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INC doctors registered, relocated

Chris, Cascade, 8, (home schooled) and Dr. Rachel Oppitz are welcoming clientele at Itasca Naturopathic Clinic's new location. The INC family includes Dr. Lee Aberle. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Itasca Naturopathic Clinic is marking two milestones.

Drs. Rachel Oppitz, INC owner, and Lee Aberle will soon be registered as naturopathic doctors (ND) by the state under recently approved legislation.

The bill, Oppitz said, acts to protect consumers by establishing standards, which include a post-graduate doctoral degree, board exams and continuing education for NDs.

And the clinic has moved from the Heartland Wellness Center to the former Edward Jones building, located just west of State Bank on Highway 34.

Rachel Oppitz and office manager/husband Chris Oppitz explained the INC move allows them to expand services, including the sale of supplements.

The National College of Natural Medicine (Portland, Ore.) graduate explained naturopathic medicine emphasizes and utilizes the body's inherent ability to protect and repair itself.

The latest in diagnostic testing is implemented (and with state registration, can be now be billed via insurance) and non-invasive treatments are suggested.

Nutrition and lifestyle changes are emphasized to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms of an underlying illness or disease, Dr. Oppitz said.

Approximately 90 percent of treatment is natural, she said, including diet, exercise, nutrients, herbs and homeopathy.

Naturopathic medicine is not "alternative" medicine but an integrative medicine, a comprehensive utilization of traditional and conventional, she said.

Clinic specialties include treatment of autism and other behavior disorders, such as ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

As a Defeat Autism Now doctor, she recommends a change in diet protocol, specifically multivitamins and probiotics. "The earlier the treatment, the better the outcome," she advises.

She tests for imbalances in the intestinal tract, noting neurotransmitters in the mind affect the intestines (hence the term, gut instinct).

Allergies, eczema, chronic ear infections and women's health - infertility and pregnancy issues - are among the services. The naturopathic doctors assist diabetics in developing a diet and exercise regimen.

Her oldest patient is 99 who arrives for advice on supplements. He's on no medication.

The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and by appointment.

The clinic Web site, updated weekly, is