Can Naturopathic Doctors treat the same diseases as Medical Doctors?
Naturopathic Doctors have the same science training as Medical Doctors – we study pharmacology, we dissect cadavers and we understand the pathophysiology of disease. The difference between us lies in our philosophy and treatment – basically we do not use drugs to treat and we try to find the root cause of disease. Medical Doctors primarily use pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat diseases and relieve symptoms; Naturopathic Doctors focus on treating the whole person, using a number of different modalities (nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc) to treat the causes of disease and support the healing power of the body.
Does Alberta Health Services cover Naturopathic Medicine? Do you provide direct billing?
At the present time, Alberta Health Services do not compensate for visits to a Naturopathic Doctor. Most extended health insurance plans will cover visit fees up to $300 or $500 per year. Call your insurance company and find out if you are covered to see a Naturopathic Doctor today! Please note that we do offer direct billing to most insurance providers; in some cases where providers do not allow direct billing, a receipt is provided for you to claim under your extended health care plan with your provider.
How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?
NDs take a minimum of three years premedical studies at university, followed by four years of specific training at a recognized college of naturopathic medicine. The education encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience. There are five accredited schools of naturopathic medicine in North America:
- The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto)
- Bastyr University (Seattle)
- National College of Naturopathic Medicine (Portland)
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (Scottsdale)
- University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (Connecticut)
- Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine(Vancouver)
Graduates from these institutions receive a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree or diploma.
In regulated (licensed) provinces and states across North America, graduates must also pass rigorous standardized exams to qualify for practice. In Canada, NDs are regulated in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. Legislation is pending in Alberta.
Be aware that there are people in Alberta representing themselves as Naturopathic Doctors when they do not have the appropriate education and training nor do they belong to a regulating body. Dr. Bjorndal is properly trained and belongs to both the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta/ Alberta Association of Naturopathic Practitioners and Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. Dr. Bjorndal is recognized by insurance companies for coverage.
How many times should I expect to see a Naturopathic Doctor in order to get better?
It is essential that contact be maintained between with your ND to ensure that healing is maximized Every individual is different and the number and frequency of follow-up visits will depend on the severity of the condition, how long you have had it, your vitality, and your dedication to getting better. Subsequent visits are extremely important so that your Naturopathic Doctor can monitor your progress, update your treatment protocol, and discuss any concerns as they come up. Take the time to get better now. Look at it as an investment in your health for years to come.
Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?
Naturopathic Medicine as a primary health care profession is extremely safe, as indicated by malpractice data, insurance statistics and favourable safety records. Natural does not mean harmless, so skill and knowledge are required as with any diagnosis and treatment of health conditions.
What are the benefits of Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Doctors offer a variety of treatment options. An ND has extensive training in each of the treatment modalities and will usually combine 2 or 3 types of treatment that will most effective for your condition. A Naturopathic Doctor’s mission is to effectively address the cause of the problem rather than cover up symptoms. For example, if the leaves of your plant were turning brown, you wouldn’t fix them by painting them green! You would go to the root of the problem and water the plant. It makes sense to approach your health in the same way!
Naturopathic treatments are highly individualized. Each patient has a unique story, history, genetics, dietary habits, lifestyle and associated health concerns.
A Naturopathic Doctor will work to determine the underlying cause(s) and create an individualized treatment plan to stimulate a person’s innate healing ability. Patients are also involved in their health program and learn to make effective, educated, self-care decisions that can prevent future health problems.
Good health is an investment. Invest now and it will pay an immediate return to your quality of life. When you consider how important it is to maintain your car, it’s considered smart to spend money on maintenance and upkeep. It lengthens the life of your car and keeps it running efficiently. You certainly do not want your car to breakdown going up a steep hill. If you would do that for your car, wouldn’t you do it for yourself?
You are worth it. Give it a few months and you will be amazed at the return-on-investment.
What are the costs involved?
A portion of the expenses to see a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) are covered by many employers Extended health care plans and/or Health Spending accounts, so be sure to check your plan. Since it is not covered by the Alberta government, NDs have to charge for patient visits and the cost can vary per treatment modalities. The cost for visits depends on the treatment modalities chosen. The initial 1.5 hour consultation is $250* and the cost of prescriptions, treatments and/or lab tests are in addition to this. Labwork may be required in order to complete the assessment. The cost for follow up visits range from $100-250 depending on how much time is spent plus the cost of prescriptions and/or lab tests. The frequency of visits depends on the individual’s health concerns and ranges from weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually depending on the treatment and severity of your condition.
