1) What is Naturopathic Medicine & How Are Naturopathic Doctors Trained?

The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine offers a world recognized, accredited 4 year full time program, training Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine. To apply for this program one must have completed at least 3 years of a specific University Pre-Med program. Of the many hundreds of applicants, only about 120 are accepted yearly. Upon graduating, Naturopathic Doctors write provincial licensing exams before they can practice. To maintain their license they have to do continuing education programs yearly. 

Naturopathic Medicine is a complete and coordinated approach to health care. It is the art and science of diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies and healing strategies.

These Strategies Include:

  • Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
  • Traditional Herbal, Botanical Medicine
  • Phytotherapy
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Homeopathic Medicine
  • Naturopathic Manipulation and Body Work
  • Lifestyle Counseling
  • Auricular Therapy
  • Bowen Therapy

Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine are the general practitioners of natural medicine. At CCNM they are trained to identify the underlying causes of disease and to help the body’s self-healing efforts using natural, holistic methods.

At CCNM, students receive over 4,000 hours of classroom and clinical training. The College houses the Naturopathic College Clinic, a highly respected teaching clinic where senior students treat patients under the direction of licensed Naturopathic Doctors. In recent years the clinic has been handling over 10.000 patient visits yearly. The college is graduating over 120 Naturopathic Doctors per year.

The CCNM Library is regarded as Canada’s finest Natural Medicine Resource Centre. It houses hundreds of natural health books and journals, and provides access to over 3,000 medical journals through it’s electronic data bases. These include “Medline” and “The Complementary Medical Index”, provided by the British Library Medicine Information Centre.

CCNM is active in North American research on the benefits of natural medicine. In conjunction with other naturopathic colleges in the USA and local teaching hospitals like Sunnybrook Hospital, much attention is being paid to doing outcomes research using natural modalities.

CCNM receives no government subsidies, and operates on tuition fees and private donations.

The College website is; www.ccnm.edu.

2) Are you covered by OHIP?

No. However, most private insurance companies do cover licensed naturopathic doctors. Consult your provider or employer for more information.

3) What can I expect from my first appointment?

Your first visit will be about 1 hour long.  We will thoroughly explore your health concerns, take an extensive medical history to gather important information regarding your physical, mental, and emotional health.  A complaint-oriented physical exam may be performed.  Depending on your condition, lab tests may be required or previous lab tests from other practitioners/doctors may be requested.  Initial recommendations will be given to begin treatment.

4) Do I need to bring anything to my appointment?

The Naturopathic Doctor can only begin the consultation on completion of the basic Intake Forms.  These can be downloaded from the website and completed, OR you can come in 15 minutes before your appointment time and fill in the ones supplied at the clinic.  Please note that the question regarding any and all medications you are currently taking is very important to the treatment recommended by the Naturopath.

5) How many visits will I need?

Upon your second visit, a detailed, personalized treatment plan will be outlined for you based on your current health complaints and long term health goals.  Treatment is initiated and a follow-up visit is scheduled to monitor progress or administer treatment protocols, such as acupuncture - if that happens to be a part of your individual treatment program.

6) Do you have to be a patient to purchase products?

NO.  Anyone is welcome to do so as the store IS open to the public.

7) Can children be treated with naturopathic medicine?

Yes.  We encourage parents to bring in their children for treatment.  It is especially important to treat while young to prevent illness from progressing later in life.  Children have a lot of vitality and are often very receptive to natural therapies.

8) What is the difference between a naturopathic doctor and a medical doctor?

While naturopathic doctors receive extensive training in primary care, pathology, and disease diagnosis, they differ from medical doctors in philosophy, approach to therapy, and treatment techniques.

A medical doctor may approach an illness by evaluating symptoms and prescribing pharmaceuticals and/or surgery.  In naturopathic medicine, the goal of treatment is to address the underlying cause of illness, and to treat that cause.  Every person is accepted as a unique being with their own individual experience of illness, and this is identified as important for guiding treatment.  Treatment is aimed at returning the individual to a state of balance and to support the innate ability of the body to heal itself using gentle, non-invasive, natural therapies.  These therapies include nutritional assessment and counseling, botanical medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, stress management skills and mind-body counseling.  Effective treatment is restorative and promotes whole body health.

9) Will naturopathic medicine interfere with medications or my medical doctor's treatments?

No.  Naturopathic doctors are educated to be able to co-manage with medical treatment.  Natural treatments are carefully chosen so that there is no interference with your medication's effectiveness.  Drug interactions with supplements and nutrients are carefully studied.  They can be very supportive for overall health and make the medications more effective.  A naturopathic doctor will never take a patient off of a medication prescribed by another physician.  This decision must be made between the patient and the prescribing doctor.

10) Are naturopathic doctors regulated in Ontario?

Yes they are regulated under the Naturopathy Act, 2007 which was proclaimed on July 1, 2015. Naturopathic Doctors are now a regulated health profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). 

As the regulatory body for the profession, the College of Naturopaths of Ontario supports the public’s right to safe, competent and ethical naturopathic care. The College does this by setting requirements to enter the profession, establishing comprehensive standards, and administering quality assurance programs. Acting in the public interest, the College holds Ontario’s regulated Naturopaths accountable for their conduct and practice.

In addition, the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors only accept registered naturopathic doctors as members.

For more information, visit www.collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca