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by Joyia Emard

Spring Cleaning Is a Good Time to Prevent Potential Health Hazards

Article authored by Lana K. Wilson-Combs, Consumer Connection staff

After a cold, dreary, dark, and damp winter, most people are eager for the arrival of spring. Many insects are, too.

As the weather gets warmer, pests begin to come out of winter hiding and multiply. However, the last place you want to see ants, cockroaches, spiders, earwigs, bedbugs, termites, or other insects is in your home.

Now is a great time for homeowners, perhaps in the midst of spring cleaning, to add some simple, preventative pest-proofing measures to that “to-do” list. Or if the job seems too daunting, seek out licensed and skilled professionals in the pest control industry.

Pests carry a wide range of diseases, from Lyme disease to Zika. They can also carry bacteria that can contaminate food, equipment, and other stored products. Rodents can harbor and spread more than 200 human pathogens. Each year in the U.S., termites cause $5 billion in property damage (to homes and businesses). Mosquitos have become one of the deadliest pests worldwide as they cause roughly 1 million deaths per year.

Let’s face it: Insects are a part of nature, but those pesky pests don’t have to be part of your home and ruin your spring and summer fun—or health.

Here are some steps you can take to help ward off those creepy-crawlies:

  • Remove dead leaves, twigs, and debris that may have built up in your yard over the winter. These are perfect homes for bugs and insects!
  • Trim trees or bushes near your home; make sure to cut back any branches that touch your house, as they can serve as a walkway for bugs to enter.
  • Clean your gutters.
  • Fill in any cracks or gaps in windows, doorways, and the foundation (if it’s accessible).
  • Clean your kitchen thoroughly to remove any tempting food crumbs.
  • Clean out cluttered storage areas where pests can hide.
  • Repair any leaky pipes or fixtures; many bugs are looking for a water source.

Remember, it’s much easier to prevent a pest control problem than to stop one. However, if you discover your home has an infestation, call a licensed pest control professional.

To verify the status and license of a pest control business with the Structural Pest Control Board, log on to search.dca.ca.gov.

Like this article? Check out more consumer news in the latest issue of DCA’s Consumer Connection magazine!
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Take a look at this vital licensed profession

They’re a common sight: Hard-hatted, safety-vested people looking through scopes by the side of the road, at construction sites, or in the landscape. But who are they, what are they looking at, and what are they doing? Let’s “see” if we can find out more about surveyors, their profession’s long history, and today’s day-to-day duties and licensure.

AN ANCIENT CAREER

Throughout the ages, surveyors have shaped our world—literally—and they continue to do so today.

For instance, have you heard of Stonehenge? How about the Pyramids of Giza, or the Maya “megalopolis”? Surveying—the process of recording observations, making measurements, and marking the boundaries of tracts of lands—was there all those millennia ago to help make these wonders happen.

Surveying continued through the centuries, with Roman surveyors playing a major role in the empire’s expansion via structures, roads, and aqueducts—many of which still stand today—and Chinese surveyors planning the ultimate tract-boundary marker, the Great Wall of China.

The road to the Arc of Trajan, located in Algeria, was built by Roman surveyors at the end of the 2nd century!

In much more recent times in the United States, several presidents have been surveyors, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

Even in California’s early history, the importance of surveying and shaping the young state was emphasized with the establishment of an elected “surveyor general” position: a constitutional office that continued for several decades before being absorbed into the California State Lands Commission.

And the Golden State has licensed and regulated surveyors since those same early days, with the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) having been tasked with the profession’s oversight for nearly a century.

SHAPING OUR WORLD

While surveying technology has changed since Honest Abe’s day, many of today’s common surveyor duties would sound familiar to past professionals:

  • Measuring distances and angles between points on, above, and below the Earth’s surface.
  • Traveling to locations and using known reference points to determine the exact location of important features.
  • Researching land records, survey records, and land titles.
  • Looking for evidence of previous boundaries to determine where boundary lines are located.
  • Recording survey results and verifying data accuracy.
  • Preparing plots, maps, and reports.
  • Presenting findings to clients and government agencies.
  • Establishing official land and water boundaries for deeds, leases, and other legal documents and testifying in court regarding survey work.

