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FAQ - Wellness Alternatives of Penn Valley, CA

Got a question? Perhaps these frequently asked questions can help you.

Why Choose Wellness Alternatives?

Are You a Square Peg in a Round Hole? 
By the Common Sense R.N.

Is your health a concern? Do you ever feel that what seems to work for everyone else doesn’t for you? Health problems manifest differently with each person. No patient is a cookie cutter case. One frequent question I receive is, “I know I am a difficult case, but I want real and honest answers that make sense to me. What I am doing is not working. Can you help me?”Unfortunately, many patients have been to multiple health care providers and are convinced that all treatment is the same.

How can health care be improved? 1) Fundamental patterns must be examined and connected to see the whole picture. 2) Find the root cause to correct health issues. 3) Patient education. For example, have you received this basic information from your doctor’s office?

  • Flax seed & oil can promote inflammation if you have insulin resistance.
  • Thyroid patients suspecting they have Hashimoto’s must avoid gluten.
  • Supplements with iron can aggravate inflammation.
  • Cholesterol levels can be controlled if the cause of inflammation is treated. Only a maximum of 20% of your cholesterol level can be influenced by diet.
  • Soy products are SERMS (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators). Who needs more estrogen in their life?
  • Sunscreens interfere with Vitamin D absorption.
  • Malt dextrin in ‘sugar-free’ food has a Glycemic Index of 130 and table sugar has a Glycemic Index of 65. (Shame on the FDA) Sugar-free foods make you FAT.

Is your doctor open-minded and open to learning? Doctors must be free to give up old failed paradigms. Is your doctor current with the latest in health care? Too many doctors treat only with what they know and dismiss what they do not know. Do they listen?

Wellness Alternatives is different. We specialize in complex cases and ‘Square Pegs’. Our office staff spends time speaking with patients before their first visit. Personal concerns are addressed and our approach is discussed. Patients benefit because we are on the cutting edge of scientific research, labs, and nutritional compounds. We provide patient education. The health care options offered are clearly explained as to why this is the best approach, as well as why some treatments are not recommended.

We offer real help for patients with complex health issues.

David Peterson, DC, DCCN, FAAIM
Wellness Alternatives

Functional Medicine

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is the science of treating the human body’s imbalances by using natural supplements and therapies based upon research and technologically advanced testing.

You can live an active, age-defying, disease free life! Our Functional Medicine team at Wellness Alternatives endeavors to detect and recognize imbalances before they become chronic disease, debilitating illness, or tumors. This makes Functional Medicine of great interest to those who live in a pre-disease, symptomatic state who suffer without knowing why.

Visually, the graph above depicts where Functional Medicine lies in the plane of Traditional Medicine. The gray area of health is where we focus, the preventative state, before the aches, pains and fatigue get to a point where disease is evident. No other facet in health care will provide you with an explanation of 1) why you are where you are and 2) an action plan of how to get you back on track to Optimal Health.

Functional Medicine recognizes that each body part plays a role in maintaining health. We are able to interpret the functions and alterations in metabolism. Our staff understands the complex series of vicious cycles occurring in your body that feed each other. Conservative therapies such as body work, diet, nutrition, and lifestyle changes are utilized to optimize and change physiology. Our specialists in Functional Endocrinology scientifically identify, naturally treat, and provide ongoing support to unlock these vicious cycles of hormonal and biochemical imbalances in order to restore health.

The goal of Functional Medicine is to assist your body in returning to dynamic balance. We work to:

  • Identify and manage adrenal and blood sugar management disorders
  • Identify and manage any and all gastrointestinal disorders and food sensitivities
  • Identify and manage any alterations in liver detoxification
  • Identify and manage any imbalances in essential fatty acid metabolism
  • Identify and manage any anemias
  • Identify and manage any imbalances in hormones and/or thyroid feedback loops
  • Identify and manage any structural alterations causing stress to the body

While acknowledging the existence of disease and altered functional states, our doctors and team focus on the underlying processes and seek a treatment which removes, replaces, repairs and restores the underlying events causing the problem.

