I recently baked "Trail-Mix" muffins. After I made a basic muffin batter, I threw in the ingredients of trail mix: dried cherries, chopped almonds, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, hemp seeds, chopped dried dates. I would share the recipe but I didn't measure anything so I can't guarantee reproducibility.
When a patient goes to visit a naturopathic doctor, chances are that he or she will be asked to fill out a lengthy medical history form and a review of systems. The medical history form will ask the patient about his or her diet, what medications and supplements he or she is taking, past illnesses, allergies, etc. A review of systems will ask the patient to respond with simple "yes, no, past" answers to a variety of questions regarding the systems of the body (i.e. circulatory system, reproductive system). The patient answers yes if he or she is experiencing the symptom described now, no if he or she has never had the symptom, and past if he or she had felt the symptom sometime in the past. If the patient responded with yes or past, he and she will also be asked to include about a sentence long description of what happened/what was experienced. Once the review of systems is completed, the ND will be able to determine which bodily systems are not functioning optimally.
Now, when the patient sees the ND, the ND will likely go over the form with patient. Doesn't this seem redundant? Why ask the patient fill out the lengthy form only to be asked to verbally explain the form?
There are a couple of reasons why it is necessary for the ND to review the form with the patient:
1) The patient may have simply forgot to include a symptom.
2) Patients lie. Most people will have a hard time writing down their "flaws". A patient may be embarrassed about something as common as the occasional "toot" and thus won't include it in the form. But in the comforting space of the ND's office, the patient may admit to symptoms/diseases/disorders not mentioned on the sheets.
3) People don't really know what "normal" is. The sheet may ask "Do you have regular bowel movements?" and the patient may say yes, having a bowel movement every day or two. This is NOT normal, but the patient probably doesn't know otherwise; in the patient's mind, this is a normal amount of bowel movements! NDs are trained extensively in how the body should act "normally" and thus it is their job to educate the patient about the areas of his or her health that may need improvement.