FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Functional Medicine
Rather than targeting individual symptoms, Functional Medicine focuses on the optimal functioning of the entire body and its organs. It addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach in partnership with understanding the conditions and history in which the disease manifested. Genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors all have a direct influence on long-term health and chronic health issues. Kelly Kessen uses a lab based health approach focused on addressing common conditions – fatigue, anxiety/depression, female hormones, digestive problems, weight gain, sleep issues – through restoring the 3 main body systems: neuroendocrine, gastrointestinal and detoxification. She uses lab tests that help identify the dysfunction of these 3 main body systems. Typically these systems have become compromised long BEFORE the symptoms appeared. The lab tests are used to determine the required natural support needed to rebalance your body back to its normal state.
Free 15-min Functional Medicine Consultation
In order to ensure we are a good fit, we offer a free 15-20 minute initial phone interview where you share what you are seeking help with and can ask any questions you may have.
Complete New Patient Paperwork at least 48 hrs prior to your Intake Appointment
Results vary by each person. Some people feel dramatic improvement within the first month, others may take a bit longer. Our standard programs are for a minimum of 6 months. Remember, your body didn’t fail overnight. Years of stress and illness takes its toll and it takes a proper amount of time to restore. On average it takes one month of repair for each year you’ve suffered from a specific problem.
The Intake Process
Using the intake questionnaire you fill out prior to our first appointment, we will discuss and document your health history and conditions. Based on the reported symptoms, we will recommend the labs required to test your body systems. All information gathered is put into your personal file on the Practice Better platform and app. Your lab results and wellness plan will be uploaded to this platform for you to access. During your intake, you will be given health and wellness recommendations. During the time it takes for you to complete your labs and while waiting for the results, you will begin to implement these lifestyle changes.
The fastest and easiest way to schedule an appointment is by using our online scheduler.
Initial new patient consultations are 75 minutes.
Lab test result review appointment times vary depending on which test and if reviewing more than one test. Most can be scheduled for 30 min. (if reviewing 1 test), 45 min. (if reviewing organix or if reviewing 2 tests), or 1 hour (if reviewing 3 tests).
Existing client follow up appointments can be scheduled for 15, 30, 60 minutes.
The number of labs recommended will depend on your individual situation including the number of issues you struggle with and the length of time you have been experiencing them, but the range is 1-4 lab tests.
Depending on the type of test, the samples required are saliva, urine or stool. All tests are completed by the client through easy test kits that are self-administered in the comfort of your own home. No blood tests will be interpreted.
The results of your lab test(s) will be sent to the office 2 to 4 weeks after mailing your specimens to the lab. During this time when you are waiting for results, you will begin making lifestyle changes recommended by Kelly. After evaluation we will contact you to schedule a follow up appointment to review your results with Kelly Kessen and she will recommend a wellness protocol.
LAB TEST KITS
Our authorized laboratories are only able to sell test kits to licensed practitioners. Kelly Kessen uses specific lab tests from small lab companies that exclusively offer functional medicine tests. Larger national labs and local hospital based labs are not helpful for these types of highly specialized tests.
Kelly Kessen has learned that the accuracy of your lab findings and the quality of the professionals performing the lab tests is the key to you uncovering what’s going on. Quality is not equal across all lab companies. Many times we see “normal” test results from regular lab companies and our lab tests find many “functional” problems. The lab companies used have the highest testing standards and the most consistent lab results year after year. These are not replacements for regular medical tests, these tests are used to detect “functional” issues rather than medical problems and aren’t meant to diagnose or recommend protocols for diseases. We are attempting to detect problems with the functioning of organ systems prior to the onset of a disease. If you already have a diagnosis, these tests and protocols can help support your healing.
While retesting isn’t required, it is recommended that a client retest at the 6 month mark to measure improvement and adjust protocols if needed. Once a client has achieved their desired health results, we recommend annual testing with some of the labs to ensure your body systems continue functioning at their best.
PREVIOUS LAB WORK
Even if you have previous labs completed in order to become a new patient with Kelly Kessen, a new patient consultation is required. At that session, Kelly will determine if new labs are required. Kelly does not do any interpretations on blood work.
Cost & Insurance
Fees vary based on type of consultation and time.
Functional Medicine Intake Appointment is: $395
This appointment is an assessment of your health and recommendations on what lab tests are required to understand the state of your body systems. The intake appointment fee does not include any follow ups, lab test kits or supplements. It does include wellness and lifestyle recommendations.
Depending on the lab test, the cost is $199-$399 per lab kit, which includes Kelly’s time interpreting the lab results. Lab Review Appointment cost varies based on how many labs we are reviewing.
You can always start a program just by ordering a single lab test. Kelly will help you determine which lab to begin with.
Additional costs vary depending on which supplements are needed and how often we need to follow up.
We do not bill insurance companies; it is up to each individual to determine whether their insurance plan provides coverage for consultations, supplements and lab tests.
Per your request, we will provide a superbill that you may submit to your insurance company. Our superbills provide the codes for consultations and lab tests. Most insurance companies will not reimburse for supplements. Please note that we cannot guarantee reimbursement.
Kelly Kessen recommends supplements from high quality and reputable manufacturers that can only be purchased with a practitioner’s recommendation. The Wellness plan that Kelly Kessen creates has specific dosages based on the exact ingredients in that specific supplement. If you want to do your own research on different supplements, we welcome you to do so but we do not provide any other recommendations nor advise on other specific blends or brands. If you purchase other supplements from other manufacturers, please research carefully. Not all ingredients are equal, and there is not a guaranteed quality when you purchase supplements elsewhere, especially on Amazon.
