Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of Naturopathic care?

The goal of Naturopathic practice is to treat the underlying disorders and restore normal body function by enhancing the body’s own healing abilities. Therefore, Naturopathic Doctors focus their efforts on understanding the unique needs of each patient.  As a result, Naturopathic treatments are highly individualized.  Our goal is to improve the health of the patient so they are able to combat illness and living high health lives.  Patients are involved in their health program and learn to make effective, educated self-care decisions, which can prevent future health problems.

What kinds of conditions do Naturopathic Doctors treat?

The goal of Naturopathic Medicine is to achieve optimal levels of health. Therefore, Naturopathic Doctors treat patients at every stage of life. Anyone can be helped with Naturopathic care. Many patients seek help with chronic conditions such as body pain, skin diseases, respiratory diseases, female disorders or gastrointestinal diseases and find much relief with Naturopathic treatment. Others present with acute illnesses, which can be quickly improved to help avoid pain, loss of sleep, loss of work, and anxiety. Still others seek education and prevention – you don’t have to be sick to feel better.  A Naturopathic program is looking toward the future. You can begin to feel better now and you can reduce the likelihood of suffering and illness later in life.

How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?

Naturopathic Doctors have a minimum of three years of pre-medical studies at a university, followed by four years of study at an accredited Naturopathic Medical school. The education includes basic medical sciences including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, laboratory diagnosis, etc. and treatment modalities including acupuncture, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy and so on. Candidates then undergo a full year of supervised clinical rotation.  After completion of the ND program, candidates must successfully pass federal board-licensing exams before being allowed to practice Naturopathic Medicine in their Province. Each province has its own governing body for regulating Naturopathic Doctors.

How do I know if my Naturopathic Doctor is registered (licensed)?

Naturopathic Doctors in British Columbia are regulated by The College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (C.N.P.B.C.) – Naturopathy, under the federally regulated Drugless Practitioners Act.  If you’d like a list of registered (licensed) ND’s practicing in BC, contact the British Columbia Naturopathic Association or the College of Naturopathic Physician of British Columbia.

What Should I expect from a Naturopathic Visit?

Naturopathic Medicine focuses on treating the whole person using individualized treatment. Each visit and treatment protocol is tailored to your specific needs. Your first visit includes an in depth assessment including a complete medical history and examination. Further laboratory diagnostics may be ordered depending on your presenting condition. Expect to spend approximately 1-1.25 hours at the office for your first visit. By the second or third visit, depending on whether tests are conducted, is 30 to 45 minutes in length and is the time for your Naturopathic Doctor to review and discuss the findings and treatment options. Follow-up visits will vary after this point depending on the treatment program prescribed, as each additional visit is the time to assess progression and fine tune or continue your therapy. Since Naturopathic Doctors treat health and just not disease and in consideration of health as a dynamic process, it is important to keep in mind that you may visit them on an ongoing basis.

Do I need a referral to make an appointment?

No referral is necessary to make an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor.

Can I visit both a Medical Doctor and a Naturopathic Doctor?

Yes. Medical Doctors and Naturopathic Doctors often work together to provide you with the best health care available.

Can I use Naturopathic Medicine if I’m on prescription medication?

Yes. Naturopathic Doctors can help you manage the side effects of medication.  Since 2011, the government of British Columbia granted prescriptive authority to licensed Naturopathic Doctors.  Naturopathic Doctors can prescribe or renew medications which can be filled at your pharmacy.   This means enhanced care as primary care practitioners, leading to a wider range of options and the best possible care to patients.

Does MSP Cover Naturopathic Medicine?

Provincial subsidy through MSP does not include Naturopathic care, unless you are on premium assistance.  There is limited government coverage for premium assistance patients.

Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by Extended Health Plans? 

Most of the population has extended health care coverage through their employer.  And, most extended health plans include naturopathic care.  You are likely covered by an extended health plan and not even know it!  Typically, plans are renewed yearly, starting in January.  If you haven’t done so, it is a great idea to use your extended health coverage before December 31st!

I’m Self Employed… Is Naturopathic Medicine Tax Deductable?

Yes.  Just because you are self employed, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t save with Naturopathic care!
Recent Revenue Canada (CRA) Federal legislation now allows business owners to fully tax deduct 100% of their naturopathic healthcare expenses as a business expense using a Health & Welfare Trust.  You can also write off 100% of supplement expenses as well.  Contact your accountant for more information.

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