Naturopathic Medicine FAQ

How long is a consultation with Dr. Tracy?

Dr. Tracy sees patients for an initial one-hour consult and follow-up appointments usually run 30 minutes long. During the initial consult, Dr. Tracy will review your medical history, recent lab tests, current prescription and supplement regimen and discuss your current health concerns. She may also recommend lab tests at this time. A management plan will be created at the initial visit and may include herbal medicines, dietary recommendations, homeopathy or other natural supplements.


How often would I visit with Dr. Tracy?

The first follow-up appointment is usually one month after the initial visit. Further follow-up appointments are scheduled on a case-by-case basis. On average, patients will see Dr. Tracy for four visits over the first 6-8 month period and subsequently follow-up 1-2 times a year as needed.


What should I bring to the initial appointment?

Please complete Dr. Tracy’s paperwork and bring it with you.

All medications, vitamins, herbs, and supplements that you take on a regular basis. If you have more than 10 medications and/or supplements, please bring in a list including the product name, manufacturer (for supplements), and dose.

It would also be helpful to bring the contact information of your primary care doctor and other specialists.

A copy of your most recent lab test results.


Is naturopathic medicine covered by medical insurance?

Insurance reimbursement for naturopathic doctors and the type of medicine they practice does not exist in Massachusetts. Advanced Health & Wellness accepts cash, checks, Visa, Master Card, Discover and AMEX. Flexible spending plans and medical savings accounts frequently reimburse for the cost of naturopathic services and natural supplements, herbal remedies and vitamins purchased at our office.  We are happy to support you with any documentation needed to submit for reimbursement from these programs.


What can I expect financially and logistically?

Initial 60 minute naturopathic consultation and one-month 30 minute follow-up consultation will be provided for $250 for adults, $175 for children and young adults (up to age 26). Subsequent 30 minute follow-up appointments will be provided as needed for $80-100.


Besides consultation fees are there additional expenses that I should be aware of when investing in my health?

Other financial considerations are lab testing and the nutritional supplements that Dr. Tracy uses to support healing.  Nutritional supplements can be a substantial and meaningful investment, regardless of quality or potency. Dr. Tracy’s education and experience enable her to discern quality, potency, intelligent formulations, bioavailability, cost effectiveness and proper manufacturing of nutritional supplements to make the best choices for the health and wellbeing of her patients.


Why does Dr. Tracy carry nutritional supplements and vitamins in her office?

The last time you were shopping online or in a health food store or drug store you probably noticed the hundreds of brands of thousands of different types of nutritional supplements and “miracle” vitamins. Currently, the supplement industry is a very competitive industry without much regulation and finding the right solution for yourself can be a daunting task.

In contrast, Dr. Tracy uses vitamin and supplement lines that are designed to be potent and are of high quality that “are what they say they are, nothing more nothing less” – and that are designed to be potent and therefore recommended and supported by doctors. The companies that manufacture these nutritional supplements were created by doctors and researchers that “know the difference” and they cater to our particular, critical and demanding standards. There are a wide variety of raw materials and various forms of “the same” nutrients available in this growing market. Some forms are much better absorbed and much better utilized in the body than other forms. Knowing these differences and providing these better forms and formulas is a vital part of naturopathic medicine, using quality “tools” in order to support your healing goals. Dr. Tracy only uses natural supplements from manufacturing facilities that voluntarily meet GMP or FDA Drug Registered standards for manufacturing.

Further, these companies often make available substances and high potency formulas that only doctors like Dr. Tracy have access to and know how to use safely, taking the time to educate patients with regard to their use. Therefore they would not be found in any version in the over-the-counter market. Accordingly Dr. Tracy is able to use quality, potent materials created in intelligent allergen-free formulas that produce dramatic results and success for her patients.

Dr. Tracy does not engage in the use or sale of multi-level marketed supplements and has no future plans for doing so. If your interest lies within that arena, she is not the doctor for you.


What is your return policy on nutritional supplements?

Returns can be accepted for unopened product with at least six months remaining until expiration date.  Special order items and opened products cannot be returned for a refund or credit.


What kind of lab testing does Dr. Tracy use?

Dr. Tracy uses saliva, urine and stool testing to evaluate female and male hormone levels, digestive health, immune system health, allergies, adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones, inflammation, bacteria, yeast and parasite levels. In Massachusetts, routine blood and urine tests ordered by Naturopathic Doctors are not covered by insurance. Therefore it is helpful to see a Primary Care Physician for this type of testing (i.e. blood tests for cholesterol).


Does Dr. Tracy work with children?

Yes, Dr. Tracy offers pediatric services and works with infants and children for many conditions including ADD/ADHD, Asthma, Allergies, Ear Infections, Digestive Disorders, Anxiety, Sleep problems, Eczema and Weight Management.


