What should I expect from my first visit with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND)?
You can expect an initial 45-60 minute consultation visit with the doctor. The doctor will discuss your past medical history, your concerns, and your current health status. Listening to and understanding the individual patient is the fundamental basis of naturopathic medicine. This approach allows for individualized treatment, rather than a one size fits all approach to patient care.
How will a Naturopathic Doctor treat my condition?
Our NDs do not treat conditions, they treat people. For example, say you suffer from chronic headaches. Rather than prescribing a pain reliever, our doctor will work with you to determine the root cause of the headaches, whether it is dehydration, low blood sugar, muscular tension, stress, or chemical sensitivities.
Our doctors will be less likely to treat any single, acute condition than they are to make your whole body healthier so that it can fight off infection and build the strength to heal itself. Our NDs have more options than medical doctors for chronic fatigue, heartburn, or insomnia. Lastly, our NDs spend more time with our patients than medical doctors, typically 30 - 60 minutes each. This allows our doctors enough time to work through any questions or concerns you may have together.
What conditions can naturopathic medicine treat?
Because of the ND's approach of treating the person, not the illness, there are very few illnesses or conditions that naturopathic medicine cannot ease. Naturopathic medicine can be a wonderful partner to more conventional medicine for ailments that might otherwise be considered outside the naturopathic doctor's scope. Below is a list of common conditions that can be treated by our NDs.
What sort of treatments will a Naturopathic Doctor prescribe?
NDs can prescribe things like vitamin and mineral supplements, botanical medication, dietary adjustments, exercise, assistance for coping with stress and other lifestyle changes designed to help strengthen your body's immune system and health. The NDs will spend quite a bit of time on educating you about your condition, how to make you feel better, and things that you can do to improve your health without conventional medicine. However, our NDs may also prescribe more conventional treatments such as antibiotics, thyroid medication, hormones, birth control medications, antidepressants, or blood pressure medication, depending on your unique situation. Your ND will also carefully integrate your care with any existing prescriptions or treatments your conventional doctor has chosen for you.
Is there a difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and a Homeopath?
Yes, NDs learn many different modalities during their training, such as botanical medicine, counseling, hydrotherapy, nutrition, and homeopathy. NDs have an extensive and comprehensive training in most modalities and tend to specialize in several. Homeopaths learn one modality - homeopathy. They are also not medical practitioners and do not practice medicine. They will not do physical exams, blood tests, or diagnose your medical condition. They also cannot prescribe medications other than homeopathic remedies.
Are my visits to a Naturopathic Doctor covered by my health insurance?
It depends on the insurance you have. We accept the following insurances for our clinic:
Can I still see my medical doctor if I work with you?
Absolutely! We can work as a team with you and your current physician(s) to reach your health goals, whether it be relief from a specific disease, supportive therapies that will not conflict with your current medications, or achieving optimal wellness.
We see ourselves as a bridge between the conventional and alternative medical systems, understanding drug-herb interactions, and knowing how and when to refer to other practitioners in both systems to provide you with the best health care available.
I currently take prescription medications. Can I still work with you?
Many of our patients come to us already taking prescription medications. We are able to meet you where you are and create a safe natural program for you that takes into account any medications you may be currently talking. We are specially trained in recognizing drug-herb-supplement interactions and making sure all-natural therapies we recommend will not conflict with your prescriptions. Likewise, we can help you correct nutritional imbalances that are common side-effects of many medications.
Aren't all NDs against all conventional prescriptions and medical treatments?
Absolutely not! Ever since the discovery of penicillin, scientific advances in pharmacology have saved countless lives and improved wellness for generations of people. There are some modalities in conventional medicine for which naturopathic medicine provides no substitute. However, there are many levels of intervention that can be used to return a person to health and the most modern method may not be the healthiest method for the patient.
NDs generally favor using the least invasive methods. This may mean rest, hydration, or immune-boosting herbs with antimicrobial properties for a respiratory infection. If that approach fails, then an ND might opt to prescribe antibiotics or refer the patient out to another specialist – the health of the patient is the ultimate concern of any doctor, regardless of whether they are naturopathic or medical.
NDs can work with medical doctors to provide adjunct care, such as natural treatments for the side effects of oncologist-prescribed chemotherapy. The basic philosophy of the ND is that the patient has the ultimate responsibility for their own health and always has the final say about what level of intervention is used for their care.