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About Naturopathic Medicine


What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a regulated health profession that considers the “whole person”. The goal of the Naturopathic Doctor is the address the underlying causes of the illness and restore normal functioning of the body where possible through the use of natural substances and treatments that enhance the body/s own healing abilities.

What Treatments are Provided by Naturopathic Doctors?

Naturopathic Doctors commonly utilize the following healing modalities which are combined to provide the patient with an individualized health care program


*Botanical Medicine


*Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

*Spinal Manipulation

Individual Doctors may have a favourite modality or other modalities that are included in the practice. Dr. Gatis, for example, uses Applied Kinesiology, Mind Self-Healing and Self-Hypnosis in addition to the modalities previously listed.

How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?

Naturopathic Doctors registered in the Province of Ontario must complete four years of professional training at a recognized College of Naturopathic Medicine like the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Pre-admission requirements include a minimum of three years of pre-medical studies at the university level. Training includes the basic medical sciences and diagnostics, Naturopathic philosophy and therapeutics as well as extensive clinical experience - a total of 5100 hours. Graduating students receive the title of “N.D.” or Naturopathic Doctor and must pass rigorous provincial examinations set by the government-appointed Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy - Naturopathy to be eligible to practice as a professional Naturopath in Ontario, Canada.

Do Naturopathic Doctors Perform Examinations?

Naturopathic Doctors take extensive patient and family histories - including information relating to the patient’s diet and exercise habits, emotional stressors and exposure to environmental hazards. Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine are also trained and entitled to perform most physical examinations that would be expected of a General Medical Practitioner. Relevant screening physical exams are conducted when necessary or required by law.

Do Naturopathic Doctors Use Drugs or Surgery?

Naturopathic Doctors do not perform major surgery or prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Instead, they rely on the use of natural substances and conservative therapies to support and stimulate healing. Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine are trained to recognize conditions which require conventional medical treatment.  In these cases, patients are referred to the appropriate medical practitioner or to the local hospital.

What Conditions and Illnesses Do Naturopathic Doctors Treat?

Virtually all chronic and acute conditions can benefit from treatment by a Naturopathic Doctor. After diagnosing specific conditions within his/her scope of practice and after assessing general health indicators, the Naturopath will initiate an effective treatment program.

How Do Naturopathic Doctors Function As Part of Today’s Health Care System?

Naturopathic Doctors are primary health care providers trained to work in co-operation with all other health care professionals. Frequently, Naturopaths are the first practitioners to see a patient for a given complaint. Although not covered by O.H.I.P. at the present time, most private insurance companies cover Naturopathic consultations in whole or in part. Patients are encouraged to contact their employer or insurer to determine if they are covered, or to request that their policy be extended to include Naturopathic services if it does not already do so.


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Last modified: 10/18/06