A: As Canadians, we are accustomed to having our health care paid for. Unfortunately, our public health care system is not designed to value quality time in prevention and education of disease through naturopathic medicine. When we think of our cars and understand the importance of regular oil changes and annual maintenance, it begs the question: “Do I take better care of my car, than my body?” What could be more important than your own physical body, mind and spirit as a vehicle through this life?
A: Yes and no. In January of 2002, provincial subsidies for naturopathic care were discontinued. Currently, there is no MSP coverage unless you are on premium assistance, in which case, we can deduct $23 from your Naturopathic visits and bill MSP directly. Most extended health care plans (private plans) do cover Naturopathic visit fees and acupuncture (provided by your Naturopathic Doctor) while others further cover laboratory testing and intravenous therapies (this can range from 50% coverage to $500-$1000 annually, depending on your plan). Prescribed medications and supplements are generally not covered. Please check with your insurance provider prior to the visit, regarding your coverage details. Patients are required to pay at the time of service and then remit an invoice to their insurance provider for reimbursement.
A: In some cases, the second visit may include a physical exam to help determine a greater understanding for your health concerns. Arriving 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time is advised in order to provide a urine sample. Naturopathic physical exams are thorough and include a body composition test (weight, height, fat and muscle percentage, cellular health, etc.), a urinalysis, and a comprehensive review of all major organ systems. A female pelvic and breast exam may also be provided if required. The physical exam is concluded with a brief consultation.
Subsequent visits will include the review and explanation of any requested/ordered laboratory tests combined with an individualized treatment program.
A: Patients should arrive 20 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment to complete intake forms. Your initial consultation is typically 60-75 minutes and involves a comprehensive health assessment that considers your full medical history, family history, dietary habits, stress level, exercise, environmental toxin exposure, and current health conditions. Please bring all existing medications and supplements with you for review. Depending on your history and health concerns, basic or specialty lab tests may be requested from your existing provider or ordered (either onsite or via referral).
All licensed Naturopathic Doctors must have a minimum of 3 years pre-medical training (usually a Bachelor’s Degree) from university; followed by four years of naturopathic medical doctorate training at an accredited naturopathic medical school. All NDs must successfully complete provincial board exams prior to being granted licensure. NDs in BC are licensed and regulated by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC.
Naturopathic Doctors may also undergo further specialty training in areas like Acupuncture, Intravenous therapy, Chelation therapy, Prolotherapy, etc.
A: Naturopathic medicine is an integrative approach to health care, healing and wellness. By definition, Naturopathic Doctors (ND) are government recognized general practitioners with specialized training in natural therapies. Naturopathic Doctors treat the underlying cause of illness, seek to uncover the biochemical imbalances in the body and treat both the symptoms and the cause of dis-ease. Naturopathic medicine encompasses many traditional therapies including acupuncture and herbal medicine, and integrates this with current conventional medical science to diagnose in a manner similar to medical doctors (MD’s). ND’s further utilize therapies such as clinical nutrition, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, intravenous therapy, clinical psychology, innovative laboratory testing and the discretionary use of pharmaceutical prescriptions.
Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care physicians in integrative medicine, providing services that are toward the needs of each individual. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating many health problems whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic Doctors cooperate with all branches of medicine referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when deemed appropriate.