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Who is Your Primary Care Giver?

Posted By Holly Lucille, ND, RN, Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
We love this blog post by Dr. Holly! Perhaps it will inspire a conversation you can have with your patients...

What would you say if I asked you who your "primary care giver” is?

Would you fumble for your insurance card, strain to remember your doctor’s name or claim you don’t have enough money to have one? Well, let me cut to the chase: aren’t YOU really supposed to be primarily in charge of taking care of yourself? Huh..huh?? Well…..AREN’T you? Uh huh….I though you might agree with me.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Still, countless times after I finish a lecture and there is a period of Q & A, I will have someone ask me what I think about this or that, usually it is a medication they are taking. You see, I have gotten wise in my time and started to catch on to this manner of questioning so I shoot back right away and ask, "why are you asking”? Inevitably, every time, the person asking the questions admits to taking the medication about which they are asking. So I, in turn, ask, "well, what do you think about it?” and they say….”I don’t know, my doctor has me on it”. Here is where things get a little heated, because I get really serious and call them out, exclaiming, "WAIT! You mean to tell me that you are taking a medication that you don’t know how you feel about?!?!

Here is my point. We all have to start taking 100% responsibility for our health. Your doctor has every right to make a recommendation and prescribe anything, but after that, you are responsible for every thing that you put in your body- including (and especially) medications, what they are used for, what the side effects are, and everything else!

Here is some reframing I would like you to try when speaking about your healthcare. Instead of saying "my doctor has me on­­­­_____”, say "My doctor prescribed ______and I am choosing to take it.” This ultimately empowers you as the "boss” of your body! That is what makes a great partnership when it comes to health, but ultimately, you truly are your own primary care giver.

Tags:  primary caregiver 

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Natural Treatments for Autoimmune Infertility Concerns

Posted By Fiona McCulloch, ND, Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
This article was published in the March 2011 NDNR Journal

Infertility is a reproductive disease which has an enormous impact on the quality of life for millions of patients. It affects 1 in 5 of all couples, and most patients undergo extensive diagnostic and treatment interventions on their journey to create a family. Infertility has a myriad of causes including endocrine disorders, gynecological disease, infectious disease, circulatory disease and aging and cellular health. Autoimmune disorders are also implicated in reproductive disorders and may especially play a role in unexplained cases of infertility.

It is known that autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune thyroiditis and systemic lupus erythematosis are linked to decreased fertility. Other causes of infertility such as premature ovarian insufficiency, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome include autoimmune components. In many unexplained cases of infertility, inflammatory processes may be involved or antibodies may be directed against hormones, clotting factors, or reproductive tissues such as the ovaries or testes. The research into autoimmune infertility is just in its beginning, but as naturopathic physicians there are valuable tests and treatments we can provide to our patients who present either with known autoimmune disorders and difficulty conceiving, or with the ever enigmatic diagnosis of "unexplained infertility”.

The biological factors involved in autoimmune infertility are various. These include a multitude of cellular and inflammatory changes. Some of the most common factors are discussed below.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis has many autoimmune components including elevated levels of cytokines, and T- and B-cell abnormalities. Peripheral monocytes are more active, and peritoneal macrophages are present in higher numbers with higher activity levels. This causes increased inflammatory cytokine release.

There are alterations in B-cell activity and an increased incidence of autoantibodies in women with endometriosis. Like classical autoimmune diseases, endometriosis has been associated with polyclonal B-cell activation, immunological abnormalities in T- and B-cell functions, increased apoptosis, tissue damage, multiorgan involvement, familial occurrence, possible genetic basis, involvement of environmental cofactors, and association with other autoimmune diseases. TNF-a, levels are elevated in the peritoneal fluid of patients with endometriosis. In women with endometriosis, TH2 mediated immunity humoral responses are commonly elevated.

A 2001 study found that 50% of endometriosis patients had autoantibodies to candida enolase. The same study found increased levels of these antibodies in patients with a list of other autoimmune conditions.

Autoimmune thyroid disease and infertility.

Thyroid diseases involving antithyroid antibodies have been correlated to infertility and increased pregnancy loss. Autoimmune thyroid disease, even in the absence of hypothyroidism has been associated with infertility and reduced response to fertility treatment. It has also been associated with gluten related autoimmunity. Autoimmune thyroid disease can lead to hypo or hyperthyroidism which can impact fertility and cause miscarriage.

Other Autoimmune Diseases and Fertility

Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs ) which have been associated with infertility can be present in conditions such as SLE, Sjogren’s syndrome, Raynaud’s syndrome, and can also be detected in women with a history of exposure to chemicals such as bisphenol-A.

Addison’s disease is associated with anti-ovarian antibodies which can reduce ovulatory function and cause premature ovarian failure in severe cases.

Patients with celiac disease may have multiple nutritional deficiencies that can lead to infertility. Celiac disease has been linked to recurrent miscarriage, pregnancy complication and infertility. A 2010 study found that between 5-10% of women with a history of stillbirth, recurrent miscarriage, intrauterine growth restriction, and infertility were seropositive for transglutaminase IgA compared to 1% of the control group. Latent celiac disease may be a major cause of unexplained infertility.

In approximately 20% of women with premature ovarian insufficiency(POI), autoimmune factors can be found. POI can be linked to autoimmune thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, or SLE or may have unknown etiology. Women may have antibodies against the ovarian tissues, or reproductive hormones such as FSH.

Antisperm antibodies are another cause of infertility. These can be present in either male or female patients. They are commonly found in males after vasectomy procedures, and their presence can make vasectomy difficult to reverse. Antisperm antibodies affect the ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg or reduce motility by attaching to the tail of the sperm . They have also been associated with antiphospholipid antibodies. Antisperm antibodies are generally produced by CD19+/5+ B cells and are associated with elevated natural killer cells and anti-dna antibodies.

Autoimmune blood clotting disorders

Disorders with increased antiphospholipid antibodies( APAs) including anti-cardiolipin antibodies cause a hypercoagulatory state in the blood and can be associated with reproductive failure and recurrent miscarriage. These antibodies can be found in systemic diseases such as SLE, or on their own.

Immunological Considerations for Patients with Reproductive Challenges

TH1/TH2 Ratios

A condition of TH1 cytokine dominance can be associated with the inability to conceive or maintain a pregnancy. In women with high TH1/TH2 ratios there is an increased incidence of pregnancy loss and infertility however for different autoimmune conditions the predominant immune pathway may differ.

Natural killer(NK) cells

Elevated peripheral NK cells are associated with many systemic autoimmune diseases but can also be found in women with unexplained infertility conditions. NK cells produce TH1 cytokines including TNF-alpha and Interferon gamma. These cytokines are normally involved in cellular toxicity directed at cancerous cells and viruses . If increased in early pregnancy, the presence of NK cells and their cytokines can disrupt the growth and development of the embryo. TNF-alpha works as a signal to other immune cells which then migrate to the uterus to attack the non-self invader which has been immunologically detected. A 1999 study found that in women who had repeated miscarriage, there was markedly increased NK cell cytotoxicity associated with a rise in CD56+CD16+ and a drop in CD56+ cells. Another special type of NK cell called uterine NK (uNK) cells have a protective immunosuppressive effect locally in the endometrium. Dysfunction of these cells has been associated with pregnancy loss

Homocysteine and Folate Metabolism

Both folate deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia are known to be risk factors for infertility and pregnancy complications. Errors in these pathways caused by genetic mutations have been associated with autoimmune diseases Patients with a mutation of the MTHFR gene have difficulty reducing 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. 5- methyltetrahydrofolate is used to convert homocysteine to methionine by the enzyme methionine synthase. A 2010 study on a group of 71 Swedish and Finnish female patients with unexplained infertility found a higher incidence of folate metabolism polymorphisms compared to women in the general population. Folate receptor blocking autoantibodies have also been related to subfertility

Folate metabolism disorders can can lead to reduced cell division, inflammatory cytokine production, altered nitric oxide metabolism, increased oxidative stress, abnormal methylation reactions and thrombosis. This causes problems with folliculogenesis and implanting or maintaining a healthy pregnancy. In males, defects in this pathway can impair spermatogenesis.

