Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Value of Naturopathic Care

I get it. We have free medical healthcare in Canada. Here in Ontario, our government pays for emergency room visits, surgeries, walk-in clinics, basic medical care, and for seniors, a HUGE portion of their prescription costs.

If you visit a walk-in clinic without your government "Health Card" and pay for services, a 10 minute visit with an MD can cost about $110. Yes, that's $11 for each minute you spend with that doctor. The doctor that must take your information, and very quickly use their clinical knowledge to figure out what (if anything) they can do for you.

As an ND, I realize that fees can be alarming if you're not used to paying for healthcare. However, the service you're receiving is much different than that of an MD, and we both paid about the same amount for our education (a 4-year undergraduate degree, plus 4 years of post-secondary medical education).

An ND (Naturopathic doctor) will:
  • Spend 90 minutes with you on the first visit (This may range between 1-2 hours depending on the naturopath. My initial visits are 1.5 hours)
  • Take a thorough health history including details on your: sleep, mood, energy, diet, appetite, stress, temperature, and more. 
  • Whenever possible, treat the root cause, not just your symptoms. 
    • Sure, we also want to give you symptom relief, but we focus on interventions or treatments that address the cause. 
  •  Consider the big picture - treating you as a whole
    • ND's tend to take all of you (your symptoms, your lifestyle, your views) into account when making a treatment plan. There is rarely a "one-size-fits-all" treatment. 
  • Help you with positive diet choices for your specific needs
    • ND's have a minimum of 4 years education in nutrition - a signifiant difference from the minimal training an MD gets. We can help you with hormone balancing, weight loss and specific diets for medical conditions such as IBD, PCOS, and weight loss. 
  • We combine the medical aspect (blood work, physical exams, diagnosis) with the holistic: incorporating lifestyle choices to improve your health. For example, part of an ND's prescription might be 5 minutes of meditation, or daily puzzles for mental cognition and brain function. 
  • We offer many additional services to your average medical care, including (but not limited to): IV therapy, acupuncture (based on Traditional Chinese Medicine), B12 injections, and infrared sauna treatment.
  • Our goals are for you to live a healthier life, improve your feeling of wellness and allow you to age well. We want to you to optimize your health and be the best you. 
Our emergency medical system and public health is an absolute necessity for our healthcare, but there are times when conventional medicine doesn't have the answers, or there are no other treatments that can be offered. But there are more options available. There are always alternative treatments, whether it be from an ND, and osteopath, a chiropractor, or other practitioner.

Paying for your health now is like paying for a healthier future; paying for the tools to manage stress or anxiety; paying for someone to truly listen to you - and to everything on your list; paying now, so you don't pay in body pains and illness later. It's an investment in you.