Frequently Asked Questions
What is naturopathic medicine?
What are the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine?
What type of training do naturopathic physicians acquire?
What type of conditions do naturopathic physicians treat?
What can be expected at a first office visit with a naturopath?
What type of diagnostic and lab testing do naturopathic physicians use?
Is naturopathic medicine covered by insurance?

What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct and integral part of medicine based on the healing power of nature, modern science and the innate healing capacity of the body. It is rooted in the practice of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness set forth by the principles of naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic therapies are based on traditional, modern, scientific and empirical methods. The goal is to remove the root cause of illness and to support and stimulate the body’s healing capacity for restoration of health.

What are the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine?
1. First Do No Harm – (Primum Non Nocere)
2. Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
3. Treat the Cause (Tolle Causam)
4. Treat the Whole Person
5. Physician as Teacher (Docere)
6. Prevention is the Best Cure

Please click Principles of Naturopathic Medicine for more detail.

What type of training do naturopathic physicians acquire?
Naturopaths are highly trained physicians. A bachelor degree and standard premedical courses are required prior to admissions to the naturopathic medical program. To be a licensed naturopathic physician, graduation from an accredited 4 year naturopathic medical school and completion of state boards is required. Students are required to have a minimum of 350 patient contacts and 1,233 clinical training hours. For a comparison of naturopathic and traditional medical training click the link http://www.naturopathic.org/licensure/comparative_curricula.html

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What type of conditions do naturopathic physicians treat?
Naturopaths see a variety of conditions ranging from the disease state to physical complaints to emotional disturbances. You can see a naturopath for almost any reason you would choose to see a primary care physician. Yet more importantly to sustain health, naturopaths identify the underlying cause of illness and treat the state of the person rather than the disease. Some common concerns that are addressed by naturopaths include:

  • Prevention of disease, wellness and detoxification
  • Digestive disturbances (heartburn, reflux, constipation, gas and bloating)
  • Autoimmune conditions (Type I Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Hashimotos)
  • Endocrine Imbalances (thyroid disorders, hormonal fluctuations, Type II Diabetes menopausal symptoms)
  • Chronic Disease
  • Acute illnesses (colds, flu, ear infections, sinus infections)
  • Gynecological disorders (PMS, fibroids, cysts, menstrual irregularities)
  • Cardiovascular disorders (high blood pressure, high cholesterol)
  • Headaches, Migraines, Chronic Fatigue, Anxiety
  • and a host of many other complaints


What can be expected at a first office visit with a naturopath?

The first visit with a naturopath typically runs an hour long. The meeting is geared at gathering information from the patient about their main health concerns as well as a complete health history and diet and lifestyle. A brief physical exam may be performed and basic lab work can be ordered if indicated. The physician may also request medical records. Treatment will be geared towards setting the foundations of health.

What type of diagnostic and lab testing do naturopathic physicians use?
Naturopaths can order a variety of tests of the blood and urine such as those performed in routine physical exams. They may also order salivary or stool test or heavy metal hair analysis. Naturopathic physicians utilize screening and diagnostic exams such as a colonoscopy, bone mineral density test, mammogram, ultrasound, EKG etc.

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Is naturopathic medicine covered by insurance?
Yes. All public insurance companies in the state of Washington offer some plan for alternative medicine. Check your individual plan for specific coverage.