Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies.
A Naturopathic Doctor is a primary care practitioner that seeks to restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing process. Symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body and unfavorable lifestyle habits. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes disease as a process rather than disease as an entity. The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of the disease. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.
Naturopathic doctors can also complement and enhance health care services provided by other healthcare professionals. They cooperate with other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. Naturopathic Doctors provide patients with a truly integrative form of health care.
In Canada, naturopathic practice is regulated under provincial law in four provinces: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. The naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.
Registered Naturopathic Doctors are required to complete three years of pre-medical studies at a recognized university followed by four years of full-time naturopathic training at an approved college. After graduation, they must pass rigorous regulatory board examinations that are standardized across North America.