Integrative Health Blog

Holistic View and Treatment Approach for Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol

Posted by on Mon, Jun 29, 2020

For quite some time, the public view towards drug or alcohol addictions was more focused on the problems of personal will power and lacking self control. But fortunately, the smoking cessation treatment programs in recent years have started to shed more light into our understanding about the unique biological needs in certain individuals driven by particular genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

Addiction to drugs and alcohol can predispose or coexist with other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. Adolescence is the often the time when some may start to seek relief and experiment with drugs and/or alcohol by themselves or with peers. Adolescents may lack knowledge and understanding of consequences and not have a good social support system in place. 

It is important to raise awareness in patients, families and society to understand how some of the possible underlying biological causes and potential treatment options can have a direct impact on the outcome for individuals who become addicted, and to society at-large. 

While personal discipline and social standards still play a vital role in combating against drug and alcohol abuse, a holistic clinical and laboratory evaluation to identify the root causes based on analysis of certain biochemical profiles and particular nutritional needs may open a new realm of therapy and provide hope for those with substance use disorders. With the advancement in genetic analysis, a spectrum of mild presentations of inherited genetic deficiency has been increasingly recognized. A majority of them have therapeutic options. Furthermore, coexisting chronic medical conditions, such as Epstein- Barr virus (EBV) and Lyme Disease/co-infections must be ruled out before any psychiatric drug therapy should be implemented.   Many of the laboratory evaluations are available now and also covered by medical insurance. The goal is to enhance the treatment efficacy and improve the treatment outcome.

Treating the Whole Person

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Tags: addiction, holistic approach, integrative medicine

12 Risk Factors That Affect Brain Function

Posted by on Mon, Jun 22, 2020

June is Brain Awareness Month, which is a wonderful opportunity to discuss or have a national conversation about our brain health, the part of us which makes us distinctly human.

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Tags: functional medicine, integrative medicine, brain health

Let's Think About Virus Prevention

Posted by on Wed, Jun 10, 2020

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was Right

It is more important to understand the patient who has a disease, than it is to understand the disease that a patient has.  ~ Hippocrates

Now that we are mostly through the first stages of the Corona or COVID-19 pandemic, we can appreciate that all the good preventative efforts (masks, social distancing, hand washing, disinfecting, etc.) have slowed the spread, giving our healthcare system “breathing room” to process new cases. 

Of course, as I have often explained, the media and governmental agencies tend to focus only on the virus and not on our innate immunity, which is our best defense system.  However, having slowed the spread of COVID-19, it gives us all time to think about ways to enhance our immune systems, so I will reiterate here some information from my previous articles for two important reasons:

  • It looks like COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, and while you may have escaped the first wave, it is a good idea to beef up your immunity now and for a long time to come. Don’t drop your guard.  Just remember the acronym, ABCD and…Z.  Everything that you do to enhance your immune system also helps protect you from cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases.

  • The latest research on Vitamin D from 10 countries shows (surprise, surprise) that deaths are much lower in those who have higher vitamin D levels.

Be sure to have your physician test your Vitamin D level, and keep it optimized.  The ideal levels are greater than 50 ng/mL.

Basic Supplements to Support the Immune System

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Tags: immune system, integrative medicine

Coronavirus: Healing the Gastrointestinal Tract to Boost Immunity

Posted by on Sat, Apr 11, 2020

One of the ways to tune up your immune system and give you more resistance to the Coronavirus is to heal your intestines.  A healthy gastrointestinal tract is often synonymous with a healthy immune system, which strengthens your resistance to any and all infections.

Roughly 60% to 80% of our entire immune system is estimated to surround our gastrointestinal tract to keep our microbiome, the bacteria, fungus, parasites and viruses, in check.   If an overgrowth of unfriendly flora occurs or our immune system is reacting to various foods (e.g., food allergy), a lot of our immune systems energy is diverted to the intestines and away from the immune system’s other responsibilities such as resisting or fighting infectious invaders like Coronavirus.

