FAQ

Naturopathic Medicine

Any person with a chronic or acute issue can be seen by a Naturopathic Doctor. Some reasons people chose to see an ND are that they prefer a natural health and wellness approach, are seeking an alternative to drugs or surgery, and/or are looking for a second opinion.   Naturopathic Doctors seek to restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing processes via a combination of conventional and holistic fields of medicine, which in turn leads to an integrative and individualized therapeutic approach.

Naturopathic Medicine is a system of health care that focuses on the use of natural therapeutics to promote health and address the root causes of illness and imbalance rather than covering up symptoms.  This distinctive field of medicine has a primary focus on the prevention of chronic disease, to allow the healing power of nature transform the body and mind towards greater health and vitality.

Dr. Galina accepts patients by appointment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Please call (312) 772-5436 or email DoctorGalinaND@gmail.com to schedule your visit.

Dr. Galina will listen to your primary concerns and will then take a thorough history, making sure to discuss every aspect of your case.  Additionally she will review any labs or imaging that you may have.  Once she gets a clear picture of what is going on, Dr. Galina will come up with a plan for you to follow, which may consist of supplement recommendations, dietary suggestions, lifestyle modification, and other various services available at her office. The initial visits usually last between 60 to 90 minutes.

Follow up appointments can range between 30 to 45 minutes.  The purpose of this visit is to get an update on the state of your health after the first visit and ensure that your initial concerns are improving or see if any changes to your plan need to be made.  Seeing an ND is a commitment and healing won’t happen overnight, so together we decide how often you need to come in to ensure the best possible outcome.  Depending on the severity of the problems, follow up appointments can range from once a week to once a month. Eventually you may come in as needed for regular check-ups or to address new health concerns.

Even though Dr. Galina’s training gave her the knowledge needed to both order labs and prescribe medications, due to the nature of the law in Illinois, NDs are not currently licensed to do either of these things in this state.  Pharmaceutical prescribing will be done only by your primary care doctor, but in order to see the whole picture, Dr. Galina may suggest that you order specific labs from your primary care doctor and request a copy of the results for review.

There are currently 18 states in the US that license Naturopathic Doctors, but unfortunately Illinois is not one of them.  Licensing efforts in Illinois are ongoing but due to the current regulations Dr. Galina is unable to take insurance at this time.  For more information on Illinois licensure or to support the effort, please visit the Illinois Association of Naturopathic Physicians (ILANP).

Yes, NDs definitely work together with other health care practitioners, whether it is to collaborate on a patient’s care or refer to other doctors and specialists.  Dr. Galina encourages an alliance between medical professionals in order for you to receive the best possible integrative care.

Naturopathic Doctors complete four years of medical school with the first two years focused on the basic sciences, similar to traditional medical school programs and the final two years devoted to studying and practicing natural therapeutics in a clinical setting. After graduating, the training received in Naturopathic medical school enables NDs to provide a wide range of natural therapeutics and includes all aspects of family and primary care medicine, from pediatrics to geriatrics, as well as a full range of natural modalities. For a full listing of the naturopathic curriculum visit University of Bridgeport. For a full listing of Naturopathic Medical Schools visit the AANMC.

Naturopathy is a non-invasive field of medicine and the modalities used are non-toxic and typically have few to no side effects. Dr. Galina received extensive training in herb-drug interactions and your recommendations will take into account all the possible safety precautions.

Massage Therapy

The therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you.  It is important to discuss all health concerns so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.

You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most either get completely undressed or down to their undergarments. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can.  If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session.
Your massage therapist should give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.

The vast majority of therapists will insist on draping. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on. The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be uncovered.

Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.  Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.

The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60 to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

Skincare and Facial

No matter your age or gender, your skin can only look its best if you care for it. Consider these things: you eat right so that your body feels good and performs as it should; you exercise to keep your muscles strong and your body in shape; you change the oil in your car to maintain the engine; you do a little housework, daily, so that your home stays clean all month long.

A facial does for your skin what a month of exercise and eating right does for your body – it noticeably improves the skin’s look and feel. Through cleansing, exfoliation, and use of professional products, we can make a lot of progress towards improving your skin in a single session. We have the experience, techniques, products and equipment that cannot be replicated at home.

A great facial will reward you with results!  However, there are certain undeniable truths to how your skin and body work.  Your skin will continue, all year long, to be affected by the sun, elements, make-up, gravity, and age.  Your body will continue to produce new, fresh skin cells, however they will be trapped under the dead cells you cannot properly exfoliate away at home.  While, yes, your skin will benefit and be better off after your facial, a one-time treatment will not give you the ongoing results or protection you need.  Regular facials (especially with an appropriate at home regimen) will help prevent breakouts, keep your surface cells healthy, and ensure that your skin looks and feels its best.  If your main goal is to improve a skin condition (aging, acne or sun spots for instance) a series of treatments with proper at home care is necessary. While it varies from person to person, the usual frequency is every 4-6 weeks.

For the same reason doctor and dentist check-ups are necessary: for better health! Skin is a living part of your body (your largest organ, in fact), that defends against environmental assaults and extreme temperatures. It helps eliminate toxins from the body, and it is continually renewing and protecting. To look at feel its best, your skin needs personal attention from a professional.  At GEM Integrative Wellness, our licensed esthetician is an intensely educated skin-health expert. She has the answers to your most pressing skin-care concerns. She knows how to deliver real, visible results. She is trained to deliver specific professional skin treatments that will target your specific needs, and prescribe the products that will help maintain your optimum skin health at home in between facials.

At GEM, every treatment is focused on results-driven treatments.  At your first appointment, you will be asked to complete a brief client intake form and we will discuss your skin care goals and concerns. Your Esthetician will step out of the room so you can make yourself comfortable on the facial table.  To promote relaxation, soft music is played and the lights are lowered.  Some or all of the following steps will be performed, depending on your skin analysis and the treatment selected: deep cleanses, skin analysis, exfoliation (removal of surface cells by enzyme, or manual exfoliation), extractions (removal of blackheads), high-frequency treatment, application of mask and vitamin-enriched serums, massage, moisturizer and sun protection. Suggestions for home care and a treatment plan will be provided.

Here are some conditions for which a facial is contraindicated (not recommended) or conditions that may cause us to modify your treatment:

  • Sunburn on the face
  • Open cuts or abrasions
  • Bruises and swelling (Get your physician’s approval for a treatment)
  • Active herpes lesions/Cold Sores
  • Conjuctivitis (“pink eye”)
  • Severe eczema
  • Severe psoraisis
  • Impetigo
  • Fungal infection
  • Extreme allergic sensitivities
  • Illness – please reschedule as a courtesy to the staff and other clients
  • Recent Botox or Filler treatment (no facial treatments within 48 hours for Botox, 1 week for Filler)
  • Pregnancy: if you are pregnant, your facial treatment will be modified.  If you have special circumstances or restrictions, a Doctor’s note is required

No. We do not push products or spend the appointment time trying to sell you stuff. If you indicate that you have a specific concern for your skin, or that you are looking to improve your skin care, we will partner with you to achieve that goal. That said, if you truly want to see a difference in your skin, you will have to participate in taking care of it and maintaining the work done in the facial room.  Sometimes, this means a change in your at-home product use is necessary. We will always do our best to recommend products that are customized to your skin and budget.

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