Diagnostic testing in the naturopathic clinic

In addition to general and endocrine panels for infertility, consider testing for homocysteine, CRP, ESR, ANA panels, APA panels, PTT, Partial PTT, DHEA-S, TSH, Antithyroglobulin, Antithyroid peroxidase, HBA1C, CBC, diurnal cortisol, assessments for candida, and gluten sensitivity testing.

Clinically, I have found that optimal homocysteine levels should be 8mmol/L or below in patients with autoimmune infertility factors.

TH1 to TH2 ratios can be a very helpful tool for designing treatment plans. NK assays and testing for genetic variants of MTHFR are also available.

Conventional treatments:

These vary depending on results found and can include low dose aspirin, anti-coagulants, corticosteroids, IVIG, Lymphocyte immunization therapy (LIT) and TNF-alpha blockers. These are often combined with IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies.

Treatments in the naturopathic clinic

Some of the following treatment options may be considered after a thorough assessment determines specific autoimmune factors.

  1. To reduce TH1 dominant inflammatory responses in patients who require it, maritime pine extract (100mg bid), resveratrol ,(100mg bid) , and green tea EGCG (300mg catechins bid), . Maritime pine, and resveratrol also inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombosis,,. The antioxidant effects of these substances are also beneficial.
  2. Proline rich polypeptides such as those found in bovine colostrum may favour a shift towards TH1 and downregulate overactive TH2 responses.
  3. High quality omega 3 fish oil. 2 – 3g of EPA and DHA daily to aid with inflammatory and thrombotic disorders . A 2007 study on mice found that a ratio of 23:14 EPA to DHA decreased tnf alpha in 8 hours. EPA also regulates autoimmune markers in endometriosis
  4. L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate 5mg daily, vitamin B12 1000mcg qd and vitamin B6 75mg qd to improve homocysteine and folate metabolism. Screen for history of cancer before using high dose folate. Trimethylglycine 1000mg qd may also be used to lower homocysteine levels in selected patients.
  5. N-Acetyl Cysteine 600mg bid. Reduces inflammatory cytokines. Improves autoimmune thyroid disease NAC also enhances semen parameters and the oxidative status and quality of the endometrium . NAC also protects the integrity of ovaries subjected to physical and oxidative damage, and aids liver detoxifcation pathways.
  6. For patients with thyroid antibodies, l-selenomethionine 200mcg daily,,,. If hypothyroid, use of bio-identical hormone therapy may be indicated to prevent miscarriage. Trace minerals for thyroid function are also be beneficial.
  7. Thyroid protomorphogen may be useful for patients with antithyroid antibodies to act as a decoy. Increase dosage slowly to 1 tablet tid.
  8. Elimination of gluten should be implemented as required for patients with positive serology.
  9. Probiotics 20 billion CFUs daily. Rotate strains monthly to modulate immunity and repair gut lining. Treat candida if present.
  10. Support liver detoxification pathways.
  11. Bio-identical progesterone is a potent immunosuppressive agent capable of blocking both cytokine release and action . May be used in the luteal phase of the cycle to support early pregnancy.
  12. DHEA – can be useful in premature ovarian insufficiency and to improve pregnancy rate and reduce miscarriage in advanced maternal age. It has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of autoimmune disease,, and to reduce NK cell activity. DHEA should only be used after serum DHEA-S and androgen evaluation. Dose adjusted according to patient need but is often 25mg tid or less.
  13. Addressing stress is very important in all patients suffering from the effects of reproductive challenges. Autoimmune diseases are aggravated by stress as it can increase humoral immunity and shift TH1:TH2 ratios. Adrenal therapies, sufficient sleep, yoga, meditation, movement therapy, and prayer can all positively effect patients in this journey

References

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  29. Figueras M, Olivan M, Busquets S, López-Soriano FJ, Argilés JM. Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). Treatment on Insulin Sensitivity in an Animal Model of Diabetes. Improvement of the Inflammatory Status. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print]
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  32. Bhattacharya A, Sun D, Rahman M, Fernandes G. Different ratios of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic omega-3 fatty acids in commercial fish oils differentially alter pro-inflammatory cytokines in peritoneal macrophages from C57BL/6 female mice. J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Jan;18(1):23-30.
  33. Netsu S, Konno R, Odagiri K, Soma M, Fujiwara H, Suzuki M. Oral eicosapentaenoic acid supplementation as possible therapy for endometriosis. Fertility and sterility. 2008; (90)4: 1496-1502.
  34. Stanislaus R, Gilg AG, Singh AK, Singh I. N-acetyl-L-cysteine ameliorates the inflammatory disease process in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in Lewis rats. J Autoimmune Dis. 2005 May 3;2(1):4.
  35. Poncin S, Colin IM, Decallonne B, et al. N-Acetylcysteine and 15 Deoxy-?12,14-Prostaglandin J2 Exert a Protective Effect Against Autoimmune Thyroid Destruction in Vivo but Not Against Interleukin-1a/Interferon ?-Induced Inhibitory Effects in Thyrocytes in Vitro. The American journal of pathology. 2010;177(1)219-228
  36. Ciftci H, Verit A, Savas M, Yeni E, Erel O. Effects of N-acetylcysteine on semen parameters and oxidative/antioxidant status. Urology. 2009;74(1):73-6.
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Tags:  Autoimmune  Infertility 

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The RARE System for Building a Prosperous Practice

Posted By Wendy Bauerschmidt, Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When you started your practice did you think "I’ll just set up my office, hang out a shingle and the patients will come.”?

It’s been my experience that for an integrative physician, this strategy results in a schedule that is not as full as it could be and income that is inconsistent. That’s a shame because just a few regular activities can change all that and create a steady flow of qualified patients and income.

Patients are the lifeblood of your practice. Apply the RARE System detailed below and your patient flow will be abundant. To do this, there are the 4 key areas where regular action is required. Together they create a firm foundation for a prosperous practice:

Patient Retention/reactivation

Keeping your current patients engaged creates a stable platform from which your practice can grow. It is much easier and less costly to sell additional services to a current patient than to recruit a new patient. While consistent new patient acquisition systems are definitely important, starting from scratch and running after new patients each month is costly and time-consuming, not to mention nerve-wracking. That said, even patients who are open to integrative medicine can tend to use it sporadically, i.e. only when they are "broken” again. Therefore, the challenge is to keep patients coming in regularly.

Developing solution-focused packages, ongoing wellness programs, health education in the form of newsletters, blogs and events all encourage patients to become part of your community. This keeps patients engaged and more inclined to come in regularly. Loyalty programs and special offers to current patients reinforce patient appreciation and make it more likely that patients will stay with you.

Reactivating patients is an area of low hanging fruit that is often overlooked. That’s too bad, because patients who have invested in your services and had a positive experience are more likely to come back. A phone call or letter to a patient who hasn’t been in for a while might be all that it takes. A special offer for a follow-up or a service that helps them maintain their health may do the trick. By following up you also send the message that you care about the ongoing health of your patient. The resulting positive regard is also more likely to trigger a referral.

