A naturopathic physician is the best choice for natural prevention and treatment of most health conditions faced by those over 50, including: Allergies, Arthritis, Cancer, Depression, Diabetes, Digestive, Fatigue, Heart disease, Hypertension, Mental disorders, Menopausal symptoms, Obesity, Osteoporosis, Pain, Parkinson’s disease, Prostate enlargement.
The initial session with a naturopath is generally about an hour long, and follow-up sessions typically last 30 minutes. Homeopathic visits take longer due to the extensive nature of the interview. The number of sessions needed depends on the seriousness of the ailment. If you have a chronic condition, you may require treatment for six months or more. As a rule, expect one month of care for every year you have been ill. This is not exact figure, but gives a general guideline as to how long you may require to achieve wellness. Our goal is to have you educated and moving along your wellness journey within three months. We do strongly encourage a yearly return visit to assess your health and to provide preventative care.
A critical public health issue that non-medical naturopaths and naturopathic physicians disagree on is the issue of licensure. Correspondence-schooled naturopaths oppose any licensure that would limit any part of their practices, which includes licensure of naturopathic physicians and dietitians.
Naturopathic physicians hold that licensure is necessary because it creates accountability that protects the general public by maintaining professional standards. Licensure defines the practice of naturopathic medicine both legally and ethically. This creates a set of appropriate expectations so that an environment of trust can develop with both the general public and other medical practitioners. To this end, naturopathic medicine has made great strides in maintaining its own medical schools, its own accreditation system (recognized by the appropriate government bodies), its own licensing exam, and its own licensing laws and agencies.
Dr Jen Gentry currently is not a health insurance provider. We will help you to get reimbursed by filing a claim for you with your insurance company. However, private health insurance plans that include a provision for out-of-network providers (most PPO plans) normally reimburse patients for naturopathic care. Coverage depends on insurance carriers and policies. If your insurance does not cover your visit, ask why. We will help you to get reimbursed by providing you with the forms you need to file a claim with your insurance company. Because not all insurance plans provide for out of network care, and not all patients have insurance, we make every effort to set fair fees and to provide great value for the amount of time and care we take with each individual.
While some natural remedies can potentially cause harm, the majority are safe and non-toxic. We exercise extreme caution when treating patients, using therapies that have little potential to cause side effects. Naturopathic doctors also have extensive training in the use of pharmaceuticals, so they are able to avoid any possible interactions that may occur between drugs and natural therapeutics. Please review our Consent form.
Six principles guide the therapeutic methods and modalities of naturopathic medicine:
- The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic physicians generally ascribe to the view that the human organism has a unique capacity to heal itself and that such healing is only aided, not accomplished, by a physician. Their role is to facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and wellness. This concept is simply referred to in naturopathic medicine as the vis medicatrix naturae -the healing power of nature.
- First Do No Harm: Naturopathic physicians, when given a choice of nearly equally effective agents, will generally choose the one that is safest. A more exact translation of this Hippocratic concept would be that sometimes-harmful therapies are needed but they should be reserved for the last resort and, if at all possible, avoided. Naturopathic physicians prefer to use non-invasive treatments, which minimize the risk of harmful side effect. They treat the cause of disease rather than merely eliminating or suppressing symptoms.
- Doctor as Teacher: The original meaning of the word doctor, Docere’, is teacher. A naturopathic physician’s primary role as educator is to assist in the self-empowerment of their patients to take responsibility for their health and to make choices that positively impact their health and well being. This means that information sharing with the patient should take place so that they are able to make informed decisions about their health care. This principle also implies that the patient has a responsibility to assist in the restoration of his or her own health. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing.
- Prevention and Wellness: Naturopathic physicians are specialists in preventative medicine. Whenever possible, naturopathic physicians work to prevent illness rather than waiting until invasive treatment is required. It is their primary goal to assess individual risk factors and not only maintain health, but optimize health. This is done by education and encouragement of a lifestyle that supports health and prevents disease.
- Treat the Cause: Naturopathic physicians typically strive to determine the underlying causes of illness and to address these to the extent that it is feasible. All facets of a patient (physical, mental, emotion, genetic, environmental, and social factors) must be considered in order to identify and treat the cause. The naturopathic model holds that it is imperative to avoid suppressing symptoms in most cases without addressing the cause of the dysfunction. It is believed that if this clinical guideline is not observed, the potential for even greater pathology may ultimately be created.
- Treat the Whole Person: To facilitate healing, it is vital to address all levels of an individual that may impact their health. Health or disease results from a complex interaction of physical, emotional, spiritual, dietary, genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and other factors. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account.
Naturopathic medicine is beneficial for a wide range of physical illnesses and conditions.
Naturopathic medicine has been shown to be an effective approach for the treatment of infections, including ear and respiratory illnesses, as well as degenerative illnesses.
