Naturopathic Medicine

What is a Naturopathic doctor?

What type of training does a Naturopathic doctor receive?

How are naturopathic and conventional physicians similar and/or different from one another?

What can I expect from my first and subsequent visits?

How often will I be treated?

Does Dr May order labs?

Can Dr May help my children?

Will you work with my other healthcare providers?

If I’m taking prescription medications can I take natural medicines?

Can a Naturopathic doctor prescribe medications?

Can a Naturopathic doctor help me to get off of my current medications?

Will insurance cover my appointment?

What methods of payment are accepted?

Does Dr May do phone or Skype consults?

I’ve never seen a Naturopathic doctor, so how do I know if it’s right for me?

What conditions can be treated with naturopathic medicine?

What is the patient’s role in treatment?

Should I come to you for overall wellness or only if I have a medical problem?

Chinese Medicine

What is Chinese medicine?

How is Acupuncture used?

What does Acupuncture feel like? Does it hurt?

Is Acupuncture safe?

What should I expect from my first visit?

How often will I have to come in for treatment?

If I have a fear of needles, can I still receive Chinese medicine treatments?

What conditions can be treated with Chinese medicine?

 

Naturopathic Medicine

What is a Naturopathic doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are licensed primary care providers in the state of Minnesota; trained with an emphasis on holistic assessment and treatment that focuses on the vitality and wellbeing of the whole person. Our goal is to stimulate the body’s power to heal itself. Rather than suppress symptoms, the aim is to search out and treat the cause of disease, so as to best prevent recurrence and optimize health.

What type of training does a Naturopathic doctor receive?

Naturopathic Doctors receive 4-5 years of rigorous medical training (3500 classroom hours) at accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools, including a comprehensive clinical internship (1200 hours), and substantial precept requirements (300 hours). Naturopaths are comprehensively trained in holistic assessment and treatment modalities including botanical medicine, nutrition, hydrotherapy, physical manipulation, homeopathy, and minor surgery. In addition, they are extensively trained in modern diagnostic techniques, and have a thorough understanding of western medical interventions and pharmacology. They learn the same physical exams and medical history taking skills as primary care MDs, are licensed to order and interpret the same lab and imaging studies, and are even trained and licensed to prescribe most pharmaceuticals. Naturopaths must pass rigorous national board exams before receiving licensure. Upon completion of this education and licensure, Naturopathic Doctors are qualified to work as primary care physicians. In order to work as a Naturopathic Doctor and primary care provider in Minnesota, one must become registered with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice and work under Minnesota’s written scope of practice.

How are naturopathic and conventional physicians similar and/or different from one another?

Naturopathic doctors are trained and licensed as primary-care providers. They are trained at an accredited four-year medical school in clinical, physical, and laboratory diagnosis, similar to that of a conventional physician.

Primarily, naturopathic and allopathic medicines differ in philosophy and in treatment. Both physicians are trained to diagnose and treat disease. Naturopathic medicine embraces a whole body philosophy that examines a person’s entire picture, understanding that any condition is more than the sum of its presenting symptoms. An ND will aim to uncover the cause of the disharmony rather than just trying to eliminate symptoms. Additionally, naturopathic medicine uses the myriad of aforementioned treatment modalities to cater the treatment to best suit each individual patient, instead of solely relying on pharmaceutical medications and surgery.

What can I expect from my first and subsequent visits?

An initial office visit with us will usually last up to one and a half hours. The office visit consists of a complete health history and pertinent physical exams. We can expect that your journey towards health and wellness will occur in stages. So from the beginning we create a clear plan and vision of your health goals and how we will achieve them. It is important for us to maintain clear communication of your needs and goals. You will always have a very specific treatment plan, not only on the very first visit, but every visit with us.

As a doctor, she encourages people to be empowered and active in their health process, as well as to ask questions, be curious and engaged. Her role as a doctor is to be an educator, providing patients the tools they need to take their well-being to the next level.

How often will I be treated?

Dr. May believes in establishing a dynamic relationship with each of her patients. Each patient is unique, as is his or her journey towards health. She tailors a plan to each individual and therefore healing takes a different amount of time for each person. In cases of chronic illness, it may be required to come in for treatment on a regular basis. In more acute situations, follow-up may be required in a matter of days. In an optimal case of preventative care with a focus on wellness, appointments may span six months to one year. Dr. May’s goal is to optimize your health and arrive at a place where frequent office visits are not necessary. The length of time it may take to reach this point will vary between each individual, dependent on the factors listed above.

Does Dr May order labs?

