What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic physicians are trained to recognize the patterns of imbalance that people call “disease.” We focus on the whole person rather than any given condition. When I treat patients, I look at what makes your state of health unique: your particular health history, emotions, environment, diet, how you manage stress, and how your body responds to illness. Together, we uncover the root causes of symptoms and then apply lifestyle changes, naturopathic treatments, and appropriate therapies to help restore optimal health and balance in your life.


I’ve seen other doctors, had all kinds of tests, but no one knows why I don’t feel well. How can you help?

Patients often suffer from what we in naturopathic medicine call a “functional disease.” This is when lab results look normal, but it’s clear to the patient that something is not right, and that the body is far from functioning optimally. Because naturopathic doctors treat the whole person, diagnosing and treating these kinds of conditions is one of the places where naturopathic medicine shines. Using a deep and varied toolbox, we can help even the most health-challenged individuals restore their health and vitality – even if their symptoms don’t “add up” to a conventionally defined disease.


What’s the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Medical Doctor (MD)?

MDs are trained to diagnose and then treat diseases with pharmaceutical medicine or surgery. Their end objective is to alleviate symptoms, in which they are successful to varying degrees. Naturopaths also aim to resolve symptoms, but we don’t stop there. Naturopathic doctors tend to spend more time with their patients to make sure you understand the importance you play in your own health. In my experience, patients can only fully recover their health and vitality when they address the root causes that led to their symptoms in the first place. Illness will recur and symptoms will raise their ugly heads in some form until those underlying conditions are brought into balance. I help restore truly balanced health by drawing on deep resources of natural remedies, bodywork, lifestyle counseling, and emotional and behavioral techniques.


Does insurance cover naturopathic physicians?

Your naturopathic visits may be covered by your insurance, but every insurance plan is different. Contact our office for a handy list of questions to ask your insurance company so you can confirm your coverage before you see us. We do offer insurance billing to our patients, and we accept Health Savings Cards for visits and prescribed supplements at the time of service. You can reach the Enjoyfull Health Clinic office at 503-894-9677 or contact@enjoyfullhealth.com.


What kind of training does a naturopathic physician have?

NDs, like MDs, attend accredited 4-year postgraduate medical programs. Initial coursework covers health sciences like anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology and histology. We also study naturopathic philosophy and therapeutic modalities. As our studies progress, we train in clinical areas like nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, psychology, and bodywork. We complete at least two years and 1200 hours of hands-on clinical training under professional supervision in disciplines that include dermatology, environmental medicine, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, oncology, pediatrics, and urology.


Will you communicate and collaborate with my other physicians?

Yes, we love collaborative care! A treatment team is definitely the best approach when dealing with complex or chronic conditions. At the time of your visit, bring the contact information of your other practitioners.


Can I still take my medications?

Yes, you should continue with your prescribed medication. If you progress to the point of needing less or even none of a given medicine, we will work with your prescribing physician to lower or eliminate it. We are well trained in drug-herb-nutriceutical interactions and will avoid these risks while treating you.


Can you prescribe medication for me?

Naturopathic doctors are able to prescribe and renew most medications for patients with the exception of Class III drugs. I also have an extensive formulary which I have found is appropriate for most of the conditions that I treat.


Where can I find more information on naturopathic medicine?

There are a number of professional associations and organizations devoted to educating the public about naturopathic medicine. One reliable source is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.