New Patient Attraction

Whether you’ve been in practice for a long or short time a steady flow of new patients is usually required to maintain a consistent revenue stream. A website that works as a recruiting tool is increasingly important. Many patients who are interested in integrative medicine tend to do quite a bit of research. The internet is often their tool of choice. A web presence that connects with these clients is an essential element in that attraction process.

Speaking engagements are another effective way to attract new patients. Look for opportunities where your ideal patients hang out. Natural grocers, yoga and Pilates studios, women’s clubs and business or country clubs can be effective locally. In-office presentations can also work. The participants may not be ready for your services right away, so it is important to find a way to stay in their thoughts so that you come to mind when they are ready, or have a friend or family member who will benefit from your services.

You can accomplish this by getting them to sign up for a free report. To give them incentive to sign up, choose a hot topic for your ideal patient - one that addresses their most pressing health challenge or concern. Once they are on your list, provide some regular communication of value such as a newsletter or blog with articles or health tips. You can also use this opportunity to make special offers that encourage subscribers to become a patient. Your newsletter or blog is also an important part of your patient retention strategy as it also helps keep current patients plugged in.

Print, online and Facebook advertising, postcards and snail mail are also ways of attracting prospective patients. Once you have the free report discussed above you can offer it on your website to capture the e-mail addresses of those who visit your site via online and Facebook ads as well as organic search.

Patient Referrals

By doing your transformational work with patients and following some of the above steps you will naturally get referrals. A simple sign in your waiting room or at check-out reminding patients that a referral is the highest form of compliment reinforces this.

Referrals from other practitioners are another important source of ongoing patients. Cultivate relationships with referral partners by keeping in touch on a regular basis. Show your appreciation with a Thank You card. Keep the referring practitioner up to date on your treatment. Best of all - reciprocate with your own referral whenever possible.

Other aligned service providers can be a good source of referrals. For example, we have found that organic hair salons attract clients who are chemically sensitive. These are my husband’s ideal patients.

Patient Experience

Since patients are often paying out of pocket for integrative treatment, they expect a higher level of service than that received in a typical medical office.

The feeling a patient gets from the first time they call your office to their ongoing interaction with you and your staff creates their experience. That experience can add to the health benefits that they receive by working with you – or work against the goodwill gained by your clinical skills. Positive feelings reinforce their commitment to your practice and make them feel comfortable referring friends, family and colleagues.

Training front desk staff on how to answer calls from prospective and current patients is helpful here. Scripts of the most common questions work well and make sure that your message is consistent. Also, have your reception staff smile BEFORE picking up the phone. It will create the positive attitude that can be the difference between sale and no sale.

Simple things that make a patient feel considered and cared for are not costly and easy to implement. For example, patients value done-for-you checklists and instructions. In my husband’s office we have found that patients find the instructions in many of the take-home tests that he uses confusing. We have created our own instruction sheets and are adding videos of these instructions to our website. This reduces patient anxiety and inconvenience. An added benefit is that is also minimizes staff time answering questions about the tests.

Patient appreciation in particular enhances the positive experience for patients. Sending a Thank You card for a referral or a phone call after a first visit are easy and low cost ways to make a patient feel appreciated. These are easily implemented systems that your front desk can handle.

Look for other ways to show your patients appreciation. It was after I completed my own round of chelation that I realized in my husband’s office that we were missing a huge opportunity for patient acknowledgement. After completing 20 IV’s I felt that I should receive something to commemorate this important milestone. We now have a gift bag with a card acknowledging the patient’s significant investment in their health.

Consistency is Key

Practice building can be likened to the work that you do in getting a patient back to health – it is a marathon not a sprint. Aim for a minimum of one activity in each of these key practice-building areas each month. If you do one a week, the tasks are very do-able. The cumulative effects will be significant.

Many of these activities can and should be delegated. Your highest value is in generating revenue by providing services or converting leads into patients or additional services. Lead generating content, mailings, event planning and phone calls can be done by others.

Putting it All Together

As an example, one month’s activities might include:

Week 1 – (Retention) Phone calls to past patients

Week 2 – (Attraction) Speaking engagement

Week 3 – (Referral) Lunch with a potential referral colleague

Week 4 – (Experience) Staff training, patient appreciation program

Implement the RARE System regularly and you will soon find that your schedule is rarely open.

About Wendy

Wendy Bauerschmidt’s experience has been earned by growing her husband’s successful functional medicine practice in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Along the way, she has encountered most of the opportunities and pitfalls of marketing and managing the operations of a growing integrative medical office.

Wendy’s passion is helping integrative practitioners get more patients and manage their office and overhead so that they can help more people and change the face of health care while earning a healthy income. She specializes in creating outstanding patient experiences, developing solution-focused packages that sell themselves and training front desk staff to become a marketing asset.

Wendy holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy. Her corporate career specializing in "high touch” servicing systems prepared her to create high-performance, patient-focused environments that are key ingredients to success in the new integrative medicine paradigm. Wendy invests heavily in coaching and marketing mentorship to stay on the leading edge of what is working in today’s competitive marketing environment and how it is best applied to integrative medicine. Her website is www.IntegrativePhysicianSuccess.com.

Tags:  patient attraction  Patient Reactivation  Patient Retention 

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Announcing New Stategic Alliances

Posted By Administration, Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Irvine, Calif -- The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), a leading provider of integrative medicine, today announced a strategic alliance with Natural Standard and Doctor's Data, Inc and the unveiling of a new member benefit for ACAM members.

The new ACAM-DDI-Natural Standard member portal will allow ACAM members to have access to some of the most robust research tools in the alternative medicine arena.

"We are thrilled to be able to provide this new member benefit at no cost to our ACAM members," stated Michael Boutot, Executive Director for ACAM. He continues, "ACAM is thrilled about this joint venture relationship with both Natural Standard and Doctor's Data, Inc. and is looking forward to a long lasting relationship with both organizations."

About Natural Standard:

Natural Standard is an international multidisciplinary collaboration that includes contributors from more than 100 eminent academic institutions. Research teams systematically gather scientific data and expert opinions to develop comprehensive monographs that are designed to facilitate clinical decision making. For each therapy, the available scientific evidence of effectiveness is evaluated using the Natural Standard Evidence-Based Validated Grading Rationale™. All monographs undergo blinded peer review prior to inclusion in Natural Standard databases. Scott Wolter, national director for Natural Standard stated "It has been a pleasure working with ACAM and DDI. We are excited that we are able to provide our resource to ACAM members." Wolter continues, "ACAM members will now have access to the most comprehensive database of high-quality, evidence-based systematic reviews on dietary supplements and CAM therapies. Our database is a clinical decision support tool that is designed to advise clinicians and researchers on the safety and efficacy of herbs, supplements, vitamins, diets, nutrition, exercise, and complementary practices and modalities." For more information about Natural Standard visit www.naturalstandard.com.

About Doctor's Data, Inc.:

Doctor's Data, Inc., (DDI) an independent clinical laboratory with over 40 years' experience, provides specialty laboratory testing and services for healthcare practitioners worldwide. DDI's tests are utilized in the assessment, detection, prevention, and treatment of heavy metal burden, nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal function, cardiovascular risk, metabolic abnormalities, and diseases of environmental origin.Darrell Hickok, President and CEO of DDI states "we are very pleased to continue our ongoing support of ACAM and its members. This educational tool can provide relevant and rapid information for physicians as needed.” For more information about DDI visitwww.doctorsdata.com.

About The American College for Advancement in Medicine:

The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM's healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness. ACAM is the voice of integrative medicine; our goals are to improve physician skills, knowledge and diagnostic procedures as they relate to integrative medicine; to support integrative medicine research; and to provide education on current standard of care as well as additional approaches to patient care. ACAM enables members of the public to connect with physicians who take an integrative approach to patient care and empowers individuals with information about integrative medicine treatment options.Celebrating now more than 40 years of service, ACAM represents nearly 700 medical professionals in 28 countries. ACAM is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of the integrative medicine industry.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.acam.org.

