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Naturopathic Doctors use a variety of therapies to stimulate healing and treat disease. The types of therapies used by a Naturopathic Doctor will depend on the training received and the type of legislation in the NDís practicing jurisdiction. For example, NDís in certain states in the US are able to prescribe pharmaceutical medications and perform minor surgery.

In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors are trained and approved to perform the therapies listed below.

Clinical Nutrition

SaladNutrition and the therapeutic use of foods is a cornerstone of Naturopathic Medicine. Food intolerances, deficiencies, dietary imbalances or nutritional excesses have been associated with many medical conditions. A Naturopathic Doctor is trained to understand the impact that your diet may have on your health. With appropriate dietary modifications and nutritional supplements, health concerns can be treated with fewer complications and side effects.

Additionally, a Naturopathic Doctor can provide you with individualized dietary information to enhance your nutritional profile and encourage optimal health and disease prevention.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

AcupunctureThe key principle that defines and connects all of Chinese medicine is that of Qi (pronounced chee), or vital energy. The qi of all organs must be in balance, neither too active nor too dormant, for a person to be healthy. The qi of the body's organs and systems are all connected in meridians or channels that lie under the skin. Acupuncture is used by the Naturopathic Doctor to assist the body in regulating Qi and achieving balance.

Acupuncture is the use of very thin needles which are inserted into specific meridian points. The practice of acupuncture has been around for over two thousand years and has proven to be very effective especially for pain relief and chronic illness.

Herbal/Botanical Medicine

aloeMedicinal plants have been, and will continue to be, a valuable part of health care. These plants and plant substances are highly effective and safe in the proper dosages and when used correctly with other herbs and treatments. Herbs can be prepared in many forms, including teas (herbs diffused in water), tinctures (herbs diffused in alcohol) or capsules (dried powdered herbs in a gelatin capsule). Naturopathic Doctors are extensively trained in the art and science of botanical medicine. Naturopathic Doctors are currently the only health care providers in Canada to be licensed for the use of botanical medicine.

Homeopathic Medicine

HomeopathyHomeopathic remedies are made from specific dilutions of plant, animal and mineral substances. When carefully matched to the patient they are able to affect the body's "vital force" and to stimulate the body's innate healing forces on both the physical and emotional levels, with few side effects. Some conditions that do not respond well to conventional medicine may respond effectively to homeopathy. This powerful system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is widely accepted in many countries.

Lifestyle Counselling

Mental attitudes and emotional states are important elements in healing and disease. Addressing all aspects of a person's life, identifying and addressing the impact that stress and life events have on a patient's health is an important aspect of naturopathic treatment. Naturopathic Doctors are trained to counsel on mental, emotional, physical, nutritional and environmental factors that affect health.


Hydrotherapy involves the use of external applications of hot and/or cold water to bring about healing and maintain optimal health. Hydrotherapy not only brings about symptomatic relief to specific areas of the body, but also has a great affect in stimulating the bodyís natural healing abilities, and increasing the bodyís vitality. Naturopathic Doctors often provide hydrotherapy treatments as self-care, for patients to perform at home.

Physical Therapy

Physical medicine offers treatment for many different health concerns. Treatments can include soft tissue work (including therapeutic massage), naturopathic manipulation of muscle, bone or the spine, hydrotherapy techniques, gentle electrical impulses, ultrasound, diathermy, and exercise therapy.

This page contains information from the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.