What is Naturopathic Medicine? It is a type of healthcare that emphasizes wellness & disease prevention.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor? Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are primary care doctors who specialize in natural medicine. They most often treat by using vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, and lifestyle counseling.
Is Naturopathic Medicine also known as "alternative medicine"? Although they are usually lumped together, alternative medicine can be any type of medicine that is different than conventional medical care. Naturopathic medicine is just one of the many different types of "alternative medicines."
How is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) different from a Medical Doctor (MD)? NDs can practice similarly to medical doctors, except that they prescribe natural therapies for health concerns. They usually do not prescribe drugs, although that varies from doctor to doctor, and do not perform major surgeries. NDs rarely have hospital priveleges, which is why Dr. Ow believes that all patients should have an MD as part of their healthcare team. Most importantly NDs look at the whole person and try to determine what is keeping someone from having optimal health. NDs are looking for long term solutions not just quick fixes.
Where did Dr. Ow go to medical school? She received her medical training at Bastyr University, in Seattle, WA. It is only 1 of 4 naturopathic medical schools in the U.S.
Is Dr. Ow licensed to practice medicine? Yes, she is licensed with California's Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine. She can be looked up on their website: www.naturopathic.ca.gov or by phone (916) 574-7991.
What conditions does Dr. Ow treat? She mostly sees patients with chronic conditions, such as allergies, arthritis, fatigue, skin problems, high blood pressure, menopause. But she has experience treating many different conditions and usually finds that there is something she can do to help. She treates men, women, and children of all ages.
What type of treatments does Dr. Ow use? Dr. Ow has been trained in a wide variety of natural therapies, and primarily uses detoxification, herbs, homeopathy, natural hormones, and nutritional therapies (dietary changes, vitamin & mineral supplementation). OFten times she blends different therapies for a patient, depending on what they need. Treatment is customized for each patient. She also does a lot of health counseling & education to help you understand why you're body is not functioning well and what you can do to care for yourself. She will work with you to create a treatment plan that is both effective and do-able.
What kind of detoxification therapies does Dr. Ow use? Dr. Ow likes to prescribe detox therapies that you can do at home. She has different options depending on how much detoxing she feels you need and what fits into your daily schedule. It almost always requires a change in your diet for at least 1 month.
What is homeopathy? Homeopathy is a natural form of medicine that uses small doses of substances, in the form of small, dissolvable pills, to stimulate the body'[s healing process. There are hundreds of different remedies and Dr. Ow tries to find the best match which will help to bring your body back into balance. There is very little scientific research on Homeopathy, but Dr. Ow has seen amazing changes when the right remedy is chosen.
What types of herbs does Dr. Ow prescribe? Dr. Ow can prescribe any number of different herbs, depending on your health concerns. Herbs now come in many different forms: teas, powders, capsules, tablets, concentrated liquids, syrups, essential oils. She will prescribe them in whichever form works best for the patient.
What type of nutritional care does Dr. Ow prescribe? Dr. Ow will often ask about your diet to see if you are getting your recommended amounts of nutrients & water. She can supplement your diet with vitamins & minerals and/or she can make dietary suggestions if you're diet is lacking in nutrients. Often times she uses vitamins & minerals to treat health concerns, where there is good scientific evidence that it is effective. She can also develop a diet plan based upon your needs; such as for heart disease, diabetes, vegetarians, low-carb, high-fiber, high-protein, and food allergies.
Does Dr. Ow prescribe hormones? Yes, it is in her scope of practice to prescribe hormones. She prefers the natural, bio-identical hormones which must be specially compounded. Two Salinas pharmacies are capable of doing that.
Do Natural therapies really work? Yes, although there are a number of factors that determine the answer to that. First, you need a health practitioner that is well-trained in how to use them. Second, the patients needs to be committed to following the prescribed treatment plan & reporting the effects. Lastly, both you and the practitioner need to have patience as you work together to make necessary changes to your treatment. Dr. Ow sees natural therapies work every day, and scientific research has shown that they work, but it takes effort on the patients part.
What is a visit like with Dr. Ow? She will review your health history with you as well as covering your current health concerns in detail. She will perform whatever physical exam is necessary for your condition and develop a treatment plan for you. She will explain what she thinks is going on with your health and what she thinks is the best thing to do.
Are visits with Dr. Ow covered by insurance? Some insurance companies will reimburse for naturopathic medical care. It is best for you to contact your insurance company to see if you have benefits that will cover her care. She would be considered a non-contract provider. Payment to Dr. Ow is due at time of service and she will provide you with a receipt. Some insurance companies require a claim form & some only require the office receipt for reimbursement. Our office can provide you with any information or paperwork that the insurance company requires.
How often would I need to see Dr. Ow? Just like with your medical doctor, it varies from case to case. Typically after the initial visit, Dr. Ow will want you to follow-up in 2-4 weeks to re-evaluate your condition and to see if you are able to follow through with your treatment plan. You may then likely have another follow-up a month later to chart your progress. If your condition improves, visits would be less frequent, as you continue to care for yourself at home. Of course, if something new arises or you feel worse, you should notify our office immediately and schedule a sooner visit with the doctor.
If I am already using natural therapies, will this be a problem? Many people are already using natural therapies and it's usually not a problem. Just let the doctor know what you are taking and in what dosages, so that she is aware. In some instances, she may recommend that you stop or change dosages but she would make sure that you understand her reasoning.
If I am using prescribed drugs, will Dr. Ow not like this? Dr. Ow is not opposed to you using prescription drugs and she recommends that you continue taking them just as your doctor has prescribed. She understands that most people on prescription drugs and she will work with you as you continue to take them. Just let your doctors know what you are taking and in what dosages. In some instances, Dr. Ow may be able to get you well enough so that you don't have to take drugs. Most people see NDs because they want to come off their prescription meds.
What do I need to bring to a first visit? Bottles of any herbs, supplements, & medications that you are taking. Reports from any recent lab work. And a typed/written health history, if it helps you to remember the details of your health concerns.