Wellness Alternatives will save you tremendous time, energy and resources by prioritizing the systems that profoundly and positively impact your body’s physiology.

To make an appointment, please call 530-615-4083, fax 844-231-8945 or email Dr. Peterson at dpeterson@stlwa.com.

What to Expect

Your visit may include but not be limited to:

  • Team counseling
  • A review of your health history, lifestyle, nutrition, stress, symptoms, health concerns and preventive disease concerns
  • Information regarding your current condition
  • Personalized presentation and evaluation
  • Recommendations for appropriate blood lab chemistry, saliva testing, and/or DNA stool testing
  • A customized plan with physiological, lifestyle, and nutrition and protocols with goals to bring you to optimal health
  • Analysis of the protocols specific to your condition and concerns
  • Detailed instructions on how to follow the recommendations
  • Educational material
  • Diet and lifestyle recommendations
  • Food charts
  • Nutritional counseling as determined necessary
  • Ongoing confidential support

Our licensed and trained staff provides expertise in cutting-edge treatment protocols and state-of-the-art laboratory testing. Our staff is available to support or assist you during office hours via email, phone, or in person. Your health records are kept confidential as we strive to promote trust and provide ongoing support to our patients. We use natural, researched nutritional compounds that have the highest quality control standards.

A staff member will call or email as you near your personal reassessment timeframe to evaluate your progress and assist with ordering necessary labs to assess your current status. Your doctor will determine follow-up visits, but typically progress reassessment is every 30-45 days.

A baseline is established through physiological and metabolic assessments. Protocols will advance as biochemical imbalances improve. Our integrative medical modality will evidence movement toward optimal health via blood chemistry and/or other appropriate testing.

The average adult needs six to nine months to restore proper function to the body when using Functional Medicine. Some individuals with multiple vicious cycles present may require additional treatment protocol timeframes in order to achieve optimal improvement.

Recognizing that each patient is unique and that some may need and/or desire additional support, Wellness Alternatives offers two additional services to maximize patient outcomes. One is a Nurse Facilitator who provides daily phone/email assistance and coordination of ongoing health concerns and needs with the physician and staff team members. In addition, the Nurse Facilitator may provide more in-depth nutritional counseling and a customized plan that addresses your specific requirements. The second is physician to physician collaboration and advocacy in which our doctors will consult with your medical professionals on your behalf to promote and enhance your pathway to healing. (Additional fees associated with these services.)

In-Office Patients

We are conscious of your health care budget when recommending labs, treatments, and supplemental protocols and will provide the most cost effective care for you. Wellness Alternatives’ providers, nurses, and support staff are personable and accessible. We are knowledgeable, passionate, and skilled in Functional Medicine. We strive to accommodate your time and schedule, help you to prepare for your consultation, provide realistic plans of care, nutritional support, and explain what to expect with each step of the process. We triage each case and conduct case reviews. Wellness Alternatives is clinically experienced to treat the root cause, order testing, diagnose, and develop protocols to slow the progression of disease, lessen or alleviate symptoms, and promote healing.

How to get started?

Print and fill out the New Patient Paperwork. Please entirely complete and sign each form as requested. Scan and email all registration and assessment forms to dpeterson@stlwa.com or fax to 844-231-8945. We will triage each new case with Dr. Peterson and then call you back to confirm that we have received your paperwork, ask pertinent questions, and discuss recommendations and options on how to proceed to meet your health goals.

What are the Fees?

What are the Fees?