However, “surveyor” now encompasses many cutting-edge specialties, including:

  • Boundary or land surveyors, who determine the legal property lines and help determine the exact locations of real estate and construction projects.Female surveyor uses scope at oil-drilling site
  • Engineering or construction surveyors, who determine the precise location of roads or buildings and proper depths for building foundations. They show changes to the property line and indicate potential restrictions on the property, such as what can be built on it and how large the structure can be. They also may survey the grade and topography of roads.
  • Geodetic surveyors, who use high-accuracy technology, including aerial and satellite observations, to measure large areas of the Earth’s surface.
  • Marine or hydrographic surveyors, who survey harbors, rivers, and other bodies of water to determine shorelines, the topography of the floor, water depth, and other features.

AN IN-DEMAND PROFESSION

According to BPELSG, there are four basic paths with specific requirements to become one of California’s more than 4,000 “Professional Land Surveyors,” namely:

  • A four-year college surveying degree, two years of qualifying land surveying experience, and passage of the required examinations.
  • Six years of qualifying land surveying experience and passage of the required examinations.
  • California civil engineering licensure with two years of qualifying land surveying experience and passage of the required examinations.
  • Out-of-state surveyor licensure with passage of California-required exams.

And as always, surveyors are in demand: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects steady growth for the profession.

For more information on California surveyors or other related professions, visit www.bpelsg.ca.gov; to check a surveyor’s license, visit search.dca.ca.gov.

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It’s our own darn fault. Humans are the reason why dogs can melt our hearts with their sad puppy eyes. That look, you know the one, where your pooch stares at you, and then you give in to whatever they are begging for—a hug or belly rub. An extra treat, or perhaps, little Suede is begging to lick your spoon with the last bit of fro-yo.

Research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) revealed that there is a scientific name for that look. It is known as the AU101 movement. Your canine companion and their ancestors have been perfecting this look for thousands of years.

Scientists hypothesize that over time, domesticated dogs developed a muscle to raise the inner eyebrow, which produces the AU101 movement. That same muscle, which is responsible for the internal eyebrow movement, does not exist consistently in the closest living relative of the dog, the gray wolf.

The published study used cadavers of deceased animals, who died naturally. Researchers dissected and analyzed the facial muscles of six domestic dogs and four wild gray wolves. The breed of dogs used was; a mongrel, Labrador retriever, a bloodhound, Siberian husky, Chihuahua, and German shepherd.

The researchers discovered that all six of the dogs examined had a large prominent muscle around the eye called the levator anguli oculi medialis (LAOM). This muscle was absent in the wolves. Anatomically, dogs and wolves are similar except for this eye muscle.

Eyebrow movement plays a considerable role in human interpersonal communication. Perhaps because this movement makes a dog’s eyes appear larger, showing more of the white of the eye and giving them a childlike appearance. The inference is that dogs with expressive eyebrows evolved because of human’s unconscious preference, the expressive eyebrow made them look more like an infant. Researchers believe that this preference influenced selection during domestication. The “look” stirred a desire in humans to want to look at the dog because it created the illusion of human-like communication.

Scientists have plans to conduct more research on the interaction of humans and a greater variety of dog breeds in the future.

For now, we have a better understanding of how dogs make those adorable sad eyes. Although we don’t know what dogs are communicating when they display the look–in the meantime–Suede can continue to have the last bit of fro-yo on my spoon.

Regular visits to a veterinarian licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Veterinary Medical Board will help to keep your canine companion happy and healthy. To check their license status visit: search.dca.ca.gov

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You Have Questions? We've Got Answers!Article authored by Matt Woodcheke, Consumer Connection staff
Question: My car needs expensive repairs to pass Smog Check and I don’t know if I should put money into it or cut my losses. What do you recommend?

Answer: The Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) offers a pair of options to help you repair or retire your vehicle. Participation is based on meeting eligibility requirements and the availability of funds each fiscal year.

Under the first option, you may be eligible to receive up to $500 in emission-related repairs. To participate, you must meet specific income and program requirements, and the repairs must be performed at one of over 2,000 participating Smog Check stations statewide.

Your other choice is to retire the vehicle from operation rather than repair it. Income-eligible consumers who meet program requirements may receive $1,500—all other eligible consumers may receive $1,000. The vehicle must be retired at a BAR-contracted auto dismantler.

To review eligibility requirements for both CAP options and to apply online, visit BAR’s website, www.bar.ca.gov.

Got a question about your contractor, dentist, doctor, cosmetologist, or one of the many other professionals licensed and regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)? Maybe you’d like to know more about how DCA helps consumers make wise purchasing decisions by informing them about the laws that protect them? Now is your chance to ask!
Submit your question via email to publicaffairs@dca.ca.gov and it may be answered in a future issue of Consumer Connection. Please note: We are not able to answer questions regarding the status of a license application, complaint, or investigation. Some questions have been edited for clarity or brevity.

