Dr. Ashley Weber is a licensed naturopathic doctor and co-founder of Samana, a custom yoga and holistic health retreat organization. She sees patients with a wide variety of health concerns—their journey to her office is often long and complicated. One of the most common questions people ask is why, and when, they should be seeing Dr. Weber vs. a more “traditional” practitioner. In every case, each patient and doctor relationship is unique, but here are Dr. Weber’s top four reasons to seek a naturopathic doctor (ND) or other holistic health practitioner.
1. If You Have Questions About Specific Diets And Food, Like Probiotics or Vitamins
Every healthcare professional has an area of expertise, and it is important to recognize strengths and limitations. Questions regarding specific diets and food, nutritional supplements like probiotics and vitamins, and herbs like echinacea, should be directed toward practitioners with extensive training in these areas, like a naturopathic doctor. Acupuncturists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and dieticians also all have their areas of expertise, so seek them out appropriately.
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2. All Your Labs Are “Normal” But You Still Feel Awful
You have a health issue, you’ve been to countless specialists, had every test possible, and finally you are told everything is ‘normal’ (or even worse, “it’s all in your head”). But you still feel awful, so now what? This is where naturopathic doctors and other holistic healthcare practitioners like chiropractors thrive. By looking past symptoms and searching for the root cause, we often pick up on things that may have been missed or not yet explored. This may include conducting less conventional labs such as food sensitivity or adrenal function testing, or simply taking a different treatment approach. Always trust that when your body doesn’t feel right, there is something deeper happening, and continue to search for answers until you get the help you need.
3. If You’re Curious About Longterm Preventative Planning
People are beginning to understand that your current habits have an enormous impact on your future health and wellbeing. Factors like weight management, diet, exercise, and stress management have the ability to promote or suppress genetic factors that can lead to a number of conditions. Preventative medicine is more than taking pharmaceuticals for cholesterol, and must include diet and exercise with long-term goals in mind. Committing to a wellness retreat can be a turning point in your health and a great way to set yourself up for success in the long term.
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4. If You’re Looking For Support Throughout A Serious Medical Condition
When someone is diagnosed with a serious medical condition, they often rely fully on conventional medicine. However naturopathic doctors and other holistic health professionals can work in collaboration with your conventional medical plan to support you. Appropriate diet before and after surgeries can greatly improve speed of recovery, while nutritional supplements and acupuncture have been shown to reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. In these situations ensure the practitioner has extensive training in your specific condition. In naturopathic medicine, a great place to find someone who focuses on cancer is through the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
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Finally, a quick note on finding the right practitioner for you. Do your research and ensure they are an expert in what you’re looking for. Regulated professions such as naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, nutritionists and chiropractors should be licensed and graduated from an accredited college (beware of unlicensed practitioners)! Many health professionals offer complimentary 15 minute meet-and-greet consultations to be sure they’re the right fit. Consult The Book for a vetted, recommended practitioner in your area.
Whether you’re a wellness warrior or a natural newbie, I highly encourage you to seek out holistic medical practitioners and incorporate them into your healthcare team.
WORDS: Dr. Ashley Weber
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