Over the past 20 years, more and more people are seeking alternative, natural and integrative methods to treat their chronic illnesses.
Stories of complete cures and resolution of a variety of chronic and acute issuer has made looking for solutions outside of what your doctor says, very popular.
The internet can provide an amazing amount of information; but it is necessary to scrutinize the information and fact-check the information you find.
With regards to natural medicine providers; I always recommend checking for a state issued license in the area in which they are practicing. This is so important since it’s your life and health - AND there are many unlicensed people out there selling all kinds of services and supplements and herbs under the umbrella of “natural health.”
Here’s the thing, just because something is “natural” doesn’t make it necessarily safe. Take the practice of Chinese herbal medicine as an example. This practice is licensed by my state under the Board of Acupuncture, and that governing body has requirements for competency and licensure. The state does a background check, and requires continuing education for every 2 year renewal cycle. However, many health food store employees will recommend herbs or supplements solely based on that manufacturers brochure on that item. This can be “risky” since there’s been no evaluation or examination by a licensed professional. It doesn’t have to be an MD or DO (since they don’t really get any training on natural methods) but it should be a licensed professional like a licensed chiropractor or licensed acupuncturist - which would be “top tier” or any other licensed medical professional with appropriate training. State licensure ensures at least minimal competency and continued education.
The unfortunate reality is that many are trying to bypass state licensure due to time and expense. They want a short-cut so they can start their business quicker. A person can get “certified” by any type of organization, even doing this at home and online, and make it look like a state issued license, but unless it’s under that state’s department of health - it’s not regulated.
So, how do you check on your providers license? That’s as easy as going to your state’s “license lookup” section of that state government’s website; or you can always call your state’s department of health.
Just this past week I was contacted by someone who searched for a practitioner in another state. When I looked this provider up, their website said “licensed” but NOWHERE on that states government website could I find that person and their license status. This person took a few weekend classes and is now “touting” that they are “certified”. My question is always, who licensed you and certified you? Those are the governing bodies you should double check with before allowing anyone to touch you or give healthcare advise.
In Florida, you can check your providers status by going to: