About Naturopathic Medicine

1. Overview
2. FAQ
3. Resources & Links

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kinds of health problems can be treated?
2. What treatments do NDs use?
3. Is naturopathic medicine safe?
4. Is naturopathic medicine scientific?
5. How are NDs trained?
6. Do NDs specialize?
7. What treatment modalities is naturopathic medicine based on?
8. What should I expect during my naturopathic visit?
9. How do I get the most benefit from my naturopathic doctor?
10. How often would I need to visit the doctor?
11. How much does naturopathic medicine cost?
12. How is a naturopathic doctor different from an acupuncturist, homeopath, herbalist, or nutritionalist?
13. Do NDs interact with other health professionals?
14. What if I'm already on prescription medication?
15. What is Geopathic Stress?

 

Answers to Questions

1. What Kinds of Health Problems Can Be Treated?

Virtually all chronic and most acute conditions may benefit from treatment by naturopathic doctors. People of all ages can be helped. The most common health conditions brought to NDs include:

Chronic Illnesses

- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Allergies & Environmental Illnesses
- Arthritis
- Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, Heart Problems
- Digestion, Constipation, IBS
- Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne
- Cystitis, Prostatitis, Impotence

Acute Conditions

- Colds and Flu
- Ear and Throat Infections
- Headaches
- Intestinal Upset

Women's Conditions

- Menopausal Problems
- PMS, Menstrual Disorders
- Fibrocystic Breast Disease
- Enhancing Health in Pregnancy
- Infertility
- Endometrioses, Uterine Fibroids

Other Conditions

- Mental or Emotional Stress
- Anxiety, Depression
- Insomnia
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Hyperactivity

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2. What treatment methods does naturopathic medicine use?

Clinical Nutrition

Clinical nutrition examines the relationship between diet and health. Special diets may be recommended, and treatment may include nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other nutraceuticals.

Botanical (Herbal) Medicine

The use of plants for healing dates back to the beginnings of civilization and is the foundation of modern pharmacology. Plant substances from around the world are used for their healing effects and nutritional value.

Homeopathic Medicine

Based on the principle of "like cures like" homeopathic medicine was developed in the 1700s. Minute amounts of natural substances are used to stimulate the body's self-healing abilities.

Physical Medicine

A variety of hands-on techniques for the spine, joints and soft tissues. Physical treatments also include hydrotherapy and the therapeutic use of heat and cold, light, massage and ultrasound.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Based on balancing the flow of Chi (energy) through meridian pathways. Oriental medicine includes the use of acupuncture and Oriental herbs.

Lifestyle Counselling

Physical, emotional, nutritional and environmental factors affect health. NDs help patients to make effective lifestyle choices.

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3. Is naturopathic medicine safe?

The safety record for naturopathic medicine is excellent. This makes sense given the emphasis on non-toxic, natural source medicines and gentle, non-invasive treatments. Side effects are rare and NDs are knowledgeable about contraindications between naturopathic remedies and conventional medicines.

In addition, NDs are trained to recognize conditions which are outside their scope of practice and to refer to other health practitioners when it is appropriate to do so.

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4. Is naturopathic medicine scientific?

Thousands of modern clinical studies have validated a variety of natural medicines used by NDs: Echinacea for the immune system and St. John's Wort for depression are just two examples. Naturopathic schools encourage and facilitate research. Dr. Orest Szczurko is actively working with the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, designing and conducting clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of Naturopathic treatments.

It is important to note that, since most naturopathic remedies are not patentable, manufacturers find little financial incentive in costly scientific studies. Thus, funding from independent sources is essential for scientific validation of naturopathic treatments.

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5. How are naturopathic doctors (ND) trained?

NDs take a minimum of three years premedical studies at university, followed by four years at a recognized college of naturopathic medicine. The education encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience. There are four recognized schools of naturopathic medicine in North America:

- The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine ( Toronto )
- Bastyr University ( Seattle )
- National College of Naturopathic Medicine ( Portland )
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine ( Scottsdale )

Graduates from these institutions receive a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree or diploma.

In regulated (or licensed) provinces and states across North America , graduates must also pass rigorous standardized exams to qualify for practice. In Canada , NDs are regulated in British Columbia , Manitoba , Ontario , and Saskatchewan . Legislation is pending in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

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6. Do naturopathic doctors specialize?

Many NDs take additional postgraduate training in specific therapies and focus their practices on those treatments. The most common areas are nutrition, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture and botanical medicine. In some jurisdictions NDs may obtain post-graduate certification in the use of intravenous therapies including ozone and chelation. Patients should check with individual NDs to find out more about the focus of their practice.

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7. What treatment methods does naturopathic medicine use?

Naturopathic Treatments are based on traditional and modern natural approaches.


Nutrition
: Nutrition provides the body with the building blocks. Personalized diets, vitamin and mineral supplements, enzymatic therapies may be used to promote health, address deficiencies and treat disease processes. Education about healthy food choices is also emphasized.

Botanical Medicine : The use of plant based medicines and compounds may be beneficial for certain conditions. An ND is trained to identify the interactions between herbs, medications and supplements.

Asian medicine : Acupuncture is used to restore balance to the body. Acupuncture treatments are performed using pre-sterilized single-use needles.

Homeopathy : A form of natural medicine that originated from Europe . It is based on the energetics of naturally derived substances that help the body expel disease and attain balance. Homeopathic products do not interact with medications, herbs or supplements.

