Blog : Starry Brook Natural Medicine in Exeter expands holistic care and insurance coverage options

By Sam | Jan 21, 2014 | in

EXETER - For Starry Brook Natural Medicine, a naturopathic doctor's office in Exeter, NH, there are always options beyond the ordinary for medical treatment. Recently, the business has expanded to include two new practitioners to bring a wider range of holistic healing to the Seacoast.

Starry Brook is a standard family practice. According to H.B. 351 in New Hampshire, naturopathic doctors are classified as primary care providers. The practice takes insurance plans, can prescribe medication, and can diagnose medical conditions. The difference with Starry Brook is its reliance on holistic and natural medicine to provide solutions to medical problems that may not be wholly solved by mainstream medicine. Starry Brook offers everything from acupuncture to hydrotherapy. More recently, it has expanded its services to include Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, and nutritional counseling.

Dr. Robyn Giard, owner of Starry Brook, makes sure that a patient's first visit is thorough enough to accurately assess their overall health, whatever issue might be particularly concerning them and tackle how they would like to improve.

“The average doctor's visit with a corporate practice is seven minutes, which is not nearly enough time to complete a proper diagnosis. At Starry Brook, we take the time necessary to know each and every patient fully,” explains Dr. Giard. “We'll spend an hour with our new patients to really focus on what they're struggling with in order to pinpoint what the cause really is.”

Cheri Valentine is an Emotional Freedom Technique specialist, which is a form of alternative counseling, utilizing healing energy to help her clients discover inner guidance and strength.

Valentine has had her own share of difficulties throughout her life. She has struggled with chronic Lyme disease and fibromyalgia, divorce, and empty nest syndrome. Instead of relying on institutionalized medicine, she turned to holistic medicine, and it has been integral to her recovery and maintenance of her physical, mental and spiritual health. She said that EFT works at the subconscious level, as well as within the physical body, different than regular therapy.

“I am helping my clients release emotions and trauma blocks from their subconscious system that they're unaware of – things or triggers that may cause fight or flight symptoms, and reliving the trauma in their body each time they are triggered,” she said. “I'm helping them to actually access this space within them that's holding the key to what's causing the pain, and to release it consciously, unconsciously, and energetically.”

For some, holistic energy therapy can solve their discomfort. For others, the answer may lie in what they eat.

Registered Dietician Alicia Rossman joined Starry Brook Natural Medicine at the beginning of January this year. Rossman specializes in nutritional counseling, a form of therapy that focuses on specialized diets, individual to the patient, in hopes of alleviating unwanted symptoms. While a patient's particular diet may not necessarily be unhealthy, Rossman works closely with patients to identify possible solutions through a personalized diet plan that helps balance and improve their general health. She also teaches private yoga sessions for Starry Brook patients.

As New Englanders navigate the early stages of ACA or Obamacare and the enormous changes it will bring to healthcare in the nation as a whole, many are wondering how or if their insurance policies will cooperate with holistic or alternative healthcare. Insurance companies are beginning to recognize the demand for holistic medicine, and are changing their policies to include practices like Starry Brook. Currently, Starry Brook is an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim, Aetna, Cigna, and more. People wondering if their insurance covers naturopathic medicine are encouraged to talk to their insurance company about their options.

Starry Brook Natural Medicine is a partner of the Green Alliance because of their reliance on natural and holistic alternatives to corporate medicine, offering many natural and organic products. Dr. Giard's main focus is to offer alternatives to highly synthesized medicine that, she says, can cause more harm than good in the long run.

“There are so many side effects to pharmaceuticals,” said Giard. “In the allopathic (modern) medicine industry, you essentially get to pick your poison; I would rather not have poison. So we are very proud to be offering Seacoast residents an alternative path to wellness.”

Learn more about Starry Brook medicine at
Find out more about the Green Alliance by visiting