Like this article? Check out more consumer news in the latest issue of DCA’s Consumer Connection magazine!
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After running out of food, a quick trip to the grocery store is in order. Being a good citizen, you put on your mask to protect your fellow Americans. “Quick” is the operative word if you want to cut down on possible exposure time to COVID-19. For those of you who wear glasses, things can get pretty foggy, adding more time to your shopping trip, right?

While wearing a mask, one’s glasses tend to fog up pretty quickly. Sometimes it comes and goes as you breathe in and out. Other times the mist sticks and won’t come off unless you wipe it down. Ever try to clean your glasses in the middle of the pasta aisle while several people standing six feet away are waiting for you to leave? Yeah, it’s not fun and you can’t see! All these impairments can add several extra unwanted minutes to your shopping trip.

There’s science behind foggy glasses while wearing a mask. Condensation of water vapor from your breath collects onto the glass. Since glass surfaces are colder and drier than we are, our breath condenses on the glass.

Now that science class is over, let’s get to a solution.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy fix for glasses fogging. I’ve personally found that using a pleated mask produces a little less fog than a non-pleated mask if I wear it high on the bridge of my nose,” said Dr. Alex Baker, OD, who is a doctor of optometry in Northern California. Baker says the pleats provide extra space around your mouth and nose and direct the air downward.

“I also move my glasses slightly forward down the bridge of my nose to create more space behind the lenses. It’s not foolproof, but it seems to perform a little better,” said Baker.

Since finding a pleated mask was nearly impossible, I tried a few hacks of my own:

Breathe Like Playing the Flute

This does work, but it takes a lot of effort, concentration, and skill. You have to hold your lips down just perfectly like you’re blowing into a flute. The lips must be in the exact position, or it won’t work, and it must happen with every breath, or the fog comes back. I tried doing it while picking out produce, and I just couldn’t keep it up.

The Dishwashing Liquid Technique

I found several articles online suggesting that dishwashing liquid creates a barrier on the glass. One drop on each side of both lenses, rub it in and let it sit for 15 minutes. Use a microfiber cloth to polish off the residue. This did not work for me at all.

A Tissue is Not Just for a Cold

I crumbled up a tissue, put it under my nose then put my mask on. This worked but breathing became a chore, and sometimes my glasses fogged up just a little.

Seal the Mask with Your Glasses

Place the upper part of the mask all the way to the top of the bridge of your nose, then put your glasses on top of the mask. This worked the best. It didn’t completely stop the fog, but it did cut down on the amount making it easier for me to see.

I concur with Dr. Baker: There’s really no easy fix for foggy glasses while wearing a mask, but maybe try what’s on the list to see what works for you. If all else fails, you can try glasses that have an anti-fog coating or a solution that stops fog. Just make sure the solution won’t affect any other coatings you may have on your glasses. Happy breathing!

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Old Boxing GlovesOversight and safety for popular sports

From ancient Egypt to today, boxing and other combat sports have proven popular throughout the ages. In California, that popularity continues under the oversight of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).

AN ANCIENT SPORT

According to the International Olympic Committee, boxing as a formal sport can be traced back to ancient Egypt around 3000 B.C. Boxing was introduced to the ancient Olympic Games by the Greeks in the late 7th century B.C., when soft leather thongs were used to bind boxers’ hands and forearms for protection.

The sport continued in Rome, with metal-studded gloves instead of leather thongs, and matches usually ending in death. After the fall of Rome, it took nearly a millennium for boxing’s popularity to reemerge, this time in 17th century England, which organized amateur sport boxing in the late 1800s with the establishment of uniform rules and specific weight classes still in use today—bantam, feather, light, middle, and heavy—and the required use of gloves.

When boxing made its modern-day Olympic debut in 1904 at the St. Louis Games, the United States—the only country to enter a boxing team—took home all the medals. Men’s boxing has been included in all modern Olympic Games except one—Stockholm in 1912—as the sport was outlawed in Sweden at the time. Women’s boxing made its debut at the 2012 London Games.

Proposition 7

Boxing was on the California statewide ballot in 1924.

BOXING ON THE BALLOT

As noted with Sweden’s Olympic example, despite thousands of years of history, many felt boxing, in addition to being a combat sport, encouraged gambling and rowdy behavior among its spectators, resulting in controversy and occasional outright outlawing.

