Dr. Heather answers some of your most commonly asked questions here!
What is naturopathic medicine? Naturopathic medicine is “primary health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of healthy living and natural therapies, blending centuries-old knowledge and a philosophy that nature is the most effective healer with current research on health and human systems.” Basically, we NDs blend time-proven, effective traditional therapies with modern scientific research in order to effect holistic (mind, body, spirit) healing. We treat according to the six naturopathic principles (first do no harm, treat the whole person, treat the root cause, prevent, educate, work with the healing power of nature), and practice according to the therapeutic order (we begin with the least invasive and most natural therapies, which are actually extremely powerful, and which are often all a patient/client needs). Ultimately, the major difference between naturopathic and conventional medicine is our philosophy: NDs trust that the body is designed to be in a state of health (it's our "set point"), and that the body will return to this state when given the conditions necessary to do so. We treat with the intention to heal, rather than to manage symptoms indefinitely.
Do I have to stop seeing my current doctor? Absolutely not! Some patients choose to switch over completely to naturopathic care, others choose to keep their primary care doctor. Depending on your health condition(s), you may be required to keep your other healthcare professionals on board (for example, if you’re seeking naturopathic cancer care, you must continue seeing your oncologist in order to be treated at Evergreen Naturopathic). If your condition doesn’t require this, the option is completely yours. Many people misunderstand naturopathic medicine to be at odds with the conventional medical system; this is not the case. Both have their place and, in the ideal world, patients are able to utilize either or both in a complementary way depending on what their health concerns warrant.
Can you take me off my medications? Unless I prescribed them for you, no. I cannot take you off prescriptions that I myself did not prescribe for you. However, many patients and clients find that, through the interventions recommended by their ND, their need for prescription medications may be reduced or even completely eliminated. If you are taking prescription medications, it’s important to let your prescribing doctor know that you are working with a naturopathic doctor. This way, your prescribing doctor can be on the lookout for clues that it’s time to lessen the dose of your medication or take you off your medication altogether.
Why don’t you take insurance? Evergreen Naturopathic does not accept insurance. This is because insurance companies require services to be performed in a certain way/according to specific time constraints, and I prefer not to impose these confines on my practice or patients/clients. Naturopathic medicine stresses time with patients ~ we NDs gather many health details, take time to dig for root causes and put pieces of the health puzzle together, and educate our patients around their conditions and the changes they can make in order to promote health. I do not feel I’d be able to serve patients/clients to my full capacity while working within the insurance system. HSA/FSA cards are accepted.
If I don’t come to see you in person, how do I pay for your services? Payments are all completed through the secure online Stripe platform. After a visit/service, you will be e-mailed an invoice through Stripe. Payment is easy and quick, even if you haven’t used Stripe before. You can pay using credit card. HSA/FSA cards are also accepted. Payment is due within 24 hours of the end of your visit/completion of service.
I notice you stress the emphasis between your patients and clients. Why? Will I be your patient or client? Good observation. Whether you are considered a patient or client depends largely on your location. If you are located in California (the state in which I hold an active license), you are welcome to schedule naturopathic visits with me. These are medical visits in which I am able to diagnose, order diagnostic tests, and treat specific diseases. Not all states license naturopathic doctors, and our licenses are state specific. This means that, if you are outside California, I can work with you as a client. I cannot diagnose or treat specific diseases, or order labwork, for my clients. However, your care is not compromised, as I can still share my expertise, help you recognize your health goals, and provide suggestions (for diagnostic tests if applicable and also comprehensive treatment ideas) that you can take to your doctor.
I have never heard of asynchronous e-mail encounters. What does this service look like? Great question! I carefully crafted this option for those interested in the naturopathic option, but unable or unwilling to commit to longer, more expensive options. These encounters are often “one-and-done” (however, they can be continued further if necessary), and provide you with quick answers around the naturopathic approach to the condition(s) you or a loved one are facing. A couple examples are as follows: "My doctor recently put me on statins, and I am experiencing muscle symptoms. I had muscle tightness even before starting statins. Any suggestions?" (My reply contained muscle tightness relieving strategies, a discussion around different types of cholesterol and why evaluating detailed cholesterol test results alongside cardiovascular risk factors is important in determining need for statins, and natural cholesterol lowering supplements, diet, and lifestyle strategies.) "I have just received the diagnosis of X autoimmune condition. I have no idea what to expect. I do know I am interested in natural options. Can you help?" (My reply contained detailed info around the particular autoimmune condition, the general understanding of the cause/prognosis of the condition from a naturopathic perspective, and ideas around diet/lifestyle/supplement/other natural therapies that are often key in immune system modulation and inflammation reduction.) The clients asking these questions left with education around their conditions as well as concrete treatment ideas which they can work with their doctor to implement.
What is Wellevate? Wellevate is a wonderfully stocked online dispensary of supplements, personal care products, and other health-promoting items containing brands that are quality-tested and doctor-trusted. I highly recommend to all my patients and clients that you take advantage of the wide variety of products that can be purchased through Wellevate (one of the product types most patients/clients don’t realize are on Wellevate are non-toxic options for cosmetic/hygiene products!). I can directly make “recommendations” through Wellevate; this means I can send you specific items which I suggest for you, and even include dosing instructions for patients. However, recommendations aren’t necessary in order for you to make purchases. The entire shop is open to you; browse and buy on your own! Making an account is free. You’ll get 10% off always. Shipping is free on purchases over $49. Shipping is fast. In case you haven’t noticed, in this world of often questionable supplement quality, I’m passionate about helping patients and clients find sources for RELIABLE, quality products which actually contain what their labels claim; Wellevate is one of them!
I am interested in natural health, but don’t have any specific health conditions. Should I still make an appointment? You can absolutely make an appointment, even if you don’t have specific health concerns or diagnoses. We call this a wellness or preventative visit. One of our main principles in naturopathic medicine is PREVENTION. The easiest way to treat a disease .. is to eliminate the conditions that might allow it to develop in the first place! A wellness visit is a check-in, to truly make sure that you’re well on all levels: body, mind, spirit. It’s also an opportunity to learn about strategies for staying well, and to get any of your naturopathic questions answered.
I’d like to learn more about the naturopathic approach, but am not ready to use your services. Where can I find more info? Great question. Many are just hearing about naturopathic medicine for the first time, and are not sure how it might benefit them. I highly recommend booking your 15 minute complimentary phone consult, where we can discuss what naturopathic medicine is and whether it could be a good fit for you. I also recommend checking out my e-books and following me on social media; I share lots of free information and resources on my blog, Instagram, Facebook page, podcast, and YouTube channel regularly!
Disclaimer: All information on this website is intended to be educational/informational only. It does not substitute for medical advice or regular visits with your healthcare professional/physician. Always consult with your doctor before making changes to your healthcare regime.