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B.E.A.W.A.R.E.

Updated: Sep 4

The Most Important Acronym for Healthcare Practitioners To Know (Moms Too!)


Have you ever Experienced a Medical Condition and Wondered, “Should I Go to a Physician?”


Today more Americans are going to Alternative and Complementary care then Primary Care. Patients are seeking immediate attention, thus other Healthcare Practitioners such as Massage and Physical Therapists, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, and even Medical Intuitives may be the first to see them. With the popularity of holistic practitioners on the rise, numerous options are available for those seeking fast medical attention.


This transition has presented both positive and negative circumstances. Even with good intentions, there are many certifications and online courses available to become a Holistic Practitioner that require minimal experience. As the roles of health professionals continue to evolve, client responsibility is of the utmost importance. That responsibility is based on Hippocrates’ First Law: Do the Patient No Harm, that includes getting them to the right person quickly.


The Creation of B.E.A.W.A.R.E.

Every blue moon, a client will come to me with underlying issues that are disguised as simple physical symptoms. This includes anything from headaches and joint swelling, to back pain. For any healthcare professional, it is crucial to understand the core of these symptoms before they are treated.

Since 1990, my associate Ralph D’ Amato MD, Board-Certified E.R. Physician, and I developed B.E.A.W.A.R.E., an evaluation tool to “pre-screen clients” for conditions that may require a physician’s diagnosis. I used this tool on over 30,000 clients. Healthcare Practitioners must understand, someone coming to you for an initial evaluation, is a big responsibility.

The creation B.E.A.W.A.R.E. Physical Medical Prescreen, is not for Diagnosing symptomology. It is a Medical Pre-Screening tool. A medical screening tool is essential as clients may opt for Telehealth visits to avoid exposure to Covid-19 medical settings.


B.E.A.W.A.R.E. is a helpful guide in determining which patients should be medically evaluated by a Physician. It’s also a system that integrates Holistic Practitioners with Physicians, translating holistic practices and interventions to the medical community and fostering a better understanding of a client’s total health condition.


Why B.E.A.W.A.R.E. Is Needed


After 40 years working as an Integrative Manual Therapist, the most important thing to consider when treating a New Client is Not How, It’s When Not To. Some of the best treatments I ever given were the one never done.



Breaking Down B.E.A.W.A.R.E.


Each letter in our term B.E.A.W.A.R.E. represents different aspects a holistic practitioner must recognize in a client.

B is for Bilaterality

It is rare for conditions to occur on both sides of the body. When clients come in with symptoms like swelling or pain to both sides, this is an automatic red flag.

E is for Extreme Pain

When a client is experiencing extreme pain this should arouse concern, especially when the cause seems minor. This is a red flag.

A is for Association with Other Symptoms

If a client comes in with specific issue and is also experiencing several unrelated symptoms at the same time, a red flag goes up.

W is for Worsening Despite Appropriate Therapy

Any Practitioner should immediately re-evaluate their treatment when symptoms worsen or do not improve. The challenge lies in not only changing the approach but also reconsider if the patient has a problem amenable to the methods of my own profession. Red Flag.

A is for Absence Of Injury

This circumstance should cause immediate background concern regarding the patient’s diagnosis. While all Physical Injuries are not associated with recalled Trauma, patients may lead the practitioner toward a simple Musculoskeletal Diagnosis to avoid confronting fears that they may be suffering from Life Threatening Problem.

R is for Response To Examination

An unexpected response to palpation, range of motion or other evaluative measure should trigger concern. At both extremes this may be due to a patients Stoicism or Low Pain Tolerance. Whenever pain or other findings are milder than expected it is very important to watch for medical problems masquerading as musculoskeletal disorders since they typically manifest in this way.

E is for Emotional Reaction

Intangible warning signs will often present themselves as intuition or uneasiness on the part of the Practitioner or Patient. These feeling are not to be ignored, since they are often the earliest indication of mistaken diagnosis. Patients may avoid facing a suspected more serious problem and seem more anxious. A gut feeling concern may not represent the sole explanation for the need to refer out but should trigger a re-assessment.

If you are a holistic practitioner or medical physician looking to dive deeper into this concept, stay tuned for our upcoming online courses. Keep up with our latest updates by subscribing to our newsletter.


Watch below to see how B.E.A.W.A.R.E. has saved lives:




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