Does my insurance cover the costs for naturopathic treatments?

I am listed with EMR, ASCA, Visana and EGK (ZSR-Nr. Z833562). Most insurance companies acknowledge this accreditation. But you might need additional coverage or a prescription. Please check with your insurance company if you are covered and to what extent.

Are alternative treatments suitable for my medical problem?

Naturopathy can help with a wide variety of acute and chronic medical conditions such as indigestion, problems with the urinary tract or the musculoskeletal system to name but a few. Of course, naturopathy has its limitations. Severe diseases need to be treated by a general practitioner. In these cases, naturopathy is only suitable as an additional treatment.

How often do you have to come in for treatments?

There is no definitive answer to that question. The number of treatments and the frequency depend on the severity of the condition. By a rule of thumb, it takes one month of therapy per year of illness. Therefor it makes sense to define an objective beforehand. What do you want to achieve? What is your timeframe? This is the base for the therapy concept we will develop together.

What is the duration of a naturopathic consultation?

The initial consultation usually takes 1 to 1 ½ hours as it includes the case-history (anamnesis). Follow-up sessions vary according to needs, normally 30 to 60 minutes.

My relatives have urged me to try naturopathy but I do not really believe in these therapies. Should I make an appointment to avoid disappointing someone?

It is fine to make an appointment just to please someone. Maybe this is a chance to gather information about what naturopathy has to offer?! Should you feel disinclined to give it a try after the session, you can still refuse treatment. Everybody is entitled to their own personal approach.

Why do alternative therapies take so long to yield results?

Naturopathy does not aim to simply eliminate symptoms. It is certainly called for to include symptomatic treatment in case of an acute illness, but the next step should be to find the underlying cause. Why does someone always react with indigestion or a headache or inflammation of the joints? We all have our predetermined breaking point. Naturopathy concerns itself with the background of a given problem, the ‘soil’ it grew on, and it helps to activate the self-healing capacity of the body to stabilize your condition. That takes time.

What side effects do alternative treatments have?

If you have undergone suppressive therapies (e.g. cortisone treatment for eczema) it may happen that problems you experienced in the past flare up again, when trying to get a grip on an acute affliction. Symptoms usually resurface in reversed chronological order. From a therapeutically point of view, this is a good sign, because it means the therapy is helping to get to the bottom of things. But it does put a strain on the patient’s endurance. Healing sometimes means taking a detour.

It is not correct to say that herbal remedies per se have no side effects. Herbal products usually agree with the vast majority of people but occasionally there are side effects, the most common being an allergic reaction to certain plants, or stomach ache when plants containing tanning agents are administered. In that case, different or milder remedies can be applied.

With homeopathic treatment, you might experience an initial increase in symptoms (see below, “initial aggravation”)

Do I have to turn around my whole way of life?

No, you don’t, just parts of it. You should consider, though, that your current path has brought you to where you are now. If you are hoping for a change, then it is up to you to bring about that change. But a radical U-turn is usually neither necessary nor called for. A reasonable change in your life style is what we should attempt. Together we will develop a strategy. Only if you support the course of action, will your motivation carry you to a successful change.

I have already been diagnosed by my GP. Why should I consult a naturopath?

In Western medicine, the disappearance of symptoms equals healing. Naturopathy has a different take on that. It is worth it to find out about additional or alternative treatments to help stabilize your condition in the long run.

The therapy is all good and well but taking medication three times a day or exercising and stretching tensed muscles on a daily base is really annoying. Is there no easier way?

A word often alluded to when talking about therapies is “compliance”. Are you in agreement with the therapeutic approach? Are you sticking to the therapeutic scheme? If a given treatment plan is just too much of a pain, chances are, you will not see it through. That does no one any good, neither you nor me, and it will lead to frustration on both sides. Please talk to me about your concerns and we will adapt the treatment accordingly.

I would like to make an appointment but I don’t have any childcare. Can I bring my child/children? Of course you can!

Of course you can!

I am currently undergoing Western medicine treatment. Can I still apply alternative therapies?

Western medicine and naturopathy are absolutely compatible and can supplement each other perfectly. I firmly believe in benefitting from both. Synergy instead of antipathy!

Do I have to stop taking prescribed drugs?

Under no circumstances should you, on your own accord, stop taking drugs prescribed by your GP or any other medical professional or therapist. Please do not change current therapies on your own accord.

During a naturopathic therapy, it might occur that the dosage of prescription drugs has to be adapted. But that needs to happen in agreement with your GP/MD.

Why is the anamnesis such a time-consuming process?

Naturopathy aims to encompass the whole being. A GP unfortunately has very limited time for each patient and therefor needs to focus on asking about and treating symptoms. But body, mind and soul form a unit. What you feel, what you think, your medical and personal history are an integral part of your present condition and need to be considered when seeking to find an optimal therapeutic approach.

Are naturopaths bound to professional confidentiality?

Yes, they are.

Do therapies include homeopathy?

Sometimes I recommend homeopathic remedies but only basic ones and usually to complement other therapies. Cases in which you wish to be treated only homeopathically should be handled by a trained homeopath.

Does homeopathy work?

This question triggers zealous discussions that I prefer to leave to others. As far as my personal and professional experience goes, homeopathy is a valuable supplementation. It also works with babies and animals and thus cannot be reduced to just having a placebo effect. It goes without saying that I always respect a patient’s choice, hence also in this matter.

Can alternative medications be administered during pregnancy or while nursing?

There are plants and/or products that should not be used during pregnancy and/or while nursing, e.g. strong ethereal oils or laxatives. There are also teratogenic plants that can lead to a miscarriage. Please let me know if you are/could be pregnant or nursing.

What is ‘initial aggravation’?

With homeopathy, one sometimes sees an initial worsening of the symptoms. This is viewed as kind of ‘house cleaning process’ and is considered part of the healing process. In general, it lasts for a maximum of 1-3 days and should only affect symptoms you are already experiencing or had been experiencing in the past. It is usually accompanied by a sense of general improvement, be it sleeping or feeling better or emotionally stronger and more balanced.

Initial aggravation varies according to many factors, such as duration of the current problem, former treatment (especially suppressive treatments) and general condition of the patient and his ability to overcome a disease.

Do you work with leeches?

I do not offer this particular treatment. If required, I can refer you to a competent colleague.