Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to them …

What is naturopathic medicine?
How are naturopathic doctors (NDs) trained?
What treatments do NDs use?
What types of health problems can be treated?
Is naturopathic medicine scientific?
Is naturopathic medicine safe?
What’s the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?
What is the difference between a naturopathic physician and a conventional physician?
What is the difference between a naturopathic physician and other health providers or holisitic pharmacists?
Can I see a naturopathic physician and my family doctor at the same time?
What are your office hours?
What can I expect / how does it work?
Are your services covered by Extended Health Insurance or MSP (Medical Services Plan of B.C.)?
Are you accepting new patients? How can I refer friends and family?

Don’t see the answer to your question here? Please contact us, and we’ll be happy to help!

What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a comprehensive approach to health care. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained and licensed as primary care physicians for general health care and diagnose and treat various acute and chronic conditions, just like your medical doctor. My main objective is to view the individual as a whole and identify symptoms as indicators of improper functioning and unfavourable habits of lifestyle as well as continually seeking the underlying causes of these imbalances. By using the most gentle, non-invasive and effective modalities possible, we facilitate the body’s ability to heal itself, ward off disease and restore health.

Health is a reflection on how we choose to live, our risk factors and our hereditary susceptibility. By assessing all these aspects, I can guide clients towards creating health instead of just treating symptoms. A naturopath is a facilitator for this process, through education, utilization of the necessary tools and encouragement. A cooperative doctor- client relationship is essential for this process. ND’s follow a series of principles that guide their approach to helping you improve your health:

  • First do-no-harm – effective health care with the least risk for all patients
  • The healing power of nature – respect and promote the body’s ability to heal itself.
  • Treat the cause – identify and remove causes and avoid suppression of symptoms.
  • Doctor as teacher – educate the patients, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility.
  • Treat the whole person – each person is unique with their own factors affecting their health all being pieces of a puzzle. Once ALL the pieces are addressed we truly move to an elevated sense of well-being.
  • Health promotion is the best prevention – education to promote a healthy lifestyle now will prevent problems in the future. Treating the cause of health problems now will prevent them from escalating in the future.

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How are naturopathic doctors (NDs) trained?

Naturopathic doctors have eight to nine years of post-secondary education: a degree including pre-medical studies at university followed by four years at one of the licensed recognized colleges of naturopathic medicine. This post-graduate work includes medical science course work such as:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • biochemistry
  • pathology
  • microbiology
  • immunology
  • pharmacology
  • laboratory diagnosis
  • clinical and physical diagnosis
  • radiology
  • minor surgery
  • obstetrics
  • gynecology/ women’s health
  • pediatrics
  • other clinical sciences

The education includes 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. In total ND’s receive approximately 4,500 hours of academic and clinical training.

Graduates receive the title “N.D.” or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, and must pass rigorous international licensing and board examinations to be eligible to practice as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in the province of British Columbia.

Continuing education requirements in both naturopathic medicine and pharmacology are required to ensure that physicians stay current in the ever changing field of medicine.

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What treatments do NDs use?

Naturopathic physicians use a broad range of therapies, including herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, laser therapy, homeopathy, supplements, physical medicine and trigger point work. You can learn more about the services offered at The Natural Path Clinic here.

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What types of health problems can be treated?

Naturopathic physicians help with a wide array of health concerns, including:

Chronic Illnesses
  • Allergies & Environmental Sensitivities
  • Arthritis
  • Hypertension (High blood pressure), High cholesterol, Atherosclerosis
  • Heart problems
  • Digestive disorders, Constipation, IBS
  • Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Atopic dermatitis, hives
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cystitis, Prostatitis, Vaginitis, Impotence
Acute Conditions
  • Colds and flu
  • Ear and throat infections
  • Headaches
  • Intestinal upset
  • Women’s health issues
  • Menopausal problems
  • PMS, Menstrual disorders
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • Enhancing health in pregnancy
  • Fertility, Endometriosis, Uterine fibroids
Other
  • Weight management
  • Mental or Emotional stress
  • Anxiety, Depression
  • Cancer
  • Insomnia
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Food allergies/sensitivities
  • Environmental allergies

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Is naturopathic medicine scientific?

