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Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. What is Naturopathy?
  2. What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?
  3. What modalities or treatments are used by a naturopath?
  4. What are the governing principles of naturopathy?
  5. What ailments are treated by naturopathic doctors?
  6. Is Naturopathy covered by health plans?

What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy combines the art and science of diagnosis and treatment of the body’s imbalances or illnesses with the use of non-invasive natural healing modalities. Naturopathic doctors believe that the body has an inherent ability to heal itself. With the use of natural supplements and treatments, a naturopath helps the patient to regain health and balance in the body, mind and spirit.

What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?
Probably the most commonly asked question in naturopathy is “What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?” I always explain that naturopathy is like the umbrella profession that encompasses many modalities as listed above, and homeopathy is one of them. The training for homeopathy and naturopathy differs tremendously as well. If you are looking for either of these practitioners, be sure to ask for their license registration number and years of study.

What modalities or treatments are used by a naturopath?

The modalities that a naturopathic doctor may use include:

  • Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Asian herbal medicine
  • Western herbal medicine
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Supplementation
  • Dietary Counselling
  • Naturopathic Manipulation
  • Lifestyle Counselling

These are the basic modalities taught at the naturopathic colleges. Individual naturopaths may have extra training in other modalities as well.

What are the governing principles of naturopathy?

There are six Principles of naturopathic medicine that all naturopathic doctors follow. They are:

  1. Tolle Causum which means treat the cause of disease. I like to use the analogy of a dandelion. If you want to get rid of the weed, you need to dig deep into the ground and remove the whole root. If you merely cut off the leaves, the root remains and the dandelion will grow back in no time. The same is true with disease. You need to treat the root cause and not just the symptoms.
  2. Primum non nocere- First Do No Harm Naturopathic doctors use gentle techniques and remedies to allow the body to heal itself. For the most part, our treatments are non-invasive and are meant to keep the patient from harm.
  3. Docere Doctor As Teacher The naturopath acts as a teacher to the patient and helps them to understand their own body’s wisdom.
  4. Vis medicatrix Naturae Support the healing power of nature Nature provides many healing qualities, which are harnessed by the naturopath and put into practical use for the patient.
  5. Treat the whole person The naturopathic physician sees the patient as a whole and treats accordingly. The symptoms are merely one aspect of what is going on internally to cause disease.
  6. Prevention Prevention of disease is key in any situation and is taken very seriously by naturopathic practitioners.

What ailments are treated by naturopathic doctors?

Almost all ailments can be treated by naturopathic doctors. The following is a list of some of the most common complaints of patients who visit naturopathic practices.

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • IBS
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Candida
  • Cancer
  • Impotence
  • Headaches
  • Sports Injuries
  • Whiplash
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stress

Is Naturopathy covered by health plans?

Most extended health care plans cover the cost of the visits with a naturopathic doctor. Supplements are not usually included but some insurance companies cover this cost as well. Naturopathy is not currently under OHIP.

Janine Bowring, ND
Copyright © 2005 Janine Bowring.com. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 26, 2005.