Frequently Asked Questions

General


What is a naturopath?

In the state of Washington, naturopaths are primary care physicians that are trained in all aspects of preventive and natural healthcare. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes disease prevention, encouragement of the body's own inherent healing abilities and treatment of the whole person. Naturopaths are trained to use a wide variety of modalities including conventional and alternative methods.

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Why would I seek healthcare from a naturopath?

Naturopathic physicians are uniquely qualified to offer you the best of alternative medicine combined with conventional healthcare. Our expertise is in integrating alternative medicine (such as vitamins, herbs and nutrition) with traditional medicine. 

Many patients are dissatisfied with their current medical care. They find that they are spending less and less time with their physicians and their healthcare needs are not being met. Patients are looking at a more holistic, individualized approach. 

At NaturoMedica, we offer highly personalized medicine. Initial visits typically last for two hours and follow up visits are close to an hour. This enables us to build relationships with our patients and to address all of their health concerns. We spend time putting the pieces of your health puzzle together and come with a customized treatment plan just for you.

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Why do patients choose NaturoMedica?

Our patients choose NaturoMedica for a variety of reasons, but among the most common are:

  • Compassionate, competent, Naturopathic healthcare for men, women and children. Additionally, we offer IV (intravenous) therapy, Acupuncture, Neural Prolotherapy and BioFeedback.
  • We treat each and every patient like a treasured family member.
  • Highly individualized medical care.
  • Expanded visit times allow your physician time to get to know you well and to understand your health goals.
  • NaturoMedica doctors use a collaborative approach to healthcare, utilizing each other's knowledge to provide the best possible care for patients.
  • State-of-the-art technology.
  • Our eCare program allows patients to communicate directly with their NaturoMedica physicians via secure email. Patients can also view lab results and request prescription refills online.

NaturoMedica offers healthcare in a unique, spa-like environment. First-time patients are pleasantly surprised by our amenities including a tea bar and plush bathrobes. Exam rooms are cozy, rather than cold and sterile feeling. The clinic has an upscale retail space filled with natural products that our doctors have carefully selected. The retail space is open to the general public.

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What is the difference between a naturopath and a homeopath or an herbalist?

Naturopaths are licensed primary care physicians in the state of Washington, which is not true of homeopaths or herbalists. Naturopaths have been trained in homeopathy and herbal medicine, which can be used along with other modalities.

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What kind of training do naturopaths (NDs) have?

Naturopathic doctors have similar training to conventional health care practitioners such as dentists and medical doctors. Naturopathic doctors are required to successfully complete pre-medical studies at the university level before applying to an accredited naturopathic medical school. All of the doctors at NaturoMedica completed a 5-year post-graduate program. The post graduate training is similar to that of a medical doctor, including basic sciences and clinical courses, with an emphasis on traditional medical interventions. In addition to this training, naturopaths are extensively educated in the philosophy and implementation of safe and effective natural therapeutics. Naturopathic physicians are trained in botanical medicine, vitamin/supplement therapy, homeopathy, pharmacology, nutrition, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling. They also order laboratory tests and imaging studies as appropriate and refer patients to specialists when needed.

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Are naturopathic doctors licensed?

Yes. All of the doctors at NaturoMedica have passed their professional board examinations and are licensed through the Washington State Department of Health.

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What can I expect at my first visit?

A first office visit typically lasts for an hour and a half to 2 hours. This allows you and your doctor sufficient time to get to know each other and to address each of your health concerns. At your first visit, your doctor will take an extensive health history, do a physical exam and order lab work if needed. At the end of the visit, you will leave with an individualized care plan. Depending upon the scope of the therapy and the complexity of the case, treatment plans may be broken down into phases.

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What kinds of conditions to naturopaths treat?

Naturopaths are trained in all aspects of primary care and are able to perform annual physicals including gynecological exams.

Many patients come to NaturoMedica for preventive medicine and to promote healthy aging, which is often referred to as "longevity medicine." At NaturoMedica, we can prescribe bio-identical hormones for men and women when appropriate.

Conditions that are commonly treated at NaturoMedica include:

  • Hormonal Imbalances/Menopause/PMS
  • Allergic Conditions (including the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies)
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive Issues
  • Headaches
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease/High Blood Pressure/Elevated Cholesterol
  • Anxiety, Depression and Conditions Related to Chronic Stress
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases
  • Skin Conditions
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Pain Conditions
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What kinds of therapies do naturopathic doctors use?

Therapies are aimed at treating the underlying cause of disease rather than just the symptoms. Our doctors use methods such as botanical (herbal medicine), vitamins and nutritional supplements, physical medicine, homeopathy, counseling and diet/lifestyle modification. Naturopathic physicians can also prescribe most medications.

In addition, at NaturoMedica, we have naturopathic physicians that are trained to administer acupuncture, IV (intravenous) therapy, Biofeedback and Neural Prolotherapy.

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Are doctors at NaturoMedica willing to work with my medical doctor?

Yes. Doctors at NaturoMedica are willing to work alongside your established physician or can provide the full range of primary care. At NaturoMedica, we strongly believe in finding the best medical care for each individual, which may include working with multiple practitioners. We maintain an extensive referral network and frequently collaborate with medical doctors and other healthcare professionals to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible.

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Can my children be treated at NaturoMedica?

Yes. At NaturoMedica, we see many children from infants to college age. We have a naturopathic physician who specializes in pediatrics. In addition to providing primary pediatric care, the most common conditions that we see children for are environmental and food allergies, digestive issues, nutritional concerns, ADD and ADHD and skin conditions. We treat children of all ages from infants to teenagers. We also perform sports physicals and offer standard childhood immunizations.

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Are the services at NaturoMedica covered under my insurance plan?

NaturoMedica expects payment for clinic visits at the time of service and does not directly bill your insurance company. However, NaturoMedica will provide you with a complete super-bill with the necessary codes to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Private health insurance plans in Washington State are obligated to cover alternative care such as naturopathy, but the amount of the coverage varies by insurance plan. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover our services. Our view is that insurance companies are first and foremost a business whose primary objective is to control costs. We believe that goal does not always translate into doing what is best for your health. We are committed to doing what is best for our patients. NaturoMedica accepts Visa and MasterCard.

We order the majority of our lab work through PacLab, which is contracted with most insurance companies. Your PacLab orders will be billed directly to your insurance company.

We also offer specialized lab testing such as food allergy/sensitivity testing, adrenal testing, comprehensive stool analysis, nutritional testing, neurotransmitter profiles and advanced cholesterol testing. Coverage for these specialty tests varies by insurance provider.

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Can naturopathic doctors prescribe medications?

Yes. In the state of Washington, naturopathic doctors can prescribe a wide variety of medications. Generally speaking, naturopathic doctors try to minimize the use of pharmaceuticals and use the least invasive therapies possible, but prescriptions medications are used when warranted.

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Do you sell vitamins and supplements at the clinic?

Yes. We maintain a dispensary of medical grade supplements that have been carefully selected by our doctors. The supplements industry is not well controlled by the FDA. At our clinic dispensary we only carry supplements that have met pharmaceutical quality standards. We find that our patients achieve better health results with high-quality products, supported by research. We keep an inventory of the supplements that we prescribe most frequently and find most effective.

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Will my insurance company cover the cost of supplements?

The cost of supplements is generally not covered by insurance companies. However, there is no sales tax on supplements if they are prescribed by a physician. If you have a health savings account (HSA or FSA) it may cover supplement costs.

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Is my health information safe if I send it electronically?

NaturoMedica has partnered with an innovative company that provides state-of-the art connectivity software. This technology provides a platform for secure messaging that is compliant with patient privacy and confidentiality regulations. Through NaturoMedica eCare, patients communicate with the clinic knowing that their private information is safe and protected. Our secure messaging is fully encrypted.

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IV Therapy


What is IV Therapy?