And California wasn’t immune to boxing opposition: As chronicled by the University of California’s California Digital Library archives, despite the sport’s renewed Gold Rush popularity, the original 1850 California State Constitution expressly prohibited “all fighting for reward without deadly weapons,” and California’s early legislators passed further laws making professional boxing and wrestling illegal. In 1899, boxing and wrestling were made legal under controlled conditions; however, by 1914, legislation made professional combative sports illegal once again.

So sports proponents took the issue straight to California voters with 1924’s Proposition 7, which sought to authorize boxing and wrestling contests for prizes, as well as to create a state athletic commission to oversee and license contests and participants. While opponents touted the “brutalities and other evils” of prize fighting, proponents emphasized sport popularity, its patriotic embrace by World War I soldiers (“[b]oxing and wrestling, it will be recalled, were favorite diversions of the boys in France before and after the Armistice”), lower injury rates compared to other sports, spectator respectability—with audiences regularly featuring “lawyers, doctors, merchants, bankers, minsters, public officials, and ladies”—and a proposed new system of state-level supervision.

In the end, Proposition 7 and its supporters held forth with a 51% majority vote, establishing CSAC and beginning a new era for boxing and related sports in our state.

STATE COMMITMENT TO SPORTS OVERSIGHT

Since that pro-Proposition 7 vote nearly a century ago, the Department of Consumer Affairs’ CSAC has provided oversight of boxing managers, promoters, and event officiating, and has worked to protect the health and safety of the participants.

Today, CSAC’s duties include licensing, prohibited substance testing, and event regulation throughout the state. It licenses fighters, promoters, managers, seconds, matchmakers, referees, judges, timekeepers, and professional trainers, and approves ringside physicians. It also regulates professional events within its jurisdiction, staffing each event with several specialized and well-trained athletic inspectors to enforce the regulations related to combat sporting events.

CSAC’s oversight also includes amateur and professional kickboxing and professional mixed martial arts, with the commission licensing all participants and supervising these increasingly popular events.

For more information on CSAC and its mission and duties, visit www.dca.ca.gov/csac/index.shtml; to check sports professionals’ licenses, visit search.dca.ca.gov/.

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You Have Questions? We've Got Answers!Article authored by Matt Woodcheke, Consumer Connection staff
Question: I’m having my kitchen redone at home, but I’m not sure what kind of contractor I should hire.

Answer: If your job is valued at $500 or more in both materials and labor, you’ll want to make sure the person you hire is a licensed contractor. Contractors with a Class B general building license usually oversee projects and coordinate the specific licensed subcontractors for a job. Specialty or subcontractors usually are hired to perform a single job. For example, if you need only roofing or plumbing work, you would want to hire a contractor licensed in that specialty—the roofing classification is C-39; plumbing is C-36.

A general building contractor also may contract for some or all of the specialty work, but must hold a specialty license for that work or actually have a specialty contractor do the work. The only exception is if the job requires more than two types of work on a building. Then it is appropriate for a licensed general building contractor to contract for and oversee the entire project. For example, if your kitchen remodeling will involve plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work under one contract, you should hire a licensed “B” general building contractor. Under these circumstances, a “B” contractor may perform all of the work on a building, or subcontract parts of the job to contractors with specialty licenses.

You can build a personalized list of licensed contractors in your area with the “Find My Licensed Contractor” feature on the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website. That’s where you can also check out the license status of contractors before you hire them.

Got a question about your contractor, dentist, doctor, cosmetologist, or one of the many other professionals licensed and regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)? Maybe you’d like to know more about how DCA helps consumers make wise purchasing decisions by informing them about the laws that protect them? Now is your chance to ask! Submit your question via email to publicaffairs@dca.ca.gov and it may be answered in a future issue of Consumer Connection. Please note: We are not able to answer questions regarding the status of a license application, complaint, or investigation. Some questions have been edited for clarity or brevity.

Like this article? Check out more consumer news in the latest issue of DCA’s Consumer Connection magazine!
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Do you get the feeling that someone is always watching you?

Your feelings are valid; you’re being watched. Not through tracking devices, sci-fi implants under your skin, or some app on your phone—but you are, and it’s happening every day. And, for the last six weeks, it has become more intense.

It’s your kids. Now that they’re with you 24/7, your little tape recorders with eyes are tracking everything you do, and, most importantly, how you are responding to this pandemic.

