New Horizons...........Living Well, Feeling Great

Frequently Asked Questions

Most clinical questions are addressed on other pages of this website but here are a few additional commonly asked questions:

Can the cost of your services be submitted to my health insurance plan?

Your health insurance covers well-patient annual visits and will cover a specific illness.  It is not designed to cover extensive screening, education, counseling, and preventive services (or when it does, the coverage may be minimal).  Health insurance also doesn't cover holistic approaches or complementary services such as yoga and Pilates. At New Horizons, we feel that the need for a comprehensive approach outweighs your health insurance limits and feel that most women, when given the chance, are willing to financially invest in improving the quality of their life through proactive approaches to their health. When appropriate, services will be submitted to your insurance company, and in many cases, some of the comprehensive medical evaluation will be covered, but patients are expected to pay the full fee for service provided regardless of insurance coverage.

An alternate approach is to break your comprehensive evaluation into multiple sessions, billing your insurance carrier separately for each component. The cost effectiveness of this approach varies, depending on what your co-pay is for each visit.

Should I still be evaluated by Dr. Thornton if I’m not interested in hormone replacement therapy?

Definitely! Discussion of the risk vs. benefit of hormone replacement is only one part of your evaluation with Dr. Thornton. Your visit will be comprehensive, including many risk assessments and extensive counseling regarding preventive care. In addition, alternatives to hormones for managing your menopausal symptoms will be provided.

What do you mean by a holistic, integrative approach?

A holistic approach to medicine usually incorporates disciplines and healing techniques that focus on the integration of mind , body, and spirit, in other words, the whole person. Traditional medicine is primarily focused on specific symptoms or illness. Many holistic approaches fall outside of "accepted" mainstream medical practice. They don't always have randomized clinical trials or strong scientific evidence for their use. However, most of these practices have been in use extensively and have been shown to increase one's sense of mental and physical well-being, often to a greater extent than traditional medicine. An "integrative" approach refers to the integration of holistic approaches with traditional medicine (best of both worlds), not in place of traditional medicine.

Do you have to be flexible to do Yoga or Pilates?

No! both of these disciplines can be modified for all levels of fitness.  There are no medals for being the most flexible, and all participants will gain flexibility over time.

Is Yoga a religion?

Yoga is often spiritual, but it is not a religion, because it does not dictate the nature of a God to be worshipped. Many yoga practices encourage meditation on a universal spirit, but the nature of that spirit is left open to interpretation.

Can Yoga or Pilates improve my sex life?

Yes. Yoga and Pilates can improve your sex life on two levels: mental and physical. They reduce stress and fatique, two factors that often reduce your desire for sex, and both disciplines improve your body image.  They also can improve your sex life by increasing muscle strength and flexibility, and through improved muscle control and heightened body awareness.

Is Yoga just stretching?

No. Although yoga involves stretching, it is focused more on whole body flexibility and yoga postures produce not just stretching, but also strengthening of muscles.  It also focuses on proper body movement, alignment, breath control and body awareness. There also is a spiritual component to yoga.

Is Yoga just for hippies?

No. Once upon a time, yoga was only primarily practiced by Eastern cultures by people with alternative lifestyles, but it is now being embraced by mainstream America.  More and more people are seeing the benefits yoga and Pilates provide for their mental and physical well-being.

Will Yoga or Pilates help me lose weight?

Yes and no. Both will help you develop muscular strength and flexibility, and both will help you move easier (and we don't burn calories unless we're moving). Often women eat as a coping mechanism for stress. By reducing stress, yoga and Pilates may help you break that bad habit. The primary approach to weight reduction will be healthy eating and some form of aerobic exercise. All of the staff at New Horizons can start you in the right direction for healthy living that will help with weight control.

Will Yoga or Pilates cause injury?

Any new physical activity holds the possibility for injury, especially in severely deconditioned bodies. However, the risk of not improving your condition is even more likely to lead to injuries. The yoga and Pilates instructors at New Horizons are very well trained and very experienced teachers/practitioners of their disciplines. They will adapt their instruction to your limitations in order to limit the likelihood of injury.  This is not a "no pain, no gain" proposition. Pilates exercises and yoga postures are employed with smooth, controlled movement that reduces the probability of injury.

Is there an age limitation for Pilates or Yoga? 

No. Pilates and yoga can be beneficial for virtually all ages, fitness levels, and body conditions. However, if you have any concerns about this, your Pilates or yoga instructor can consult with your physician regarding your concerns. 

Can't I just do Pilates or Yoga with video/DVD tapes?

No. This is definitely not recommended. While instructors on video may be extremely qualified to teach, there is nobody present to observe your movements.  This increases the likelihood of incorrect technique, which can be harmful. Video and books are more useful as a supplement after you have had professional instruction. 

What's the difference between Pilates and Yoga?

Both disciplines increase strength, flexibility, and body awareness. Both are holistic in the sense that they integrate techniques designed for whole body well-being. In general, Pilates will focus somewhat more on the physical, while Yoga may focus more on the spiritual. Pilates may be slanted more toward strength while yoga more toward flexibility. Both are valuable to the menopausal patient. You can decide which discipline fits you best by contacting Joan and Linda.