Frequently Asked Questions
Can you treat my disease?
I have experience treating patients with a wide variety of diagnoses and an even wider variety of undiagnosable symptoms. If you are struggling with your health, I can help. Please keep in mind that some conditions will require ongoing medical care in conjunction with Naturopathic care. If you'd like to discuss your specific case ahead of time to see if we'd be a good match, please don't hesitate to contact me.
What is an appointment with you like?
Your first appointment with me takes between 60-75 minutes. We discuss your current state of health then work back through your history to get an idea of how you got where you are. Past medical history, family history, and medication history will be touched on. A targeted physical exam will be performed if indicated. Your next appointments will focus on how you're progressing, any difficulties with following the treatment plan, and next steps towards optimum health. Its a lot like seeing a conventional medical doctor, but longer. You'll get a link with instructions on how to order your supplements online from my secure dispensary, and they should arrive within 3-5 business days of your purchase (sometimes longer in remote locations).
How long does treatment take?
Treatment duration depends on several factors including: your commitment to the treatment plan, the efficacy of the treatment plan, your body's capacity for healing, and the length of time that you've struggled with your symptoms. Illnesses that have been present for less than a year can often be resolved over the course of several visits, longer standing problems may take months and even years to heal. Some chronic diseases do not heal and require ongoing care to manage symptoms and maximize quality of life.
Will I have to change everything in my life and become a complete health nut?
I'm not a complete health nut, so it wouldn't be fair of me to ask that of you. That being said, I invite you to consider the possibility that some of your lifestyle choices may have contributed to your current state of health. If your lifestyle is causing you to be sick, changing it somewhat may be necessary for healing.
I'm uncomfortable with needles, will I have to receive acupuncture?
Nope. Acupuncture is one of the therapies that I am skilled in and I often find it very useful in helping a person to heal. However, it is not appropriate for everyone, and certainly not for those with a needle phobia.
I'm on medication from my medical doctor- will you make me stop taking it? Is it safe to take both together?
It is not safe to self-prescribe herbs and vitamins while on medications, but I will use my skills to make safe and effective treatment choices for you. I have extensive training in herb-drug, vitamin-drug, and drug-drug interactions. In addition, you will not be stopping any medication from your MD unless you discuss it with her first, and certainly not on my orders. The good news is that as you heal, your need for medication should decrease in many cases.
What is the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and a Conventional Medical Doctor?
Now that Naturopathic Doctors are licenced to prescribe drugs in B.C., the line between NDs (Naturopathic Doctors) and MDs (conventional Medical Doctors) is becoming ever more blurred. Added to that, more and more MDs are embracing alternative therapies and incorporating them into their practice. There are two main differences as I see them. The first is philosophical: NDs see symptoms as signs to be respected, which point the root causes of disease. MDs tend to see symptoms are nuisances needing to be fixed. To illustrate, consider eczema- a very common skin rash. If you went to an MD, they would see a rash on the skin that needed to be eliminated and they would suppress it with a corticosteroid cream. An ND would see that rash as a signal that something deeper in the body isn't working and would work on improving your immune system and identifying allergic triggers so that the body could heal the rash. The second main difference is the level of expertise in natural therapies. While the first two years of training of MDs and NDs is similar, the second two years diverge, with NDs spending an extraordinary amount of time learning the foundations of botanical medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, lifestyle modification, counseling, and acupuncture. During our residencies we focus on these skills, during our continuing education hours we refine them.
How do natural therapies work? Do I have to "believe" in them?
There are a couple of main beliefs underlying the naturopathic approach to health and healing. Naturopathic medical theory views symptoms as an expression of imbalance in the body, and natural therapies are used to restore balance. Naturopathic medical theory also believes that the body has an innate tendency to heal if given the right conditions. Those are the main beliefs that inform my treatment approach. But, no, you don't have to believe in them- natural therapies are not inert substances, they have biological actions in the body and will exert effects whether you believe they will work or not. That being said, there is a considerable body of evidence that says that medicines (conventional or natural) work more effectively when you expect them to.
Are your services covered by insurance?
Naturopathic medicine is covered to greater and lesser extents by extended medical plans. Check with your provider for details.
Is Naturopathic Medicine regulated, safe, and effective?
Naturopathic medicine has been regulated in B.C. since 1936. The safety and efficacy of natural therapies is based on generations of observation, and more recently on hundreds of thousands of peer reviewed scientific studies (you can search for these yourself on PubMed).
Don't see the answers that you're looking for here? Feel free to contact me to discuss your needs.