Selecting the right practitioner for you

If you need a primary care practitioner to help you sort through complex health issues, I encourage you to 'shop around' carefully and try to find someone with a particular interest in your health challenges (if this is possible in your geographic vicinity).Keep in mind that, 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 (or other practitioner if you prefer) 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 likely be familiar with what you're trying to accomplish with your candida cleanse and food therapy approach.


Here is some information to help you get to know where each practitioner is coming from.


Breif Interview

Many, but not all practitioners will agree to a ten-fifteen minute phone consult prior to booking an appointment. If you insist that you need this in order to determine if they are the right practitioner for you, you may be asked to pay for their time. This is an option you might consider if you have a good feeling about the person. 


In preparation for your call, you may want to organize your thoughts in writing. I recommend briefly listing the basic components of your condition as well as any diagnosis/prognosis you may have received.


You will not be able to give them a detailed history in your first appointment. The information you provide on this preliminary call is just to help you find out if they are 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 a short list of questions that you would like to discuss with them over the phone. This way, you will be more likely to have a successful meeting that can be efficiently completed in the 15 minutes allotted.


They may wish for you to share the information out loud rather than reading something so keep in mind you should be able to read it aloud in just a few minutes to leave time for talking.


As I say, save the complex histories for your first appointment (if you make one.)


Seek General but Relevant Information

Practitioners cannot offer you specific details about diagnosis, prognosis or treatment before they have assessed you fully. You can let them know that you realize this but that you would like them to approach your questions in a general way just so you can get a feel for their approach.


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).


Healing Modalities

You may wish to ask, “What types of treatment do you use to help your patients recover from candida overgrowth or Candida Related Complex (CRC) ” They will tell you whether they use nutritional, herbal, custom herbal, homeopathic, body work, etc. 


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.


Even if you feel you are happy with your own choice of product lines, (perhaps you want to use Whole Approach products and your favourite nutritional or herbal companies), you can ask a practitioner if they would be willing to help you with diagnostics and strategic counselling to help you manage your health program. 


Practitioners Experience 

It's important to find out what technical certifications or hospital affiliations they have and which professional organizations they belong to.


Modalities 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.


It's fine to seek out professionals who utilize more than one modality but be alert to those who claim to specialize in too many things. They will have their favourite modalities that they are likely to be most skilled in. 


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 an ease in relating kindly to others.


Health Care Partnership

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. 


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.



Questions List:


What are their primary therapeutic modalities? Secondary modalities?


How much experience have they had treating similar cases?


In what ways do they interact with the patient as a team?


Will they suggest mostly exercise, diet, lifestyle strategies or natural remedies to help your condition?


If you prefer specific therapies or treatments, be sure to ask if they utilize the modality regularly.


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 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. 



Do 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?


Do they explain the various treatment options?


Are any time constraints clearly communicated to reduce stress during appointment times?

Do you feel like a valued patient/client in partnership with this practitioner?


What can you tell about the the practitioners personal lifestyle and personal health commitment?


Do you feel you were offered adequate time to make treatment decisions?


Are you notified of test results within a reasonable period of time?


Are follow-up visits scheduled after treatment?


Is there discussion of future health goals?


How often and for how long can you expect to require treatment?


Would you send the person most dear to you to this practitioner?



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.



Naturopathy: 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…


Traditional Naturopathic Doctors - do not use invasive techniques such as surgery but focus on holistic coaching and natural modalities.


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.



Physician Assistant (PA) – a healthcare professional who is licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision.



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.



Psychologist – A professional who has a doctoral degree (PhD) in Psychology from qualified schools. A psychologist can provide helpful counselling around the skills and support needed to live with chronic illness.



Practitioners Using Whole Approach Products


Here is a list of practitioners who use the Whole Approach products in their practice.


Other Referral Listings

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:


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.


Regularly updated state practice law information can be obtained from the Health Lobby web site. Go to:


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.


Further information for physicians wanting to find training or fellowship programs can be found at the R & H Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Click on Research and Information Resources.


Professional Associations

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. 


Professional Associations:
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 for Health Freedom
FormerlyAmerican Preventive Medical Association
PO Box 458
[9912 Georgetown Pike, Ste. D-2]
Great Falls, VA 22066
Tel: (800) 230-2762 or (703) 759-0662
Fax: (703) 759-6711
This nonprofit advocacy organization is dedicated to ensuring health care freedom by lobbying at the federal level, and by undertaking lawsuits that build the body case law in support of consumers’ rights.

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
Tel: (800)-986-4636
Fax 703/243-2593
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 College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)
23121 Verdugo Drive, Suite 204
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Fax: (949) 455-967
ACAM is a nonprofit medical society dedicated to educating physicians on the latest findings and emerging procedures in complementary/alternative medicine. They provide training in chelation therapy and other techniques. The web site offers information on alternative medicine to both physicians and the general public, and a current list of certified ACAM doctors.

