What is it?
Naturopathic medicine is a system based in the belief that the human body has a remarkable, innate ability to heal itself. It emphasizes prevention, evidenced-based treatment options, and optimal health.
Naturopaths focus on the dynamic function of the body as a whole – considering how the mind, emotions, social factors, and the environment influence our health and function.
Why would someone see a naturopathic doctor?
Compared to a conventional medical doctor, a naturopathic doctor also provides primary care and is similarly trained. A conventional doctor may address and treat symptoms of disease and use pharmaceutical therapies or surgery. A naturopathic doctor uses natural and noninvasive techniques to achieve the highest level of health possible by supporting the natural healing pathways in your body.
How does it work?
Naturopathic doctors are trained with a large toolbox of treatment modalities – such as diet and lifestyle counselling, botanical medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, and hydrotherapy to name a few, which allows us to meet you where you’re at and provide you with a comprehensive approach to your health, from cultures all over the world.
What symptoms would be addressed by a naturopathic doctor?
Naturopathic doctors undergo full medical training and are able to address any non-emergent health concern that may arise.
Whether you are struggling with an acute or chronic condition such as: arthritis, fatigue, pain, digestive issues, skin conditions, hormone imbalances, allergy and flu prevention, or if you are looking to better manage your mood, stress or sleep patterns, our naturopathic doctor is here to support you.
The end result is to support the entire body as a whole, so it functions cohesively. By considering each individual’s needs, we can continue with sustained improvements in their health. That may look different for everyone, but ultimately we want to get your body working to the best of its abilities.
Jasmine Bray-Mak is our ND and is an integral part of our circle of care here at Safe Harbour Therapy.
What would an appointment look like?
Typically the first initial consult is 90 minutes – where we do a thorough health and wellness intake, address your personal health goals, and run through some routine physical exams. In the first visit we discuss what’s going on in your body, and go over a basic treatment plan. You may sent you for further testing or request blood work from your conventional medical doctor to help assess your health status or aid in diagnostics. Once we have a working diagnosis, your naturopathic doctor will provide you with a clinically supported treatment recommendation, and work with you to figure out which options are feasible.
Follow up visits are used to make adjustments, and take place as needed until patients feel confident in their ability to manage their own health. A coaching platform may also be utilized for anyone who’s looking for additional support and motivation. Treatment options and follow up appointments are flexible and dependent on your needs and preferences.
Sometimes this process is quick when we know what’s going on, and you simply need minor adjustments. Other times, it takes a little bit more work to understand the whole picture. The ultimate goal is to get to the root of the problem, support you in your wellness journey, and get you back to feeling like the best version of yourself.
Who developed this approach?
Naturopathic medicine was introduced to North America by Dr. Benedict Lust in 1902. In 1920 the first practice was established in Canada. Regulating laws were in acted first in Ontario in 1925 and in Manitoba in 1943.
After WWII, health care seemed to move away from natural approaches with the advancement of surgical techniques, the introduction of antibiotics, and the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The last 20 years however, has seen an increased demand for naturopathic services as a result of the growing dissatisfaction with the effect technology has had on our food and lifestyle as well as a greater desire for control over our health care decisions. More people are seeking natural approaches to cope with daily stressors and avoid illness which has increased the number of naturopathic doctors.
Naturopathic doctors are receiving more recognition as health care practitioners and as experts in the field of natural and preventative medicine as more research emerges that supports the therapies used by naturopathic doctors. Manitoba is one of the five provinces that has naturopathic regulations.
Information provided by the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors