Frequently Asked Questions

Following are a list of common questions we receive at The Institute of Natural Health.

To get started on your healing journey, you can simply call our office at (314) 293-8123 and speak to one of our staff members.  You can also leave us a message at the above phone number, send us an email at, and a patient care coordinator will be in touch with you within a few days.

No, the doctors of The Institute of Natural Health are not participating providers of any health insurance plan.  The Institute of Natural Health is a cash-based practice.  We accept Cash, Check, Debit, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express as well as Care Credit.  You may apply for Care Credit by clicking the link at the bottom of each page.

This means that payment is due at the time of service.  From our perspective, our patients benefit from us not being participating providers with insurance companies.  We believe that insurance companies tend to dictate care available to a patient by denying services that may be the most beneficial for the patient. We personally believe that you should be able to determine which services are best for you, and which services you would like to receive. Our patients solidify our beliefs because they continue to seek out the services and care we provide at The Institute of Natural Health.  They are seeking a different philosophy and treatment from that which allopathic medicine provides and are instead choosing a more health-promoting model of care.

With that being said, we do help our patients by using standard medical coding on our invoices so that you may submit the forms to your insurance provider for potential reimbursement.  We have no involvement in, nor guarantee any manner or amount you may be reimbursed.  This is entirely between you and your insurance company and the plan you have chosen.

The benefit of a collaborative approach is that rarely does a person walk into our office that we are unable to help.  In the event that does happen with you, rest assured we will refer you, as quickly as possible, to the correct type of practitioner who can best address your situation.

That is a great question that we wish had a simple answer.  We pride ourselves in offering an affordable solution to your healthcare needs.  The costs will truly be dependent upon the complexity of your case and your desire to become well.  For example, we see some people who come in with many different issues and they choose to only address one issue even though other health issues were found.  Yet we have other clients that come in and want to do absolutely everything they can to be the healthiest most vibrant expression of wellness they can.  The choice is truly up to you.  We are here to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide you answers where others may have found none.  Your health will always be your decision at The Institute of Natural Health.

Yes, your first appointment with a functional medicine practitioner must be done in-person at The Institute of Natural Health in St. Louis, Missouri.

For those who are unable to travel to Missouri, we do offer functional nutrition consultations, which you can do over the phone and can help many people.

If you are still interested in a functional medicine physician, but are looking for someone local, please feel free to contact us and we will assist you in finding someone qualified in your area.

Yes and no.  For most of our patients, the answer is no and we require that you have your own primary care physician.  Our practitioners will work with you closely as consultants and coaches in preventative, nutritional, and functional medicine to help you address the roots of chronic health problems.  They can confer with your primary care doctor if required.

Please fill out the intake forms that pertain to your appointment type and submit this paperwork at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment.  (link coming soon)

As you begin your journey to health at The Institute of Natural Health, we begin a relationship together that will take course over the months and/or years to come.  As inherent in the Functional Medicine Model, we will want to understand the complexity of who you are, your story, the triggers and precipitating factors that have impacted your health, and where this has brought you to date.  This discovery process is part of us getting to know you, your history, and your needs and helps us formulate a treatment plan that is specifically catered to you.  There are many facets to this initial discovery process.  You will be asked to complete and submit an intake form prior to your initial appointment.  In addition, we ask that you provide us with pertinent medical records that may be important for us to better understand your medical situation.  In order to better help you understand what medical records are useful, please check out our Guidelines for Submitting Medical Records.

Absolutely.  Functional Medicine requires a collaborative effort between the practitioner and the patient.  If you are not ready to put in some time and effort to heal your body, we recommend you stick with conventional medicine.  On your road to optimal wellness, we provide you with the information necessary to return to your optimal health, but it is up to you to do the necessary work.

