What should I expect at the first visit?
The first visit involves an extensive wellness interview in which your entire individual health situation will be discussed, including your current complaint, chronic complaints, past medical history, diet, lifestyle, social environment, familial medical history, psychological health and risk factors for preventable diseases. This very complete intake will provide me with a holistic picture of your entire health status so as to best develop a well rounded strategy to improve your overall wellness and quality of life. This will take approximately 1-1½ hours. If you are acutely ill and just want to address your current illness (such as a flu), the above holistic approach can be postponed for when you are feeling more comfortable.
What will the bill be like?
The initial wellness interview will cost $150 for up to a 1½ hour visit. For new clients only your first Naturopathic House Call comes with a complimentary optional short follow up visit, either by phone or at your house, within three months. If you are acutely ill and just want to address your current illness (such as flu), the above holistic approach can be postponed for when you are feeling more comfortable. On subsequent visits the cost will depend on complexity and length of appointment. For example, a normal 1-hour follow-up with an established patient will cost $100; while a quick ½ hour single condition check-in visit will cost $75. Special treatments and assessments may require an additional fee. Appointments that take significantly longer than scheduled will likely be charged more. Minor surgery and physical medicine procedures will be charged a fee based upon the extent of treatment given. Dr. Curry is currently offering House Calls within the Greater Portland area including nearby Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City, Gladstone, Hillsdale, Gresham, Estacada, Hillsboro, Beaverton and others. Please call her with questions regarding service areas. Appointments outside the reasonable service area are subject to higher rates to be negotiated on a case by case basis. Payment is expected in full at the time supplements or other products are purchased. Appointments by phone must be paid at the time of the visit. You will be asked for your credit/debit card number prior to the visit and will be charged for the visit as well as any supplements and shipping costs at that time. Payment by check, money order, MasterCard or Visa is due at the end of your Naturopathic House Call. Dr. Curry may choose to bill a third party on a case-by-case basis. If you want to discuss full or partial fair trade for services or goods, or feel you qualify for sliding scale, please arrange this prior to your visit. There will be a $30 fee for every returned check. Dr. Curry offers a very limited number of charity house calls monthly to poverty-level quadriplegics and developmentally disabled individuals on a case by case basis. Please inquire if you think you or a loved one may qualify. (top)
How many appointments will be required?
This is a very personal question whose answer depends on your individual wellness needs, the nature of your condition, your ability to respond to treatments, your desire/ability to change your health, your risk factors, and commitment to prevention. A highly motivated, healthy person with a specific concern may need only one or two visits to see results, while a chronically ill person with multiple complaints/risk factors or a seriously ill patient may need to return on regular intervals for best results. It is generally recommended all patients return at least yearly for annual wellness screening. (top)
What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a combination of traditional healing methods combined with modern science-based medicine. More importantly, a naturopaths main goal is to search out and address the underlying cause of your un-wellness, and not simply cover up the symptoms of your disharmony. We also believe that the only thing that can truly cause healing is your own body. Any form of medicine can only assist your own natural, inherent healing processes. We prefer to treat through safe natural methods such as nutrition, herbs, hydrotherapy, physical manipulation, lifestyle modification but are also trained in more intense methods such as minor surgery and natural-based pharmaceutical drugs. (top)
Will I have to stop taking my Rx meds and stop seeing my MD or specialist?
I respect other physicians and will not necessarily suggest that you change your current medical care. This is largely a decision you will have to make for yourself upon an increased understanding of your condition and treatment options. I will try to compare the known side effects of your prescriptions with the symptoms you are experiencing and inform you if there is a suspicious match. I have seen harsh health problems caused solely by medication side effects, medications prescribed with the best intentions. I believe you should know if this could possibly be the case and encourage you to talk with your other physicians. (top)
Who could benefit from a Naturopathic House Call?
Anyone of any age with any health concern can benefit from a Naturopathic House Call. Dr. Curry works with a wide spectrum of patients, from those seeking comfort at the end of their lives as well as patients that are already very healthy and working to improve their health further. Dr. Curry will customize your treatment plan to suit your individual needs. ND's have many diverse options for naturally treating acute conditions like the common cold, flu, headaches, ear aches, constipation, urinary tract infections, and more. Some patients simply want to supplement their conventional medical care. Overall, patients often choose a house call because of mobility concerns, childcare issues, privacy concerns, or even simple convenience. One advantage to a Naturopathic House Calls is that Dr. Curry can more easily directly assess environmental, dietary, or other issues that may otherwise be overlooked. (top)
What are your areas of particular interest?
