Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents
- What Is Naturopathy?
- How does Naturopathic Medicine work?
- What conditions do naturopathic doctors see?
- How is Naturopathic Medicine different from conventional medicine?
- What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?
- Is Naturopathic Medicine effective?
- Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?
- How long will I be on the program?
- Will I have detoxification reactions to my program?
- Does insurance cover any of your services?
- Do you sell vitamins, herbals or homeopathic supplements?
- Are naturopathic doctors opposed to surgery and traditional drug therapies?
- Can I use naturopathic medicine if I am taking prescription drugs?
Q. What Is Naturopathy?
A: Naturopathy is a distinct system of medicine that is based on a belief in the healing power of nature–and especially in the body’s innate ability to fight disease and heal itself. Practiced by naturopathic doctors (also known as naturopaths or N.D.s), it uses a wide range of natural treatment methods, rather than drugs or surgery, to stimulate the body’s own healing powers. Among the therapies many naturopaths frequently prescribe are diet and lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, detoxification, and more.
Although the term "naturopathy" wasn’t coined until the late 19th century, it is one of the oldest forms of medicine known to mankind, tracing its roots to the healing traditions of ancient China, India, and Greece, and to Native American cultures.
Q. How does Naturopathic Medicine work?
A: Naturopathic Medicine supports and promotes the body’s natural healing process, leading to a person’s highest state of wellness. By addressing the causes of disease, individualizing treatment, and integrating the naturopathic principles and treatments, optimal health can be attained.
Q. What conditions do naturopathic doctors see?
A: All of them! Because Naturopathic Medicine focuses on the health of the entire body and not the specific disease, there is never a case where some supportive care can be taken to better allow the vital force to work in regaining health and balance. Naturopathic medicine has the ability to assist with any condition that is treated with conventional interventions. Additionally, many conditions that are deemed "untreatable" by allopathic physicians have been dramatically improved with naturopathic therapies.
Q. How is Naturopathic Medicine different from conventional medicine?
A: The main difference is in the philosophical approach as outlined in the Naturopathic Principles. While most emergency situations should be handled with conventional medicine, Naturopathic Medicine is often the best approach for the treatment and prevention of chronic illnesses with a focus on dietary and lifestyle that can lead to such conditions.
Conventional medicine and Naturopathic medicine can use medicine and surgery to decrease or eliminate unwanted symptoms. However, NDs also look more closely to determine the cause of disease(s) and utilize therapies that work with the body’s natural healing ability. NDs typically spend more time with their patients to foster a strong doctor-patient relationship and empower patients with tools to maintain optimal health.
Q. What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?
A: Naturopathy encompasses the entire spectrum of natural medicine of which homeopathy is just one part. Homeopathy is a system which uses extremely small doses of natural substances to stimulate the body’s own ability to heal, and thus is based on many of the same principles as naturopathy. One way to compare homeopathy or the understanding of homeopathy is the idea of vaccines. Both homeopathics and vaccines small amount of a substance that can facilitate a reaction within the body. Homeopaths often only prescribe homeopathic medicine whereas Naturopathic Doctors use homeopathy as well as other therapies.
Q. Is Naturopathic Medicine effective?
A. Naturopathic medicine has its own unique body of knowledge, evolved and refined through experience for centuries. It also incorporates scientific advances from medical disciplines throughout the world. Many of the individual therapies used in naturopathic medical practice have been scientifically validated, especially in the area of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture and manipulation. Research is vital to any profession and is consistently being done throughout the globe.
Q. Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?
A. Yes. The safety record in states with regulatory boards is excellent. NDs are experts in the safe use of natural therapies. Pregnant women, newborns, and all others including those in the geriatric phase of life can safely use naturopathic medicine. Terminally ill persons can benefit safely as well.
Q. How long will I be on the program?
A. That also depends on each case and how long you have suffered with a particular problem. Typically you can expect to be on a program 6 months to a year. You will always have the option of discontinuing the program at any time. Results vary with each individual.
Q. Will I have detoxification reactions to my program?
A. That depends on the complexity of the case and the prescribed program. Common reactions are slight diarrhea, headaches or fatigue. In rare cases you may experience temporary symptoms or retracing of previous conditions as the body is being cleansed and regulated. If any of these symptoms occur you should call the office and we will determine whether you should cut back on some of your products or come in for evaluation. Usually the symptoms are gone within 24 hours if not sooner.
Q. Does insurance cover any of your services?
A. We are a naturopathic clinic, unfortunately insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid does not pay for any of our services. We do require payment before services are rendered and there are no refunds. Some insurance companies may pay for lab tests, and we will provide you with a super bill and CPT codes to give to your insurance company.
Q. Do you sell vitamins, herbals or homeopathic supplements?
A. Yes. We maintain a dispensary for our patients in order to ensure product integrity and quality control measures of the highest standard (used by our suppliers). Quality and potency vary widely from brand to brand. Our products are screened for contaminants, are made with low-allergy-potential ingredients, are better absorbed and utilized by the body; and are typically backed by more clinical research than "over-the-counter" brands. We find that people achieve better health results with higher quality products. We may refer you to a health food store for a product we do not carry.
Q. Are naturopathic doctors opposed to surgery and traditional drug therapies?
A. You may receive different points of view on this question. At Tulsa Natural Health Clinic we believe surgery and drug therapy are important health care tools. In non-emergency situations, we feel that naturopathic medicine should be used first to minimize the necessity of more aggressive or invasive care. However, quite often traditional drug treatment and naturopathic medicine can work together. For example, someone who is taking a prescription drug for high blood pressure can work with us to make dietary and lifestyle modifications or to receive a homeopathic or herbal remedy that can augment this treatment and potentially help them to become drug free in the future.
Q. Can I use naturopathic medicine if I am taking prescription drugs?
A. In most cases, yes. We prescribe natural remedies and supplements that can work in tandem with prescription drugs. Naturopathic doctors learn about potential drug-herb interactions in school to ensure your safety.
Notice: Paul Harris is licensed by the Pastoral Medical Associationas a PSc.D – Doctor of Pastoral Science to provide natural health services to individuals registered in the Member Share Network. Pastoral science mirrors the practice of Naturopathic Medicine.