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Frequently Asked Questions

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Does Dr. Alice Fong accept insurance?

Dr. Alice Fong does not accept insurance.  The benefit of this is that Dr. Alice is not limited or restricted by the insurance company’s criteria, specifically time restrictions. Rather than only spending 10-15 minutes with a patient to assess and address their concerns, Dr. Alice spends 60 minutes to allow for a comprehensive initial consultation so she can offer customized, personalized care.  Dr. Alice takes the time to know you so she can help optimize your health.  This is a wellness program to help you feel your best. Similar to a gym membership, which unfortunately health insurance does not usually pay for either, these programs offer WAY more than just a place to exercise.  It is expert support from a doctor, nutrition plans, accountability structures, and coaching on how to live your best life!

Is Homeopathy the Same Thing as Naturopathy/Naturopathic Medicine?

The answer is NO. Dr. Alice does not practice homeopathy. She explains more of the differences in her blog.

Does Dr. Alice see and treat children?

Dr. Alice only sees children on a case by case basis, typically only for treating stress and anxiety, but she primarily works with adults.

What is a Naturopathic doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are trained as primary care physicians and are currently licensed in 18 states. In licensed states, they can diagnose and treat many medical conditions. They can draw blood, run labs, request medical records, and perform physical and screening exams. After completing their pre-med requirements and receiving a bachelor’s degree, they go through a vigorous 4 to 6 year graduate program through an accredited school with over 1200 hours of training. The first 2 years are similar to allopathic or conventional medical schools in that it focuses on the basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology). The next 2 years focuses more on the clinical training aspect and treatment modalities, where we typically differ from allopathic medicine. Our treatment plans integrate both modern day science and research with more traditional natural medical approaches.

Naturopathic doctors work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada. Qualified naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners.

In unlicensed states, where naturopathic medicine isn’t regulated by the state, anyone can claim to be a naturopathic doctor (and some might even in licensed state who aren’t obeying the state laws). They might of received an online degree or went to an unaccredited school. However, to have a fully qualified naturopathic physician in North America, you should check if they have gone to one of the 7 accredited schools in North America, as listed by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC).

Dr. Alice is a graduate of Bastyr University, the leading institute for naturopathic medicine and is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in the states of California, Maryland, and Washington DC.  Dr. Alice spent years doing primary care work, and had seen and treated a wide array of different medical conditions. However, she specializes and focuses primary on stress and anxiety because it tends to be the root cause or contributor to many other health concerns.

 

What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention using natural methods in combination with the rigors of modern science. Rather than trying to mask symptoms of a condition with pharmaceuticals, naturopathy tries to find the root cause, remove those barriers to health, and help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal wellbeing.

Naturopathic medicine is based on 6 principles:
First Do No Harm – primum non nocere
The Healing Power of Nature – vis medicatrix naturae
Discover and Treat the Cause, Not Just the Effect -tolle causam
Treat the Whole Person – tolle totum
The Physician is a Teacher – docere
Prevention is the best “cure” – praevenire

A simple example I like to give to help people understand what naturopathic medicine is to have them imagine a patient coming in with chronic headaches. Almost everyone has experienced a headache at one time or another, but how they respond to the headache varies widely. The common allopathic (aka. conventional medicine) solution to the problem would be to take an Ibuprofen or aspirin. There is nothing wrong with this approach, it takes away the headache usually, and sometimes in that particular moment, that’s what people need. However, if someone using this solution EVERY time they have a headache, they are not looking at the root cause of the problem which may continue to grow to the point where it’s significantly damaging to your health and the Ibuprofen doesn’t help anymore.

The naturopathic approach would be to look deeper at what is causing the headaches, and work on removing those obstacle to cure. It may take longer, but in the end, the patient will no longer suffer from headaches and will not need to use the Ibuprofen as often. The Ibuprofen is simply masking the symptom of the headache, not curing it. What is causing the headache? Perhaps the patient has significant muscle tension in their neck and they need regular bodywork to relieve the tension. Or perhaps the only beverage they drink is coffee and alcohol and they need to add water into the equation. Or perhaps they are majorly stressed at work and need to find better ways to cope with stress. The last one is particularly common. Everyone has some sort of stressor in their life and the added effect of all this stress can manifest itself physically as a wide array of symptoms and/or diseases (some far worse than just headaches). Naturopathic medicine looks to find and treat the cause of these symptoms.

Is Dr. Alice Fong against conventional medicine, medical doctors (MDs), and all pharmaceuticals?

No. Absolutely not. Dr. Alice believes NDs need to work integratively and in conjunction with MDs. Both add their value to healthcare and both have their limitations. For example, one of the limitations of conventional medicine is a lack of nutritional counseling, which Dr. Alice believes is a major component to improving a person’s health. There might be differences in their perspectives on how to treat, but if a patient comes to Dr. Alice that seems beyond her scope of practice, she will refer out.

As far as pharmaceuticals go, Dr. Alice thinks the country as a whole is over-prescribed. However, there are definitely certain circumstances where medications are necessary. Chronic diseases do not develop overnight, it usually is a gradual process that occurs over the course of many years, so you should expect that the healing process will take time (and not occur overnight). Depending on where you are in disease process (pre-disease stage, early stage, or late stage) will determine how necessary medications are and if it is even possible to get off them eventually or not. If you are in the pre-disease or early stages of a disease process (for example: diabetes or hypertension), nutrition and lifestyle can make a big difference and can turn things around so you don’t become reliant on medication.

However, if you are in the late stages, the case is a more complicated and it might not be possible to get off all your medications. However, Dr. Alice can do a lot to optimize and maximize your health so perhaps you might be able to taper down your dose over time (if you’re willing to make the dietary and lifestyle changes), but again it depends on the type of disease and the case.

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