What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine is a unique blend of scientific knowledge with traditional, more natural forms of medicine. It is based on the traditional root view that nature heals. The focus of Naturopathic Medicine is to recognize the whole person when it comes to health and healing. Everyone has an innate capacity to heal and be well. Naturopathic Medical treatment recognizes that promoting the vital force of the person is the key to better health, and utilizing natural means to do so.
What are the Educational Requirements of a Naturopathic Physician?
Naturopathic Physicians in British Columbia (BC) are considered medical doctors. They are also accepted as primary care physicians, and thus hold the title of ND. All NDs in BC have at minimum 7 years of post-secondary education, both undergraduate and pre-med, as well as an additional 4 years of medical school training. A Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) has a degree from a naturopathic medical school with admission requirements comparable to conventional medical schools. NDs have well over 4500 hours of both academic and clinical training under their belt by the time they graduate. Dr. Olena graduated from Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, BC in December 2014, and also holds several post-graduate degrees in Arts and Psychology. In order to become licensed to practice in BC, an ND must successfully pass stringent North American Board exams (NPLEX) and specific regulatory Board exams in BC. In addition, post-licensing, all Naturopathic Doctors must complete continuing education courses in the fields of Herbal Medicine, Ethics and Jurisprudence, Spinal Manipulation, Pharmacology, Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nutritional Medicine, Physical Therapies, Lifestyle Modification and Counselling. Dr. Olena has met all of those requirements. She is also a member in good standing with:
CNPBC (College of Naturopathic Physicians in BC),
BCNA (British Columbia Naturopathic Association),
CAND (Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors),
CTCMA (College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists),
ARIA-BC (Acupoint and Regeneration Injection International Association of BC),
How does my Naturopathic Physician rank compared to other “Naturopaths”?
Because the term ‘naturopath’ is widely used with anyone who practices some form of natural treatment approach, it is important to distinguish a licensed Naturopath or Naturopathic Doctor from ones who are un-licensed and achieved their schooling mostly through distance/correspondence or short-term courses.
When researching Naturopaths or Doctors, it is imperative to ensure that you are seeking a licensed ND. For an ND in your area, please visit CAND (Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors). Always ask that practitioner where they achieved their education and what requirements were necessary. Protect yourself and your health. You have a right to know!
What can Naturopathic Physicians practice?
Naturopathic Physicians (ND) are trained in and can practice in many areas, including but not limited to:
Asian Medicine (acupuncture/herbs)
Psychological Medicine (lifestyle counselling and mental health)
Labs and Diagnostic Imaging (x-rays, ultrasound etc)
Naturopathic Physicians in BC are not considered specialists, however, many choose to concentrate in more specific modalities and areas that interest them. Although she has all naturopathic modalities at her disposal, Dr. Olena has long-standing interest in Asian Medicine ie. acupuncture, herbs, nutrition), Botanical Medicine and Energy Medicine (homeopathy, etc), and enjoys working in the areas of chronic pain, autoimmune disorders/immune deficiencies, hormones, digestive health, end-of-life care and trauma.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) will always choose therapies/modalities and remedies that are safe and effective. The goal is to improve the state of your health and minimize any harmful side effects.
Utilize the Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
The NDs role is to facilitate the process of healing using natural means, identify and assist in removal obstacles to good health. The goal is restoration of a healthy environment inside and out.
Identify and Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)
A NDs primary goal is to determine and treat the underlying cause of your illness rather than simply managing or suppressing the symptoms.
Treat the Whole Person (Tolle Totum)
Visits to an NDs include a whole assessment including family history, environmental stresses, emotional health, physical health, lifestyle, nutritional status and more. An evaluation takes into account all facets of the entire person, and never just the symptoms.
Doctor as Teacher/Healer (Docere)
NDs help you in understanding both your illness and your road to recovery.
Practice Preventative Lifestyle (Prevention is the Best Cure)
At all times, NDs utilize therapies and remedies necessary with the focus of disease prevention and lifestyle improvement.
Copyright 2018 Dr. Olena Gill, RAc., ND – Indigo Integrative Health Clinic