First Visit with a Naturopath. Was I ripped off?

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psAinCanada
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/3/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm pretty happy with my collection of doctors. I have a family doc, a dermatologist, a rheumatologist. But I was intriugued by the idea of getting advice from a naturopathic physician. They'd been getting a lot of press lately because they are soon to have similar rights to prescribe medicines and order lab tests as MDs here in British Columbia. I liked the idea of a holistic view, especially since I rely so much on specialists.
 
My initial assement was scheduled for 90 minutes and cost $180. In fact, I spent about 15 minutes with the ND. I got a tour of the facility (it was beautiful, like a spa), waited around a lot (nice herbal tea), and saw a "clinical assistant" who did electro dermal testing.
 
My actual meeting with the ND consisted entirely of my giving my medical history. I mentioned my meds (Androgel and Humira) and he said he'd never heard of either.
 
He told me, with no physical exam or any tests, that my problem was toxins. That chief amongst these was the Humira, which poisons me and hides my symptons without addressing my disease. Keep in mind he'd just said he'd never heard of the drug a moment before. He also told me that he had no symptoms like mine, I guess to impress that if I followed his advice I wouldn't either. He said he needed some test results to get the "biochemical topography of your body. You know how important your pH level to your overall health."
 
Then it was off to electro-dermal testing. Basically, it measured the resistence between two electrodes, one in my left palm and the others on three different fingers of my right hand. The test showed my immune system was strong but my cardiovascular system weak. The tech talked in what I truly think was pseudo-scientific non-sense. She also repeatedly said resistance was measured in volts, when any high-school student can tell you it's measured in Ohms.
 
Finally, I was presented with the bill ($180) and asked to come back for a test of arterial stiffness ($120) and a toxins screening ($80). Those would be followed by a consultation with the ND for $84.
 
I feel like this is a big fraud. The norm here in my province is that doctors don't do tests. They send you to a lab, so there's no conflict of interest. The electro-dermal test seemed like nonsense. And the ND seemed to have decided that my problem was toxins from the moment he heard my story. They also made it clear that would be ultimately be selling medications from their own "dispensary" which is also contrary to the ethical norms in my province.
 
I told the receptionist I'd have to check my calendar about the follow-ups. I have no intention of returning, and I'm thinking about asking for my money back.
 
Anybody else have experience with naturapathic care? I am being to harsh?
Healing well with psoriasis, PsA, and hypogonadism, and happy to share my experiences.
 


Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/3/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi psA,

I don't normally post on this particular board (I'm a regular in A&P and Depression boards), but your post caught my eye because I have been seeing a naturopathic doc for several years, and I am also in Canada (Ontario, not BC). My experience was not like yours. My initial consultation was a little over $100, but that actually included ninety minutes WITH the doctor. I completed my medical history on a very detailed questionnaire (many pages of specific questions) prior to my first appointment. We did not do any testing at the clinic until much later on, after we had compiled as much info as we could from the usual (i.e. no-cost) tests available through my GP and any other allopathic docs. There was a great deal of focus on nutritional healing, and what I could do to remedy my symptoms through dietary changes and certain types of exercise. Since that time, I have come a long way in my physical condition (and, not surprisingly, it has helped my state of mind as well). As far as meds go, I have been taking herbal supplements which I purchase from this doc to lower cholesterol and blood sugar (both have been fine for four years now and continue to be stable), as well as an anxiety-relieving supplement and a homeopathic remedy for my chronic lower back pain. I have found almost everything she has prescribed to me to be very effective. I have a lot of drug allergies, so this has been a real Godsend to me. I have not experienced any 'electro-dermal' testing, so I can't speak to that particular topic. I hope something I've said here has been helpful to you or at least has answered some of your concerns about your experience.

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 4/3/2009 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi PsA, I agree with Raniah, I've seen a naturopath and a homeopath and both did an hours consultation taking a full history and all my symptoms, including how I sleep? The naturopath took blood test results that my doctor had given me and looked at vitamins and minerals to detox some of the drugs I'm on like humira and mtx. I felt so much better within about three weeks of taking the supplements. She also recommended a diet low in acids and sugars which help cause inflammation and to eat lots of berries which are a natural anti inflammatory. The homeopath was more interested in how my life was, how I was feeling etc. Really good to talk to him but I haven't noticed much improvement yet. I'm in the I'll try anything phase as unfortunately despite my drugs I seem to be getting worse... I reckon you went to a shonky joint. There seem to be some really good alternate healers out there, shop around. I also paid about $100 for the first visit and $60 for follow ups. Hope that helps. Jacqui

psAinCanada
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/4/2009 7:37 AM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like I should have looked around more carefully before choosing an ND! You guys found what I was looking for. Thanks for the responses.