Lifestyle counseling : Lifestyle is considered relevant to almost all health problems. The ND will help you identify risk factors and make recommendations to help you optimize your physical, mental and emotional well-being. She will also provide education to empower you with the knowledge to improve your health. Uncover the habits, behaviours, and stressors that contribute towards ill health and then learn new ways to promote health and prevent illness.

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8. What should I expect during my naturopathic visit?

First naturopathic visit : 1 hour.
Ten minutes prior to this session, you will fill out a two page form describing your concerns and problems. During this session, I will ask further questions based on the information from the forms. At the end of the visit, initial recommendations and prescriptions, if applicable, will be given.

Second visit: 1 hour.
A physical exam using standard diagnostic instruments and laboratory tests will be given. I may refer you for blood and urine tests if necessary. Vega testing may be done instead or in addition to the physical exam.

Follow up visits: 30 minutes.
These sessions may include treatment, further prescriptions, recommendations, and lifestyle counseling etc. Frequency of follow up visits is dependent on your needs.

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9. How do I make sure to get the most benefit out of my visits to the naturopathic doctor?

a) Participate actively. Being healthy requires action. The ND researches and recommends treatments based on your needs, lifestyle and willingness to adapt to change.

b) Provide input. Please inform the ND of any questions or concerns that you have regarding treatment and recommendations. If appropriate, the ND will consider modifying treatments to better suit your needs.

c) Demonstrate patience. The ND will treat your condition in the most effective and efficient way possible using the least amount of force. The following factors affect the length and frequency of treatments:

- Time needed to introduce a series of lifestyle or diet changes
- Time needed by the patient to incorporate healthy habits
- Time needed for supplements or procedures to work
- Time needed for further research by the ND

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10. How often would I need to visit the doctor?

It varies on the needs of the patient. Patients needing more healthcare support may need to see the ND weekly. Others may only need to see the ND once every few months. Frequency of visits is part of the individual treatment plan and is discussed together with the patient in the initial visit.

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11. How much does naturopathic medicine cost?

At first glance, naturopathic treatment may seem more expensive than current conventional medicine because it is not covered by Alberta Health. But in the long run naturopathic treatment can afford you a life with lower medication costs, fewer days affected by illness and pain and less dependence on a healthcare system.

A naturopathic visit is typically longer and more comprehensive than a typical visit with your MD. As your ND, I will take the time to research and tailor your treatments to you, your goals and your lifestyle. I will also listen to all your questions and concerns and in turn, I will explain all procedures to you.

Very few people are aware of how much they are paying towards the conventional medical system and many would be surprised at the amount that Alberta Health is charged for each visit to the doctor. With the growing popularity of naturopathic medicine, many insurance plans are also including naturopathic medicine in their coverage. Enquire with your insurance provider.

For pricing information, please refer to the �About Our Clinic >> Office Hours & Rates� page, or call us for more information.

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12. How is an ND different from an acupuncturist, nutritionist, homeopath or herbalist?

Naturopathic medicine encompasses many different therapeutic tools to provide you with a well-rounded and comprehensive treatment plan. Different treatments enhance each other when used together and having many tools available means that your treatment can change and adapt to your changing needs. Therefore ND's can fully maximize the benefits that you receive from your treatment.

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13. Do NDs interact with other health professionals?

Naturopathic treatments are often combined with conventional medical treatments. It is becoming more common to find NDs working with other health professionals for the good of the patient. NDs also refer patients to other practitioners including medical doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists and midwives.

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14. What if I'm already taking prescription medication? Can I still visit the naturopathic doctor?

Yes. In fact, it is more often the case that a patient is on prescription medication. A licensed ND has received training in pharmacology and has knowledge of drug-nutrient-herb interactions that could possibly harm the patient. An ND will not require you to stop medication if doing so will be harmful (for example, Type 1 diabetic patients require insulin). ND's can help you manage side effects of medication, identify ways to help you benefit most from your medication, and in appropriate cases, possibly lower your dose of prescription medication.

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15. What is Geopathic Stress?

Geopathic Stress is the Earths vibrations which rise up through the Earth and are distorted by weak electromagnetic fields created by subterranean running water, certain mineral concentrations, fault lines and underground cavities. The vibration distorted becomes abnormally high and harmful to living organisms.

The most common indications of Geopathic Stress(GS)are :- Resistance to medical treatment, a feeling of being run-down and exhausted, nervousness, depression, loss of appetite, pallor and not wanting to go to bed and when in bed: insomnia, restless sleep, feeling cold, cramps, tingling in arms and legs, sleep walking, grinding of teeth and nightmares. 

When waking in the morning often feeling fatigued, with a muzzy head and backache. Children are often bed wetting and babies continuously crying. 

GS does not cause an illness, but lowers your immune system, so you have less chance of fighting any illness. GS also prevents your body properly absorbing vitamins, minerals, trace elements etc. from your food (and supplements) and often making you allergic to food, drinks and environmental pollution.

Sleeping in a GS place is particularly stressful, as a large area of your body is exposed to the GS. Also most people sleep during the night, when the GS is stronger. During sleep your brain is supposed to rest half the time and is busy healing your body the other half. However, if you are GS during sleep your brain has to spend all of it's time working due to the strain of GS and you wake up tired.

The 1 sq. meter (10 sq. ft.) you sleep on and therefore spend about one third of your life on, must be free from Geopathic Stress.

During sleep your brain does your body's �housekeeping' including creating 80% of your new cells, giving the right signals for your body to operate properly and absorb the correct level of vitamins and minerals together with adjusting hormone balance. GS will interfere with this process and leave your immune system weak. All these body functions will usually become normal very quickly after GS has cleared out of your system.

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Call us for more information or appointments at (403) 295-8547.

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