What is Naturopathic Medicine?

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are highly educated primary health care providers who integrate standard medical knowledge and diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies. NDs support and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself, with a focus on preventing disease. They work in partnership with other regulated health care providers in order to develop and ensure the most comprehensive and effective care for every patient. An undergraduate degree with a focus in sciences is required before the intensive four year naturopathic medical program, which includes one full clinical year caring for patients under the supervision of licensed Naturopathic Doctors.
Are Naturopathic Doctors regulated in Ontario?

Naturopathic Doctors are the only regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine in Ontario. Naturopathic Doctors are regulated in Ontario under the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). CONO functions to ensure that Naturopathic Doctors are properly qualified to practice Naturopathic Medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.

What are the principles of Naturopathic Medicine?

First Do No Harm

Use of methods and medicines that minimize the risk of harmful side effects; Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat; Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppressing of symptoms; and Acknowledge, respect and work with the individual self-healing process.

Identify and Treat the Causes

In addition to alleviating acute and chronic symptoms of disease, NDs seek to identify and remove underlying causes of illness. Rather than merely eliminating or suppressing symptoms, this approach moves the body toward maintaining an optimal state of health.

Doctor as Teacher

NDs work collaboratively with patients by sharing knowledge and information to create a successful treatment plan. Patients are encouraged to take responsibility for their own optimal health.

Treat the Whole Person

In addition to addressing specific complaints or symptoms, NDs look at the ‘whole picture’. The physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors contributing to the health of each individual patient are thoroughly considered.

Emphasize Prevention

NDs emphasize prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease in each patient. Appropriate interventions can then be made in partnership with patients to prevent illness.

Support the Healing Power of the Body

The practice of Naturopathic Medicine recognizes an ordered and intelligent self-healing process that is inherent to every individual. NDs work to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery and to facilitate this natural self-healing process.

What is the difference between Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathy?
Naturopathic Doctors are general practitioners of natural medicine. They are trained to treat conditions using clinical nutrition, acupuncture, botanical medicine (plant-based), physical medicine, lifestyle counseling, and homeopathy. Homeopaths are trained in homeopathy alone. While a homeopath would prescribe a homeopathic therapy, a Naturopathic Doctor would use any of the treatment modalities listed above, including homeopathy, in their treatments. Homeopathy is not a regulated or licensed health profession in Ontario. Naturopathic Medicine is regulated and licensed in Ontario.
If I see a Naturopathic Doctor, should I still see a Medical Doctor?

Yes! Here at Snow Naturopathic, it is encouraged that you also seek care from your Medical Doctor. I believe that working in partnership with other regulated health care providers, including medical doctors, chiropractors, registered massage therapists, and more, ensures that patients receive the most comprehensive and effective care possible.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a system of primary care that identifies and treats the root cause of illness or disease. It boasts a comprehensive treatment approach that is individualized to each and every patient, recognizing that we are all unique and express ailments differently. This is our primary goal, to treat the cause and not just the symptoms.
What is the training process to become a registered Naturopathic Doctor in Ontario?
Naturopathic Doctors obtain comprehensive and rigorous training, incorporating over 4,500 hours of classroom training in medical sciences, clinical sciences, and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience. NDs require three years of pre-med postsecondary education, plus four years of full-time study at an approved college of Naturopathic Medicine. Following the completion of their program, NDs must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing in Ontario. NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.
Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP?
No, Naturopathic Medicine is not currently covered by OHIP. However, the services of a licensed Naturopathic Doctor are covered by most extended healthcare plans. Consult with your employer or health insurance company to determine the extent of your benefits.
if I have a medical doctor, should I still see a naturopathic doctor?

The answer is yes. Naturopathic doctors play a critical role in preventing disease by finding the root cause of illness and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal through various therapies. If you aren’t experiencing pain or symptoms of illness, Naturopathic Doctors aim to optimize health in order to prevent such occurrences.

Who could benefit from seeing a Naturopathic Doctor?

Do you feel tired and sluggish? Experience frequent colds and flus? Are you in good health and wanting to improve?

Naturopathic Medicine has the capacity to help people at all stages of life and in all stages of health. I meet patients where they are at and help improve health according to their personal goals. The following are a list of common concerns that lead people to seek care from a Naturopathic Doctor:

  • General Health and Wellness; optimizing health, appropriate supplementation, increasing energy, prevention of age-related and genetic-related condition, detoxification

Many people are confused when it comes to supplements, wondering what they should take, correct dosage, brand, etc. Naturopathic Doctors are highly trained in this area. We work with you to create the appropriate supplement regime, which is flexible and changes over time. Optimizing health involves a variety of approaches, you might be amazed at what you thought was healthy when you feel the difference further healthy choices can make!

  • Gastrointestinal Health; food sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux

The gastrointestinal system plays such an integral role in our overall health. When this system isn’t functioning optimally, we find ourselves carrying toxins in our systems longer, decreased energy and alertness along with a wide variety of systemic symptoms. Specific dietary adjustments, nutrient supplementation, herbs, acupuncture and lifestyle changes may help you improve your gut health.

  • Immune Health; frequent cold and flu’s, autoimmune disorders, allergies

No one likes catching the sniffles! There are several ways that Naturopathic Medicine can help prevent this, or reduce the severity once you are sick. It’s important that at the onset of a cold or flu, seek care from your ND help build your system right away. Specific combinations of antimicrobial herbs are an excellent way to fight viruses and bacteria, specific nutrients, hydrotherapy techniques, acupuncture and cupping, and homeopathic remedies depending on your specific presentation.

  • Skin Health; eczema, psoriasis, acne

The integumentary system (skin) is the largest organ in your body and is connected to different body systems. Food sensitivities, environmental aggravations and diet and lifestyle factors can play roles in skin health and it is important to work through these to help the skin heal. Healing the skin is a multi-factorial issue, and Naturopathic Doctors are great a seeing the big picture, while focusing on all of the important steps required to get there.

  • Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight is an integral part of preventing disease and optimizing health. I believe that gradual weight loss through a comprehensive treatment strategy lead to lasting results. Nutritional counselling and education as well as effective meal plan and exercise plans will be provided. Nutrient supplementation, constitutional acupuncture may also be implemented.

  • Pain Management

Pain affects many people on a daily basis. Treatment of pain depends on its origin. If inflammatory, in nature, dietary, botanical and supplementation will be used to address this cause. Acupuncture, including cupping techniques can be helpful to reduce hypertonic muscles and increase circulation to the area.


  • Mental health concerns; anxiety, depression
  • Insomnia, arthritis, wellness visits, and more