What to Expect When You Visit the RFHC
Richards Family Health Center (RFHC) is an alternative health care clinic that has served patients since 1987. The clinic is located in Glendora, California, but patients come for Dr. Richards effective diagnostic and treatment programs from all over the state, region and US.
Before we meet personally, I want you to know that everything I do will be for your improved health and your freedom from pain and disability. I have dedicated my professional life to the health and well being of my patients. I believe that you, and every person I have the privilege to serve, deserve a superb and skillful natural health service.
My efforts will be directed towards identifying the underlying cause of your symptoms and preventing your present health problem from developing into a health emergency crisis. Crisis treatment is not only expensive and potentially disabling, it can be fatal. The more knowledge I have about you as a patient -- your medical history, symptoms, physical exam findings, and laboratory tests -- the more likely I will be to find root causes and render the proper treatment.
I have found it very important in building and maintaining good doctor-patient relations, to share as much as possible about my personal vision of healthcare and to outline my procedures, since the RFHC is probably quite different from any healthcare experience you may have had in the past. The following will acquaint you with the way the RFHC operates and help you to know what to expect. But first, I would like to share with you our Vision of Healthcare.
Our Vision of Healthcare
We are committed to providing excellence in healthcare with uncompromising integrity; to make a positive contribution to the life of every individual who comes to us for care.
We understand that you choose what is right for you. We listen to you; and we respect you, your confidentiality and your body's ability to heal.
We empower you to be responsible for your own health by informing you of the consequences of lifestyle and therapeutic choices and by directing your awareness to the meaning of physical symptoms. We encourage you to use your body's innate early detection system to recognize the need for care.
About Our Services
Wellness is a process. Using the best diagnostic and treatment methods currently available, we monitor and guide your treatment through its successive phases. We design your treatment program to fit your needs. To succeed, you must commit to make the changes necessary for your body to heal.
Each individual is unique and structurally, biochemically and nutritionally. In order to determine what you require, we begin by investigating your medical history. Then we can provide a variety of diagnostic tools and treatment modalities, discussed below, customized to our clinical findings.
Diagnostic Tests We have in-house facilities to test for heart and lung disorders, urinary pH and to screen for gastrointestinal bleeding.
We routinely prescribe blood chemistry panels and urine studies, stool exams, liver function tests, allergy testing, trace mineral analysis, hormone panels and other laboratory tests required for your specific needs, determined via history taking and complete exam. Many of our tests are performed by cutting edge, state of the art specialty laboratories and are not available from conventional medical practitioners.
Customized Nutritional and Lifestyle Programs The above diagnostic test results are gathered and analyzed in terms of homeostasis and optimum physical balance. A customized nutritional and lifestyle program is then prepared for you to correct whatever deficiencies are identified.
Chiropractic Adjustments Biomechanical integrity allows the body to function optimally. Beyond that, being structurally balanced optimizes immune system function and minimizes stress. The chiropractic adjustment, as performed in this office, is a gentle, non-force correction. We work with your body, rather than trying to overpower it. At every visit, your structure will be thoroughly checked.
Cranial Adjustment A specialized area of chiropractic, applied only as needed. It is extremely dynamic. After all, 80% of your nervous system is contained inside your cranium. The changes that occur can be truly remarkable. This is a gentle, non-force procedure, safe even for newborns.
Neurovascular Dynamics (NVD) Treatment of these reflex points normalizes body physiology via the most basic nervous system, the vasomotor system. The pulsation of the embryo, which begins at the moment of conception heralds the beginning of the vasomotor nervous system. It controls the tiny precapillary sphincters which open and close the blood supply to each cell in your body. By opening the capillary beds associated with each organ, NVD reestablishes optimum nutrition and an excellent blood supply, resulting in the normalization of physiology. It is a hands-on technique, holding 41 separate and specific points until the doctor recognizes that the physiologic response has occurred.
