What to Expect from a Naturopathic Doctor
VISITING YOUR FAMILY MEDICAL DOCTOR IS NOT the same as seeing a Naturopathic doctor (ND).
The modern medical models of care that MDs and NDs use to treat their patients can be very different. MDs tend to focus on reactive healthcare; utilizing pharmaceutical prescriptions or surgeries when appropriate. Reactive healthcare is imperative in emergent, life threatening or severe physical injuries or poisonings. We need Medical doctors for this type of care.
However this type of medicine supports our current healthcare system and puts a massive burden on our hospitals and emergency departments.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) on the other hand specialize in preventative health care, chronic disease management and optimal living strategies. We are detectives for your health, combining your history, symptoms and physical examinations to understand the patterns of imbalance
The modern medical care models can no longer safely suppress symptoms, NDs can provide empowering lifestyle changes to reverse the cause of distress and improve quality of life. We give patients back autonomy and responsibility for their health.
This is challenging for NDs. Lifestyle changes take time and effort. Unfortunately, many people are not ready for this.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is the merging of Western science with Eastern traditional philosophies to promote healing of the whole person (mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually) from the root of the issue. Naturopathic medicine supports the body to heal itself, not suppress symptoms.
The body is capable of healing itself given the proper support and removing obstacles to heal. Naturopathic doctors call this the body’s innate ability to cure and maintain homeostasis (balance). Here is the foundation for the 6 Naturopathic principles:
First to do no harm – Minimizing risks of harmful side effects and using the least force necessary to treat while respecting the individual’s self-healing process.
Identify and treat the cause – Rather than merely eliminating or suppressing symptoms, NDs seek to identify and treat the causes of illness.
Doctor as teacher – Clients are encouraged to take responsibility for their own optimal health through knowledge and empowerment.
Treat the whole person – A person’s health status must address his or her physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social support to truly understand all contributing factors.
Emphasize prevention – Preventative health is the only sustainable health model. NDs are leaders in prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to illness.
Supporting the healing power of the body – NDs recognize an order and intelligence to the self-healing process and inherent to every living creature, whether or not you believe in a spirit or energy force.
Our bodies are complex. Our physical, emotional and mental well-being are interconnected with our internal and external environment. We cannot compartmentalize ourselves into symptoms. We are affected by everything we consume, interact with and experience. Energy and the conversion into various forms of energy is the foundation of science.
Naturopathic care is founded upon medical sciences. NDs take great pride in studying and applying the science of natural remedies to heal the body:
Microbiology and Immunology
Dietary nutrition and supplementation
Lifestyle counseling (exercise, stress management, new habit formations)
Traditional Chinese Medicine
With all of our tools, most Naturopathic doctors will tell you there is nothing more valuable than having someone listen to you with an empathetic ear and give you actionable and practical health advice to build into your daily life. Nowhere else can you find an evidence-based practitioner with extensive safe and effective tools who practice patient-focused healthcare. Naturopathic doctors pride themselves on their high standards of client quality care, medical responsibilities and ethical conduct.
Who are Naturopathic Doctors?
NDs are effective at what they do, remember that they are not primary care physicians. Because Naturopathic doctors work synergistically with MDs, I don’t encourage an either/ or approach. Our skills complement each other. Having both an ND and an MD who can work together to provide holistic medical health care is ideal.
NDs have different styles of practice and if you’ve consulted with one whom you didn’t have a good fit with, that doesn’t mean you cannot find one that does. That goes the same for if you’ve read an article or watched a webinar from an ND whom you disagree with. We are not all the same, just like our clients are not the same.
Try a complimentary consultation to ensure the right fit. Having mutual respect and trust is important to foster a healthy relationship.
What Can I Expect From an Initial Visit?
Duration: Initial visits range from 60-120 minutes depending on the client and the type of concerns.
Intake: Naturopathic doctors are unique in our intake assessments. We are detectives who are thorough in our approach to seeking the root of your imbalance, illness or medical condition. Be prepared to be asked a wide range of questions that you may or may not think are relevant to your case. At any time, you can choose not to answer the questions, but it is in your best interest to be as thorough and honest.
