1. Once you've decided to consult with Dr. Gersten, download the Health and Wellness Assessment Form, which you'll find on the “Assessment Form” page. Remember, that, while you may have 1 or 2 main things that bother you, our approach is holistic, looking at everything you can imagine, and then some.
2. If you will be meeting with the doctor in his Encinitas, California office, bring the completed Health and Wellness Form (HWAF) with you. If you will be consulting by phone (for those not living in the San Diego area), mail the HWA part 2 along with a recent photo of yourself to:
1106 2nd Street
Encinitas, CA 92024
3. Please bring in copies of recent (past 2 years) lab work. If you had a standard chem panel, please bring in that lab work at the time of your first visit.
4. The initial consultation is 2 hours. Many people request a longer session, which you will understand once we begin this process. There is a vast amount of information for the doctor to learn about. It is your choice whether to stick to 2 hours. You can request an additional 30 or 60 minutes, with 3 hours being the upper limit.
5. The Health and Wellness Assessment Form serves as the foundation for the initial consultation. Dr. Gersten works in a linear, left-brain way, and a holistic, intuitive right-brain way. He has found that simply asking a long list of questions is not the ideal process. Dr. Gersten will respond to certain comments of yours in the Health and Wellness Assessment Form, as well as comments that arise in the course of the first session by going down certain lines of thought in detail. Sometimes it's important to share brief stories and vignettes to move the consultation in directions you have not anticipated. A story encapsulates a great deal of information and conveys information to you that a straight, analytical comment can't accomplish. There is nothing in this process that is not immediately relevant to your main concern (symptom, illness, experience, or goal).
6. At the end of the initial consultation the doctor will have made notes about physical and mental concerns. It may be premature to come to a definitive diagnosis. Lab work will be ordered. Dr. Gersten does lab testing through a variety of labs around the country and he has those test kits in his office. He will bring out those test kits, fill out the associated paperwork, and send you home with the test kits. Lab work is not performed in our office, but you will be given clear directions about how to prepare for the lab work and where to go to have your blood drawn. If you live out-of-state, the test kits will be mailed to you.
7. The baseline testing consists of:
A. The NutrEval, one test kit with 5 sub-tests, namely: plasma amino acid analysis, essential fatty acids, toxic elements, glutathione and oxidative stress, and urine organic acids (called Metabolic Analysis Profile or MAP)
B. The GI-2, comprehensive digestive stool analysis. Very few of us have digestive tracts working anywhere close to 100%. The GI-2 has 20 sub-tests. The 3 most important nutritional/metabolic tests are: Amino Acid Analysis, Metabolic Analysis Profile, and the GI-2. The MAP provides information about digestive function, vitamin deficiencies, energy chemistry (the Krebs Cycle), and brain chemistry (neurotransmitters).
C. Adrenal Stress test, saliva.
All of these tests are important. In particular, Dr. Gersten has spent nearly 2 decades working with and interpreting the NutrEval. It contains 5 major tests and 100 sub-tests.
8. More lab tests are ordered depending on the individual. For people with CFS/ME (chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy, and related fatigue states, I'll order:
A. Comprehensive Viral Panel
B. Candida testing.
C. Methylation Panel, which includes thorough glutathione testing.
D. Comprehensive Thyroid Panel, especially for those who already know they have a thyroid problem. This particular test has 6 sub-tests, and provides vital information that standard thyroid testing misses.
9. Once you've completed the lab testing, it takes about 3 weeks for the results to arrive.
10. As soon as the lab results are in, you will be contacted. We'll set up an appointment to review the data. The Data Review session takes 2 hours. You are strongly encouraged to bring a recorder (tape or digital) to this session, and record the entire session. There is so much data to be explained to you, and the doctor will explain all of it. The treatment program makes the most sense when everything is explained to you. Before Dr. Gersten starts to explain the lab data, he will give you copies of all the lab work as well as treatment recommendations in the form of a Supplementary Schedule. At the end of the session, Dr. Gersten will suggest that you listen to the recording of the session once or twice over the next week.
11. More about the Data Review session. Dr. Gersten reviews the data the night before he reviews it with you, insuring that all the data is fresh in his mind. He interprets the data in light of the Health Map on this site, and he makes notes about every Primary Cause. After he has explained all the data, he'll tell you what the primary causes are. During both the initial session and the data review, Dr. Gersten will make notes about mental/emotional issues, and his strategy for dealing with them.
12. You will be given advice about how and where to order supplements and prescribed items. Dr. Gersten meets with his patients 2 weeks after they have started the program. Allowing 1 week to get all of your supplements, your next session is scheduled 3 weeks after the Data Review.
13. The Initial Mental Fitness Session can be scheduled before or after the Data Review. At the very least, you will learn simple Mental Fitness Techniques, which if practiced, will cut stress by 50% rather quickly. The core Mental Fitness Techniques are: meditation, mental imagery, use of the breath, and mood words. This session generally takes 90 minutes. For those with experience with these techniques, the session can take 1 hour. Dr. Gersten will suggest a number of strategic techniques to deal with a variety of issues. Read through “About Dr. Gersten” to have a sense for his experience with these techniques. Ideally, Dr. Gersten's patients participate in his complete program. If the main problem is mental/emotional (such as depression or anxiety), participating in physical treatments and strategic counseling (including Mental Fitness Techniques) is essential.
14. Followup visits should be 4 - 6 weeks apart.
15. In between visits, Dr. Gersten's patients are welcome to e-mail him with questions. He generally responds within 24 hours. There is no charge for his e-mail availability.
16. A commitment to the program for 6 months is necessary. The response time to nutritional therapy varies from person to person. About 5% of people respond dramatically within 7 days. About 30% of people respond within 4 weeks. Most people respond within 8 weeks.
17. After 6 months on the nutritional program, the most important lab tests will be repeated, and the program will be adjusted accordingly.
Please fill out the form with a dark pen. After completing the form, please return it by:
1) fax: 760-487-7737, or
2) mail to 1106 Second Street, Suite 900, Encinitas, California 92024, or
3) scan the Pre-Intake Form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are going to scan the completed form, please make sure that you line up the document in your scanner.
If after reviewing the Pre-Intake Form Dr. Gersten feels he can work with you, he will email you Part 2 of the Health and Wellness Assessment Form (HWAF). The Pre-Intake Form is the first half of the HWAF, which was developed by Dr. Gersten as a tool that provides a comprehensive view of a person's Main Concern (symptom, illness, goal, or experience). This form provides you and your doctor the opportunity to review your Main Concern in the context of your whole life. The initial consultation is based, in large part, on the HWAF.
If you and Dr. Gersten decide to work together,
1 If you will be seeing Dr. Gersten in person, bring the HWAF part 2 with you to the first appointment. Do not mail it to the office before that appointment.
2. If you will be consulting via telephone, you can fax or email the HWAF.
3. Include a recent photograph of yourself if you will be consulting via telephone. The photo is a MUST. It is the next best thing to being in the office, face-to-face with the doctor, and it allows the doctor to put a face to a voice and the HWAF. You can email a recent digital photo or mail one.