Naturopathic medicine is unique in that each naturopathic doctor is trained in all of the treatment modalities described below, and most importantly in their integrated use:
Botanical Medicine: Plant. substances have been utilized safely and effectively for centuries in the prevention and treatment of disease. Their clinical uses and effects are described in detail in traditional literature, and they are the subject of an increasing amount of new scientific research. Documentation exists that demonstrates the safe and effective use of many botanical medicines over generations. Botanical medicines have pharmacological properties that necessitate their use by appropriately trained health care providers.
Clinical Nutrition: The relationship between nutrition and wellness, or between inadequate nutrition and disease, is well documented and is a cornerstone of naturopathic practice. Naturopathic application of clinical nutrition involves the use of dietetics and specific nutritional substances for the prevention and treatment of disease, the correction of dietary inadequacies and the promotion of wellness.
Counselling: A tenet of naturopathic medicine is that emotional health and physical health are interdependent. Naturopathic practice includes the integrated use of counseling techniques along with such methods as stress management and biofeedback when indicated.
Homeopathic Medicine: Homeopathic medicine was originally developed during the 18th century by the German physician Hahnemann, and is widely used throughout the world. Minute amounts of substances prepared and prescribed according to strict homeopathic principles are used to evoke a physiological and/or psychological response. The practice of homeopathic medicine includes a unique and detailed method of case taking and analysis, and an in-depth knowledge of homeopathic materia medica.
Lifestyle Modification and Public Health: Environment and lifestyle have a significant impact on health. Contamination of food, water or the local environment, and extremes in diet can cause a significant risk for the patient. These factors are evaluated and dealt with when appropriate.
Mechanotherapy including Manipulation of the spine and extremities: Mechanotherapy includes both the manipulation and mobilization of the joints of the spine and extremities, as well as other physical and mechanical techniques applied to connective tissue. Mechanotherapy has been part of naturopathic medicine since the turn of the century and is used in conjunction with one or more other naturopathic modalities.
Oriental Medicine and acupuncture: Oriental medicine and acupuncture comprise a unique system that has been in use for 5,000 years for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. This system employs unique methods for evaluating the flow and balance of energy in the body, and includes the specialized use of Oriental herbs and acupuncture. Naturopathic doctors are trained to use this system when indicated as part of an integrated approach with Western diagnostic methods.
Physical Therapeutic Procedures: Naturopathic medicine has traditionally utilized a wide variety of physical modalities for the treatment of pain and to stimulate circulation and healing. These include heat/cold, light, ultraviolet and infrared, electrical pulsation, magnetic field, therapeuticultrasound,diathermy,interferential, cold laser,hydrotherapy, colon therapy, traction, massage and exercise.
*Extracted from The Ontario Naturopathic Professionšs Submission to the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council, a joint submission by the BDDT-N and the OAND.