Treatments: Depending on your concerns, in-office treatments may be performed in your first visit (ie. supplements, botanicals, homeopathics, diet recommendations). In some unique cases, we may not suggest anything if they feel they have not gathered enough information or there is a more serious underlying condition that required further investigation.
Pharmaceutical drugs: It is standard practice that the medical doctor who has initially prescribed your medications is the one that should be monitoring and making any alterations to that prescription. If you would like to have your medication dosages changed, work with the medical doctor who has prescribed your medications and monitor your progress.
Expected number of visits: The number of visits to expect varies depending on the person and condition. Naturopathic medicine is not about “quick fixes” or suppressive treatments. Healing from the root of the cause takes more time and effort than the conventional modern medical models of care, but it is sustainable and preventative for future ailments.
It’s often estimated that for every year you’ve had a condition or symptom, it will take approximately 1 month to reverse. For example, someone suffering from headaches for 5 year may take 5 months to clear. However, sometimes the correct diet and lifestyle change can remove a symptom almost immediately. Always stick to your treatment protocol for at least 1 month before deciding if it is helping or not.
Timing: It is common courtesy to show up for your visit on-time (or early). If you arrive late, your appointment may be cut short and it may make the next appointment tardy as well. Please be understanding if your ND runs late from time-to-time as unexpected things may have happened with a previous client.
Intake forms: Make sure to fill them out before going to your appointment or arrive at least 15 minutes early to fill them out. These forms are often very thorough and much longer than an average medical form.
Diet and lifestyle diary: Your ND may ask you to track your diet for 1 week after your first visit, however if you can do this ahead of time (using this chart), you will save yourself and your doctor time. Diet is a major contributor of health and disease. Knowing what you are eating and how it affects your body, mind and energy can be life changing.
Supplements and medications: If you are currently taking any supplements or medication, bring them in with you to your first visit and ensure you have the correct dosages and duration for taking each. If you’ve taken any medication in the past for a significant amount of time, it is also important to list what it was, the dose and when you were on it.
Medical history: Past and current family and personal history will be important to note in your intake forms or during your visit. Look into this information before your first appointment.
List of your concerns and conditions: If you have many concerns and conditions, it’s important to note them down, especially if poor memory or dementia is a complaint. Past conditions and their timeline are also important to note along with the types of treatments tried (successful and not helpful).
Insurance coverage: Some companies specifically allocate health insurance for ND’s while others give a broad “alternative” or “complementary” health category. If you are at all unsure, call up your insurance company and ask, ask if a health savings account can be used for your visit.
It’s important to enter your ND appointment with an open mind. Many clients have seen multiple practitioners without success. Naturopathic doctors are different. We are evidence-based with extensive safe and effective tools who practice client-focused health care. We have a holistic approach and empower our clients to take back control of their health.
Your health is a process and a journey. It requires your time and effort to get the greatest results for preventative medicine. You are worth the time, energy and commitment. However, make sure you are ready for the commitment and willing to put the time and effort it takes to heal your body!
What Modalities Do You Use?
During a Wellness appointment, Dr. Knauf will move through several healing modalities based on your individual needs. These may include:
Meridian Stress Assessment
A unique, innovative, computerized energy analysis technique for building better health. MSA involves taking simple, painless, electronic readings on the skin surface of the hands and feet. It is based on the Chinese theory that improper energy flow through the acupressure meridians causes energy imbalances in the body. By analyzing the energy levels with an MSA through your systems of the body we are able to identify stresses or weak areas.
Face, Tongue and Nail Comprehensive Analysis
Your body never lies. Long before there were x-rays, cat scans and blood test traditional healers used noninvasive such as your face, tongue, and nails for analysis. The truth is your body imbalances will show up in the face, tongue, and nails long before any blood test or any other conventional testing will indicate there even is an imbalance occurring.