This will depend on your individual needs. If you have already had previous lab work done please bring a copy with you to your first visit with us. In addition to a set of basic blood work that you may or may not need, we might request tests that are more specific and provide other types of information. Some examples of these tests include food intolerance testing, a Gastro-Intestinal Health Panel, an Adrenal Stress Index, and others. These will be discussed in more detail during your visits with us.

Can Dr May help my children?

Having worked with children in the past, Dr. May has a wonderful way with children. She approaches them on their level and strives to help them feel comfortable and safe. There are toys in the office for many ages and all of her pediatric patients know where they are and look forward to visiting the office.
Dr. May has experience with infants and children of all ages. She can counsel you in the issues of vaccinations, common childhood ailments, eating disorders, chronic fatigue, chronic infections and general well-being.

Will you work with my other healthcare providers?

Absolutely. She believes that a treatment team is the best way to support her patients. Naturopathic medicine works well in conjunction with conventional care; in fact, it often helps improve the results and reduce the side-effects of treatments you are receiving.

You may find that with treatment at Nourish Natural Health Clinic, you may need to reduce your doses of prescription medication and eventually may not even need them at all. Please tell both your MD and Dr. May about any other doctors you are working with so they can coordinate care and make any medication adjustments as necessary.

Naturopathic medicine can also help support the body during transitional phases (such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause etc.) and intensive conventional treatment (such as chemotherapy, radiation, etc). Many patients pursue both conventional and naturopathic care in such circumstances, and they get the greatest benefit when all of their care providers are working together.

Dr. May offers supportive treatment for pre and post-surgery, imaging, and for a wide range of conditions requiring the use of long-term pharmaceuticals. We can help by simply treating the side effects of conventional treatment and/or by supporting your body so that it can respond optimally to restore itself through healing on all levels.

If you would like her to work with any other physicians, please bring the contact information for these physicians you are working with to your appointment. Please also bring along any recent lab work results.

If I’m taking prescription medications can I take natural medicines?

Yes, depending upon circumstances. Dr. May has been trained extensively in the interactions of pharmaceutical medications and herbal medicine. This training includes the potentially adverse effects that may occur if improperly combined. She will avoid harmful combinations of both drug-nutrient interactions and drug-herbal interactions. It is very important that you provide Dr. May with a list of current medications and keep her informed of any changes to that list.

Can Naturopathic Doctors prescribe medications?

Current Minnesota law disallows ND’s from prescribing pharmaceutical medications, so a referral would be made if Dr. May believed that to be the most efficacious treatment for your condition. Dr. May is fully trained in pharmacology, and has had experience with prescription medications in Oregon State. As a Naturopathic doctor, she was trained to have the greatest effect while doing the least harm. She believes that there are certain situations when a pharmaceutical drug is indicated. In many other instances however, a similar healing effect can be reached with less side effect with the use of another modality. Dr. May believes that conventional medicine has become too hasty in the use of its “big guns”, resulting in widespread over-prescription of many drugs, which often end up doing more harm than good. Drugs and surgery certainly have their place in medicine, but should only be turned to after gentler, more supportive treatments have proved ineffective.

Can a Naturopathic Doctor help me to get off my current medications?

Only the physician that prescribed a pharmaceutical medication has the ability to discontinue its use. Abrupt discontinuation of a drug is often dangerous, and is never advised. It may be possible to increase your health using Naturopathic treatments to the point where the medication may be safely reduced or even eliminated. In all cases, this must be done in a cooperative effort and with the agreement of the prescribing doctor.

Will insurance cover my appointment?

Currently, insurance companies and HMO’s in Minnesota do not cover naturopathic services. Flex Spending programs may allow for naturopathic health care deductions. Check with your plan administrators. We recommend that everyone ask their insurance providers to allow coverage for natural healthcare expenses.

However, insurance billing for certain lab work is possible with some insurance companies.

What methods of payment are accepted?

Our office accepts cash, checks, Visa, and Mastercard. If you have any more questions concerning our payment policies, please contact our office directly.

Does Dr May do phone or Skype consults?

Dr. May is available for scheduled visits by phone or Skype for return patients.

I’ve never seen a Naturopathic doctor, so how do I know if it’s right for me?

Dr. May offers a free 15-minute consultation – aimed at seeing if this is a good fit for you both personally and professionally. Give us a call to set up a consultation.

What conditions can be treated with naturopathic medicine?

Dr. May treats both acute and chronic diseases. Trained as a general practitioner, she treats the full range of health concerns from acute upper respiratory infections to cancer. Dr. May has special interest in gastrointestinal, endocrine, auto-immune, neurological, pediatrics, and women’s health conditions, but is open to treating just about any condition. In the case where she feels another provider would be more appropriate, she’s happy to provide a referral. Please refer to the Who We Treat section for more information.

