A naturopathic physician is one who has studied naturopathic medicine and has gone through a four year doctoral program and is licensed to practice. When you go to a naturopathic doctor, you’ll find that the experience is quite different from a traditional medical doctor.
For example, if you go to a medical doctor complaining of a gastrointestinal problem, you might be tested and then prescribed medication to treat the symptoms. But a naturopathic doctor will try to understand the underlying cause of your problem.
He or she might look at food allergies, nutritional deficits, and possible environmental toxins. Then you’ll be given a treatment plan to overcome these underlying causes and eliminate the symptoms naturally.
When choosing a naturopathic doctor, it’s important to look for someone who is licensed to practice as an N.D. and who has attended four years of naturopathic medical school. Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to find someone.
However, you can look for one in your area by going to http://www.naturopathic.org/ and searching for a provider near you. By doing this you can be assured that you’re dealing with a licensed professional.
You’ll then want to contact that naturopathic doctor and ask some questions about philosophy, cost of treatment, and length of visit. When you visit a naturopath you’ll find that your visits are typically much longer than a medical doctor.
You also should check with your medical insurance to see if any services are covered. Most insurance plans don’t cover naturopathic medicine. However, your insurance might cover tests and some treatment options.
Finally, once you arrive at your appointment, make sure that you’re honest about what works for you. For example, your naturopathic doctor may prescribe a specific diet. But if you’re not able or willing to follow it you’ll waste your time and money.
A naturopathic doctor will usually be fine with trying to help you reach a solution that works for your lifestyle. If not, you may need to keep looking for someone who can help you by meeting you in the middle with something that you feel is realistic for you.
A good naturopathic physician will listen and try to really understand your health. He or she will also be confident in prescribing a protocol to improve your health. But rather than popping few pills you’ll be asked to be a partner in your healthcare.
Using a naturopath means that you’ll need to be willing to make some tough changes but often those changes help you to have better health and wellness.