  • New Patient
    $250.00. This fee is to be paid when you book your initial appointment in order to reserve your consultation time. This is non-refundable. Unfortunately, we cannot hold appointment times until this initial payment is received. Allow one hour for your consultation with Dr. Peterson and 30 minutes with a staff member if nutritional considerations need to be addressed.Payment is expected at the time of service.
  • Reassessment
    Follow up appointments are based on the following criteria:

    • $150.00 | Appointment with one lab test reviewed
    • $200.00 | Appointment with two lab tests reviewed
    • $40.00 | Lab Analysis fee for each test
  • Lab Analysis and Handling Fees associated with reviewing multiple tests and fees related to special circumstances will be determined by the physician. Please call with inquiries.
  • Consultations fees for questions and medical review without tests associated are based on physician time:
    • $ 50.00 | 1-15 minutes
    • $100.00 | 16-30 minutes
    • $150 | 31 – 45 minutes
    • $200 | 46 – 60 minutes
    • $50.00 | for each additional 15 minute increment after 60 minutes
    • Fees are based according to each 15 minute interval the physician consults with you on your case.
  • Payment is expected at the time of service and we require that fees be held with a credit/debit card.
  • Nutritional Compounds
    Recommendation for supplement protocols are based upon questionnaire and lab analysis combined with information obtained during the consultation.

Lab Testing

  • Labs Offered 
    • After triaging the Assessment Forms, your history and prior lab tests; Dr. Peterson will determine the most appropriate lab test for you. Prior lab tests are often used rather than ordering new lab tests.
    • Ordering multiple labs tests at one time is a waste of your resources. It is better to order tests that provide information as to the cause (Neurotransmitter) rather than ordering tests that confirm the obvious (Adrenals).
    • Lab Testing READ More…
  • Treatment Combinations
    $175.00 for new patients that would like Functional Medicine combined with SOT Chiropractic in the same visit. Combining these protocols provides the speediest of recoveries, synergistically helps the body to heal, balance, and utilize the treatment protocols to their fullest extent so that optimal health can be achieved as quickly as possible.

Insurance

We do not accept insurance. We have chosen to price our services on a consistent basis for all our patients. Those who are fortunate to have insurance can be assured they are paying no more or less than any other patient receiving our same quality service. We can provide you with the necessary paperwork to enable you to work with insurance to seek reimbursement.

Individual Consultation Cancellation or Missed Appointment Policy
As all services are provided by appointment only and this time is reserved for your exclusive use, we must request a 24-hour notice to cancel an appointment. If you do not cancel your consultation within 24 hours or if you miss an appointment, Wellness Alternatives has the right to bill you for the full amount of consultation.

To make an appointment, please call 530-615-4083, fax 844-231-8945 or email Dr. Peterson atdpeterson@stlwa.com.

Out of Town Patients

We have an exceptional facility and although we like to meet each patient in person, we recognize this is not always possible. Expert teams specializing in Functional Medicine are part of a relatively new field and not many of these clinics currently exist. We specialize in a medical practice that is able to serve patients across the U.S. and around the globe. Approximately half of our Functional Medicine patients do not reside in the St. Louis metro area. Distance is not an obstacle if one has taken the time to be thorough with providing assessment data about medical history, lifestyle, signs and symptoms, testing and communicating feedback during treatment. All testing results, pertinent information, and recommendations are provided in report form to you during your consultation.

Our professional approach manages care for long-distance patients by including extra staff support and technologically-advanced consultations. We offer many options for interactive consultations and ongoing communications. Wellness Alternatives’ providers, nurses, and support staff are personable and accessible. We are knowledgeable, passionate, and skilled in Functional Medicine. We strive to accommodate your time and schedule, help you to prepare for your consultation, provide realistic plans of care, nutritional support, and explain what to expect with each step of the process. We triage each case and conduct case reviews. Wellness Alternatives is clinically experienced to treat the root cause, order testing, diagnose, and develop protocols to slow the progression of disease, lessen or alleviate symptoms, and promote healing.

How to get started?

Print and fill out the New Patient Paperwork.  Please entirely complete and sign each form as requested. Scan and email all registration and assessment forms to dpeterson@stlwa.com or fax to 844-231-8945. We will triage each new case with Dr. Peterson and then call you back to confirm that we have received your paperwork, ask pertinent questions, and discuss recommendations and options on how to proceed to meet your health goals.

What are the Fees?

We are conscious of your health care budget when recommending labs, treatments, and supplemental protocols.

