Frequently Asked Questions
What are the similarities and differences between my Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and my Medical Doctor (MD)?
NDs and MDs undergo a lot of similar medical training. They are both considered primary health care practitioners, and are trained to conduct physical examinations, utilize laboratory tests, and provide diagnoses and treatment for acute and chronic medical conditions.
The main difference between the two systems of health care is their treatment philosophy and the modalities or tools that are used. While naturopathic care can help alleviate symptoms, NDs strive to restore the patient’s overall health by identifying and addressing the underlying causes of their symptoms and conditions. They resolve health concerns and optimize health by implementing customized natural therapies that promote the body's own ability to heal.
>> To learn more about the natural therapies that NDs use, please visit the "Naturopathic Tools" page.
How can Naturopathic Medicine help me improve my health?
As we are all unique individuals, everyone experience health in a unique way, and will require a personalized approach to address the different underlying causes and factors that contribute to their health condition. Dr. Freda Tam, ND will work closely with you to understand your current state of health, and find out what is happening inside of you, so that she can provide a treatment plan that is best suited for resolving your individual health concerns and optimizing your health.
By using a comprehensive approach to treat the whole person, patients will notice improvement in multiple areas of their health, including:
- Improved sleep, energy and productivity
- Improved sense of physical and emotional well-being
- Fewer chronic symptoms
- Rebound quickly from illness
- A deeper understanding of their symptoms
>> For more information regarding medical conditions addressed by Naturopathic Medicine, please visit the “Conditions Treated” page.
Why should I include Dr. Freda Tam as part of my health care team?
- She is passionate about Naturopathic Medicine, and she walks the talk!
- She listens to you, and takes the time to truly understand each individual patient.
- She offers personalized solutions to address your immediate health concerns, as well as proactive strategies to help you maintain optimal health and prevent illness down the road.
- She empowers her patients with the knowledge and tools to take better care of their bodies, and take charge of their own health.
- She strives to resolve the root causes of illness and encourage the body’s ability to heal from within.
- She treats individuals, not only symptoms and conditions.
- She understands that the journey to good health can be challenging at times. She will work with you as a team to overcome the bumps and help you reach your health goals in a practical and sustainable way.
Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP or Health Insurance?
Naturopathic visits are currently not covered by OHIP. However, most extended health care plans do provide coverage for Naturopathic services. Please contact your insurance provider to verify the details of your coverage.
Is Naturopathic care a cost-effective option?
Absolutely! Naturopathic medicine is focused on resolving the underlying causes of your symptoms. While we work to uncover the root cause of your condition, each treatment is aimed at nurturing and improving your overall health. This approach helps prevent illness in the future, and will save you money in the long run.
Who can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?
Everyone! Naturopathic care can benefit women, men and children of all ages, from preconception to the elderly.
What conditions can Naturopathic Doctors treat?
As primary health care practitioners, NDs can treat a wide range of acute and chronic medical conditions, from the common cold and digestive concerns, to chronic pain and serious autoimmune and terminal conditions. Naturopathic treatments can stand alone, or can be adjunctive to conventional medical treatments.
>> Please refer to the “Conditions Treated” page for further examples.
If I think I am currently healthy, will I still benefit from seeing a Naturopathic Doctor?
Absolutely! In addition to treating immediate and chronic health conditions, Naturopathic Medicine’s approach to health is also “proactive”. As explained in “The Tree of Health”, our state of health and wellbeing is always changing, and is continually affected by a combination of many factors over our lifetime. Seeing an ND can help equip you with valuable tools and information to optimize your health and keep disease at bay in the future.
>> Please check out “The Healthy Seasons Program” to find out how we can help you stay on track with your health all year round!
If I am taking prescription medications, is it safe for me to take natural medicines? Can I still see a Naturopathic Doctor?
Yes, you can definitely see a Naturopathic Doctor, and you can take natural medicines depending on your circumstances. Like all medications, natural medicines can have potential interactions and harmful side-effects when they are improperly combined with other drugs, herbs or supplements. Licensed Naturopathic Doctors, like Dr. Freda Tam, has been trained extensively in pharmacology and drug-herb-nutrient interactions; she will only prescribe natural therapies that are safe and beneficial for you. NDs can also help you manage the side effects of medications.
**It is very important that you bring in or provide a list of your current medications and supplements (including dosage) to your visits, and keep us informed of any changes to the list, so we can ensure that there are no interactions between your natural and drug prescriptions.
If I am already seeing a family physician or other health care providers, will you work with them?
Definitely. As part of your health care team, Dr. Freda Tam believes that an inclusive and integrative health team can offer an excellent network of care for her patients. If you have an additional health care provider, please bring their contact information and any recent lab work with you to your appointment.
What can I expect from my first naturopathic visit?
Your first naturopathic visit will typically last about an hour to 1.5 hour, and includes addressing your primary concerns. The visit will include:
- A thorough intake including current health conditions, past conditions, and family history
- A review of systems
- Physical assessments
- Lab tests may be ordered
- You will receive an initial personalized treatment plan
- A follow-up appointment will be scheduled in the following 1-4 weeks
Dr. Freda Tam will listen and take the time to understand you and the strengths and challenges that lie ahead in your journey to health, so that she can provide you with the best treatment plan for your individual concerns.
>> Please visit here for more information on naturopathic visits.
How can I tell if someone is qualified to practice as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) in Ontario?
In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors must be registered with The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO), the provincial regulatory board, in order to practice. The public can visit CONO's registration directory or call in at 416-583-6010 to verify that a Naturopathic Doctor is registered to practice in the province.
© Freda Tam, ND 2013. All rights reserved.