Contact:
American College for Advancement in Medicine
8001 Irvine Center Drive; Suite 825
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: (949) 309-3520
E-mail: info@acam.org
Web: www.acam.org

Tags:  corporate member benefit  current affairs  member benefit  news release 

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ACAM Welcomes Dr. Paul Tai as Newest Advisor to the Board

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Calif -- The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Tai, DPM, FACFS, ABPS, ABAARM, DACBN as ACAM’s newest Advisor to the Board of Directors.

Dr. Tai has a tremendous history and passion towards integrative medicine with a significant focus on anti-aging.

"We look forward to Dr. Tai assisting ACAM with incorporating the concepts of rejuvenation and optimized biomedical gerontology into the educational curriculum of ACAM,” said Neal Speight, MD, President and CEO of ACAM.

Among many other accolades Dr. Tai is the founder and serves as Chairman and President of the Brasil American Academy of Aging & Regenerative Medicine (BARM).

About ACAM: The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM's healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness. ACAM is the voice of integrative medicine; our goals are to improve physician skills, knowledge and diagnostic procedures as they relate to integrative medicine; to support integrative medicine research; and to provide education on current standard of care as well as additional approaches to patient care.

About Dr. Tai: Prof. Dr. Paul Ling Tai is the Chairman of the Department of the Post Graduate Medical Education and Chairman of the Department of Medical Research at University of Health Science Antigua (UHSA), School of Medicine & School of Nursing; A Professor of Aging & Regenerative Medicine & Professor of Clinical Nutrition; Chairman & President of the Brasil American Academy of Aging & Regenerative Medicine (BARM), Institute of Bones, Joints & Muscle Pain, International Society of Obesity & Metabolic Dysfunction, American Academy of Anti-Aging Clinical Nutrition & International Society of Stem Cell & Genetics; A past faculty member and lecturer of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), American, and World Organization of Natural Medicine Practitioners (WONMP); a frequent lecturer at American Naturopathic Medical Association (ANMA) and countless other Anti-Aging & Health Conferences worldwide.

Tags:  ACAM Board of Directors  welcome 

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Fighting Colds and Flu Naturally

Posted By Anette Mnabhi, DO, Friday, January 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How many viruses does it take to get sick?

JUST 3!

Simple steps you can take to help your body!

These foundation steps are critical to building and restoring your immune function. Nothing can replace the basics. No pill can take the place of what the body needs to build and repair itself.

The Foundation

Water, Water, Water

  • Humidify the air at home and work!
  • Stay Well Hydrated! Drink 8-10 glasses daily!
  • Handwashing–wash those germs away!

SLEEP

  • 7-8 hours average
  • 9-10 for people with chronic health concerns

AVOID SUGAR

  • Sugar paralyzes your white blood cells

REGULAR EXERCISE

  • Strengthens your immune system

A Positive Attitude

  • "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”
  • Positive attitude boosts your immune function

Foods & Nutrients To Boost Immune Function

  • Zinc
    • Beans, Nuts (such as pumpkin seeds)
  • Vitamin C
    • Citrus Fruits, Kiwi, Strawberries, Red and Green Peppers, Tomatoes, Cantaloupe
  • Garlic and Onions
    • Antibacterial
    • Antiviral
    • Increase the activity of NK cells and T-helper cells
  • Fresh Oregano and Thyme
  • Fresh Ginger
    • Honey Ginger Tea
  • Vitamin D3
  • North American Gingseng
  • Probiotics

This is a great little recipe to try when you feel something coming on. If it is too strong you can always dilute more and drink more. Take as you would an antibiotic, ate least twice daily and better if 3-4 times a day.

RUSSIAN PENICILLEN

16 ounces pineapple juice

8-10 garlic cloves (a small bulb of garlic)

Blend well and drink as needed.

Here is a nice little recipe for your own essential oil hand sanitizer. Gentle on the hands, but effective.

Home Made Hand Sanitizer Recipe

4oz glass spray bottle

Sterile water

1 Tsp aloe vera gel

5 drops each of these essential oils:

Cinnamon, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus

10 drops of lemon or wild orange essential oil.

Shake gently and use 2-3 sprays on hands as needed.

For natural decongestant effect crush these fresh herbs and put into a bowl of hot steaming water, cover your head with a towel, and enjoy the soothing natural decongestant effects.

Decongestant Herbs:

Eucalyptus, Thyme, Rosemary, Peppermint

Staying well is a challenge when the cold and flu is raging all around you, but keeping your immune system healthy by getting the basics in, like sleep, good nutrition, and staying well hydrated goes a long way to staying fit and healthy.

Be well!

Dr. Anette

Tags:  food and drink  member benefit  nutrition 

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Join ACAM & Save 50% on Dr. Alan Gaby's Textbook "Nutritional Medicine"

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nutritional Medicine is a textbook designed to teach healthcare practitioners how to use nutritional therapy as an alternative or adjunct to conventional medicine.

It is the result of over thirty years of research, study, and experience by Dr. Alan Gaby, who is widely recognized as an authority on medical nutrition.

"A landmark, a milestone in the history of 21st century medicine." - Jonathon V. Wright, M.D. | Pioneer in nutritional medicine.

"I recommend that Nutritional Medicine be on the desk of every healthcare practitioner." - William Manahan, M.D. | Past President, American Holistic Medical Association.

The book features:

  • More than 400 different health conditions and symptoms discussed in detail.
  • Sixty-one chapters on vitamins, minerals, and other therapeutic agents, including biochemistry, clinical indications, absorption, excretion, deficiency signs, requirements, assessment of nutritional status, adverse effects, drug interactions, nutrient interactions, preparations, and dosage and administration.
  • Chapters on fundamentals of nutritional medicine including dietary fundamentals, reactive hypoglycemia, food allergy, "sub-laboratory" hypothyroidism, and candidiasis.
  • More than 1,300 pages and 15,000 reference citations.

ACAM has secured an exclusive discount on this valuable textbook for our new members. Join ACAM today and pay only $147.50 for this incredible book! (Retail value: $295)

Call us at: 1-800-532-3688 or (949) 309-3520 for information on this promotion.

Tags:  nutrition  Professional Membership 

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Save the Date for ACAM's Spring Education Summit

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Please save the dates for ACAM's upcoming Spring 2013 Education Summit, May 29 - June 2, 2013, in beautiful Hollywood, Florida.

Enjoy ACAM's one-of-a-kind continuing medical education combined with a relaxing getaway at the Westin Diplomat Resort.

Pre-Conference workshops will be hosted on Wed, May 29 and Thur, May 30 on the following topics:

  • Integrative Psychiatry for the Non-Psychiatric Practitioner
  • Metal Toxicology
  • and more to be announced soon

The General Session will be Fri, May 31 - Sun, June 2 on:

  • Managing Mitochondrial Function in Clinical Practice

Be first to get information on this event by joining the Interest List here.

Tags:  Annual Meeting  Education Summit  Spring Conference 

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Attend IHS and Save 15% - Compliments of ACAM

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 13, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Integrative Healthcare Symposium

Conference: February 28 – March 2, 2013

Pre-Conference Workshop: February 27, 2013

Hilton New York, NY

Visit www.ihsymposium.com for more information.

Practical and Inspirational knowledge to immediately enhance your practice.

The Integrative Healthcare Symposium brings together the most influential and inspiring multi-disciplinary practitioners and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to improving patient care and defining the future of integrative healthcare.

