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Consultation Guide

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Guide to Our Consultation Services

About Natural Holistic Health Care

Natural Holistic Health Care was founded in 1992.  In early 1996 moved from a part-time to a full- time 100 percent holistic practice. Our goal is to offer very personalized, one to one care. The modalities available through our practice include:

•Classical Homeopathy
•Acupuncture
•Chiropractic
•Laser Therapy (Both Class 4 and Class 3)
•Herbal Therapy
•Hospice Care and Counseling
•Flower Remedies
•Nutritional Counseling
•Nutraceutical Therapy
•Matrix Energetic Therapy
•Reiki

 

More About Our Practice

We are a 100% holistic practice.  Depending on your animal’s needs and our interpretation of the case, we offer homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs, chiropractic, laser therapy, nutrition, flower remedies, counseling, hospice care, hands on healing and more. Dr. Bernstein was in conventional practice for 20 years and has been practicing holistic medicine for another 20 as of 2012.. There was a 4 year overlap when he had a dual practice. He is Board Certified in Homeopathy and Acupuncture and has advanced training in Chiropractic and Herbology, Reiki, NAET and Matrix Energetics.

Since many cases we see are complex cases (involving multiple organ systems and numerous medications), we strive to stay current in all aspects of conventional veterinary, as well as holistic medicine. Many cases come to us already on medication, we often find it necessary to continue critical medications while we try to address some of the deeper issues with the goal of reducing or eliminating the need for these medications as the patient progresses. There may even be times when we recommend conventional modalities in your animal’s care, if we all agree that is the best course for your case. We believe holistic requires that we do the right thing for our patients and clients for the situation and not force them into a specific path or belief system. That said, we have decades of experience in what seems to work well in our hands and will always try to help you select the best options and choices for your situation.

Use of Other Modalities and Medications

The treatment program that we use may be less effective with the simultaneous use of conventional drugs such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, thyroid hormones, etc.  We recognize that these are sometimes an essential part of the animal’s care and do not insist that anything be stopped. As the case progresses we can, hopefully, look forward to the gradual discontinuance of these medications. More rapid discontinuation may be necessary so that our methods can take full effect but each case is unique and any change in medication will be a joint decision with a full discussion. In addition, if other symptoms appear during treatment (or older, previous conditions return), you should let us know so we can try a less suppressive therapy rather than automatically grab the drugs that you may have used before. If there is a life threatening risk (for instance a severe attack in an asthma patient) then we want you to do whatever is appropriate to help them through it as an emergency. If it is itchy ears or a hot spot on the skin or a case of diarrhea, then trying more holistic therapy or a new remedy makes a lot more sense than jumping back to harsh drugs. The more we can do naturally, the better chance for lasting improvement and cure.  As you read through the Homeopathic Primer, remember that the reappearance of older problems can be a very good sign that the body is beginning to heal and this is a very delicate but promising time and should be nurtured. The use of conventional medications and treatments might block this healing but we will never, intentionally, put your animal in jeopardy or ask them to suffer. 

How Long Does it Take?

In most situations presented to our practice, the illness is a chronic one, e.g., long lasting and requiring treatment over an extended period. This may be a few consultations or extend for the remaining life of the patient. Regular contact is desirable for optimal results, as the healing process usually takes time and evolves in stages.

In our homeopathic cases we have an initial consultation and then follow-up appointments via phone, email, Skype or in person, at regular intervals, (frequency and duration depend on the severity of the case). These follow-up consultations are usually 20 - 30 minutes in length. We also request progress reports via e-mail as questions or changes arise. As the case evolves, the treatment will be adjusted as necessary depending on the patient’s progress. We may have a very serious case (liver or kidney failure or cancer, for example) where we communicate daily at first, then, as the situation stabilizes, it becomes weekly, then monthly, then even longer. It all depends on the progress and complexity of the individual case. E-mail reports are often used to maintain continuity between scheduled phone, Skype or in person appointments.

At the other end of the spectrum, we get new puppies and healthy animals whose owners want to have the best care right from the start and these are often once or twice a year visits with the occasional e-mail or phone call with a quick question. We like these kind of cases. Prevention is so much easier than treatment for serious illness.

A Note about Case Time

Our charges are, basically, for case time. We do not do x-rays or most conventional diagnostic procedures but we can send out lab work. We do not sell a lot of different products (we do stock remedies, herbs and supplements we feel are important). We do not sell pet foods. We do not administer lots of high profit vaccinations (we do carry the ones that we feel may be needed in your situation so, when required, they can be administered under our strict guidance).  Basically, we charge for our skill, experience and expertise. To stay in practice, our charges are based on time spent working on a case. Time spent on the phone, in person, e-mail, fax, Skype, consulting with other veterinarians, and research time are all case time.

