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Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a patient-centred, whole-body approach to health care that aims to get to the root of disease. It takes into account a person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) use non-pharmacological, evidence-based therapies such as clinical nutrition, lifestyle counselling, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, botanical medicine and physical medicine to not only treat and prevent disease, but to optimize one’s health and wellness.

NDs use an integrative approach to health care and work with other health care providers including, medical doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, psychotherapist, counsellors, osteopaths, physiotherapists etc. to provide the best quality of care for their patients. NDs work with patients at any stage in their health journey.

Naturopathic Principles:

  • First, do no harm. Naturopathic medicine uses the most natural, least-invasive therapies possible.
  • Identify and treat the root cause of disease, rather than eliminating or suppressing symptoms.
  • Use the healing power of nature. Identify and remove obstacles to optimal health in order to augment the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
  • Doctor as Teacher. NDs educate patients to help empower them to regain control of their health.
  • Treat the whole person through individualized treatment plans that take into account a person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

NDs are required to complete a bachelor’s degree with required pre-medical courses before entering a four-year medical program at one of the accredited naturopathic schools. In order to practice naturopathic medicine in Ontario, NDs must have successfully completed both the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX 1 & 2) and the provincial licensing board exams.

NDs in Ontario are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) and are under the Regulated Health Professions Act. In order to maintain best practice, 70 hours of continuing education every three years is also required. An additional prescribing examination is required depending on the scope of practice that is being used.

What to expect when you see Dr. Maracle?

Before your initial visit, you will be sent an online intake form that will ask you information about your chief concerns, current and past medical history, family history, medications/supplements, home and work environment, diet and lifestyle and a review of body systems. Your first visit is one hour and involves a further in-depth inquiry into any concerns listed in your intake forms. Together, you will determine your goals for treatment and a treatment plan will be commenced. You are encouraged to bring in any previous lab work or imaging pertaining to your health goals to help establish a baseline for treatment.

Whether additional testing or imaging is appropriate may also be discussed. The second visit is 45 minutes and is typically done 4-6 weeks after the first visit. This is an opportunity to reassess the treatment plan if needed and address any additional concerns. It also includes an age specific well-person check-up and any physical examinations. Subsequent visits are typically 30 minutes and the frequency of visits will be determined by you and Dr. Maracle based on your health goals.