What is naturopathic medicine?
A system of medicine that gets results by treating the root cause of a condition.
In the absence of physical trauma or infection, dysfunction in the body arises from either a nutrient deficiency or an excess of a substance. As we live in toxic times, the body is constantly bombarded by toxicity – chemical, electromagnetic, emotional, etc., which burden one’s ability to maintain optimal health and immune function. Furthermore, crop soil and agriculture are highly depleted of nutrients relative to our ancestors. As a result of toxicity excess and nutrient deficiency, disharmony occurs and one’s system fails to maintain optimal balance. It is then the responsibility of a primary care provider to support, clean, and nudge one’s system back to optimal health. Once the body has a low system burden and is supported by essential nutrients it will heal itself. The ability to heal does not come from doctors, it is an innate ability found in all life – a gift from Mother Nature.
Naturopathic medicine is a primary care system that is health-based rather than disease-based. The focus is on the individual and the root cause rather than treating symptoms. It is the art of the naturopath to decide which modalities are best used to promote healing and restore balance to one’s system. The following is a list of common modalities taught at most naturopathic colleges:
Botanical Medicine (herbs), Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture), Nutritional Medicine (diet), Orthomolecular Medicine (vitamins/supplements), Homeopathic Medicine, Physical Medicine (physiotherapy), Chiropractic Medicine, and Lifestyle/Wellness Counselling.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) obtain a doctor of naturopathy post-graduate degree by completing a four-year full-time program following an undergraduate degree that includes a pre-medicine program. In order to practice, an ND must have 1200 hours of supervised clinical experience and pass two sets of licensing exams, as well as a provincial board exam.