Alternative/Integrative/Holistic Health Care Providers
There is no doubt that alternative therapies have merit when working with IC/BPS and other chronic conditions. From acupuncturists to naturopaths, there are a growing number of physicians who use alternative therapies as part of their treatment approach. Dr. Geo Espinosa ND, LAc, for example, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist who founded the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center. We’ll be adding more to our list as we find them.
However, you should also practice caution when exploring alternative treatment. Some alternative providers suggest that they are physicians when they have, in fact, not attended medical school. A Ph.D. is not an MD. Some chinese herbalists, for example, are not aware of the difference between interstitial cystitis (i.e. bladder injury) as compared to cystitis (i.e. infection) and have sold products that have badly irritated the IC bladder. Others have refused to disclose the ingredients of “herbs” they are selling and/or charge exorbitant phone consultation fees to treat patients by phone. Diagnosis and treatment by phone is questionable and, in some states, illegal. Most states (particularly California) require that medical care provider see you “in person” before recommending a course of treatment so that they have the chance to examine you personally and exclude other potential conditions.