Frequently Asked Questions

What is a naturopathic doctor?

Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.

Naturopathic physicians 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.

NDs treat all medical conditions and can provide both individual and family health care. Among the most common ailments they treat are allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, respiratory conditions, heart disease, fertility problems, menopause, adrenal fatigue, cancer, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. NDs can perform minor surgeries, such as removing cysts or stitching up superficial wounds. However, they do not practice major surgery. NDs are trained to utilize prescription drugs, although the emphasis of naturopathic medicine is the use of natural healing agents.

Currently, 18 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have licensing or regulation laws for naturopathic doctors. In these states, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from an accredited four-year residential naturopathic medical school and pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license.

Licensed naturopathic physicians must fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state's law. The states that currently have licensing laws for naturopathic physicians are:
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
North Dakota
United States Territories: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

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).

What is the scope of practice for a naturopathic doctor in the state of Maryland?
Qualified and licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) can:
- Order and perform physical and laboratory examinations, including phlebotomy, laboratory tests, orificial examinations, EKGs, and physiological function tests
- Order diagnostic imaging studies and interpret the reports of the studies
- Dispense and order natural medicines (foods, vitamins, enzymes, herbs)
- Hydrotherapy
- Electromagnetic energy
- Therapeutic exercise for basic services
- Nutrition and health counseling
- Naturopathic musculoskeletal mobilization

However, NDs are NOT be allowed to prescribe pharmaceuticals, accept insurance, or be considered primary care physicians (unlike in Washington state).

For more information about naturopathic licensure in Maryland, check out:

What can I expect from my first naturopathic session?
During your initial visit, you will spend about 90 minutes with Dr. Alice. During this time, she will go over your intake paperwork, discuss your health goals, take your health history, find out about your diet, stress levels, use of tobacco and alcohol, and other lifestyle factors. She will also go over the medications and supplements that you take. Dr. Alice takes the time to get to know you in order to gather information, do an appropriate examination, find the root cause(s) of your conditions, and teach you how to manage your condition and improve your health. This is a safe, nonjudgmental space and your willingness to be fully open and honest during your visit is very important. The more honest you can be, the better clinical picture Dr. Alice will have for your case.

Dr. Alice will work with you to set up a customized health management strategy. This may include dietary modifications, lifestyle factors, stress management, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, wellness counseling, herbs and/ or other supplements. While sometimes comprehensive treatment regimens take time (especially in chronic conditions that developed over many years), she will usually get you started on a plan to get you feeling better right away.

If necessary, Dr. Alice will refer you to other health-care practitioners.

Will you make me quack like a duck (or do other weird things) if I get hypnotherapy?
No. This is NOT stage hypnosis. You will be in control the whole time and can decide where you want the session to take you. You will be aware of what is happening during the session and will remember what happened after the session.

Does hypnotherapy/ hypnosis really work?
Yes. Most people feel more relaxed, peaceful and confident after their first session. Typically, clients will feel better after their first session, but longer lasting changes can take a number of sessions before it can happen(depending on what the issue is). I tell clients that when they feel like they are beginning to relapse into old bad behaviors, that is when they need to come in for another session to prevent or stop it from happening. Your healing journey is a process.

How often should I get counseling or hypnotherapy?
Depends on the case and what you are coming in for. I may give recommendations on how often you need to come in to get where you want to be, but I like to let my clients decide for themselves how often they feel they need to come in. You know yourself better than I do, and I allow you to trust your intuition. See how much you benefit (or maybe not benefit) from a session and decide if this is a healing journey you want to pursue. Similar to massage, I recommend more sessions more frequently in the beginning to really see the change, and then taper down to maintenance when we get to a reasonable level of healing.