FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Dr. Nix if often asked many questions, some of which she would like to share with you now, so that you can make the most of your visit with her:

 

1. What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy is a health care practice that focuses on restoring wellness rather than managing disease. The human body is well designed to resist disease and to heal itself, and naturopathic treatments are intended to stimulate those abilities and provide the body with the tools it needs in order to accomplish healing. Prevention, as the safest approach to health, is also a primary focus of naturopathic medicine.

Naturopaths are trained in health care at accredited medical colleges, but the course of training differs somewhat from that of an M.D. The first two years of naturopathic school include the basic medical sciences such as anatomy, pathology, physiology, and biochemistry, as well as some pharmacology, but the second two years includes primarily natural treatment modalities. Naturopaths also receive supervised clinical training from licensed doctors and are required to treat 750 patients under supervision before they are allowed to graduate and must pass national board exams for licensure as primary care physicians.

Naturopathic treatment modalities and training may include clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, acupuncture, mind-body medicine, minor surgery, and joint manipulation techniques. These modalities tend to be relatively low risk and have few side effects compared to conventional treatments.

Individual naturopathic practices may vary depending on what modalities or illnesses a practitioner chooses to focus on, so it is always wise to interview your naturopath if you have individual preferences or particular needs.

Currently naturopaths are licensed as primary care physicians in 15 states, and Maryland is not one of those states. Naturopaths are trained to work with medical doctors in an integrative setting, but the availability of such care varies widely depending on location. In Maryland, a naturopath is considered a consultant and does not have the authority to diagnose or treat disease, so you must have a primary care doctor licensed in Maryland as well if you wish to see a naturopath here.

 

2. Is Dr. Nix a "real" doctor?

Dr. Nix holds a license to practice medicine in the state of Arizona as a naturopathic physician. The scope of practice and training in Arizona for naturopaths is very broad, including diagnosis and treatment of disease, natural non-invasive therapies, i.v. therapies, minor surgery and prescription of the majority of pharmaceutical drugs. In Maryland; however, there is no law regulating naturopaths, so Dr. Nix acts as a consultant in this state, and cannot call herself a physician here.

For more details on the limitations on Dr. Nix's practice brought about by this state of affairs, see later questions.

 

3. What kinds of illnesses can be helped by naturopathic medicine?

Most health complaints that respond to conventional treatment (and a few that don't respond well) can be helped with naturopathic medicine. The degree of improvement and benefits will vary greatly with the individual, depending on diagnosis and other factors, but patients are often surprised at the degree of relief they derive from this approach.

The following list is by no means complete, but is representative of what a licensed naturopath may see most often in his or her office:

  • Mood disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.)
  • Allergic disorders (hay fever, asthma, sinusitis, eczema)
  • Hormonal problems (menopausal symptoms, some thyroid problems)
  • Insomnia
  • Autoimmune disease (ulcerative colitis, MS, etc.)
  • Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
  • Cancer prevention and assistance during conventional treatment
  • Digestive complaints (IBS, GERD, etc.)
  • Pain syndromes (post-injury pain, sciatic pain)

If you have a complaint and wish to learn more about what to expect from consulting with Dr. Nix, the easiest thing to do is set up a free 15-minute pre-consult with her, during which you can ask her questions pertaining to your particular situation.

 

4. Are Dr. Nix's treatments supported by scientific research?

Yes. Her primary treatment modality, homeopathy, is widely accepted as effective in Europe and other parts in the world, based on many thousands of studies conducted since homeopathy was founded in the late 1700's. There is currently a bias against this type of treatment in medical circles in the United States, but it is only a bias and the climate is in the process of slowly changing to become more favorable to the practice of natural medicine modalities due to patient demand.

For other treatment modalities, Dr. Nix always recommends the supplements and lifestyle changes most supported by research.

 

5. Does Dr. Nix accept insurance?

Unfortunately, she cannot, because the lack of legislation regulating naturopaths in Maryland makes her unable to. In order to get reimbursed for a doctor visit, one must have a diagnosis code, otherwise known as an ICD-9 code, and Dr. Nix cannot give an official diagnosis code or diagnosis without breaking the law.

However, many medical savings accounts will cover naturopathic treatment when a detailed receipt is provided, and some insurance plans are now providing an allowance for alternative medical treatments. Please call your insurance agent in order to find out what coverage may or may not be provided.

 

6. What if I need lab tests?

Since Dr. Nix is not licensed in Maryland, she cannot order lab tests. Fortunately, there is a company called Direct Labs that allows patients to order the most commonly requested lab tests for themselves.

Call: 1-800-908-0000
URL: http://www.DirectLabs.com/

 

7. Can Dr. Nix help me get off my medication?

Dr. Nix does not have the authority to take someone off of their medication, and simply stopping your medications without consulting your M.D. can be quite dangerous. In most cases, if a patient wishes to desist taking a medication, that is a plan they can negotiate with their prescribing physician while trying natural treatments. In many cases natural treatments can improve one's health to the point where medication can be safely reduced or even eliminated, but this is a decision that must be made by your prescribing M.D.

 

8. What are Dr. Nix's fees?

An initial visit for a chronic condition lasts between 1 1/2 and 2 hours, and costs $250. This includes time that Dr. Nix spends researching the case after the visit, as well.

Follow-up visits are usually ½ hour long and cost $80. In some less common situations, such as an established patient who has received a new diagnosis from his doctor, a follow-up visit may be an hour long, which is $125.

For children under 10 years old, the initial visit is usually only an hour, and therefore $125. For infants the initial visit may be only ½ hour, which is $80. This rate is subject to exceptions in extremely complicated cases, however.

 

9. How often will I need to see Dr. Nix?

The answer to this question varies with individuals, but during treatment for chronic complaints office visits usually occur about once every four weeks. Again, individual situations may sometimes call for a different schedule; if, for example, the complaint is acute, one visit is often sufficient; if the situation is severe or otherwise demands more attention, more frequent visits may be required for a period of time.

It should be emphasized that the goal of treatment is to create a state of health that does not require frequent visits to the doctor. How long it takes to arrive at the state will vary depending on how long one has had a complaint, how severe and serious it is, and how many complicating factors and other complaints are involved.

10. How do I get started?

You may get started in one of two ways: if all of your questions about naturopathic medicine have not been answered here, you may wish to schedule a 15-minute pre-consult at one of the two Natural Healing Wellness Center locations before scheduling a full initial appointment.

If you are certain you wish to schedule a full initial appointment, you may call one of the Natural Healing Wellness Center locations and ask for a "full initial" with Dr. Nix. If you have any medical information such as recent lab work, current medications and supplements, be sure to bring that with you for your initial visit and arrive a few minutes early so that you can fill out an intake form and get started.