I am particularly interested in a variety of methods of wellness including herbal medicine, diet/nutrition, food as medicine, supplementation therapy, lifestyle counseling, hydrotherapy, food/environmental allergy testing via blood/saliva testing or food elemination trials, allergy treatment, minor surgery, massage, energy-work, low-impact naturopathic manipulation, exercise therapeutics, pharmaceuticals and general medicine. (top)
What are food sensitivities?
Food sensitivities are foods that provoke a negative response when ingested, but are not "allergies" in the current medical view. When a person has a true allergy this means that their body has produced antibodies to react with that substance when encountered. These antibodies trigger an inflammatory response. Food sensitivities do not necessarily trigger the same antibody response, but instead cause other negative reactions, often dictated by the adrenal glands and other body systems. While blood testing can reveal currently active allergy responses, they are less able to detect food/environmental sensitivities. The gold standard for determining both allergies and sensitivities is an exclusion test. By removing the offending substance for a time (usually about a month), then re-introducing it, any subsequent reaction is more noticeable. (top)
Can Naturopathic Doctors write prescriptions for pharmaceuticals?
Yes. ND's can prescribe any pharmaceutical on the Naturopathic formulary for that state. The formulary contains many of the safest commonly prescribed drugs which are of natural origin as well as certain other lifesaving medications. We do not prescribe all Rx medication, especially not highly synthetic or toxic drugs. ND's however prefer to treat patients first with natural medicines, turning to pharmaceuticals only in urgent situations or when all other methods have been exhausted without sufficient result. Pharmeceuticals often simply suppress the body's response to imbalance, like removing the battery in a howling fire alarm. As the name suggests, naturopathic physicians prefer to treat within the realms of nature, despite extensive science training. Personally, my goal is to help you to need as few pharmaceuticals as possible. (top)
Can I use Naturopathic Medicine while taking pharmaceuticals?
Absolutely. Chances are if you're taking prescription drugs, you've probably needed Naturopathic Medicine for some time already. If you are taking numerous prescriptions, do you know how they all interact together? Did you know some common supplements can interfere with certain medications? Are you experiencing unwanted side effects? ND's are well trained to look for not only for drug-drug, but also drug-herb and drug-supplement interactions. Dr. Curry would like to take the time to go over your prescriptions with you, clearly explaining any concerns. If you are also seeing another health care practitioner, Dr. Curry is always willing to communicate with them about your medication needs. There may be natural therapies and simple lifestyle changes that can reduce or totally alleviate your need for drugs. (top)
Are you a state licensed doctor?
Yes. Naturopathic doctors graduate with a four year doctorate degree and two sets of National NABNE board exams (similar to the USMLE boards of medical doctors). ND's then undergo specific exam requirements for licensure within their state of practice, including knowledge of that states Rx formulary list and allowed scope of practice. (top)
Are you trained in surgery?
ND's are trained in minor surgery procedures only. We currently do not practice more complicated, deeply invasive, internal surgeries. We can surgically repair many traumatic wounds, remove skin abnormalities, and even perform vasectomies. We do not do brain surgery, open heart surgery, internal organ surgery and the like. This is currently the realm of medical doctors with more extensive residency requirements. (top)
What kind of medical education do ND's receive?
Naturopathic doctors undergo a minimum 8 years of education, much like medical doctors. This includes a four year bachelor's degree, including courses in calculus, physics, organic chemistry, and biology. From there we enter a 4 year naturopathic medical school and are trained in basic medical sciences, clinical sciences and naturopathic methods. Courses include Anatomy lecture and laboratory, Biochemistry, Pathology, Clinical Physical Diagnosis, Homeopathy, Botanical Medicine, Hydrotherapy, Mind/Body Medicine, Pharmacology, Laboratory Diagnosis, and many more. (top)
Will I have to change my diet or my lifestyle?
That depends on how healthy your diet or lifestyle is, how it is affecting your wellness, and how willing you are to achieve your optimal health goals! Unfortunately the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) and sedentary lifestyle have been linked with many debilitating and/or life threatening diseases/disease states. While I can give you treatments to simply alleviate pains and symptoms, without addressing the root cause of the problem, any chronic condition will not go away and will likely continue to worsen over time. Change is hard, but if you don't have your health, how can you truly appreciate everything else you have in this life? (top)
Do herbs really work, and how fast?
