Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that addresses the root causes of illness, and promotes health and healing using natural therapies. It supports your body’s own healing ability using an integrated approach to disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The seven major therapies used by a Naturopathic Doctor include:
- Clinical nutrition (orthomolecular medicine): examines the relationship between diet and disease.
- Botanical (herbal) medicine: naturopathic doctors use plant-based remedies.
- Homeopathic medicine: based on the principle “like cures like”, it uses minute amounts of natural substances to stimulate the body’s self-healing capacity.
- Oriental Medicine/Acupuncture: the use of diet, plant-based remedies and acupuncture needles to treat and prevent disease.
- Hydrotherapy: hot and cold water are used to stimulate immunity and circulation.
- Naturopathic manipulation: a series of hands-on treatments for the spine, joints and soft tissues.
- Lifestyle counseling: an exploration of the patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual environment.
Naturopathic doctors are the general practitioners in natural medicine and preventive health care, integrating scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom. They are highly educated primary care providers who integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies.
In Canada, naturopathic doctors are regulated under provincial statue in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Legislation is pending in Alberta.