FAQ

SCHEDULING

 

When does Dr. Lobsang see patients in Encinitas?

Dr. Lobsang sees patients in Encinitas on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Our first appointment starts at 8:30am and our last appointment starts at 1:00pm.

 

When does Dr. Lobsang see patients in Costa Mesa?

Dr. Lobsang sees patients in Costa Mesa two Sundays a month, typically the first and second Sunday. His first appointment starts at 9:00am and the last starts at 4:30pm. Please note that we rent space in Costa Mesa and do not have an actual Tibetan Healing Center clinic there.

 

When does Dr. Lobsang see patients in San Rafael?

Dr. Lobsang sees patients in San Rafael once a month, typically the third weekend of every month from Thursday through Sunday. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the first appointment starts at 8:30AM, and the last appointment starts at 5:30PM. On Sunday, the first appointment starts at 8:30AM first appointment, and the last appointment starts at 3:30PM. As with Costa Mesa, we rent space in San Rafael and are not physically there outside of the time the doctor is in town.

 

What should I do if I cannot reach someone at the office by phone?

Please leave us a message or send us an email. While we are not in the office from 9:00am to 5:00pm every single day, providing timely responses to our patients is a priority to us and we will respond to your concerns within 48 hours or less.

 

It’s been 48 hours and I have not heard back from someone at the office. What should I do?

Please check that you called the correct phone number. For Encinitas and Costa Mesa, our number is 800-315-6663 or 619-325-0992. For San Rafael, our number is 415-302-5666.

 

Does Dr. Lobsang do phone consultations?

Yes, occasionally when a patient who has seen Dr. Lobsang but who lives out of town, moves, or is traveling and wants a follow up appointment with the doctor, we will set up a phone consultation. These are held on typical Encinitas patient days (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) and patients are given a full 30 minute appointment where they are able talk with Dr. Lobsang. The fee for this is $75 and is a service available only to patients who have been seen in one of his offices.

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APPOINTMENTS

How quickly can I get in to see Dr. Lobsang?

This depends on location. In Encinitas, our main office, it is fairly easy to get an appointments and usually be accommodated within a week of your request. However, this does vary by time of the month (due to his travel schedule) so if you don’t have much flexibility on when you can see him, please contact us as soon as you know you’d like to set up an appointment. Call 800-315-666 or 619-325-0992 or email us at info@tibetanhealingcenter.org to set up an appointment.

 

Because he is only in Costa Mesa two Sundays a month, it is a bit harder to obtain these appointments. You may be booking an appointment 3-5 weeks out. Call 800-315-6663, 619-325-0992 or email us at info@tibetanhealingcenter.org to set up an appointment.

 

In San Rafael, we are typically booked out 3 months in advance for new appointments. Please do not let this discourage you from attempting to set up an appointment at this location. Tracey, our Manager in San Rafael, works very diligently to keep our schedules organized and will always contact prospective patients on our wait list if an opening becomes available. Please call 415-302-5666 or email Tracey at tbigelow@sbcglobal.net for an appointment in San Rafael.

 

Will you call me to remind me of my appointment?

Yes. We  confirm appointments via telephone/email or text a few days before the appointment and ask that you telephone/email or text us back to confirm the appointment. However, it is the patient’s responsibility to call and cancel an appointment before the late cancellation cut off time (48 hours in Encinitas and 72 hours in Costa Mesa and Marin). You are welcome to call or email to cancel the appointment and it is not necessary to speak with someone. If you would like us to contact you to let you know that we received your appointment cancellation, please request one.

 

Are there any preparations for first appointments or follow up appointments?

Yes. To prepare for your first appointment, the day before your appointment you will be asked to avoid a short list of foods so that the urine specimen you bring with you to the appointment will be free of contaminants. Your urine sample which will be taken at home the morning of your appointment. Specific details can be found here

 

For follow up appointments, you will not need to bring in a urine sample. However, please avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods 12 hours prior to every appointment to insure an accurate pulse reading..

 

How early should I arrive for my first appointment?

Please come about 5-10 minutes prior to your appointment.

 

What happens during the first appointment?

At your first appointment Dr. Lobsang will conduct a pulse-reading on both wrists to determine what is going on in your body and the source of the imbalance. He will also do a urinalysis in accordance with Tibetan medical theories (by looking at the viscosity, color, smell, sediment, bubble formation, etc.) with the sample you brought with you to the appointment (this is why we request you refrain from eating beets and asparagus, as well as taking supplements which may discolor the urine, or change the smell).  You will also have an opportunity to discuss your medical history along with any concerns you’re having about your health .

 

Does Dr. Lobsang need to see my lab work?

