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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What should I expect at my first visit?

During your first visit at Aria Integrative Medicine, you will spend approximately 45 min with your doctor to discuss your health concerns and goals.  Your doctor may also order lab testing or imaging during your visit in order to better understand your health condition.  The doctor may also prescribe medications or supplements for you.  You should expect to follow up with your doctor approximately four weeks after your initial visit to assess your progress and potentially modify your treatment plan.

How are NDs different from MDs?

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) and medical doctors (MDs) receive similar training in the basic sciences and medical diagnosis and treatment.  In Washington State, NDs can prescribe many of the same medications as MDs.  NDs may also order diagnostic tests (such as MRI and CT) and laboratory testing to aid in medical assessment.  Uniquely, our naturopathic physicians will spend a significantly longer time with you during your visit than most primary care physicians to understand your health goals and to customize your treatment strategy.  NDs also utilize alternative forms of therapy such as vitamins, supplements, and herbal medicine in conjunction with conventional therapies to ensure that you are getting the best care possible with the least amount of side effects.

Do you accept insurance?

At Aria Integrative medicine, our physicians are considered out of network providers for insurance purposes.  We do not bill insurance companies directly for our services.  By not contracting with insurance companies we are able to keep our prices low for our patients and spend an adequate amount of time with our patients during appointments.  We want to ensure that every visit with our patients is personalized and detailed and covers every need required at that time.  All insurance plans in Washington are required to cover naturopathic medicine and acupuncture services, but Medicare plans do not yet cover our services.  Our clinic will provide you with the appropriate paperwork to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement for your treatment.  Call our clinic today to get more information about insurance reimbursement.

Can naturopathic doctors prescribe medications?

Yes – In the state of Washington, naturopathic doctors can prescribe many of the same medications as medical doctors.  Naturopathic doctors cannot prescribe specific drugs that are classified as “scheduled”, which includes some medications that are highly addicting or that have very serious side effects.  NDs can prescribe and manage the majority of prescription medications that the general population is taking.  If you have questions about whether the doctors at our clinic can manage your prescription medications, call our clinic today and a doctor on staff will be more than happy to help you.

Can naturopathic doctors order laboratory tests and imaging?

Yes – Naturopathic doctors can order any laboratory testing or imaging needed to help diagnose or manage your condition.  This includes blood testing, stool testing, X-rays, MRI, CTs and many other types of labs and imaging.  If you have questions about the type of testing our doctors can order, please call our clinic.

Will naturopathic medicine interfere with my medications?

While there are many interactions between herbs, supplements, lifestyle changes and medications, naturopathic doctors are highly trained to understand these interactions.  Our physicians will review your medications and choose a personalized treatment plan that limits interactions and side effects with your current and previous therapies.

Will naturopathic doctors immediately take me off my medications?

No – Our naturopathic doctors are trained to review your current and previous treatments, including medications, but they likely will not initially suggest that you stop any of your medications.  It is possible that your need for current medications may change with treatment.  Removing medications typically involves a detailed tapering program to slowly reduce your medications and limit worsening of symptoms while your body is healing.

Do naturopathic doctors use treatments that are supported by scientific evidence?

Yes – All naturopathic doctors are trained to use therapies supported by scientific evidence.  There are some natural therapies that have minimal evidence to support their efficacy, but the naturopathic doctor at Aria Integrative Medicine will help to educate you on the safety and effectiveness of each treatment.

Is acupuncture effective for relieving pain?

Yes – Acupuncture has been proven in many scientific studies to help to relieve pain.  Many patients get immediate pain relief from the first treatment, though some conditions can take longer than others to help pain decrease.  These are usually chronic pain conditions.

Does acupuncture work immediately?

Sometimes acupuncture can help to relieve symptoms in one visit.  This is extremely variable and depends on the individual and the condition.  Most patients will begin to notice improvement in the first three to four visits.  Our doctors will discuss a follow up plan with you and set appropriate expectations for a treatment timeline.