10 reasons to see a Naturopath
Although the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) has been around for almost 40 years, we find there is still some confusion as to a naturopath’s role in healthcare. So here are 10 reasons why we think you should see a naturopath.
Training: Naturopathic doctors, or Naturopaths, are highly educated and are given the same training as medical doctors. Naturopaths must complete a four-year university undergraduate program before applying to a Naturopathic College. The naturopathic medical program encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and 1200 hours of supervised clinical experience. There are two sets of provincial licensing board exams that graduates must pass, and they are required to maintain ongoing continuing education. A naturpath can handle any medical condition, no matter how severe, and is able to convey a diagnosis.
Root Cause: So you go to see your naturopath about chronic headaches that are bothering you, and he/she starts asking you questions that seem unrelated to your headaches. This is because your naturopath is trying to establish the root cause of your pain. Without addressing the root cause you will only mask the symptoms of your headache, which means it’s likely to come back again. Your naturopath wants to help you find a way to get rid of those headaches for good by treating the root cause of the problem.
Holistic Approach: Related to number 2 above, your naturopath is going to take a holistic approach to your healthcare. This means taking a look at you as a whole person and not just the symptom, like headaches. Our body is an intricate network of systems, and when one system is out of balance it will affect other systems. By looking at the whole person your naturopath will be able to see where the imbalance lies and can offer you an array of treatment options to help you rebalance.
Options: Once your naturopath has determined a diagnosis, he/she can offer you a variety of treatments such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, dietary advice, homeopathy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some people want more treatment options beyond prescription drugs. Your naturopath will educate you on all of your treatment options to help you choose which one is best for you.
Conjunctive Medicine: As we said above, naturopaths are trained as medical doctors, which means they have an understanding of conventional (or biomedical) medicine and can work with your existing doctor. If you are prepping for surgery they can also consult with your surgeon to help create a treatment plan that will help you bounce back to health after surgery. Therefore, you don’t have to choose one system over the other – naturopaths can act as a bridge between the biomedical and alternative medical systems so you can get the best of both worlds.
Lab Tests: Naturopaths are able to give you a requisition for any lab work that is necessary, whether it is for annual blood work, an allergy test, or a urine test. Upon receipt of your lab results, your Naturopath will sit down with you to explain what your results mean. Naturopaths are not only doctors, but they are also healthcare educators, educating their patients about their health issues and treatment options available.
Time: If you’ve never been to see an Naturopath before then expect to spend at least an hour for your first appointment. Your Naturopath wants to learn everything about you – remember that holistic view mentioned above? Well, that takes time to get to know all of the little details about you and your medical history. This also means you have lots of time to have all of your medical questions addressed.
Answers: The internet is a wealth of knowledge, but how do you know what information is accurate? Looking up information about symptoms you are experiencing, or odd looking moles on your body can be stressful because there’s lots of scary medical information on the web. Instead, talk to your Naturopath about your medical questions. He/she will take time to make sure all your questions are answered so you can feel at ease.
Coverage: Although Naturopath visits are not covered by OHIP, most extended healthcare benefit plans include coverage for a naturopath. Be sure to check with your insurance provider before your first appointment.
Hope: Last, but certainly not least, a naturopath can offer hope to his/her patients. There are many times people will seek out a naturopath when they’ve tried every possible avenue to get better without success. Being trained in a variety of natural healthcare options (some which have been practiced for over 5,000 years like Chinese Medicine), your Naturopath can offer you many paths to health, a.k.a. hope. It might take some time to get to your desired health goal because your Naturopath is looking to address the root cause of your problem, but in the end it is really worth it. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a person who has been living with chronic pain for most of his life, suddenly start living a happier, pain-free life.
Ready to discover how a naturopath can help you along your path to health and wellbeing? Book a free meet and greet with Dr. Steyr here.