What is naturopathic medicine?
There are traditionally 6 Principles in Naturopathic Philosophy (a 7th has been recently added):
1. Do No Harm
2. Find and Treat the Cause(s)
3. Use the Healing Power of Nature
4. Treat the Whole Person
5. Educate Patients
What kinds of conditions do Naturopathic Doctors treat?
Because Naturopathic doctors treat the person, not the disease, there are very few illnesses or conditions that Naturopathy cannot alleviate. Certain conditions and ailments are particularly receptive to naturopathic care. Some, but certainly not all, of these include: gastrointestinal disorders, hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, environmental and food allergies, chronic sinusitis, asthma, skin conditions, obesity, blood sugar disorders, painful, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, migraines, fatigue, infertility, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, PMS, menopause, chronic heartburn and insomnia.
What kind of training does a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) have?
Naturopathic Doctors undergo extensive training similar to medical doctors: 4 years of premedical school, 4 years of post-graduate medical school, and rigorous board certifications. Just like medical doctors, Naturopathic Doctors learn a lot of the same advanced sciences, physical and lab diagnostic techniques, imaging, and pharmaceutical medicine. In addition to what conventional doctors learn, NDs also receive extensive training in Botanical Medicine, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Intravenous (IV) and Injection Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Lifestyle Coaching, Counseling, Physical and Functional Medicine. NDs have a plethora holistic modalities to draw upon.
What is the difference between a medical doctor (MD) and a naturopathic doctor (ND)?
Medical doctors tend to use pharmaceutical medicine and invasive surgery as their primary treatments. They often don’t spend much time with their patients, and they use generalized protocols to treat the symptoms of disease. In comparison, Naturopathic Doctors spend a lot of time listening to their patients, forming relationships, and tailoring their natural treatment plans to each individual. We educate our patients to make informed decisions about their health, and help restore vibrancy and vitality to each person we treat. In essence, Naturopathic Doctors treat the person, not the disease.
How do Naturopathic Doctors treat illness?
Naturopathic doctors look at the whole person, the whole picture, and address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of disease. We use nutrition, vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, essential oils to treat illness. Although our treatments help relieve the discomfort of acute symptoms, our goal is to identify and treat the underlying cause(s) of disease in order to create lasting progress and healing.
Can Naturopathic Doctors prescribe medications?
Yes, NDs are trained and certified to prescribe pharmaceutical medications, although, we usually choose not to do so because we have much more effective and efficient treatments with little to no side effects. We are highly trained in understanding interactions of pharmaceuticals and natural therapies, and we are able to use this expertise to create effective and efficient treatment plans. When appropriate, we are also able to help our patients get off their pharmaceutical medications safely.
Do Naturopathic Doctors accept insurance?
In the state of California, insurance coverage is variable. We recommend calling your insurance carrier and asking specifically if they cover Naturopathic Medicine. The following insurance carriers often reimburse partially to fully: Aetna, Blue Cross/Shield, Cigna, etc. Typically, standard lab work is covered. Often, partial specialty testings are covered as well. We are “Out of Network” and you will want to ask your insurance provider what the coverage is for these types of visits. We will do what we can to help you get reimbursed. Click here for more information about how to most successfully seek reimbursement from your insurance carrier.
How much does it cost?
As naturopathic doctors, we spend a lot of time with our patients, listening carefully to their health concerns and health goals, using physical and laboratory diagnostic techniques to accurately diagnose their condition, and creating an effective and sustainable treatment plan. Our first visit is 2 hours long and the cost is $299. Follow up visits are shorter and range from $50-160. Lab tests and medications vary in cost and will be in addition to these fees.
Can NDs run lab tests?
Yes, we run all basic blood work, and many specialized tests as well. Blood labs can be drawn up at our office or at LabCorp or Quest. For our patients paying out of pocket, we use a Lab Co-Op, which gives us access to wholesale costs on labs. We extend these wholesale costs directly to our patients, without marking up the prices. We can also order imaging and other diagnostic techniques as necessary.
Is Naturopathy the same as Homeopathy?
No, homeopathy is just one of the many treatment modalities that Naturopathic doctors use. Conversely, homeopathic practitioners almost exclusively use homeopathy for treatment. Homeopathic practitioners are not doctors, they do not practice medicine, nor can they order lab work or diagnose medical conditions. Naturopathic doctors often use homeopathy, which is
a safe, gentle, effective and natural system of healing that works to relieve symptoms, restore balance, and improve overall health.
What’s the difference between a “Naturopathic Doctor” and a “Naturopath”?
These terms can be confusing. Unfortunately, there are people who train in Naturopathy to become Naturopaths, but have not undergone 4 years of accredited, graduate level medical school or board certification, so they are not doctors, and they cannot practice medicine. Someone who is deemed a Naturopath, may not be a doctor, but sometimes Naturopathic doctors refer to themselves as Naturopaths (for short). Dr. Juli Mazi is a Naturopathic Doctor- licensed to practice medicine.
What can I expect at my first visit?
The initial visit is a 2 hour long intake. Dr. Mazi will ask questions to understand the details of your current state of health, past medical history, family history, and other lifestyle factors to get a sense of your complete health picture. At this visit, she will perform any necessary physical exams, discuss lab work, and initiate an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and preferences. Two hours may seem like a long time, but it often passes quite quickly, and typically, we use the entire amount of time. At the end of the visit, a follow up appointment will be scheduled to review any labs and check on progress.
What can I expect for follow up appointments?
Depending on the complexity of your health concerns, follow up appointments typically range from 1-10 visits. At the end of the initial visit, your doctor can give you a better idea of what your plan will look like. As primary care doctors, we can perform routine wellness exams, women’s gyn exams, and check-ups. Once your health and vitality is restored, regular check-ups can be limited to once or twice a year.
Are NDs against all conventional prescriptions and medical treatments?
Naturopathic doctors are well versed in an integrative approach. We are trained and licensed to use pharmaceutical medicine, however, we often choose not to use it. In fact, we can assist patients in discontinuing certain medications safely and effectively. There are times when pharmaceutical intervention may be appropriate. Our goal is to use the most impactful treatments with the least invasive methods. Naturopathic doctors often work in unison with medical doctors to create optimal adjunctive care.
I already have a Primary Care Physician, does it make sense for me to have a Naturopathic Doctor, as well?
Absolutely, Naturopathic Doctors are considered Primary Care Practitioners in the state of California. Some of our patients choose to utilize their Naturopathic Doctors for their primary care since we can do physical exams, order labs, diagnose and treat and prescribe medications. Naturopathic doctors focus on disease prevention and wellness optimization, while the education of medical doctors tends to focus on emergency care and crisis resolution. Your Naturopathic Doctor and your Medical Doctor can play different, yet complementary roles on your healthcare team by using different methods to keep you healthy.