Frequently asked questions

What can Naturopathic Medicine do to improve my life?

Naturopathic Medicine is particularly effective for the prevention of and relief from chronic and degenerative health conditions. It can help provide relief from fatigue, depression, anxiety, colds and the flu, ADHD, menopausal symptoms, stress-related conditions, allergies and asthma, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, digestive problems, ulcers, HIV/AIDS, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, diabetes, and most other diseases.

Los Gatos ND

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

A Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) has completed a postgraduate medical education specializing in primary care natural medicine. Naturopathic doctors are distinct from acupuncturists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and medical doctors. They are uniquely trained to provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to assist your body's innate healing processes. Naturopathic doctors are skilled in diagnosis and treatment of disease utilizing natural therapeutics including clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and hydrotherapy. They tailor these approaches to the needs of each individual patient. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic doctors cooperate with all other branches within the medical field, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. Education As with all physicians today, Naturopathic doctors are trained at accredited, four to five-year, post-graduate, medical institutions. The training consists of a comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc, as well as detailed study of a wide variety of natural therapies. In their last two years of their intensive clinical training, they learn how to integrate the principles of naturopathic medicine into clinical practice.

What to expect from a Visit to a Naturopathic Doctor?

Discussing your needs with an ND will help you focus your care. A typical visit with an ND lasts 60-90 minutes and includes taking a relevant health history, conducting and appropriate examination, and making recommendations for treatment. It may include gathering information such as laboratory test results, medical records, a diet diary, and other information. Follow up visits vary in frequency and length depending on the individual nature of health issues being addressed, therapies being utilized, and other treatment goals.

When working with a naturopathic doctor plan to be actively involved in your treatment. Your ND may work with you to change your diet or exercise habits, teach you ways to reduce stress, as well as supplements, vitamins, minerals herbs, and other medicines and treatments to help you meet your goals. Ask questions about your treatment and inform your ND about signs of improvement or stubborn symptoms. Your ND may consider further diagnostic tests, changes in your treatment plan, or referrals to other health care professionals.

Will My Insurance Cover Naturopathic Medical Care?

More and more insurance companies are covering naturopathic medical care. Typically PPO insurance covers 80% for office visits. Individual plans vary. Please contact your provider for further details. If you have insurance that does not cover naturopathic medical care, use of a Health Savings Account (HSA) or flexible spending account may cover office visits. Please check with your employer to determine if HSA is available.

What is the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and a Medical Doctor?

A Medical Doctor typically attends a 4-year nationally accredited medical school followed by a 2-year residency program. A Naturopathic Doctor typically attends a 4-5 year nationally accredited naturopathic medical school which includes 2-3 years of clinical experience. This training includes Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Neuroscience, Microbiology, Clinical Laboratory, Physical/Clinical Diagnosis, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Cardiology, Pharmacology, etc. It is in the last 2 years of our training that the fields begin to diversify. Naturopathic Doctors are rigorously trained in alternative modalities such as Homeopathy, Botanical Medicine, Naturopathic Manipulation, Hydrotherapy, Physical Medicine, Diet/Lifestyle Counseling, and Allergy elimination. Both Medical Doctors and Naturopathic Doctors are required to pass nationally recognized Basic Science Board Exams and Clinical Sciences Board Exams. Both are then required to pass Jurisprudence and Legend Substances Exams in order to gain state licensure. Both Medical Doctors and Naturopathic Doctors are trained to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. The major difference is that Medical doctors are trained to treat symptoms, while Naturopathic doctors are trained to investigate the underlying causes of illness.

What is the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and a naturopath?

There is much public confusion over this topic and this is why state licensure efforts are of utmost importance. Licensure provides a clear distinction between a truly qualified Naturopathic doctor and a "lay" Naturopath. From the question above, Naturopathic doctors are trained very similarly to Medical doctors where as "lay" Naturopaths typically receive their training through brief correspondence courses. "Lay" Naturopaths focus their training on the prevention of disease, but are not trained in the diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases. Even though they are trained in the prevention of illness, they receive no clinical training. This is why it is very important for the patient to do thorough research into the training of their provider before seeking medical treatment from them.

How is a Naturopathic Doctor different from a homeopath?

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in homeopathy and utilize it as one of many different healing modalities. Many Naturopathic doctors choose to specialize in homeopathy and use it as their primary modality of choice. Homeopaths typically practice "classical homeopathy" which utilizes homeopathy as the one and only treatment for the individual.