Herbs are the original source of medications. Even today, many pharmaceutical medicines are originally from plant (herb) sources. The word "drug" itself has its origin in "dried herbs". While many herbs can and do have drug-like effects and potency, many more other herbs exert their real effects in much more subtle, powerful, long-term ways. Some herbs are more food-like, giving most benefit after daily use by nourishing the body in ways that return proper function or prevent disease progression. Other herbs must be dispensed only under the supervision of a physician due to their severe toxicity when improperly taken. Sometimes more is better, other times more can kill. Herbs do work, but like pharmaceutical prescriptions, not all herbs work the same way in every person. (top)
Why should I take vitamins?
In an ideal world the foods we eat would provide every nutrient our body needs, and our bodies would be able to process our food properly to maximize our potential, and eliminate any wastes or toxins ingested or created within. Unfortunately, our current lifestyle and environment do not always allow for ideal conditions. One problem is that our fields are over-farmed, depleting important minerals from the soils and in our foods. The animals we may eat are often raised in unnatural, inhumane conditions without well balanced nutrition themselves. To add to this inadequacy, most Americans do not eat a well rounded diet including sufficient fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. In addition, many people do not digest or utilize the few nutrients we receive efficiently, for many reasons. Because of this, vitamins are created, to basically help fill in the gaps in our nutrient needs and hopefully prevent future preventable diseases. (top)
Do you do energy work/energy medicine?
I have been trained in a few forms of energetic medicine including homeopathy and hands-on energy work. While I do not consider myself a primary energy work provider, I do incorporate energy work into my therapies when it is appropriate and/or requested. I have seen great benefits to energy techniques in my own life experiences. (top)
Does this involve witchcraft or psychic healing?
Naturopathic medicine is based on traditional, clinically tested medical practices as well as science based modern medicine. Some energetic medicine treatments are based on the less tangible theory that all life and matter are interconnected by currents/channels/strands of energy which can be affected by human intensions. This is not, however, the same as witchcraft or contacting spirits of the dead for psychic healings. (top)
What form of physical medicine do you offer?
While I have been trained in full naturopathic manipulate therapy, I am most comfortable with gentler, low impact therapies and body work. I prefer to treat skeletal complaints with muscle energy technique (MET), strain-counterstrain, PIR and massage. These gentler techniques can often produce similar pain reduction and increased range of motion, without the risks of more intense manipulations. I also utilize hydrotherapy techniques. (top)
Can you cure my cancer without surgery, chemotherapy and radiation?
Cancer is a very serious condition. Most patients do not know they have cancer until it has progressed to a very dangerous disease state. At this point it may be beyond the stage where herbs, lifestyle changes, and energy medicine can cure. At this stage I suggest considering conventional medicine for surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. If you chose these treatments, I will certainly help you with alternative supportive methods, as well as diet and lifestyle advice to maximize results and reduce fatigue and side effects. If you continue to refuse conventional treatments, I can offer you alternatives, but in no way can I promise you a guaranteed cure. I can try to help improve your quality of life and maximize your wellness, but you will need to find your inner strength within to create your miracle cure. (top)
Can you prescribe marijuana?
No. While many herbalists acknowledge the medicinal uses of the plant, it is currently not included in the scope of practice of Naturopathic Doctors. We are not licensed to prescribe marijuana. For this you must go to a Medical Doctor. (top)
Should I see a Naturopathic Doctor even if I'm not sick?
Yes. Naturopathic Medicine is founded on a commitment to preventative medicine. Many people that perceive themselves as healthy actually have risk factors for future health problems, whether familial or lifestyle driven. You may consider yourself genetically lucky, fit, even athletic, but are you sure your food is performing at its peak efficiency? Commonly also people tend to ignore seemingly minor health concerns in order to save time, money, or pride. Far too often these are the small beginnings of progressive long-term unwellness. Often these early imbalances can be safely, effectively and cheaply cured by Naturopathic methods. In the long run Grandmother was right, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Beyond specific risks, aging happens to all persons in time, and can be done gracefully with natural health without the progressive debility and disability and high medical costs suffered by so many elderly in these modern times. Optimize for life! (top)
Is Naturopathic Medicine cost-effective?
