To us, an integrative approach means that we are utilizing the best available treatment methods that will be the most effective for the unique needs of the individual. This greatly enhances our ability to promote and support whole healing as we are not limited to a single methodology.
People are not one-size-fits-all in any capacity. We are complex by nature. Our approach towards attaining a healthy balance should focus on the details. This is why here at Alternative to Meds Center we use integrative treatments for mental health, medication tapering, and addiction recovery.
Successfully treating the mental, emotional and physical needs of an individual can’t be duplicated to fulfill the specific requirements of others. Patients and their families deserve better. They find it here at the Alternative to Meds Center.
Utilizing a wide variety of approaches to support real healing fortifies lasting recovery.
We focus on the therapeutic relationship between the treatment team and the individual’s personal history and lifestyle, using evidence-based methods to determine the best clinical, neurological, and holistic therapies.
Much like an investigator canvasses each aspect of a person’s life to uncover hidden clues to find the answers sought after, ATMC clinicians, researchers, and holistic therapists engage in the same manner. An integrative approach means that we provide a treatment program that provides the best of allopathic and alternative treatment modalities.
Every vantage point of treatment is examined to orchestrate solutions not readily visible before using:
What is ATMC’s approach to environmental medicine?
What we have found is that as our bodies accumulate toxins from our environment, these toxins can impair and negatively affect our body’s ability to function optimally, which can affect both our physical and mental health.
Here at ATMC, environmental medicine is the approach that we use to remove toxins and cleanse the body. We use evidence-based techniques, such as chelation, to pull toxins from the body in an effort to restore balance and optimal health to the individual. Infrared saunas are also used to facilitate the detoxification process to help expedite the process of releasing toxins.
Our clients are simultaneously educated as to the toxins common in the environment, food, household products, and personal care products by our staff and instructors so that they can learn to detoxify all aspects of their life moving forward.
What is ATMC’s approach to orthomolecular medicine?
The term orthomolecular was coined by Nobel-prize winning biologist Linus Pauling in 1968.
Orthomolecular medicine describes the practice of preventing and treating disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body.
ATMC uses high doses of supplements, such as amino acids, minerals, and vitamins to treat symptoms, deficiencies, and imbalances in the body. Restoring balance and correcting underlying causes is accomplished by using substances familiar to the body including minerals, vitamins, trace elements, fatty acids and amino acids.
Each resident has a specialized supplement protocol designed by our naturopathic doctor that addresses their unique biochemistry. The protocol is evaluated and adjusted throughout their stay based on their responses and other factors, and is tailored based on their unique genetic profile as well as deficiencies found based on lab testing.
Biochemical pathways in the body (the chemical chain reaction of enzymes and other factors) are of interest in studies of illnesses such as cancer, schizophrenia, atherosclerosis, and even depression; it has been shown that specific biochemical abnormalities can be isolated as contributing or causal factors of illness.
At Alternative to Meds Center, orthomolecular medicine is a founding principle of our program. We deliver personalized nutrient, mineral, amino acid and supplement therapies based on the results of lab tests and medical assessments.
What does this mean to us and how are we doing it?
Traditional Chinese medicine is an ancient form of medicine that has been in use for thousands of years. Traditionally, it involves the use of herbs, movement, and acupuncture to treat health conditions. At ATMC, we utilize various aspects of Traditional Chinese medicine to improve the chances of our residents’ success. Specifically, we have a licensed acupuncturist on staff who provides group acupuncture sessions two times per week. We also provide qi-gong and mindful movement classes as part of our program.
Acupuncture is an ancient modality that has been in practice for over 2500 years. It involves the use of needles to stimulate certain points on the body to balance the flow of “chi” along the meridians and help optimize the functionality of one’s organs. Acupuncture has been used for a variety of different health issues including pain management, depression, anxiety, digestive, and to treat neurological issues such as Parkinson’s disease. Studies show that acupuncture can be used successfully to treat depression, anxiety and stress, when used in conjunction with other methods.
Qi-gong is a form of mindful movement that encourages healing on many different levels. Qi-gong means creating energy, and is a system of health maintenance that results in increased vitality and healing. Qi-gong has been found to increase digestive, lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory, and cardiovascular functions. Those who regularly practice Qi-gong find that it helps them regain youthful vitality, recover from illness faster and maintain health. Western medicine has confirmed that Qi-gong decreases hypertension. One of the most important effects of Qi-gong is the reestablishment of the mind/body/soul connection. At Alternative to Meds Center, we have found that reconnecting with your body, mind, and soul is greatly helpful in overcoming mental health symptoms, substance abuse, and other problems.
