Common Questions

questions about naturopathy

What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct practice of medicine that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process to treat each person holistically and improve outcomes while lowering healthcare costs.Naturopathic doctors are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges.  They diagnose, prevent, and treat acute and chronic illness, restore and establish optimal health by supporting a person’s inherent self-healing process.  Naturopathic medical students are educated in the basic sciences as well as the latest advances in science in combination with natural approaches to therapy, disease  prevention, and clinical education. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, a naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training which includes clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, injection and intravenous therapies, lifestyle coaching and counseling.

What are the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medical philosophy is based on 6 guiding principles:

  • First, do no harm
  • Treat the root cause of illness or disease
  • Treat the whole person
  • Use the healing power of the body and nature
  • Empower patients through education
  • Be proactive by emphasizing prevention

Is naturopathic medicine covered by my insurance?

At Healthwise Integrated Medicine, we accept the following insurance:
  • Regence
  • Bridgespan
  • Premera
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Lifewise
  • Kaiser (Access PPO plans)

As always, it is best practice to contact your insurance provider to verify that your specific plan offers coverage for our office, as well as naturopathic medicine. We cannot guarantee coverage.

Please call our biller, Anna, with any further billing questions. She can be reached at (206) 725-0683.

Do naturopathic doctors specialize?

While there aren’t currently any specialty-level residency programs for naturopathic doctors, many NDs take additional training in a specific focus after graduation and belong to one or more affiliate groups. Naturopathic doctors can specialize by joining one of the post graduate education societies and becoming certified in a specialty such as Pediatrics or Oncology.

Can naturopathic doctors prescribe medications?

In Washington State NDs can prescribe most medications such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, hormones, diabetic medications, etc.  Federally controlled medications, like narcotics, benzodiazepines, and chemotherapeutic agents are not in the scope of practice at present.

What can I expect in my first appointment?

During your first appointment a detailed health history will be compiled from your eating and sleeping habits, stress levels, and mood. Your ND may also order diagnostic tests in order to evaluate how to best treat you and your family. Typical first appointments last approximately an hour to an hour and a half and first time patients find the process reassuring and even relieving.

Why should I see a naturopathic doctor?

NDs are highly trained, compassionate primary health care providers who use holistic and natural methods to help you and your family reach your health goals. NDs have a refreshing understanding of how the body works and why illness happens. Naturopathic Doctors take the time to learn about , you and your family’s physical, mental, and emotional well being as these factors have a role to play in your overall health..

What’s the difference between an ND and an MD?

Naturopathic doctors and medical doctors receive similar levels of training in university. The primary difference between the two systems of medicine is the way NDs think about things. Conventional medicine often views symptoms as something to suppress, while NDs view symptoms as an expression of a deeper process.

Do naturopathic doctors do residencies?

At this time in the profession naturopathic medicine is not included the federal Medicare program which funds the residency program for MDs. As such, the naturopathic medical profession has less access to residencies. Naturopathic doctors graduate with the training and skills necessary to work safely and effectively in general practice and are trained as primary care providers. Some NDs do go on to residencies where they hone their skills, and many start a practice right away.

Do I need a referral to see an ND?

No, we are primary care providers. You can walk in with any concern you’d visit your family doctor with.

What Is The Difference Between a Homeopath and a Naturopathic Doctor?

Homeopaths are trained in the prescribing of homeopathic remedies. Naturopathic Doctors may prescribe homeopathic remedies but their training is much more broad and inclusive of many methods of treatment such as diet and nutrition counseling, supplementation, prescription medications, physical medicine, massage, hydrotherapy, clinical nutrition, supplementation, B12 injections, lifestyle modifications, Asian medicine and acupuncture, or botanical medicine.

Are Naturopathic Doctors Real Doctors?

Yes. We are regulated by the state of Washington as Naturopathic Doctors. We assess and diagnose as your medical doctor would, however we treat differently, using evidence-based natural means.

If you’re interested in learning more, book your complimentary 15-minute consult today to find out how we can help you attain your health goals.