Naturopathy at Pro Function
Pro Function’s goal has always been to provide top quality care in an environment that meets the needs and goals of our patients. Achieving that goal means finding health care professionals that complement each other’s skills and experiences so that patients can have the benefit of accessing multiple services all under one roof! naturopathic medicine is one such complementary piece and we are pleased to have Dr. Anna Toporowska, ND as a member of our team!
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine has been practiced for nearly 2400 years and currently the profession combines both conventional western medicine (modern technology, laboratory testing, x-rays, etc) with research, education, nutrition, exercise, and naturally sourced treatment techniques (manual hands-on therapy, massage, acupuncture, supplements, etc). Together, the approach of combining both current and traditional medicine allows naturopathic doctors to help their patients naturally stimulate and heighten the healing efficiency of the body while diagnosing and treating the root cause of a disease at the same time.
The unique approach that naturopath’s use leads some to wonder if naturopathic medicine and conventional western are at odds with one another, but this isn’t the case at all. In fact, the two approaches to medicine complement each other beautifully and lead to better outcomes.
For example, when we consider the fundamental practices of both naturopathy and western medicine we find that;
- BOTH use anatomy and physiology as a basis for their clinical work
- BOTH utilize lab testing and imaging to assess and diagnose patients
- BOTH treat patients of all ages coming in with acute to chronic physical and psychological conditions
- BOTH use evidence-based treatments to help their patients
- BOTH believe in the life saving capabilities of pharmaceuticals, surgeries and vaccines
- BOTH utilize diverse multidisciplinary teams to help support all facets of their patients care
- BOTH are recognized by the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA)
So really there are a number of similarities between the two approaches, but there are a few differences as well. For example, naturopathic medicine:
- Utilizes natural substances and therapies as treatment
- Has a strong focus on balancing underlying deficiencies and excesses such as vitamins and minerals
- Generally aims to use therapies that can be gentler on the body
- Takes a holistic approach to your health; looking at how all systems are working together
Now I know what you’re thinking: “that’s a lot different from what I’ve heard about naturopathy!” When most people bring up the topic of naturopathic medicine they often refer to its use of organic supplements and its disuse of pharmaceutical medication, but the practice is so much more than supplements and pills.
Is Naturopathy a Regulated Health Care Profession?
Naturopathic doctors are licensed and regulated in the same way a family doctor, a surgeon, a physiotherapist, or any other regulated health Professional is. In Ontario, naturopathic doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario, which ensures they have the knowledge, skills and judgment necessary to care for their patients safely and effectively.
Naturopathic Medicine Combines:
- Time-tested traditional and conventional western techniques for assessment and treatment
- Modern imaging and clinical testing (eg. blood work)
- Modern scientific research support
- Natural organic supplements
- Communication strategies to better understand the patient, their experiences, their choices, their concerns, their goals AND their illness
- Education and active patient participation
- The belief that diseases and illnesses are a “process” and not an “entity” – (more on this below)
Where does Naturopathic Medicine stand in the big picture of health care?
Naturopathic doctors use comprehensive assessments to look at the whole person in order to diagnose patients and help bring them closer to optimal health. Not only do naturopathic doctors address current symptoms, they also strive to prevent further illness and help patients live happy, energetic and satisfying lives.
There is an increased demand for natural approaches to health care, preventative medicine and integrative patient care. Naturopathic doctors work in hospitals, multidisciplinary clinics and specialized health centres across Canada to help meet that demand for choice. Many people still do not know what exactly naturopathic doctors can do for them and it is hoped that information, such as what’s presented here, can help.
Common types of patients who seek Naturopathic Medicine include:
- Those looking for health promotion and disease prevention strategies.
- Patients that have a range of symptoms that they have been unable to address on their own or with the help of other medical practitioners.
- Patients that have been diagnosed with an illness and are looking for treatment options.
- Patients that are looking to combine conventional and naturopathic treatments with the aim of minimizing side effects of drugs, surgery or conventional treatments.
Whatever your health goals are, whether finding relief from a chronic condition, or simply improving your overall lifestyle and general health, there is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) in your community who can help.
Top Reasons to see a Naturopath:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Hormone Health
- Mental Health
- Digestion and Gut Health
- Fertility and Prenatal Health
- Concussion and Nervous System Injuries
- Training and Performance