My Dad was an “old school” medical doctor in Canada who believed that eating properly, exercising occasionally, getting enough rest, and staying away from prescription medicines, were the key elements to a healthy life. In his day, prescriptions were viewed as a necessary evil to be used only in dire situations. My father was my mentor and friend, and I had great respect for him. It still amazes me so many years later, that he was so far ahead of his time when it came to his views about health and prescription drugs.
Our medical system is a mess. The costs are out of control, even here in Canada. There are not enough doctors, and the ones that are available are not trained in educating their patients about how to get and stay healthy. I have too much respect for doctors to trash talk them, but let’s face the facts, and tell it like it is: medical doctors are in the repair and maintenance business, not the health care business.
Sorry for the long introduction, but it is really important that people understand that the frustrations that they are feeling towards the medical community should not be directed towards medical doctors. We should not be blaming physicians for the fact that they don’t receive the proper training on how to help people become and stay healthy. We all know who should be blamed, but let’s leave that for another day. Except in specific situations, prescription drugs are not helping us. In fact, as a society, our reliance upon prescription drugs instead of leading healthy lives is a disgrace.
There is no use in complaining about something unless you can propose a solution. The solution for those that who are not finding workable solutions to their health issues is naturopathic doctors!
Why do I think the solution is naturopathic doctors? My first response would be to simply point to the fact that I see the evidence over and over again. However, that would not be good enough for me, if I were reading this article. So, here is some background into the requirements to become a Naturopathic doctor:
- completion of a Bachelor’s degree before admission
- 4 year program
- 1,200 hours of clinical experience
- 3,000 hours of classroom training
- Three areas of study including: biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, and naturopathic therapeutics
If you compare the training with that of a General Practitioners (GP), you will begin to understand why the Province of British Columbia gave NDs the same rights as GPs to prescribe medicine and perform minor surgeries in April 2009. The province of Ontario gave NDs the same rights in December 2009.
The reason that I’m a huge fan of NDs has nothing to do with the amount of formal training they receive, it is the training itself. NDs have never been exposed to, or influenced by, the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, ND’s have had to learn how to diagnose and cure their patients, rather than writing endless prescriptions to manage the symptoms. Now that is a word (CURE) that will throw fear into the hearts of the pharmaceutical companies.
I live in the province (a province is similar to a State) of Ontario. For those that are not familiar with Canada, Toronto, Ontario is about 24 miles away from Buffalo, New York as the crow flies, or a two hour drive around Lake Ontario. We have a population of 12 million people in our province, and our 900 Naturopathic Doctors see over 1 million patients per year. That may not appear to be a huge number, but when you consider that patients in Ontario have to pay about $125 per hour to see a Naturopathic Doctor while they can see Medical Doctors for free, the math is rather astounding.
Why would people pay so much to see a Naturopath when they can see a MD for free? The answer lies in the fact that the NDs are providing solutions that the patients are not receiving from MDs. Naturopathic Doctors study how and why the human body works, and how to help the body cure (there’s that dangerous CURE word again) itself.
Will visiting a Naturopathic Doctor guarantee a cure? Nobody can guarantee anything when it comes to health, but for my money, a visit to a Naturopathic Doctor is the best money you can possibly spend if you are having physical problems. For those of you who are more proactive with your health, a visit to a Naturopathic Doctor before you get sick is a wise investment in your future. There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
I’m a water guy. So what does this article have to do with water? Nothing, so far, but it is really easy to make the connection. Naturopathic Doctors understand the importance of proper hydration in terms of helping the body heal itself and maintain a healthy homeostasis. Naturopathic Doctors also understand the importance of keeping your body alkaline. When I was in the water ionizer business, it was always easy to talk to Naturopathic Doctors about alkaline ionized water because they “get it” right away. The relationships that I formed with NDs at that time allowed me to see what they do, which is the reason I have such great respect for them.
As always, the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and are not intended as medical advice. It is recommended that you always consult a health care provider such as a MD or ND when you have health issues.