What kind of training does a Naturopathic Doctor receive?

Like a conventional doctor, dentist, or chiropractor, the Naturopathic Doctor first completes pre-medical studies at university. The naturopathic student then enters into a four year, full- time medical program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. Training includes basic, medical, and clinical science; diagnostics; naturopathic principles and therapeutics; and extensive clinical experience under the supervision of licensed Naturopathic Doctors. Graduates receive the title “ND” or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

A licensed Naturopathic Doctor is one who practices in a regulated province or state or, if practicing in an unlicensed province or state has obtained and maintains his/her license in a regulated province/state and has completed a four-year, full-time program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. Following the completion of an accredited program, ND’s must successfully complete standardized North American Board exams known as the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing.

To find out if a Naturopathic Doctor is licensed either check with the naturopathic regulatory board of your province or contact the CAND (Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors).

In Canada , naturopathic practice is regulated under provincial law in British Columbia , Saskatchewan , Manitoba and Ontario . Alberta regulations are pending and expected to be completed within the year. All other provinces and territories are actively pursuing regulation.

There are fourteen states that license NDs (as of April 2005): Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont and Washington as well as the District of Columbia and the US Territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. (Information taken from the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors website: www.cand.ca.)

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How is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) different from a Medical Doctor (MD)?

A Naturopathic Physician is trained in the methods of treatment commonly referred to as alternative medicine. When you see an ND for health care your treatments may include therapeutic diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes, such as a stop smoking program, herbal medicines, nutritional medicines, manual manipulation or physical therapies. Your naturopathic physician may refer you for massage, acupuncture or midwifery services as needed. You and your chosen ND would work together to determine the best possible treatments available including those traditionally provided by specialists such as cardiologists, allergists, pulmonary specialists and so on. (Taken from the BC Naturopathic Association website www.bcna.ca)

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What illnesses/symptoms does Dr. Matsen treat?

Dr. Matsen has successfully treated patients with most of the common chronic illnesses and symptoms, even cancer. This is not to say that the Eating Alive Program will cure everyone—sometimes the disease process is too far advanced. It has, however, helped some patients that were even in the late stages of terminal illness (see the testimonials in Eating Alive II, particularly the one at the end of Chapter 3, and Dr. Matsen’s Comments for May 2004 on the eating alive website).

Other factors play a part in the success of treatment, such as how closely a person adheres to the guidelines of the Eating Alive Program as well as keeping a positive mental attitude—the mind/emotions play an important role in achieving wellness

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Do I need a referral to see a naturopath? Are the doctors taking new patients?

No, you do not need a referral to see a naturopath and yes they are taking new patients.

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Does the B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP) cover the costs of my visits to your clinic?

Provincial subsidies for naturopathic medicine were cut by the liberal government on January 1, 2002 . At present there is no MSP coverage available for visits to an ND unless you are on premium assistance. There is limited coverage for premium assistance patients; find out if you have coverage and whether your ND will see premium assistance patients before making an appointment. Most extended health plans (i.e., private plans usually through your employer) do cover visits to NDs. Most plans pay 80% of patient visits but make sure you clarify coverage with your benefits manager. (Taken from the BC Naturopathic Association website www.bcna.ca)

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There are so many books and programs on diet and health on the market. How does the Eating Alive Program differ from all the others?

It deals with factors that contribute to health problems—which virtually all other programs overlook—therefore getting to the root cause of illness. The Eating Alive Program addresses the issues of intestinal yeast overgrowth, heavy metal toxicity, and the importance of the ileocecal valve (ICV) and its proper function. It teaches you how to repair the ICV and how to remove yeast and metals from your body. The principle of “eating according to the climate in which you live” is an important aspect of our program and one that many others programs don’t include. No matter how “healthy” your diet is and how well you take care of yourself, it’s imperative that you get your liver working properly by dealing with these issues so that you can avoid health problems.

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Does Dr. Matsen need me to give him a complete description of all of my symptoms?

