Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Know About A Naturopathic Doctor-Patient Relationship?
Health has a lot to do with personal responsibility. Our clinic can certainly offer you guidance and support in overcoming chronic health issues or pain, but it will ultimately be up to you, the patient, to be accountable for your own health by being committed and compliant with the lifestyle recommendations we offer, for example: dietary changes, exercise, stress-reduction, etc.
Some people (not you of course!) assume that naturopathic medicine works like magic and all they have to do is show up to their visits, take herbal pills, and all their health problems will disappear. This is not the way that naturopathic medicine works especially with chronic/long-term health issues! It takes time, long-term commitment, and patience. This is an investment in your health and well-being. Who better to invest in than yourself and well, let's get real, no one is going to do it for you except you!
We have to work together as a team and implement a variety of lifestyle strategies for naturopathic medicine to work on the deepest level possible. This requires patients to take responsibility to commit and to be consistent with the recommendations provided. We support patients in this by teaching them the steps necessary to create and monitor their own wellness and to help with changes, modifications, or referrals when necessary.
We strive to find the underlying cause of a patient’s illness, rather than treat symptoms exclusively. Recognizing that each body is unique, naturopathic doctors tailor their treatments to meet the individual needs of each patient.
For more information, please click on this link: https://www.naturopathic.org/natfaqs
Is Naturopathic Medicine Covered By Insurance?
Some insurance plans may cover naturopathic visits, unfortunately we are considered out-of-network for naturopathic services.
We do accept cash and credit cards as forms of payment. Flexible health spending accounts and health savings accounts frequently reimburse the costs of naturopathic services, supplements, and herbal remedies purchased through our clinic.
As a service to our patients, Nalani Natural Medicine will submit the charges for medical treatment to your insurance company and you may be reimbursed directly from the insurance company or may have your charges added towards your deductible. Our office does not guarantee that your insurance will pay, but we are happy to provide documentation needed for reimbursement.
How Can I Prepare For My First Naturopathic Medicine?
In order for our doctor to better serve you, we ask that you please complete any of the electronic intake forms at least 24 hours prior to your first visit at our clinic. We also ask to please bring lab results from the past 2 years, imaging, and/or prescription/supplement information that may be pertinent to your visit. Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment and check-in with the front desk receptionist. There will be a few more forms for you to fill-out at the office.
What Should I Expect On My First Treatment?
During your first visit, the doctor will take a complete health history, review your intake forms, and physical evaluation of the specific requested condition. She will also ask you questions about your lifestyle, nutrition, past medical history, and any information that may be pertinent to your current health condition. If applicable, an explanation of your lab results and how it relates to your current health condition will be provided. Lastly, a detailed breakdown of your treatment recommendations, treatment schedule, and any questions you may have about the recommendations or visit will be discussed.
The initial treatment may last between 1-1.5 hours. All subsequent visits are typically 30 minutes and scheduled as needed.
Besides the Visit Fees, Are There Any Other Additional Expenses I Should Be Aware Of?
Other financial considerations are lab testing, vitamin injections/IVs, herbal remedies, and the nutritional supplements used to support healing. Nutritional supplements and herbal remedies can be a substantial and meaningful investment, regardless of quality or potency. Our experience enables us to discern quality, potency, formulations, bioavailability, cost effectiveness and proper manufacturing of nutritional supplements to make the best choices for the health and well-being of each patient.
How Long Until I Notice A Change?
Well...honestly, "It depends." It depends upon many things such as your health issue(s), is this a recent or on-going issue, the intensity or frequency of symptoms, your lifestyle, exercise habits, nutrition, amount of sleep you are getting per night, stress level,etc. Since naturopathic medicine works with the body's natural healing ability, your body's constitution can also play a role.
Plus, it's a process! It is rare for anyone to experience a complete, long-term end of a chronic problem with only one visit. Each visit reveals different layers of your health history and how you respond to the recommendations offered. Most people need a series of monthly visits in order to get good results and maintain those results - similar to how one pill prescribed by your doctor won't do much by itself and, if it does, the effects may not last long.
How Is A Naturopathic Doctor Trained And Licensed?
A licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends an accredited, graduate-level naturopathic medical school. These medical programs are are four-year, in-residence, hands-on programs consisting of a minimum of 4,100 hours of class and clinical training.
During naturopathic medical school, students are educated in the biomedical sciences as well as the latest advances in science in combination with natural approaches to therapy. They also study disease prevention and clinical techniques.
In addition to a standard medical curriculum, schools require their doctors to complete four years of training in disciplines such as clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, physical medicine, and counseling. For at least the final two years of their medical program, naturopathic medical students intern in clinical settings under the close supervision of licensed professionals.
Given the importance of hands-on, clinical experience for naturopathic medical students, the accrediting body for naturopathic medical colleges does not recognize degrees from online programs of study.
For more detailed information, please click on this link: https://www.naturopathic.org/natfaqs
Is Naturopathic Medicine Safe?
It is important to realize that "natural" does not necessarily mean "safe". Naturopathic medicines are very safe if used under the proper supervision of a licensed naturopathic doctor who is well trained in both traditional and conventional applications of the specific medicines.
Naturopathic medicines are also very powerful. Many adverse effects from dietary supplements occur in people who “self-diagnose” and “self-prescribe” or in people seeing unqualified healthcare practitioners.
Adverse effects often occur in people, for example, who are on pharmaceutical medication or have a condition which negatively interacts with a dietary supplement. A naturopathic doctor from a 4-year accredited naturopathic medical school has had extensive training in prescribing dietary supplements and knows how to properly monitor a patient for any adverse effects.
Do I Have To Choose Between Naturopathic Medicine and Conventional Medicine?
Absolutely not. With the use of natural medicine steadily on the rise, more people are realizing that both natural and conventional approaches together can play a significant and instrumental role in meeting most or all of their health care needs. Patients are therefore seeking integrative approaches to managing their own health and the medical establishment is adapting. It is important for patients and all healthcare practitioners involved to maintain open communication regarding treatment recommendations in order to provided appropriate modifications or changes if necessary.
What Are The Fundamentals of Naturopathic Medicine?
The six fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine are principles adhered to by naturopathic doctors:
First, Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere) : Naturopathic doctors follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient: Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat; Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
2. The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
3. Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causum): The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
4. Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
5. Treat the Whole Person (Tolle totum): Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
6. Prevention (Praevenire): Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.