For Acupuncture, Laser and Chiropractic cases, we, usually charge per treatment, after the initial evaluation (which may include extra time).  For these types of therapies, we suggest you make the mental commitment for 6-8 visits although many cases respond quickly and require less visits.

Since we feel that your contribution to the healing is very important, we also try to teach you therapies to be done at home to reduce the time and expense whenever feasible. We offer LLT (Low Level Light Therapy) or Therapeutic Laser Therapy for many issues and we use Respond Class 3 and Class 4 lasers. This therapy may be used in conjunction with our Acupuncture or Chiropractic visits and then continued treatments may be suggested. These are usually short visits and may be done by trained assistants under supervision rather than the veterinarian to minimize cost to you. If a number of treatments seem appropriate, we do offer “package” rates on the Laser Therapy treatments to further reduce the financial burden where possible. See the Our Charges section for current rates and a more detailed breakdown.

Commitment

Since we want to do the best by our patients, our usual protocol is to only take on clients that are as committed to healing as we are. This may sound exclusionary but the saddest part of practice, is to pour your heart and soul into a case, start making real progress and have the client decide that it is too much trouble to follow the regimen. On the other hand, one of the greatest joys of practice is to see the dedicated client with the “hopeless” case achieve a state of health that conventional medicine had said was impossible. That is why we ask you to read through this material and be familiar with our practice BEFORE you become a client.

Our Pledge

If you we decide to work together, you have our pledge that we will do our very best to help your animal. Our goal is a complete cure of the problem, regardless of the diagnosis. Of course, some animals are too old or have been ill too long for a complete cure, but we will do our best to increase the quality of life.

Scheduling

Once you are a client, we schedule a consultation to discuss the case in detail and begin therapy. We request that you send a history and any medical records before our visit, if possible, so we can become familiar with the case and focus in on the relevant issues. During the initial consultation, we will discuss what you can reasonably expect from therapy and what the optimal modalities for your situation are. For example, some cases start off as acupuncture cases but we may switch to homeopathy or other modalities to address other case issues. We have had dogs come in for “hip” problems and acupuncture and found that their urinary incontinence or other historical issues are part of the overall picture and actually respond better to herbs or laser or homeopathic therapy. We will always offer a therapy protocol designed for the specific case. As the parent, guardian or owner, you will always have the final say as to any medical decisions for your animal. We feel it is important that we all be a team and that our interactions always be of a healing nature.

In homeopathic cases this initial, extended intake is what usually takes the most time as we are gathering all the history and pertinent information together for the first time. Depending on the complexity of the case, this usually takes about 45 - 60 minutes with you directly and perhaps another 30 minutes in analysis and conference time deciding on the most appropriate remedy and treatment protocol. Very complicated or multi patient cases may take double that. Some of that time may be used to become familiar with you, the home situation, some other history or other animals. Some of this may seem unrelated, at the time, but it is often important to see all the aspects of a case situation (hence the term holistic).

Acupuncture, Laser and Chiropractic related cases usually require an initial 60-90 minute appointment with 30-60 minute follow-ups visits. Laser appointments are usually about 20 minutes.  Since every case and every patient is different, it is hard to be firm on the required time. Some animals take a few minutes to settle, some come in and are ready for therapy right away. Usually, they become more comfortable over time and most look forward to their visits.

Our Charges

Our usual charges are based on the time we spend on the case, at an hourly rate. This applies to both time talking to you, consulting with other veterinarians, reviewing medical records, reading e-mail or fax reports, doing a homeopathic analysis or working directly with you or your animal. If we see you in person, there is also an office visit charge. This is for hands-on cases that we see in our office and not telephone consultations. Basically, we charge for time spent on the case - meaning consultation time, office visit time, and case analysis time. Follow - up appointments are based on the same fee with a minimum charge. As of June, 2007 that hourly rate has been $180 per hour of case time. We have done our best to hold our prices during the recession and to streamline visits when required.  Laser Therapy visits; Acupuncture and Chiropractic are charged by the service and range from $60 – $150. All except Laser also require an office Visit charge and may also involve some time charges depending on other case requirements during the visit. Laser Therapy charges are usually $60 and volume or “package” discounts are available for 6 or more treatments.

 

Methods of Payment

Consultations require a credit card to secure an appointment (MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover) or a prepaid account for payment of services – we also accept electronic checks. Long distance consultations are then billed via credit card.  Our in-person appointments may also pay by check or cash. We do not bill.

