The Patient Acceptance Process

Thank you for considering us as part of your road to recovery and wellness!

The type of care that we offer is very different than any other type of care you may have experienced.  To help you fully understand what we do, we encourage you to take some time to explore the educational information throughout this section of our website, as well as the Functional Medicine FAQ.

Steps to Acceptance:

Schedule your Initial Visit:  When you’ve made your decision, and you’re ready to get started, call our office to schedule your Initial Consultation.  At that time, our staff will gather basic contact and billing information, and send you information on how to obtain our Initial Functional Medicine Intake Packet, along with a timeline for its completion.

Please note: In order for our staff to secure your appointment, and allow access to the intake paperwork, you must place, and retain a current credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or Discover) on file with our office.  As Dr. Sweeney blocks two hours of time just for you, he can not see other patients; to that end, we require the ability to collect a “Missed Visit” fee should you fail to show up for the visit, or cancel without proper notice. (By providing this information, you agree to the policy)

Submit your paperwork:  Download, print, and complete initial intake forms, by hand, in Blue Ink, and return the packet to our office before your initial visit (click here for more details).  Please take care to be thorough; the more detailed information that you can provide us during this process, the better we can help you!  (All information is helpful; if you have copies of prior lab testing and medical records of any kind from other doctors, please submit those as well, regardless of how long ago they were).  Note, there may be additional cost for a complete “Interpretation” of medical records not obtained through our office.

When you’re ready to submit your paperwork, contact our office to set up a brief, informal, meeting with our Office Manager, who will look over your packet to ensure that everything is in order, and ready to go.

Records Review. Once received, our doctors thoroughly review your intake paperwork, along with any other submitted information, prior to your first appointment, so we can hit the ground running!

Initial Visit: Your Initial Consultation can last up to 2-hours, depending on the complexity of your case. During the visit, Dr. Jay Sweeney will discuss the initial impressions with you; and clarify any missing or unclear information. Dr. Sweeney will then inform you if we are able to take your case, as not all cases are accepted into the Functional Medicine program.  If the decision is made to move forward, please be prepared to order all recommended initial lab testing on that same day.  If your case can not be accepted into the full Functional Medicine program, other options will be presented to you…it’s not an “all-or-nothing” situation.

No guessing.  No skimping.  100% commitment.  Please understand that because the doctors spend a great deal of time and energy on each case, they can’t accept every one. Because of this, it is very important that you are completely committed and serious about getting better.  All patients accepted into the program MUST be willing to make dramatic lifestyle changes, take responsibility for their health, follow dietary modifications, home-care instructions, and any other recommendations provided by our doctors.

Spouses/significant others are required to attend 2 important visits: your Lab Test Ordering day and your Lab Test Results day.  A large portion of our jobs as doctors, is the responsibility of educating our patients; that logic then also extends to educating our patient’s families.  As Functional Medicine is much different from what most people have ever experienced from a doctor, we believe that a potential patient should not be put in the position of having to explain the information to their spouse, or other supporting person.  Thus, anyone else, either directly or financially involved in the potential patient’s care, must attend two very important visits; the Initial Consultation, and the Report of Findings. These visits are pivotal, they are when decisions about cost and care are made, and for Functional Medicine to work properly, everyone involved MUST be working together, and be in complete agreement.

It is also important to note, ant BOTH parents/guardians of the potential child patient are required to attend these visits as well. Serious lifestyle changes require unwavering support from family and loved ones.

Recording your sessions.  You are invited, and encouraged, to bring an audio recording device with you to your Functional Medicine sessions. We share a great deal of information with you during these meetings, and it’s always nice to be able to go home and review your sessions, in order to ensure that you gain as much as you can from your visits.  Our office will automatically record your Initial Consultation, and your Report of Findings.

What to Expect from Functional Medicine
Welcome!

In a nutshell, Functional Medicine is a very comprehensive lifestyle modification program designed to help improve overall quality of life and restore biochemical balance and function within the body.  Because this approach is targeted, complicated conditions, along with numerous symptoms can be improved, managed, and/or resolved, depending on the condition.  It’s not a quick fix; it requires considerable time, investment, and commitment.  But for most, Functional Medicine is the best option.  For others, it’s part of an integrated cooperative solution.

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Getting Started

First Visit / Initial Consultation: Initial impressions and Lab Test Orders

Before your initial visit, our doctors thoroughly review the information that you submit.  They collaborate on initial thoughts and impressions as to what might be causing your particular problem, and which testing would best fit your needs.