Symptoms of an Unhealthy Microbiome

How can we tell if the immune system is wasting its energy fighting food proteins or the flora growing in our intestines?  One way is to consider symptoms.  If bloating, excess gas, abdominal discomfort, loose stools, acid reflux or constipation are a regular occurrence, you may be suffering with food allergy/sensitivity and/or the overgrowth of unfriendly intestinal flora.  Sometimes it is impossible to figure out which foods are involved, and which micro-organisms are overgrown without diagnostic functional medicine testing, like a stool test, a urine test and blood work.  Once the diagnosis is made, it’s a relatively simple process to correct the flora and get your immune system to then divert its attention away from the intestines to other parts of your body.

Healing the Gut with the 5 R’s

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Tags: immune system, gut, functional medicine, integrative medicine, virus

Coronavirus: It's Not Just About the Virus (Mostly)

Posted by on Tue, Apr 07, 2020

It’s more important to treat the person with a disease, than it is to treat the disease that a person has.

                                                                                                  ~Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine

When I was in medical school almost 50 years ago, we were recruited for an experiment to test the common cold virus (i.e., a rhinovirus).  I didn’t volunteer even though some extra spending money would have been nice, but my classmates did.  Students were selected who had essentially no antibodies to rhinovirus.  In exchange for a pittance, researchers at the University of Virginia Medical School divided the volunteers into four groups (if my ancient recollection serves me well): 

  • Group 1 was the control and received no virus.

  • Group 2 received a very low dose.

  • Group 3 received a moderate dose.

  • Group 4 received a high dose.

As you might expect, no one in group 1 became ill, whereas everyone in group 4 got a cold.  A few in group 2 came down with the sniffles and about half of those in group 3 “caught” the cold.  The takeaway from this outcome was that we all have a dosage threshold of inoculation.  Despite this well-established fact, I see little discussion about immune resistance to the corona virus and almost all discussion is about the virus itself.  It’s as if the quote above from the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, has never been heard.  It’s also similar to integrative cancer treatment – modern medicine’s expertise treats the cancer but may tend to ignore the whole person (with an immune system), who is fighting and killing cancer cells.

The Role of the Immune System

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Tags: immune system, functional medicine, integrative medicine, virus

The Art of Staying Sane in a World in Upheaval

Posted by on Mon, Mar 30, 2020

"The Art of Staying Sane in a World in Upheaval"

Using a Time of Crisis as a Chance for Mind-Body Healing and Personal Transformation

Webinar Date: April 2, 2020

Time: 8:00-9:00 PM

Presenter: Kuno Bachbauer, LMF

This webinar has ended. A recording can be found HERE.

A little more than two weeks ago we all felt safe! (More or less).

Suddenly, and seemingly, out of nowhere, “unseen forces” have threatened not only our physical health but also our economic foundation. Almost from one day to the next, our world got taken hostage by an invisible enemy.  People sequestered, jobs lost, stocks crashed.

Unfortunately, this enemy has two sides.

“Public Enemy #1”: THE VIRUS

We all were forced to discover quickly how incredibly difficult and complex it is to protect yourselves and our community from this deadly virus! We have learned that “it takes a village” of concerted and coordinated effort to stay safe and to protect each other.

Besides mostly mechanical means such as using alcohol sprays, Clorox wipes, gloves, and “social distancing” we must use very specific medical support when necessary. I am certain that my physician-colleagues at NIHA with their many tools from Integrative and Functional medicine have the COVID-19 medical and preventive aspects covered beautifully. They are the experts! Therefore, I will move on to a specific topic that I am an expert in: How to handle the emotional side of illness.  

Because there is a lot of evidence that mind and body are totally inter-connected, I will show you how we can balance our mind and our emotions in very practical ways so that our immune system can work optimally and without extra stress.

“Public Enemy #2”:  OUR OWN TRAUMA REACTION TO STRESS

As a “holistic” psychotherapist, I see this other aspect of our novel public enemy as much more dangerous and intrinsic. It concerns the part in our psyche that deals with handling stress coming from difficult and overwhelming situations.

In this article I will attempt to give you helpful hints for mastering the “emotional brain.”  I want to offer guidance on how to MASTER THE EMOTIONAL FALLOUT and SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of this collective battle against the unseen enemy of the state: COVID-19. For  more in-depth information please consider attending the webinar on April 2. 