Nuts and Bolts of Becoming a Client

If you would like to become a client with us, please complete the required reading (this document and the authorization), if, as most clients are, you are looking for a homeopath, please read the Homeopathic Primer also. Fill in the online contact form and send us the Authorization. It can be printed, filled out and faxed or we also have a link to an electronic version that can be completed and signed securely online via Echosign. We can also e-mail you a link to an electronic, digital copy you can sign securely via Echosign online.

If you do not have or are uncomfortable with internet access, please call us to discuss it, but we find that having internet and e-mail makes the process much more effective in our practice.
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Sadly, we cannot take on every client that requests our services but, if we cannot take your case, we will do our best to help you find a colleague who can help you.  Please also let us know if you were referred by a veterinarian or an existing client at the time you call or write. We are only human and the large number of calls makes it necessary to prioritize our callbacks. If you do not hear back from us within 24-48 hours then please try again or use the fax or e-mail. We try to get back to everyone but our first obligation is to the patients already under our care.

Information and Records

For our Homeopathic cases, you can use the following questions as a guide to help organize your thoughts. It is always more efficient to can send them to us prior to your consultation. We may also benefit from any medical records and laboratory tests from your veterinarian indicating a diagnosis or description of the problem. General records are also great since they help us better understand the history and timeline on a case. If there are x-rays on the case and are digital, ask for a copy of the disc to bring or copy and mail/email to us. We can give you directions on sending an ISO image of a CD if needed. If there are non-digital (film) x-rays, we have found that you can go to the vet, put them up on the view box and take digital photos for e-mail. If you use a good resolution camera and send the full resolution photo, it does a great job of making those standard x-rays digital. If we feel that additional tests or other information would be beneficial, we can discuss this during the initial consultation.

Obtaining Homeopathic Remedies

If yours is a homeopathic case (as most are) and, if you do not have ready access to the homeopathic remedies, we will prescribe or we will send them to you. Of course, there is a charge for the homeopathic medicine, herbal medication, and nutritional supplements sent. In most cases we ship medicines by priority mail. This method seems to be the most efficient and cost effective for our US clients and ensures that treatment will be timely. Overnight shipment is available in emergencies or at the request of the client. We also have designed a remedy kit of our most commonly prescribes remedies (30C potency – 50 remedies in a storage case) that we had made for our clients or there are other commercially available kits. Many common remedies are available at health stores like Whole foods, so it depends on the severity of the case, the importance of having different remedies available immediately, and your proximity to remedies as to whether we will suggest a kit at some point.

 

Helpful Hints Beforehand For Homeopathic Cases

If you can answer or consider the following questions, it will be helpful in doing the extended interview with you. However, this is optional and not necessary if you find it difficult.
If you can type it and e-mail it, it makes it easier and quicker to incorporate into your file .You can send this information to us by e-mail to office@naturalholistic.com or fax it to us at 305 - 653 - 7244 (24 hours a day).
Try to include:

  1. A description of the most recent illness which prompted you to contact us. Use your own words to describe what alerted you to the presence of illness, e.g., what symptoms you saw. If a veterinarian was used, describe what that person observed and said about It. Was a treatment used? If so, describe that as well. If laboratory tests were done. Ask copy of the results to send on to us.
  2. An outline of the previous (before this last one) health problems your animal has experienced. Please describe these In your own words, what diagnosis was given (if a veterinarian was consulted), and what treatments were used (not necessarily brand names, but, for example, antibiotics, cortisone or steroids).
  3. What medication is your animal presently on? Include use of heartworm medication, Program or flea - shots, dips, or other insecticides.
  4. How long have you had this animal? What Is the age, breed, sex (spayed or neutered?), weight, and name. Are there other animals in the home?
  5. What kind of environment does your animal have? Does it get outdoors? How much exercise? Do you live in a house? Mobile home? Apartment?
  6. What is the temperament of this animal? Is there ever irritability or aggression? Jealousy? Is it calm or very excitable? Is there anything (strangers, loud noises such as thunderstorms, firecrackers, loud voices) which causes fear?
  7. How often have vaccinations been given (approximate months are adequate)? What kind ? (example: DHL, Rabies, Parvovirus, Corona, Lyme vaccine Kennel Cough, Bordetella, Influenza, Panleukopenia or Cat Distemper, 3 in 1 Cat vaccine, FVRCP, Feline Leukemia vaccine, Chlamydia vaccine).
  8. What food is your animal currently eating? Include any supplements, vitamins, or minerals added to the food.
  9. Any previous homeopathic therapy or remedies and what, if any effect you observed.

We hope that his has given an accurate overview of our procedures. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Dr. Larry and Karen Bernstein