What to expect when booking an appointment at health & Herbs

What can I expect when I make an appointment at Health and Herbs? 

You will be taken care of by a clinical team coordinated by Dr Clare. Based on her experience treating patients using herbal medicines since 1999, Dr Clare has found that most conditions need at least three appointments and a combined approach with dietary advice to address the imbalances associated with the mainly chronic conditions that present.

You can make an appointment with the clinical team in four ways;

  • Make appointment for one of our dedicated programmes; The Sleep Clinic, The Skin Clinic, The Healthy Heart Programme, or the Digestion Clinic.
  • Make an appointment with the Herbal Medicine Programme for an appointment with Dr Clare’s herbal medicine clinic.
  • We are currently developing a Fertility Clinic. If you would like support with fertility at this time, please make an appointment with the Herbal Medicine programme in the usual way and we will guide you from there.
  • Make an appointment with the Herbal Medicine Programme for an appointment with Dr Clare’s herbal medicine clinic. 

Does this mean that I won’t see Dr Clare?

You will see Dr Clare but she won’t be the first person you will meet for clinical care. However from your first appointment Dr Clare will guide your treatment as part of our clinical team. Diagnosis presents several avenues of treatment, the first herbal prescription usually addresses a combination of these possibilities. Dr Clare’s colleague will take an extensive history of all your problems, she will prescribe your first herbal prescription and she will teach you how to use your medicine. This prescription will be individually tailored to your health problems. 

What are the advantages of the team approach for dealing with my health problems?

Most chronic health problems need several appointments that are based on taking an extensive clinical history, learning with you why the balance of your health has deteriorated. Time with the appropriate professional offers a range of expertise for your benefit. This way you have more professional time needed for one on one teaching and learning about how to assist your own healing. The clinical team meets monthly to review your progress (with your permission). You will have the combined experience of all the professionals involved and we hope that this will add benefit to help you solve your health problems. As always Dr Clare is very practical and the team approach will actually work out less costly in consultation fees. Although this is not the main focus of the new way of working, this may help at this time when keeping to budgets can be a strain.

So who will I see for my first consultation?

Your first consultation will be with Dr Clare’s colleague Lara Johansdottir. Lara is a qualified Medical Herbalist (BSc. Hons, Clinical Herbal Medicine) who joins us from her well established Clinical Practice in Dublin. Following her BSc she went on to study a two year post graduate course with David Winston, a well recognized educationalist in Herbal Medicine in the US. Lara also has qualifications in massage and reflexology. Dr Clare has known Lara through shared professional membership of the Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists for five years and knows that patients are in capable hands through shared professional care. 

What happens after meeting Lara?

Because dietary factors contribute to so many underlying imbalances, changing your diet is an essential part of treatment. An appointment will be made with a nutritionist within a few weeks of seeing your herbalist. Our nutritionists have a very practical and down to earth approach. With you they will work out how you can change what is in your shopping basket, how you can introduce essential nutrients and give you recipes that are easy for you to manage. Our Nutrition Team, Michelle Hanley and Tara Canning both have a Diploma in Nutrition. They both love good food and have a passion for teaching people how to live well and address health problems and healing with not just good enough food, but with optimum nutrition needed for healing. They offer professional advice on general healthy, practical daily nutrition. Specialist advice on Food Intolerances, special diets and juicing may also be helpful to you.

How will Dr Clare be involved in my treatment?

Your initial treatment will be reviewed at our monthly clinical review, so Dr Clare will be familiar with your health concerns. Dr Clare is available for additional consultation at any time should your case be complex or require specialist advice of any kind. The team may refer you directly to Dr Clare at any time if they feel this is clinically indicated. On your third visit you will see Dr Clare who will review your progress so far, and she will direct your ongoing treatment. Your response to your first herbal prescription offers the best insight into the likely progress for your health problems. This is why Dr Clare prefers to see patients at this point, rather than your first visit. Follow on care will be decided jointly with you at this review. If you are referred directly to Dr Clare following consultation with the clinical team, this will be at a standard consultation fee rate.

Why has Dr Clare changed the way the practice works?

Dr Clare’s clinic has been very busy and she has been aware that patients have had difficulty with availability of follow up appointments. This is not acceptable to her, as it is the follow up that determines the success of treatment. Best practice of clinical care is the most important influence for change. Herbs are effective agents for healing and being a medical doctor is of secondary importance to being a good herbalist. Dr Clare’s medical experience is a useful resource for patients but not essential for herbal care. By engaging with a team you have access to excellent herbal medicines with the support of Dr Clare throughout your course of treatment.


The clinical team will of course observe every aspect of confidentiality as you would expect from any medical service.


Will Dr Clare continue to have students during consultations?

One of the extra demands on Dr Clare’s clinics has been teaching students. Sometimes these are medical students from NUIG medical school, or students of herbal medicine. You may expect to be asked if it is OK for a student to sit in on your consultation, please feel free to say no if that is your preference. Dr Clare is currently researching material for a series of books on Herbal Medicine. 

Are other therapies or therapists involved in the team approach?

You may also be referred to our nurse practitioner Áine Delaney if you require blood tests to be sent to the laboratory. Áine is a fully licensed acupuncturist and has additional specialist interest in chronic pain management and fertility problems. Dr Clare also works with a physiotherapist, counselors, massage and reflexology practitioners, a skin care specialist, and a clinical hypnotherapist. Referral to other medical services outside the clinic may also be recommended where appropriate.

Can I make an individual appointment to see Dr Clare without the involvement of the clinical team?

Dr Clare sincerely hopes you would choose the team approach as it has much to recommend it. It offers the best model of clinical care with more resources for your benefit. Should you wish to consult with Dr Clare for a first consultation, this option is available. 

 

If I have an acute or short term medical problem, do I need to engage in the whole programme?

No, this would not be necessary. Your initial consultation with your medical herbalist will offer treatment for your condition. If it can be solved with advice and a short course of treatment that is great, we will be here if you have further problems down the road and the door is always open.