Yes. Naturopathic medicine strives to work by preventing progression of chronic disease. Think of all the money spent on pharmaceuticals, surgeries, hospitalization, medical equipment, etc., needed to treat far-too-common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma, and osteoporosis alone. These are but a few of the vast number of health problems that could be prevented, or at worst, resolved with the least invasive, effective natural methods available. More than just the dollar comparison between preventative medicine vs. grand restorative measures is the pricelessness of good health. With good health you are sick less, you think clearer, faster, and you simply function better, meaning better work productivity and with luck and a smile, perhaps even that wanted promotion. Looking and feeling active and healthy is even attractive to other people in your life. Ultimately greater health means a higher quality of life, all around. (top)
Our bodies can be likened to a river, moving from beginning to end through all of life’s landscapes. At the beginning the river is all fast growing potential flowing effortlessly down pristine mountains. Life abounds in these waters and shores. Complex cycles involving fish, insects, birds, sunlight, algae, plants, and microscopic bacteria assure anything that enters the river is made good use of. Wastes don't accumulate, these water are largely self-cleaning. You can float a long ways sometimes before any problems surface. Many people are able to float though their childhood and early adulthood without apparent major health concerns. This is possible because our bodies' young vital force tends to be strong and returns quickly to health with even moderate challenges to wellness. This is the optimal health baseline. Everything works as needed. As a naturopath, my ultimate goal is to help you maintain or even improve that optimal healthy core. Like a river our bodies are full of lively moving organ systems. The beating heart, bellowing lungs, rushing arteries and veins, chemical and electrical nerve conduction, the digestive system, the beneficial bacteria therein, and many others all work together without our conscious thought to maintain homeostasis (proper functioning). In an ideal world your best health would continue, just as a wild river, say in Alaska, never loses its health until that moment it returns to the ocean. Really, I would love to be there only when you need some advice on optimizing nutrition or want to talk out an emotional dilemma.
Unfortunately for many of us modern life is not ideal. As a river may pass through muddy clear cut forest, sloppy chemical factory, open sewers, livestock processing plant, petroleum based fertilizer/insecticide laden farmland, etc., our own bodies are assaulted by the unnatural pressures of modern living. A river may at first be able to compensate for a certain amount of toxic contamination, but with added burden the healthy ecosystem begins to fail. This is no longer drinking water, and it's probably best to release any caught fish. At some point the pollutants are too much for the river to flush away. The fish die, the bad types of bacteria take over, and the children are told not to soak even tired feet, let alone swim. In human terms, modern life has exposed most of us to air pollution, household or industrial chemicals, largely untested food preservatives, additives and genetically modified crops, nutritionally lacking yet calorie and bad-fat dense sweets/ junk food, unstudied mixtures of pharmaceutical and OTCdrugs, work and social stresses, lack of exercise (stagnation), recreational drugs, alcohol and tobacco, not to mention all the other lions and tigers and bears and auto accidents found in the modern jungle. Usually many of these and other factors combine to bring a person to a state of unwellness. It is the vital force's cry for help.
Your body inherently wants to heal itself and function well. When your health is less than optimal, it is important to take a reckoning of the sources of pollution, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual in your life and basically try to fix some or all, to lessen the burden. For a simple example, your diet may need major modification if you have been eating the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) and now find yourself developing uncontrolled diabetes. Another person may need vitamin and mineral supplementation to reverse deficiency states that prevent the body from fully efficient self-healing. Herbal supplements may strengthen the immune system so it can focus where needed. Just as installing a new sewer system in Portland promises to greatly reduce sewage pollution in nearby Willamette River, every step towards living healthier counts in the long run. Fortunately we are all strong and smart enough to respond to imbalances, to restore health using these least harmful, yet effective Naturopathic treatments first, and in conjunction with continuing medical care. Naturopathic Doctors have training in a plethora of ways to help your mind-body be its best. As much as you let me, I will help guide you through your health related issues, whether that means optimizing your already great health, or addressing a particular disease state. I will listen to your needs to provide you with a custom plan in which you get to chose how far you will go towards optimizing your own health. By working as a team I am positive that we can get you back to feeling the best you can, preferably better than you ever have in your entire life. Call to schedule your home visit appointment today. Your waters should flow deep, pure and lively until reaching that final destination.
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