Frequently Asked Questions

A: The first visit lasts one and a half hours. During this time the doctor will take a detailed history of your health concerns. They may use Chinese medicine diagnostic tools such as tongue and pulse diagnosis to get a more clear picture of your current health. They will spend time explaining the overall goals of natural medicine, which center around treating the underlying condition and restoring physiology. The doctor will then explain their assessment, which summarizes the center of gravity of your ailments and explains how to begin treating you. A treatment plan will be devised and time will be spent to ensure understanding of the approach. This treatment plan often includes detailed nutrition recommendations, herbal medicine, homeopathic remedies, hydrotherapy treatments, acupuncture and lifestyle modifications.

Yes. We believe that patients receive the best quality of care when all practitioners involved are informed. We frequently communicate with any other health care practitioners about treatment goals and outcomes.

A: Naturopathic physicians are trained extensively in pharmaceutical medications and herbal medicine. This training includes identifying potentially adverse effects that may occur if improperly combined. Your naturopathic doctor will avoid harmful combinations of both drug-nutrient interactions and drug-herbal interactions. Providing your doctor with a list of your medications is essential.

A: The academic training in medical sciences of naturopathic and conventional doctors is similar. Both study modern physical, clinical and laboratory diagnosis and are trained to diagnose a disease. Both refer patients to other health care providers when appropriate. Naturopathic doctors may also perform minor surgery and prescribe some drugs. Many conventional doctors are now learning medical approaches inspired by naturopathic medicine, such as functional medicine.

A: While conventional medicine excels in diagnosis and saving lives, the treatment approach often neglects bringing the patient to a better place along the spectrum of health. Conventional medicine offers the patient a passive role in their health in which they take a medication or elect to receive a surgery. Conventional medicine excels in diagnosis and in saving lives, two very important things. Naturopathic and Chinese medicine require the patient to take an active role in their health and be their own steward towards health under the guidance of their natural health practitioner. The goal of the treatment is to address underlying imbalances that contribute to disease and to provide a comprehensive treatment plan involving nutrition, lifestyle, meditation, herbal medicine and an energetic treatment modality such as acupuncture. These treatments aim to address underlying causes of illness and correct them through gentle means, rather than medicating them and suppressing them. Naturopathic and Chinese medicine excel in treating the health of each individual. There is an important place for both approaches.

A: Yes. The preventive approach of naturopathic medicine reduces the likelihood of high-cost chronic conditions. It provides alternatives to expensive high tech procedures, and reduces both immediate and long-term costs.

A: Initial naturopathic consultations for adults cost $325 and pediatric initial consults are $295, and both last about 75-90 minutes. Return naturopathic consultations are $165 and last about 45 minutes. Acupuncture visits are $90 for 1 side and $135 for 2 sides. Payment is accepted in the form of Visa, Mastercard, Discover, check or cash. We accept Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and offer gift certificates as well.

A: We do not participate in health insurance plans. However, we provide patients with the necessary paperwork and superbill to submit for reimbursement to their insurance company if they have coverage.

A: Pregnant women, newborns and all phases of life from pediatrics to geriatrics can use it. Terminally ill patients can also benefit from naturopathic medicine.

A: Naturopathic physicians treat both acute and chronic disease. As general practitioners, they treat the full array from acute upper respiratory infections to Diabetes. Please refer to the Conditions Treated section for more information.

A: This truly depends on the individual. Some report that they feel nothing at all while others report feeling an electric-like “zing” when needles are inserted. In general, acupuncture can feel like a mosquito bite and at worst like a cactus prick. When pain is felt, it usually subsides quickly especially because it often produces a sense of calm in the body and mind. Dr. Tighe has a very gentle needling style and can help a nervous or uncomfortable person overcome discomfort. Most people feel great after the first needle is inserted because they realize it is no big deal! Many patients are so relaxed and at ease that they fall asleep during acupuncture.

A: Yes, acupuncture needles are sterile, stainless steel needles that are disposed of immediately after use. The FDA approved acupuncture needles for use in 1996.

A: After a careful history, tongue and pulse exam are taken, patients lie on a massage table in a quiet room where normally 6-30 needles are gently inserted in the body. The needles remain in for about 20-30 minutes while the patient relaxes quietly and listens to peaceful music. Often a heat lamp or moxibustion will be used as an adjunct to acupuncture. After 20-30 minutes, the needles will be removed and as an option the patient may lie on their abdomen for a second set of acupuncture needles on their back.

A: Moxibustion or moxa is another Chinese medicine technique that is used to direct the movement of qi energy in the body. A Chinese herb Qing hao, or Chinese Wormwood or Artemesia, is burned and held 1-2 inches from the body, usually above an acupuncture point. The heat from the moxa helps to warm the channels and promote the flow of qi and blood. It is often used as an adjunctive therapy to acupuncture and is wonderful for improving nausea, pain and allergies.

A: There are very few side effects to acupuncture other than positive effects such as improved sleep, reduced pain, sense of calm and well-being and relief of symptoms. Many patients fall asleep during an acupuncture session as people tend to reach a deep state of relaxation. While complications are rare, there have been reported instances of bruising, bleeding or, extremely rarely, pneumothorax. Occasionally a patient may feel itchiness or redness where the needles was inserted following the treatment.

A: This depends on the individual, their ailments and their state of health. Many times patients get relief of symptoms from one treatment, however acupuncture does have an accumulative effect as it is working to restore balance in the body. For many patients it is necessary to receive 4-8 treatments for ideal results. Many patients reach an optimal level of health and then return for acupuncture “tune-ups” every two months or so. Some use acupuncture for nourishing self-care and to maintain excellent health.

  • It relieves your stress while helping your medical problem.
  • You want to avoid surgery.
  • It treats the root cause of your health problem.
  • It boosts your immune system.
  • Nothing else has helped your medical problem.
  • Prevention is the best medicine.
  • Western doctors recommend it.
  • It works!