1. I’m not sick. You don’t have to have a disease to visit a naturopathic doctor. We are great with preventative medicine and lowering your risk for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. In fact, many patients I see have been told, “Your blood work is all normal, you are healthy”, and yet they feel tired, or have aches and pains, or stomach problems. THE ABSENCE OF DISEASE IS NOT HEALTH! Health is feeling and functioning at our mental and physical best.
2. I am sick and my medical doctor is taking good care of me. There are some great medical doctors out there. Doctors who spend more than five minutes in the office with you, who try to find solutions to what is really causing your illness and not just hand you another prescription. If you are happy with your medical doctor, great. If not…consider a second opinion. Naturopathic doctors won’t do anything that works against what your medical doctor is doing with you. We won’t take you off your pills, but rather work with you in establishing good nutrition and supplement what may be lacking. It is often possible that you are able to get well enough that you can go to your medical doctor and ask to reduce or discontinue your medication.
3. I don’t know if my work covers naturopathic doctors or not. Contact your insurance company, talk to your HR person, or read your policy manual. Most workplaces do provide coverage in the range of $300.00 to $500.00 a year. It’s a great benefit, you are paying for it, why not use it?
4. I have never been to a naturopath, I don’t know what they will do to me, or tell me to do. A first visit to a naturopathic doctor is very similar to a first appointment with a medical doctor. When I see a new patient, I take a detailed health history of their present concerns, past health issues and family health history. If they have brought blood work or other tests with them, I review that too. Then I do portions of a physical exam. Some exam components are standard such as blood pressure, pulse, listening to heart and lungs, and some may be a little different such as examining the tongue and fingernails. None of it hurts, and none of it is embarrassing. Finally I sit down with the patient and decide what our initial approach will be. I get your input too. If you are afraid of needles, I won’t suggest acupuncture. If you are on a strict budget, I will find inexpensive ways for you to get the nutrition you need.
5. I can just go to the health food store and they will tell me what to take. Naturopathic doctors have a minimum of 7 to 9 years post secondary training. We spend 4 years learning specifically about the human body, disease and natural treatments. We are licensed and regulated in many provinces and states, including Saskatchwan. A person working in a health food store is simply not qualified to advise you about what natural supplements you need. They know nothing about your health condition or what medications you are currently on. There focus is on selling products, not getting you better. Naturopathic doctors look for the reasons behind your health problems and find solutions for them.
6. I don’t have any work coverage, it’s just too expensive to go, my medical doctor is free. It’s interesting. I hear this from people who will spend hundreds of dollars a month at the health food store on supplements that aren’t working for them. Or close to a thousand dollars a year on a gym that is not helping them lose weight because they never go. Or thousands of dollars per year on cigarettes or alcohol, or drive through coffees and lunches out. It comes down to where your priorities are. A fist visit with a naturopathic doctor, depending on where you live, will usually cost between $150.00 and $250.00 for a 75 to a 90 minute visit. You will get so much useful information during this time about your health and a start on improving it, that that visit fee will pay for itself many times over in time you are not off sick from work, time you do not have to say “no” to playing with your children because you are too tired, and possibly even a few extra years to your life!