IV therapy is a way to introduce high doses of micronutrients; vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and amino acids, to your body intravenously. IV therapy is advantageous because the nutrients are delivered directly to your bloodstream which means the effects are often more powerful and faster-acting than oral supplementation. People with digestive problems often tolerate IV supplementation much better than oral supplementation because we are bypassing the digestive system.

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How long do the effects of IV therapy last?

IV nutrients can remain in your body for several hours to several days, but the effects of supplementing your body with vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals and other nutrients can last weeks or even months.

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What does an IV treatment entail?

During the IV, you have the option of sitting or lying down. The procedure for starting an IV is much like a blood draw, and we strive to make the placement as quick and painless as possible! Once the IV is placed, there is just a small flexible plastic (BPA-free) tube in your arm, no needle.

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How long does it take to get an IV treatment?

An IV therapy appointment will last approximately 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the type of IV you are receiving. At the beginning we will check-in briefly to see how you are doing, take your blood pressure and then begin treatment. Treatment times vary based on the volume of the IV you are receiving and the type of nutrients you are receiving. IV time can also depend on how well-hydrated you are or how much you have had to eat.

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What do I do to prepare for IV therapy?

For an optimal IV treatment, it is important to arrive to your appointment well-hydrated and having eaten some protein at least one hour prior to the treatment. It is best to wear layered clothing as your body temperature could vary during treatment. Depending on the length of your IV treatment, you may want to bring something to do while you are waiting. If you want to watch a movie or listen to music on your phone or computer, be sure to bring headphones. You may also bring a snack with you to eat during treatment – this is particularly advisable if you are scheduled for a treatment that lasts over an hour.

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Acupuncture


What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a technique that is part of the ancient health system of traditional Chinese medicine.  This form of medicine has been practiced by doctors for over 3,000 years in Eastern Asia to improve health and treat a wide variety of medical conditions.  There are many different styles of acupuncture and techniques used for acupuncture treatments.  Most commonly very small, almost hair-thin needles are inserted into the skin at specific points throughout the body.  This process helps to activate the body’s own energy or what is known as “qi” in a way that brings overall balance to the person.

From a Western medicine perspective acupuncture has several different ways in which it works to decrease pain, promote healing, decrease stress and improve overall health.  Acupuncture points are located in areas with a high concentration of small blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and sensory nerve fibers.  By inserting an acupuncture needle into these neurovascular nodes, acupuncture promotes changes in blood flow, nerve function as well as immune function in the body.

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How much does it cost to get acupuncture?

Individual acupuncture treatments at NaturoMedica are $139. A series of 5 acupuncture visits is $495, which offers a $40 savings per visit.  At the end of your visit, you will be given a “superbill” to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. Reimbursement varies by insurance provider.

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What kind of health conditions are treated with Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be used to address virtually any medical condition.  Perhaps acupuncture’s most well-known application today is for the treatment of pain and musculoskeletal injury without the use of medication.  However, acupuncture can be used to treat almost all medical concern including:

  • Digestive complaints such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn
  • Hormonal imbalances including menstrual irregularities, infertility and menopause
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Immune Support
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Headaches
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What should I expect at an Acupuncture treatment?

At NaturoMedica, Dr. Bokman who is a licensed acupuncturist as well as a naturopath, will discuss your health concerns and treatment goals with you.  Dr. Bokman will feel your pulse as well as ask to look at your tongue as a way of determining the Chinese Medicine diagnosis.  You will relax on a heated massage table in a spa-like environment.  Acupuncture needles are gently inserted in specific points to help restore balance to the body.  Patients rest with the needles in for 20-40 minutes. Patients report feeling very relaxed during acupuncture treatments and often fall asleep while on the table. 

In some acupuncture treatments a technique known as “moxa” or “moxabustion” is used in which the Chinese herb, mugwort, is burned almost like an incense stick over specific acupuncture points for a therapeutic heating effect.   “Moxa” is a wonderful technique for treating various digestive concerns, pain conditions and issues related to menstruation.