If you don’t talk about it, they can easily blow it out of proportion; if you talk too much about it, they can freak out. As the Child Mind Institute says, “Kids worry more when they’re left in the dark.”

So what can you do to help them navigate through this time period?

Stay calm (even if you’re not), and meet it head on. Get your anxiety under control before even thinking about having “the talk.” Process your fears first.

One panel from the Coronavirus comic developed by National Public Radio.

Assess what he or she knows. Dr. Nia Heard-Garris, M.D., an attending physician at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, says the first thing to do is to ask them what they have heard about the virus; that will help direct the conversation. If they’re not too concerned (it’s like a flu) the talk will be a lot different than if they heard the whole world is going extinct.

Limit news exposure. The news can be scary. And information good and bad about COVID-19 is everywhere—in ads, on shows, on social media, and, especially, on the news. Catch up on the latest after they go to bed; limit their news viewing to a small amount of time per day.

Give them outlets to express their fears. Create a weekly family newspaper; along with the fun stuff make sure to include an opinion piece-type article in which your child can let his or her fears out. Make a video, or write in a journal. One mom created a Coronavirus Time Capsule, a free, downloadable book that includes various activities designed to help kids express how they’re feeling.

Use a simple, consistent prompt. Every day, ask them to name one good thing and one bad or challenging thing that happened that day, then talk about it. Or use some kind of chart that they can point to indicate how they’re feeling at a particular point in time. Do what works for you.

You go first. Talk about what you’re feeling, what you’re missing. Something like “you know, I miss going for coffee with my friends.” Expressing your feelings first opens the door for them to express their feelings.

Keep an eye out for reassurance seeking. Kids ask a lot of questions, however, if you notice that you’re getting the same question over and over again, or if your answer just causes more distress, it might be helpful to seek help. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can offer your family strategies for handling and easing reassurance-seeking behaviors. Look for a mental health professional who practices CBT. Many therapists are treating patients via Teladoc or other systems, so that helps remove the scary office visit from the equation.

Practice good hygiene. Make it fun; make it a game. Tired of singing “Happy Birthday” when you wash your hands? Pick another song. Better still, make one up.

The most important thing NOT to do, according to Abi Gewirtz, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Minnesota, is dismiss your child’s fears. “If you simply tell the child, ‘You’ll be fine,’ they might not feel heard,” she says. “Listen to them and track what the child is feeling.”

With a little imagination, you—and your child—will get through this, and have fun doing it. Network with parents; exchange ideas. Remember, we’re #AllinthisTogether.

Get the ‘zine: Download and print the whole NPR Coronavirus comic at home—it’s available in English, Chinese, and Spanish!
Get the Coloring Book: Download a free copy of the COVID-19 Time Capsule Coloring Book.
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Across California and the nation, our regular routines have been shaken up as a result of the novel coronavirus. For many, stay-at-home orders and social distancing tactics have not only affected how we live and work, but these measures have also affected how we recreate.

With fitness and recreational facilities temporarily closed and depending on where you live, you have two alternatives: head outdoors or work out at home.

For some, working out at home can get mundane. If you’re like me, you need variety and good music to stay motivated. While searching the web for different options, I discovered that all you need is Wi-Fi or a mobile connection, and you can virtually be transported anywhere and find a great workout experience that is suitable for every age. 

Health and fitness trainers are offering tons of free classes for all fitness levels–bootcamp, yoga, and different genres of dance–through apps like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Classes can be taken in real-time or later, whenever your schedule permits. For those who need extra motivation and accountability, personal virtual training sessions are also available for a fee through downloadable fitness apps.

My family and I have participated in online bootcamp and yoga sessions, and I have taken several free dance classes from a celebrity choreographer. I don’t own tap shoes, but I took a tap dance class at home during my lunch break. Besides being a fun experience, it was a great workout. If choreographed dance is not your thing, there are lots of DJs who host hour-long music sets where you can listen to music and dance like no one is watching–because literally, they may not be.

Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial. Beyond burning calories, physical activity can help to reduce muscle soreness and tension. Moreover, it has been noted that exercise can help to relieve stress, promote better sleep, and may help to enhance your overall mood.

Researchers agree that exercise is good for your body and mind. If you’re interested in consulting with a health care or mental health care professional about the advantages of adopting a workout regimen, the Department of Consumer Affairs has a license search tool that makes it easy for you to trust but verify the license. Visit: https://search.dca.ca.gov/

 

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Tools of naturopathic medicineTaking health care back to nature

Naturopathic medicine has existed in various cultures for centuries, but the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Naturopathic Medicine Committee helps ensure today’s practitioners provide safe, professional services to all Californians in their care.

