Naturopathy is a system of therapy that relies exclusively on the use of natural treatments. A variety of treatment options are available including homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture and diet/lifestyle counselling. Naturopaths favour a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment and generally avoid the use of surgery and drugs. Using a range of alternative methods of diagnosis, a naturopath can often successfully pinpoint a predisposition in the body before the onset of acute disease, and treat the patient with specific therapies and changes in the patient’s lifestyle.

Naturopathic philosophy is based on a belief in vitalism and self-healing. The basic framework of naturopathy is philosophical rather than scientific. It involves the belief that a life force (traditional Chinese medicine’s “qi”) makes the body capable of healing itself if supported by good health practices including diet, exercise and natural remedies.

General Facts about Naturopathic Care:

  • A holistic practice that treats the whole patient rather than the disease
  • Stresses the importance of natural treatment options including a healthy diet of organically grown foods
    Natural remedies are used as an alternative to surgery and prescription drugs
  • The most commonly prescribed naturopathic therapeutics are botanical medicines, vitamins, minerals, homeopathy and allergy treatments
  • Primary focus is on health promotion and the understanding that the body has an innate ability to heal itself

Benefits of Naturopathic Care:

  • Health promotion
  • Disease prevention
  • Individualized treatment
  • Range of conditions and illnesses treated
  • Optional collaboration with conventional medical doctors
  • Cost-effectiveness

Types of Naturopathic Care:

  • Herbalism — The use of plants for medicinal purposes
  • Homeopathy — A form of alternative medicine based on the doctrine of “like cures like”
  • Acupuncture — Stimulation of specific points on the body using thin needles
  • Chelation Therapy — Administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body
  • Colour Therapy — Using the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation to cure
  • Cranial Osteopathy — Stimulates healing using gentle hand pressure to manipulate the skeleton and connective tissues
  • Live Blood Analysis — Use of dark field microscopy to observe live blood cells
  • Ozone Therapy — Alternative medicine treatment that increases the amount of oxygen in the body through ozone introduction
  • Psychotherapy — Therapy to improve a patient’s mental or emotional state
  • Reflexology — Reflexes in hands and feet that relate to organs, glands and body systems
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine — A range of practices sharing concepts developed in China, based on 2,000 years of tradition


  • Naturopathic doctors who are trained at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine in North America are entitled to use the designation ND or NMD
  • Several Canadian provinces license naturopathic doctors; they are British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan
  • Prerequisites including three years of pre-medical sciences at a university with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a four-point scale
  • Must successfully complete a four-year, full-time program in an accredited school of naturopathic medicine that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience
  • Meet the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as required by the provincial regulatory boards on an ongoing basis

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