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Question and Answer Interview: Why see a Naturopath?

Published on August 29th, 2018 by Dr. Jennifer Nardella and Dr. Meghan Haggarty

The Nardella Clinic is a leading Naturopathic Clinic in Calgary, Alberta. Our compassionate team of naturopathic doctors combine their knowledge of allopathic medicine with both traditional natural medicine and new non-pharmacological approaches. Using this combined knowledge naturopaths Drs. Jennifer Nardella, and Meghan Haggarty help treat numerous conditions from chronic degenerative disease, cancer, allergies, digestive health to cardiovascular health and more. As Canadians are discovering the phenomenal benefits naturopathic medicine can offer, we constructed this question and answer interview below. Read the answers provided by our naturopaths.

Q: What is naturopathic medicine?

A: Naturopathic medicine is primary health care that focuses on identifying and treating the root causes of disease. Naturopathy uses current scientific knowledge and applies natural and traditional medicine to help restore the body to optimal health. Increasingly, the hard line between naturopathic and allopathic medicine is fading as patients demand a progressive approach to their own health that does not sacrifice achieving results.

Q: What are the guiding principles of naturopathy?

A: The six guiding principles of naturopathy are:

  • The Healing Power of Nature
  • Identify and Treat the Causes
  • First Do No Harm
  • Doctor as Teacher
  • Treat the Whole Person
  • Prevention

Q: What training do naturopaths receive?

A: Naturopathic doctors require a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education. Most students complete an undergraduate degree and then must be complete a 4-year graduate level program accredited by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education. After completing an accredited program. Naturopathic doctors must also pass comprehensive licensing exams. After licensing education does not stop, there are strict guidelines for continuing education. This is especially true for naturopathic doctors that practice in areas that are considered restricted by the Alberta Health Ministry. Those naturopaths that have obtained certain restricted skills and are authorized by the provincial college of naturopathic doctors to perform these skills in clinic must provide proof of continuing competence education to the college.

Q: Does Canada regulate the practice of naturopathic doctors?

A: Naturopathic medicine is regulated provincially in Canada. In Alberta the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta regulates Naturopathic Doctors in accordance with the Alberta Health Professions Act. The college sets out minimum educational standards and administers continuing competency programs to ensure its naturopath members demonstrate competency and safe practices when dealing with patients.

Q: How does naturopathic care differ from care by a medical doctor?

A: Naturopathic care focuses on providing holistic care and identifying the root cause of a disease. Naturopathic medicine combines the science of western medicine and understanding of human biology, with natural healing techniques such as herbal medicine, nutrition and Chinese medicine. Naturopathic doctors take comprehensive health histories and recognize that many symptoms may be related and can and should be addressed together.

Q: How is naturopathic care the same as care from a medical doctor?

A: Naturopathic doctors are primary health care providers that treat a variety of conditions and health concerns from pediatrics to geriatrics. Naturopathic doctors can do blood tests, physical exams and provide both preventative medicine and treat mild to serious health conditions.

Q: How would seeing a naturopath benefit me?

A: A naturopath can help you with both disease prevention, and with diagnosis and treatment of disease. Naturopathic Doctors help patient’s who are ill and are not finding answers through provincial health services. They can combine natural therapies with allopathic medicine to provide treatment options for patients with complex health conditions.

Q: Can a naturopath help with my diet and nutrition?

A: Yes, naturopaths have extensive training in diet and nutrition as fundamentally being medicine. Naturopaths can help with optimal nutrition, nutritional supplementation and therapeutic diets, such as a ketogenic diet or anti-inflammatory diets. Understanding food as medicine allows naturopathic doctors to take immediate targeted action on a patient’s health concerns.

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