You will order your supplements online through Well World and/or Fullscript. Kelly will set you up with accounts where needed.
Kelly is happy to answer brief questions via Practice Better that you may have about your protocol or symptoms. If it is a complex question which requires further back and forth communication, she will recommend scheduling a 15 min. consult.
Kelly and the office staff are committed to responding within 48 hours with the exceptions of holidays and when Kelly is traveling. If you are experiencing a medical emergency you should contact your primary care practitioner or call 911.
Kelly Kessen is not a medical doctor; she does not service medical emergencies, diagnose or issue protocols for any specific diseases. If you have a medical emergency, you must contact your primary care physician or dial 911.
YOUR FIRST VISIT
Your first visit is a time for me to understand your reasons for seeking acupuncture treatment and to assess your current condition. We will begin with an in-depth interview covering your medical history and the events and experiences that contribute to your reasons for coming, including personal history. The first visit will also include a physical examination, energy assessment, and an acupuncture session. Please do not wear make-up or any scented products to this appointment. Plan 1.5-2 hours for this appointment.
EACH SUBSEQUENT SESSION
Each subsequent session will begin with a time for you to communicate your current experiences and progress. I will check your meridian pulses to assess your energy flow that day. Each treatment will consist of 4 to 8 points that support our overall treatment goals, typically using moxabustion and needles. The changes that you feel during a treatment can be subtle or profound. These sessions will take approximately 45 mins – 1 hour.
FREQUENCY OF TREATMENT
Our goal is to build up your core energy and make sure that energy is flowing well and in the right proportion. Each treatment builds on the previous one. I recommend that new clients schedule weekly treatments for the first 4-8 weeks. Once your energy is balanced and holding from one week to the next, sessions can then be extended to every other week and gradually further apart until you are coming only monthly or seasonally for maintenance. Depending on your specific situation, it may be best to see you several times a week in the beginning to get a jump start on your healing. Please bring your calendar to the first treatment so that we can schedule your first series of appointments. If receiving treatments specifically for pain, I will need to see you 2-3 times a week for 2 weeks and will determine treatment frequency after that depending on how the pain responds to treatment.
DAY OF TREATMENT
It is best to avoid excesses on the day of treatment in order to get the maximum benefit. It is best not to eat a heavy meal just before or after a treatment, or arrive too hungry. If possible, avoid caffeine, alcohol, very hot or cold bathing, extreme exercise, etc. You may want some time to relax afterwards or to have an early bedtime that night.
Although each person responds at their own rate, the rate of progress can be affected by how long you’ve had your condition and also by certain lifestyle choices that might hinder your progress. Part of our work together will be identifying the areas that need attention from you in order to improve your health. These areas may include nutrition, avoiding allergens, movement/exercise, increase in water intake, etc. Suggestions for change will be discussed and agreed upon with you, and may help us to identify areas that need further support.
Acupuncture has been shown to be very effective for a wide range of problems and I hope that we will have great success together in bringing you into a better state of health. The healing process happens differently for each individual. There are no guarantees with acupuncture or with any other healing method. It is my experience that within the first three treatments we will both have a sense of whether you are getting a good response and if any adjustments need to be made to your frequency of treatment or lifestyle. Often the first improvements noticed are in your general state of health or energy.
Acupuncture involves the use of needles inserted just below the surface of the skin. The needles are very thin, barely more than the width of a human hair. When the needle is inserted a very slight prick may be felt; when the needle contacts the energy, the sensation may vary from a pull to a buzz or small ache. These sensations are very brief. The needles are made of surgical stainless steel, are pre-sterilized and disposed of after each use. I also often use Moxa, an herb (Atemesia Vulgaris) used to warm acupuncture points by placing a small lit cone on the skin to be removed when you feel warmth. In addition I may use acupressure or zero balancing to enhance your acupuncture treatments. “Zero Balancing is a hands-on body/mind system of therapy designed to enhance health by balancing body energy with body structure.” – Fritz Smith, MD and founder of ZB.
Medications and Doctors
If you are currently taking any medication, continue taking it exactly as you have been, per your prescriptions. Acupuncture works with the other care that you may be receiving. If and when it is appropriate, you may discuss reducing your medication with your physician and follow their guidance in doing so. If you have a medical emergency, please contact your personal physician or an emergency care facility. After receiving emergency medical attention, please let me know how you are doing and the details of your medical treatment so I can provide you with the most appropriate treatment at our next appointment.
I accept cash, check and all major credit cards, including HSA and Flex Spending cards, although I prefer cash or check. For in person sessions, I expect payment at the time service is rendered. For online appointments, please pay through the portal.
Initial intake (which includes your first acupuncture treatment) = $175
Each subsequent treatment = $90
At times during our work together I may ask you to check in with me or you may have a response that you would like to talk with me about. For communication and rearranging appointments, please use the the practice better platform and I will respond within 24 hrs. For any communication requiring more than a quick question, please schedule a follow up appointment. If you are running late to an appointment, a text message is helpful.
My Boulder office is located at 2500 30th St. Suite 201, in the Steelyards Complex. There is a parking lot right outside the building or in the garage below. Come on into the suite and have a seat in the waiting area. Please call or text if you have any problems finding it 217-979-9822.