Anyone in Canada wishing to use the title of naturopath must possess an undergraduate degree in the health sciences, and complete a preparatory program for a graduate degree, in one of the two accredited naturopathic schools in Canada (in Toronto or New Westminster, British Columbia). At the end of her program, she will have to take admission exams. This training allows the naturopath to treat the acute and chronic diseases of his patients and to aim for an optimal state of health.
If your family doctor is also a naturopath, their primary goal is to keep you healthy through natural means . Depending on your needs, he will offer you services such as acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, hydrotherapy, clinical nutrition and lifestyle advice.
In the world of naturopathy, patient education plays an essential role. According to the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CADN), “Naturopaths want to educate their patients and encourage them to invest in their own health, because they must give themselves the means to act in order to take in hand.
New rules for naturopaths
For decades, naturopathic doctor have been covered by the Drugless Practitioners Act, which will remain in effect for the next three years until new regulations come into effect. Upon passage of these new regulations, naturopaths will be governed under the Naturopathy Act, under the Regulated Health Professions Act which also governs chiropractors, physiotherapists and other health care providers. This new law will give them increased prescription rights and give them the right to do laboratory tests.
“There are more and more people turning to naturopaths for treatment,” says O’Reilly. The right to prescribe treatment will undoubtedly be a measure that will bring naturopaths and other health care providers closer together ”. As for knowing what impact these changes will have on patients, O’Reilly explains that “the latter will be able to contact a naturopath authorized to prescribe antibiotics for them to treat strep throat”. She adds that these changes will give naturopaths the right to use substances that were previously forbidden to them. According to
This initiative represents enormous progress that affects all those who work in the field of naturopathy. “We hope that these events will legalize our profession and reveal that we are professionals in the same way as doctors practicing traditional medicine are.
What your naturopath can or cannot do for you
Under recent changes to naturopathy in Ontario and British Columbia, naturopaths will soon be able to offer a wider range of treatment options to their patients. Let’s see what the scope of these new regulations will be and how to go about finding the right naturopathic doctor for you.
Are there any restrictions?
Although the new regulations give naturopaths the right to offer their patients a wider variety of treatments, in some cases consultation with a traditional doctor is still unavoidable. Indeed, for the moment, naturopaths do not have access to diagnostic imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A patient who, for example, suffered a bone fracture or surgery would continue to see a doctor. Any patient in need of conventional care would naturally be referred to a doctor by the naturopath.
“We are not adversaries. The patient does not have to choose between the naturopath or the doctor. In my opinion, he has an interest in benefiting from the treatments offered by these two practitioners. »
What is the situation in unregulated provinces?
In Canada, naturopathy is not regulated in all provinces. There may even be licensed naturopaths working in unregulated provinces. But when they decide to develop regulations, it would not be surprising to see other provinces follow suit”. Ontario Naturopathic Association President and CEO Alison Dantas says support for British Columbia and Ontario sets precedent among unregulated provinces . This first step can only encourage the other provinces to follow them in the same direction”.
How to Choose the Right Naturopath
Oulahen gives some great recommendations for people looking for a naturopath “First, check the websites of the ACDN or the Ontario Association of Naturopaths to find a licensed naturopath near you. Make sure you know if the latter has the necessary skills to exercise .
Then, get to know the naturopath better. “As a practitioner, we treat each of our patients as a separate person. It is the same for the naturopath who, too, will be perceived as a distinct person by the patient” specifies Oulahen.