Our functional medicine practitioners treat patients with the following health concerns (including, but not limited to):

  • Acne
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Athletic Performance
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD, ADHD
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Brain Health (focus, cognition, memory)
  • Cancer Prevention and Support
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Detoxification and Healing
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive Disorders (IBD, IBS, GERD/Reflux, etc.)
  • Eczema and Psoriasis
  • Elevated Cholesterol
  • Environmental and Food Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Female Disorders (PMS, Menopause, Infertility, PCOS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Healthy Aging
  • Healthy Weight and Metabolism
  • Heart Health
  • Hormone Balance
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Low testosterone
  • Mercury and Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Metabolic Syndrome, Pre-Diabetes, Insulin Resistance
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parasites
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Sleep problems/Insomnia
  • Thyroid and Adrenal Disorders

We have A LOT of cancer patients in our clinic.  Our practitioners work with patients to help create an environment in their body where cancer is less likely to grow.  For those who are in treatment, we work with the oncologist team and focus on nutrition and lifestyle modifications to strengthen the immune system, enhance detoxification, and support the patient through their treatment to lessen the side effects of the cancer treatment and support the healing process.  Post treatment, we work to build the body back up to hopefully decrease the risk of recurrence.

Yes, we work with patients who have autoimmunity and have seen great improvements using our functional medicine approach.

Yes, we work with children and find that when it comes to the best time for treating a health concern, the earlier the better.  Not only do children usually heal much faster than adults, but getting a baseline look at your child’s health enables us to prevent health problems that would have otherwise occurred later in life.

Our team has put together a step-by-step guide to assist you with the lab kits we offer. Should you require lab tests that are performed at home you will be provided with the necessary instructions to complete those tests.

We have found that the health of a patient’s mind a spirit plays a critical role in their physical health and healing.  We have created the Stress Reduction Techniques handout with tools and ideas for reversing the patterns of chronic stress.

The first six weeks of your partnership with us are extremely important.  This is the time when you start to rebalance your system (through targeted therapies, diet, supplements, and in some cases medications) and our team starts gathering important data to help us hone in on what’s really going on in your body.  We put together a handout on How to Succeed in the First Six Weeks that outlines how to get started on your healing journey.

Peeling the Onion of Chronic Disease:  In the practice of medicine, healing depends not only on doing the right things, but also on doing them in the right order.  This document outlines The Right Order of Things.

You can purchase supplements in person in our office or by visiting the patient store on our website.  Here are a few simply instructions to access our online store:

  • Click on “Patient Store” and you will be taken to The Institute of Natural Health Shop.
  • To login, under Current Member Login: enter the email address you provided.
  • Enter password: your last name and the year of birth with no spaces (Example: Smith1976).  Click “login” and continue to the store.
  • If at any point you have any questions or concerns regarding ordering your supplements, please contact Erica Nappier, our store concierge at

Thank you for choosing our store for your supplement needs.  At our online store you will find a wide array of products our team has hand-picked to address specific conditions and cover the nutrient bases you might not be getting even if you’re eating fresh, whole, real foods.

Buying quality supplements from the right sources is so important because supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).  The manufacturers we carry in our formulary have strict criteria.  All of the manufacturers adhere to the highest manufacturing practices standards.

When choosing supplements, it is important to be careful of third party vendors, online, and especially big box retailers.  We order direct from most manufacturers and guarantee our quality control regarding temperature and storage.

Buying quality supplements is important, but buying them from the right source also becomes crucial to get the freshest, highest-potency nutrients.  When you shop with us, you can rest assured every product is guaranteed to be safe, effective, and fresh.  Our customer support team is here to help you with anything you need, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need additional help.

Notice of Privacy Practices

The following Pricing Page will give you a breakdown of the services we provide and an overview of the costs you can expect.

 We understand that there are times when you must miss an appointment due to emergencies or obligations for work or family.  However, when you do not call to cancel an appointment, you may be preventing another patient from getting much needed treatment.  Conversely, the situation may arise where another patient fails to cancel and we are unable to schedule you for a visit due to a seemingly “full” appointment schedule.

For all functional medicine initial consultations canceled within 48 hours of the appointment date, you will forfeit your initial deposit.  For all follow-up consultations, we require 24 hours notice.  If you cancel a follow-up appointment within 24 hours of your appointment, you will be required to pre-pay your next appointment prior to scheduling.

We appreciate your understanding.

Functional Medicine doctors have taken additional coursework after receiving their doctorate, typically two or three years depending on the program, to receive a certification in Functional Medicine.  There are many practitioners who claim to be “Functional Medicine” practitioners, but have not put in the time or had the training to use that title or receive a certification.  Before seeing a Functional Medicine practitioner, make sure you check on their actual certification and how long they have been practicing.  Like with all specialties, not all Functional Medicine doctors are created equal.