Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions, Answered

How do I book an appointment?

Go to the Contact page on this website and press the "Book now" button.
Additionally, calling the clinic (604-697-0397) or sending an email (dralina@yaletownintegrative.com) are the best ways to book an appointment. 
For booking online, you can also visit the website booking page at www.yaletownintegrative.com

Where do we begin and what should I expect?

The initial visit lasts 60 minutes and addresses your primary health concerns. Significant time is taken to identify the most immediate medical issues and a thorough history is gathered. Physical exams relevant to the areas of concern will be done in office and any lab tests to help guide your case will be ordered.

After reviewing all the important information, a comprehensive personalized plan is recommended, which can include some of the following: labs tests, vitamin and mineral supplementation, nutritional counselling, botanical medicine, acupuncture, IV therapy, vitamin injections, prescription medication. Each visit is tailored with your needs and preferences in mind, and we will go at a pace you feel comfortable with. 

Treatments can begin in the first visit, with follow up appointments scheduled in the following 1-4 weeks depending on the health concern being treated. 

What conditions can benefit from Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Physicians are licensed primary healthcare practitioners, and thus, can address any health concern from the common cold to chronic conditions. Dr. Alina has special interests in areas of skin health (acne, eczema, psoriasis. antiaging), brain health and neurodegeneration, mental health (anxiety, depression), digestive health, energy optimization, hormonal balance, weight management, autoimmune conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac, Graves, Hashimoto's).

How should I prepare for my first treatment?

After booking your first appointment, there will be an intake form and consent form that you can fill out. Also see the list below:
- bring any recent bloodwork, imaging results or other health documents related to your concerns
- a list of your current prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and natural health products (photos after labels are helpful)
-extended health care info as you might be able to direct-bill some or all of your visit costs
- a summary of your medical history and a list of your current concerns or symptoms
- a list of your health goals

How do I know if Dr. Alina is a good fit for me?

Dr. Alina offers one free 15 minutes in-person or over phone Discovery consultation to give you the opportunity to assess if she is the right fit for you and for your goals.

What type of training does a Naturopathic Doctor receive?

Naturopathic physicians have a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education. Training requires 4 years of Naturopathic medical education from one of seven board-certified and recognized schools in North America. Dr. Alina received her training from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver, BC. Her training at BINM included 3500 classroom hours divided between the topics of Health Sciences and the core modalities (Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, Nutrition, Counselling, Homeopathy, Physical Medicine, Osseous manipulation and Orthomolecular medicine).  Similar to the curriculum at a conventional medical school, the first 2 years of Naturopathic medicine school are focused on gaining an in depth understanding of the science of the human body. Upon completions of this education, Naturopathic Physicians are qualified to work as primary care physicians. 

Along with the 4 years of training at BINM, Dr Alina completed over 1200 hours as a student intern in the teaching clinic treating patients under the supervision of a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and over 300 hours observing Naturopathic Physicians in their own offices. 

Natur­o­pathic doc­tors are also required to earn con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cred­its on an ongo­ing basis to main­tain their reg­is­tra­tion and good stand­ing with the provin­cial reg­u­la­tory body, the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC.

Is Naturopathic Medicine cost effective?

YES. Naturopathic medicine is about giving you the tools to get results to live a better quality of life. As Naturopathic physicians, we aim to treat the cause and identify/remove the barriers to healing and by creating treatments plans that are individualized and manageable. By taking a proactive and preventative approach to avoiding future illnesses money can be saved in the long run while creating an overall improvement in day-to-day life.

Will my appointment be covered by my health insurance?

Most extended medical plans provide some coverage for Naturopathic visits, supplements, and/or diagnostic testing. It is not covered by MSP, so it is important to check with your insurance provider to determine the extent of particular coverage.

What is the difference between a Naturopathic doctor and a Homeopath?

Homeopathy is just one of the many treatment modalities that Naturopathic doctors are trained to use. In British Columbia, Naturopathic medicine is a regulated profession just like MDs, nurses, chiropractors and other healthcare professionals. Currently, Homeopathy is not a licensed or regulated health profession in BC.

Are Naturopathic Doctors licensed and is the profession regulated in British Columbia?

Yes, Naturopathic doctors are licensed and the profession is regulated in BC. To become licensed, Naturopathic doctors must successfully graduate from an accredited Naturopathic Medical school and complete standardized board examinations from both the North American Board of Naturopathic Examinations (NABNE) and the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC).

I am afraid of needles, is there any other ways to receive Traditional Asian Medicine, detoxification and pain management treatments?

As a Naturopathic doctor, Dr. Alina is trained in a wide array of modalities that do not involve needles. She uses both Asian and Western herbal remedies and hands on therapies, such as soft tissue release, spinal manipulation, acupressure. She is also trained in prescribing diet and nutraceutical programs and drainage remedies to help detoxify the body without having to rely on IV nutrient therapy or acupuncture.

When do I need to book in a follow up consultation?

- appearance of new symptoms
- changes in lifestyle, diet, disease process
- laboratory testing interpretation
- feeling stuck
- new treatment plan required
- starting a new drug/pharmaceutical 
- after completing a protocol
- if you have questions and need additional clarification

How does Natural Medicine differ from Allopathic Medicine?

 Naturopathic Doctors (ND) are Primary Health Care providers, with a specific focus on disease prevention and wellness promotion, treating most acute and chronic health conditions. They differ from the primary health care model by looking at all aspects of health as one, spending more time with patients, and by providing natural treatments. The goal of a ND is to identify the cause of the illness or condition(s), and work to find a non-invasive and sustainable solution that resolves the underlying condition so that symptoms do not continue to present themselves.
     Visits with an Naturopathic Doctor (ND) are typically longer than with your medical doctor, during which time a thorough history of your health is assessed and your treatment is initiated or monitored. Appointments include physical exams, laboratory and diagnostic testing (as needed), and personalized treatment plans such as diet and lifestyle counselling, nutraceuticals, botanical medicine, acupuncture, counselling, etc. Naturopathic Physicians do not practice a one-complaint, one-visit model.

Do I need a referral to se a Naturopathic Physician?

NDs are primary health providers, so you do NOT need a referral to book an appointment.

How many visits I have to come in for? How soon will I see results?

The number of visits depends on your concern. All patients require a follow up session after the initial visit. In the beginning, as the foundations of health are being built, I like to see my patients at least once per month for 4-6 months. Each visit is an opportunity for questions to be answered, for further investigations to be completed, for treatment plan to be adjusted & to revisit health goals. 
How soon you will see the results depends on several factors:
- your conditions
- your overall health state (the present condition of your immune system) & your vitality
- your age
- for how long you had the concern/condition
- your commitment level to change