Thursday, March 20, 2008

Navigating Alternative Healthcare Part II:
So You Think You Found Your Healer ?

--Feature: "Heart of Healing w/ Christopher Fischer, ND"--

So you think you found your healer ? Think again, real hard, and here are a few suggestions before taking the next step.

If your practitioner says they are licensed - Where?

The state you live in makes it’s own rules regarding whatever requirements they have for healthcare licensure. Is the license current? Have they ever lost their license? Were/are they licensed in other states? What are the requirements to get a license? A name and a face is just not good enough. In the state of New York (where I am located), you can go to the New York State Education Department Office of Professions to get requirements for licensing in New York for the following professions; Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Dietetics-Nutrition, Massage Therapy, Physicians/MD/DO, and Midwifery.

Your practitioner tells you they are licensed in several areas. Treat each area separately.

More is not better. Each license requires continuing education. It is a lot of work and expense to keep up training in one area much less four or five. You might be better off with the best practitioner you can find in each specific therapy, Massage, Acupuncture, Chiropractor etc. Also check for state license verification. In New York, you can go to the New York State Online License Verification to get this information.

What if your practitioner says they are certified? Certified by who?

If not by the state or local government, then beware. Any organization can create certificates and sell them to anyone with any level of training.

What if licensure is not available for the specific type of service?

ie. Aromatherapy. You can contact a national or local membership organization but usually they do not have a training requirement for their members (just a fee). Word of mouth is probably your best bet here. Ask as many as possible, getting multiple recommendations can be a good sign of knowledgeable practitioner who has no way to get licensed.

Ultimately, utilizing an unlicensed provider is taking your chances, you may be more than satisfied or taken to the cleaners or worse. The best way to show your support for your favorite therapy and therapist is to contact your local congressman, and tell them the state needs to license them. If your practitioner is not in favor of licensure then they are hiding something, and have their own interests in mind and not to protect the public from those who pray on the sick and desperate.

To find out more about licensure efforts for Naturopathic Doctors in New York State visit or for other states and provinces.

To Read Part I of Navigating Alternative Health care, go HERE

Christopher Fischer is a Naturpathic Physician and is the President of Natural Health Specialist in East Northport New York. He received his Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University.

Christopher regularly collaborates with traditional healthcare providers to assure for continuity of care. He has also has worked extensively in various therapeutic capacities in traditional medical settings including; the Swedish Hospital in Ballard WA, Saint John's Hospital in Smithtown New York and South Oaks Hospital in Amityville New York.

He frequently lectures on Naturopathic Medicine and natural healing, and has been a contributing expert for American Spa Magazine, Creations Magazine, The Northport Observer as well as the Natural Health Show on METRO TV (NY). He is the proud father of two boys and resides in East Northport New York.

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