Expectations

“Of all the virtues we can learn, no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.”

Mihaly Csikzentmihaly (Flow, The Secret to Happiness)

Over the years I have figured out that first time appointments and evals with referrals are one of the hardest things to do well. I am incredibly thankful for people believing in what I do and how I do it, but sometimes referrals have no idea exactly what that is. In reality I am going to science the shit out of their situation and discuss fairly complex topics as simply and thoroughly as I can. The learning curve is like longboarding down Mount Kilimanjaro. Where as someone who contacts me from an article I have written or has followed me for some time will have a better grasp of what I do and how I do it.

Yet, I’ll often ask the question to new referrals, “What do you think we are going to do?” and they will say, “I have absolutely no idea, but so and so said you were great!”

And guess whose fault that is?

Mine.

So what can you expect when starting this whole Functional Medicine process combined with personalized nutritional advice? Well you can expect it to be a journey that piques a lifelong interest and awareness into finding true health. In fact, Dr. Kalish has the very loose recommendation that it takes a month of healing (when things are completely dialed in) for every year you were in the fire. For most of us that is a long time, yet results can come quickly when we find and alleviate the root cause of the problem.

You can also expect that I am going to say and recommend very “weird” things like:

Don’t eat grains, night shades, dairy, legumes, eggs, and/or nuts for 30 days to 6 months to forever depending on testing.

Get up to at least 7 hours of sleep and ideally 9 hours in bed each night.

Unplug your phone and don’t look at it three hours before you usually go to bed.

Don’t drink tap water and buy a whole house filter or gravity filter.

Throw away plastic containers and buy all glass everything.

Check your personal care products for toxins and environmental estrogens.

…and that’s just the start of the rabbit hole.

For some people this is really daunting and they are not ready yet. They haven’t felt bad enough or haven’t had enough information on these topics to create a big enough why. That is OK. I will help you build positive habits, but if you don’t believe that these counter-cultural changes are productive you won’t get them done. If that is the case return to this path when you are good and ready, the Functional Medicine field is growing rapidly and more and more educated and experienced people will be there to help.

What can you expect from testing?

It will start with blood work. This will be a fasting blood draw after 48 hours without exercise. You can see these  intro panels here. All of my panels are at cost and I do not attempt to make money on testing. None of the Functional Medicine Practitioners in my network take insurance because many times insurance doesn’t deem things like a full thyroid or hormonal panel a necessity for a 28 year old female or 35 year old male. Then when the bill comes back this person gets hit with a 400 dollar bill when the actual lab work cost is about 80 bucks.

After your lab work comes back, we will schedule the initial in-person consult which is scheduled for 90 minutes. These consults sometimes even go over this time allotment as I want to make sure that I have educated and took the time to help you understand the why behind each and every recommendation.

I currently charge a variable rate for both the initial visit and your first follow-up. I believe I am the first in the industry to take such strides and I hope others can make this change in order to help a wider socioeconomic range. During this time, please email away with any questions you may have and I will always get back to you within 24 to 48 hours on weekdays unless I am away from the office.

I focus on the fundamentals and work really well with both men and women. I am likely one of the best choices in the country if you are an athlete as I understand and have lived that life and this is rare in the Functional Medicine space, however I am likely not the best choice if you knowingly have a serious health condition and I will likely refer you out.

Some women also like working with a female voice, thus here are some rates from two of my favorite female Functional Medicine Practitioners who #1 really really care and who #2 really really know their stuff!

Dr. Alex Carrasco MD at Nourish Medicine in Austin: $425 for an hour initial 60-80 min appointment

Brenda Gregory MS, CN at Resonant Nutrition in Cedar Park, TX: $375 for initial program

I have many colleagues and mentors and here are just a few of them!

Dr. Bob Rakowski DC, CCN at The Natural Medicine Center in Houston, TX: $400 for a 60 min office visit

If you are looking for an in-person visit and do not live in one of the places above, I would search the Institute of Functional Medicine’s or Primal Docs or SHEI website or you can email me and I will do my best to find someone in your area. We can be hard to find. For instance, I am only on SHEI and most people find me through word of mouth. So thank you!

*If you can, do not try to find the best financial choice in the Functional Medicine realm. Instead, try to find the best choice for you by looking at websites and even calling offices. As Dr. Rakowski says, “The most expensive protocol is the one that doesn’t work.” I am not saying this for any monetary gain, I truly want you to get the right assistance from the right healer for your unique personality and needs.

What can you expect after testing?

When we get your labs back we will begin to unravel your story with all the available information. Then depending on the initial testing results and your goals we may need to run a bit more testing such as Cyrex food immunoreactivity testing and at times various other saliva, stool, breathe, and urine testing.

This is also time for us to get to work! I am and was a strength and conditioning coach so I like to work in phases. But, just like the best in the strength and conditioning realm we will start by dialing in the fundamentals. This means you we will individualize your diet as much as possible, get a handle on what exercise and carbohydrate dosage is right for you right now, as well as add in the best tactics to help with sleep and stress reduction. We will then traverse into more intense phases depending on your goals.

We will also add in supplements and medical foods with guaranteed potency and purity that may be necessary to help with specific nutrient needs, to help regulate the stress response and/or immune system, as well as assist with digestion and/or detoxification, but we must always remember that we cannot and will not try to out supplement a diet or lifestyle problem.

Supplements are not the foundation of what we do, the pillars that hold the healing process up are nutrition, movement, sleep, and stress reduction/change in perception. Supplement costs range depending on testing, but can get north of 300 per month for the first 90 days, however I always give patients an exit strategy for each supplement and will let you know which supplements you will likely benefit from forever.  For instance, if you have an autoimmune condition you will likely need supplementation that helps regulate your immune response forever, however you may only need GI support until the system has a chance to recover.

Over this initial period you will learn a lot about yourself and what you need to get and stay health and we will stay in contact throughout this entire time. In turn, I will check-in on you at pivotal dates and then we will retest to see…

What's Next?

I have had clients who need my help for 90 days and then they were good to go! They walk out and text me occasionally to let me know they need to buy new cloths or that they are traveling somewhere amazing and just wanted to let me know. These are usually young and resilient folks who just needed someone to tell them it was OK to slow down and hone in on the big rocks they may have been missing. For others the healing process may take quite some time and we may uncover some things that aren’t too pretty, but no matter what it all starts with that first initial consult and then putting one foot in front of the other as we begin to unravel what you need when.

…to start the Functional Medicine Process email drhouse@functionalmedicinecostarica.com

Be Well,

Ben

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