How do I make, change, or cancel an appointment?
Appointments for new patients can be made by phone at: 510-526-5256
Appointments for existing patients can be made, changed or cancelled by phone or online here.
You can also access online scheduling though our group website at 902santafe.com
What do I need to do prior to my appointment?
Patients are invited to familiarize themselves with this website and the additional resources provided prior to their visit. Patient forms can be reviewed, printed and filled out prior to the initial appointment, or filled out in the office before the scheduled appointment time.
Please bring any pertinent assessments, lab work or imaging studies to the initial visit. These can also be emailed or mailed prior to your appointment, allowing more time for review prior to your visit.
It is helpful to wear loose, comfortable clothing to allow for easy examination and treatment.
For follow-up visits, patients are invited to relax and rest quietly in a chair or on the treatment table before and after treatment. This helps begin the treatment process and allows patients to maximize the benefits of their visit.
What do I need to do following my appointment?
If at all possible, please allow time to rest following treatment. Patients often feel relaxed, tired, or sensitive after a treatment, and allowing time to slow down, rest, and experience the effects of treatment increases the therapeutic benefit. For children, this may mean postponing busy daytime or after school activities and going home for a quiet evening and early bedtime.
Patients are asked to refrain from vigorous exercise or activity for 24-48 hours following treatment. This allows time for the body to readjust and stabilize before placing excessive demands on the system.
If patients are working with other hands-on therapies such as acupuncture, massage, or physical therapy, we recommend leaving at least 2-3 days between modalities in order for the body to receive the full benefit of each treatment. There may be times when other modalities are counterproductive during a course of osteopathic treatment.
The importance of having a Primary Care Provider or PCP cannot be overemphasized. While Dr. Hering treats a wide spectrum of acute and chronic illnesses in children and adults, she is trained as a specialist in osteopathic and anthroposophic medicine and does not offer the full scope of primary care services. Dr. Hering frequently communicates with other physicians, dentists and healthcare providers to coordinate a comprehensive treatment plan as a team; however, there are many reasons why you still need a Primary Care Provider. Some examples of when you would need to contact your PCP include:
- urgent care needs, traumatic injuries, and hospital admissions
- after-hours and on-call physician access
- routine examinations and procedures such as annual physical exams, gynecological exams, and immunizations
- in-network referrals to specialists or orders for studies that are covered in-network
- refills on prescriptions managed by your PCP
What to Expect
The initial visit includes a detailed history and physical exam, with time for real conversation. Physical exam and osteopathic treatment are often fluidly combined, with the physician using gentle touch to evaluate tissue function and structural dynamics. The feet, pelvis, spine, ribcage and head may be held during a typical treatment. Anthroposophic remedies and lifestyle modifications may also be prescribed.
For children, time is spent in conversation with the parent or caregiver while the child adjusts to the surroundings, whether still or in motion, exploring the various books and toys. During this valuable time, the child is gently observed and a therapeutic relationship already begins. Once it is time for examination and treatment, the infant or child usually comes to the treatment table and, if needed, may be engaged with toys, stories, or conversation. Accommodations are made if the child is more comfortable on the floor, in the lap, or during breast feeding.
Following treatment, patients may feel relaxed, or may feel sensations moving around the body. There may be a temporary feeling of discomfort as the body readjusts. As symptoms clear, patients feel a sense of improved health and overall well being.
The goal of osteopathic and anthroposophic medicine is to stimulate and support the patient’s own powers of self-healing. By supporting patients to overcome illness though their own resources whenever possible and prudent, the physician helps strengthen the health and autonomy of the individual.
This approach to healthcare requires active participation by you, the patient. Many of the prescriptions and recommendations made here include modifications to daily habits that interfere with our expression of health. Osteopathic treatment and anthroposophic remedies and therapies help align us with our health, but it is ultimately changes in our actions and behaviors that will transform our lives and our illness.
In today’s fast-paced, convenience driven lifestyle, it takes tremendous courage and commitment to shift our orientation toward wholeness. Relative to this fast pace and our expectations for instantaneous results, true healing may sometimes feel slow. The fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare” applies here. Are we the tortoise or the hare? If we hold true to our course with steadiness and perseverance, we will ultimately achieve our goal. In fact, we often discover that we are already there along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many appointments are typically needed?
While it is difficult to predict how any one individual will respond to treatment, most patients report noticeable improvement after 1-2 visits, with some patients requiring up to 3-4 treatments to experience relief. Complete resolution of symptoms may take longer. Recent musculoskeletal injuries and acute illnesses typically improve quickly, while chronic injuries and illnesses often require more time.