Healing well with psoriasis, PsA, and hypogonadism, and happy to share my experiences.
 


koi collector
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 4/6/2009 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   

I had a mix time with a ND. they said the same things about detoxing, which their happy to sell you all the berries and seaweed you need to purge your body of everthing (and i do mean everything). they did acupuncture on me. didn't do anything other than hurt my ear. and several other places they stuck me. I might believe this stuff would help someone who just in poor health from a bad diet but for someone with AS or a geneticatly linked/ cause disease you need to pull out all the stops and go with proven methods.

if its works why won't insurance pay for it?


psAinCanada
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/7/2009 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your perspective, Koi. My insurance actually does cover naturopathic care (I've got great coverage) but it counts against an annual limit for all alternative therapies, so I'm cautious about the cost.

I do use accupuncture and believe it helps my arthritis pain a lot. I was quite sceptical initially, but my wife's family has been using this guy for years (for generations, in fact. He's very old). And the price is quite reasonable, $55 for a full 80 minutes of accupuncture and massage.

I'm not against alternative therapies, I just think the ND I found is a quack.

I did check with Health Canada about electro-dermal testing, also known as Vega Testing. Their office of medical device regulation answered my email in 24 hours -- on a weekend. So much for the theory that Ottawa is fully of lazy bureaucrats. The resonse: they tell me these devices have been banned in Canada since 2002 because they are ineffective.
Healing well with psoriasis, PsA, and hypogonadism, and happy to share my experiences.
 


Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/7/2009 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi psA,

I'm glad you posted about that....not only because I'm interested in the info, but also because I'm encouraged by the email you received so quickly, and on a weekend, at that.

Best wishes to you on your quest!

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 4/7/2009 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi PsA, I've recently been re-diagnosed as having psoriatic arthritis after 2 1/2 years as sero negative arthritis. I don't have psoriasis but my Dad does, I think the re diagnosis is probably just semantics as there is no difference in my treatment!!! Anyway, my doctor had suggested accupuncture as I've been suffering from bursitis in both hips. I had them injected with cortisone 2 weeks ago and they have greatly settled pain wise but I can still feel tremendous heat being given off by them after a day on my feet, I'm a bit scared of accupuncture as I had a series of treatments years ago for a shoulder injury and it really set my teeth on edge and flared the shoulder instead of settling it. Are you having it fo specific pain or general arthritis pain? What else are you on? I'm currently being troubled by my thumbs, heals, lower back and my hips, neck sometimes, despite humira, mtx 20mg and mobic 15mg daily! Any advice appreciated, Jacqui

psAinCanada
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/8/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   
My accupuncture experience. I've been to two. Both have treated my wife's family. My wife was born here, but her family is from China, and she sees accupuncturists, herbalists, and allopathic doctors in combination.
 
The first accupuncturist had a busy practice and moved constantly from room to room. She worked mainly on the affected joints, and I found it very painful. She also used heat lamps on the area with needles. She does a lot of cupping, but I didn't get any of that. I went four times, and found it very stressful.
 
The second accupuncturist has been very succesful for me. My family thought I wouldn't like him because his English is very limited and he's very old. He's an MD from China but a RAc here. He works a lot of with massage, and his needles are sometimes near problem areas but never into them. Most of them, though, are on either side of the spine, some in the buttocks, some near knees and ankles.
 
Most don't hurt at all, just a gentle tapping. Maybe 3 out of 30 sting a bit. Most stay in for about a 1/2 hour, and he does massage on other parts of the body while they're there. He's not jumping from room to room.
 
I'm seeing him for pain in one hip and one knee. I think it helps a great deal, and it seems to last about two weeks. This week I asked him if he did any treatments for ED. It was a little embarassing, he didn't understand what I was asking at first. But then he understood, said, "Ah, impotence treatment. No problem." This added yet more needles to my treatment, including a few just a couple inches north of the organ in question. He told me it would take about eight treatments to work, but I think it started working that very day. If it's a placebo effect it's a pretty potent one.
 
Perhaps that's more information than you wanted; if so, sorry.
 
You were asking about my meds. I take Humira every 2 weeks; and daily I take Androgel 5 g, Simvastatin 20 mg, ASA 81 mg, Cialis 5 mg. Other than the baby aspirin I don't take any NSAIDs or painkillers. I'm very happy with Humira.
Healing well with psoriasis, PsA, and hypogonadism, and happy to share my experiences.
 


golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 4/13/2009 6:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Psa, the info is greatly appreciated. Maybe I'll have to visit China town and find my own little old man!!! Worth a try, so glad the humira is working for you. Goodluck with finding a naturopath.
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