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Tips when choosing a wellness practitioner

If you’re looking to include holistic wellness therapy in your current health care regiment, it is important to be thorough in your search. Not all wellness therapies are created equal and not all may be recommended based on your health conditions so be sure to check with your doctor first.

Here are a few tips to aid in your search:

1. Ask your doctor or other health care providers for names of wellness practitioners in your area. This is often one of the best ways to ensure that the potential therapist or business is reputable.

2. Research all potential wellness practitioner – the credentials required for holistic therapies vary from discipline-to-discipline and state-to-state. Professional licensure, certifications and membership associations are often a good way to determine the legitimacy of the practitioner. In New York, you can easily verify many health care professionals through The Office of Professions.

3. Keeping your health care providers fully informed helps you to stay in control and effectively manage your health. Ask if the potential practitioner is willing to work with and/or share information with your current health care providers.

4. Choose a practitioner who understands how to work with people with your specific condition or needs. Don’t be afraid to ask how they would structure a treatment protocol that addresses your needs and be sure to provide as much details of your health condition and medical history as you are comfortable providing.

5. Along with experience, a major part of developing and maintaining a successful client-therapist relationship is working with a practitioner you like and trust. In my practice, it is important that my clients feel safe, comfortable and understood. This relationship works both ways, I have often referred clients to other practitioners if their condition needs treatment therapy beyond my scope of practice or if the relationship is not synergistic.

6. In these economically challenging times, it may be tempting to choose the most affordable therapist but be mindful that value may not always equal expertise or quality. For example, in the case of Massage Therapy, rather than going twice per month to an unlicensed “body-worker” seek a Massage Therapist you can see every 4-6 weeks. While there may be a higher price point, most licensed therapists will be able to provide at-home tips that may help to extend the benefits of therapy between treatments.

7. Do not assume that wellness treatments are covered by your health insurance. Contact your health insurance provider to confirm. If the therapist does not accept insurance, ask if they accept payment via Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts (you may need a prescription from your doctor). Some therapies may qualify for a tax deduction; confirm with an accountant.

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