What is the patient’s role in treatment?

Dr. May believes in the importance of each individual taking responsibility for his/her own health. As a society we have fallen into the role of passive acceptors of health care. Dr. May would like to return the notion of accountability to health. She does not claim to heal anyone. Rather, she gathers and makes use of appropriate resources to support individuals in healing themselves. Dr. May and the patient will come to a mutual agreement whereas both sides agree to some set of duties and responsibilities towards a common goal, which may vary, depending on the treatments employed.

Should I come to you for overall wellness or only if I have a medical problem?

It is customary in our culture to only go to see the doctor if you are feeling sick. Imagine a model instead that is truly based on preventative medicine, where the focus is not on the lack of disease, but instead on the optimization of wellness. A focus on wellness dramatically decreases the abilities of disease to fully take hold on our bodies. This emphasis on health is where naturopathic medicine truly shines.

Chinese Medicine

What is Chinese medicine?

Chinese medicine is based on the idea that pathways of energy, or “qi”, run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These channels are called meridians and they flow like rivers through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up, creating imbalance and pain. Acupuncture works with the body’s innate ability to heal itself; once pathways have been unblocked, the body’s natural healing response can take place.

How is Acupuncture used?

Acupuncture is an Asian healing technique that has addressed physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments since ancient times. By inserting thin, virtually painless pins into specific points on the body, acupuncture stimulates the body’s innate ability to balance itself and recover from illness. Acupuncture has improved the following conditions, and many more: chronic and acute pain; depression and anxiety; auto-immune diseases; high blood pressure; allergies and asthma; and women’s issues at all stages of life.

What does Acupuncture feel like? Does it hurt?

Because every person is made up of such a complex array of life experiences, it is no wonder that people feel and respond to needling in very different ways. The typical description includes feeling a slight pinch or pressure, which is then accompanied by warmth, tingling, or a heavy sensation at the site of the needle. Many people experience a deep sense of release and relaxation during and at the end of the treatment.
For needle-shy patients we may start off our treatments with non-insertive techniques, therapeutic essential oils, and acupressure until we build enough trust to use needles. There are always options in the event that the fear of needles cannot be overcome.

Is Acupuncture safe?

The needles are all sterile, pre-packaged and used one time only. The needles are hair-fine, with a solid center unlike the hollow hypodermic needles used to take blood. There is usually no marking on the skin after the needles are removed.

What should I expect from my first acupuncture visit?

The first treatment is Dr. May’s opportunity to get to know you better; She will complete a detailed intake in order to learn more about your symptoms and how they may be interrelated. Even the smallest detail may shed light on the root cause of your condition. In addition to listening, her other diagnostic tools are observation and palpating the body, particularly the pulse. We have time for questions, explanations, and a discussion of your treatment plan, especially if it is your first experience with acupuncture. When you are comfortable, she will insert the needles and then allow you to relax for about 20 to 30 minutes. The entire visit lasts about one hour.

How often will I have to come in for treatment?

Quantity of care depends entirely on the case of each patient, the severity of the illness, previous medical history, age, etc. In cases of chronic illness, it may be required to come in for treatment on a regular basis. In more acute situations, follow-up may be required in a matter of days. In an optimal case of preventative care with a focus on wellness, appointments may span six months to one year. Each case will be evaluated on an individual basis to best suit that person and give them the best possible health care. My goal is to optimize your health and arrive at a place where frequent office visits are not necessary. The length of time it may take to reach this point will vary between each individual, dependent on the factors listed above.

 

If I have a fear of needles, can I still receive Chinese medicine treatments?

Dr. May is also extensively trained in the use of Essential Oils and Chinese medicine as well as flower essences, homeopathy and moxibustion [Chinese medicine technique] for the treatment of many conditions. Acupuncture needles are not always used although acupuncture points are often used.

What conditions can be treated with Chinese medicine?

Chinese Medicine practitioners are suited to treat nearly all manner of acute and chronic conditions – from colds and flus to cancer and autoimmune conditions to issues with digestion, circulation, menstruation, fertility, allergies/sinuses, chronic pain conditions and beyond – in a manner that is consistent with the constitution of the individual. This constitution-based practice of medicine also grants us the unique ability to provide treatment and relief outside of standard diagnostic realms. Some patients can go for months or years with a certain level of dis-ease that is poorly understood, and perhaps is undiagnosable by allopathic doctors. These kinds of patients also tend to do very well under the care of Chinese Medicine practitioners.