FAQs (About Naturopathic Medicine)
Is Naturopathic medicine covered by OHIP?
Naturopathic consultation are not currently covered by OHIP, but are often covered by extended health plans. If you have coverage for Chiropractic care or Massage Therapy, chances are that you have Naturopathic coverage as well.
How long will it take to “get better”?
Because Naturopathic Medicine seeks to address the cause of illness, not just suppress the symptoms, and often deals with chronic conditions, it may take anywhere from several weeks to several years to address some health concerns. It is also important to remember that everyone responds differently to treatment, and some people may notice a difference immediately, while others may not. Please discuss your individual case with your N.D., to determine what kind of progress you can likely expect.
What about supplements?
Most N.D.’s prescribe or recommend certain nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplements to facilitate the body’s healing process. This will vary depending on the individual case. At the Wallace Integrated Health Centre we carry several lines of professional supplements, so that our patients will have easy access to high quality supplements, known to provide consistent results. Some recommended products may also be available at local health food stores. Supplements are often eligible for tax deductions, so keep your receipts!
How is an ND different from an MD?
N.D.’s and M.D.’s have very similar training in several areas, such as basic medical sciences and diagnostics. The major differences are in areas of philosophy, and in treatment methods. Most M.D.’s use prescription pharmaceuticals and surgery as their main treatment choices, while N.D.’s use therapies such as nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture and traditional Asian medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine and lifestyle counseling.
M.D.’s quick access to diagnostic imaging and other equipment, as well as surgical skill makes them particularly adept at treating emergency and acute conditions. However, the fact that OHIP covers visits to an M.D. also means that the time they have to spend with each patient is often extremely limited.
N.D.’s on the other hand generally have plenty of time to talk to and examine a patient, and their focus on prevention and addressing the underying cause of illness makes them the ideal practitioner to help you achieve long-term health and wellness.
Can I tell my MD that I am seeing an ND?
This is entirely up to you. There are more and more M.D.’s who are learning the benefits of Naturopathic Medicine and are happy to work alongside an N.D. to provide a high level of health care for their patients. This is the ideal situation.
However, some M.D.’s who are less educated about the benefits of Naturopathic Medicine are unhappy that their patients are seeing an N.D. While we, at the Wallace Integrated Health Centre, recommend that you discuss with your M.D. the fact that you are also seeing an N.D., we do understand that in some cases this will not happen. In these cases, it is imperative that you inform your N.D. of all prescription medications that your M.D. has prescribed, so that your N.D. can ensure that there will be no conflict with any natural therapies he or she might prescribe.
How do I know that my ND is licensed?
In Ontario, N.D.’s are currently licensed under the “Drugless Practitioners Act (DPA),” and regulated by the “Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDT-N).” This is in the process of changing, however. N.D.’s are in the process of becoming regulated under the “Regulated Health Practitioners Act,” the same legislation that regulates all other health care practitioners in Ontario (M.D.’s, dentists, midwives, physiotherapists…). There will be a new College of Naturopaths in Ontario to oversee regulation. This will be wonderful for N.D.’s and their patients, as this legislation is much more up to date than the antiquated DPA from 1925. As with all things government, this transition takes time, and a lot of it! We hope that it will be complete by mid-2014. Until then, N.D’s will continue to be regulated by the BDDT-N. Currently, your N.D. should display their BDDT-N license in a prominent place in their clinic, however, the most certain way to determine if your N.D. is licensed is to call the BDDT-N at 1-877-361-1925 (www.boardofnaturopathicmedicine.on.ca).