Join us for four days covering more than 60 live session hours presented by nationally and internationally renowned speakers in the fields of Nutrition, Hormones/Women’s Health, Mind Body Spirit, Integrative Approaches, Integrative Nurses, World Medicine and more.

2013 Keynotes include: - Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, FACB

- David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM

- Mehmet Oz, MD

- Larry Dossey, MD

See a complete list of 2013 Speakers


Register today!
Register online at www.ihsymposium.com and use

Promo Code: 105403 for your 15% ACAM discount.


Visit www.ihsymposium.com for more information:

View the 2013 Conference Program

Learn more about: Continuing Medical Education credit certified by Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s & Roosevelt Hospitals and Continuing Education Programs offered to naturopaths, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and registered dietitians.

Tags:  integrative healthcare symposium 

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ACAM Reflects on the Life of James Frackelton, MD, FACAM

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of one of ACAM’s founding fathers, James Frackelton, MD, FACAM. Dr. Frackelton served as ACAM President from 1985-1987.

He was a major player in the fight for EDTA chelation therapy, examining the therapy and its critics as well as publishing articles and studies such as the landmark study about free radical control as the primary mechanism for chelation therapy that he published with Elmer Cranton, MD in 1984.

Dr. Frackelton received his undergraduate education from Yale University and his MD degree from Case Western Reserve University. After an extra year in Immunology and hospital training, he spent two and a half years in the U.S. Navy where he served as a flight surgeon. He established practice in Westlake in 1958 emphasizing Family Practice with a specialty in Exercise Cardiology. As chairman of the Family Practice Department at Fairview General Hospital, he established the Family Practice Residency program.

In 1976, Dr. Frackelton changed the direction of his medical practice to emphasize Preventive Medicine and formed Preventive Medicine Group. After many years of studying biochemistry, he began teaching nutrient and detoxification therapies to alternative oriented physicians.

A special note from Dr. Frackelton’s longtime business partner, Derrick Lonsdale, MD, FACAM:

"Jim Frackelton and I met in a small group of professionals that had become interested in what has come to be known as Complementary Alternative Medicine. At that time, only a few short years ago,it was easy to get into a position where one's medical license was jeopardized.We met in each other's houses, somewhat like the early Christians and called it ‘The Nutrition Cell’.

In 1982 Jim offered me a partnership in the practice that he founded in 1976. In spite of several official attempts to discredit us, we never looked back and the practice became known as Preventive Medicine Group.Jim was a true pioneer and a tireless leader who has been a giant in helping CAM to its present acceptance.

He had a degree in Chinese language and had the courage to give the first two minutes of a lecture in China in their own language.It was during his presidency that he changed the name of the organization from the American Institute of Medical Preventics to its present name as the American College for Advancement in Medicine, a fundamental change in professional perspective that made it easier to attract speakers for the biannual conferences.His pioneering leadership in chelation and CAM treatment of cancer patients enabled him to ease the health burdens of thousands. In spite of his rapidly declining physical health, his mind remained as sharp as ever and he continued to drive to the office and see patients until only twenty four hours before his death.As his partner and friend of thirty years I am one of many physicians, nurses and patients that owe him a debt of gratitude that is beyond price.” - Derrick Lonsdale, MD

Tags:  In Memorium 

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ACAM Welcomes New Executive Director Michael Boutot

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
ACAM is thrilled to announce the hiring of Michael Boutot as ACAM’s new Executive Director.

"We are delighted to have Michael join us. He is highly qualified to help lead ACAM into the next decade and beyond as we forge new paths through the world of Integrative Medicine and we are privileged to have him as part of our team!” said Neal Speight, MD, ACAM President and CEO.

Michael is a business consultant and entrepreneur with nearly 30 years experience in various professional arenas. Michael has spent the past 15 years in sales leadership and sales training in the legal and litigation support arena as well as serving as a business coach and consultant to several companies and organizations.

He has previously served as director of litigation management for Atlanta-based Crawford & Company, the world’s largest provider of claims management solutions to insurance companies. Michael established Crawford & Company’s Litigation Management Division and there developed his Managed Legal Care concept to litigation management. He grew that business in less than three years to over 2,500 law firms across the United States and Canada and likewise established their Legal Services Provider Network.

In July 2002 Michael became one of the originating founders of the International Litigation Management Association and served as their President and Chairman of the Board until 2007 when the organization merged with the Council on Ethical Billing and together later became the Council on Litigation Management (or the CLM). He served in a transitional role as Chairman of the advisory board and President for the first year after the organizations merged. With over 20 years experience in the insurance claims industry, Michael has extensive experience in the area of litigation management and the creation of litigation management standards and guidelines.

An experienced private investigator (trained as a counter-intelligence agent with the United States Army), claims manager, and having served as an executive in sales & marketing, Michael presents a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm as a gifted speaker and motivator. In addition to his professional experience, Michael has formed extensive relationships and alliances within the legal, litigation, risk management and insurance industries.

Married for over 31 years, Michael and his wife Carol have raised twelve children. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. He has also received training as a family counselor. Michael and his family currently reside in Monroe, GA.

Tags:  welcome 

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Suzanne Somers Speaking at ACAM Fall 2012 Conference

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Irvine, Calif. --American College for Advancement in Medicine is ecstatic to welcome Suzanne Somers to its Fall Conference and Tradeshow Friday, Nov. 16.

Ms. Somers will speak in place of Tony Lamas, MD who was originally set to discuss the findings of the NIH Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT).

"ACAM is pleased to be joined by wellness advocate Suzanne Somers to discuss her life altering experiences related to integrative and alternative therapies,” said Megan Marburger, Executive Director for ACAM.

Ms. Somers' speaking engagement will be hosted at ACAM's Friday luncheon which is complimentary to all guests of its 'New Developments in Gut Health and its Relationship to Systemic Illness' Scientific Session.

For more information on ACAM’s Fall Conference and Tradeshow please visit www.acamvegas.com.

About ACAM: The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit Organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM's healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness. ACAM is the voice of integrative medicine: our goals are to improve physician skills, knowledge and diagnostic procedures as they relate to integrative medicine; to support integrative medicine research; and to provide education on current standard of care as well as additional approaches to patient care.

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Join ACAM for 2.5 Days of Gut Health Education

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Developments in Gut Health & its Relationship to Systemic Illness - Nov. 16 - 18, 2012 - Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino - Las Vegas

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the five most prevalent gastrointestinal disease burdens in the United States, with an overall health care cost of more than $1.7 billion. This chronic condition is without a medical cure and commonly requires a lifetime of care. Each year in the United States, IBD accounts for more than $700,000 physician visits, 100,000 hospitalization, and disability in 119,000 patients. Over the long term, up to 75% of patients with Crohn's disease and 25% of those with ulcerative colitis will require surgery.

According to a recent article in the gastroenterology literature: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonly used by the general public and by those suffering from chronic diseases including individuals with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis. This increase in patients' use of CAM has spurred interest in CAM among gastroenterologists and other physician's general knowledge of CAM efficacy in IBD is lacking and most physicians are unprepared to advise their patients about CAM or understand the application and appropriate use of CAM therapies in IBD or know the effect these therapies will have on conventional IBD therapies. According to multiple surveys published in the gastroenterology literature, patients using CAM report benefits that extend beyond simply improved disease control. Using CAM allows patients to exert a greater degree of control over their disease and its management than they are afforded by conventional medicine.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is implicated in irritable bowel syndrome and is difficult to both diagnose and treat. This treatment challenge arises mainly because a specific algorithm for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea subtype) does not exist, treatments are not equally effective in all patients, recommendations change, and new therapeutic options have recently become available. Reactions to dietary components have also been implicated in irritable bowel syndrome, but physician knowledge about optimal testing for and treatment of food-related allergic reactions are limited.

This activity will provide caregivers with information CAM interventions for irritable bowel disorder and irritable bowel syndrome: clinical nutrition, probiotics, integrative use of antibiotics, dietary therapy and hormonal interventions and will provide them with information to use in counseling patients about CAM interventions in inflammatory and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as other gastrointestinal conditions in which CAM therapies can be applied.

Register by the end of this week (Oct. 20) and receive Early Bird rates, which are $100 off. Get more information and register at: www.acamvegas.com.

Tags:  gastrointestinal disease  gut health  systemic illness 

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How to Make Your Business Card Work Harder for You

Posted By Wendy Bauerschmidt, Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A business card may be a small piece of real estate - but if used well, it can have a huge impact on your business. Unfortunately, many doctors’ business cards are formal and nondescript. That is a shame because your business card can be one of your least expensive and most effective marketing tools.

You can spend a ton of money on design and printing. There are also online design and print options that are quite reasonable. Either way, the look & feel of your card should fit with the overall image that you want for your practice. It is also helpful if there is consistency with the look of your website and other marketing materials.

Some marketers suggest including your photo. Statistics show that a business card with a photo is retained more than one that doesn’t include one. Other strategies include vertical rather than horizontal orientation, curved edges and other designs so that the card catches attention and is memorable. Memorable is good. For an Integrative Physician, a business card that is memorable because it powerfully connects with your ideal patients is even better.

Why Do Patients Come to See You?

One of the best ways to use your business card to engage with potential patients is to include one carefully crafted line encapsulating the benefits that a patient, preferably your ideal patient, receives by working with you.

You may think that patients come to see you because you uncover and resolve the root cause of their symptoms. That is only part of the reason. The real reason that they come to see you is for what gets to happen for them as a result. Appeal directly to this desire and your business card will stand out from the pack. Try this exercise to help you get to the core reason that patients come to see you:

I help ___________, so that they can ___________________________.

In the first blank fill in who you work with – you looked at this in the last post. Is it children, athletes, over-40 men and women, menopausal women?

In the second part, describe how their life is changed by working with you.

Once you have your main benefit or benefits, include it in a prominent place on your card. The back side of the card is often unused real estate that can be used for this purpose.

Please share your ideas & experiences with business cards that you have found effective or that work for you.

Tags:  business  member benefit 

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The Road Back to Health Goes Through the Gut

Posted By John Gannage, MD, MCFP, DH, Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

As living beings, the quality of our digestion relates holistically to the function of every cell in every organ or gland within our bodies. The first step is making the correct food choices, providing the proper fuel for our inner machinery. What have become staples in our diet e.g. excessive dairy, refined grains, refined sugars, coffee, alcohol and processed meats, can slowly undermine the proper functioning of our digestive tract (and other organs, including our brains). In combination with overuse of medications (e.g. antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antacids, steroids, and hormones) and stress, the more than 2.5 billion pounds of chemical pollutants dumped into our environment each year contribute to the burden of chronic disease that we are faced with at this point in human history.

There was a time when foods were eaten as close to their original source as possible, where additives and processing were unheard of. With the advent of modern day agricultural practices, changes in the family unit, the premium placed on convenience, and lack of rotation in our diets of wholesome foods, chronic illness has soared in our population, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer; as well as pediatric cancers, obesity, allergic illnesses and autism. The road back to wellness always includes proper nutrition and behaviour, and MAINTENANCE of them as part of everyday life. Does this need to be difficult? I don’t believe it does. Seek out like-minded individuals, and there are more of them everyday, and the journey will have many rewards.If you have eaten improperly for a number of years, the process of regaining your health may need to extend beyond an incorporation of wholesome foods. In the pyramid of intervention that we focus on at 300 Main Street, the initial step is dedicated to reducing toxicity within one’s intestinal system, and restoring proper liver function.

Tags:  gastrointestinal disease  gut health 

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Who Do You Like to Work With?

Posted By Wendy Bauerschmidt, Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If you could clone your ideal patient, who would that be? It may be a compilation of characteristics of different patients. What would he or she be like? Be as specific as you can in identifying the patients you really love to work with. If you get stuck, think about the patients that you are energized by working with, or with whom you really feel as though you are fulfilling your purpose. Your ideal patients often lie beyond a demographic bucket, look for the common values or personal qualities. For example, willingness to take responsibility for lifestyle choices or valuing health may be a common characteristic of your ideal patients.

As a doctor, you were probably trained to help, serve and heal any and all who are sick. As a practitioner, it may be scary to think of leaving out anyone who could benefit from, and pay for, the services that you provide. I am not suggesting that you turn anyone away. I am suggesting that in your marketing message you consciously encourage your ideal patients to make an appointment. This will make your marketing easier and more effective. It will likely make your practice more gratifying.

So, back to your ideal patient. What is it that he or she is looking for? Why do they come to you? What are the health benefits or life changes that your ideal patient desires?

In the next post we’ll look at how you can use this info to add spark to your business card.

Tags:  practice marketing 

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We're Extending Early Bird Rates to Fall 2012 Conference

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Irvine, Calif -- The American College for Advancement in Medicine is happy to extend Early Bird discounts for our Fall Conference and Tradeshow through October 20, 2012. The exciting event will take place Nov. 14 - 18, at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

The meeting will feature education that is accredited for 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(TM) and an exhibit hall with over 60 companies that support integrative medicine practitioners.

"This year is especially exciting because we're celebrating ACAM's 40th Birthday," said Megan Marburger, Marketing and Events Manager for ACAM. "We're happy to extend Early Bird pricing as part of the celebration and to encourage as many healthcare practitioners as possible to join us."

For more information on the event and for a line-up of the speakers and topics please visit: www.acamvegas.com.

Tags:  Annual Meeting  business  fall meeting 

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A Simple Marketing Tip that is Hard for Some Doctors

Posted By Wendy Bauerschmidt, Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Honey, do you have any of my business cards?” My husband Mike asked at a recent dinner party we attended. As I have many times before, I pulled out the card holder with his cards that I always carry in my purse and handed him a few.

I have learned to always have some of my husband’s business cards in my purse, stash some in the glove compartment of his car, my car and in a drawer of the console next to our front door so that we (translation – I) can grab some on the way out the door.

A common tool, if not badge of identity, for the corporate professional, it was hard for me to understand why it is not second nature for my husband to carry his business card. I have observed this phenomenon is true of many physicians I have met, regardless of their specialty.

My husband explains that as an ER doctor cards weren’t necessary – people were literally dying to see him. Other specialists are accustomed to getting all the referrals they need from insurance provider lists. An integrative medicine practice is different. Since patients often pay out of pocket, you have to convince them to invest their hard earned cash. A well designed business card can be the first step in the process of getting a prospective patient to know, like and trust you.

In the next post we will talk about how to design your business cards that will have patients hungry to see you – without appearing cheesy or salesy.

In the meantime, please share tips on how you remember to carry your business cards or where you stash them so that you always have them readily available.

Tags:  member benefit  practice marketing 

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You're Invited to ACAM Member's Grand Opening

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Join ACAM Member Sushma Bahl, MD at the Grand Opening of American Integrated Medicine and Aesthetics Center | September 27, 2012 | 4:00PM - 6:00PM

Please RSVP by September 27 to sb@drsbahlimw.com

(4:30pm Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - San Gabriel Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Dr. Sushma Bahl will help you repair your health by restoring balance between different body systems. Her cutting edge Functional Medicine approach is to treat disease from the root cause by natural therapies. Dr. Bahl specializes in Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine and is certified in assessment and management of Fibromyalgia by FACSUF.