What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine is evidence based natural medicine – a blend of proven traditional healing methods and modern scientific research. It is a profession of healthcare which emphasizes prevention and treatment of illness and the promotion of optimal health through the use of remedies addressing the whole person and the body’s inherent healing abilities. The principles of Naturopathic Medicine focus on identifying and treating the cause of an illness rather than masking or suppressing symptoms.


What are the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine?

The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Nature)
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent ability in the body which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery and facilitate and augment this healing ability.

Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam)
Naturopathic doctors seek to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness, rather than to eliminate or merely suppress symptoms.

First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic medicine follows three principles to avoid harming the patient:

Use methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects.

Avoid, when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms.

Acknowledge and respect the individual’s healing process, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat illness.

Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
Naturopathic doctors educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.

Treat the Whole Person
Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Because total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual path.

Prevention
Naturopathic doctors emphasize disease prevention, assessment of risk factors, hereditary susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions to prevent illness. Naturopathic medicine strives to create a healthy world in which humanity may thrive.


What is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND)?

Naturopathic Doctors are in the business of keeping you healthy. A Naturopathic Doctor is a doctor who is trained in conventional medicine (diagnosis, lab tests and use of pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat disease) and is an expert in natural medicines such as herbal medicine, nutritional science, naturopathic physical medicine, environmental medicine and homeopathy. Dr. Tracy also has an emphasis on patient and community education – using workshops, handouts and other materials to empower individuals to take back control of their own health.


Are naturopathic medicines safe?

Naturopathic medicines are very safe if used under the proper supervision of a licensed naturopathic doctor who is well trained in both traditional and conventional applications of the specific medicines and the scientific literature behind these applications. Many adverse effects from dietary supplements occur in people who “self-diagnose” and “self-prescribe” or in people seeing unqualified healthcare practitioners. Adverse effects often occur in people, for example, who are taking more than the recommended amount or who are on a drug or have a condition which negatively interacts with a dietary supplement. A naturopathic doctor from a 4-year accredited naturopathic medical school has had extensive training in prescribing dietary supplements and knows how to properly monitor a patient for any adverse effects.


Is naturopathic medicine cost-effective?

Yes.  Because naturopathic doctors use a preventive approach that reduces the incidence of high-cost chronic conditions, naturopathic medicine reduces long-term health care costs.  Also, naturopathic doctors’ focus of finding and treating the cause of disease often reduces the need for expensive surgical procedures and prescription drugs, thereby reducing expensive ongoing care.


Is naturopathic medicine a viable option for those with Cancer?

Yes. Dr. Tracy has incorporated complementary cancer care into her naturopathic medical training. Naturopathic medicine is an excellent option for those wishing to address cancer therapy in an integrative way, combining conventional and alternative treatments.


How is a Naturopathic Doctor trained and licensed?

All Naturopathic Doctors must graduate from a federally accredited 4-year naturopathic medical school and pass a national board exam called NPLEX before becoming licensed. NPLEX follows the same standards as the National Board of Medical Examiners, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.


What are the similarities and differences of 4-year naturopathic medical schools and conventional medical schools?

Naturopathic medical schools focus a great deal more on teaching nutrition, herbal medicine, physical medicine, holistic philosophy and homeopathy than conventional medical schools. In fact, most conventional medical schools offer no more than one or two introductory classes in nutrition and complimentary therapies.

Conventional Medical Schools 4-year Naturopathic Medical Schools
Bachelors Degree Required YES YES
Premed Prerequisites Required (i.e. chemistry, biology, physics, psychology) YES YES
4 year Graduate Level Program YES YES
# of Hours of Basic & Clinical Sciences ≈1524 ≈1535
# of Hours of Conventional Therapeutics ≈3393 ≈2029
# of Hours dedicated to Alternative Medicines ≈0 ≈842

What are the similarities and differences between a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Medical Doctor (MD)?

Naturopathic doctors are experts in complementary medicines and medical doctors are experts in drug therapy and/or surgery. Both forms of medicine work well together because both NDs and MDs “speak the same language” as they are both trained in western medicine and use scientific research to support their clinical practices.


How do MDs interact with NDs?

Medical doctors have a wide range of opinions regarding naturopathic medicine.  Some MDs are very comfortable co-treating patients who receive naturopathic care while other MDs are unreceptive to alternative therapies. Patients interested in a comprehensive approach to his or her health care should ask their physicians if they are open to working with Dr. Tracy.


Are naturopathic doctors opposed to pharmaceutical drugs and major surgery?

No.  Naturopathic doctors are not opposed to these measures when they are necessary and make referrals for such treatment as appropriate.

Dr. Tracy’s Office Hours

Monday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Dr. Tracy also offers consultations via Skype Wednesdays and Fridays in addition to regular office hours.