At ATMC, we consider all aspects of health including the mind, body and soul. The mind-body connection is an important aspect of one’s health that we believe is important to address on one’s path back to wellness. For this reason, various aspects of our program focus on the concept of mindfulness.
Mindfulness involves the moment-to-moment awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, words, bodily sensations and the environment. Another important aspect of mindfulness is being aware of these things while practicing non-judgment–observing ourselves as would an impartial observer. Mindfulness can be practiced in two ways in one’s life: through a meditation practice, and by implementing it in everyday life. In this way, one’s entire life can become a mindfulness practice–from washing the dishes to going on a walk.
Mindfulness is incorporated in our educational program from several of our instructors from our psychotherapists, to our program director, to our integrative psychiatrist, to our care providers. For instance, at ATMC, we provide several meditation classes weekly. We also provide mindful movement classes, including yoga and chi gong. In addition, residents are trained in HeartMath, learning how to synchronize the heart and the brain to better manage stress and optimize mental performance. From every level, mindfulness is woven into our educational program. From our psychiatrist teaching breathwork to our psychotherapists teaching meditation classes, we will help you to learn how to incorporate mindfulness in a way that works for you.
Mindfulness has been found to have many health benefits. Research demonstrates that mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. In fact, mindfulness has been shown to reduce the brain’s amygdala, which is the center for “fight of flight” in the brain and involved in the initial response to stress in the body. Moreover, clinical trials have shown that mindfulness is as effective as medication for treating depression without the side effects.
Mindfulness has a number of other benefits including:
Being effective for pain management
Improving memory and increasing attention and focus
improving one’s overall health and boosting immunity
Reducing compulsive and addictive tendencies
Helping with weight loss
Improving relationships by improving social and emotional intelligence, empathy, and compassion
And having been found to be the most important factor in determining if someone will be happy in their life (once basic survival needs are met)
For these reasons, mindfulness is an important aspect of the treatment philosophy at ATMC.
Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care profession which emphasizes prevention, optimal health, and treatment utilizing therapeutic methods and medicines that promote the inherent self-healing process of an individual. Naturopathic medicine can be used to diagnose, treat and manage both acute and chronic conditions, addressing dysfunction and disease through the body, mind, and spirit. It utilizes laboratory and genetic testing to tailor programs to the unique needs of an individual.
The main goal in naturopathic psychiatry is to establish what the underlying factors are that might have predisposed our residents to develop a mental health condition. Genetics, nutrient deficiency, environmental and toxic exposures are all taken into consideration. Meticulous assessment of these possible factors, including lab testing, physical evaluation, and a detailed history allows for personalized treatment to address underlying problems. Another objective of naturopathy is to enhance the client’s quality of life. With individuals who are on traditional medications, we work to decrease or eradicate the adverse effects of these drugs.
We also educate our residents about lifestyle and diet to enhance their health, motivating them to become active in their care. We work to discover why illness is occurring and correct the underlying causes.
Clinical and Holistic Therapies
Our integrative approach incorporates many clinical and holistic therapies. Our program utilizes many different therapies including various forms of psychotherapy, equine therapy, as well as many modalities from the alternative realm. Psychotherapy, the sauna, and chelative therapies are a cornerstone of our program. However, while here, clients can also benefit from a variety of different adjunctive modalities offered by our skilled practitioners. A list of some of the modalities we offer can be found below.
To us, an integrative approach means that we are making use of every available therapy in what works best for each patient. This expands our ability to promote and support whole healing as we are not limited to a single methodology.
Individualized Integrative Treatment for Medication Dependence
The beauty of having an individualized, integrative treatment system in place is in the vast amount of resources it provides. Our residents go through their initial assessment and into subsequent aspects of treatment. As their health shows signs of recovery, we can make adjustments to any of the four schools of medicine, maximizing efficiency and patient comfort.
Environmental medicine engages the detox and cleansing of the body and the brain, while revealing prior exposure to unhealthy substances. Once areas of ill-health have been identified, we put together a regimen based on orthomolecular medicine, adding the right kinds of nutrition and supplements to treat current conditions and as a form of preventative medicine. Because humans are made up of energy, we use 2,000-year old traditional Chinese medicine to remove negative energy and blocks, harness positive energy, and ensure there is a seamless flow of healing.
Some of the many practices include acupuncture, use of herbs, and specialized assessment techniques. Blending eastern and western medicines, our naturopathic doctor attends to the needs of every patient throughout their stay with focus on helping them achieve better clarity and balance in mind, body and spirit.