faq - naturopathic medicine

How are naturopathic doctors trained and educated?

After three years of pre-medical university education, naturopathic doctors complete a four-year program at one of the six naturopathic programs in North America that are accredited by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education. The six schools are the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, Bastyr University, National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bridgeport University. Curriculum includes basic sciences, pharmacology, diagnostic sciences and training in each of the naturopathic modalities. Senior level course include obstetrics, pediatrics, women’s and men’s health. Each graduate must complete a 12-month rotation as an intern and gain valuable clinical experience. Naturopathic doctors must successfully pass a total of 16 licensing examinations administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE).

What are the principles of naturopathic medicine?

First, do no harm - Primum non nocere
Provide the most effective health care with the least risk.

Self-healing power of nature - Vis medicatrix naturae
Recognize, respect and promote the body's inherent power to heal itself

Treat the causes - Tolle causum
Strive to diagnose and remove the causes of illness rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms

Doctor as teacher Docere
Educate patients, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health.

Treat the whole person - Tolle totum
Take into account all the influences on health for each person they treat.

Health promotion, the best prevention - Praevenire
Promote health as a way to prevent disease for individuals, communities and our world.

How are naturopathic doctors regulated in the province of Alberta?

Naturopathic doctors are regulated under Schedule 14 of Alberta’s Health Practitioners Act by the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta (CNDA). All legitimately practicing naturopathic doctors are registered with the CNDA. Look for your doctor’s Practice Permit in their office. All of our doctors are in good standing with the CNDA and are listed members of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

What can I expect during my first appointment?

Your first appointment with one our naturopathic doctors will be one hour in length. Typically, they will discuss your current and past health concerns, and review your overall health and medical history. Your naturopathic doctor will also assess your dietary intake, current medication and supplement regime, recent laboratory results and conduct a complaint-oriented physical exam, if necessary. Further laboratory tests may be recommended to assist your naturopathic doctor in making a diagnosis and assessment.

By the end of your first appointment, your naturopathic doctor will make their assessment and develop an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve your health goals.

How long will it take until I feel better?

It is important to realize that it takes time to feel better when using naturopathic medicine. We usually tell patients to expect to visit us at least four (4) times and to wait approximately two (2) months before significant changes are noticed. Some patients of naturopathic medicine see changes within the first month of treatment, however this will vary due to the individualized nature of health.

Are my visits covered by Alberta Health Care?

Alberta Health Care does not currently cover naturopathic, chiropractic or massage treatments. However, most extended health benefits plans have provisions for these services. Contact your benefits provider to determine the extent of your coverage.

What are the benefits of using supplements from a professional company?

Nutritional and herbal supplements are now widely available in Canada. The benefit of choosing professional products includes assurance of high quality supplements. These products have undergone extensive research to ensure efficacy and safety for our patients. Professional products may be prescribed by your naturopathic doctor as part of your individualized treatment plan. At Grassroots Naturopathic Medicine, we carry a dispensary of professional products that are made available to our patients and referred patients of other health care providers.