Another area where naturopathic medicine has proven to be effective is in preventative medicine and health maintenance. Some of the benefits of using a naturopathic doctor are safer medicine, quicker recovery time and the prevention of future illness.
Naturopaths can address most common complaints including:
- Acute colds, Flu’s, allergies, headaches, migraines, minor depression, mood swings
- PMS, Peri-menopause changes
- Increasing vitality and energy
- Prevention of chronic and degenerative age-related diseases
- Pain cessation for sciatica, back injury, strain / sprains, CTS, CRPS
- Smoking and substance abuse cessation
- Weight loss
- Cardiovascular health – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, CHF
- Acute or Chronic viral infections – EBV, CMV, HSV, HPV
- Cancer prevention
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia
Naturopaths (NMD or ND) are trained as primary health care practitioners who address the underlying cause of disease through individualized natural therapies. They are trained to be the doctor first seen by the patient for general health care, for advice on keeping healthy, and for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and serious, chronic or debilitating disease. Therefore, people can go to Naturopaths for colds, bronchitis, allergies, and back pains as well as for heart disease, diabetes, and adjunctive cancer therapies.
Naturopaths are recognized in Arizona as licensed physicians who are trained not only in the naturopathic therapeutics but also in conventional diagnostic lab tests, X-rays, physical exams, pharmaceuticals and minor surgeries. Given this broad training, Naturopathic physicians are best able to integrate conventional and alternative medicine. NMD’s do have limitations however. When the illness requires specialized information or emergency treatment, a referral to another health care practitioner or specialist is given.
Naturopathic Medical Doctors (NMD) are the only physicians who receive complete training in conventional medicine as well as the philosophy and modalities of natural medicine. Naturopathic Medical Doctor is the credential granted to a graduate of one of the four accredited naturopathic medical colleges in the US or one of two such schools in Canada.
Naturopathic physicians are trained as primary care practitioners with the ability to provide a wide range of individual, family, and community healthcare for people of all ages. The state of Arizona has licensed NMD’s as primary care doctors. Under this license we able to order diagnostic tests, diagnose and treat disease just as a traditional doctor would. Naturopathic doctors may also recommended alternative testing such as salivary hormone testing, food sensitivity testing, extensive stool analysis, or urine hormone testing. Naturopathic doctors have prescription privileges and prescribe natural and synthetic hormones including, bioidentical hormones, thyroid hormone replacement, birth control, and cortisol.
Caution: Some persons who identify themselves as “NDs” are generally not licensable in any state. Make sure your practitioner is licensed, a graduate of an accredited naturopathic medical college, or a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine that has been in use for over 200 years. It is one of the therapies that a naturopath is trained to use. Homeopathy is based on the principle “likes treat likes”, meaning that any substance, which can produce specific symptoms when given to a healthy person, can cure those same symptoms in a sick person. Homeopathic medicines work by stimulating the body’s natural defenses without producing harmful side effects. Not only can they be used to relieve immediate complaints, but also to increase one’s resistance to disease. Many conditions that do not respond to conventional medicine can be treated successfully with homeopathy.
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to healing that recognizes the whole person. Naturopathic Medicine follows a vitalistic tradition of medicine, which emphasizes the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement, and support of the inherent healing capacity (or vitality) of the person.
Simply put, a naturopath recognizes the fact that the body is a self-healing organism, and if the right environment for self-healing can be created, then repair, recovery and good health will result and ill health will be prevented.
Naturopathic medicine is primary, family health care that uses natural therapeutics. Naturopathic doctors (NMD’s) are trained to treat people of all ages suffering from both acute and chronic diseases, everything from the common cold or a stomachache to diabetes and hypertension. Naturopathic doctors treat a wide variety of conditions. Here are just a few conditions that can be helped through naturopathic medicine:
Examples of the natural modalities that naturopaths use include nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, physical medicine, and hydrotherapy. Naturopathic doctors are also trained in the use of many pharmaceutical medications, and are educated in the interactions between drugs, herbs, and nutrients.
Naturopathy evolved as a widely practiced comprehensive health system in the early 1900’s, drawing mainly from European herbal and water therapy traditions. It increased in popularity in the United States until the 1940’s following the famous Flexner report, waned in popularity during the ’50’s and ’60’s, and has experienced a resurgence since then. Since the 1990’s, there have been concerted efforts towards more formalized, standardized training and wider licensure, with greater attention paid to the importance of research in the field. In the U.S., there are currently more than 1000 licensed naturopathic physicians. Naturopathy is also practiced widely in Canada, Germany, England, and Australia.