*$350 for Dr. Bjorndal
What can you expect on your visit with a Naturopathic Doctor?
The goal of the Naturopathic Doctor is to understand the patient and all the factors that impact on his/her health. As your naturopathic doctor, it is my responsibility to make sure that you have the information and guidance that you need to move from where you are now towards better health. I take this responsibility seriously and I know that naturopathic medicine can help you.
The first visit is 1.5 hours long and during this time I take thorough case history, including your medical history, family background, general lifestyle, exposure to environmental hazards, stress levels, personal goals etc. In order to have a complete assessment, a screening physical is also included in this visit.
A new patient intake form must be completed prior to coming to your appointment and it can take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Please download a copy of the intake form here (insert link to download form). Subsequent visits will be determined according to the best treatment options for you and they are generally 45 min-1 hour in length.
What is the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and a Medical Doctor?
Both are doctors. Naturopathic Doctors complete 3 or 4 years of pre-med training (usually achieving a bachelor’s degree) and then have 4 years of training at an accredited naturopathic medical college. NDs must successfully complete provincial board exams prior to being granted licensure. NDs in Alberta are licensed and regulated by the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta.
Medical Doctors use drugs and surgery to treat patients; Naturopathic Doctors use a multi-faceted non-drug, non-surgery approach to your health care. Using the most advanced technology available for diagnosis and treatments, Naturopathic Doctors look at the patient’s health history and lifestyle and treat the individual using methods such as nutrition, acupuncture, botanical medicine, counselling and other non-drug alternatives. Medical Doctors are reactive and treat the symptoms of the disease, which is already in place. The Naturopathic Doctor’s approach is pro-active and works with you to make changes to your health and lifestyle to ensure you are as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please note that our missed appointment/no show or late cancellation fee will be the fee for the full appointment. (i.e. less than 2 business days notice). If your 45 min appointment is on a Tuesday, you need to call on Friday to change the appointment. Otherwise, you will incur the 45 min consultation fee. When appointments are missed this forfeits an appointment spot that another patient could have used. We ask for your respect and understanding with this policy.
Who should see a Naturopathic Doctor? What conditions do you treat?
Anyone from newborns to the elderly can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine and I encourage family preventative medicine. All chronic and most acute conditions can benefit from treatment by naturopathic Doctors. The most common health conditions treated by NDs include:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Allergies & Environmental Illnesses
- High blood pressure and Heart problems
- Digestion, Constipation, IBS, IBD
- Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis
- Cystitis, Prostatitis, Impotence
- Colds and Flu
- Ear and Throat Infections
- Intestinal Upsets
- Menopausal Problems
- PMS, Menstrual Disorders
- Fibrocystic Breast Disease
- Enhancing Health in Pregnancy
- Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids
- Mental or Emotional Stress
- Anxiety, Depression
- Attention Deficit Disorder
Getting general health advice for children, teens or adults is part of achieving optimal health. Many patients visit a Naturopathic Doctor when they feel that they have exhausted their options, and are extremely surprised (and grateful) to find that Naturopathic medicine can greatly relieve not only their symptoms but also help to heal the cause of their problems.
Many others see an Naturopathic Doctors as a pro-active approach to their lives. These people are not suffering from chronic conditions, but want to optimize their health and wellness and are making an effort to improve their lifestyle in a variety of ways. You don’t have to be sick to feel better. Prevention is the best cure and following a naturopathic protocol is insurance for the future. You can begin to feel better now and you can reduce the likelihood of suffering and chronic illness later in life.
