The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

New practitioner in town


Lou Marzeles

DR. WALKER, ND: Katherine Walker is the new naturopath at Goldendale Chiropractic.

Dr. Dennis Carver's Goldendale Chiropractic and Natural Medicine clinic at 216 W. Main Street is further expanding with the addition Katherine Walker, ND. That's not a typo; it's ND, for naturopathic doctor.

"A naturopath is a trained physician-we go through all the training that a medical doctor does," Walker says. "'MD' is medical doctor; 'ND' is naturopath doctor. We go through all the same training, we learn the pharmacology, anatomy, physiology. We just have more of a spin-off in botanical medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic, body work, nutritional therapy, exercise therapy-really body function, mechanics. It's more of a holistic approach, big time. We have a very large toolbox that we can call upon for different cases."

Walker is new to town and presently available only on Thursdays. She came to Goldendale because of its land and its companionship. "Goldendale-I love the terrain out here," she remarks, "of the Gorge a little further east. I'm drawn to this area. I love the idea of small-town, community-based practice. And working in a clinic with other like-minded practitioners. You can drive to Walla Walla; there's a naturopath there. I just wanted to be more accessible."

And what exactly does a naturopath do? If it's something you'd go to a regular MD for, you can go to a naturopath for the same thing-and a good deal more.

"You can go to a naturopath for everything," Walker points out. "I do a lot of pediatric care, birth to 18. I do women's health, so I can do annual exams, Paps, breast exams. We treat chronic fatigue, chronic inflamation, insomnia, men's health, autoimmune conditions, thyroid complaints, nutrition cases, weight loss, advanced heart disease screening."

Walker is excited about the availability of inexpensive but highly advanced heart disease screenings here in Goldendale. "We do these amazing labs, Boston Heart labs," she says. "They do all this advanced bloodwork screening for heart disease. They show risks for clot or risk for thicker blood. They do genetic testing. They're grant based, so if you have insurance, the maximum you would pay out of pocket would be $100 for these very thorough labs."

For naturopath neophytes, it's useful to know that a naturopath such as Walker is fully able to serve as a primary care physician under insurance regulations. "Big things are happening in Oregon and Washington," she explains. "Now for all insurance companies, you cannot discriminate against a naturopath. A naturopath also has to be considered for primary care for insurance purposes. We've come a long way."

She adds that naturopathy is a course increasingly chosen for patients tired of feeling like processed orders in a fast-medicine, pill-based culture. "A lot of people are tired of just taking pharmaceuticals or just not having more of a plethora of options," she says. "If you come in here talking about diet and weight loss, we're going to spend some time talking about what you eat and potential changes, instead of just giving you a handout and saying, 'OK, check back if you need help.' It's a bit more of a counseling, do you have questions approach. It's more customized."

For more information or to make an appointment with Walker, call 773-5633.


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