Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions about naturopathic medicine and Stormhaven Natural Health. Got a question that’s not answered here? Email me at [email protected] with the subject “FAQ”.

About Naturopathic Medicine

What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct practice of medicine that combines conventional and holistic therapies to deliver whole person, individualized care with emphasis on prevention. Those who undergo a rigorous, 4-year clinical degree program graduate with a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and after passing a regulated exam may apply for a license to practice medicine in certain states, going by the title Naturopathic Doctor (ND) or Naturopathic Physician. Sometimes the title “naturopath” may be used, but you should use caution to investigate whether that person had clinical training from an accredited school. Naturopathic medical school programs are separate from medical school programs that lead to the degree Doctor of Medicine (MD).

Check out my pages HERE and HERE for more information; there’s a lot to know about what makes naturopathic medicine different than the care you’re used to getting from doctors, how to select the right naturopathic doctor, and what different treatments an ND might offer. It’s also important to find the right ND for you, since we all may have slightly different emphasis or specialties.

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How is naturopathic medicine different than functional medicine? Or homeopathy? Or osteopathic medicine, or…?

Many of these forms of medicine are similar, but they do differ in important ways. Naturopathic and osteopathic medicines have distinct, formalized training that leads to a doctorate degree, but graduates of either school still need a license to practice medicine and be considered physicians in the state where they practice.

Functional medicine is similar to naturopathic medicine in they share many ideas about what constitutes health and how to achieve it, but training is distinctly different. Most functional medicine training is available as a certificate, making it significantly shorter than naturopathic medical training and may not include clinical care before getting “certified”. A benefit of functional medicine is that it allows practitioners who already have a license for medicine (certification through IFM is not available to lay people) to learn more about health practices than their first degree taught them, without enrolling in another 4 year program and potentially substantially increasing their loan debt. This means in states where naturopathic doctors do not have the ability to be licensed, you may be able to find a functional medicine practitioner to help fill your needs. However, the downside is that as a certificate program, functional medicine practitioners lack the depth of holistic care knowledge that naturopathic doctors go through an entire distinct medical degree to achieve. Learn more about the Institute for Functional Medicine on their page HERE.

Homeopathy is a distinct type of medicine, and is part of naturopathic medical training; your ND may prefer using homeopathy as one of their primary therapies. However, there are some homeopaths who did not receive a rigorous, clinical naturopathic education. Always make sure to check your practitioners education and credentials.

About Stormhaven Natural Health

Do you take my insurance?

Stormhaven Natural Health does not work with insurance companies and is a cash-based practice. A benefit of this to you is that you can usually know in advance exactly what the cost of a service is and not have to wonder if insurance will cover some aspect of your care, or if you’ll owe your practitioner later if insurance decides not to cover something.
Many Washington state insurance companies do work with naturopathic doctors to allow reimbursement or coverage for some costs of primary care, but there are often services or therapies even in insurance-based naturopathic practices that must be paid out of pocket. Insurance companies tend to reimburse NDs at a lower rate for many services compared to other practitioners. Instead of spending extra time, often after hours, fighting for reimbursement, cash-based practitioners can spend more time and attention to delivering exactly the care you want and need during and even between appointments.

Have another question?

I’d love to clarify something for you! Send me an email at [email protected] with the subject “FAQ”. Talk to you soon!