When people ask me what I do, my response is often met with a confused look and the questions “so you’re a nutritionist?” “A herbalist?” “A what type of doctor?” I actually didn't know what a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) was until a couple years before applying for naturopathic medical school when I experienced first hand the benefits of seeing an ND. Read more for ways an ND can help you!
1. We address the root cause of your symptoms by taking the time to go over your health concerns and history
Most patients will say that the time they spend with their ND is much longer than what they’ve been used to with other doctors. We take the time to go through the concerns you have to understand the root cause, get to know you as a person and make specific recommendations.
2. We take a holistic approach by addressing your physical concerns and also evaluating how your emotional and mental state may be affecting your health
Wellness is much more than physical health, exercise and nutrition. It is the integration of mental, spiritual, physical and emotional well-being and as NDs we are trained to address these dimensions to help improve the quality of your health.
3. We formulate an individualized treatment plan for you instead of using protocols
No two people are the same or will respond to a treatment the same, which is why NDs take the time to understand your concerns and history and come up with a treatment plan specific for you.
4. We see the issue from a Western Medicine point of view and also from an Eastern and traditional perspective
The training in naturopathic medical school is comparable in subjects and in hours of training to conventional medical school. NDs must undergo 8 years of our post-secondary studies, which includes a four-year undergraduate degree in the sciences in addition to the four-year naturopathic medical program. In the ND program we are trained in three major areas, which include: biomedical studies (anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, etc), clinical sciences (diagnostics, labs, physical exam) and naturopathic therapeutics (nutrition and supplementation, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy and hydrotherapy).
5. We work alongside Medical Doctors and other health care professionals you may be seeing to ensure you are receiving the best care possible
Some assume that NDs are “against” the conventional medical system however most NDs work in collaboration with MDs, chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc as a team approach to make sure you are getting the best possible care. Studies have shown that integrating naturopathic medicine with conventional medicine leads to better patient outcomes. Click here to learn more.
Our goal as NDs is to support and empower you on your path to sustained health and wellbeing. Hopefully this article clarified what NDs do, what kind of training is involved and how you can benefit from seeing one. To see a list of services offered and conditions treated, click here
I'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions or would like to book a complementary 15-minute appointment to learn more about naturopathic medicine and how it may help you, click here
Dr. Lara is a Naturopathic Doctor who is passionate about helping and empowering her patients in their journey towards lifelong health and wellness