If you live in Edmonton, AB and found your way over my page it’s probably because you are looking for a complementary form of medicine that’s natural in its approach and can likely address your issues of chronic pain, low energy, or just overall ill-health. This blog post will give you great information to help you make the right choice because we all want to make sure we have the right people on our health care team. Here are my top 3 things to look for when searching for a Naturopathic Doctor.
Credentials: Board-certified Naturopathic Doctors are regulated in Alberta and are required to complete a four-year naturopathic medicine program from an accredited school. Prior to practicing NDs would have completed at least 7 years of post-graduate training. I would strongly encourage that when looking for a ND that you verify these credentials exist. All NDs with the appropriate credentials are registered under the CNDA (College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta) regulatory board. If you are outside of Alberta you can check out the naturopathic regulatory board of your province or go to the CAND (Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors) website to be informed. There are a host of ‘natural’ health professionals out there including those marketing themselves as ‘Naturopathic Doctors’, but none that I am aware of have the same level of training.
Treating your specific condition: Naturopathic Doctors graduate with a wealth of knowledge in how to treat a variety of conditions. And while NDs can’t specialize, they can develop a special interest in a particular health concern or area of the body. For example, there are plenty of NDs who develop an interest in treating cancer or fibromyalgia or a specific category such as women’s health or paediatrics. These Doctors will advertise for these types of patients and structure their continuing education requirements towards learning more about these subjects. Combined with repeated experience these doctors develop a strength and expertise in their desired area. With that said, if you are looking to be treated for a specific concern, chances are there is someone who may have the knowledge you are looking for. However, keep in mind that NDs are trained to treat almost all health concerns from pediatrics to geriatrics so chances are anyone can help you, and if they can’t they will refer you to a colleague who they know can better serve you.
Making Sure YOU are Comfortable: We’ve all received health services before from a practitioner that just didn’t fit our needs properly. You probably left frustrated and feeling like you weren’t being heard. I feel like NDs have a special quality about them that makes for such an open environment for you to heal. It takes a special person to become a ND just because of the method that is used to allow healing to occur; a lot of listening and support. If you find that this is not happening it is ok to ‘shop’ around for another practitioner; people change medical doctors all the time until they feel comfortable with one. The important thing is to not shrug off Naturopathic Medicine altogether; it has a lot to offer. We are all individuals with different personalities and not all personalities or character traits align, so make sure you are comfortable in the space or else you will have a difficult time trying to heal.