GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
For over 20 years doctors who practice natural medicine have been fighting for legal recognition from the state. A recent bill signed by Governor Hickenlooper finally allows qualified naturopathic doctors to register in Colorado.
The new law will help give consumers more confidence, knowing they are seeing legitimate doctors who have underwent years of doctorate level training.
Dr. Christopher Lepisto, a naturopathic doctor in Grand Junction, said, "Because we weren't recognized by the state, it was always a bit of a gray area. What that meant was that many of my colleagues chose not to come to Colorado because there wasn't a license, there wasn't any oversight."
While Dr. Lepisto practices in Grand Junction, his license is out of Utah.
"I see a lot of patients with really chronic issues, especially because they may not be able to get the time or help from conventional medicine. I can also offer another perspective that says, what is the cause of their disease? Not just, oh, you have high blood pressure, take these medications," said Lepisto.
While many haven't heard of the medical practice, those who have say it's changed their lives.
Patient Cody Lange said, "Going in I was really just struggling to find solutions that did not involve pharmaceuticals."
Lange experienced just how different a naturopathic doctor can be from the norm, "Between supplements the exercise and some light counseling, it really provided a complete package to help me get better."
"There are a lot of people in this town who cannot get in to see an MD or a DO because their practices are jammed. So I offer a first place to go for many people," said Lepisto.
He and more than 100 doctors in the state can soon breath a little easier knowing that after decades they will have legal recognition.
For more on Dr. Lepisto, click here
For more on naturopathic medicine and the Colorado legislation, click here