Common Questions

Common Questions about Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis:

Does the test require a large hair sample? I’m uneasy about cutting my hair. It’s about a tablespoon of hair. To me, it always seems like a lot while I’m cutting. After it’s done, it looks like not so much. If you’re uneasy, you could always ask your hair stylist to do the snipping.

What about treated or colored hair? Untreated / colored hair is ideal, but not absolutely necessary. If you can arrange to take the sample just before you treat or color your hair, great! You’ll be submitting the part closest to your scalp, where it has grown out. Otherwise, just go for it and let the lab (and me) know that your hair was treated.

What if I don’t have enough hair on my head? It’s possible to use pubic hair or even fingernail clippings for the sample. This will alter the interpretation slightly, but it’s better than not doing the test.

How long does it take for the results to come back? I usually receive results from the lab about two weeks after they receive the sample. Then it generally takes a few days on my end to work in preparation of your consultation summary.

I cut the hair sample and forgot to mail it. How long is it good? You can save a hair sample for up to three months before submitting it, though I don’t recommend doing that. Your results will more accurately reflect your current state with a fresh sample.

Does my shampoo make a difference in the hair test results? Yes, it can. Selsun Blue may raise tissue selenium levels and Head & Shoulders can raise zinc. This does not invalidate the other mineral levels. Just let me know if you have been using one of those shampoos.

Common Questions about Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®:

Is the diet restrictive? Most people will end up removing certain reactive foods from their meal plan for a while. The reason for this is to allow your body / gut an opportunity to heal in the absence of substances that may have been irritating it. Most people will still have many non-reactive foods to select from. Whether you think of that process as health-building or restrictive is all a matter of personal perspective. (Why would you want to eat foods that are making you unwell?)

Do I have to run all the lab tests at once? It’s helpful to have a base of information from which to start. After establishing and working with a baseline protocol, you may later wish to run additional tests. This is something to discuss with your practitioner, as the answer is individual.

Why do I need to modify my lifestyle if I feel fine? You may not. Are you currently living a health-promoting lifestyle and do you feel great? It is far easier to stay healthy than to heal disease. Many people have acclimated to a state of low energy or nagging aches and pains as their “normal” and have no idea how much better life can become after a few tweaks.

Other times, the connection between a certain lifestyle modification and their primary health concern may not be obvious. For instance, how would more sleep or a change in diet help back pain? There are several connections, and questions like this can be explored with your practitioner.

If you are already completely satisfied with your state of health and are living a health-promoting lifestyle, then this may not be the right time to participate in the FDN® health coaching program.

I have a challenging condition. Can you work with it? FDN® health coaching is not a substitute for medical treatment. We can nearly always work with *you* on health-building strategies. Sometimes, health-building strategies will alleviate challenging conditions. Until that happens, you are advised to remain under the care of your medical doctor and follow his or her advice.

The doctors can’t find anything, but I don’t feel right. Can FDN® health coaching help? It’s very possible. Low energy, lack of vitality, or the feeling that “something just isn’t quite right” is often present when underlying function or balance is starting to slip. Medical lab tests may still show values within the reference range, but that might be different from an optimal functional level for you as an individual. It’s an excellent place from which to begin a health-building program.

What if I don’t follow the recommendations? Your practitioner (Elizabeth) will make recommendations based on the best information available. It is always up to you to consider the recommendations and apply them according to your sense of what is best for you. I will do my best to answer questions and find alternatives in the event of a problem. The decision to follow or not is ultimately up to you. If you do not follow the recommendations, your results will not be the same as if you had.

Common Questions about Neuromuscular Therapy:

What symptoms can Neuromuscular Therapy help? Neuromuscular therapy is effective for many soft tissue pain problems including back and neck pain, headaches including migraines, hip and shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, and the soft tissue aspects of fibromyalgia syndrome. It’s also quite effective at improving dysfunctional posture patterns that, if uncorrected, can cause eventual degeneration of the joints. Neuromuscular therapy has also been clinically effective for a wide range of other related conditions.

What are the limitations of Neuromuscular Therapy? Limitations of neuromuscular therapy include the inability to accurately detect and/or resolve perpetuating factors outside the scope of the soft tissue system. Perpetuating factors, while not the cause of a particular condition, may prevent its resolution. Examples include:

  • skeletal asymmetries (such as differences in anatomical leg length, which we do screen for but cannot confirm without consultation from a medical doctor or chiropractor)
  • mental and emotional sabotage patterns
  • hormonal factors
  • nutritional factors
  • unidentified disease
  • lifestyle issues such as use of neural system stimulants (caffeine, tobacco) or depressants (alcohol), including prescribed medications
  • movement habits contradictory to the therapeutic goal, such as holding a telephone on one ear, perpetual slouching, or positioning the head to aid vision when looking through bifocal lenses

When it appears that these factors are slowing down the therapy process, your therapist may suggest that you also involve another modality. This may include the FDN® health coaching program.

How is Neuromuscular Therapy different from what I’ve already tried?
Neuromuscular therapy has a distinct therapeutic philosophy. Here’s how it compares to certain other modalities:

Chiropractic – Chiropractors do an excellent job of mobilizing joints. The person feels better immediately because when pressure is released from the joint, the muscles that insert over that joint also loosen up. Neuromuscular therapists look at a number of factors that a typical chiropractor doesn’t have time for. They look at the body as a whole to see why the joint came under pressure in the first place. Also, since muscles move bones, the neuromuscular approach can address muscle tension that predisposes the joint mobilization problem.

Physical Therapy – Physical therapists generally work from a philosophy of therapeutic exercise and symptomatic treatment. When the problem is lack of strength, physical therapy is a great resource. In cases of chronic pain, the tissue is often fatigued, not weak. Neuromuscular therapists work with the body to take the strain off fatigued tissue and place the structural load of the body back over its skeletal system. This requires assessment of the whole body rather than focusing primarily on symptoms. Neuromuscular therapy is specific to the involved tissue, within a whole-body context.