Naturopathic Associations & Accredited Schools
Massage & Structural Integration
- Healthy food website – this website contains nutrient fact sheets, prep tips and recipes using the world’s healthiest foods: www.whfoods.com
- Organic consumers association is dedicated to promoting the growing and selling of organic food: www.organicconsumers.org
- Whole foods market sells natural and organic health products. The website also contains recipes, product information and a community of people dedicated to healthy living: www.wholefoodsmarket.com
- The environmental working group is a non profit group dedicated to the protection of public health and the environment: www.ewg.org
- The dirty dozen is a list of fruit and vegetables that consistently contains the highest levels of pesticides: www.ewg.org/news/us-high-pesticide-level-marks-dirty-dozen-fruits-vegetables
- Epicurious is a website that provides recipes, articles and guides on healthy eating. It also contains a vibrant community of individuals who are passionate about healthy eating: http://www.epicurious.com/
- Planet organic is an Alberta chain of organic supermarkets. The website contains store information as well as resources for living a healthy organic lifestyle: http://www.planetorganic.ca/
- Roots On Whyte is a diverse group of health and wellness professionals, customers, suppliers, families, friends and neighbours who are committed to building a strong and vibrant community: http://www.rootsonwhyte.ca/
- Carbon Environmental Boutique is a retail store located in the historic heart of downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Carbon’s mission is threefold – to showcase and support environmental manufacture, to encourage and fortify ethical business practices and to advocate and promote non-toxic living: http://www.carbonboutique.com/
- TK Ranch is owned by Colleen Biggs. At TK Ranch, we believe that respect for both the animals and the land that we steward is the foundation for creating clean, humane, gourmet eco-friendly meat products. We realize that without happy food, we cannot have a happy earth: www.tkranch.com
- Sunworks farm is owned by Ron and Sheila Hamilton and is located near Armena, Alberta. The farm uses a holistic, goal orientated, approach to raise certified organic animals: http://www.sunworksfarm.com/
- The Alberta Organic producer’s association website provides a list of all the organic producers in Alberta as well as membership information:http://www.albertaorganicproducers.org/
- OrganicAuthority is your trusted ally and the web‘s leading resource for all things… delicious and organic! Come chill in our kitchen as we test drive tried-and-true mouthwatering recipes and chat about the organic lifestyle: http://www.organicauthority.com/
- Gluten free blog: this blog contains mouth watering gluten-free and vegan + vegetarian recipes: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca/
- Organic food education – the goal of organic.org is to educate people on the benefits of organic food, products and agriculture. With an increasingly crowded marketplace of organic goods, it is crucial to understand what the word ‘organic’ means, what type of products are available, the significance of purchasing them, and finally, how someone with little knowledge about organics can begin to take steps towards an organic lifestyle: http://organic.org/
- Nourishing our children is a website dedicated to promoting the principles that support learning, behaviour and health through optimal nutrition:http://www.nourishingourchildren.org
- Weston A. Price Foundation – for wise traditions in food, farming and the healing arts: http://www.westonaprice.org/
- Celiac community website contains all the information you need about celiac disease including recipes, a gluten free food list and an ever growing supportive community of people with celiac disease: www.celiac.com
- Gluten.net is the home of the gluten intolerance group. The goal of this group is to provide a support network for those suffering from gluten intolerance by providing information, recipes and a gluten-free restaurant database: www.gluten.net
- The national institute of health created this website as an educational tool to inform people about celiac’s disease. The website contains educational materials and resources for health care providers and teachers: http://www.celiac.nih.gov/
- Gluten free mall is an online supermarket that sells all different kinds of gluten free foods: www.glutenfreemall.com
- Food additives to avoid: http://www.hungryforchange.tv/top-10-food-additives-to-avoid
- EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals – check out how your products rate: www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
- Thermography (or digital infrared imaging scans) show the function, the physiology and the metabolism of breast tissue. It gives a picture of the functional activity in breast tissue. Find a clinic near you: http://thermographyclini.com/locations/canadian-clinics
- Canadian women’s health network: www.cwhn.ca
- Edmonton Moksha Yoga is a green, clean, hot yoga series that stretches, strengthens and tones the muscles while detoxifying the body and calming the mind. Book a class online on the website or read about the studio and watch yoga videos. http://edmonton.mokshayoga.ca/
- Louise Hay – http://www.louisehay.com
- HealYourLIfe.com which has inspirational and wellness articles
- Cheryl Richardson – www.cherylrichardson.com
- Eckhardt Tolle: www.eckharttolle.com
- The Canadian Mental Health Association is a volunteer organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness: www.cmha.ca
- The international guide to the world of alternative mental health is the worlds largest site on non-drug approaches for mental health. The website contains testimonials, over 100 articles and the webs only directory of alternative mental health practitioners: www.alternativementalhealth.com
- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is Canada’s largest mental health and teaching hospital.: www.camh.net
- Orthomolecular medicine, as conceptualized by double-Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, aims to restore the optimum environment of the body by correcting imbalances or deficiencies based on individual biochemistry, using substances natural to the body such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and fatty acids. This website is the official home of the international and Canadian society of orthomolecular medicine. On the website you can find scientific articles and educational resources: www.orthomolecular.org
- Gestalt Psychotherapy: http://gestalt.on.ca/
- Compassion focussed therapy: http://www.compassionatemind.co.uk/about-us.html
- Awareness in action – see interviews with top scientists researching compassion: www.awarenessinaction.org
- Ideas worth spreading. This is a very useful website that has brought people together over the years to address a number of issues including the promotion of compassion. You will find a lot of interesting talks and things to download here: www.ted.com
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: http://www.mindovermood.com/
- Positive psychology: http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx
- Formerly the alternative to medication center, this website promotes an orthomolecular approach to curing addiction and mental health problems. In addition, the website also has programs that use the orthomolecular approach to battle medication addiction. http://www.medicationwithdrawal.com/
- Holistic drug rehab promotes a holistic (mind-body-spirit) approach to curing addictions, primarily alcohol and drugs. http://www.holisticdrugrehab.com/
- Healthy birth choices is a website dedicated to educating women about natural childbirth. The website contains helpful resources, videos, articles and birth stories: http://www.healthybirthchoices.com
- Take Charge of Your Own Fertility- A companion website to the book of the same name. The goal of the website is to educate women by providing fertility information: www.tcoyf.com
- The Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors: http://www.apnd.org/
- The Business of Being Born movie: http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/
- The Greater Good movie: http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/home
- The goal of the La Leche League Canada is to encourage, promote and provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding support and educational opportunities as an important contribution to the health of children, families and society: http://www.lllc.ca/
- Birth issues – current options in pregnancy, birth and parenting: www.birthissues.org
- This website has been created to educate and serve the public — especially parents, parents-to-be and anyone who cares about the well-being of infants and children — by advocating the principles described in The Continuum Concept and suggesting practical ways to integrate them into daily life: http://www.continuum-concept.org/home.html
- The vision of natural child is to promote a world in which all children are treated with dignity,
respect, understanding, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood with a generous capacity for love and trust:http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/jane_mcconnell.html
- The post partum depression awareness website provides a comprehensive list of helpful resources for those suffering from post partum depression: http://www.ppda.ca/
- Dona international is a website that provides information on Doula’s and how they can help provide the best possible birth experience for a mother. The website also provides resources that make it easy to find a doula near you: http://www.dona.org/
- The Doula Association of Edmonton is a non-profit association and firmly believes every family deserves a doula for emotional, physical and informational support regardless of their childbirth choices. The website prides information on doula’s and makes it easy to find a local doula: http://edmontondoula.org/
- The Alberta Association of Midwives: http://www.alberta-midwives.com/aam/
- Ina May Gaskin – author of “Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth” and the mother of all midwives: http://www.inamay.com/ andhttp://www.thefarm.org
- Terra Centre is a non-profit organization that has been serving pregnant and parenting teens in Edmonton since 1971. Pregnant teens are offered a non-judgmental environment where they can explore their pregnancy options and determine their most immediate need for support: http://terracentre.ca/
- Breast feeding Inc’s aim is to empower parents by ensuring they receive the most up-to-date information to assist them with their breastfeeding baby: www.ibconline.ca
- Car seat safety: www.tsf-bcaa.com/child_safety_seats
- The Neufeld Institute provides education and training to adults involved with children using the attachment-based developmental model created by psychologist Gordon Neufeld. The website contains online courses and resources that help educate parents on the Neufeld method:www.gordonneufeld.com
- Whole child education through the Waldorf philosophy: http://www.wese.ca/
- The Fluoride Action Network seeks to broaden public awareness about the toxicity of fluoride compounds and the health impacts of current fluoride sources: http://www.fluoridealert.org/
- The story of stuff project explores the human connection with “stuff” and how this “stuff” impacts our environment: www.thestoryofstuff.com – check out the movies
- The website of acclaimed ecologist Sandra Steingraber explores the link between human rights and the environment. It contains articles, and her personal blog as well as local events near you: www.steingraber.com
- Environmental working group – cosmetic database – allows you to see the toxicity and safety of beauty care products you use: www.ewg.org
- Environmental Defence Canada – http://environmentaldefence.ca