Questions to Ask Your Alternative Medicine Practitioner

Peer Reviewed

Asking questions about your back or neck pain treatment is extremely important—regardless if it is a conventional, complementary and alternative or integrative form of medicine, such as CAM. The more questions you ask, the more informed you'll be. And the more informed you are, the more involved you can be in your healthcare decisions.

Woman writing down questionsIf you are planning a visit to a complementary and alternative or integrative medical practitioner, you should be prepared with a list of questions. Bring a pen and some paper to record the answers. That way, you can review everything you learned when you get home.

Here are some sample questions to get you started:

  • Where did you receive your training?
  • What licenses and/or certifications do you have?
  • How long have you held these licenses and/or certifications?
  • What degrees have you earned?
  • What are the benefits of this treatment?
  • What are the risks of this treatment?
  • What are the side effects associated with this treatment?
  • Can this treatment interact or impact the effectiveness of my conventional medications/therapies?
  • Is this treatment commonly used for my condition?
  • Can I continue my daily activities while undergoing this treatment?
  • How long will I need to undergo this treatment?
  • What is the success rate of this treatment for patients with my condition?
  • Do you have any brochures or other patient materials that I may take with me?
  • Is there a website that I may visit for more information on this treatment?

When it comes to asking questions, more is always better. A question you think is silly might, in fact, reveal a vital piece of information. If you're at all unsure whether a treatment may be the best option for your back or neck pain, don't hesitate to voice your concerns. For more information about making the most out of your visit with your complementary and alternative medicine practitioner, read this article about how to select a practitioner.

Updated on: 03/22/16
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Laurie Morse, LAc, MTOM
This article was reviewed by Laurie Morse, LAc, MTOM.
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