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What is Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care system which combines age old principles of natural healing with the rigors of modern science. Naturopathic medicine recognizes the wisdom of nature and the body's innate ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Naturopathic doctors (ND) are licensed health care practitioners who have graduated from a four-year, postgraduate naturopathic medical school and passed an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX).  It is the Naturopathic doctor's role to assess the body as a whole and identify and remove barriers to good health. The body is a complex, integrated system which is affected by our environment, emotions, genetics, dietary and lifestyle factors. The Naturopathic doctors at Naturally Well will consider the multiple factors which may contribute to your health concerns, and will provide an individualized treatment plan which will encourage a healing internal and external environment, and will help you to reach your personal health goals.

Naturopathic Principles

  1. Support the healing power of nature: The body has an incredible ability to heal itself when the obstacles to cure are removed and the optimal healing environment is provided.
  2. Identify and treat the cause(s): It is better to diagnose and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to just temporarily treat the symptoms of disease.
  3. First do no harm:  Safe, effective natural medicines are used that have a minimal risk of harmful side-effects.
  4. Treat the whole person: To successfully treat the whole person, it is necessary to consider all of the physical, mental, emotional and environmental factors that are contributing to the current state of health.
  5. Emphasize prevention: Future illnesses can be prevented by carefully assessing current risk factors and making appropriate changes.
  6. Doctor as Teacher: Naturopathic doctors openly share knowledge with their patients and encourage active participation in achieving optimal health goals.

Other Common Questions about Naturopathic Medicine

Q: What type of training do Naturopathic Doctors receive? 
In order to be accepted into a recognized Naturopathic medical college a person must have a minimum of three years university education including standard pre-medical prerequisites.  The naturopathic program is a four year full time program, in the first two years the studies include advanced medical and clinical sciences similar to conventional medical school.  In the final two years the curriculum shifts to include advanced naturopathic medical therapeutics and students receive extensive clinical experience.  In total the training includes over 4200 hours of study in basic medical sciences, diagnostic and assessment skills, therapeutic techniques and 1500 hours of clinical practice.
Q:  When should I seek Naturopathic Care?  
Most of the health conditions treated by a family medical doctor can also be treated by a Naturopathic doctor (see conditions we treat) Often the focus of conventional medical treatment is on management of symptoms in contrast to Naturopathic doctors where the focus is on identifying the underlying cause of the symptoms.  A Naturopathic doctor views all aspects of an individual including physical, mental, emotional, environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors on the affects of health.  Conventional and naturopathic medical treatments are most effective when they are used together.
Q:  Is Naturopathic medicine covered by O.H.I.P?  
Naturopathic medical services are not covered by OHIP.  Many extended healthcare plans provide coverage for the treatments performed by Naturopathic doctors.  Contact your extended healthcare provided to determine if your benefits package includes naturopathic medicine.
Q:  How is Naturopathic medicine regulated?  
In Ontario, naturopathic medicine is regulated by the Board of Drugless Therapy under the Drugless Practioners Act.  The board functions to ensure that that Naturopathic doctors are property qualified to practice naturopathic medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.  In order to practice naturopathic medicine in Ontario, graduates must have successfully completed two sets of standardized North American examinations and one set of provincial examinations.
Q:  What is the difference between Naturopathic medicine and homeopathy?
Naturopathic medicine and homeopathy are distinct systems of medicine.  Naturopathic doctors may use homeopathy as one part of a treatment plan in addition to nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, lifestyle counseling and other therapies together or individually (see Services). Naturopathic doctors are the only regulated health professionals in Ontario that have extensive training in natural medicine as well as the ability to diagnose disease using conventional methods. 
Q:  Is Naturopathic medicine supported by scientific research?
Naturopathic medical therapies like nutritional supplementation, herbal medicines and dietary choices are supported by strong evidence based research.  The traditional medicines like homeopathy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy are supported by centuries of empirical evidence.  A typical treatment plan will include a combination of modern and traditional therapies.
Q:  Is Naturopathic medicine safe to use with prescription medication?  
A qualified naturopathic doctor has the training to understand the potential interactions between prescription medications and natural therapies.  In addition a Naturopathic doctor will make recommendations that will enhance the effectiveness, reduce any side effects and support any deficiencies of prescribed medication.  A Naturopathic doctor will not recommend a patient stop any medication prescribed by their medical doctor.
Q:  Do Naturopathic doctors work with conventional care providers?  
Naturopathic doctors are primary care doctors who have knowledge to refer when necessary.  The Naturopathic doctors at Naturally Well believe in an integrative approach and prefer to work together with other health care providers to ensure the maximum support and benefit to patients.

Naturopathic Medicine

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Our Team

The Naturopathic doctors at Naturally Well consider the multiple factors which may contribute to your health concerns, and provide an individualized treatment plan which will encourage a healing and will help you to reach your personal health goals.

Meet our team!

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2211 Riverside Drive, Unit 201
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 7X5

613.526-4134 & 613.526-4180


Hours of Operation:
Monday: office is closed
Tuesday: 7:30 am - 2:00 pm
Wednesday: 12:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am - 2:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Additional office hours available for Emergency Care Naturopathic services