A HISTORY OF HEALING

While forms and elements of modern naturopathy—manual therapy, hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, counseling, environmental medicine, aromatherapy, whole foods, and more—have been present throughout human history, naturopathic medicine’s strongest current roots lie in Europe.

That’s where Benedict Lust—originally from Germany—learned about and benefited from hydrotherapy (the use of water temperature and pressure for therapeutic purposes) and other natural health practices following a severe bout of tuberculosis. Following his treatment and training in Germany, he traveled to the United States and went on to found New York’s American School of Naturopathy in 1902 plus the American Naturopathic Association, embracing a comprehensive philosophy and system of health care that incorporated a wide variety of traditional and holistic therapies. As a writer, editor, and publisher of numerous materials, this “father of U.S. naturopathy” advocated for and increased the popularity of the healing power of nature during the U.S. Industrial Revolution and beyond.

But according to the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, by the mid-20th century, “the rise of ‘technological medicine’ and the discovery and increased use of ‘miracle drugs’ like antibiotics” temporarily overshadowed naturopathic medicine and other methods of natural healing.

That shadow would lift in the 1970s, when, as part of larger culture changes and a new emphasis on natural and holistic living, Americans were inspired to look into options and alternatives for their personal health care through naturopathic therapies and practices.

Today, naturopathic medicine is considered a distinct and comprehensive system of primary health care. Modern naturopathic medicine is distinguished by the principles on which its practice is based, which include:

  • The Healing Power of Nature: Naturopathic doctors (NDs) trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
  • Identify and Treat the Cause: Look beyond the symptoms to effectively address the underlying cause(s) of illness.
  • First, Do No Harm: Seek to utilize the most natural, least invasive, and least toxic therapies first.
  • Doctor as Teacher: The primary role of an ND is a teacher who educates and encourages people to take responsibility for their own health and to take steps to achieve and maintain optimal health.
  • Treat the Whole Person: Total health includes physical, emotional, mental, genetic, environmental, social, spiritual, and other factors.
  • Prevention: Encourage and emphasize disease prevention and focus on promoting health and wellness.
PRACTITIONERS’ PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE

Several states licensed naturopathic practitioners even in Lust’s time of the early decades of the 20th century. Today, 22 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands license and regulate naturopathic doctors.

Under the 2004 Naturopathic Doctors Act, California became the 13th state to license and regulate naturopathic doctors, and the first ND license was issued January 14, 2005. Today’s naturopathic doctors treat their patients by using natural methods and substances to support and stimulate the body’s self-healing process, while also utilizing conventional medicine in conjunction with naturopathic medicine when appropriate. This truly makes NDs a valuable asset to those patients who are interested in natural and conventional medicine and treatments, since NDs are trained in both.

To be licensed as a naturopathic doctor in our state, an individual must:

  • Graduate from a school accredited by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education that offers a graduate degree of doctor of naturopathy or doctor of naturopathic medicine.
  • Meet education requirements consisting of at least 4,100 hours of training, of which not less than 2,500 hours are academic training and not less than 1,200 hours are supervised clinical training.
  • Pass an exam administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners.

California’s more than 1,000 licensed naturopathic doctors are overseen by DCA’s Naturopathic Medicine Committee (NMC), which was formed in 2009 under the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.

In addition to licensing, the Committee provides license status, investigates consumer complaints, and, if needed, pursues disciplinary actions against licensed NDs. Licensure ensures that naturopathic doctors have the required educational training, have passed the required examinations, and have met ongoing educational requirements that help them stay current with professional practice.

The Committee is completely funded by application and licensing fees and its staff is responsible for answering public inquiries, analyzing licensure documents, issuing licenses, responding to correspondence, coordinating legislative, regulatory, and budgetary activities, preparing reports, and administering disciplinary and enforcement activities.

“While NDs will help prevent illness and disease for consumers, the Committee strongly encourages consumers to take some additional preventative measures for their safety,” said NMC Executive Officer Rebecca Mitchell. “You can do this by verifying any and all healing arts practitioners before making an appointment to see them. Your safety is our main priority; we hope you will make it yours, too. Be well!”

To learn more about naturopathic doctors in California, visit NMC’s website at www.naturopathic.ca.gov. To check an ND’s license, visit search.dca.ca.gov/.

Related reading: Searching for alternative healing? Try naturopathic medicine.

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