Meridian Therapy Without any discomfort to you, we use laser light to stimulate accupressure points for pain control and also to keep the body’s energic system in balance. This energic balance is essential for the maintenance of good health. Diagnosis is made using state of the art electro-meridian imaging, which accurately determines the energy level in each of your meridians and is able to draw distinctions between the energy levels in the same meridian on either side of your body.
In order for any treatment program to succeed, we work as a team and you must commit to make the changes necessary for your body to heal. Consider the following as you begin our journey toward optimum health.
Be a Proactive Healthcare Consumer
1. Follow doctor's instructions explicitly. Each step of the program is designed for your unique health situation. The more closely you adhere to the recommendations, the faster you will heal. Let me share with you something that has truly assisted me in my own life - the Scale of Commitment created by Dr. Robert Wobbolding of the Reality Therapy Institute.
There are 5 levels of commitment:
Level One I don't want to and you can't make me
Level Two It's nice; I might want it; it's too much trouble (expense, etc.)
Level Three I might do that. I'll try.
Level Four I'll do my best
Level Five I'll do whatever it takes
With this handy guide, you can take stock of your priorities. Believe me, the healthcare offered in this office represents an enormous commitment of time and resources - both yours and mine. And, for your own well-being, you deserve to operate out of a Level Five Commitrnent to get maximum benefit. At a Level Four Commitment, you'll eventually heal. The results won't come as fast; it'll probably take longer and cost more. With a Level Three Commitment you're setting yourself up for failure. Please don't. Bring your highest level of commitment to your own health, and I will bring mine.
2. Create a prevention mindset. Religiously schedule annual or semi-annual exams. Small problems caught early are much easier to mend than catastrophes.
3. If you are ill or injured, make an appointment immediately for care. Don't wait to see if it will "go away." After 4 or 5 days, many injuries may actually feel better. However, the acute phase has passed and the chronic phase has begun. Your pain receptors may be firing less frequently, but the body is pulling in secondary compensations so that you can continue to function. It is the pileup of untended hurts that eventually reaches out and "bites" you years later. How often have you heard someone exclaim something like, "I just picked up a piece of paper, and my back went out!" Experience has demonstrated that the sooner treatment is commenced the more quickly (and cost efficiently) the situation is resolved.
4. The delivery of quality health care at the RFHC is our foremost objective. The therapies we utilize we believe to be the best treatment modalities available in the field of natural health care. It is the vision of the RFHC to truly heal our patients and to help each to maintain that level of good health. Early on, we rejected the notion of being a high volume practice that offers a non-specific, 4-minute spinal adjustment to one and all.
How does our vision of health care affect you? On the plus side, you are getting the finest individual treatment your health care dollar can buy. We strive to have each patient leave feeling that the benefit they received was equal to or greater than the cost of the care.
On the minus side, our health center cannot compete with doctors who are able to keep driving up their patient volume as a way to control costs.
Together, working as a team, we can help you to enjoy optimum wellness, good health and the energy to be all that you want to be!
I'm looking foward to meeting you and working together to resolve your health issues and restore or expand your sense of well-being.
New Patient Procedures
1. We ask all new patients to fill out a confidential personal data questionnaire and sign the Consent and Release form.
2. During consultation we will discuss your health problem to determine what examinations, x-rays, or laboratory test, may be indicated. The costs for the tests will be reviewed with you before they are performed.
3. Simple conditions, such as minor strains require only minimal examination to determine the treatment necessary. Other conditions, more deeply seated in origin, will require more extensive examinations such as laboratory tests, detailed history, ECG, x-rays, MRI, etc., to disclose the various factors that may influence or contribute to the underlying cause of your health problem.
4. Lab costs are paid for at the time they are prescribed. We charge you the doctor's cost for all outside tests. (This represents a considerable savings).
5. When the necessary laboratory tests and examinations are completed, you will be given a written report that will fully explain the diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
6. If you do not respond to treatment or become dissatisfied with your progress, you may discontinue service at any time without further financial obligation, except for services previously rendered. Payment in full of any outstanding balance is required at that time. In addition, upon request, your case records will be made available for review by the physician of your choice.