During this appointment, Dr. Jay Sweeney will review these initial impressions with you.  This is not an official diagnosis, but simply the doctors’ educated assessments, which serve as a guide when determining necessary testing and support protocols.

Because the information we have is usually incomplete at the time of your first appointment (no lab testing or physical assessments have been performed), treatment* and/or support recommendations are not typically made, although some preliminary support for an obvious problem may be ordered.

Dr. Sweeney is very thorough and informative; this visit usually lasts 1½ to 2 hours.  We require that you to bring someone from your support system (spouse, relative, or friend) who can just sit back and listen for you…it never hurts to have a second set of ears.  We will also record the session for you, which will become part of your patient record.

Initial Lab Testing:

Near the end of this initial visit, we take the first step in getting you well, which is to order the diagnostic lab testing discussed during the visit.  Some of our testing requires a trip to an outside lab in order to take a sample of your blood; or to an outside imaging center for other diagnostic studies.  Some testing requires a blood draw right here in our office.  The remainder of our testing is usually in the form of “take-home” test kits.

Over the next couple of weeks, our staff will be working with you to collect lab test samples.  Blood draws, take-home test kit processing, and other various aspects of your initial test sample collection process will be organized and completed.

Once submitted to the various labs, these test results take some time to return to our office.  Dr. Sweeney usually has all the test results back within 4-6 weeks; often, this time is used to begin nutritional counseling, and to start you on a basic dietary regimen designed to eliminate some well-known triggers of common problems, such as inflammation.  We may also begin other ancillary treatments such as chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, or other therapies in order to help jump-start your healing.

Second Visit: Electronic Microbial Signature Screening

Using State-of-the-Art Galvanic Skin Response testing protocols, we investigate the presence of  biological factors which constitute pathogens such as:  Lyme, C-Diff, Candida, HPV, CMV, Herpes Zoster (Shingles), Mycoplasma, H. Pylori, and many others.  This screening is an essential part of finding pathogens which other lab testing my miss, or not actually screen for.

Third Visit:  Nutritional Consultation 

Our dietician will introduce you to the basic fundamental nutritional concepts of Functional Medicine.  This phase of care is designed to begin the process of cleaning up your diet, and eliminating known foods which may be causing problems you are not yet aware of.  Our goal, is to help to start your journey on the correct foot.

Fourth Visit: Your “Report of Findings”…Lab Test Results and Care Plan:

This is where you get the results of your testing!  During this visit, Dr. Lara Sweeney will take ample time to review all of your findings, and explain what it all means.  She will share with you what we found, explain how it effects you, and discuss how we plan to address it.  This is another lengthy visit, usually between 1½ to 2 hours.  This visit contains a great deal of information, all of which will be reviewed periodically throughout the course of your care.  Be ready to take notes; and again, we require that you bring someone from your support system who can just sit and listen for you.  This session will also be recorded.

Follow-up Appointments & Update Testing:

When we first begin to address a complex chronic condition, it will be necessary to schedule follow-up visits more frequently at first.  However, as your condition shows positive change, and we’re sure that the support protocols are working for you, we should be able to space the follow-up visits further and further apart.  Maintenance is typically once a month at first and when your condition is really starting to resolve or become very manageable, the appointments can be scheduled even less often.

These follow-up appointments typically last a half-hour or less, depending on what needs to be accomplished.  We will always begin by addressing any questions you may have.  Then, we’ll move on to more information as appropriate.  It is highly recommended that you email any questions to our office a day or two before the visit, so Dr. Sweeney can have opportunity to investigate them, and have answers ready, so no time is wasted.

When Dr. Sweeney orders update lab testing, typically only the test panels that contained abnormal results are ordered. Although, in some cases, it’s truly more cost-effective to run the original panel; and if that’s the case, that option will be given.  Update tests may be ordered periodically until they show a functionally healthy result.

Care & Support Protocols:

Based on the results of all of your lab testing, we’ll determine which physiological processes are functioning well and which are not.  We’ll work to restore your blood chemistry, oxygen saturation, cellular function, hormone balance, digestive assimilation, and detoxification functions.

Personal responsibility is absolutely KEY.  We will give you a comprehensive prescription for a healthy life, but we can’t actually follow it FOR you; that part is up to you.

All patients are typically required to:
1. Make drastic changes to their diet and lifestyle
2. Avoid certain foods…completely
3. Take prescribed daily supplements as directed
4. Incorporate physical activities into the average day and/or week
5. Follow other home care instructions
6. Make other lifestyle changes conducive to better health
7. Keep regular follow-up appointments
8. Address any questions or concerns with the doctor as they come up
9. Utilize other ancillary services such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and Soft-Tissue Therapy as prescribed.