Dr. Matsen’s philosophy is that the body is designed to be healthy and that virtually all chronic illnesses can be traced back to a poorly functioning liver. His Eating Alive Program is meant to improve liver function thereby allowing the body to heal itself. He focuses on improving digestive and bowel function and removing yeast and toxic heavy metals through dietary changes and nutritional supplements so that the healing process can begin. As a result, many symptoms improve or disappear altogether.

Because of this automatic healing response, it’s not imperative that Dr. Matsen be told every symptom that you’re suffering from. The body will often take care of these on its own. If they are still persistent in the later stages of the treatment program, he will recommend further dietary changes and/or supplements.

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Do I have to follow the dietary guidelines of the Eating Alive Program and/or do I have to take the supplements that are prescribed for me?

The dietary guidelines of the Eating Alive Program and the supplements are very important parts of Dr. Matsen’s program. Their purpose is to help improve your digestion and the function of your liver. The supplements also help to support the liver and other organs during the detoxification process. Those who follow the eating plan as closely as possible and take the prescribed supplements achieve the best results.

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Can I purchase supplements at your clinic or can I find them elsewhere?

Yes, you can purchase virtually all the supplements that the doctors prescribe here at the Clinic, unless we are out of stock (and we try hard to make sure that that doesn’t happen). Some of the supplements are available only through health care practitioners while others are readily available in health food stores. For patients that live far away or for those who can’t make it into the Clinic, we are happy to send them to you via courier or mail.

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How long will it take for me to get results on the Eating Alive Program?

This is an impossible question to answer because results will vary from person to person depending on many factors, including: the severity of your health problem(s); how long your symptoms have persisted; how closely you follow the guidelines of the Eating Alive Program; how toxic you are, and therefore, how well your elimination systems handle the detoxification process; etc.

However, a general rule of thumb with chronic problems is 30 to 40% improvement in 1 to 2 weeks, up to 80% improvement by 5 to 6 weeks, and the rest from 6 months to 2 years.

As the body removes toxins, many people will feel worse before they feel better. Others will feel positive results right away.

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How long do I need to follow the Eating Alive Program?

The dietary program and other lifestyle suggestions of the Eating Alive Program are ones that you will need to follow forever, not just for the short term, if you want to maintain great health. The more serious your health problem, the less leeway you will have for straying. Keep in mind that as you become healthier, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose your cravings for things like sugar, coffee, alcohol, and junk food and you’ll want to eat healthy foods instead.

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Will I lose weight on the Eating Alive Program?

Although the Eating Alive Program was not originally designed to be a weight-loss program, for many people it is an added bonus to the improvement in overall health. As the body detoxifies, it often sheds unnecessary pounds. For those who wish to lose weight, there is information for doing so in the package that you’ll receive when you have your diet consultation. Keep in mind that regular aerobic exercise and strength training will increase your success in losing weight and body fat.

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I am pregnant. Is it safe for me to be on Dr. Matsen’s program?

Yes it is. Many of the supplements are safe to take during pregnancy but some of them should be avoided (for example, certain herbs and metal chelators). If you are pregnant, be sure to advise Dr. Matsen of this.

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I don’t live in your area. Can you recommend a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) that lives closer to me?

Dr. Matsen’s program is unique to our clinic and different NDs have different treatment programs. Therefore Dr. Matsen is unable to recommend other naturopaths because he is unaware of the treatments that they prescribe. The exception to this is Dr. Linda Kodnar, located in Calgary, Alberta . Dr. Kodnar has done extensive observations at Dr. Matsen’s clinic and recommends Dr. Matsen’s program to her patients. Her contact information is: (403) 278-0867; Wellspring Naturopathic Care, 202, 215-10th Ave. SW , Calgary , AB T2R 0A1

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I live too far away. Do the doctors do phone consultations?

The doctors are only able to conduct phone consultations for patients that they have already seen in person. Some of our patients travel from many different parts of the world for their initial appointments; the doctors can then answer many of their questions by phone or email once they have had an initial consultation.

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