Most health conditions treated by a family physician can also be treated by a naturopathic doctor. Good examples in which naturopathic medicine is well-suited include most chronic illnesses (particularly digestive and pain conditions), and prenatal and postnatal care to both mother and child.

As the focus of conventional medical treatment is often primarily the management of symptoms, and the focus of naturopathic medical treatment is directed at the underlying causes of symptoms, conventional and naturopathic medicines can be used most effectively together.

Naturopathic medicine differs from conventional medicine in philosophy of health and in therapies utilized.

Naturopathic medicine focuses on determining and treating the root causes of illness as opposed to symptom management; and considers prevention and integration of body, mind and spirit essential to overall health.

Treatments do not include pharmaceutical drugs or surgery, although if these are necessary, you will certainly be advised to speak to your family physician for treatment or referral to the appropriate specialist.

As naturopathic medicine approaches treatment of illness from a “health building” perspective, and conventional medicine approaches it from a “disease management” perspective, they can be used in a complementary fashion to create a truly comprehensive treatment strategy for your health concern.

Although not covered by O.H.I.P., many extended healthcare plans provide coverage for naturopathic medicine consultations and acupuncture treatments performed by a naturopathic doctor.

Contact your extended healthcare provider to determine if your benefits package includes coverage for naturopathic medicine or acupuncture performed by a naturopathic doctor.

A naturopathic doctor’s training encompasses completion of a Bachelor’s Degree, including standard pre-medical prerequisites followed by a four-year, full-time course of study at one of eight recognized North American colleges of naturopathic medicine.

Training includes over 4200 hours of study in basic medical sciences, diagnostic and assessment skills, therapeutic techniques and 1500 hours of clinical practice.

In Ontario, naturopathic doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.

In order to practice naturopathic medicine in Ontario, prospective naturopathic doctors must graduate from one of seven accredited naturopathic medicine programs; and successfully complete two sets of standardized North American examinations, and one set of provincial examinations.

Naturopathic medicine and homeopathy are distinct systems of medicine, yet they overlap in certain areas. Naturopathic doctors may use homeopathy as part of a treatment plan, but are also trained to use nutritional counselling, botanical (herbal) medicine, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, lifestyle counseling and other therapies together or individually.

Naturopathic medicine can be used in the treatment of many chronic illnesses, and is particularly useful in prenatal and postnatal health.

For a more comprehensive list of conditions in which naturopathic medicine can be used, please see our “Treatments” page.

Traditional medical practices are supported by centuries of empirical evidence and many treatments used by naturopathic doctors have been validated by modern scientific research.

Typically, a patient’s treatment plan will consist of a combination of traditional and modern therapies.

Not all natural medicines are safe, particularly when taken with prescription medications. No professional of any single discipline is better qualified to identify potentially harmful herb-drug interactions than a naturopathic doctor.

One of the primary strengths of naturopathic medicine is the diversity of treatments available. Should adverse interactions to treatments or medications become a concern, naturopathic doctors are trained in a wide range of therapies and potential alternate techniques.

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, we feel it is very important for healthcare providers to work together to provide maximum benefit to patients. To this end, we are happy to work with your family physician or with any other therapists who treat you.