Why Not See an ND?
People have a number of reasons why they don’t see a naturopathic doctor for their health problems. The reasons you should far outweigh the reasons you shouldn’t, in fact, I can’t really think of any reasons you shouldn’t!
Reason #1: It’s too expensive
As professionals go, naturopathic doctors are actually quite reasonable, lawyers and dentists charge more like $350+ per hour. Most people who have employee benefits actually have coverage for naturopathic doctor fees, so a visit really costs very little. I tend to recommend only a few well chosen supplements for my patients, so supplements end up costing about $2-3 per day (that’s less than your latté!).
Reason #2: I would have to change my diet
Whether you change your diet or not is up to you. I always provide patients with a customized list of which foods would be best for them to eat and which ones would be worst, but whether they implement that is up to them. It would help expedite your treatment to make diet changes and help get you off pills, but it’s never mandatory.
Reason #3: My doctor said it’s not scientific
Naturopathic medicine is as scientific as conventional medicine. As an example, did you know that taking statin drugs has never been proven to reduce your risk of a heart attack? If you would like to see daily updates on the science that supports naturopathic medicine, go here to like my Facebook page, every day we post studies that support natural medicines. Your doctor is outdated, close-minded and needs to read his own medical journals more often.
Reason #4: It’s too weird or flaky
There is a wide range of naturopathic treatments, and some of them I will admit are “out there”. These are not the type of practices that I use. I come from a strong science background and lean toward treatments that have a basis in human physiology and supportive research.
Reason #5: I get free advice from the health food store clerk or my neighbour’s best friend’s cousin’s niece who sells XYZ multilevel/network marketing product
Free advice is worth what you paid for it. Neither of the above individuals are a reliable source of information. Here’s why: a) they benefit financially from selling you certain products (the information isn’t without bias and conflict of interest), b) they don’t follow up with the person 3-8 weeks later to find out if their recommendation worked, c) their source of information is sketchy (likely from a salesperson who also has a conflict of interest) and d) much of what is sold in health food stores are poor quality products that don’t work. If you added up all the money you’ve spent on cheap, over the counter supplements that didn’t work, you would likely come out ahead by investing in yourself by seeing a naturopathic doctor and getting professional advice.
Reason #6: My health problem is too serious for naturopathic medicine
Did you know that naturopathic doctors regularly deal with the most challenging and complex health issues? Why? Because at least 60% of our patients have already gone through the entire medical system, including specialists and didn’t get help for their problem, so they came to see us as a last resort. I can’t tell you how many times patients have thanked me for solving something they’ve suffered with for years, how many times they’ve said they wished they had come years ago and asked why their medical doctor didn’t recommend they come see me! Still think your doctor is better qualified? Check out this comparison between the education of a naturopathic doctor at an accredited naturopathic medical school and Yale medical school:
Reason #7: I just rely on Dr Google
While you may be able to find information online about the best restaurant or running shoe, I wouldn’t rely on Google for health information. The internet is teeming with misinformation and bad health advice, particularly when it comes to natural medicine.
Reason #8: I don’t believe in “that stuff”
“That stuff” is nourishing your body well so that it can reverse disease and perform optimally. It is helping organ systems to function at their best. It is reducing inflammatory processes that are damaging your body and correcting hormone imbalances. We’re not talking about the Tooth Fairy here.
Reason #9: If there was a way to treat my problem, my doctor would know about it
No, sorry, as good as your doctor may be, he/she hasn’t studied naturopathic medicine intensively for 4 years and then practiced it for 16 years. They can’t possibly stay on top of all of the advances in conventional medicine AND know how to treat every health problem naturopathically. That’s my job.
— Dr. Pamela Frank, ND (@PamelaTorontoND) September 5, 2015