What does an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) look like?
1. The doctor will see you now. You won’t feel rushed, most appointments last 60-90 minutes. We want to know everything you want to share with us about your health history, life style, and what makes you who you are.
2. What’s important to you? It’s about your goals. Are you working to better your heart health, improve symptoms of a chronic illness, improve your diet, improve your immune function, improve your energy levels, reduce pain? Whatever your goals are, a Naturopathic doctor is there to support and guide you through the process. Even if you don’t quite have a goal in mind, a Naturopath can help you improve your overall health picture.
3. What did you have for breakfast? Food can be used as a health builder or a health destroyer. NDs ask many questions about your food intake, without judgement. They can work with you to determine your food intolerances and create an eating plan that would help lower rate of infection, promote energy, improve sleep, reduce stomach complaints, improve the look and tone of your skin, reduce chronic illness symptoms…
4. Please stick out your tongue. Naturopathic doctors measure a person’s health in many different ways. They listen to what your complaints are, review lab testing, but also may look at your tongue, eyes, fingernails. A lot of hidden health indicators are found in areas that a traditional MD may not evaluate.
5. Zzzzzz. When was the last time you had a great night’s sleep? Naturopathic doctors work with the insomniacs, the sleep deprived, the sufferers of restless legs, and all sorts of sleep disorders to improve the quality of a person’s sleep. Whether through a sleep/food journal, or neurotransmitter testing, or a home sleep study, there are lots of ways to help determine the cause of the sleep disorder and develop a plan to improve upon sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to illness, so this is an important part of your health.
6. Feel like you live at the pharmacy? Taking a handful of prescription pills daily to improve your health or slow down the effects of chronic illness? Naturopathic doctors generally will not tell you to stop taking those medications, but the goal is to work in coordination with your MD prescriber to improve your health so that some of those medications won’t be needed any longer.
7. It’s all about you. As a patient of an ND, you are treated as a unique person with your own goals and health concerns. What works for one patient is not necessarily going to work for the next patient, which is why office visits with an ND tend to be longer than traditional MD visits. Your Naturopath will create an individual health program for you, focusing on your needs and health concerns. Visits tend to be more frequent in the beginning, as the ND gets to know you. Once you start to see improvement in your health, the ND will alter your treatment plan to continue to meet your health goals.
8. Thinking outside of the box. What are causing the symptoms you are having? Why do you feel…tired, achy, bloated, have brain fog, just feel blah (fill in the blank with your own personal symptoms). NDs will look “outside the box” to determine the root cause of these symptoms. Sometimes it is a bacterial imbalance in the stomach, sometimes it is a food sensitivity/allergies that are unknown, sometimes it could be a toxin exposure (mold, chemicals), and the list goes on. The ND works toward finding the answers so that your healing can begin.