Dr. Bahl is also certified in facial aesthetics, Botox, fillers, acne treatment and laser treatment. Her expertise in aesthetics helps her patients achieve excellent results.

www.drsbahlimw.com

Tags:  integrative medicine  member benefit 

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Practice Building is about Serving More Patients

Posted By Wendy Bauerschmidt, Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to build your practice isn’t something that you probably learned in medical school. You probably didn’t need to at the time. Simply becoming part of the insurance company’s provider networks and being on call was all that was probably required to have the phone ringing off the hook and the waiting room filled to capacity.

That practice model has its trade-offs. If you have an integrative practice, chances are that a good portion of your services are not covered by insurance, or you may not accept insurance at all. This different practice model requires a more proactive method of patient recruitment.

Many integrative physicians aren’t comfortable with marketing. After all, it’s not something that you were trained to do. You are trained to serve, to heal. That’s precisely why I would make the case that it is important that you learn practice building skills and become comfortable with a few techniques that work for you.

It’s important because your mission is BIG. The more people you serve, the more you can heal. Teaching more patients about healthy lifestyle choices creates a ripple effect that increases your impact. These are worthy goals.

The goal of these blog posts is to support you in this worthwhile endeavor by giving you tips that you can implement easily and to support you in taking consistent action. We also encourage you to share strategies that have or perhaps have not worked for you.

Tags:  practice marketing 

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Certify in Chelation Therapy with ACAM

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
ACAM's certification exam, developed in conjunction with Applied Measurement Professionals, is the only certification exam for chelation therapy. The examination was developed using state-of-the-art psychometrics, robust questions development and the academic rigor necessary for a certification program. The CCT Designation Exam allows physicians to use CCT as a credential and showcases his/her commitment to applying the highest standard of care when administering Chelation Therapy.

CCT Designation elevates the practitioner to a higher standard of reputation and professional development. Our rigorous and sound program ensures that only those truly qualified to administer chelation therapy safely and effectively are awarded designation. Patients will look for CCT designation when selecting a healthcare provider.

ACAM is offering the course: A Clinician's Guide to Chelation Therapy: Integrating Chelation Therapy Into Your Practice, as well as the CCT exam at our upcoming Fall 2012 Conference and Tradeshow, Nov. 14 - 15, 2012. If you cannot take the exam at our event in November, the exam is also offered at over 220 testing centers around the United States.

Please visit our website (www.acam.org) for more information regarding this program. Please note that additional documents are required to sit for the examination and ACAM must receive all candidate materials by October 1, 2012 if you would like to take the examination on-site in Las Vegas. For more information on our Las Vegas conference please visit www.acamvegas.com.

Please contact the ACAM Executive Office for more information at 1-800-532-3688 or 949-309-3520 for international callers.

Tags:  certify  chelation therapy 

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Interview with Hormone Speaker Ty Vincent, MD

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
ACAM: You’ve lived in Alaska your whole life, and now you practice there, have you seen a growing trend toward complementary, alternative and integrative medicine?

Dr. Vincent: I’ve been practicing medicine here in Wasilla, Alaska since 2005 and in that amount of time I have seen an increase. We’ve had a naturopath move into town and we have two acupuncturists that currently work out of my clinic. There are also practitioners that do energy medicine, colon hydrotherapy, body wraps and other things that could be considered on the health and wellness continuum. We also probably have more chiropractors than we do primary care physicians in the area. So, I’d say although this region tends to be pretty politically conservative it is surprisingly embracing of integrative medicine.

ACAM: Your bio says that even before you went to medical school you had an interest in complementary and alternative medicine, did that prompt you to go to medical school?

Dr. Vincent: No, but it also did not discourage me. Whereas, if I knew then what I know now I unfortunately probably would have been discouraged to go to MD medical school. I was kind of naive before going in, not knowing that original thought was discouraged and that alternative medicine was completely shunned and not embraced. Since I had the interest before I got into medical school I was able to maintain that perspective and keep an open mind and learn everything truly good that conventional medicine had to offer me, so that I could then add to that later on and I could learn more in addition to it. I certainly do not discard what I learned in conventional medical training in my current practice.

ACAM: Where did you get additional training in integrative medicine from?

Dr. Vincent: During the last year of my family medicine residency in Anchorage I had the opportunity to train in acupuncture through the Helms Medical Institute. Learning acupuncture opened up my mind and my world to the concepts of Chinese Medicine and how the diagnostics are completely different and yet it works extremely well. It was my first exposure to an integrative or alternative medicine technique.

The same organization offered a training course in Chinese herbal medicine. When I finished the acupuncture course I took the Chinese herbal medicine curriculum and I learned how to use patent herbal formulas to help people with various things and then combined that with acupuncture.

I also decided to learn about nutrition which had always made sense to me as being one of the most important things. In my search online for nutrition books I found the Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) nutritional textbook for clinicians. I read it and got really excited because it talked about things in the way that I thought they should be discussed in terms of how the body actually works and what it takes to make the body work right. Then I found that they had a textbook of functional medicine and I got that book and read almost the entire thing in about a month. I started going to IFM conferences and through that network I discovered the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, ACAM and the Autism Research Foundation. So, I started attending lots of different conferences with these different groups. Then I found a hormone training conference which interested me because I learned through some other exposure that hormones seem to be important. I did a more formal hormone therapy training through the International Hormone Society in the beginning of 2007 and then started doing a lot of hormone therapy, which is now the subject of the course that I helped set up at ACAM.

I’ve gathered education and material from all kinds of different organizations and lots of conferences, reading journals, researching things online and there really isn’t a comprehensive place to learn everything at this point, which people ask me all the time. Medical students and residents ask me, ‘Where can you go to learn integrative medicine,’ and there isn’t one single place. My hope would be that ACAM could become that single place, where we could offer workshops and ongoing longitudinal educational experiences and the things that give you everything you really need to know to be a very functional integrative medical practitioner. I think that ACAM does the best job out there so far.


ACAM: Is your practice mainly hormones patients?

Dr. Vincent: No, I’m a family practitioner by board training. I used to deliver babies, perform colonoscopies and a very broad spectrum of family medicine. Now that my practice is sort of specialized, I see people who have chronic medical complaints that other doctors haven’t been able to figure out and a lot of times hormones are involved. I also deal a lot with autoimmune disease and immune system problems, gastrointestinal problems, and other sort of functional disorders. I see all kinds of chronic illness, but in the majority of chronic illness problems people come in with including fatigue syndromes and other things I see hormones as playing a role.

ACAM: Do you see the interest in HRT growing by both patients and practitioners?

Dr. Vincent: I do. Hormones are in the mainstream media, in mainstream reading and people are talking about the subject, especially women. Now women in our society feel much more empowered, they feel like they have a voice and that they can come in and get their needs met better than they used to. A lot of the patients I see come in wanting hormonal things, specifically women, and they have already read books and done research. So, it’s definitely something that’s increasing in public awareness. I think the approach integrative medicine should take is to appeal to the consumer. It is a consumer industry, but it’s still up to the physician or practitioner to know what is safe in terms of hormone therapy, know how to answer questions correctly and know how to steer therapy decisions. It’s important to try to accomplish the goals and the needs that the patient comes in with, which are often different than what I think the patient ought to do. So, we have to figure out where we can agree.

ACAM: Since Summer Camp last year, how has the Hormones program changed?

Dr. Vincent: At Summer Camp in Fort Lauderale it was a one man show where I was tasked with trying to put together a comprehensive hormone curriculum workshop in one day. I did brief overview lectures on every major hormonal topic in a 7 hour lecture period.

