I decided to re-post this blog because with the year wrapping up, it can be a great time to start making changes in your life that you want to stick with over the next year. I originally wrote this for patients that I would be seeing during my final clinical year at CCNM, but I think it fits in now that I am starting a new practice in Halifax.
A typical initial visit with a Naturopathic Doctor may seem a little daunting to some, because they typically last between 1.5-2 hours in length in order to get the best understanding about your current state. But it is definitely worth it! (and the follow-up visits are shorter) Here are something of the things to bring to your first visit…
Questions: You will get asked A LOT of questions on your first visit, many of which will seem random and might catch you off-guard, as its likely no other doctor has ever asked them to you before. Be prepared to answer questions like “How many bowel movements do you have in a day or week”? and “What color are they?” and “What do they look like?”. Also, things like “Are you generally a hot or cold person?”, “Do you ever sweat during the night?”, “Do you ever get ringing in your ears?” or “Chest palpitations?”. Girls, you will definitely be asked many questions about your cycles and if you’ve had children, about their birth. Although you will be answering many questions, it is also important for you to ask ALL the questions that you have. I have had a few patients write a list of questions that they wanted me to answer, which was great because that way they didn’t have to recall them off the top of their head or worry about forgetting them.
Symptoms: Pay attention to your symptoms and how you are a feeling for 1-2 weeks leading up to your appointment. This can make answering the endless questions a little easier. A good way to do this is to get a notebook and jot down how you are feeling throughout the day. Take note of what you are eating, what time you are eating, the activities you are doing, and the people you are with when your symptoms change. Taking note of your feelings and overall mood in this way is also very valuable. Making these connections can be vital to the healing process and help us determine things that may trigger the symptoms or worsen conditions.
Goals: Don’t worry about only having time to discuss one complaint, or one issue that you are going through. During the initial appointment, talk to your ND about your health goals. These could be things you are looking to achieve in the next few months, after your initial concerns resolve or in the upcoming year. This is important because that way you can work together, having an idea of what you are focussing on in the next month, 3 months, 6 months, etc.
Medications, Supplements and Bloodwork: A list of the names of any medications and/or supplements that you are taking is very helpful. This allows us to have our own record of what you are taking and ensure that what we prescribe will not interfere with what you are already on or cause nasty side effects. Knowing what you are taking and at which doses can also help us determine if you are experiencing side effects or adverse effects. To get a complete idea about what is happening within your body, recent bloodwork is essential. If you have had bloodwork recently or know you are going to get some soon, ask for a copy from your doctor and bring it to your appointment!
An open-mind: Figuring out what is going on in our bodies can be like a puzzle, and to confuse things even further, figuring out how to heal our bodies can be even harder. It may take a few appointments to put these pieces together, stay positive and keep an open mind! This will make the outcomes even more rewarding when they come around 🙂
If you are interested in learning more about what Naturopathic Medicine can do for you, give me a call at 902-406-4424 or send me a message and book a free consult so we can talk about treatment approaches!
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or replace that of your healthcare practitioner. If you need immediate medical assistance please consult your healthcare provider. Photo from: www.vegnews.com