Treatment Procedures for Following Visits
Visits to the RFHC routinely take more than one hour and 30 minutes, especially for initial treatment. Dr. Richards focuses on the causes of your pain. You will find her approach to be personalized, caring and specialized.
The treatment you will receive at the RFHC may be like nothing you have ever experienced before. Dr. Richards takes a whole body approach to health structure, physiology and function.
The first step for most (but not all) patients with structural problems is stabilizing the weight-bearing structures, reversing what may be years of compensation by the body that has occurred as a result of earlier injury or trauma. [see chiropractic/ cranial/ category II complex] Your body needs to normalize and integrate the corrections the doctor will be making. Therefore, your visits are precisely timed for optimum healing, and it is important that you maintain your treatment schedule.
The blocking procedure that the doctor uses is an integration of two major approaches - Sacrooccipital Technique and Craniosacral Therapy. The body is not just bones and it isn't just soft tissue - it's everything combined. At the RFHC we use blocks designed by Dr. DeJarnette, a chiropractor and an engineer. The blocks make precise biomechanical corrections to the pelvic structure, which then allows the rest of the body to release tension patterns.
The first step on your path to wellness is to release the dural system. Utilizing a “Swing Machine,” Dr. Richards is now able to unwind the dura all the way up the top of your head, while you are lying face up with your ankles on the unit. The Swing Machine also pumps the lymphatic system, moving stagnant lymph out of your system when you are ill. For many people, it also clears the TMJ (jaw) at the same time.
The limitations of the new procedure include the following:
1 You may notice some strain on your knees during the process. If you do, please let us know so that we can reposition the machine and Dr. Richards can check your knees during your treatment time.
2 The Swing Machine can magnify the effects of any skeletal and/or cranial problems you may be experiencing. You may notice areas of pain "turning on" during the process. However, since Dr. Richards adjusts immediately after you are unwound, that becomes a non-issue.
3 Utilizing the Swing Machine also entails sharing a room with another client for a few minutes; however, we don’t ask you to change until after you have completed unwinding. That way, while you are in the room with another person, you are still in your street clothes.
4 In some instances, when you are severely distorted, it may still be necessary to block you face down for a short time once you are in the treatment room and Dr. Richards can assess your distortion pattern.
This process is called unwinding. The result is a new, undistorted structural relationship from the top of your head to the end of your tailbone. The approach is progressive. Each visit takes you deeper into correction and allows the reversal of more stress patterns, distortion and pain. Because of the individualized and comprehensive care offered by the RFHC, we need your cooperation with certain matters to make sure every patient has his or her needs met.
1. We are often asked by prospective patients about the cost of services at the RFHC. An initial visit will generally cost between $170 and $340 -- a reflection, primarily, of the amount of time the doctor is with you.
At times the cost of an initial visit could be more depending upon the tests that are indicated as a result of the initial history, evaluation and consultation with Dr. Richards. During consultation the doctor will discuss your health problem and explain the tests that she needs to further determine your state of health. Our document "Preventative Medicine" details some of the laboratory testing and the costs associated with them.
You will be fully consulted before any tests are conducted or ordered. The costs of the tests will be reviewed with you before they are performed.
2. Payment for services is due at the time services are rendered. We accept cash, checks, MasterCard, Visa and Discover Card. We will provide you with a receipt of your day's services and we will provide you with an insurance claim form to submit to your carrier. There is a $25 service charge for all returned checks.
3. Late or missed appointments. Anyone who is more than 10 minutes late for their scheduled appointment cannot be treated that day. Due to the length of each treatment, there is no way to work latecomers into the schedule. Missed appointments are billed at $50 without 24 hours advance notice of cancellation.