Another therapy that is commonly used along with acupuncture treatments is Chinese therapeutic massage or “Tui Na” and “cupping”, a technique in which a vacuum like effect is created with a glass cup for the purpose of loosening tight, sore muscles and promoting the free flow of qi throughout the body. 

Dr. Bokman is also trained to prescribe Chinese Herbs, which are a powerful treatment option, especially when combined with acupuncture.  Chinese herbs are derived from a combination of natural materials and are formulated to restore balance to the body. They can be used to treat virtually any health concern. 

In addition to acupuncture, Dr. Bokman also practices CranioSacral therapy, a gentle hands-on bodywork technique that helps to release restrictions in the physical body.  CranioSacral therapy can be incorporated into acupuncture visits when indicated.

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What should I expect to feel like after an acupuncture treatment?

After an acupuncture treatment most patients report feeling relaxed and centered, like waking up from a restful and refreshing nap.  Often patients who came in feeling physical pain find that their pain levels are greatly decreased.

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Are there any side effects from acupuncture?

Acupuncture performed by a licensed acupuncturist is quite safe and has very few side effects if any.  The most common side effect would be mild bruising, bleeding or soreness at the site of needle insertion.  On rare occasion a patient will experience what’s known as needle sickness.  Needle sickness is an involuntary reaction by a person’s autonomic nervous system to a perceived stressor.  This is experienced as light headedness, dizziness and increased heart rate, and typically resolves after a short period of rest. Fortunately, this is very uncommon.

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Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is an extremely safe therapy when performed by licensed acupuncturists, who receive 3-4 years of graduate level training in acupuncture.  Licensed acupuncturists are rigorously trained in anatomy and how to safely and expertly insert needles into the body.   Serious injuries sustained during acupuncture are very rare and could include injury to underlying structures, infection and broken needle.  A review published in the British Medical Journal that examined adverse effects in 1 million acupuncture treatments found that the risk of a serious adverse event with acupuncture is estimated to be 0.005% per 10,000 treatments, and 0.0055% per 10,000 individual patients.  Compared to the risk associated with many routine health procedure this makes acupuncture an extremely safe therapy.

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How long does an acupuncture visit take?

An acupuncture visit at NaturoMedica lasts 60 minutes.  This time includes the intake, acupuncture and other supportive therapies that would be of benefit to the patient.

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How should I prepare for my acupuncture visit?

It is best to wear loose clothing that can be easily adjusted for easier access to acupuncture points. Depending upon the area(s) being addressed you may be partially undressed and wear a spa-like robe.   It is recommended that you not come in for an acupuncture appointment on an empty stomach.  A light meal or snack within an hour before the treatment is optimal.

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Will my insurance cover my acupuncture visits?

At NaturoMedica, you will pay at the time of service. You will be given a “superbill” to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.  Reimbursement varies by provider, but many insurance companies provide good coverage for acupuncture. 

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How long do the effects of an acupuncture visit last?

The effects of an acupuncture treatment vary considerably from person to person.  Most patients find that relaxation and stress relieving benefits last for several days after a single treatment. Acupuncture has a cumulative effect, meaning that patients tend to experiences greater improvements in health when they come in for regular visits.  I advise patients to come in for 5 visits once a week initially.  After that period of time, the frequency of appointments usually decreases.

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Why would I get acupuncture at NaturoMedica versus at another facility?

Acupuncture at NaturoMedica is highly customized. Dr. Bokman is both a licensed acupuncturist and naturopathic physician, although currently she devotes all of her clinic time to acupuncture.  In addition to performing traditional acupuncture, Dr. Bokman can augment your acupuncture therapy with Cranio-sacral therapy, ultrasound therapy,  “Tui Na” and “cupping” and “moxa” or “moxabustion”.  

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I’m interested in acupuncture, what do I do next?

Call NaturoMedica to schedule a visit. I you have any questions or concerns Dr. Bokman offers complimentary 15 minute consults.

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NaturoMedica
"My doctor spent an enormous amount of time with me."
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