What can I expect during the first visit?
The first visit is reserved for detailed information gathering. The way health is managed today, we have a cardiologist for chest pain, a gastroenterologist for our stomachaches and an endocrinologist for our thyroid dysfunction. However, no one in our circle of care puts the pieces back together. In the first visit, we will start building the complete story of your body and spirit as an integrated whole and consider how all those symptoms might be related.
We will also try to get a sense of your illness patterns throughout your lifetime. Sometimes, we find that chronic illness in adults really started in childhood, or after a traumatic life event, or even after a simple infection . We'll go through your entire medical history as well as the details of your current symptoms.
Afterwards, I'll feel your pulse and look at your tongue and begin to put together a diagnosis from both a western and eastern viewpoint.
After we have a theory of what could be causing the discomforts, we will discuss a treatment strategy. This may include supplements, including homeopathic remedies, dietary and nutritional interventions, Chinese herbs, bodywork, acupuncture, or stress management techniques.
My approach is similar to that of a medical detective. Many times, even though lab results are perfectly 'normal', we don't feel well. That's because something needs to be very wrong for lab results to be out of range. There is a way of reading the labs within normal ranges that can provide answers to more subtle discomforts. Even normal results can show patterns that give clues about how your body is functioning and tendencies you may have towards certain conditions. I'll study your bloodwork, and look for any concrete biochemical causes of your illness.
I'll listen carefully to what you say. I listen for clues that help explain symptoms. I listen from the perspective of a naturopath. I listen from the perspective of a Chinese medical practitioner and also with the ears of a classical homeopath. I think outside the box and I wear many hats during our visit.
When I have a theory about what is going on in your body, I'll give you the results of my findings and explain them to you. I taught Physiology at the graduate level so I like to educate clients about about how the body functions. Please be aware that I cannot diagnose any conditions in the State of NY. This will simply be an educational discussion. My hope is that you will be better equipped to discuss your condition with your MD, advocate for your best healthcare and that, together, we can find and treat the roots of illness. I'm happy to collaborate with any of your current healthcare providers.
What Should I Bring With Me?
Please bring the following items to your first visit in order to maximize our time together:
While I do not accept any insurance directly, you should check with your insurance company to see if they will reimburse a portion of the fee. In the State of NY, insurance carriers will definitely not reimburse you for Naturopathic Services. However, some insurance plans will reimburse for Acupuncture. Unfortunately, at this time, Medicare and Medicaid will not reimburse for acupuncture. We can provide you with the proper coded receipt to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement.
You can find out if your insurance covers acupuncture by calling your insurance company. The member services number can usually be found on the back of your insurance card. If your insurance provider does cover acupuncture, here are a few questions that you can ask to help understand your coverage:
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