Your First Visit: What to Expect

You're keen to book your first appointment but you're not sure what it's going to be like. Let me demystify and debunk myths about your first visit to a Naturopathic Doctor and explain the facts. Let's start with what you'll experience when you visit Green Apple Health Care

Before you even enter the doors, you'll fill out the online intake form to give me a snapshot of your current health and an overview of your chief concerns. Once you're here I'll meet with you for 60-75mins to take a thorough health history. My goal is to get to the root cause of disease and help you figure out WHY you're feeling they way you are. I ask a lot of questions about everything from your bowel movements to your family history. I also perform routine physical exams as needed including blood pressure, lung and heart exams and abdominal exams. If you have recent lab results or imaging such as xrays or MRI, please bring those to your appointment.

Once I'm confident that I have enough information to know what is causing your health issue, we will work as a team to come up with a treatment plan that you can implement in your life. I say 'team' because I want to have you on board. Our treatment plan should be manageable for you and not overwhelming. 

Now, let's bust some of the myths about visiting a Naturopathic Doctor:

MYTH: The Naturopathic Doctor is going to sell me on hundreds of dollars worth of testing.

FACT: I'll only get you to do testing if there is something medically relevant to investigate. You most likely won't need lab testing at your first visit if you'e been to your medical doctor recently. If I think you need testing beyond what's already been done, I will give you all the information to make an informed decision about if you want to do the test or not. I never make my patients decide on testing on their first visit. Take your time, discuss it with your family. There's no pressure here. If I can treat you without extensive testing I will, provided it is safe to do so. 

MYTH: The Naturopathic Doctor is going to sell me hundreds of dollars of supplements and herbs that I don't need

FACT: I will recommend supplements and herbs. My goal is to give your body the chance to heal by optimizing natural processes that exist to help you feel well. I will give you various options for your supplementation based on your unique needs and your budget. You do not need to buy your supplements from the clinic, there are many places in Edmonton that carry the supplements and herbs I recommend. As a general rule, I try to not recommend more than 3 supplements per visit unless absolutely necessary. Usually just 1 or 2 items will get you started on the first step toward wellness. My treatment plans are typically in stages, we'll get you from feeling terrible to feeling your best, but it takes time.

MYTH: The Naturopathic Doctor won't want me to take any of my medications anymore

FACT: I will not simply have you stop taking your pharmaceutical medications. Many people are taking life-saving pharmaceutical drugs - I'm not here to mess with that. I'm here to help you manage your medications, deal with side effects and change your lifestyle so that, in time, you may not need all the drugs you're taking right now. It is possible to lower your cholesterol with natural and lifestyle interventions, you might not need that Lipitor forever! Again, this comes back to treating the root cause. I'm not just going to give you a natural alternative to a drug; I'm going to try to figure out WHY do you have the condition you have and what can we do to work on that cause and improve your health. 

It's not snake oil and sparkles over here folks, visit me at Green Apple Health Care in Edmonton today to get started on your journey away from disease and toward your full health potential!

Any other "myths" you'd like me to bust or questions about Naturopathic Medicine? Comment below.


Meet Dr. Briana Botsford

Dr. Briana Botsford is a Naturopathic Doctor based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who focuses on women’s health and athletic performance medicine. She works diligently at finding the root cause of a patient's symptoms through an extensive health history analysis before proceeding with any therapy or recommendations. Dr. Botsford works closely with all individuals to help them make small changes in their routine to achieve big improvements in their physical and mental health. 

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