Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. Naturopathic doctors are trained to diagnose and treat a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Their aim is to discover the underlying cause of disease and treat the root rather than simply suppress symptoms. Symptoms are viewed as an expression of the body’s natural attempt to heal which need to be addressed rather than just suppressed. The focus is on disease prevention, patient education, and health maintenance, treating patients with the aid of safe, gentle and non-invasive natural therapies. Naturopathic medicine works to support the natural healing ability that resides within the body.
Naturopathic doctors are guided by six principles. These principles outline the naturopathic approach to health and healing and form the foundation of this distinct form of health care.
- First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
- The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
- Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)
- Treat the whole person
- Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
- Prevention and Health Promotion
At VIDA Massage & Wellness, Naturopathic Doctor Freda Tam utilizes a number of Naturopathic therapies and selects the most appropriate ones for each patient. After taking a thorough medical history, performing a physical exam and recommending/assessing specific laboratory tests Dr. Tam formulates an individualized treatment plan. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies may include botanical/herbal medicine, clinical nutrition/supplementation, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and/or traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture.
What to Expect
Your first visit at VIDA Massage & Wellness with our Naturopath will take between 90 -120 mins. You will begin by filling out new patient intake forms prior to your visit. Dr. Tam will then obtain an extensive and thorough health history focused on your concerns as well your overall health. The goal of this visit is to understand you as completely as possible and the factors influencing your health. Preliminary treatment recommendations are discussed and implemented for you to start prior to your second visit. You will be given an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your condition or proposed treatment.
Your second visit will involve a screening physical exam and your full treatment plan will be presented to you at this time. Laboratory testing may be suggested and can vary from general blood work, as you would get done with your medical doctor, to food allergy testing, hormone testing, or other testing that may be in your best interest. Subsequent visits are discussed at this time and will vary in frequency based on your needs. Dr. Tam strives to create a simple and comprehensive health plan that works with your personal goals and priorities.
Subsequent visits vary from 15 to 45 mins depending on your needs and can be booked accordingly. During these follow-ups, treatments are reassessed and will either be continued or modified depending on your progress thus far. Dr. Tam uses these visits to not only assess your progress but also to support, encourage and provide you with the right tools to continue on your path towards health and well being.
How are Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s) trained?
Naturopathic doctors undergo a minimum of three years of pre-medical studies at a university, followed by four years at an accredited college of Naturopathic medicine. The education encompasses over 3000 hours of classroom training in biomedical studies, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapeutics. It also includes over 1200 hours of clinical experience working with patients under the guidance of a licensed Naturopathic doctor.
In regulated provinces, such as Ontario, or states across North America, graduates must pass rigorous standardized licensing exams in order to practice as Naturopathic doctors. In Canada there are five provinces that have naturopathic regulation: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Most of the other provinces are also in the process of seeking regulation of Naturopathic medicine.
How does Naturopathic medicine compare to Conventional medicine?
Both are doctors, both provide primary care and both are similarly trained. The primary differences between naturopathic and conventional medicine are their philosophies and the therapies used. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) treat patients as individuals by addressing the physical, environmental, lifestyle, spiritual, and emotional aspects of health. This allows Naturopathic doctors to find and treat the cause of the disease. Allopathic doctors generally address and treat the symptoms of disease and use pharmaceutical therapies or surgery.
What is the difference between Naturopathy and Homeopathy?
Homeopaths are trained to practice in one discipline: homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted substances usually derived from plants and mineral substances. When you choose to be treated by a Homeopathic doctor, you are choosing to be treated solely by homeopathic remedies.
Naturopaths are trained in medical sciences, nutrition, herbal medicine, Chinese medicine/Acupuncture, physical medicine, lifestyle counselling and homeopathy. When you choose to be treated by a Naturopathic doctor, you may be treated by any or a combination of these treatments to address your health, including homeopathy.
What treatments do ND’s use?
- Clinical Nutrition
- Botanical Medicine
- Lifestyle Counselling
- Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture
What types of health conditions do Naturopaths treat?
Naturopathic doctors are trained to treat virtually all health conditions and people of all ages. From acute to chronic, paediatric to geriatric and physical to psychological. Naturopathic medicine offers options in health care for those seeking preventative care as well as to complement other medical treatments. Naturopathic doctors are trained to work alongside other health professionals for the benefit of their patient’s overall health.
Some, but certainly not all, concerns/conditions Naturopathic doctors are qualified to treat include the following:
Are Naturopathic services covered by OHIP?
Though visits to a Naturopath are currently not covered by OHIP, most extended health care plans do provide coverage. Check with your or your spouse’s/partner’s extended health care provider to determine the amount of Naturopathic coverage you are entitled to.
Initial Consult ( 90 min)
Follow-up Appointment ( 30 min)