About Naturopathic Medicine

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 guides 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 individualized to meet your health goals. Depending on the doctor’s approach and the patient, treatments may include Clinical Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Physical Therapy and Manipulation, Acupuncture and Asian Medicine, Lifestyle Counseling, Hydrotherapy or a combination of these modalities.

Are Naturopathic Doctors regulated in Ontario?

Yes. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925 Drugless Therapy Act and are 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 including medical doctors.

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

How do I confirm a Naturopathic Doctor’s qualifications?

Naturopathic doctors must be registered to practice in Ontario and to be accepted as a member of Naturopathic Doctors Ontario (NDO). To verify that a naturopathic doctor is registered, call 416-866-8383 to reach the regulatory body for Ontario NDs, or 416-233-2001 to reach the NDO.

What is the training process to become a registered Naturopathic Doctor in Ontario?

Naturopathic medical training closely parallels that of medical doctors. Candidates are required to complete three years of pre-med post-secondary education before being accepted into an accredited four-year program at an approved college of naturopathic medicine. The four-year program is comprised of over 4,500 hours of classroom training in basic medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1,500 hours of supervised clinical practicum. Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND).

Following the completion of their courses and training, NDs must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) to become licensed in Ontario. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America. A naturopathic doctor cannot practice in Ontario without completing the training and passing the exams.

NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.

Is Naturopathic Medicine the same as Homeopathy?

No. Naturopathic doctors are general practitioners of natural medicine. Depending on a patient’s health needs, a naturopathic doctor may include homeopathy in an individualized treatment plan, but it is only one of many treatment methods NDs are trained to use. Homeopaths are trained solely in homeopathy and do not use other treatment methods.

Are my Visits covered by Ontario Healthcare?

Ontario Healthcare does not currently cover Naturopathic treatment, but most extended health benefit plans have provisions for coverage. Contact your insurance provider to determine the extent of your coverage.