Welcome to a new regular feature at Natural Living Des Moines – “Check This Out” will draw your attention to local businesses that are helping to make natural living a bit easier.
Our first Check This Out focuses on Integrative Health Solutions, and an interview with Liz Bomer, a naturopathic pharmacist.
What is a naturopathic pharmacist?
Someone who is a pharmacist and has been trained from both an allopathic and a naturopathic model. As a naturopathic pharmacist I help people make choices about their health care specifically integrating natural therapies into already existing prescription therapies or through the use of natural therapies alone.
What is your personal speciality?
Helping people use natural therapies to improve their health.
What types of conditions do people come to see you about most often?
Many of the clients I see are women between the ages of 25-70 dealing with hormone issues, stress, fatigue, and digestive issues. Another group of people we see in our practice is mothers of children with Autism, and Autism spectrum disorders such as ADHD, PDD and ADD. Another area I enjoy is helping people who are looking for natural ways to deal with acute problems such as allergies, sinus troubles, bladder infections, colds etc.
Are there areas of health that respond particularly well to your this type of care?
Women’s Health issues in general, fatigue, digestive dysfunction, stress, hormone imbalances, high cholesterol and autism are some common things we see that respond well to natural therapies. However, as a pharmacist we are not technically treating anyone or any dis-ease. We are simply giving the body natural remedies to allow the body to heal itself and use it’s own amazing resources to bring about health.
Do you work with pregnant women? Babies and children? Nursing women?
Yes, naturopathic medicine can be very beneficial for this population of people. It is especially important for this sub-group to work with someone who is educated in natural therapies to ensure the products they will be using will be safe for them.
What are your personal thoughts on the state of natural medicine in Iowa today? What would you change? Are we doing anything right? What do you think is the best way to go about changing things for the better?
Very breifly, It is an exciting and unfortunate time for natural medicine. The drug companies are continually trying to control each and every one of our health and well being through the use of medications and beaurocracy. It is an exciting time, in that more and more people are looking for their options and turning to natural medicine for their ailments.
What types of things can you do to help those with food allergies or sensitivities?
IgG allergy testing can be very beneficial to help determine the specific allergies and sensitivies. Then elimination is ideal, but the use of homeopathics and support for the digestive system can help the body to get rid of the allergy at hand for some people. Allergies can stem a multitude of imbalances from stress to a disrupted digestive system, so it is important to get to the underlying cause.
Can people who generally feel well and aren’t ill still benefit from your services?
Absolutely, preventative care is the best medicine there is and using natural approaches will improve your health in the long run.
Are any of your services covered by insurance? (Obviously, policies/companies vary)
Some insurances will pay for some lab testing and I have had a few patients who have been able to get some natural remedies paid for by flex spending accounts, however, for the most part, no. We do not bill any insurances for our services, so it is up to the individual to collect payment from their insurance company.
How did you become a naturopathic pharmacist? Is there a licensing process?
I received my Doctorate of Pharmacy from Drake University and am a licensed pharmacist. While I was on clinical rotations as part of my schooling through Drake, I did a rotation with Dr. Ned Looney, who opened my eyes to a new way of viewing dis-ease and natural therapies. I have been hooked ever since. From their I went on to receive training through the Academy of Integrative Medicine and Primary Compounding Centers of America to learn more about naturopathic medicine.
What made you decide on this as your career path?
I love helping people feel their best and educating people on options available to take care of themselves.
How long have you been practicing natural medicine?
What types of treatments do you offer to patients?
Education is a big part of what I do which includes, diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications, and how the body works. Again we do not treat dis-eases, we simply allow the body to function as it should; balanced. In my practice we may recommend the use of nutritional medicine, botanicals, homeopathy, and ion-cleanse footbaths. I often refer patients to message therapists, chiropractors and other naturopathic clinicians as I see necessary.
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