FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a Naturopath?
How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?
Will you work with my other healthcare provider/s?
What if I’m already on prescription drugs?
What conditions do you treat?
Do you offer primary care?
What type of treatments do you use?
What is biotherapeutic drainage?
What are Core Synchronism and Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy?
Do you accept insurance?
Do you offer any discounts?

What is a Naturopath?

Naturopathic Doctors are licensed physicians in the state of Washington; trained with an emphasis on holistic assessment and treatment.

How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?

Naturopathic Doctors receive 4-5 years of rigorous medical training at accredited Naturopathic Medical schools, including a comprehensive clinical internship and substantial precept requirements.  Naturopaths are comprehensively trained in holistic assessment and treatment modalities.  In addition, they are extensively trained in modern diagnostic techniques, and have a thorough understanding of western medical interventions and pharmacology.  They learn the same physical exams and medical history taking skills as primary care MDs, are licensed to order and interpret the same lab and imaging studies, and are even trained and licensed to prescribe most pharmaceuticals if they choose to. Naturopaths must pass rigorous national board exams before receiving licensure in Washington State.

Will you work with my other healthcare provider/s?

Of course.  Often the best patient care is achieved through collaboration.  We often work with conventional as well as other alternative providers to offer support in a way that complements or supports a patient’s treatment plan.  We are also happy to accept referrals from other providers and are more than willing to communicate with them about any treatments patients receive at Vital Source.  Referrals to other providers (conventional and alternative) are offered when appropriate as well.

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What if I’m already on prescription drugs?

This is very common.  Sometimes drugs are necessary!  Almost all of the treatments offered at Vital Source can be safely used with your medications, and we review this on an individual basis just to make sure.  Depending on your case, it is likely that we will be able to help reduce or take you off your medications over time as well.  If you are in need of prescription drug management, Dr. Van Dusen will usually ask that you maintain a relationship with your medical doctor to manage those prescriptions.

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What conditions do you treat?

Naturopaths are trained as primary care physicians and specialists in providing alternative treatments for any range of conditions.  We treat a broad scope of conditions from earaches and sore throats to chronic diseases.  Dr. Van Dusen has special interest in gastrointestinal, endocrine, allergy-related, auto-immune, and women’s health conditions, but is open to treating just about any condition.  In the case where she feels another provider would be more appropriate, she’s happy to provide a referral.

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Do you offer primary care?

Although Dr. Van Dusen’s scope of practice allows her to provide primary care, she does not offer this in her practice. She recommends that all patients also maintain a relationship with a primary care MD or DO. She feels it is in her patients’ best interest to have a primary care physician that can handle any needs that are urgent, require pharmaceutical intervention, or extensive diagnostic work-up that is beyond her scope. Dr. Van Dusen is happy and able to provide for the majority of most patients’ concerns, including monitoring of routine blood work, performing physical exams, and managing most acute and chronic health conditions via natural medicine.

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What type of treatments do you use?

A partial list….

  • Biotherapeutic drainage:  description
  • Homeopathy
  • Herbal medicine
  • Nature cure (hydrotherapy, cleansing, and other traditional therapies)
  • Core Synchronism and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy:  description
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Flower essences
  • Lifestyle counseling
  • Certain pharmaceuticals rarely, when absolutely necessary

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What is biotherapeutic drainage?

Biotherapeutic drainage is a deep acting therapy that was developed by doctors in Europe over 100 years ago. It employs the use of lifestyle modifications, and plant and mineral based remedies to optimize elimination of waste products in the body that interfere with normal physiology.  In addition to supporting elimination, drainage therapy also works to enhance metabolic function on a cellular, organ, and tissue level. The combination of these effects creates a balanced and optimally functioning system.  This therapy has a gentle, yet powerful effect on the body.

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What are Core Synchronism and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle energetic body work.  Core Synchronism is a very similar therapy taught through a different school.  They are rooted in the practices of osteopathy and polarity therapy.  The therapist uses very light touch to palpate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid as it moves through the cranium and spine.  The rhythm of the CSF can be felt as it reverberates through the extremities and the rest of the body as well.  The practitioner senses and gently releases any restrictions felt while working on the patient.  This results in deep relaxation, reduction in pain, improvement in structural alignment, as well as increased blood and oxygen flow to the organs and tissues.  Another way of looking at this is that there is increased “qi” or energy flow through the body as a result of the treatment.  Core Synchronism and Biodynamic Craniosacral are particularly helpful for physical and emotional traumas, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, neurologic or stress induced complaints, to name a few.

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Do you accept insurance?

We do not bill insurance directly and do request payment for visits at the time of service.   Dr. Van Dusen is considered an “out of network” provider for all insurance plans.  We are happy to help you to navigate seeking reimbursement directly from your insurance company.  Many companies have great benefits for services outside their network of providers.  For those patients who do not have coverage, we try to keep our rates reasonable and we also work with local labs to keep those prices low too.  See our “patients” page for more info.

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Do you offer any discounts?

Yes!  We do offer the following discounts:

  • Student Discount: 10 % discount on office visits for college students with valid student ID
  • Cyclist Discount: Bike to your visit and receive 10% off your office visit.
  • Senior Discount: 10% discount on office visits for patients over 65 years of age.
  • Smart Trips Discount: Present a valid Smart Trips card or WTA bus pass and receive 10% off your office visit.
  • Craniosacral packages: We offer special packages for craniosacral therapy that result in a 15% discount when 4 visits are paid for up front (expires 1 yr from purchase date).

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Reception Area

Dr. Jessica Van Dusen

Naturopathic Physician

1111 West Holly St, Suite E
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 306-8313

email the clinic

email Dr. Van Dusen

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