  • New Patient
    $250.00. This fee is to be paid when you book your initial appointment in order to reserve your consultation time. This is non-refundable. Unfortunately, we cannot hold appointment times until this initial payment is received. Allow one hour for your consultation with Dr. Peterson and 30 minutes with a staff member if nutritional considerations need to be addressed.Payment is expected at the time of service.
  • Reassessment
    Follow up appointments are based on the following criteria:

    • $150.00 | Appointment with one lab test reviewed
    • $200.00 | Appointment with two lab tests reviewed
    • $40.00 | Lab Analysis fee for each test
  • Lab Analysis and Handling Fees associated with reviewing multiple tests and fees related to special circumstances will be determined by the physician. Please call with inquiries.
  • Consultations fees for questions and medical review without tests associated are based on physician time:
    • $ 50.00 | 1-15 minutes
    • $100.00 | 16-30 minutes
    • $150 | 31 – 45 minutes
    • $200 | 46 – 60 minutes
    • $50.00 | for each additional 15 minute increment after 60 minutes
    • Fees are based according to each 15 minute interval the physician consults with you on your case.
  • Payment is expected at the time of service and we require that fees be held with a credit/debit card.
  • Nutritional Compounds
    Recommendation for supplement protocols are based upon questionnaire and lab analysis combined with information obtained during the consultation.
  • Labs Offered 
    • After triaging the Assessment Forms, your history and prior lab tests; Dr. Peterson will determine the most appropriate lab test for you. Prior lab tests are often used rather than ordering new lab tests.
    • Ordering multiple labs tests at one time is a waste of your resources. It is better to order tests that provide information as to the cause (Neurotransmitter) rather than ordering tests that confirm the obvious (Adrenals).
    • Lab Testing READ More..
  • Insurance
    We do not accept insurance. We have chosen to price our services on a consistent basis for all our patients. Those who are fortunate to have insurance can be assured they are paying no more or less than any other patient receiving our same quality service. We can provide you with the necessary paperwork to enable you to work with insurance to seek reimbursement.
  • Individual Consultation Cancellation or Missed Appointment Policy
    As all services are provided by appointment only and this time is reserved for your exclusive use, we must request a 24 hour notice to cancel an appointment. If you do not cancel your consultation within 24 hours or if you miss an appointment, Wellness Alternatives has the right to bill you for the full amount of consultation.To make an appointment, please call 530-615-4083, fax 844-231-8945 or email Dr. Peterson at dpeterson@stlwa.com.

Preparing Your First Appointment

Once we receive your new patient paperwork and the necessary lab work, Dr. Peterson will spend a couple of days developing an analysis and treatment protocol. When he is finished, our office staff will call you to schedule your initial consultation. Payment for the initial consultation needs to be made at the time of booking your initial consultation.

Because there is often a lot of ground to cover, it is a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together.

What you can do:

  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes not addressed in initial new patient paperwork.
  • Bring a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all of the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. If your consultation is long distance, it would be helpful if a trusted friend/family member can listen along with you.
  • Know what you would like to accomplish at this visit. List your goals.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor including but not limited to: 1) What are the important issues? 2) Is my condition temporary or chronic? 3) What do I need to do to maximize my success?

There are several pieces of information you may want to take away from your visit:

  • Did you receive a diagnosis?
  • Did you understand your diagnosis?
  • Did you receive a satisfactory plan of treatment?
  • Do you understand the medical plan of care?
  • Can you follow the plan of care? (Are there financial or philosophical concerns?)
  • How can you get in touch with the doctor/staff if needed?
  • When is the next reassessment appointment?
  • Are there any restrictions/special diets that I need to follow?
  • Do you have concerns about labs or tests?
  • What web sites do you recommend?
  • Did you get all your questions answered?

In addition to the questions that you have prepared to ask your doctor, do not hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you do not understand something. Our ultimate goal is to give you the highest level of care as we work with you to bring you to optimal health.

To make an appointment, please call 530-615-4083, fax 844-231-8945 or email Dr. Peterson at dpeterson@stlwa.com.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?