Homeopathic treatments stimulate your body to heal itself. A core belief in homeopathy is that mental and emotional symptoms are so important that they even outweigh many physical symptoms. Homeopathic medicine is considered to be a safe practice and remedies have been regulated by the FDA since the late 1980s. We offer hundreds of homeopathic drops and that are safe for the youngest or the oldest of our community.
Parasite Detoxification/ Intestinal Regeneration
Parasites have a very unique life cycle that allows them to rotate between dormant and alive. Contrary to creative marketing, just taking some black walnut hulls and wormwood doesn’t work anymore. Parasites have evolved and created a Bio Slime protective coating making it harder for traditional remedies to work. Understanding their cycles in your body is the key to success. Addressing early and late stages as well as breaking down the biofilm and rebuilding the intestinal tract where damage has been caused is key to better health.
Detoxification and Lyme Disease
Researchers at Mayo Clinic revealed the discovery of a new strain of Lyme bacteria, Borrelia and the president, Pat Smith of the National Lyme Disease Association states that “the tests are less than 50 percent reliable,” there is a new battleground for healing from Lyme disease. We go beyond antibiotic therapy which has been proven to be ineffective creating side effects such as gut microbiome issues. We use the power or 3 botanical, nutraceutical, homeopathic series to support your body’s ability to heal. We also address the CO-Infections that are many times ignored but clearly further complicate this disease. The solution, a 6-12 month program integrating the principle of remove, repair and rebuild the body.
We address Lyme with phase remedies, all 3 phases:
Phase 1 – Extracellular/Acute
“the bite” phase associated with Lyme Disease, even if you never got a bite. Studies are showing “new ways” for the Lyme Disease bacteria to spread that has nothing to do with the infamous tick.
Phase 2 – Intracellular- Dormant
flare-ups and recovery
Phase 3 – Attacks nervous system and immune system
The “I need HELP” phase.
Heavy Metal and Mineral Balancing Program
Studies show that chelation is scientifically proven to rid the body of excess or toxic metals, especially certain kinds like lead or mercury that can lead to poisoning Chelating agents have specific bonds that form between organic molecules and metals. This gives them the ability to “bind” to metals that build up in the blood, major organs and blood vessels. Once heavy metals enter the human body, they are stored in a variety of tissues, like fat, bone, brain, liver, heart muscle and kidney, and remain there for decades. At this point, they often no longer show up as elevated blood levels.
We do not use IV’s or needles in the arm, our method is easy to clear out using a multi-step approach. This goes beyond taking EDTA capsules, and restores minerals lost during traditional Chelation Therapies.
Bach Flower Remedies
Bach Flower Remedies are named after Dr Edward Bach (1886-1936). He was a medical doctor, bacteriologist and homeopath. We know everything in the world is connected at a vibrational level, as modern physics and relativity theory has proven. These gentle remedies are one of the safest, natural and effective holistic tools we use for all ages.
Each different type of flower has a slightly different energy and carries slightly different information into our system. All of these are capable of supporting balancing at an emotional level. We customize your support for your emotional needs and healing. This can be used for all ages including pregnant women. In a tasteless liquid form that allows a convenient and easy way to administer, most put it in their water. This is a great solution for emotional healing.
Urine and Saliva Analysis
The biological theory of ionization is a true real-time comprehensive mathematical analysis of what is taking place within the electro-biochemical structure of the human body’s cells, tissues, and organs. In simple terms, it is what is going on with your internal terrain. The place where all life or death occurs.
By using laboratory instruments and techniques we test parameters using saliva and urine: Sugar brix; Urine pH; Saliva pH; Conductivity; Cell Debris; Nitrate Nitrogen; Ammonia Nitrogen. We then analyze the results and present our findings in regards to degenerative and dysfunctional patterns.
It is a true real-time comprehensive mathematical analysis of what is taking place within the electro-biochemical structure of the human body’s cells, tissues, and organs. In simple terms….what is going on with your INTERNAL terrain. The place where ALL life or death occurs! This successful Analysis used for over 60 years that helps determine the internal terrain and its contributions to dis-ease. Dismiss the Myths about pH and its role in dis-ease and get FACTS that work! YOUR PEE doesn’t lie.