Naturopathic Medicine

Happy WomanWhat is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct primary health care system that focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease using natural therapies combined with evidence-based medicine. A Naturopathic Doctor provides comprehensive assessments aided by advanced laboratory testing, physical exams and extended visits in order to create the optimal treatment program. They aim to treat the underlying cause of illness, therefore, physical, mental, social and environmental health, are all considered when choosing treatments. By emphasizing patient education and prevention, Naturopathic Doctors help their patients reach and maintain their optimum health and wellness.

How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?

Naturopathic Doctors have a minimum of 7 years post- secondary education. They must have a minimum of 3 years university premedical sciences followed by 4 years of education at a recognized school of Naturopathic Medicine in North America. During the 4 years of naturopathic medical training students study many areas, including but not limited to; human physiology and anatomy, pathology (study of disease), pharmacology, laboratory analysis, and differential diagnosis, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture and physical therapy. By the end of the 4 years, the students have accumulated 4500 hours of academic and clinical studies. Upon graduation, students must pass national medical board exams before licensing is granted.

What can I expect during an initial visit?

Initial visits with San Francisco Naturopathic Doctor, Kristy Vermeulen are 80 minutes and involve a comprehensive intake, comprising of an in depth discussion about the patient’s health concerns, physical exam and laboratory testing if indicated. From the information gathered, an individual treatment plan is developed to meet the patient’s specific health goals.

What health concerns can be treated with Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Doctors treat a wide array of medical conditions, from acute to chronic illnesses in neonatal to geriatric populations. Some examples of conditions effectively treated by Naturopathic Doctors include:

  • Allergies (environmental and food)
  • Auto-immune disorders (MS, RA, SLE)
  • Children’s health (asthma, eczema, constipation, ADD)
  • Digestive disorders (IBS, Crohn’s, UC, constipation, diverticulosis)
  • Endocrine imbalances (diabetes, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, weight gain, insomnia)
  • Immune system dysfunction (chronic fatigue)
  • Infectious disease (hepatitis, common cold, flu, parasites)
  • Mental Health (anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s dz)
  • Skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema, acne)
  • Urinary tract conditions (infections, interstitial cystitis)
  • Weight Gain
  • • Women’s health (menstrual irregularities, fertility, menopause, pre-conception health, uterine fibroids, PMS, breast conditions)

What therapies do Naturopathic Doctors use?

Botanical Medicine Uses plants for their medicinal and nutritive properties for healing
Acupuncture Utilizes small needles to activate and move Qi (energy of the body) to remove energetic blockages and promote health
Clinical Nutrition Encompasses dietary modifications and nutritional supplements (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics) to gain and replenish necessary nutrients for optimal function
Lifestyle Counseling Patients are educated about causes of disease, taking into account mental, physical, social and environmental influences, and the healthy lifestyle choices that can be made to optimize health
Homeopathy Uses small doses of plant, animal and mineral extracts to stimulate the body’s inherent ability to heal itself
Physical therapy Involves acupuncture, massage, trigger point release, low force naturopathic spinal manipulations and some therapies patients can do on their own at home

Is Naturopathic Medicine safe?

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in the indications and contraindications of the medicines they prescribe and thus side effects and adverse reactions are rare. We are trained to recognize when conditions which are out of our scope of practice and to refer out to other health professionals when appropriate.

Do Naturopathic Doctors interact with other health care professionals?

Naturopathic Doctors consult with many other health professionals to provide the patients with the highest quality of care.

Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by health care insurance?

Dr. Kristy, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in the state of California. Naturopathic medical services are  not covered in California. However, some PPO health care plans may cover a portion of the service fee. Please speak with your insurance provider to determine your coverage and/or submit your invoices for possible reimbursement.

You may also use funds from a Health Savings account (HSA) or Flex Spending account (FSA) for naturopathic visits. reimbursement.

 Naturopath San Francisco

For more information on Naturopathic medicine or to locate naturopaths in San Francisco please see these links:

http://www.naturopathic.org/index.asp

http://www.calnd.org