FAQs about Naturopathic Medicine


What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are primary health-care providers trained in the medical sciences and diagnosis, with emphasis placed on the use of a wide range of natural treatment methods throughout their medical training.

Your Naturopathic Doctor has a unique perspective on health, based on the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:

  • First, do no harm: that is, provide effective care with the least risk to the patient.
  • Respect the healing power of nature to promote self-healing.
  • Treat the cause by identifying and removing the factors causing poor health.
  • Treat the whole person, through individualized care that considers the body, mind and spirit.
  • Act as a teacher, to educate patients about health and motivate them to make better lifestyle choices. The word doctor is from the Latin docere, meaning “to teach”.
  • Emphasize prevention of disease, so that we can all be healthier, individually and globally, now and for future generations.

What kind of training do NDs receive? How can I be sure the practitioner I want to see meets these standards?

A licensed naturopathic doctor undergoes rigorous training including at least four years of post-graduate education from a recognized school of naturopathic medicine. Training includes clinical and medical sciences, natural therapeutics and extensive clinical training as interns. After completion of these four years of schooling, a ND must pass a set of North American licensing exams and then be registered with the provincial regulating body. In British Columbia, naturopathic doctors in good standing will be registrants of the BCNA (British Columbia Naturopathic Association).



Can naturopathic medicine help my condition?

The approach of naturopathic medicine can work for everyone. NDs treat the whole person, beginning with a comprehensive assessment of every patient. This information helps me to determine the root cause of your imbalances that contribute to your current condition.
Many people seek naturopathic care before they develop a disease or condition, in order to stay optimally healthy.



How does the approach of naturopathic medicine differ from conventional medicine?

My approach differs from what you may have previously experienced in visiting your medical doctor in that:
  • I spend more time with you and listen carefully to your health history and particular concerns (most appointments are at least 30 mins and the first visit is 90 minutes).
  • I encourage questions and discussion of treatment with  patients.
  • I work with  patients to understand how the medications they currently take may impact their overall health
  • I do not perform surgery.
  • My methods are non-invasive and have no harmful side effects. I work together with you as a partner to enhance your overall health.

Is naturopathic medicine covered by insurance?

The services offered by licensed naturopathic doctors are covered by most extended health benefit plans. Please check with your provider to understand the details of your coverage. Naturopathic services are not covered by BC Medicare.  However, premium assistance patients or those with native status receive $23 off each visit for up to 10 visits.