What is Naturopathic Medicine?
As conventional medicine has failed in prevention and treatment of many modern diseases, such as cancer, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, diabetes and attention deficit disorder, interest in alternative therapies is soaring.
The fundamental difference between Naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine is that Naturopathic Medicine focuses on health, whereas conventional medicine focuses on diseases.
Health is not just absence from diseases, so many of us feel tired, depressed, sluggish, suffering from indigestion or in pain, yet when we go to see our MDs, all the lab results come back normal. Does that mean we are healthy? Health according to a naturopathic doctor is a state of optimum function physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Health is a freedom to live out our potential. In fact, many serious illnesses have manifested over several years of time and only present as functional disturbance at first. Naturopathic medicine can effectively identify and treat those functional disturbances, so that no serious pathology will develop. Prevention saves money and reduces suffering.
Naturopathic doctors study all the factors that contribute to good health and methods that can help the body to restore health. The human body is an amazingly sophisticated machine and it has incredible knowledge and power to heal itself. When we provide the body with optimum environments, long lasting healing begins, without side effects.
The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) is the only accredited four-year, full – time professional program in naturopathic medicine in Ontario. Each student must have three years of pre-medical studies at university prior to the entrance. The college provides more than 4,500 hours of classroom and clinical training in basic medical sciences, diagnosis, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, including extensive, supervised clinical experience in the college clinic. Graduates take international licensing examination before registration is granted to practice as a Doctor of Naturopathic medicine (ND). ND’s are trained to identify the underlying cause of diseases and to help the body heal itself using natural methods, not prescription drugs and surgery. Naturopathic doctors are highly qualified to recognize when referrals to other health-care practitioners required.
Naturopathic doctors are the general practitioners of natural medicine. All NDs are trained to use botanical (herbal) medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, physical medicine and lifestyle counselling. Many ND’s continue to receive advanced training in specific areas upon graduation.
The experience of visiting a ND is very different than that of a MD’s. All treatments are individually designed to address the specific cause of the patient’s problems. The outcome of the holistic treatment is not only the reduction or removal of the chief complains, but also general improvement of the over all well-being, such as better energy and memory, better sleep and digestion. Naturopathic medicine is very effective in treating chronic diseases, as well as the prevention and reduction of acute conditions. The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is to teach people how to look after their own health and stay healthy.