Choosing a Naturopath

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by genes, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. genes

    genes New Member

    I am thinking of seeing a naturopathic doctor but am wondering if there are any guidelines or tips to finding a good one. I found a listing that gave almost 10 in my city (though I haven't figured out yet how many are accessible by bus), and so far I have found websites for 3.

    But what kinds of things can I look for before I even decide who to make an appointment with? I don't want to waste money, time, or energy on someone who will be useless. I know it's always a risk, but how can I minimize it?

    Also, what is the going rate that you guys have run into for a naturopath (I'm in Canada btw).
  2. yellowbird

    yellowbird New Member

    Your best bet would probably be to be referred by someone you know who has been helped by the naturopath. I've seen a lot of alternative practitioners that I found in the yellow pages or through a Provincial Association of fill-in-the-blanks, and none of them helped me. I think the more you trust someone, the more likely they are to help you, so if no one can refer you, go with your gut feeling about them. Maybe you can talk to them before making an appointment?
    [This Message was Edited on 01/24/2007]
  3. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Hi, genes, welcome to the site! :)

    I have 0-10% function due to CFS, so my Dad picks the practitioners for me most of the time, as I can't usually make phone calls or think well.

    Here in Alberta, and also in 45 out of 50 states in the USA, naturopaths don't need a liscence to practice. So anyone can take a two week corespondance course on herbs, or even just buy a business liscence and call themselves whatever they want.

    Best case scenario, the doc has as much training as a GP, plus additional training in naturopathy. It's good starting point in choosing someone to ask what training they have, how many years in practice, what sort of treatments they do. The receptionist can answer questions like these over the phone. Also ask about fees, waiting list, cancelation fees. Other questions can be e-mailed. A prompt and informative reply is a good sign. (You could ask, 'What approach do you take with CFS patients?' Or, 'How do you treat FM?')

    A good website is helpful too. That they have a website means they're doing fairly well as a business (i.e. attracting patients), and it gives you insight into their approach. ND's with a website should probably go at the top of the list for choices. Another tip is to type their name into a search engine. This can show whether they're on any commitees, members of any association, or have been asked to speak at any functions. You may be able to find articles they have written as well. If, through all this, the person comes off as professional, knowlegdable, and experienced, they may be a good one to try.


    Here's a few warning signs picked up the hard way. A not so good ND:
    - uses wacky explanations that don't make sense
    - is evasive when you ask questions
    - uses over-the-top testimonials to advertise his business
    - has a short, lame patient questionaire (you can ask for the questionaire before deciding to try the place)
    - diagnoses you in the first few minutes of the appointment
    - says that your disease is due to a personality flaw, lack of gumption, etc. Shows they don't know much about the physical stuff and are behind in research - not to mention insensitive.
    - says they will "cure" you. Not that they can't, but a good ND won't garauntee it.
    - uses a lot of fancy, or weird, diagnostic equiptment that costs a tonn of money
    - starts you on a whole whack of suppliments at once, instead of going slowly with a few at a time
    - seems to just want to sell you stuff, and insists you buy from his office
    - is inflexible or pushy, insists that he is right even when you know he's wrong
    - discounts your concerns
    - offers no new insights into your problem, knows less about the disease than you do

    If you do get a bad one, you should catch on pretty quickly and leave them. Best not to stick around and hope they'll get better at treating you. The first appointment really sets the tone for things. I wasted several months and SO much money on this one herbalist who was very rude (without meaning to be) during the first visit. Didn't listen to my gut that time. I wasted about $100-200 with a "nurtipath" who, among other questionable things, dismissed the thing I had stuck in my eye as "yeast". (It was actually a piece of insect wing). It was like she was trying hard to give the impression of being knowledgeable without actually knowing anything.

    What city are you in? Hope you find a good one!!!
    ((hugs)) Shannon
    [This Message was Edited on 01/25/2007]
  4. genes

    genes New Member

    Thanks everyone. Shannon I'm in Guelph, Ontario. I think in Ontario they are liscenced and have to have gone to school, which is definitely a plus.

    Two of the websites were extensive and professional looking. They both had their surveys on the site, and both were similar and extensive.

    One of them has an email so I think maybe I will email questions about their approach to CFS.
  5. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Glad Ontario NDs are liscenced. Good luck! I wish they were liscenced here too. I got a good one, not making a lot of progress with her though. Dncnfngrs, thanks for the NMD info. I Hadn't heard of that. Are they like integrative doctors? We should be moving to the USA some time this year. Hope to get some good docs to work with!

    (( ))
  6. springrose22

    springrose22 New Member

    I just went to one for the first time today. He seemed quite thorough to me. Also, he didn't just look at me like my reg. Dr. and say, "well, there's nothing that can be done for you." I was actually able to discuss my health with him as opposed to the Dr. He is going to investigate my thyroid and adrenal function much more also. Also he does chelating for heavy metals, and gave me options for that - he does IV and oral chelating. Pretty sure I have mercury on board. He was also not at all opposed to me bringing him lab tests which had been done recently by the reg. Dr.

    All in all, I felt that his mind wasn't trapped in a BOX like most Drs. I live in B.C. Marie