About Naturopathic Medicine and Frequently Asked Questions
About Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies. Naturopathic doctors are the original Functional Medicine practitioners, with the roots of our philosophy and "whole body" approach to healing dating back over 200 years.
Naturopathic diagnosis is focused on identifying the underlying causes of disease rather than just treating the symptoms. We consider your sleep, mood, genetics, stress level, diet, exercise, and toxin exposure when finding the root cause of your problems.
Therapies used are supported by research drawn from peer-reviewed journals from many disciplines, including naturopathic medicine, conventional medicine, functional medicine, European complementary medicine, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, psychology and spirituality. Treatment often includes removing the obstacles to cure as well as targeted nutrient therapy, botanical medicine, cellular drainage remedies, and clinical nutrition.
The following principles are the foundation of naturopathic medical practice*:
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere): Naturopathic doctors follow three guidelines:
Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere): Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae): Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment the inherent self-healing process.
Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam): The naturopathic doctor seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
Treat the Whole Person: Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors.
Prevention: Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
How are Naturopathic Doctors similar to Conventional Doctors? • Attended an accredited post-graduate four-year medical school with clinical rotations. • Learned the same anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, physical examination, and clinical diagnosis. • Trained as primary health care doctors, such as your family doctor. • Able to diagnose and treat illnesses. • Able to order labs, X-rays and imaging. • Able to refer to a specialist medical doctor.
How are Naturopathic Doctors different from Conventional Doctors? • We promote health and well being, whereas conventional doctors are trained mainly in disease management and the suppression of symptoms. Naturopathic doctors have extensive training in nutritional medicine and the restoration of normal physiology whereas conventional medical doctors receive little to no training in nutrition. Naturopaths can help you at any stage of your illness, even if you have symptoms that do not fit conventional diagnostic patterns. And the best part is that we are the leading experts in prevention of disease, and in many cases we can reverse the progression of an illness. • We spend much more time with you. This gives you the opportunity to share all of your medical history, your concerns, and have all of your questions addressed in each visit. It gives us the ability to get to know you better and how we can best be of service to you. • We offer many alternatives to conventional drugs, and may be able to help you avoid surgical procedures by restoring health to your body and reversing pathology.
Are Naturopathic doctors opposed to prescription drugs and surgery? Naturopathic doctors support what is best for the patient, which may include drugs and surgery. We recognize that prescription medications are sometimes necessary, and can work with you even if you are taking many medications.
What kind of laboratory testing is available from Dr. DeForest? A wide range of diagnostic testing can be done to help determine deficiencies, dysfunction, and disease. All standard blood tests can be ordered, as well as functional medicine tests for food allergies, adrenal fatigue, comprehensive metabolic profiles, and others.
Where do I find the prescribed supplements? Most of what Dr. DeForest prescribes can be found in our clinic’s pharmacy or ordered on through our website and shipped to your home. She utilizes the highest quality, professional products that often cannot be found in regular supplement stores. You are free to purchase your supplements from any supplier that you choose. However, buying supplements through Tru Health Medicine provides a hassle-free way to get exactly what you need to return to health, and you are supporting a local business.
How long will it take for me to heal? For most people, all the healing your body needs cannot happen in a month or two. On average, it takes at least one month of focused treatment for every year you have had your condition. So if you have had your condition for the past 10 years, you can expect it to take around 10 months of following a concerted treatment program. Your body has its own healing wisdom and at times what you want "fixed" first does not happen right away. We are always working on balancing the underlying abnormal physiology that got you to your present state, and it can take many months or even years to achieve the proper and full balance for disease to dissipate. Of course, if you have already been on a healing journey and need just that last extra support, it may be only a month or two before you are back to 100%. Your full and dedicated participation in the treatment program is what best can predict how successful the results are. Most people feel greatly improved after just a month or two, but full return to health often takes longer.
Will my medical insurance cover my appointments? In the state of California most insurance companies do not cover naturopathic office visits or services at this time. One exception is that standard labs are often covered by your insurance. If you have a Health Savings Account, this may cover the cost of the visits and labs. Please check with your specific plan to find out the details. Our clinic will be happy to provide you with a Service Summary which has the necessary codes to get reimbursed from your insurance company.