4. Insurance. We will gladly discuss your proposed treatment and answer questions relating to your insurance. However, please be aware that we do not know what coverage your health insurance policy provides. Your insurance is a contract between you or your employer and your insurance company. We are not a party to that contract. Coverage for chiropractic services varies widely, from policy to policy, as well as from company to company. Because treatment at the RFHC is unique and comprehensive, many of the services performed in this office are not well understood by third party payers (insurance companies). Also, the concept of total body wellness is foreign to the way insurance companies operate. Even though we use generally recognized codes wherever possible, we cannot assure you that your insurance policy will cover all of the services our office provides. In some instances, insurance carriers request records or reports prior to payment. There is a charge associated with filling these requests; and if your insurance carrier refuses to pay those fees, you will be responsible for them. Payment is needed before the work is performed. We recommend that you speak directly to your insurance company if they deny your claim. In our experience, the patients who have made the effort have received the best reimbursement.
5. Cost containment. The doctor's time and expertise is the significant billing factor. This is the actual time the doctor is in the treatment room performing patient service, analyzing test results, providing phone consultations, or giving lifestyle counseling and recommendations. Anything you can do to make your communications with the doctor clear and concise will have a positive effect on the total cost of your visit.
Services provided by the treatment assistants are billed separately. These are physical therapy modalities and are not billed as doctor's time.
Both the front office staff and the treatment assistants are well-grounded in the form of treatment rendered at the RFHC and can answer many of your questions. They also have excellent judgment in knowing when a question needs to be passed directly to the doctor.
A word here about phone calls. We utilize our very able doctor's assistant to gather or deliver information for the doctor. She is thoroughly capable of answering most questions regarding your programs. Routinely, she confirms all phone call results directly with the doctor.
The doctor is available by prearrangement, if you prefer to speak with her personally. Please be mindful of the fact there will be a charge for the conference based upon the length of the call. Be prepared to communicate with the doctor as clearly and concisely as possible.
Of course, if there is an emergency, the staff will inform the doctor immediately.
In keeping with Dr. Richards’ commitment to inform and educate the community, we offer continuing educational services:
1. Our monthly newsletter highlighting current nutritional research and other informative health topics. These letters are individually written by Dr. Richards as she comes across topics of interest in her research.
2. Special event lectures to empower the public through information on a wide variety of personal health topics. Watch the monthly newsletter for the date and topics. If you are a member of a group and would like Dr. Richards to present a health-related topic, she will be happy to make arrangements to do so.
3. Audio-cassette tapes of many lectures and a relaxation training tape are available.
I came to the office through a friend. I was pretty unable to function. I was suffering from post polio syndrome. I was in pain constantly. Always felt like I had the flu. Some days I couldn't even get out of bed. I had been to at least 20 doctors and basically got no help. I must have had 30 tests or more. Within 10 minutes, she said most of the pain I was describing was coming from my liver which had gotten in really bad shape from so many years of being sedentary.
My liver is in good shape today and I do not live in that pain anymore. She has given me back my life. I have friends in wheelchairs who can barely function, and I continue to function at a higher level than many able-bodied healthy people do.
The woman, Dr. Richards, is one of a kind. She has the ability to heal like none other. Her perception, knowledge and understanding of the body, mind and spirit is enormous! She has an array of techniques no one person other than she has. She knows how to adjust my body even though I have severe curvature of the spine. I know my lifespan has been and will continue to be lengthened and enhanced beyond my wildest hopes and dreams. I am a paraplegic. This is an extraordinary woman not only for the extraordinary work she does but for the extraordinary being-ness she is. A true evolved powerful and gentle spirit. Thank you Rowan for all you are and for all you've done for me and for many others. We are fortunate you are who and what you are! --LL
© 2013, Dr N Rowan Richards. This site or any part may not be reproduced without the written consent of Richards Family Health Center. N Rowan Richards, DC, DABCI, FIACA at 243 East Camino Real, Monrovia CA 91016. 626.303.3162. email:firstname.lastname@example.org. This site is Not intended to dispense health advice or serve as a substitute for actual patient contact with a qualified healthcare provider. Our sole purpose is one of education. It is our expectation that our site can educate our visitors about the efficacy of some healthcare treatments that exist as an alternative to conventional medical wisdom.