Still have that sore back? How about those headaches? Do you dread spring and autumn because you just know your allergies will start again, and relief feels like a distant possibility?

Naturopathic doctors are highly skilled health care practitioners who are trained to help with these kinds of concerns, and others, by using gentle and safe treatments to support the body’s innate ability to heal itself.All Naturopathic doctors study for a minimum of three years in pre-medical university training, followed by four years of full-time graduate education at a CNME accredited Naturopathic medical school. Training includes the study of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and the full range of sciences to ensure they have a working knowledge of Western medications and treatments; this this helps ensure their therapeutic recommendations are safe and effective. In addition, Naturopathic doctors are trained in how to use natural substances to gently help the body heal and recover.

Some of the more common conditions for which people consult Naturopathic doctors include:

allergies

arthritis

chronic pain

diabetes

digestive concerns

fibromyalgia

geriatric healthcare

headaches

hormonal imbalances

insomnia

pediatric healthcare

weight issues

situations where no clear single disease appears to be the problem

Naturopathic treatments are varied and have a long history of safe, effective use that is supported by strong evidence-based research. Types of treatment include:

Acupuncture: A very ancient medicine that stimulates and supports the body to heal using specialized needles to act on the nervous system. It can be very effective for back pain and headaches. Generally the more frequent the treatment, the more effective it is.

Botanical Medicine: Using plant substances to enhance natural healing capabilities and provide nutritional benefits. This type of medicine can be very effective for a wide range of conditions from colds to menopause to digestive issues.

Clinical Nutrition: Assessing the connection between diet and health. Treatment may include dietary changes and nutritional supplements such as vitamins and minerals. Naturopathic doctors believe building a healthy body starts with eating healthy food.

Homeopathic Medicine: Based on the principle of “like-cures-like”. This approach strives to stimulate and support the self-healing abilities of the body by using minute amounts of natural substances. This type of medicine can help with a variety of concerns from allergies to fibromyalgia.

Visits to a Naturopathic doctor are covered by most extended health care plans.

To ensure you are choosing a qualified Naturopathic doctor or Naturopath, visit the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (www.cand.ca), or the Yukon Association of Naturopathic Doctors (www.yand.ca) for a list of licensed practitioners in your area. The Yukon Naturopathic Association has been representing Naturopathic doctors for over 10 years. It has recently been renamed the Yukon Association of Naturopathic Doctors as they continue to request appropriate regulatory standards.

For more information about the different therapies used, see the websites of the two accredited colleges in Canada: The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (www.ccnm.edu) or the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (www.binm.org).