Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care system, which blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. With focus on the individual and the body's natural ability to heal itself, naturopathic medicine aims to treat the root cause of disease. It uses a variety of modalities including botanical medicine, traditional chinese medicine and homeopathy, while also focusing on nutrition and lifestyle. It addresses both acute and chronic health issues, and emphasizes prevention. Some common conditions NDs treat are stress, digestive issues, skin concerns and hormone imbalances. NDs tend to spend more time with you in order to provide an individualized treatment plan, encompassing your physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.
Naturopathic medicine is a licensed profession that abides by natural standards of practice, and NDs are trained as primary physicians. To become a ND you must attend one of the 4-year accredited institutions (2 in Canada; 5 in the States), which includes more than 4,500 classroom and 1,500 clinical hours, and pass the licensing board exams. Nova Scotia has now become one of several provinces to protect the title of ''Naturopathic Doctor.'' An ND in Nova Scotia has to be a member of the provincial and national Naturopathic Associations (NSAND & CAND), and meet their rigorous requirements. The NSAND is on its way to a more comprehensive legislation, such as in BC, ON, SK and MB.