Title and company: Owner, Rainforest Naturopathic Medicine
Biographical information: Cox was born, raised and attended school in Oregon, and has lived in Alaska off and on since 1995. She has a B.S. degree in biology and earned a degree as a naturopathic doctor from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2001.
Upon graduating, she worked in a naturopathic medicine clinic in Fairbanks, and moved to Juneau to open Rainforest Naturopathic Medicine in October. She is one of three naturopathic doctors in Juneau.
Services: As a naturopathic doctor, Cox focuses on the healing power of nature and the body's ability to heal itself, she said. Naturopathic doctors use changes in diet, nutritional supplements, and a variety of homeopathic remedies to treat disease and chronic illnesses.
"Diet and nutrition is sort of the foundation of what we do," said Cox. "I always start with diet and nutrition in my practice, and I get great results."
Changes in diet, though they require more of a commitment from the patient than traditional medicine, often are effective in correcting digestive problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, she said. They also can relieve severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and discomforts associated with menopause.
When a patient makes the prescribed changes in diet, the symptoms that brought the patient to Cox in the first place often have been relieved, enabling Cox to see more clearly what problems caused the symptoms, she said.
"It's kind of like peeling an onion," she said. At that point, she is apt to prescribe nutritional supplements and homeopathic remedies.
Homeopathy is a natural medicine technique created by a German doctor in the late 1800s, Cox said. It is based on the belief that "like cures like," and uses a variety of natural substances such as plant and animal products, minerals and even venom diluted in alcohol to a negligible concentration to treat illness.
"In conventional medicine, they give you the anti, the opposite of whatever symptom you have," Cox said. Homeopathic remedies, on the other hand, should produce the same symptoms a person is experiencing, thereby stimulating the body to heal itself.
Finding the correct remedy for a patient takes time. Generally Cox interviews a patient for one to two hours, then spends five to 10 hours analyzing the data to find a remedy.
"When you get the right remedy, it's miraculous," Cox said.
Cox's education, which required four years of postgraduate study, qualifies her as a primary care physician. Alaska and Washington are the only states in the United States that require naturopathic care to be paid for by insurance plans. Federal plans such as Medicare and Medicaid do not cover naturopathic care, but naturopathic treatment generally is much less expensive than traditional medicine, Cox said.
Although Cox can and does order diagnostic tests when necessary, she said diagnosing a disease is not as important as treating it.
Quotable: "A lot of people don't realize that we treat everything, and not just the easy things."
Contact information: Cox can be reached at 523-2102, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is in the Arcticorp building, 418 Harris St., Suite 326.
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