FAQs

Miscellaneous FAQs

What is your cancellation policy?

We understand that unanticipated events happen occasionally in everyone’s life. In our desire to be effective and fair to all of our patients and out of consideration for our providers’ time, a 24 hour advance notice is required when canceling an appointment. This allows the opportunity for another patient to schedule an appointment. If you are unable to give us 24 hours advance notice the following fees will be charged: $76.50 for a chiropractic appointment, $75 for a massage appointment and $88 for an acupuncture treatment. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.

Where can I park?

There are three marked parking spaces in the lot directly in front of the clinic, labeled “Equilibrium”.  If those three spaces are full, there is metered street parking available nearby.

Where can I obtain a copy of your HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices?

Equilibrium’s HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices can be viewed in our lobby as well as downloaded from our website.

Where can I find new patient paperwork?

You may download paperwork from our website, or come to your appointment 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork in the lobby.

Insurance & Billing FAQs

There are many variables to consider when checking your insurance benefit and we are happy to make the call to determine what each individual situation may be.

We would like to answer some of the most common questions that arise when it comes to what your medical insurance will cover. Insurance carriers often label chiropractic care as “alternative care”, which includes chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage.  This is a combined benefit, so the limits are divided between all three services. If you happen to use a combination of alternative care it is imperative that you keep track of your visits and/or dollar amount used to keep you from going over your limits.

If you do not have medical insurance or your insurance does not have an alternative care benefit we do offer a time of service rate and package rates.

What is a deductible?
A deductible is set at the beginning of a calendar or plan year and the amount is determined by you and your insurance company.  This amount is what the patient is responsible for until the deductible is met.  We will take payment based upon charges incurred for the day up to your deductible amount.

What is co-pay or co-insurance?
Co-pay is a set amount you are responsible for per visit and can range between $10 – $40. A co-insurance is usually a percentage of the total charged allowable amount; it usually ranges from 10 – 50% depending on whether or not the doctor is contracted with that insurance company.

Does my insurance cover massage therapy? 
It is based on each individual plan, but most insurance companies do cover massage therapy.  In some cases they will only cover it in conjunction with chiropractic care, however, there are instances when it is covered on its own. We check each individual plan to make sure we are clear what the coverage is, to the best of our abilities.

Who covers medical expenses when involved in an motor vehicle accident? 
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and you are at fault, your auto insurance company will handle your medical bills under the Personal Insurance Protection based on your policy limits.  If you are involved in an accident and you are NOT at fault, your insurance company handles your medical bills as well as communication with the at-fault party’s insurance.  You should follow the same protocol for both situations – you must contact your insurance company and set up a claim.  There are a couple of important pieces of information you will need: claim number, the name of your claims adjuster, and their direct phone number.  You will need to provide this information to your medical providers.

Do you bill workers compensation?  
Yes. Chiropractors are allowed 18 visits or 60 days of treatment whichever comes first.  It is best to check with us to make sure we are contracted with your workers compensation company.

Are you contracted with my insurance company? 
Equilibrium practitioners are currently contracted with Aetna, ASH/ HealthnetBCBS/ Regence, Cigna, Kaiser/ CHP, Lifewise, MODA, PacificSource, Providence, and United Health Care. Most insurance companies have an out-of-network benefit and in many cases it is the same or similar to the in-network benefit. We are able to check chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage benefits at any time. Email us.

Chiropractic FAQs

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractic care is a health care profession based on interactions of the spine and nervous system, as well as the surrounding muscles.

Are chiropractors doctors?ed_comparison

Yes. Doctors of Chiropractic (also known as chiropractors) are not medical doctors, but go through a similar education process to become licensed in the field of chiropractic care. In fact, educational requirements for chiropractors are among the most stringent of any health care profession.

What types of pain do chiropractors treat?

Chiropractors are known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain, and headaches. They also treat sports injuries and other disorders involving muscles, ligaments and joints. The benefits of chiropractic care go beyond this and extend into general health as our core body structure affects overall function and health.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific, controlled force in a precise direction that is applied to a spinal joint not moving properly or “locked up.” The purpose of this natural and safe procedure is to correct structural alignment and eliminate interference in the nervous system. For the patient, this means improved spinal function, reduction in pain and inflammation, and an overall improvement in health and wellness.

Do adjustments hurt?

Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort because minimal force and gentle pressure are used. In fact, most patients feel relief immediately following treatment. Any reported soreness after an initial adjustment has been described as similar to that associated with starting a new exercise program. Drinking plenty of water, using an ice pack, and engaging in light stretching after your first visit can help ease any discomfort and promote healing.

Are adjustments safe?

Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of most back and neck problems. Spinal adjustments are extremely safe when performed by a licensed chiropractor.

Why do adjustments sometimes make a popping sound?