Massage Therapy – Massage therapy is a wonderful way to relax from stress. Nearly everyone can benefit from a well-timed and well-executed massage. Nonetheless, Swedish massage and neuromuscular therapy have important differences for the pain patient. A neuromuscular therapist assess the body as a whole, looking for compensation patterns. Then a strategy is developed to restore posture and position, taking mechanical stress off the affected areas. Neuromuscular therapists may use similar soft tissue techniques as general therapists, but there is a different strategy involved.

Applied energy therapies (Reiki, Healing Touch, Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy, Cranio-Sacral Therapy) – Energy modalities, skillfully applied, offer an opportunity to address underlying energy imbalances that may have contributed to the presenting physical symptom. The two types of work can be effective when used together. The main difference between energy therapies and neuromuscular therapy is that the energy modalities affect the person’s subtle energy systems and neuromuscular therapy works directly with the physical substance of the body.

Surgery – Surgery can be miraculous and life-saving. When tissue has been ripped, torn, fractured, or the nucleus of a vertebra herniated, your physician will likely recommend surgery. People often consult their doctor about a degenerative condition when it first becomes painful. The pain is a signal from the body that something’s wrong. But if the doctor says surgery is not urgent, a conservative approach like neuromuscular therapy may slow down the condition’s progress. Correcting ineffective posture minimizes the structural load on vulnerable joints. Loosening muscles that insert over a joint will decrease joint pressure. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

Will insurance cover my sessions here? The best way to answer this question is to ask your insurance company. Most of our clients are private-pay. However, there have been cases where insurance has reimbursed the client for their work with us. This nearly always requires a physician referral. If your employer offers a flexible spending account for health care, consider inquiring there. We’re happy to provide a receipt at your request.

How much does it cost? Please refer to the Neuromuscular Therapy page for a service and price list.

What forms of payment do you accept? We accept cash, checks, MasterCard, and Visa. Credit cards are processed online via secure server.

Do I need a physician’s referral to see you? Not usually. This is one of the benefits of a private-pay system! However if you wish to submit your visits for insurance reimbursement, your insurance company will probably require a physician referral.

**Exceptions: If your therapist suspects that your condition is beyond the scope of our services, we will ask you to consult with your doctor. We are not medical doctors and are therefore not qualified to address medical concerns.

If you have been in a recent accident or have certain types of active medical conditions, we may ask for a release from your doctor before working with you. This is for your safety and ours.

How many sessions will it take? Each case is individual, so the answer to this question varies considerably. In some cases, two or three sessions are enough to resolve the person’s problem to their satisfaction. Six to twelve sessions would be more typical. Sometimes the process can take quite a bit longer. Reasons for a lengthy treatment program might include:

  • There is a nutritional / biochemical imbalance involved.
  • The condition is severe or has been present for a long time.
  • The source of the condition is a longstanding pattern, even though the symptoms may have only begun recently.
  • The person unintentionally sabotages progress through repetition of old habits (physical, mental, emotional) or movement patterns.
  • Too much time between appointments in the early stages.
  • Some people feel so great with our work, they simply enjoy coming back!

For an average person from the local area, our experience has been that one session per week is most effective at the beginning. As the person begins to feel better, treatment frequency decreases until the desired maintenance frequency is reached. Persons from out of town can often receive substantial benefit from an intensive program over a period of several consecutive days.

How can I support my treatment and get faster results? This is something to discuss with your therapist. The best time for these conversations is during your session. Suggestions include:

  • Address concurrent perpetuating factors, including nutritional imbalances. We offer Functional Diagnostic Nutrition health coaching and Hair Tissue Mineral analysis to guide you in this area.
  • Assess and address anatomical limb length inequality.
  • Minimize nervous system stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine and nervous system depressants like alcohol.
  • Stay hydrated (with plenty of pure water).
  • Incorporate movement and stretching. Yoga classes or DVDs are a great resource here. Strength-training and strenuous exercise is normally not recommended until your pain is under control.
  • Go to bed early and get plenty of rest.
  • Get a handle on stress and stress reactions.
  • Mobilize your body’s innate healing energy. The body’s healing response may be sluggish due to preoccupation with other concerns. This misdirection of life-force energy is one of the major causes of ill health in the first place.

How will I be clothed? For neuromuscular therapy, we provide shorts (men and women) and tops (women). Our work is most effective when we can manually and visually access the body, while retaining modesty and comfort. You will always change in private. If you get cool, we can offer a blanket.

If I phone and get your voice mail, does it mean you’re not there? Not necessarily. It’s normal for voice mail to answer when we are in session. (You’ll appreciate this when it’s your turn!) Please leave a detailed message, including your name and phone number, so that we can call you back.

What are your business hours? We schedule appointments Monday through Friday. We’re generally not available on the weekend. Please phone 701-839-4755 or email info @ wellnessimages .com for details.

What is your cancellation policy? If you cannot keep an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. The sooner we know, the more likely it is that we will be able to accommodate someone else. We appreciate 48 hours’ notice. Cancellation fees will apply for missed appointments.

What should I bring to my first appointment? When you come for your first appointment, please bring:

  • Medical information related to your condition (such as x-rays), if you have it.
  • Your appointment book or schedule.
  • Payment. We accept cash, checks, MasterCard and Visa. Credit card payments are processed online via secure server.
  • A parent or guardian must accompany minors to each appointment and stay on the premises the entire time.

We recommend that you plan to arrive a few minutes early and allow extra time in your schedule after your appointment to allow for fluctuations in treatment length and traffic conditions.