Frequently Asked Questions

About Naturopathic Medicine

What is a naturopathic doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are provincially-regulated primary care providers. With extensive education, including a pre-med degree and four years of training at an accredited naturopathic college, NDs integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies. NDs are eclectic, each with a slightly different approach, but they all believe that balancing the mind, body and environment is the path to optimal health because it supports the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors are also experts at early detection, prevention and treatment of chronic disease, and their personalized treatment plans work with each individual patient���s lifestyle and body chemistry.

What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine starts with supporting the body in its amazing ability to heal itself. By looking at the root causes of illness rather than just the symptoms, and promoting healing through natural therapies, naturopathic medicine is a successful non-invasive way to prevent chronic illness as well as reduce reliance upon prescription medications (and all of their side effects). Think of it as your gateway to optimal health. From diet and exercise, to understanding your body’s unique chemistry, naturopathic medicine aims you to boost your immune system, prevent and treat chronic disease and increase your overall energy level.

Naturopathic treatment draws from a number of modalities and is tailored to each individual patient. Depending on the doctor’s approach and patient being treated, treatments may include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical treatments, acupuncture and Asian medicine, lifestyle counseling, or a combination of these.

Are naturopathic doctors regulated in Ontario?

Yes. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925 Drugless Therapy Act and are registered (licensed) by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N). The BDDT-N’s mandate is to ensure that naturopathic doctors are properly qualified to practice naturopathic medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.

Ontario’s new Naturopathy Act received final approval in June 2007 and will come into full effect following an extensive transition process. Once the transition is complete and the College of Naturopathy is established, naturopathic doctors will be regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act, joining all other regulated health professions.

Canadian naturopathic doctors are also regulated in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

How do I pay for a visit to a naturopathic doctor?

Currently, OHIP does not cover visits to a naturopathic doctor. However, most extended healthcare plans include naturopathic medicine, so check with your provider to see the amount of your coverage.

How does naturopathic medicine compare to conventional medicine?

Both are doctors, both provide primary care and both are similarly trained. The primary differences between naturopathic and conventional medicine are the philosophical approach and the therapies used. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) treat patients as individuals by addressing the physical, environmental, lifestyle, attitudinal, and emotional aspects of health. This allows Naturopathic doctors to find and treat the cause of the disease using natural, non-invasive therapies. Allopathic doctors generally address and treat the symptoms of disease and use pharmaceutical therapies or surgery.

What is the history of naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine was introduced in North America in 1902 by Dr. Benedict Lust. By 1920, naturopathic practice was well established in Canada. Laws regulating naturopathic practice were enacted in Ontario by 1925, in British Columbia in 1936, in Manitoba in 1943 and in Saskatchewan in 1952. The CAND has been representing the profession’s interests in Canada since 1955.

After the Second World War health care moved away from a more natural approach, focusing on the advances in surgical techniques, the introduction of antibiotics and the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. In the last twenty years, public desire for greater control in the health care process and a growing dissatisfaction with high-tech solutions to health problems has resulted in a resurgent interest in the natural methods of preventive health care. This trend has increased demand for naturopathic services as people seek ways to improve their health, cope with day-to-day stresses and avoid illness.

Naturopathic medical education began in Canada in 1978 with the founding of the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine (OCNM) in Toronto. In 1992, the College became the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). In 2000, the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine opened in British Columbia to provide further educational opportunities for students seeking training as naturopathic doctors.

About Detoxification

Should I fast?

Many “cleanses����� have been based on fasting. Fasting provides a break to the digestive system which may have some advantages to individuals with sever digestive concerns. However, fasting reduces the metabolic process which places unnecessary burden on the liver. It has been demonstrated that when a person fasts the liver, which is a primary organ of detoxification, reduces the metabolic process which is necessary for detoxifying causing accumulation of toxins rather than elimination. Fasting is not a good solution for detoxification.

Can I do a detoxification in a week

In order to do a proper detoxification it is not possible to do in a week. Week cleanses provide a “purging” where the bowels may be emptied and possibly the lymphatic system may be flushed. Which is only the beginning of a detoxification: Once these areas are cleansing more effectively then the tissues, liver, gallbladder are able to mobilize toxins to be eliminated via the lymphatic system, bowels and kidneys. This process typically takes a minimum of 6 weeks. ( Think how long it takes for an injury to heal). To “stop” a detoxification in a week would cause the individual to return to square one where there was only temporary benefit.

Should I eat only organic?

Eating organic is great in supporting the detoxification process. With it not always being possible for individuals there are techniques to wash your food. Wash fresh produce in water, salt and Clorox bleach (only this brand as others contain contaminants), Neolife Green soap or Nature clean fruit and veggie wash.
Use 1tbsp of salt to every 5 cups of water or �� tsp of Clorox to a gallon of water. Soak for 15 to 30 minutes, rinse well and follow with 2 – 30 min plain water soaks.

Should I eat vegetarian

It is not necessary to eat vegetarian and for some individuals who need to be active during a cleanse it may not be recommended.

What water is best to drink?

There are a number of theories on this subject. We recommend that during a detoxification process that reversed Osmosis water from a glass container is recommended. Reversed osmosis water does have all the minerals eliminated from the water source which can create a mineral imbalance in the body if minerals are not being replaced on a daily basis.

Can I exercise during a detoxification.

Yes, it is highly recommended that mild to moderate exercise occurs during a detoxification process as it will support the body in elimination. High intensity training is not recommended as it can create too much stress on the body.

How can I tell that the detoxification is working particularly because I do not feel a difference.

How individuals feel on a detoxification can vary dependent on how toxic their systems are and how aggressive the detoxification process they are following. If an individual’s bowels, lymphatic system and/or liver has not been optimally detoxifying for a period of time then the initial portion of the cleanse will to support these organs with elimination/detoxification. Over the period of time that this is occurring an individual may only experience subtle changes such as sustained energy, or improvement in appetite. As the body begins to “stir��� up toxins individuals may feel like they have the flue or potentially even re-experience old rashes that had been treated with cortisone. This is an indication that the tissues and cells are now “dumping” toxins into the blood stream to allow for elimination. Often termed as a “Healing Crisis”