The three main forms of ASD are AutismAsperger syndrome, and PDD-NOS (Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified). Every child and adult is unique. The complex relationship between predisposition and environmental triggers is different for each person. Knowing 1 in 150 children will be affected by ASD and related problems, early intervention is critical.

What Can I Expect

  • Functional Medicine/SOT
    Each person/case must be treated on an individual basis.
  • Testing and Treatment Options
    Testing and treatment options are determined and discussed in a case by case and appointment by appointment review.
  • Other
    If the child is with a parent in the office, a separate caregiver must be available to care for the child during the consultation.

What are the Fees

We are conscious of your health care budget when recommending labs, treatments, and supplemental protocols and will provide the most cost effective care for you and your child. Payment is due at the time of service.

  • Functional Medicine/SOT fees will apply.
  • Insurance
    Wellness Alternatives does not accept insurance. We have chosen to price our services on a consistent basis for all our patients. Those who are fortunate to have insurance can be assured they are paying no more or less than any other patient receiving our same quality service. We can provide you with the necessary paperwork to enable you to work with insurance to seek reimbursement.
  • Individual Consultation Cancellation or Missed Appointment Policy
    As all services are provided by appointment only and this time is reserved for your exclusive use; we must request a 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment. If you do not cancel your consultation within 24 hours or if you miss an appointment, Wellness Alternatives has the right to bill you for the full amount of consultation.

Certifications

Functional Medicine: Dr. Peterson has specialized in Functional Medicine for 15 years and supervises Functional Medicine study groups for residents and interns.
Blood Nutrition Chemistry:  Dr. Peterson is a Blood Nutrition Chemistry Instructor.
DAN! Certification: Dr. Peterson completed the Atlanta Conference 2009, Clinical Level I.

 Sacro Occipital Therapy/ Chiropractic

What is Sacro Occipital Therapy/ Chiropractic?

SOT is a method of chiropractic treatment, blending osteopathy, chiropractic, craniopathy, organ/soft tissue reflex manipulation and eventual cranial corrections. This is safe and gentle.
The most important principle is to honor the Window of Treatment Opportunity correcting only what is indicated and to do so with the least amount of effort.

Sacro Occipital Technique is a unique method of chiropracticCritical Point Analysis and Treatment. Critical Point Analysis is a technique derived from the fact that in any highly complex system there is a specific, critical point at which the smallest input will result in the greatest change.

SOT chiropractic care is safe, gentle, and effective.

What can I expect?

With this total body Chiropractic Technique you will be seen only once a week. Your nervous system needs three days to recognize the changes made to it and then time to heal after any body work. The exception to this is pain management and the goal is to eliminate the pain so the healing process may begin. You may then require a bi-weekly visit.

The average person usually responds in six to eight weeks, much the same as the time it takes to mend a broken bone. The first visit will be approximately 30 minutes. Repeat visits are approximately 20 minutes.

What are the Fees

$50.00 per visit
Packages available with discounted rates available on request

Treatment Combinations
$175.00 for new patients that would like Functional Medicine combined with SOT Chiropractic in the same visit. Combining these protocols provides the speediest of recoveries, synergistically helps the body to heal, balance, and utilizes the treatment protocols to their fullest extent so that optimal health can be achieved as quickly as possible.

Nutrition and Weight Loss

What are the Nutrition and Weight Loss Options?

Functional Medicine:   Lasting weight loss sometimes requires determining if your body is healthy enough to lose weight.   Various metabolic factors such as hormonal and thyroid imbalances, as well as certain medications, can make it very difficult to lose weight.   We understand your frustration and can help you normalize these imbalances and/or eliminate the need for medications so that weight loss can proceed.   Nutrition concerns relating to any necessary diet modifications can be addressed.

21-Day Whole Food Purification Program: Purification is about cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. By gently removing and eliminating toxins, while feeding your body with healthy whole food nutrients, purification can facilitate weight loss, support your immune system, and renew your ability to maintain optimal health.  Wellness Alternatives can assist you with this program that can jump-start your weight loss.