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Naturopathic Medicine

naturopathicWhat is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct approach to medical care that emphasizes the inherent ability of the body to heal itself. Using gentle, safe, and effective therapies, naturopathic doctors address the whole person rather than just the presenting symptoms to restore health and help prevent disease.


How are naturopathic doctors trained and regulated?

Naturopathic doctors have a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education in biomedical science and are required to complete rigorous examinations to become board-certified practitioners.  They receive over 4,000 hours of classroom training in addition to 1,200 hours of clinical experience seeing patients from all walks of life and at all stages of health.  As with all licensed professions, they are required to complete continuing education credits and receive ongoing performance assessments to ensure the highest standard of care.

Naturopathic doctors have been regulated in the province of Ontario since 1925 and are currently regulated under the Registered Health Practitioners Act alongside medical doctors, chiropractors, nurses and other health professionals.  As primary care practitioners, they are trained to gather information via detailed history taking, physical assessment and laboratory evaluation in order to diagnose and treat a wide variety of acute and chronic health concerns.

Is naturopathic medicine right for me?

If you’re reading this, chances are you have already made an effort to live a healthier, more balanced lifestyle by tweaking your diet and making time for self care. Perhaps you regularly visit a health food store and feel overwhelmed by the options out there, or have purchased supplements after reading an article online, only to have them sit unused in your cupboard.

Naturopathic doctors take the guesswork out of making positive changes for yourself and your family. We take the time to stay up to date with research to ensure that the changes you make to your lifestyle are safe, effective, and meaningful. If you are considering making the first step towards living a healthier life, or are seeking guidance along a path you started walking long ago, naturopathic doctors have the skills and training to help you get there.

How do I prepare for my initial consultation with a naturopathic doctor?

Before your first visit we ask that you fill in a naturopathic intake form.  Please come in at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time so that your form may be scanned and added to your records.

If you have copies of recent lab tests or imaging from other health care providers please bring these with you so they may be scanned and added to your file.  If you have not already entered information about current medications and supplements onto your intake form, you may want to bring those items with you into the visit.

What can I expect on my first visit?

Your first visit with your naturopathic doctor will take up to 90 minutes, allowing enough time for you to thoroughly discuss all of your health concerns and goals without feeling rushed.  In the process of reviewing and adding to the information on your intake form, your naturopathic doctor will gather relevant details about your health history and lifestyle habits, including diet, exercise, sleep, mood and your current self care routine, including all medications and supplements you may be taking.  Following this, your naturopathic doctor will conduct a focused physical exam including vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and special tests as warranted.  Following this you may discuss any further lab evaluation that may be necessary and obtain a requisition to have blood or other samples collected at a location nearby.

At the end of the visit your doctor will discuss treatment options with you and work with you to come up with a realistic, comprehensive, and individualized treatment plan. You will also be given access to our convenient online dispensary service so that you can start feeling better, sooner.

What treatments does my naturopathic doctor provide?

Naturopathic doctors are trained and licensed to provide a number of therapeutic treatments. At The Performance Health Centre, Dr. Sarah Grammaticos uses the following tools to help patients address their health needs:
–       nutritional counseling and clinical nutritional supplementation
–       botanical (herbal) medicine
–       acupuncture & acupressure
–       Asian medicine
–       physical medicine, including electro-stimulation using  microcurrent/TENS machines
–       hydrotherapy
–       lifestyle counselling
Your naturopathic doctor will work with you to tailor a treatment plan that fits your needs and comfort level, and will fully explain the benefits and limitations of each test and treatment option you elect to receive at The Performance Health Centre.

Is my visit covered by OHIP?

At this time naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP, however most private extended health insurance plans include a set amount of coverage per year. We encourage you to check your coverage with your insurance provider to make sure you are getting the most from your benefits.

Can I claim my acupuncture visits separately?

Although naturopathic doctors, medical doctors, chiropractors and a number of other trained health professionals may legally perform acupuncture, only practitioners licensed with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario are eligible providers for ‘acupuncture’ claim reimbursement. When submitting your claim for acupuncture at this clinic please be sure to submit these treatments under ‘naturopathic medicine’.

Do naturopathic doctors support vaccination?

Yes. Naturopathic doctors have in-depth training on the important role that vaccination plays in preventing disease and protecting the public health. The decision to vaccinate yourself or children is one that should be made on an individual basis, using the best knowledge available and sound evidence-based advice from all health care providers involved in your care.  Your naturopathic doctor is available to discuss the benefits and risks of specific vaccinations with you so that you are empowered to make the best possible choice for yourself and your community.

Is a naturopath a homeopath?

Homeopathic medicine is a form of therapy that is uses extreme dilutions of a substance to correct an energetic imbalance. Homeopaths in Ontario are regulated by their own College and do not use any other treatment methods outside of homeopathy. Naturopathic education and licensing in North America includes training in homeopathic medicine, however this is only one of the therapeutic tools available under our broad scope of practice. For more information on the treatments offered by our naturopathic doctor, please see above.

Why does my doctor use a computer in the visit?

Our naturopathic doctor uses a secure, cloud based electronic medical records system to reduce paper waste and streamline patient record keeping. The electronic medical records system we use allows your doctor to access lab reports, intake forms, online dispensaries and relevant patient documents to save time and resources.  Patients are able to create profiles online, access their treatment plans and purchase or refill supplements quickly and easily.  The electronic medical records system we use is fully compliant with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).  Your information is stored in Canada and is never released to a third party.