Naturopathic medicine is a comprehensive primary health care profession that focuses on prevention and uses natural, safe methods to promote healing in patients with acute and chronic disease.
WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING DOES A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR RECEIVE?
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of medical doctors. An undergraduate degree, with specific science prerequisites, is mandatory before entering either of the two accredited naturopathic colleges in Canada. Dr. Jasper completed a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Manitoba and then graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Jasper, ND has since completed advanced training in Bowen Therapy.
Naturopathic college programs require four full-time years of naturopathic medical training (4500 hours) in medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience. Naturopathic college graduates must successfully complete board-certified licensing exams (NPLEX) and jurisdictional exams in regulated provinces. Naturopathic Doctors are regulated in Manitoba by the Manitoba Naturopathic Association and governed under the Manitoba Naturopathic Act.
Naturopathic practitioners must complete ongoing mandatory continuing education to ensure they are always aware of the most recent, scientific and clinical information. Dr. Jasper has travelled extensively in Canada and the US for additional training in her field.
HOW IS VISITING A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR THE SAME AS VISITING A MEDICAL DOCTOR?
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained in medical sciences and may use the same scientific resources your family physician uses to diagnose and treat your condition. Similar to an appointment with your medical doctor, your ND may also do a complaint-oriented physical exam and/or laboratory testing to ensure a complete understanding of your medical concerns. Also, both MDs and NDs will refer to another medical professional when appropriate. Most naturopathic doctors are also like family doctors in that they can treat all members of your family.
HOW IS VISITING A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR DIFFERENT FROM VISITING A MEDICAL DOCTOR?
Time spent with patients is one of the most apparent differences. Naturopathic doctors devote a significant amount of time with each patient – so bring your questions! Dr. Jasper considers educating her patients and answering their questions an essential aspect of superior health care. The key to long-standing good health is taking the time to investigate all the systems in your body so that the root cause can be addressed. Dr. Jasper will listen to your detailed health story, investigate your health concerns and research the best-suited treatment approach.
DOES DR. JASPER WORK WITH OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS?
Absolutely. Naturopathic treatments can complement and enhance the health services provided by other health care professionals, including your family doctor. Dr. Jasper ultimately cares about your health, and will strive to provide you with education about standard and alternative treatment options. She believes in cooperative care.
Naturopathic medicine can be a powerful tool on its own, but also certainly serves its patients well, as a complementary treatment alongside conventional medical care, chiropractic, osteopathic and other therapeutic modalities.
If you would like to work in cooperation with your other health care practitioner(s), you may share their contact information at your appointment so that any test results can be shared. Naturopathic doctors provide patients with truly integrative system of health care.
IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE COST-EFFECTIVE?
Yes. Most extended health plans cover visits to a naturopathic doctor similar to physiotherapy and massage therapy. Check out your insurance coverage to be sure. Naturopathic medicine is focused on treating root causes, not symptoms alone. With Canada’s health care system overburdened with chronic diseases, naturopathic medicine is proving to be cost-effective one research study at a time. While identifying the cause of any particular condition may take some time, each treatment step is aimed at improving your overall health. This is all part of preventing illnesses in the future.
IF I AM TAKING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION, CAN I STILL TAKE NATURAL MEDICATION?
It is very important that you provide Dr. Jasper with a complete list of all your current medications and keep her informed of any changes. Naturopathic doctors are trained to understand the effects of prescription medications in the body and the interactions between prescription medications and natural therapies. With this knowledge, an ND can safely prescribe natural treatments that will work to enhance the effectiveness, reduce the side effects and restore balance.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY FIRST VISIT WITH DR. JASPER?
The first visit typically lasts at least 1-hr (1.5-hrs for most adult intakes) and includes discussing your entire health history, with a focus on your key concerns. She will spend the time to listen and help identify the most immediate medical issues and establish long-term goals to provide corrective and preventative care. A complaint-oriented physical exam or assessment, as well as recommending laboratory testing may be necessary to help determine the root cause of your symptoms. At the conclusion of your initial visit, you may receive a plan, with dietary and lifestyle advice, suggestions for further testing, natural medicine/treatment recommendations, and a suggested follow-up visit.
WILL MANITOBA HEALTH CARE COVER NATUROPATHIC TREATMENTS?
Naturopathic doctors are NOT currently covered by Manitoba Health. However, most extended health benefit plans do provide coverage, often for a significant portion of treatments. Check your benefits package, or call your insurance provider to inquire further about your coverage for naturopathic medicine.
IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE RESEARCH-BASED?
Absolutely.Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care doctors to diagnose illnesses utilizing the same researched standards as conventional medical doctors. Furthermore, naturopathic medical therapies have a long history of safe and effective use that is supported by research. The direct link between, dietary, environmental, social, psychological, and other lifestyle factors towards affecting health is well documented throughout scientific research. Nutritional medicine has a large body of research from numerous large clinical trials for an extensive range of health concerns. Many herbal medicines also have a long history of traditional use that is validated by current medical research and safety data. The evidence base supporting the safety and effectiveness of naturopathic medicine continues to grow daily as new research findings are published.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
Although Dr. Jasper may prescribe a treatment to immediately help reduce acute symptoms, fixing the root cause of some problems may take time. As such, the frequency and length of your office visits depends on the nature of your health concerns and goals. Ultimately, your treatment plan will be individualized and tailored together.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE AND HOMEOPATHY?
Naturopathic doctors are general practitioners in natural medicine. They are trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease using a variety of natural therapies. All accredited naturopathic schools in North America do provide training in homeopathic medicine. Accordingly, naturopathy is an umbrella-term that includes homeopathy. As such, some naturopathic doctors may choose to use homeopathy as one of their approaches to treatment, when it is appropriate, whereas a homeopath would primarily use homeopathic medicines.