Today naturopathic medicine blends the best of historical natural medicine with current research. Naturopathy seeks to discover the root cause of illnesses, eliminate the cause and help the body become more vital. The philosophy that guides the naturopathic physician is that of looking at the whole person and their environment, not just the body part that hurts. Naturopathic doctors recognize that the body, like any living thing, will thrive given the proper conditions. This means balancing not only the internal system, but also the external environment, the emotional and mental state of the patient as well.
The philosophy of naturopathic medicine differentiates it from conventional medicine and in how we approach each patient. Our goal is to support the wisdom of the body and to facilitate the body’s ability to heal itself; therefore, our therapies attempt to work in harmony with the body and with nature. Naturopathy utilizes a holistic approach to healing, addressing the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. The core of naturopathic medicine is to treat each person as an individual and to consider his or her whole being.
A consultation with a naturopath begins with the practitioner taking a very detailed medical history, as well as asking you about your diet, exercise regimen, lifestyle, stress, sleep patterns, bowel habits, and mental and spiritual outlook.
The naturopathic physician will then conduct a routine medical exam, just as a medical doctor would, but with more emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. If needed, X rays may be taken and laboratory tests recommended.
Although some of the diagnostic tests used by naturopaths are the same as those used by conventional medical doctors, others are quite different. Naturopaths often order a series of tests that measure how well a particular body system may be functioning. For example, the Comprehensive Stool Digestive Analysis is a lengthy examination of fecal material that evaluates the whole process of digestion. The Liver Detoxification Capacity Test measures how efficiently the liver clears toxins. Food allergy/ sensitivity is extremely useful in determining the cause of multiple diseases including asthma, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and obesity. Salivary and urine testing for hormones and brain chemistry are also frequently recommended. Alternative testing is often considered experimental so is not always covered by insurance; however, we search for companies that provide insurance whenever possible. View our preferred Laboratories.
Depending on the naturopath’s individualized training, other tests may be used as well. These might include an evaluation of the tongue and pulse, common in traditional Chinese medicine or applied kinesiology, which tests how the muscles respond to a variety of potential allergens. These alternative methods of diagnosis generally fall outside of mainstream medicine.
With exam and test results in hand, the naturopath then devises a totally natural treatment program unique to you. This is in major contrast to conventional medicine, in which two patients with a headache usually receive the same basic tests and drugs. Your individualized treatment program will be gradual and can be adapted as your health improves.
Indeed, because naturopathy involves lifestyle changes and changes in eating habits, as well as the use of supplements and herbs, the therapeutic plan requires much more patient involvement in the process of getting well. Again, this is unlike mainstream medicine, in which prescription drugs–and sometimes surgery–are by far the dominant therapeutic tools.
Naturopathic medical training is similar to conventional medical training. A licensed naturopathic physician (NMD or ND) attends a four-year accredited graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as a medical doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic medicine (DO). The NMD course of study includes approximately 4,500 hours of academic and clinical training including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, cardiology, dermatology, neurology, gynecology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, psychology, minor surgery, and physical and clinical diagnosis.
However, an NMD also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete training in naturopathic therapeutics, including therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine,homeopathy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and naturopathic spinal manipulative therapy.
In licensed states, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from a four-year, naturopathic medical school and pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license.
Like an MD or DO, licensed naturopathic physicians must fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state’s law.
Naturopathic doctors (NMD or ND) are licensed to practice as primary care physicians, but prefer natural therapies to treat their patients, rather than pharmaceuticals and surgery. NMDs in Arizona can provide pharmaceutical and minor surgical care if deemed necessary. They attend four year accredited medical schools that are structured similarly to conventional medical schools. The first two years consist of coursework in basic sciences, such as biochemistry, anatomy and physiology. The last two years are spent completing clinical rotations and studying conventional clinical diagnosis and treatment. NMDs, unlike a traditional medical doctor, are also trained in the natural healing arts, such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, spinal manipulation, homeopathy and mind-body medicine. To obtain their license, NMDs must pass a series of rigorous basic science and clinical board exams. They typically practice as primary care providers or family medicine doctors.
Your naturopath can do anything your general family doctor can do, but also has the knowledge to treat your individual case with alternative natural therapies. With a naturopath you get the best of both worlds.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) offers a wealth of information about naturopathic medicine, including its history in the United States as well as a national directory of naturopathic physicians. Find out more at www.naturopathic.org. To schedule an appointment contact our office at 623-251-5518.
Yes, we believe that it’s important to have a working relationship with other types of physicians in order to give you the most comprehensive care possible. If you are working with another physician, chiropractor, counselor or other health provider, we will try to communicate with them so we can coordinate your care. The result is a team-care approach that recognizes the needs of the patient to receive the best overall treatment most appropriate to his or her specific medical condition. We can also refer you to a specialist if we feel that it is necessary in helping you achieve an optimal state of health.