State medical regulators have warned a Dubuque "alternative health care consultant" that she has been illegally practicing medicine without a license.

The Iowa Board of Medicine, which licenses physicians, sent a letter this month warning Erin Gotz that she is breaking state law. "The information reviewed by the board indicates that you use tuning forks and specialized crystals to diagnose health conditions and prescribe a high-dose vitamin regimen to your clients," regulators wrote to Gotz.

"The board has serious concerns that the use of such high-dose vitamins may be toxic and could cause serious harm to your clients."

The letter says that if Gotz fails to heed the cease-and-desist order, the state could seek a court injunction against her or refer the case to the Dubuque county attorney for possible prosecution.

Gotz, who did not respond to a request for comment, has said alternative medical techniques, including sound therapy and Chinese medicine, helped her overcome anxiety and panic attacks as a teenager.

The experience led her to learn such techniques, she told the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald in 2009. "People are searching for different answers to their problems," Gotz told the newspaper.

"The medical industry definitely has a place in our society, but a pill doesn't always solve everything."

The article said Gotz's remedies included "sound and color therapy, essential oils, herbs, and gemstones, reflexology, acupressure, aromatherapy, and more. She has had the most success with sound therapy, which is said to heal the physical, mental, emotional and etheric aspects of a person and lead to a state of harmony through the use of sound frequencies."

Mark Bowden, the medical board's executive director, said last week that someone complained to regulators about Gotz's practices. The board doesn't go looking for such cases, he said, but it does occasionally warn people to stop practicing medicine without a license. Anyone who fails to heed such a warning could face criminal prosecution.