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
Tel: 1-800-278-AHNA
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.

American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM)
30445 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 350
Farmington Hill, MI 48334
Tel: (800) 345-2476 or (248) 539-1800
Fax: (248) 539-1808
The AIPM promotes positive health behaviors by developing and distributing effective health promotion programs, publications, and products. The Institute trains and certifies health care organizations and corporations to offer its services and delivers its programs through a nationwide network of health care affiliates.

American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)
820 Davis Street, Suite 100
Evanston, IL 60201-4444
Tel: (847) 864-0123
Fax: ( 847) 864-1178
AMTA is the largest organization representing massage therapists from all round the world. The mission of the American Massage Therapy Association is to develop and advance the art, science and practice of massage therapy in a caring, professional and ethical manner in order to promote the health and welfare of humanity.

American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA)
Formerly American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Association
Laurel Oak Corporate Center, Ste 408
1010 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd.
Voorhees, NJ 08043-3514
Tel: (856) 782-1616
Fax: (856) 782-1653
AOBTA represents a coalition of many related disciplines and certifies trained therapists. The organization provides membership benefits, including insurance and publications, and a referral service of qualified therapists for the public.

American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
142 East Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: (800) 621-1773 or (312) 202-8000
Fax: (312) 202-8200
All doctors of osteopathy (D.O.’s) within this association are trained in osteopathic manipulative treatments (OMT), with some specializing more in OMT, and others more in conventional medical techniques. The AOA is the national organization representing all D.O.’s. On-line DO search by state.

Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy (CAN)
PO Box 210848
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33421-0848
Tel: (561) 798-0472
Fax: (561) 798-9820
The CAN is dedicated to exploring advanced and alternative treatments for neurological conditions. Latitudes is CAN’s newsletter, containing articles, research, clinical findings, and general information on autism, Tourette syndrome, attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity, and learning disabilities.

Association for Integrative Medicine
Box 1
Mont Clare, PA 19453
Tel: (610) 933-8145
This association is dedicated to integrating alternative and complementary medicine with traditional systems of health and conventional biomedicine in a unified system, to help attain safer, faster, and more effective healthcare. “Find a Practitioner” feature on web site.

Complementary-Alternative Medical Association (CAMA)
PO Box 373478
Decatur, GA 30037-3478
Tel: (404) 284-7592
CAMA is a non-profit group organized to educate citizens, health practitioners, and lawmakers concerning the benefits and options afforded by complementary-alternative medicine, to promote freedom in health care choices, and to advance the practice of complementary-alternative medicine in union with allopathic medicine. Click on Find a Practitioner for detailed listings under many modalities.

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.

Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine (FAIM)
2 Executive Blcd., Ste. 206
Suffern, NY 10901
877) 634-3246Toll free
FAIM aims to serve as a voice for innovative medicine’s professionals, patients and suppliers. This foundation defines innovative medicine as a treatment or therapy of empirical clinical benefit that is outside the mainstream of conventional medicine.

National Association for Holistic Aromatherpay (NAHA)
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
4509 Interlake Ave. N., Suite 233
Seattle, WA 98103
Tel: (888) ASK-NAHA or (206) 547-2164
Fax: (206) 547-2680
NAHA is a resource clearinghouse for ideas and information on aromatherapy, with a primary interest in promoting and using essential oils for health and healing purposes. Education is the main aim of this association, through communication and interaction via mass media, educational institutions and universities, and governmental business sources. The have listings of aromatherapist – soon will be available on line.

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.

”Self-Serve” Practioner Directories
• Acupuncturists – American Association of Oriental Medicine directory
• Allopaths/Conventional Medical Doctors – American Medical Association directory
• Chiropractors – American Chiropractic Association directory
• Atlas Orthogonists – Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic directory
• Homeopaths - National Center for Homeopathy directory
• Holistic doctors - American Holistic Health Association directory
• Naturopaths - American Association of Naturopathic Physicians directory
• Osteopaths - American Academy of Osteopathy directory


And a few more sources not listed above:
American Academy of Osteopathy
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
American Association of Oriental Medicine
American Chiropractic Association
American Holistic Health Association
Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic
Coalition for Natural Health
Holistic Medicine
National Center for Homeopathy

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Disclaimer: Information provided on the Whole Approach website, forum or blog has been obtained from a variety of resources. It is provided for educational purposes only. The information provided by Whole Approach, WholeApproach Representatives, including Tarilee Cornish, should not be considered diagnostic or medical advice. None of the information provided by Whole Approach is intended to replace the guidance of your personal health care practitioners and/or physician. Please consult your licensed medical or naturopathic physician before beginning, or making changes to your supplement, diet or exercise protocol.