Interested in Natural Medicine, who should you see? Part II - Naturopathic Doctors and Chiropractors - Aspire Natural Health

Interested in Natural Medicine, who should you see? Part II – Naturopathic Doctors and Chiropractors

Today, more people than ever are interested in Natural Health.

But what type of practitioner should you see?

In Part I we talked about MD’s, DO’s, and nurses.

In Part II we’re going to talk about Naturopathic doctors and Chiropractors.

 
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Primary Providers – Doctors and licensed professionals (cont)

-Naturopathic doctors – In full disclosure, I am a Naturopathic doctor, and am obviously biased about how great my profession is. Naturopathic doctors are the only medical professional whose training is based on providing a broad spectrum of Natural Medicine.

  • Good – ND’s medical training provides an extensive education in science and medicine (biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, etc) along with an extensive education in Natural Medicine making them the best educated Natural Medicine providers as a profession. ND’s general philosophy is to: 1. Understand the body has a healing capacity and to always try to work with it, 2. Focus on the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms, 3. Treat the whole person, not just the part that is having a problem, and 4. Start with Natural Medicine and only progress to pharmaceuticals when necessary. ND visits are almost always much longer than conventional MD’s visits (typically 45-90 minutes vs 8-30 minutes).
  • Bad – ND’s are still a small profession and tend to be concentrated in a few areas of the country. ND’s are currently licensed in 16 states and therefore practice as unlicensed practitioners in the other states. Most insurance plans do not offer coverage for ND’s and so care is generally out-of-pocket. Most ND’s are not as skilled in conventional medicine as MD’s, DO’s, and nurses meaning they are NOT the right answer for emergencies like broken bones, heart attacks, and other serious and life threatening emergencies.
  • The Bottom line – ND’s are likely to be one of your best choices to find a primary Natural Medicine practitioner. We have a full scope of training and are happy to work with MD’s as well as other Natural Health practitioners.

-Chiropractors – Chiropractors are perhaps the most well-known Natural Medicine practitioners. While most people think of them as back or neck crackers they are really nerve specialists. Chiropractic medicine is founded on the belief that when the nerves work correctly the body is healthy, and that when the spine gets out of alignment the nerves are unable to work normally and the body gets sick. The chiropractic profession is roughly split into three camps:

  1. ‘Straights’ (chiropractic term) – chiropractors who only do adjustments
  2. ‘Dabblers’ (my term) – these chiropractors focus on adjustments but may carry a handful of supplements. This can be very appropriate if they are using things like natural anti-inflamatories to speed healing and reduce pain. However my experience and the experience of my colleagues is that many of these professionals venture into selling supplements that they do not have an adequate training or understanding of .
  3. ‘Mixers’ (chiropractic term) – these chiropractors may or may not do adjustments (many do not) and focus instead of things like clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, etc. In this regard they resemble Naturopathic doctors or Integrative MD’s but often have more restricted licenses.
  • Good – Chiropractors are one of the most common Natural Medicine practitioners. Most do good work and are very useful in resolving a variety of health problems. Some make very good primary Natural Medicine providers. Many chiropractors are covered by insurance.
  • Bad – Straights and dabblers can be very effective for musculo-skeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, headaches, car accidents, etc) and general preventative medicine (as a part of helping you stay healthy and pain-free) but are not good primary providers as they don’t have sufficient training. Mixers tend to suffer from the same issues as integrative MD’s, their training is often not standardized and many began life as straights and branched out through various trainings and self-study. Like ND’s chiropractors are NOT going to be a good choice for serious, life threatening medical emergencies, see an MD/Emergency room that is what they are especially good at.
  • Bottom line – Know your chiropractor. If they are a Straight or a Dabbler use them for what they are good at and recognize their limitations. Don’t use them as your primary Natural Medicine provider. If they are a Mixer, find out about their education and experience. There are many exceptional practitioners, and many poorly trained ones as well.

We will continue this article next week. In part III – Acupuncturists and Secondary providers.

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At Aspire Natural Health we are experts at helping people suffering with digestive issues and autoimmunity.

Are you looking for help?

Email us at info@aspirenaturalhealth.com or call us at 425-202-7849.

The first step of our process is to see if we’re a good fit for one another. If we are, we’ll talk about next steps. If not, that’s okay, and we’ll do our best to help you find the right person.
Everything is no-obligation and no-pressure, so you don’t have to worry. You have nothing to lose!

Call us at 425-202-7849 or email us info@aspirenaturalhealth.com now!

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Photo attribution – https://bit.ly/2Lj4w8R

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