The noises you hear resembling popping sounds are your joints releasing tiny pockets of air. A chiropractic adjustment does not affect the bones of either side of a joint; it affects the connective tissue that holds the joint together.

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

Each patient’s care is unique and therefore customized to meet their specific condition and needs. Your chiropractor will modify adjustments based on your size, weight, age and health condition.

Will a chiropractic adjustment completely remove back pain?

For many, back pain can become chronic if left untreated. Chiropractic care has been shown to ease and even eliminate back pain for many patients.

Can I see a chiropractor if I am pregnant?

Many pregnant women find that chiropractic adjustments improve the pregnancy experience and make delivery easier. Adjustments are adapted to accommodate the stage of pregnancy and the unique needs of each patient.

Is back pain common?

More than 80 percent of people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, it is one of the most reported reasons people miss work and is the second most frequent reason patients visit the doctor.

Will I be required to remove my clothing at my appointment?

Some procedures may require you to remove some pieces of clothing, however most do not. If you have any questions or concerns, bring them up immediately with your chiropractor.

Can children see a chiropractor?

Yes! Many spinal problems seen in adults began as early as birth. One of the most common reasons parents seek care for their child is trauma from an injury of some sort, which may or may not result in immediate pain or symptoms. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal injury and make the correction early. Additional conditions commonly treated include (but are not limited to) colic, bedwetting, ear infections, allergies, and headaches.

What is a chiropractic assistant (CA)?

Several of the chiropractors at Equilibrium have chiropractic assistants who may work with you during your appointment.  A CA may assist the doctor with performing chiropractic patient therapy and rehabilitation techniques, may perform massage, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and hot and cold pack applications.

Is chiropractic care expensive?
Although some people will respond well to only one treatment, more are often necessary. The frequency of treatment and number of treatments needed is related to the patient’s condition. Generally, the longer the patient has had the condition the longer the course of treatment will be before showing substantial and lasting results. A recent study showed that treatment for low back pain initiated by a chiropractor costs up to 20% less than medical care. In addition, injured workers are 28 times less likely to undergo spinal surgery for similar injuries if the first point of contact is a chiropractor.

Massage Therapy FAQs

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit? 

Your massage therapist will require you to fill out a health history form. Afterwards the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition, and to see if you have any presenting complaints.

Where will my massage session take place? 

Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

What do I wear during the massage?

Depending on the primary technique your therapist uses, you may or may not need to undress. For a full body massage, most people undress completely. However, you may choose to wear underwear. Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress, and you will be covered with a sheet and blanket at all times except the area being worked on.

What do I do during a massage therapy treatment? 

Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she or he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.

How will a massage feel? 

It usually depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes (effleurage) that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. Do not hesitate to ask questions or mention if you feel any discomfort so that the massage therapist can use another approach or technique.

Will the massage oils used make me break out? 

Most massage therapists use hypoallergenic massage oils or lotions. However, if you have sensitivity to certain types of oils or lotion please bring it to the massage therapist’s attention as most practitioners have an assortment of oils and lotions on hand.

How long will a massage treatment last? 

The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment? 

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage. Massage therapists sometimes recommend a hot Epsom salt bath that encourages the release of toxins that may have been stirred up from the massage treatment.

Can I choose my own therapist?

Yes, you can choose your therapist but you may have to wait for an appointment depending on the therapists’ schedule. If you have Kaiser insurance you will need to see a LMT who is certified with that particular insurance.  Ask someone at our front desk for more information.

Acupuncture FAQs

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is based on ideas and theories formulated over thousands of years. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific sites on the body chosen according to the guiding principles of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Needles may also be used with an application of moxibustion, an herbal heat source. Or sometimes, an electrical pulse is combined with the needles for increased stimulation.

How and where the needles are inserted encourages the body to promote natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity, physical and emotional health and improves overall function and well-being. Acupuncture balances and maintains our health in a natural way.

Who can perform acupuncture?

Acupuncturists who maintain a valid license issued by the Acupuncture Board and physicians licensed by the Medical Board of Oregon.

How long do treatments take?

An acupuncture visit will last 90 minutes. Ultimately, the session length depends on the technique and desired results.

How long has acupuncture been practiced?

As a system of medicine, acupuncture is over 2500 years old, and may have been practiced in China in a rudimentary form 5,000, even 7,000 years ago. The oldest continuously used medical textbook is the “Huang Di Nei Jing” (“Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic”). Still relevant today, this textbook remains a valuable reference on the theory, and on acupuncture techniques that practitioners still use today. The practice of acupuncture has evolved and changed in the last 2500 years – many new techniques have been developed, and continue to be developed today.

Is acupuncture treatment safe?

Yes. Only sterile disposable needles are used. Because of the training an acupuncturist receives, acupuncture is very safe. If a comprehensively trained acupuncturist performs the treatment, your safety is assured.