There is an enormous body of evidence supporting naturopathic medicine, and it’s quickly becoming a common, mainstream health care choice. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to realize, that by listening to your health issues and looking at your test results, we can establish a practical and scientific solution. I rely a great deal on logical, scientific analysis and lab testing. The main difference is our desire to get to the root of what’s causing your health concerns.

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Is naturopathic medicine safe?

The safety record for naturopathic medicine is excellent. This is due to the emphasis on natural, non-toxic medicines and gentle, non-invasive treatments. Naturopathic doctors (ND’s) are knowledgeable about interactions between naturopathic remedies and other medicines. They are also trained to recognize conditions which are outside their scope of practice and to refer to other health practitioners when it is appropriate to do so.

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What’s the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?

Naturopaths are physicians, homeopaths are not doctors. They are not trained to diagnose conditions and cannot perform physical examinations, Pap smears, or blood tests and have only 2 years of training . Naturopathic physicians can therefore provide more thorough medical care.

Also, homeopaths can only use homeopathic medicines for treatment, whereas naturopathic doctors use homeopathy as one of the many treatment options.

Homeopaths are not regulated and licensed in B.C. Therefore, anyone can call themselves a homeopath regardless of training, whereas only those individuals following the steps outlined above can call themselves naturopathic doctors.

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What is the difference between a naturopathic physician and a conventional physician?

Naturopathic physicians are similar to medical doctors in that they are both licensed to diagnose and treat illness. They both do physical examinations, PAP smears and breast exams and lab work.

Unlike MDs who only prescribe drugs, NDs are thoroughly trained in a wide variety of tools, techniques and medicines to help patients. NDs educate patients about their full range of treatment options and are always seeking the underlying cause of your imbalances. We always address shifts in lifestyle first, add natural medicines if necessary and consider other tools if needed.

Blood work and urine analysis ordered by an MD are covered under a patient’s MSP medical insurance, while patients pay out of pocket for labs ordered by NDs. Some extended health insurance plans cover labs ordered by NDs.

Only an MD can access advance diagnostic techniques like CT, MRI, x-ray and Ultrasound. Only an MD can refer to a specialist or attend to patients in the hospital. Therefore it is important to have both an ND and an MD on your medical team.

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What is the difference between a naturopathic physician and other health providers or holisitic pharmacists?

Naturopathic physicians are the only health providers with extensive medical education and thorough training in a wide variety of techniques, natural medicines and pharmaceutical medicine. When you go to a naturopathic physician, you know that we have completed seven to nine years of university training in our field, and are required to be licensed by the BC government, as well as continuing medical education to stay current.

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Can I see a naturopathic physician and my family doctor at the same time?

Always! Many people like to have a combination of health professionals to address their different needs. Naturopathic treatment rarely conflicts with other medical treatments and prescriptions, and naturopathic physicians are well-trained in understanding interactions between natural treatments and medications.

Even in cases that need medical intervention such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, your naturopathic physician can help before and after your procedure to minimize side-effects and increase your recovery rate.

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What are your office hours?

You can reach us at (250) 362-5035 during the following hours:

  • Tuesday through Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Fridays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

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What can I expect / how does it work?

The goal of a naturopathic doctor is to understand the patient and all the factors that impact their health. A naturopathic doctor will take an in-depth patient history, seek information from any lab tests done and test for vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Any other beneficial testing will be discussed at that time and a plan will be suggested by the doctor with the patient’s input.

In contrast to your medical doctor, a naturopathic physician will spend far more time with you as a patient, while using different tools and principles. These principles are based on a belief in the healing power of the body and include treating the person as a whole, finding the root cause, respecting “doctor as teacher” and creating prevention for the future as the best medicine.

In our office you can expect a high degree of personal attention, strict confidentiality, and a range of health care services designed to help you find better health.

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Are your services covered by Extended Health Insurance or MSP (Medical Services Plan of B.C.)?

Consult your benefits package for details. Naturopathic doctors are partially covered by MSP for those patients who are on the Premium Assistance Program. In that case only, the patient is reimbursed $23 per visit up to 10 visits per year, but, the 10 visits also include appointments with physiotherapists, massage therapists and chiropractors. Most extended health benefits packages cover visits to licensed naturopathic doctors up to a certain amount per family member per year.

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Are you accepting new patients? How can I refer friends and family?

We always accept new patients, since our patients get well and learn how to manage their health more effectively! You can refer friends or family at any time and we will gladly send them an intake form by e-mail.

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