How to Find a Holistic or Alternative Physician

NOTE: Most larger communities have a holistic/alternative publication of some kind, generally available at local health food stores, “new age” type stores or large holistic centers/clinics. Practitioners advertise and are listed or written about within these types of publications, so this is a good place to start your search for local options.  You can also consult the "Links" page on this website, or an online regional/local resource directory such as the Natural Lifestyle Network (

The American College for Advancement in Medicine 23121 Verdugo Drive, Suite 204 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 Fax: (949) 455-9679
American Academy for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM): A not-for-profit medical society dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the latest findings and emerging procedures in preventive/nutritional medicine. ACAM represents more than 1,000 physicians in 30 countries and there is a searchable database available on their website at

American Holistic Medical Association: They have a Directory of members throughout the country, but request a payment of $15 to obtain a copy. Website is Email: For an AHMA Referral Directory, send a check or money order for $15 to: 12101 Menaul Blvd., NE, Suite C, Albuquerque, NM 87112 State that you are requesting a copy of the AHMA Referral Directory and include clearly printed shipping information. Phone: (505) 292-7788 There is also an online searchable referral database.

American Academy of Environmental Medicine: 701 E Kellogg, Suite 625 Wichita, KS 67207 Phone: (316) 684-5500 Fax: (316) 684-5709 Email: [email protected] Website: A medical society that focuses on the prevention and treatment of disease and imbalances in the body resulting from environmental stressors and toxins. These can include both internal (psychological, genetic, malnutrition, biological mechanisms etc.) and external (organic inhalants such as dusts, molds, pollens; chemicals; infectious organisms; radiation; toxins and pesticides; electro-magnetic fields; etc.) components. There is an online database of Academy members who have successfully completed the Core Curriculum (consisting of four instructional courses) searchable by state or country. Referrals can also be requested by emailing

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: Founded in 1985, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) is the national professional society representing naturopathic physicians who are licensed or eligible for licensing as primary care providers, following a four-year educational program, similar to a four-year medical degree. Naturopathic medicine blends centuries-old natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in the study of health and human systems, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. ND’s are the family practitioners of the alternative medicine field, studying herbology, homeopathy, nutrition, detoxification procedures, etc. Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-patient wellness-the medicine is tailored to the patient and emphasizes prevention and self-care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to find the underlying cause of the patient’s condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102 Phone: (703) 610-9037 Fax: (703) 610-9005 Website: There is a searchable database located at NOTE: Not all practitioners who use the title of naturopath have attended a four-year degree program and some degrees in this field are available through distance learning certification programs. Be sure to ask what training your practitioner has obtained if this is important to you.


How to Choose a Holistic/CAM Practitioner

From the American Holistic Medical Association website:

Your first responsibility as a patient/client is to select a practitioner who will join your "team" to support you in obtaining and maintaining optimum health for your body, mind, emotions and spirit. While most holistic practitioners use modalities that are currently labeled "alternative medicine," the interests and practices of our members vary widely. Thus, one person might work primarily with nutrition and herbs, while another might look mainly at the spiritual aspects of health and disease. Other areas of interest include spinal manipulation and bodywork, "energy medicine," mind-body medicine, acupuncture and stress management. It is important to remember that there are many different definitions of holistic medicine. When choosing a practitioner, make sure that individual has the same type of philosophy and uses the treatment modalities you are seeking.

The following considerations are offered as a guide to help you find a practitioner with whom you are comfortable. Optimum health is more likely to be present when you work with someone who is supportive of your efforts to be in charge of your life. Some of the criteria may not apply to all situations.

Selecting a CAM Practitioner

See (from the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine/NIH website)

Selecting a health care practitioner--of conventional or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)--is an important decision and can be key to ensuring that you are receiving the best health care. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has developed this fact sheet to answer frequently asked questions about selecting a CAM practitioner, such as issues to consider when making your decision and important questions to ask the practitioner you select.