What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct form of primary care that blends scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. A naturopathic doctor aims to restore balance to a person’s health by addressing the root cause of illness. Naturopathic doctors treat the whole person by exploring a patient’s symptoms, lifestyle, history and other elements that affect health. Treatments are individualized for each person using natural, gentle and safe therapies such as herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, clinical nutrition and lifestyle counselling. Naturopathic medicine can complement conventional medical treatment. Naturopathic doctors work with other health care professional to ensure safe and effective patient care.
What conditions do naturopathic doctors treat?
Naturopathic medicine is effective in the treatment of both acute and chronic illness. Commonly treated conditions include:
Acute – colds, flu, ear infections, chest infections, headaches/migraines, urinary tract infections
Chronic – allergies, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, automimmune disease, depression/anxiety, heart conditions, hypertension, diabetes, digestive complaints, headaches/migraines, PMS, infertility, menopause, menstrual disorders and cancer. Naturopathic doctors treat the whole person not the disease. For this reason, the list of patients that would benefit from naturopathic care is truly endless.
What can I expect from my first visit?
Your first visit is 1.5 hours (one hour for pediatric patients). Please bring in a completed Intake Form which is available on the website. Dr. Anchel will review the form with you and collect additional information about your chief concerns, medical history, family history, diet and lifestyle. A short physical exam will also be performed. A naturopathic intake is very different than one done by a medical doctor; not only because it is longer but because of the significant detail that you will be asked to go into. During this visit you will do most of the talking. The initial intake is the ND’s opportunity to get to know you as a whole person and start to uncover the root cause of your health concerns. If you are currently taking any medications or supplements, please bring them in so that Dr. Anchel can make note of them.
What training do naturopathic doctors have?
Naturopathic doctors obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of medical doctors. NDs require three years of pre-med postsecondary education, plus four years of full-time study at an accredited college of naturopathic medicine, of which there are six in Canada and the US. Naturopathic doctors study medical clinical sciences (biochemistry, physiology, histology, immunology, microbiology, pathology) as well as medical diagnostics, pharmacology and, of course, naturopathic medical therapeutics including botanical (herbal) medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, clinical nutrition, homeopathy and lifestyle counselling.
Are naturopathic doctors regulated in Ontario?
Yes. In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). To be registered with CONO, NDs must have graduated from an approved school of Naturopathic Medicine and must have successfully completed the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) and Ontario board examinations. Only registered Naturopathic Doctors can use the ND designation.
Can naturopathic doctors prescribe drugs?
A naturopathic doctor that has completed additional training and passed a standardized Ontario Prescribing and Therapeutics exam is able to prescribe certain substances that appear under the Controlled Acts regulation. Some of these substances are high dose vitamins (i.e., vitamin D over 1000 i.u./day, vitamin A over 10,000 iu/day), others are administered by injection (intramuscular B12 shots) or inhalation (nebulized glutathione). Currently, naturopathic doctors that hold a prescribing license can also prescribe bio-identical estrogen, bio-identical progesterone (both topically) and natural desiccated Thyroid (ERFA). Dr. Tara Anchel has held a prescribing license since 2015 and has pursued additional training in bio-identical hormone prescribing and regularly uses hormones and Thyroid.
How is a naturopathic doctor different from other “holistic” practitioners?
Unfortunately, the complementary and alternative medicine field is not as closely monitored as it could be. There are many practitioners without adequate education and training, claiming to be natural health care providers. This is especially true in Quebec where naturopathic medicine is not regulated by the government. To check to see if your naturopath is registered consult the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) or the Quebec Association of Naturopathic Doctors.
Is naturopathic medicine covered by OHIP?
Currently, OHIP does not cover naturopathic medicine. However, many extended health care benefit plans do provide coverage. Check your benefits package, or call your insurance provider to confirm your coverage.
What is the cancellation policy?
Appointments may be cancelled without charge up to 24 hours before the scheduled visit. Missed appointments will be billed to the patient at 50% of the scheduled visit fee.