If you need a primary care practitioner to help you sort through complex health issues, I encourage you to try to find someone with a particular interest in your health challenges (if this is possible in your geographic vicinity).
Depending on what kind of help you need, some practitioners will allow you to meet them for your initial visit and then support you by phone for some of the subsequent visits.
Ideally you'd find a licensed Naturopathic Physician (ND) with a good track record of working with Candida Related Complex (CRC), immune and toxicity issues, and environmental illness as well as any other unique health challenges that may be a part of your health picture. Someone with the above specialities will be familiar with what you're trying to accomplish with your candida cleanse and food therapy approach.
Many, (but not all), practitioners will agree to a ten-fifteen minute phone consult prior to booking a full appointment.
I recommend preparation by briefly listing the basic components of your condition as well as any diagnosis/prognosis you may have received.
The information you provide on this preliminary call is just to help you find out if theyare the right person for you. You can tell them all about you when you have your first visit, (which will likely be over an hour in length).
Try to summarize your condition, your efforts to resolve it and the current situation in a way that you can verbally share it in three or four minutes.
You can offer to fax or email your summary to them along with two or three questions that you would like to discuss. This way, you will be more likely to have a successful meeting that can be efficiently completed in the 15 minutes. They may read it or they may just ask you to share the information verbally.
Seek General but Relevant Information
Practitioners cannot offer you specific details about diagnosis, prognosis or treatment you can approach your questions in a general way to get a feel for their approach. Some questions are suggested further down this page.
Diet Support and Products
You can also ask them about their philosophy on diet and the kind of diet support you might expect from them. Here, if you like, you could tell them about the products and diet protocol that you wish to use from Whole Approach and see if they are familiar with it. They may sell their own products. If they do they will likely have a preference for the things they know. However, some practitioners will be willing to look over your product preferences and to advise you as to additional products and suitable use of the products.
It's important to find out what technical certifications or hospital affiliations they have and which professional organizations they belong to.
Partners in health
The best practitioners will respect the integral role you play in your own health care and in decisions about your health. They will be excellent listeners and will involve you in every way possible.
Testing and therapies
It may be helpful for you to find a clinic that uses some sort of advanced electro dermal diagnostic tool. This technology goes by names like Omega, Listen, Kindling, Interro etc. It is an excellent tool in the hands of committed, skillful technicians (often hired by the Naturopathic Doctor to do the testing).
Therapies a licensed Naturopathic Doctor may be trained in can include: homeopathy, botanical medicine, nutrition, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, spinal manipulation, Shiatsu, counselling, nutrition, acupuncture, healthy home environments, exercise and more. Most will have modalities they favour and prioritize.
Finally, try to get a feel for this person's core values and how compatible their communication style is with what you need. The best practitioners usually seem quite comfortable with themselves and are at ease relating kindly to others.
Preparing for your First Visit
You can prepare for your visit by compiling a health history which includes your current health symptoms and issues, surgeries, your past health crisis and how you treated them, along with a list of any medications or supplements you have used or are using.
What are their primary therapeutic modalities?
How much experience have they had treating similar cases?
In what ways do they interact with the patient as a team?
How do they feel about potential interaction with other members of your health care team?
If you need follow up information after your session, are they available for brief questions between full appointments?
First Visit - What to Expect
Your first visit may last an hour to an hour and a half and cost more than subsequent visits.
The first time you see them, the naturopathic doctor will gather a medical history, inquire about diet, exercise, lifestyle, discuss any stress you are experiencing, perform an appropriate examination and advise you concerning your condition.
A Naturopathic Doctor may order or diagnostic tests such as laboratory or x-rays.
Reflecting on your Experience
You may wish to reflect on the following questions to help you assess the experience of your first visit so you can decide whether you have enough information to know if the practitioner is right for you.
Did they inform you of the benefits and risks of various treatments in clear, understandable terms.
What do you know about the practitioner through your experience of their staff and office environment?
Is the office ambience and the attitude of the staff welcoming?
Was your appointment time honored?
Did you feel the practitioner took the required time to understand your condition?
Do you feel a sense of care, comfort and connection with the practitioner?
Did they take the time to review the forms you submitted for their review?
Are any time constraints clearly communicated to reduce stress during appointment times?
What can you tell about the the practitioners personal lifestyle and personal health commitment?
Types of Holistic Medicine/Functional Medicine/Complementary Medicine
Practitioners practicing under any of the following headings are likely to favour a natural health care approach addressing the patient as a whole person and utilizing alternatives to drugs and surgery whenever possible.
Homeopathy: This approach is based on the work of the German physician and chemist Samuel Hahnemann some 200 years ago, aims to stimulate the individual's innate healing processes through the administration of minute "homeopathic" dilutions of specific remedies. Derived from the Greek homeo, meaning same, and pathos, meaning suffering, homeopathy addresses psychological and physical health. The practioner treats "like with like" using very small, nontoxic doses of a selected substance that, at higher doses, would produce the same symptoms in a healthy person. •
Naturopathic Physicians: Naturopathic doctors (NDs) specialize in preventative and non toxic, non invasive therapies that address the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels of health. ND’s utlize natural remedies including food therapy,, vitamins, minerals, herbs and homeopathy In the United States there are two types of practioners, one is indicated by lower case nd instead of upper case ND and may call themselves a 'naturopath' rather than a 'Naturopathic Doctor or physician'.
