Your Naturopathic Doctor - What Should You Expect?
by Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND
Natural Terrain Naturopathic Clinic
200-6650 177th St NW
What to Expect from Your Naturopathic Doctor
I believe that everyone has within him/herself the power to become completely well. There is, in our planet and within each one of us, a natural healing power. As we begin to come into harmony with its laws, this healing power will bring us steadily towards complete physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
As your naturopathic doctor, it is my responsibility to make sure that you have the information and guidance that you need to move from where you are now towards better health. I take this responsibility seriously, and I know that naturopathic medicine can help you.
You don’t have to be sick to feel better. A naturopathic program is insurance for the future. You can begin to feel better now, and you can reduce the likelihood of suffering and illness later in life.
Naturopathic Medicine Involves You as a Participant
You will find that I listen very carefully to what you have to say. I want to be sure that I understand why you came to see me. After I have gathered sufficient information through questionnaires, a complaint-oriented physical exam, and by listening, I will make suggestions based on my findings. Then we will discuss your situation and a treatment plan will be outlined. We will work together to meet your health goals. Follow-up appointments are to be scheduled to reassess your condition and progress.
The cost of naturopathic health-care is a concern for most people, but the truth is you cannot put a price on health. When you invest in your health, you broaden your horizons and open up opportunities for success in life. No expenditure is a better investment for a successful future.
If you currently experience good health, you may not notice any dramatic short-term gains. The goal, however, is to learn how to maintain your health as you grow older, for nobody can deny the incalculable difference between a future spent glowing in vital health and one spent suffering from degenerative disease. The sooner you begin to learn and apply the principles of naturopathic health care, the greater your prospects for a healthier and happier future as you age.
Naturopathic health care is for those who want to take control of their lives and their health. It is for those who want to understand which actions and attitudes contribute to better health, and which detract from it so that they can make positive choices.
Naturopathic medicine is concerned with identifying and treating the underlying causes of disease and ill health.
Each person is complex, and this process of discovery is necessarily a gradual one. Deep-rooted conditions take time to uncover, but if there is progress—that is, if you are starting to feel better and have a better understanding of yourself, and you are feeling more in control of your life and your health—then you will know that it is worthwhile to continue.
NDs do place the highest priority on relieving your pain and discomfort as speedily as possible, but they know that the suppression of symptoms gives only temporary relief. Long-term gains are made only by addressing underlying causes. I will discuss your options with you so that you can make choices consistent with your short-term needs as well as your long-term goals.
Naturopathy Is Aimed at Identifying and Managing Stress
Stressors may be structural, chemical, biological, mental, or emotional in origin, but no matter what the source, the stressor should be identified and acknowledged, and then strategies worked out to manage that stressor in a way that is acceptable to you and compatible with your life goals.
As your ability to manage stress effectively improves, your immune system will begin to function better. Your resistance to all types of disease will improve, and the complaints you presently have will get better.
Naturopathic Doctors Treat Acute Conditions.
NDs are trained in emergency medicine, but will always refer people to the appropriate emergency medical care when the situation warrants it.
There are, however, many unpleasant acute conditions for which we can offer help to you and your family, as NDs are trained to be primary-care physicians. Many distressing conditions affecting children and adults can be quickly improved to help you avoid pain, loss of sleep, loss of work, and anxiety. Naturopathic remedies are healthful—they work in harmony with your body and have few side effects.
Naturopathic Health Care Is for Children
Naturopathic health care is for children as well as young people and adults. The sooner you act to safeguard and maintain the natural pristine health of a newborn baby, the fewer the problems later on. You can do no greater service for your children than to support their health and give them an informed healthy start to life.
Our contemporary environment—our culture and belief systems, as well as our physical environment—generates stressors of many kinds that affect your children. The impressions created by commercial interests and the media as to what constitutes a good diet for your child can often lead to erroneous beliefs.
A deeper knowledge of nutrition can make a significant difference to your child’s present and future health. As NDs, we like to teach our patients about the many factors that can impact your child’s health, and how to better manage these influences.
Naturopathic Health Care Is Different
Some of the concepts which you will encounter in our clinic will be new to you, but we will always take the time to explain to you the reasons behind the things we will be doing, and may also recommend some reading material.
Perhaps the most different—and for many the most challenging—aspect of naturopathy is that patients are encouraged to participate in their recovery and health promotion. Many conditions can be treated with minimal participation on your part, but the results in terms of your ongoing freedom from illness and distress are achieved when you are actively involved.
The Doctor as Teacher
“Docere,” the Latin word for “to teach,” is the origin of our word “doctor.” One of the goals of NDs is to be educators—to share with you a broad and objective view of the factors which affect your health. NDs reach deeply into scientific and medical research. In addition, we study traditional healing knowledge from around the world. As a result, we can offer you principles for healthy living, as well as specific solutions for specific problems.
The emphasis is to provide you and your family members with knowledge and understanding—the essential tools necessary for you to progress confidently towards better health. One side benefit, which may appeal to you, is that living according to naturopathic principles is holistic and benefits not just the people who practice it, but the whole planet, too.