Is acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture needles are hair fine, unlike injection needles, which are thicker, hollow and have cutting edges. This is why acupuncture feels nothing like getting a shot or having blood drawn, and most patients do not find the treatment painful.

What conditions can be treated with acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is used for a broad range of health issues including chronic and degenerative diseases as well as acute conditions and pain. Acupuncture can benefit the immune system by strengthening it if it is weak, or by moderating it if it is overactive. The following list is just a sample of health issues treated with acupuncture:

•Facial Pain

•Neck Pain

•Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)

•Contracture of Joint/Spasm of Muscle

•Shoulder Pain/Frozen Shoulder

•Back Pain/Low Back Pain

•Sciatica

•Fibromyalgia/Myofascial Pain/Neuralgia/Neuritis/Radiculitis

•Headache/Migraine

•Neuropathies

•Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

•Automobile and Sports Injuries

•Arthritis/Osteoarthritis

•Tendonitis/Tennis Elbow

•Stress, Depression and Insomnia

•Menopause Syndrome/PMS

•Gynecological Disorders

•Infertility in Males and Females

•Bell’s Palsy/Pareses following a stroke

•Allergies, Respiratory Diseases

•Skin Diseases

•Smoking Cessation

•Sexual Dysfunction

•Digestive System Problems/Constipation/IBS/Nausea/Vomiting

•Cancer Treatment Support

•Immunity Enhancement

Note: The above includes the more common ailments treated. It is not a complete list. If your ailment does not appear on this list, it does not mean it cannot be treated by acupuncture. Please contact us to discuss it.

Why should I try acupuncture?

Acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of your health issue, strengthen your body’s resistance to disease, and restore balance and normal function to your system. There are also many beneficial side effects to acupuncture.

How does acupuncture work? 

The Traditional Chinese Medicine explanation of how acupuncture works is that channels, or meridians, of energy run in regular patterns throughout the body and over its surface. These energy channels flow through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues and organs. An obstruction in the movement of the energy is like a dam that can cause obstruction in the flow of blood, bodily fluids and metabolic waste, thereby creating imbalances in the body.

Needling the acupuncture points can influence the meridian by unblocking the obstructions and re-establishing a healthy flow through the meridians. Since the meridians link with the organs, a treatment can therefore also help to improve the function of the internal organs. The improved energy flow and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Western science has also suggested several theories for how acupuncture works, including (1) conduction of electromagnetic signals, (2) activation of opioid systems, and (3) changes in brain chemistry, sensation, and involuntary bodily functions. (NCCAM Research Study, 2002.)

What is an acupuncture treatment like?

You may feel a slight sensation resembling a pinch or a mosquito bite when the needle is inserted. Once the needles are placed there may be a slight tingling, numbness or heaviness in the area while the practitioner is stimulating the point. These are positive signs that the needles are affecting the acupuncture point. You will be lying on a comfortable padded table and often people become very relaxed and fall into a light sleep during the session.

What can I expect when I go to an acupuncturist?

The acupuncturist will ask you a series of questions and do a full health history in order to find out the underlying cause of your health issue or disorder. Afterward the acupuncturist will examine your tongue, feel your pulses and palpate various parts of your body. This helps the acupuncturist find patterns that tell which organs and meridians are out of balance. With this information the acupuncturist will identify a pattern of disharmony according to Oriental Medical theory and will make a treatment plan to address it. After your initial interview, you may receive an acupuncture treatment.

How should I prepare for my appointment?

  • Come with any questions you have – we’re here to help you.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Don’t eat a large meal just before or after your visit.
  • Refrain from overexertion, drugs, or alcohol for up to 6 hours after the visit.
  • Avoid stressful situation. Make time to relax and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that you may have experienced.

How many treatments are needed and how often?

Although some people will respond well to only one treatment, more are often necessary. The frequency of treatment and number of treatments needed is related to the patient’s condition. Generally, the longer the patient has had the condition the longer the course of treatment will be before showing substantial and lasting results. Acupuncture can be scheduled as often as five times a week or as little as once a month. Typically, patients in China are treated two to five times a week. Although some patients respond favorably after only one or two treatments, others may not respond even until the ninth visit. As symptoms improve fewer visits are required. A client should discuss his or her treatment program with the acupuncturist, as each individual case is unique.

How does an acupuncturist know which points to use?

Acupuncture points reside on meridians, or channels, which are energetic pathways that run throughout the entire body. These meridians are linked to each other as well as to different organs. Using his or her knowledge of the interrelationship between the meridians and organs, an acupuncturist will choose points to affect changes in them that will influence the symptoms you report. According to the acupuncturist’s assessment and treatment plan, he or she chooses individual points or combinations of points to stimulate this change. An acupuncturist uses Traditional Oriental Medical theory of how the body functions, the acupuncturist’s clinical experience, and modern research to develop the best treatment for you.

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