Q&A with Dr. Angela Phillips, ND on the benefits of naturopathic medicine

After a career change to pursue her passion, Angela (Ange) Phillips left her job in the chemical industry to pursue her doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine. You can read her full story here, but we also caught up with Ange on some of the details and benefits of her practice as well.

Q: What is Naturopathic Medicine and what can patients see a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) for?
A: It is a holistic approach using natural therapies to attain optimal physical and emotional health.  Every treatment plan is specific for that individual’s unique health status and goals.  Naturopathic medicine stimulates the body’s innate ability to heal and supports weakened systems; suppressive treatments are avoided.  Recommended therapies may include botanical medicine, homeopathy, biotherapeutic drainage, supplementation, clinical nutrition, sleep hygiene, and many, many other options. 

Naturopathic medicine can help with some of the following conditions, among others: digestion issues, stress and anxiety, chronic conditions such as hypertension, autoimmune diseases, weight optimization, hormone imbalances, insomnia, allergies and much more.

We recognize there is a time and place for most all medical interventions and welcome integrative healthcare approaches, working in cooperation with your medical doctor, chiropractor, therapist, etc. Since we are not yet licensed in Michigan, I encourage patients to maintain a connection with their primary care physician as well.

Q: Can you explain a little more about the accreditation process and how that looks in Michigan?
A: Sure, NDs earn their degree by graduating from a rigorous 4-year medical program at an accredited school and there are only eight schools recognized by the accrediting body for naturopathic medicine, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME).

The State of Michigan does not currently regulate Naturopathic Medicine or Naturopathic Doctors, but legislation is in the works currently. The hope is that we will receive recognition in Michigan within the next one to two years.

A map of approved ND recognition. Michigan is in the process of passing legislation.

Q: Can you tell us about an impactful time where you witnessed healing in your patients?
A:  During my clinical internship in medical school, some interns and I worked in Downtown Chicago at the Salvation Army. We provided beneficiaries (residents) with chiropractic and naturopathic care. The facility has the capacity for about 210 male residents on site, and another location had female residents who would also come in for care.

Many of those patients were coming off of incarceration, out of a rehab program or off the street. Many of them had years of consistent drug use and were not in the best health.

We worked with them and were able to give them free acupuncture, supplements, naturopathic care and chiropractic adjustments. They really, really loved it and that location had one of the highest graduation rates in the nation for beneficiaries; I attribute a lot of that to the supportive chiropractic and naturopathic care they got a while there.

Many of them were able to take control of their health issues, including chronic uncontrolled diabetes, musculoskeletal pain, neurological issues, hypertension and many were even able to stop smoking with our support.

Q: How much does a visit cost and what can I expect?
A: If you’re on the fence about trying naturopathic medicine, I offer a free 10-minute phone consultation to answer basic questions. Then, when a new patient schedules, I send a comprehensive health history questionnaire through my HIPAA-compliant patient portal to complete before the first appointment. The first visit is about 90 minutes. I go over any interesting points on the questionnaire and ask additional pertinent questions, followed by a report of findings and setting goals together. I then create an individualized treatment plan with specific recommendations and timelines. I always encourage questions because understanding the rationale to treatment recommendations is key to patients having an active role and higher success in their journey to wellness.

Since we are not yet licensed in Michigan, I am unable to accept insurance, but do accept credit cards, cash, or checks. Appointment fees are: new patient visits ($250), 60-minute follow up visit ($145), 30-minute follow up visit ($80). Supplements are not included in the price of the visit.  My current special is a free 30-minute follow up appointment with a first office call booked in the month of July!

Q: Where can we find you and learn more?
A: My office is in Midland at 810 W Wackerly Street, inside the True Motion Spine & Sport office.

More information is available on my website, including scheduling and patient intake at https://www.angephillipsnd.com/ and you can also find me on Facebook.

Read more articles by Courtney Soule.

Courtney is a longtime Midland resident and enjoys telling the story of the community's evolution. She ran Catalyst Midland as the publication's managing editor from October 2017 through September 2020. Her favorite topics are interesting people, change makers, outdoor recreation and design. Aside from Catalyst, her published work can be found various places including Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog and a number of other websites, papers, menus and the occasional one-liner. 
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