What is a “Holistic Exam” and why is it more expensive than a typical exam?
A holistic exam lasts 30 minutes just like a regular exam but it has a much greater value because is much more in depth (approximately 3 times more detailed) and requires much more training and knowledge on the part of the vet. In addition to the routine exam items such checking eyes, ears, heart, lungs, mucous membranes, skin, abdomen, etc. the vet would review the following Chinese Medicine topics:
- Tongue color & pulses
- Discuss overall temperament and constitution – do they like to be in a warm or cool place, are they picky eaters, are they shy or gregarious?
- Acupuncture pressure point analysis
- Discuss diet
- Change diet as needed based upon “food energetics”
- Review existing conditions, medications and supplements
- Find links between past diseases and conditions to present conditions
- All of the above helps the vet get a big picture view of the animal as a whole and treat them whole pet rather than just the current presenting complaint. Once a Chinese Medicine diagnosis is determined then he would combine western/traditional medications and/or tests with holistic modalities such as acupuncture, herbs, diet changes and supplements to effect either a cure or stabilization of illness. In the case of terminal illnesses such as cancer, holistic treatment can extend life while reducing the amount of prescription drugs and their associated side effects.