My hope is that this information will help you be as strong and resilient in the face of this “unseen enemy” as possible! I hope it will help strengthen your immune system by learning to face fear properly, and by teaching you to be more able to handle the “tsunami” of overwhelming feelings and conflicting situations that we may have to face in the next few weeks!

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Tags: integrative medicine, emotional wellbeing

Improving Our Indoor Environment: The Power of Plants

Posted by on Wed, Mar 25, 2020

During this time of social distancing, most of us are spending much longer periods of time indoors, inside our homes.  As a pediatric physician, I always recommend spending as much time as possible in nature, but not every family has the benefit of a backyard that’s easily accessible. 

So, what can we do to improve our living space in the weeks ahead? 

One of my favorite studies exploring the relationship of indoor plants and air quality was conducted by NASA back in 1989.  I came across this study years ago, and often use it to validate to my husband any spontaneous purchases of Peace Lilies or English Ivy that I just had to have.

Anyway, this 2-year study entitled “Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement” was a joint effort with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America to see if houseplants could serve as a tool to combat indoor air pollution.  You see, at that time, something called “Sick Building Syndrome” was becoming apparent in American workers confined in newly constructed/renovated office buildings.  It was acknowledged during this study that various health problems (ranging from itchy eyes to headaches and fatigue) were due to the entrapment of toxic chemicals emitted from synthetic building materials, office equipment and office furnishings. 

This is heavy stuff, right? These findings were attributed to 2 things: super-insulation and reduced fresh air exchange.

The Power of Plants

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Tags: holistic health, integrative medicine, healthy living

Rethinking Chronic Disease

Posted by on Thu, Feb 07, 2019

Please join us for an educational lecture on the role of minerals in the body:


Rethinking Chronic Disease

Date : Saturday, FEBRUARY 16, 2019
 
Time : 10 am - 2 pm
 
Where : National Integrated Health Associates
 
             5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 402
 
             Washington, DC 20015
 
Presenter: Morley Robbins, MBA,CHC
 
Cost : $30 includes lunch
 
This event has ended.
 
 
National Integrated Health Associates is pleased to welcome Morley Robbins, MBA, CHC, one of the foremost experts on Magnesium’s role in the body, and the delicate dance Magnesium plays with Iron, Copper, and Calcium.
 
Mr. Robbins will present a compelling, evidence-based lecture discussing:
 
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Tags: integrative medicine

6 Habits for a Healthy Microbiota

Posted by on Mon, Jan 21, 2019

There are more and more studies being done to research the body’s microbiota. Microbiota refers to all the microorganisms that are found in an environment. In the human body, the gut, the vagina, the sinuses, the mouth, the skin, the blood, etc. and each have their own microbiota which includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and other single celled animals.

Humans have many more microbial cells than human body cells. There are close to 10 microbes to one human cell! That is a big deal. Most of these are symbiotic and necessary for the continued health of the host. What does this have to do with good health? These microorganism play a role in many health conditions, impact our immune system, provide nutrients for cells and may prevent harmful cells from multiplying! Integrative medicine practitioners support a healthy microbiota as it is a key component for the overall health of the patient. 

So, how do we continue to have a healthy microbiota or restore it?

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Tags: integrative medicine, microbiome

5 Reasons to Choose an Integrative Doctor for Primary Care

Posted by on Tue, Jan 27, 2015

A primary care provider is a family physician, internist, or nurse practitioner who coordinates all of the health care a patient receives. The holistic primary care model offers not only traditional primary care but also incorporates the best of complementary and alternative healing therapies from around the world to help you achieve optimum wellness, not just freedom from disease.

Our holistic primary care providers will be your partner and guide in helping you achieve your health goals.

Top 5 Reasons for Integrative Medicine

1. We treat the whole person

The mind, body and spirit all contribute to your health status and wellness. An integrative MD or Nurse Practitioner will develop a treatment plan that addresses your medical needs as well as your emotional and nutritional well-being. Stress management, diet, and lifestyle factors all play a role in your overall health.

2. Integrative medicine and Functional Medicine treat the cause of imbalance, not just the symptoms

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Tags: holistic approach, integrative medicine, integrative doctor, primary care