Then for the San Diego conference, which was this past May, there was a team of us that put the workshop together. We chose speakers from outside of ACAM and we had two days of workshop to put together, so we could really address things in greater depth and detail and with a variety of speakers. At the conclusion, we had panel discussions with the multiple speakers and it was certainly a very different format that I think was much better for everybody. It’s nice to get different opinions, views and fields of medicine where everybody has their own take on things.

The course we’re planning for November in Las Vegas is going to be a similar format. There will be a number of speakers and we’re going to try and cover material in a more basic format. In San Diego we weren’t really sure what the audience was looking for persay and we weren’t sure what level they were coming in at, so we put together a workshop that we thought covered material that was important. Some of the feedback from attendees suggested that we should probably make it a little more basic for people that are coming in with no previous hormone training whatsoever. We decided that was a good idea, so down the road we’re going to try to do a basic workshop one time and then the second offering of the year will be a more advanced workshop on the same types of topics. So, this November will be our first time doing what we consider the more basic workshop.

We really want people to come who have preexisting knowledge on hormone therapy and we want people with no knowledge of hormone therapy. I think there is something in it for everyone who attends. We also really want feedback to tell us how to better teach the course as time goes by because this is a really important aspect of medicine that is involved with the majority of my patient care experiences. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have in integrative medicine so I think it’s an important thing to continue to fine tune for our attendees.

ACAM: If someone took the Hormones course in San Diego, what is something new they can expect in Las Vegas?

Dr. Vincent: This time I’m doing the thyroid lecture, we don’t have an outside person giving it. In San Diego there was some very obvious disagreement between myself and the speaker we had for the thyroid talk. I’m also giving the lectures on women’s hormone replacement and Matthew Cavaiola is giving the men’s hormone lecture instead of me. Basically we have some different speakers giving different talks this time. We are also taking a more basic approach. We’re going to step back and take a little more of a basic, concise and clear approach to understanding hormone replacement. Hopefully it will be more clear and it will be more user friendly and it will leave plenty of time for question and answer and we’re going to try and have things be a little more case based as we do each presentation also. There are a few changes we’ve made and they’re all based on attendee feedback from San Diego.

ACAM: What is one thing you want attendees to take away from your lectures?

Dr. Vincent: That the issue is extremely complex and it requires them to think on their feet. There isn’t one way to do it, there is no protocol for hormone replacement. You have no idea what’s going to happen to any given individual when you give them a hormone no matter what their laboratory data shows or what their symptoms were. Every time you give someone hormone therapy you have to pay really close attention and follow them clinically based on their response. There’s no ‘cookbook’ way to do it. So, the way I teach this material is from a conceptual basis and that it’s complete chaos which is disconcerting for some people but that’s really too bad because that’s just the way it is. People really want to have clear cut answers and a protocol and an algorithm and that has to go out the window when you start doing hormone replacement therapy. I have a lot to say about what can happen when you start doing hormone therapy, but it’s certainly not the gospel and everybody has to go forth and gain experience and do their own learning on their own beyond that.

Tags:  interview  member benefit 

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Medical Students and Residents Join ACAM in Las Vegas

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Irvine, Calif -- The American College for Advancement in Medicine is pleased to offer reduced rates for medical students and residents that wish to attend the organization's annual Fall Conference and Tradeshow.

The event is taking place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nov. 14 - 18, 2012.

ACAM conferences are a great opportunity for students and residents to learn from renowned integrative medicine experts, gain new perspectives, and meet new mentors.

Medical students and residents interested in attending at the reduced rates must submit a copy of their student/resident ID, a letter from their office of admissions or director at their residency indicating their current enrollment status, and a completed registration form.

View the event website here.

Download the Medical Student/Resident registration form here.

About ACAM: The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit Organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine. ACAM's healthcare model focuses on prevention of illness and a strive for total wellness. ACAM is the voice of integrative medicine; our goals are to improve physician skills, knowledge and diagnostic procedures as they relate to integrative medicine; to support integrative medicine research; and to provide education on current standard of care as well as additional approaches to patient care.

Tags:  Annual Meeting  fall meeting  las vegas 

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Registration Open for ACAM Fall Conference & Tradeshow

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 2, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Registration is now open for ACAM's annual Fall Conference and Tradeshow. The event is taking place Nov. 14 - 18, 2012 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Practitioners may earn up to 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM over the duration of the symposium.

We invite you to take advantage of Early Bird rates through Oct. 14th. During the Early Bird promotion all a-la-carte courses are $100 off.

The General Session topic is: New Developments in Gut Health & Its Relationships to Systemic Illness, featuring experts in GI and gut health.

Pre-conference workshops (Nov. 14th and Nov. 15th) will be on the following topics:

  • An Integrative Approach to Balancing Hormones
  • Chelation Therapy
  • The GI Microbiome in Depth: Clinical Applications and Lab Testing
  • Hands-On Hyperbarics
  • Autoimmunity: Permeability, Pathogenesis, Prediction
  • Oxidative Medicine

For more information, view the event website at: www.acamvegas.com

Tags:  Annual Meeting  fall meeting  las vegas 

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Cracking the Weight Loss Code

Posted By Andrea Purcell, NMD, Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A groundbreaking study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on June 27, 2012 by Dr. David Ludwig out of the Boston Children’s’ Hospital settling the debate about how we lose and gain weight.

Up until this moment there have been two sides to the weight loss discussion.

Side A – Quantity, how much we eat determines our weight. In essence the calories we take in minus the calories we burn will determine our fate. For example: If we require a 1400 calories per day and we eat 1900 calories then we are at a surplus of 500 calories that will get stored as fat and cause us to gain weight. If we require 1400 calories and consume 1400 calories then we break even for that day and will not gain weight.

Side B – Quality, the quality of our food matters. For example: If we require 1400 calories per day and we eat 1400 calories it will depend on the food groups that make up those calories which will determine weight gain. In essence if we eat 1400 calories of potato chips those will be metabolized differently than 1400 calories of chicken. The quality side argues that even if we eat within our caloric limits certain foods are more likely to be stored as fat than others.

In this study Dr. Ludwig took a group of obese patients and put them on a starvation diet to lose 10% of their body weight. In this case a 300lb person would lose 30lbs and be 270lbs at the beginning of the study.

The starvation part is not the interesting part.

This next part is what is most interesting:

Patients were then divided into three groups and given 3 different food plans.

Dr. Ludwig wanted to see what would happen to these patients over 30 days when they were given the same caloric load but different qualities of food.

1) Group one was put on a high carbohydrate low fat diet. (60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fat)

2) Group two was put on a low glycemic diet similar to a diabetes diet. (40% carbohydrate, 40% fat, 20% protein)

3) Group three was put on a high protein, high fat, and low carbohydrate diet. (60% fat, 30% protein, 10% carbohydrate)

At the end of 30 days Group three, the very low-carbohydrate diet, had the most beneficial effects on energy expenditure and several metabolic syndrome components. Group one had the most unfavorable outcome of all the groups.

Note from Dr. P: This is something that Naturopathic Doctors have known for some time. Calories in, minus calories out, are an extremely generalized view of the complex metabolism of the human body and typically only help younger individuals lose weight. As we age hormonal fluctuations contribute to a sluggish metabolism and weight loss becomes increasingly difficult. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this, "Dr. Purcell, I don’t know what happened I’m gaining weight and my diet hasn’t changed, I’m still eating what I always ate.” Women’s bodies’ change every 5 years. What worked when you were 30 is not going to work when you are 40. That means we need to change our food choices. Women especially are plagued by weight gain in peri-menopause and the quality of the calories makes the biggest difference for weight loss and a healthy weight.

Tags:  nutrition  weight 

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