It depends….while it never hurts to bring lab work with you to your appointment, Dr. Lobsang will evaluate whether or not he needs to see these on a patient by patient basis.

 

How long can I expect to spend at my first appointment?

The appointment will likely last 30 minutes with Dr. Lobsang. However, please plan for about 45 minutes to an hour total. This will allow 5 minutes prior to your appointment to fill out our short intake form and sign the consent form as well as ten minutes or more after your appointment with the receptionist to review dietary recommendations, any supplements he may recommend, how to take the Tibetan herb formulas, ask any questions, provide payment for the services and schedule next appointment.

 

What should I expect from a follow up appointment?

Follow-up appointments can run anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes with Dr. Lobsang where he will conduct a pulse-reading and discuss your progress with you, and again another 10-15 with his assistant to schedule your next appointment, make payments, etc.

 

How long after beginning Dr. Lobsang’s recommendations can I expect to see results?

Every patient is unique as are the timelines for projecting change. Results are affected by many factors which include how faithfully the formulas are taken, whether dietary and lifestyle recommendations are followed, whether stressors decrease or increase,  etc. All factors affect outcomes, but not all to the same degree or at the same time. This is especially true with imbalances that have been challenging for a long time. For acute problems, the timeline for improvement will be much shorter. Please ask Dr. Lobsang for improvements to look for when discussing your case.

 

What is your cancellation policy?

This varies by office. For appointments in Encinitas, we have a 48-hour and For Costa Mesa and San Rafael we have a 72-hour cancellation policy cancellation policy. If you do not notify our office of the cancellation prior to this time, a $50 fee. This means, for example, that if your appointment is set up for Tuesday, you must call our office and leave a message will be incurred.

 

What is the cost of an appointment with Dr. Lobsang?

Cost for appointments varies by location. Please contact our office for additional information.

 

What form of payment does the Tibetan Healing Center take?

We accept cash, personal check and credit card (Visa or MasterCard only).  We also accept PayPal if you want to transfer money as a ‘gift’ - that way we can avoid the fees, :-)

or send an email by Sunday to avoid the late cancellation fee. For Costa Mesa and San Rafael we have a 72-hour cancellation policy. If you do not notify our office of the cancellation prior to this time, a $50 fee.

 

Does the Tibetan Healing Center accept insurance?

Not currently. In order to bill, there must be codes by which insurance companies can assign and make payments. Currently, there are no codes for Tibetan medicine but we are hopeful there will be in the future.  We are happy to give you a Superbill though and you can submit it to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.

 

Can Dr. Lobsang provide recommendations to me even if I don’t set up an appointment with him?

No. Pulse-reading and urinalysis are a vital part of the theories of Tibetan medicine. We do not provide recommendations to those who are not patients but are just looking for a quick recommendation from a Tibetan perspective.

 

What kinds of recommendations does Dr. Lobsang typically provide for patients?

Dr. Lobsang typically provides dietary recommendations and herbal formulas for you to take. Often times, he will suggest some supplements to take (e.g. fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D). He may also suggest other behavioral or lifestyle changes to help support his other recommendations. This can include, but is not limited to, acupuncture, qigong, Reiki, meditation, sleep and exercise changes.

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HERBS

Can the Tibetan Healing Center provide Tibetan herbal formulas for me even if I am not a patient of his?

No. Dr. Lobsang provides herbal formulas only to individuals who are his patients.

 

Dr. Lobsang told me at my last appointment that I could order herbs when my current supply runs out. How do I order herbs?

 

Please call our Encinitas office at 800-315-6663, 619-325-0992 or email us at info@tibetanhealingcenter.org for a refill on your herbs. Please note that typically we will only continue to fill herbs for up to 6 months before Dr. Lobsang will request that you schedule another follow-up appointment.

 

I am about to run out of herbs but my appointment is in two weeks, what should I do?

Please continue with the other recommendations until your next appointment. Dr. Lobsang does not refill herbs unless your appointment is a month or more away.

 

How long before I run out of herbs should I call to reorder?

Please call 7-10 days before your current supply runs out if you would not like to go several days without herbs. Please note however, that you do not need to take herbs every single day to benefit from them. There are several factors that influence how quickly we can get herb orders shipped out to you. These factors include Dr. Lobsang’s travel schedule, his availability in the San Diego office and factors affecting the availability of the formulas which are sourced from Tibetan pharmacies outside the US and over which we have no control.

 

Where do the Tibetan herb formulas come from?

The herbs are grown and prepared in the Himalayan region and are imported to the United States.

 

Are the herbal formulas FDA approved?

No, our herbal formulas are not regulated by the FDA.

 

What is in the Tibetan herbal formulas?

Each herbal formula is unique, in accordance with traditional Tibetan herbal formulas. To obtain an ingredient list, please contact our San Diego office.

