Frequently Asked Questions

The 6 principles of naturopathic medicine: Do no harm; the healing power of nature; identify and treat the cause; physician as teacher; treat the whole person; and prevention.

What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine supports and assists the body’s natural ability to heal by using evidence-based natural therapies and treatments.

Naturopathic assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the individual patient are accomplished by integrating modern and traditional care which includes clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. All therapeutic options are considered and applied to help regulate the process of disease over time rather than temporarily suppress it.

Naturopathic medicine is informed by research, clinical experience, and the individual patient’s unique health situation and health/medical preferences. Health promotion and disease prevention are particular focuses of naturopathic medicine.

What education and training do naturopathic doctors have?

Naturopathic medicine is a regulated health profession in several Canadian provinces, including Ontario. Regulated naturopathic doctors have completed at least eight years of post-secondary education, followed by two rigorous entry-to-practice exams (NPLEX) and provincial licensing board exams.

In Ontario, naturopathic doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO), which requires them to maintain standards of care, standards of charting, and remain current through continuing education.

For more information on Dr. Vanier ND's education, click here.

What should I expect in the initial and subsequent appointments?

Unlike most conventional medical appointments, the initial visit involves 1 hour of getting to know you, gathering information, education, physical examinations, treatments, and recommendations / prescriptions.


Before your first visit, you will be asked to fill out a patient intake and consent form (either online or 10 min prior to your first appointment). This form gathers information about your current and past state of health, daily health behaviours, and health goals. This form is confidential and will be reviewed only by your naturopathic doctor.

During the visit: 

We will discuss your chief complaints, past medical history, family medical history, and health goals and expectations in detail. As there are many factors that can impact a person's health, there are many different areas that are covered during visits. Physical exams may also be performed, when indicated. The following topics are typically discussed in an initial visit: 

  • Medical history

  • Family history

  • Social history and environment

  • Work environment

  • Allergies and sensitivities

  • Nutrition

  • Current drugs and supplements

  • Sleep

  • Digestion

  • Stress

  • Movement and exercise

  • Past physical and/or emotional trauma

Follow-up appointments:

Follow-up appointments are typically shorter in duration, ranging from 30 to 45 minutes in length. Dr. Vanier ND will check in on recommendations made in your first visit, review any lab results with you, and adjust your treatment plan as necessary. Follow-up appointments may also include acupuncture or other manual therapies if indicated. 

As change can feel overwhelming, the goal of follow-up appointments is to implement, manage, and maintain incremental changes in your life, which eventually lead to big changes.