Once symptoms improve, many patients elect to continue on-going treatment for health maintenance and disease prevention. Patients may come monthly or seasonally as part of a general healthcare regimen. Children are often advised to come in around growth spurts in order to address developmental challenges and relieve any soft-tissue strain (“growing pains”) or asymmetrical growth patterns. Just as with any general medical practice, patients also come as needed for acute illnesses and injuries such as colds and flus, ear infections, falls, joint sprains, allergies and asthma exacerbations.
Children generally respond more quickly to treatment than adults, although developmental challenges and chronic illnesses may require ongoing care. Often modifications to daily rhythms and parental support is key to the resolution of symptoms.
Do you take insurance?
We are not contracted with any insurance provider, and therefore require payment at time of service. However, we do provide an itemized invoice, or superbill, which patients can submit to their insurance company for reimbursement.
Will my insurance reimburse me?
If you have a PPO plan that provides out-of-network benefits, you will likely receive partial reimbursement according to the terms of your contract, usually ranging between 60-80% once your deductible has been met. HMOs typically do not reimburse for services by out-of-network providers.
How is Cranial Osteopathy different from Cranio-Sacral TherapyTM?
Cranio-Sacral TherapyTM (CST) was trademarked by John Upledger D.O. in the 1980s as separate and distinct from the practice of medicine in order to teach lay people osteopathically-based concepts and techniques. While CST is based on cranial osteopathy as developed by Dr. Sutherland (see Cranial Osteopathy vs. Cranio-Sacral Therapy), Upledger developed his own methods and techniques in order to create therapies that would be safe for non-physicians to perform. While these simplified techniques are intended to be safe, cranio-sacral therapists are not trained or licensed to make diagnoses or to adjust and develop their own techniques in response to individual patient needs. While some CST practitioners may be highly skilled, it is advisable to seek out a fully trained cranial osteopath whenever possible.
How is Osteopathy different from Chiropractic?
Osteopathic medicine was developed in 1874 by Dr. Still, a licensed medical physician and surgeon, for the treatment of any and all medical conditions. The chiropractic profession was developed in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, a lay person, shortly after Still opened the first osteopathic college in 1892. It is purported that D.D. Palmer was a patient of Dr. Still’s, possibly enrolling in the college for 6 weeks in 1893. Soon after, Palmer opened his own school, using the term “chiropractic.” Since Palmer was not a physician, chiropractic education and practice was limited to musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment.
Early descriptions of chiropractic principles were strikingly similar to Dr. Still’s, but differences soon emerged as chiropractic treatment did not have the scope of general medical practice and used short-lever spinal adjustments as the primary method for achieving spinal alignment, the ultimate goal of treatment. Osteopathy, on the other hand, prioritized function and physiology over structural alignment, with multiple techniques developed for optimizing blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and nerve conduction in addition to boney adjustments.
Today, differences between osteopathic and chiropractic styles of manipulation continue, with osteopathic physicians embracing the full spectrum of medical practice through techniques aimed at restoring normal physiology and the life-giving processes of growth and regeneration. For the osteopath, diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system is only the beginning of a journey toward Health. Like footprints in the sand, the physical body tells us a story of its past and the person who has lived it. But, more importantly, it offers us a doorway to the hidden processes that determine its future.
How do anthroposophic remedies differ from classical homeopathic remedies?
Anthroposophic remedies build on the principles of homeopathy, including dilution and potentization developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the early 1800s. However, in anthroposophic medicine remedies are often used in combination and prepared in lower potencies (2X-30X) than is typical in most classical homeopathic preparations. Multiple plant, mineral, and animal substances may be combined in order to guide and direct disease processes toward balance. Lower potencies are preferred in order to direct treatment to the physical body and readily perceptible psychological and emotional processes rather than more subtle levels of therapy attained with the higher potencies common to classical homeopathy. Unlike many homeopathic remedies, all anthroposophic medicines are derived from raw materials which are cultivated biodynamically or collected in their native habitat, ensuring the highest quality and potency standards. Special attention is paid to sun and moon cycles when plants are harvested, and to laboratory processes of heating, distilling, separating and cooling, in order to maximize therapeutic potential. Topical remedies are also commonly used, which are unique to anthroposophic medicine.
Our integrative medicine clinic is made up of a team of physicians, nurses and staff members. We offer a wide scope of medical practice for infants, children and adults and provide continuity of care by allowing patients to access other practitioners in our group if their practitioner is not available. Our physicians frequently communicate with other physicians, dentists and healthcare providers to coordinate a comprehensive treatment plan as a team.
For more information, please visit 902santafe.com