What is the history of naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic medicine was introduced in North America in 1902 by Dr. Benedict Lust. By 1920, naturopathic practice was well established in Canada. Laws regulating naturopathic practice were enacted in Ontario by 1925, in British Columbia in 1936, in Manitoba in 1943 and in Saskatchewan in 1952. The CAND has been representing the profession's interests in Canada since 1955.
After the Second World War health care moved away from a more natural approach, focusing on the advances in surgical techniques, the introduction of antibiotics and the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. In the last twenty years, public desire for greater control in the health care process and a growing dissatisfaction with high-tech solutions to health problems has resulted in a resurgent interest in the natural methods of preventive health care. This trend has increased demand for naturopathic services as people seek ways to improve their health, cope with day-to-day stresses and avoid illness.
Naturopathic medical education began in Canada in 1978 with the founding of the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine (OCNM) in Toronto. In 1992, the College became the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). In 2000, the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine opened in British Columbia to provide further educational opportunities for students seeking training as naturopathic doctors.
Naturopathic medicine today
Today, more people than ever are seeking naturopathic medical care and the number of naturopathic doctors is growing at record rates to accommodate this increased demand. Currently there are naturopathic doctors practicing in every province and territory in Canada. The over 1,200 licensed naturopathic doctors in Canada continue to provide high-quality health care to address the health care needs of Canadians.
In Canada there are five provinces that have naturopathic regulation: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta. Most of the other provinces are in the process of seeking regulation of naturopathic medicine.