Naturopathic Medicine Doctors (NMD) have further qualifications including surgical training. They tend to approach practice in a more conventional medical manner. •
Osteopathy: Most modern Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) are similar to MD’s in terms of licensing. However, Osteopathic physicians are generally more holistic, an approach healing with an interest in the whole person and their health history.. Osteopaths have much the same training as Allopaths, but they often emphasize musculoskeletal manipulation. •
Shiatsu Therapists: Similar to Chinese acupressure in approach but different in some of the important principles and techniques. This therapy has Japanese roots. Try to source out a therapist who uses a gentle and energy therapy based approach. Many therapists of this school believe that the treatment must hurt to work. This is not the case. This approach is a whole medicine system and can be supportive to conditions of pain, degeneration, emotional distress and immune dysfunction. •
Nurse Practitioner (NP) – a registered nurse with advanced academic and clinical experience that can diagnose and manage many chronic illnesses, and has the authority to write prescriptions. A nurse practitioner works closely with a physician and/or healthcare team. •
Psychiatrist - A physician (MD) who’s specially trained in the, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness. They can prescribe medications to treat mental illness and as an exception more than the rule, will provide counselling. •
Practitioners Using Whole Approach Products
The American Holistic Medical Association also publishes a listing of practitioners from their own membership, click on Doctor Finder, then Printed Directory for fee and address: http://www.holisticmedicine.org
State/Province Practice Laws: State practice laws vary. For instance, Naturopaths (ND) are licensed in 11 states but in some states or provinces they may be unlicensed and may be referred to with lower case 'nd' instead of the capital letters 'ND'.
Acupuncturists are licensed in 34 states (with a widely varying scope of practice)
Chiropractors (DC) are licensed in all 50 states.
Schools and Training
Specific information on schools and training is given in the relevant Resource Guides from the Alternative Medicine Foundation. This site has an extensive listing of schools, programs, certification, careers and licensing requirements.
For more information on any particular modality, research, or training and licensing, contact the relevant professional association. A cross-section of the main professional associations is listed below. More associations for specific sub-specialties can be found in the relevant Resource Guides
American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
American Financial Center
7701 East Kellogg, Suite 625
Wichita, KS 67207-1705
Tel: (316) 684-5500
Fax: (316) 684-5709
Organization of physicians who study and treat people with illnesses or health problems caused by adverse, allergic or toxic reactions to a wide variety of environmental substances.
American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA)
4929 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 428
Los Angeles, California 90010
Tel: (323) 937-5514
Organization of physician acupuncturists. Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a
doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice. Such a doctor can use one or the other approach, or a combination of both as the need arises, to treat an illness.
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
3201 New Mexico Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
Toll free: (866) 5388-2267
Tel: (202) 895-1392
Fax: (202) 274-1992
This organization represents the naturopathic physicians from the four recognized schools of naturopathy – see Herbal Medicine Resource Guide. The web site contains a physician referral listing, searchable databases of information and resources on natural healing by licensed Naturopathic Doctors.
American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM)
5530 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 1210
Vhevy Chase, MD 20815
Tel: (888) 500-7999 or (301) 941-1064
Fax: (301) 986-9313
Formerly known as the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the AAOM represents the entire scope of Oriental Medicine, and its members are regarded as the “highest qualified practitioners of Oriental Medicine in the United States.” Click on Referral Search at the right.
American Chiropractic Association
1701 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209
The ACA is a professional organization representing Doctors of Chiropractic. Its mission is to preserve, protect, improve and promote the chiropractic profession and the services of Doctors of Chiropractic for the benefit of patients they serve.
American Herbalists Guild
1931 Gaddis Road
Canton, GA 30115
Tel: (770) 751-6021
Fax: (770) 751-7472
Information on finding an herbalist and professional member list in left frame.
American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA)
12101 Menaul Blvd. NE, Ste. C
Albuquerque, NM 87112
Tel: (505) 292-7788
Fax: (505) 293-7502
This organization unites allopathic and osteopathic physicians who practice medicine that acknowledges the interrelationship of body, mind, and spirit. These professionals embrace all modalities that are safe and effective, including conventional allopathic medicine.
American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA)
PO Box 2130
Flagstaff, AZ 86003-2130
The purpose of the AHNA is to renew and enhance the art of nurturing and caring for the whole person.
American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH)
801 N. Fairfax St., Suite 306
Alexandria, VA 22314
Toll free: 1-888-445-9988
Tel: (703) 246-9501
Fax: (703) 548-7792
AIH’s membership comprises medical and osteopathic physicians and dentists. This organization strives to elevate and improve the standards of homeopathic medical education while safeguarding the interests of the profession and attaining general recognition and public acceptance of homeopathy. Membership directory available on line.
Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
7501 Greenway Center Drive, Ste. 820
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Tel: (301) 313-0868
Fax: (301) 313-0869
The mission of the CCAOM is to advance acupuncture and Oriental medicine by promoting educational excellence within the field. Membership in the CCAOM is open to all schools of acupuncture and Oriental medicine that meet their specific requirements.
National Center for Homeopathy (NCH)
801 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 306
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (877) 624-0613 or (703) 548-7790
Fax: (703) 548-7792
NCH is a membership organization whose mission is to promote health through homeopathy. Offers education to lay persons and training for professionals, as well as a “How to Find a Homeopath” section on the web site from which you may search the NCH database for practitioner-members in your area.
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
11 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (703) 548-9004
Fax: (703) 548-9079
The NCCAOM promotes nationally recognized standards of competency and safety in acupuncture, Chinese erbalogy, and Oriental bodywork therapy for the purpose of protecting the public. Accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, NCCAOM awards competent and safe practitioners with certifications in the above mentioned therapies.