Top 10 Questions to Ask a Naturopath
Now that we have identified the two main types of naturopaths, you may be considering paying one a visit. Here is a list of some of the most common questions that I have received as a naturopathic practitioner.
1. Do you work on healing levels other than the physical?
A model that wonderfully explains the other levels of healing in the body has been made by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., Ph.D. The five levels of healing include physical, energetic, mental/emotional, intuitive, and spiritual. All problems in the body manifest physically and present a symptom. This is how we know we have a problem. However, this doesn’t mean all problems are physical in nature. In fact, many problems often have deeper layers that must be addressed. If you have tried all things natural in the physical realm (drugs, surgery, supplements, herbs, etc.) and still have not found relief, it might be time to look deeper. Find a practitioner that can delve into these other layers and have a holistic philosophy that involves helping people help on these other levels.
2. Am I going to have to change my diet?
On average around 67% of Americans per day eat less than two fruits per day. On average only 73% of adults get less than three vegetables per day. From a physical standpoint, the most healing foods are vegetables and fruits. If you go to a naturopath and the diet isn’t addressed in one form or another, you may have a problem. The one thing most of us have the most control over is what we put into our mouths every day. We should be educated about what our diet should consist of to maintain good physical health.
3. What are some of the main things that help you determine what may be causing my health issue?
A thorough intake of your symptoms, conditions, and family history will be gathered. Medical naturopaths will do a physical exam and may also order lab work to look at your biochemistry. A traditional naturopath may be more inclined to perform testing that involves applied kinesiology or to use modalities that don’t involve a physical exam or lab work.
4. Have you had success with the health issue that I have?
A Western medical doctor is more likely to address your issues reductionistically. A naturopath will look at specific problems, while understanding the problem exists within the system of the whole body. For example, you may have sleep problems or insomnia. GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter is needed at night to help induce sleep. Melatonin is also the main hormone involved in sleep. Both of these substances are made from amino acids protein).
If you aren’t absorbing protein or getting enough it, sleep may be inhibited. An assessment can be made to determine if you need a probiotic, a bioavaliable form of protein, or digestive enzymes to ensure your body can produce these substances. On a mental/emotional level, fear is of one of the driving emotions that keeps people from sleeping. What emotional event(s) happened that may be causing this? Ultimately, specialized knowledge and experience is always beneficial, but since the body is dealt with systemically from a naturopathic perspective, a practitioner may be able to help without prior experience in dealing with a specific health challenge.
5. How long does it typically take one to heal?
Each person is different. In the clinic or over the phone, people who have had pain for 20 years may be pain free that very day. Others can take much longer, even years, because healing for many is a process, a journey. If you are tapping into the right issue, good progress can typically be made within 1-4 months.
6. Is healing for my condition even possible?
The body is a self-healing mechanism. The body can heal from just about any problem if the exact cause is identified and the body is given what it needs to heal in body, soul and spirit. The first person I ever “helped” to heal had ADD, asthma, migraines and a breast tumor. From a Western medical perspective, there is no cure to these issues, there is just disease management. Within six months of trying many natural things (back before when I didn’t have a real clue about health), my friend was healed of all of these things. The issues never returned.
7. What are the costs involved in your services?
Hopefully, the naturopath you are working with outlines on average how many visits will be needed and what other costs may be up front (supplement, tests, herbs, etc.) that will help you to budget accordingly. A half hour to an hour visit may vary from $50 – $300 per hour depending upon the skill and results of the practitioner.
8. Are you accessible for short answer questions by phone or through email?
This is very important for many people. People want to know they can count on and get in touch when important questions need to be addressed immediately. I make myself available through email and most of the questions I receive pertain to getting the cold or flu and what can be done in these circumstances. If a question may require a longer answer, typically they are addressed at the next visit.
9. What healing modalities do you use?
Most naturopaths employ the use of nutritional counseling, whole food supplements, herbs, homeopathy, detoxification, etc. Many other wonderful modalities are used by skilled practitioners such as NAET (Nambudripads Allergy Elimination Technique), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), MFT (Mental Field Therapy), NET (Neuro Emotional Technique), Body Talk, Psychokinesiology, etc. All of these tools help people heal on deeper levels within the body.
10. What are your spiritual beliefs?
We are body, soul and spirit, not just a body. The most healing energy in the world is spiritual. God is love. I always tell people that health is about one thing: LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF. Ultimately, I believe the most important questions in life point back to spirituality and answer the question about what your purpose is here on earth. Health = Life, and connecting to the source of life can bring healing to every part of you.
Dr. Scott Graves ND, MA is a Florida-based Naturopath and Intuitive who specializes in Nutrition Response Testing, NAET, EFT, and Psychokinesiology. He offers free 15 minute phone consultations and is available for radio and TV interviews.