What to expect in a Naturopathic Consultation
Most people are unsure of what to expect in a consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor and how it may differ from a visit with a medical doctor. Medical doctors typically focus on defining and treating the symptoms of a disease or illness. The length of the visit is typically brief, as short as a few minutes in some cases, and is often concluded with a drug prescription. This is in contrast to Naturopaths, who have longer visits and take the time to explore the underlying cause of suffering on a deeper, more holistic level:
"I treat PEOPLE, not illnesses". Dr. Pete
The Naturopathic model focusses on imbalances in the body and using natural and non-invasive approaches to assist the body to heal itself. Be prepared to share your story with someone who will listen compassionately to understand your suffering and work with you to restore your health naturally by focussing on treating causes, not symptoms.
Before your visit
Once your appointment is booked, I will provide intake forms that I kindly ask you complete and email to at least 48 hours before your appointment. This will allow sufficient time for me to review them prior to your appointment and ensure we use all of our time together discussing your concerns. If you can obtain previous bloodwork or other diagnostic results (i.e. urinalysis, bone scans, ultrasound, etc), it would be ideal to review those in advance of your appointment.
Any information shared with me will always be kept in the strictest confidence.
Your First Visit
In your initial consultation we will have a lengthy conversation about your health concerns focussed on a particular area of Naturopathic medicine we agree upon in advance.
Please bring all supplements and medications you are currently taking or have used recently. If you were able to obtain blood work and other health records please bring those for my review. If no blood work has been done in the last 12 months I will provide a list of recommended tests.
A nutritional and activity diary will be provided for you to complete and provide prior to your second visit.
Although I occasionally may prescribe a homeopathic remedy in this visit, I typically study your case in more depth and provide your prescription at your next visit.
After gathering all of your health information I will conduct a thorough analysis of your health concerns and begin to design an individualized treatment plan.
Your Second Visit
The second visit is typically 2-3 weeks after your initial consultation. In this visit we will discuss any changes since beginning your Naturopathic treatments, as well as beginning to discuss nutritional and activity strategies to improve your health and well-being. I will also complete any pertinent physical exams (or recommend a referral) and answer any questions that you may have.
The frequency and duration of your follow-up visits will be dependant on your health concerns and personalized treatment plan. I will regularly check in on your general health status (sleep, energy, appetite, mood, etc). Your treatment plan is a work in progress so I will be making ongoing adjustments based on your results and the feedback you provide.
For many long-term chronic diseases your treatment plan may accordingly be more gentle and gradual to minimize aggravation and ensure your safety.
For acute illnesses the treatment plan is often more short-term in nature. In either case, regular follow-ups will allow us to continually monitor your response to treatments and determine if any new health concerns have arisen that require attention.
As your health issues are addressed we will move towards maintenance and prevention to ensure you experience your highest level of health and vitality.
Movement is integral to good health so discussing your physical activities and collaborating to design plans for increased movement (if appropriate) is an important component to my practice style.