All About Holistic Medicine

Hi! I'm Dr Ricci, and I do the holistic practice at the Belle Plaine Animal Hospital. I want to give you a quick overview of what our holistic practice looks like. If you are interested in holistic treatments be sure you mention that to the receptionist at the time you schedule your appointment and to the technician as well so you get the full benefit at the time of your visit.

What is holistic medicine?

I understand holistic to mean considering the whole animal and for that matter the whole human-animal bond. It does not just mean using 'alternative' treatments many of which, like chiropractic and acupuncture, have become more and more mainstream. It often involves using many modalities. These are tailored to the individual case.

My holistic practice begins by listening to the client and patient and determining what the goals are for this relationship. Then I look at the mental, physical and energetic (spiritual) components of the relationship and try to recommend therapies that can address the areas of concern and the areas that may not have been addressed by the previous practitioners or by the owner. It is very important to me that the client/caretaker be heard and that the patient be heard in the best way possible. Then we (caretaker, veterinarian, patient) come up with a treatment plan that considers all involved.

The modalities I use for treatment can include nutrition, western herbs, cold laser therapy, glandular therapy, essential oils, body work (MFR, CST) and energy work (reiki, healing touch and free form energy work). I also use some homeopathy (I am a budding homeopath). I refer all acupuncture, chiropractic, chinese medicine and complicated homeopathy to other practitioners. Sometimes I also recommend medical testing and conventional medicine when I feel it is necessary.

No treatments, therapies, products or advice is guaranteed.


What is the appointment like and what does it cost?

We start by having you send as many previous veterinary records as you can, preferably by email or fax. This gives me a chance to review them before you come. When you get here we start out by getting a history and doing a complete physical exam. Sometimes we need to run some tests (additional cost). Then we talk a lot about what your goals are for treatments and outcomes and what the timeline might be for treatment. Before you leave we come up with a plan for you and your pet. After the visit, I send an email with a recap of what we found and what we discussed so you can use it for future reference.

This process generally takes an hour and the cost for that is $175.00

If we only use up half an hour the fee is adjusted accordingly. We rarely go less than an hour.

Can you tell me before I come what you will be recommending?

I cannot make recommendations before seeing you and your pet because the treatment plan is based on the history and physical exam.

My pet has cancer. What can you do?

I approach cancer in the same way as I do other illnesses. Unfortunately, curing cancer is rare so most therapy is focused on making the pet's life as comfortable and happy and healthy as possible.

Can I get a phone consultation before my appointment?

I do not do consultations before a comprehensive physical exam, history and record review. It is too difficult and time consuming to speculate on a case that I have not seen yet.

Will I need to come back for more appointments?

Often we need to perform follow-up visits to assess how your pet is doing and whether we need to adjust therapies. There is a charge for this. Dr Ricci does do some follow up via email and phone call. If phone call or email follow up becomes extensive there may be a consultation fee. I will let you know before I start charging for the follow-up consultations.