in the field of naturopathic medicine, and the effectiveness of certain natural therapies or a combination. Research on specific healing modalities, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs, etc is limited, however more funding is being directed to this field of medicine as it receives more and more validity and support through patient satisfaction.

Who goes to see a naturopathic doctor?

Any person who is interested in trying to achieve wellness or improve their health using techniques and tools that are non-toxic and gentle on the body. Naturopathic medicine also benefits people who are looking for education on their health concern, ways to manage their health concern through diet and lifestyle, or people who are looking for complimentary and/or alternatives to conventional medications. Most people who visit a naturopathic doctor express some degree of sensitivity to their environment. Some people will come for one or two visits for education on their health, while many others will utilize their naturopathic doctor as first line for most health concerns that come up.

What to expect from a visit with a naturopathic doctor?

A detailed intitial visit of your current and past health concerns, and who you are as a person. The better the doctor knows who you are, the more likely he/she can make an accurate recommendation. Most people will say that they feel very supported, both physically and emotionally, by their naturopathic doctor.

Is naturopathic medicine expensive?

Because the initial visit will usually take 1-2 hours, the initial cost may be higher than subsequent follow-up visits. Naturopathic doctors are covered by most health insurance plans, and it is encouraged to find out what is your plan’s policy. Some natural products are more expensive then others, therefore it is important to discuss your financial situation with your ND.

Are natural health products safe to use? Are they regulated?

Most natural health products (NHPs) are safe to use, however it is important to discuss any possible interactions with your ND. As of January 1st, 2004 Health Canada has created a branch called the Natural Health Products Directoriate whereby they are researching the quality and manufacturing of NHPs on the market. You can visit their website for a listing of regulated NHPs.

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