Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat do you wish to know about Naturopathic Medicine? We answer the most Frequently Asked Questions that we have received – here:
There are many ‘naturopaths’ and acupuncturists out there. What qualifications do you have to practice?

With respect specifically to Naturopathic Doctors and Acupuncturists in British Columbia, you need stringent licensing in order to legally practice in British Columbia. An ND can call themselves Naturopathic Doctors/Physicians or Naturopaths, and therefore use the initials ND. Also, Naturopathic Physicians in British Columbia are regulated much like a Medical Doctors (MD) are. ND’s are governed by the CNPBC (College of Naturopathic Physicians in British Columbia). 

An acupuncturist in British Columbia must be a licensed Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.) in order to legally needle and treat anyone. Registered Acupuncturists are regulated by the CTCMA (College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists). In order to legally practice any of these modalities in British Columbia, you must be not only licensed but be in good standing with the appropriate regulatory bodies. Dr. Olena has held the title of R.Ac. for over 15 years and had a successful acupuncture practice for many years, long before returning to medical school. For more detailed numbers around years of training, please refer to our Naturopathic Physician page.

I’ve never had an Acupuncture treatment before. What can I expect?

Your first visit will last about 60-70 min which is part of the 1st visit consultation and evaluation. Dr. Olena will ask you numerous questions about your overall health. There are Initial intake forms that will be forwarded to you which you need to fill out prior to your first visit. It is integral to know everything about your health in detail, in order for us to get the most comprehensive picture about you and therefore to formulate the best treatment plan for you. Your first visit will cover all your health systems (GI, food, sleep, medications, supplements, previous illness, family history etc.) and will include a basic non-invasive physical exam (eyes, nose, ears, throat, reflexes, vitals, etc.) Prior to acupuncture, you will get a tongue and pulse evaluation as part of the basic evaluation. An acupuncture treatment will follow which may last up to about 30 min. 

Is Acupuncture safe?

It is an all-natural drug-free mode of therapy, with virtually no side effects. Many people report feelings of relaxation due to the needles stimulating the body’s own natural endorphins. Sometimes, people have fallen asleep on my table, and come specifically in order achieve this feeling of well being.

Is a Naturopath the same as a Homeopath?

Let’s clarify this question. Homeopathy is a modality that is included under the profession of Naturopathic medicine training, however, equally can be a stand alone credential. A homeopath or homeopathic practitioner is one who typically focuses only on using this energetic modality as their primary mode of treatment. Naturopathic training has a broader scope of practice, of which employing homeopathy can be a part of. Naturopaths can differentially diagnose, do lab testing, can refer out in cases of emergency, as well as utilizing other modalities like acupuncture, botanical or herbal medicine, nutrition and physical medicine.

Are Naturopathic Medical treatments and/or Acupuncture included under MSP (Medical Services Plan)?

No. At this time, neither Naturopathic Medicine Acupuncture is not officially part of the core MSP options, unlike MDs whose visits you do not pay for when you show up for your visit. However, they are included under Extended Health plans, of which vary across the province and therefore you can get reimbursed from your specific insurance provider. For extended health plans, we do offer (as a courtesy) direct patient billing to over10 different insurers, including Blue Cross, for your convenience. Be sure to let Dr. Olena know at the time of your first visit whether you have supplemental insurance so we can check to see if your insurance plan is on the list of 3rd party billings.

Do I need a referral to see either a Naturopathic Physician or Acupuncturist?

No. You do not need a referral. You can simply book an appointment at our offices either by telephone at 778 – 762 – 3099 or booking online

Your fees seem high to me. Why do you charge what you do?

There are many factors when deciding what fees to set for our services. First, we are medical professionals, trained over 4-5 years of naturopathic medical school, along with a prior 4 years of post-secondary education. We are also stringently regulated by professional boards and associations, CNPBC, CAND, CTCMA, BCNA, and ATCMA. BCNA (British Columbia Naturopathic Association) suggests fee ranges for the various services we provide, ranging from initial visits to followups. And their recommendations are based on a number of factors such as licensing fees, insurance, rents for practice and others. Because Naturopathic Medicine is under privatized health care, that means our costs of service are transparent and not billed to the government. Dr. Gill’s fees are not only in accordance with BCNA suggested fee ranges, but at this time fall into the middle of the recommended ranges, as we believe that having good affordable medical care is everyone’s right.

Copyright 2022 ~  Dr. Olena Gill, R.Ac., ND – Indigo Integrative Health Clinic