A note about how I interact with certain subgroups & language speakers. On this page you'll find notes to people about:
- Abuse Survivors
- Autoimmune/Paleo patients
- GLBTQ folk
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Spanish & French speakers
I am abuse aware. I always attempt to maintain awareness & respect for a patient's boundaries. I tell people what I'm doing before and as I do it. I am particularly conscientious of this before performing medical massage on a thigh/buttock area or removing/adjusting someone's clothing. If you need more than that - such as asking permission before touching you in general, or something specific such as wrists or ankles, please let me know. I try my best, though on busy days, I may forget to be conscious of how I approach more "public" areas of the body.
I would far rather you remind me every visit than accidentally upset you. Please do not feel the need to be shy about asking for what you need. That includes asking for a minute to breathe from time to time, and asking me to remove the white lab coat if you are particularly stressed out by a medical atmosphere. I will always stop if you ask me to.
It's also quite common to bring a partner or trusted friend for the first visits or three - usually for needle phobias, but often enough for general patient comfort. This is fine. If possible, please let me know so that I can make sure to have you booked in the larger treatment room where there's a bit more room for 3 people.
I also know that when people are particularly nervous/stressed, it can be hard to remember or say some of the more important things for your feelings of safety and boundaries. If that sounds familiar, you may wish to consider bringing me a note or emailing me ahead of time with your list of needs/concerns. I can place the note with your needs at the front of your chart so that I will be reminded before each treatment. A friend of a friend has this particularly useful (and painful yet hilarious) example:
(That said, I am told that I am fairly unthreatening. One of my clients, after having a particularly bad visit with another medical professional, volunteered to write a testimonial for my page because "It is SO FUCKING HARD to find someone who actually understands how to treat survivors.")
While this appears to be 3 different populations, there is a great deal of overlap in my experience. Patients following a Paleo diet often have come to it from a history of autoimmune disorder, and people with autoimmune or food intolerance disorders frequently improve dramatically on a Paleo diet.
If you have an autoimmune and or food intolerance issue, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimotos thyroiditis, IBS, Celiac, etc., odds are very good that I will recommend some variant or at least part of a Paleo diet. This goes double if you have any digestive concerns. I can make far faster progress treating you with acupuncture and herbs if you are helping out by making complementary diet changes.
That said, if you have a history of disordered eating, (anorexia, bulimia, etc) please let me know and let me know how to NOT trigger you when discussing food.
I am queer, poly, kink and trans-aware. It has been years since someone has managed to surprise me with something in that department. I won't judge.
(Unless it involves ferrets. Then I will sigh quietly.)
While I am by no means a trans expert, I count several transfolk and their partners in my circle of close friends. I think I've learned something by now. :) I will always intend to address you by your preferred name/gender/pronouns regardless of what it may say on your ID. (I do sometimes make mistakes there especially if you are presenting different from your preferred pronoun such as for work. I apologize for this in advance. I promise that I will never intentionally misgender you.)
Short version: you're unlikely to surprise me, and even less likely to run into unexpected douchebaggery.
Yes, that is a real word. Because I say so.
I grew up in a conservative Jewish family and am generally pretty aware of special needs in the Jewish community. This ranges from asking about your back if your family is transitioning the full kitchen to Passover status, to matzah-tummy, to the insanity that is the month of September.
This isn't a frequent issue, but on occasion, I recommend herbal supplements with a non kosher animal-derived ingredient such as gelatin, horn, etc. More frequently used herbal formulas have wheat derived derivatives, which may be a problem if you keep Passover strictly. If you are observant enough that this is likely to be an issue, please let me know ahead of time and I can work around it.
Also relevant - my assistant & I do most of our communication via email, but there are occasional phone calls. If you would like us to not call, text, and/or email on Shabbat, & major holidays, please let us know in advance. We do our best to respect this.
I understand going to a vegetable-based diet for ethical reasons, though I do not usually believe it is a healthier choice than a meat-inclusive diet. I understand the cruelties involved in conventional animal production and choose not to support it myself. The vast majority of all animal products I consume are from healthy, happy pastured/free range/grass fed animals.
Still, if it a choice you've made for yourself, please let me know and i will be doubly careful in any recommendations I make.
If you've been veg/an for a while and find it isn't working for you, (and I do see a lot of this) we can discuss the easiest/gentlest/most ethical ways to introduce animal products back into your life.
Deaf/hard of hearing/ASL
My husband and several good friends are hard of hearing. I understand the need to face someone while while speaking and I don't habitually cover my mouth when talking. I try to enunciate extra clearly to enable lip reading when I'm with someone where this is an issue. If you need this, please do not hesitate to ask.
I did take some basic American Sign Language classes a few years ago, but what I have retained is very very basic. I can finger spell reasonably quickly, (which might help us for missed words) and can try adding sign to words to help out in our communications. Mostly, the words I've remembered are basics like, "how are you?" "please sit" "where pain?" and fun words like penguin, moose and pirate. Not incredibly useful, but it may help if you happen to be a deaf penguin pirate with leg pain.
My grasp of Spanish is fairly weak. It is quite common, in my office, for someone who speaks English to come in with a spanish speaking older relative to translate. Still, I have a book of medical Spanish phrases that I work on from time to time, I can count to 10, say "ola," "dolor aqui?" "relajase" y "como estas?" I can understand slightly more than I can speak.
As you can see, I am not remotely fluent enough to see a Spanish-only speaker, but if you can speak English imperfectly, we may be able to work together.
At the age of 22, I was close to fluent after many years of high school and college French. I am now 38 and definitely out of practice in my French language skills, but I suspect it would come back to me quickly enough. Hopefully, if you are a French speaker, you have some English language skills and are willing to listen to me butcher your language with Franglish.
Quand j'avais 22 annees, j'étais près d'aisé en français. Maintenant, j'ai 38 annees. Je suis desolee, j'ai oublie beaucoup, et je parle "Franglish" mieux que le francais. si vous serai patient, j'espere que nous travaillions ensemble. J'espere que vous parlez et comprenez un peu d'anglais. Aussi, sil vous plait, parlez lentement. Trés lentement.