FARGO—When Tonya Loken tells people she is a naturopathic doctor, the most common response she gets is, "Oh, you don't have dreadlocks."
"I get that a lot," she said. "I often do free 15-minute consults so people can meet me and realize I'm not a crazy witch doctor who has a cauldron in the back."
Loken wants patients to know she didn't become a naturopathic doctor because she doesn't believe in modern medicine.
"I want them to know it's not that I don't believe in pharmaceuticals. There's a time and place for pharmaceuticals and surgery. It's modern medicine. Thank God for it," she said. "But there is also a time and a place for prevention and not running to the doctor for everything."
It's an approach to medicine shared by Alexandra Matthews, a diplomat of acupuncture that Loken met last summer when she moved back to Fargo to study for her national board exams.
The women recently went into business together as FM Integrative Health in south Fargo. Their motto is "a holistic way to a healthier you."
Logan explained when people ask her if she'll work with their primary care physician, she says "Absolutely."
"I'm happy to explain every single thing we're doing and why we're doing it so they can better understand the physiology behind what I'm doing. That's important to me," Loken said. "I want their doctor to be on board, too, because I can't cure everybody. Lexi can't cure everybody. We need to work together as a team, which is why we built this place. We want people to work together because that's how people get better."
Matthews said they don't believe in Band-Aids. Their ultimate goal is to treat the root cause of a problem.
"The symptoms are the branch," she said. "You can cut those down all day long, but until you get to the root they're going to keep growing back."
FM Integrative Health offers an array of services such as acupuncture, cupping, colon hydrotherapy, pelvic floor therapy, body composition analysis and well-woman exams.
The clinic also features North Dakota's only float tank where clients can lie in 200 gallons of water in which 800 pounds of salt has been dissolved. The water and air is heated to body temperature.
"Eventually, you lose the water and air line on your body," Loken said. "You just feel like it's not even there anymore, so you feel like you're floating."
Float tanks are used to treat pain, anxiety, depression and other ailments.
The business also sells herbs and supplements, which Loken said is a big part of their practice.
"We use specific extractions of herbs to pull out their constituents that have specific physiological benefits," Loken said.
In Oregon, where she attended naturopathic medical school, Loken was able to prescribe pharmaceuticals as well. She hopes to one day have those privileges in North Dakota as well.
Few insurance companies cover naturopathic medicine here, so FM Integrative Health is a cash-only clinic. Many people have high deductibles today, so Loken said more people are giving naturopathic medicine a try. She said she's less expensive than a 15-minute office visit at a traditional clinic.
Patients can also use health savings and flex spending account funds at the clinic.
The clinic's grand opening will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 8. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the providers and tour the facility while enjoying treats from Mehl's Gluten-Free Bakery, Power Plate Meals and Steep Me a Cup of Tea.
IF YOU GO:
What: FM Integrative Health Grand Opening
When: 1 to 5 p.m. April 8
Where: 3441 45th St. S., Fargo
Contact: (701) 552-6573