A Final Note:

It’s important to remember that natural medicine takes time.  The more advanced your condition (and the more conditions you have), the longer it will take to straighten everything out.  Functional Medicine addresses the underlying cause of the problem, and there are no quick fixes.  So, it’s important to be patient, and realistic.

Functional Medicine relies on YOU to make a serious commitment to yourself and to take an active role in controlling your own health.  This includes making good dietary choices, resisting the occasional urge (especially at first) to “cheat”; to take supplements as prescribed, follow through with all home care instructions and exercises, and keep regular follow-up appointments.  Again, we can give you the answers; it’s up to YOU to implement them.  Together, we’ll help you find answers and hope, and help you feel better!

Arriving from Out of Town?

All you’ll need is a 2-3 night stay in San Antonio during the week, preferably early in the week.  That enables us to establish an official doctor-patient relationship.  By doing things this way, we often save people more than their round-trip airline ticket in lower lab costs alone!

If a trip to the southern US is simply not feasible at all, we completely understand; in those cases, the doctors then take on more of an elective consultant role.  Even though the vocabulary terms change, the quality of care and the depth of information offered is almost identical.  You’ll feel like you were here in person!

What do we mean by “Treatment”?

When it comes to Functional Medicine, It is important to understand that this approach to healthcare does not claim to “treat” or “cure” any disease or disease process, other than those of the human musculoskeletal system.  We do however, seek to “treat” the whole person with the dysfunction by developing a plan of appropriate care designed to stabilize and improve the general condition of the human by stabilizing, and improving the biochemical system of the body.

We Offer the Following Services

Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as Chiropractors or Chiropractic Physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to healthcare, which includes patient examination, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractic Doctors have broad diagnostic skills, and are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative strategies; as well as nutritional and lifestyle counseling and support.


Here is a brief overview of the array of specialized services offered by our clinic. Please take some time, and explore what we have to offer.

Chiropractic Manipulation San Antonio
Functional Integrative Medicine San Antonio
Acupuncture Services San Antonio
Massage Therapy San Antonio

Schedule an Appointment Online

or call (210) 340-2150 to make an appointment

Meet Our Team
Dr. Lara Sweeney, DC
Dr. J. Lara Sweeney, DC IFMCP

Dr. Lara Sweeney has an impressive array of training, education, and certification. More ...

Dr. Jay Sweeney, DC
Dr. Jay Sweeney, DC DABCA

Dr. Jay Sweeney has an impressive array of training, education, and certification. More ...

Michelle Anderson
Michelle Anderson, LMT

Michelle has over 19 years massage & soft-tissue experience & is versed in a wide range of techniques More ...

Amanda Hughes
Amanda Hughes

Amanda is our "Go-to" person for all things "food"; whatever you might need from the world of diet and nutrition, she is eager to help.

Contact Us

Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to help you! If you should call our office outside of our regular business hours or otherwise get our voicemail, please leave a message, and we will get back with you as soon as appropriate.

Please Call our office:

(210) 340-2150

Our office hours are:

Monday through Thursday
9:00am – 1:00pm and 3:00pm – 5:30pm

Friday
9:00am – 1:00pm

Weekends & Holidays
Closed

We Accept:

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Proudly serving San Antonio and all of our South Texas neighbors:

Alamo Heights, Bandera, Blanco, Boerne, Buda, Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Castle Hills, Cibolo, Converse, Fair Oaks Ranch, Garden Ridge, Grey Forrest, Helotes, Hill Country Village, Hollywood Park, Hondo, Indian Hills, Kerrville, Kirby, Kyle, Leon Valley, Live Oak, Lockhart, New Braunfels, Olmos Park, Pleasanton, San Marcos, Schertz, Seguin, Selma, Shavano Park, Stone Oak, Terrell Hills, Universal City,

Our Address

1931 NW Military Hwy.
Suite 204
Castle Hills, TX 78213

Our building “The Pavilions at Castle Hills”, is located at the corner of NW Military Hwy. and Sunflower in Castle Hills. It’s a two-story brown brick building; “First Serve Tennis”, “Bicycle Heaven”, and “Hearing Aid Labs” occupy the front. Our office is located on the second floor, on the back side of the building. Plenty of parking is available in both the front and rear lots. There are stairways located at either end of the building; and for your convenience, there is an elevator located on the back side of the building, at the end of the south tunnel.