 

Will the herb formulas that Dr. Lobsang gave me interact with my medications?

This will vary by medication. We always recommend patients take the herbs 45 minutes to two hours either before or after any prescribed medications. At your appointment, please confirm with Dr. Lobsang about the best schedule for taking your herbs relative to any other medications you’re on.

 

Are the herbs controlled for heavy metals and pesticides?

All of our herbs are qualified to meet government standards consistent with the country we source them from.

 

Are animal products used in the Tibetan herbal formulas?

No animal products are used in the Tibetan herbal formulas that Dr. Lobsang provides.

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MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Is Dr. Lobsang an MD?

Dr. Lobsang has a medical degree but is not a licensed MD. In fact, nowhere in the United States is the practice of Tibetan Medicine licensed. Dr. Lobsang has earned the highest distinction for the practice of Tibetan medicine at the Traditional Tibetan Medical College in Lhasa, Tibet, the most prominent institution for Tibetan medicine in the world. In addition to the study of western medicine included in his medical program, the doctor has completed certification with the Institute for Functional Medicine training with western, licensed physicians. He is conversant and practiced with both systems.

 

Does Dr. Lobsang have a specialty?

Looked at through the lens of western medical practice, Dr. Lobsang would qualify as a general practitioner. However, the theories and practices of Tibetan medicine allow him to interpret the imbalances of the body in uniquely specialized ways. He has chosen to further develop this knowledge in the study of MS (multiple sclerosis), regeneration following cancer treatments, and neurodegenerative disorders. You may read his published articles here.

 

How do I know if my needs are a good fit with traditional Tibetan medicine?

Many of Dr. Lobsang's patients come to him when they have exhausted what western medicine offers. This can translate to mean no further treatment options, no solution available for their problem or, simply, that no answer could be found. Some arrive because they want the benefits of both western and Tibetan medicine while treating a chronic condition, a persistent problem or an injury.

 

If you explore our website you will see that Dr. Lobsang's training in functional medicine makes him unique among complementary medicine physicians. He has trained alongside western physicians to approach his patients holistically from a western functional medicine perspective: a somewhat recent development in western medicine. Holism, however, is an ancient perspective for Tibetan medicine.

 

What this means for you as a patient is that Dr. Lobsang understands the practices of western medicine well and moves with ease and expertise between both. For you that means continuity of care.

 

Treatments proposed by Dr. Lobsang will include dietary modifications, herbal prescriptions, nutritional supplementation and lifestyle recommendations. Your problem might include only a few visits to achieve the results you are seeking. Or, depending on the severity and length of time you've experienced your challenge, the duration of treatment might be longer requiring changes in your prescriptions, supplementation and lifestyle recommendations that must be re-calibrated over time.

 

Whatever complaint brings you to traditional Tibetan medicine please know that Tibetan medicine is not something done TO you but a medicine that requires your full participation. The question you must ask yourself is: Are you willing to enter into the requirements of this form of partnership? Are you ready for the changes that may be required of you? This is the perspective from which to assess your fit and to make your decision.

 

What should I do if I receive a different diagnosis from another doctor?

There is nothing that you need to do. You are welcome to notify our office of any changes but it may not change the recommendations that Dr. Lobsang provides for you. Dr. Lobsang’s analysis of your health comes from a unique perspective incorporating 25+ years of practicing Tibetan medicine, in addition to his studies of Chinese medicine and Functional Medicine. An alternate diagnosis will not change what Dr. Lobsang reads from your pulses. The indigenous Tibetan medical tradition is different from that accepted by modern allopathic medicine.  It looks at the body from a holistic perspective.  There is no diagnosis - the system is either balanced or imbalanced.  Our goal is to help the body revert to a place of homeostasis.

 

I have an important question for Dr. Lobsang but my appointment isn’t for another several weeks or months. What should I do?

Please call or send an email to the San Diego office (for San Diego and Costa Mesa patients) or our San Rafael office (for Bay Area patients) with your question. Please be mindful that it can take several days to get an answer for these questions due to Dr. Lobsang’s appointment schedule (he’s in the San Diego office only 3 days a week).

 

Can Dr. Lobsang order lab work or other tests for me?

Currently, Dr. Lobsang cannot order blood work, MRIs, x-rays, etc. (add more info here)

 

Do you know of any other Tibetan doctors in the United States?

For prospective patients who live on the east coast, Dr. Lobsang recommends visiting Dr. Tashi Rubten in New Jersey. You may find more information about him here.

 

Where can I learn more about Tibetan medicine?

There are many resources available to learn about Tibetan medicine. Here are several book titles and websites that may help further educate you on Tibetan medicine.

Provide links to books, websites, information here.

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