WE SPECIALIZE IN A NUMBER OF SERVICES
We value partnering with patients to realize their health goals. We take time to listen to your concerns, understand your lifestyle, and clarify your goals for treatment. We individualize treatment, offering alternatives and hope.
We are Naturopathic Physicians. We diagnose disease through clinical presentation and history, thorough physical exams, and appropriate laboratory and imaging studies.
We Treat disease and imbalances with diet and lifestyle, nutritional supplements, botanicals, physical medicine, and prescription medications as indicated.
At the Institute of Complementary Medicine, we offer individualized, healthy, weight loss programs so that you find a permanent solution to your weight and health issues. Instead of patients following a cookie-cutter program that is the same for everyone, we spend much time doing a thorough evaluation of your health history and optimizing your health in order to eliminate any potential obstacles on your path to your ideal body composition. Patients are counseled on healthy food choices, proper macronutrient and calorie intake, and exercise needs. A Naturopathic Physician guides every step of your journey.
Who needs medically supervised weight loss?
Patients who have established care at ICM and suffer from “stubborn weight loss” where diet and exercise alone have not been successful.
People who desire a change in their body composition, such as gaining muscle, losing fat, and improving hydration.
How does the program work?
You will be individually assessed using body measurements, body weight, and a body composition test (BIA). Your doctor may also perform a waist-to-hip measurement.
What is BIA technology?
This is a bio-impedance assessment, which uses a microcurrent to calculate body fat percentage and mass, lean (muscle) percentage and mass, hydration status, intra- (inside) and extra- (outside) cellular fluid percentage, basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn just by being alive), and phase angle (a measure of metabolism). This information helps guide the process so that you can be successful.
You will be asked to track your diet and exercise with an online tracker. This program allows the doctor to generate reports and comprehensively understand your diet and exercise.
Putting together the pieces
One of the major difficulties with losing weight is that no one program works for everyone. Your body may not respond well to a low-carb diet that requires you to eat every three hours, whereas other people will do great with this type of program. Individual assessment is at the heart of ICM’s weight loss program. Your doctor will put together the information from the body composition test and 1-2 weeks of your food logs to generate an initial plan.
Frequent Follow-Up is Key
It is important that once you start the plan you follow up regularly to assess how your body is changing. Most patient’s who suffer stubborn weight loss become very frustrated that they are not losing weight fast enough despite heroic efforts. Frequent body composition tests allow the doctor to adjust your plan to:
- Increase lean body mass
- Decrease fat mass
- Increase hydration (which drives metabolism)
- Maintain or improve basal metabolic rate (which many low-calorie diets decrease)
- Improve cellular metabolism (measured by the phase angle)
Higher Force Interventions
Your doctor uses many tools for weight loss. Central to naturopathic philosophy is using the least invasive intervention to help you reach your goals. Naturopathic medicine is founded on the belief that your body has the innate capacity to heal and that lower-force intervention will ultimately offer a more sustainable solution. That said, many patients suffer severe nutritional depletion, metabolism disorders, hormonal imbalance, and behavioral patterns that can undermine their weight loss success. Severe cases require higher-force interventions to move the scale in the right direction. Your doctor will discuss the speed at which you want/need to lose weight in a way that will ultimately be safe and effective for your overall health.
Interventions that your doctor may choose as part of your plan:
- Specialized diets: Paleo, intermittent fasting, and keto; just to name a few. ICM docs are specialists in the medical management of specialized diets.
- Specific exercise guidelines.
- Supplements to support metabolism, energy, and digestion.
- Hormonal support to correct imbalances.
- Nutrient injections to boost metabolism and prevent weight plateau.
- Appropriate prescription medication.
We provide physical exams as necessary to properly diagnose and effectively treat you.
ICM docs are trained in conventional laboratory testing. These tests are commonplace in medicine and generally covered by insurance. However, your doctor may order additional labs to work up your symptoms further and find the cause of your ailments. These tests are sometimes referred to as Functional Labs. ICM has partnered with several labs that provide specialized testing for our patients.
- Boston Heart Lab (advanced cardiovascular, metabolic, and genetic testing)
- Doctor’s Data (Heavy metal testing)
- Genova Diagnostics (micronutrient, metabolic and comprehensive stool testing)
- Sanesco (Neurotransmitter and Adrenal hormone testing)
- Spectracell (micronutrient testing)
- Quintron (SIBO - Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth - breath test machine on site)
Patients respond better to treatment when the foundations of health are well supported. We offer 12-week programs to support our patients in their health journeys by providing individual and group support through First Line Therapy (FLT).
With FLT you have 4 structured visits with an ICM doctor and 6 visits with a Lifestyle Educator (LE).
Herbal medicine or herbalism involves the use of plants to treat disease and promote health. Various parts of the plant may have medicinal benefits, including the root, rhizome, leaf, seeds, bark, and cambium. Depending on the plant and on the patient, herbal medicines may take the form of teas, infusions, decoctions, tinctures, kinds of vinegar, glycerites, capsules, and more. Topical preparations include poultices, compresses, liniments, salves, and creams.
Naturopathic Manipulative Therapy (NMT), a form of physical medicine, incorporates the art of massage, touch, physical therapy, applied kinesiology, and spinal manipulation. NMT may be used to treat several different chronic diseases as well as neck and back pain, and sports injuries. NMT begins with a comprehensive assessment of your physical body including posture, spinal alignment, muscular tone and symmetry, and orthopedic functional testing. As with all naturopathic therapies, identifying the underlying cause or imbalance is critical to correcting dysfunction and relieving pain. Your treatment will be individualized but may include soft tissue manipulations such as massage, trigger-point release, or adjustments to restore alignment in your spine. In addition to hands-on treatment in the office, you may be taught to perform home exercises or stretches, or given recommendations for specific nutrients to heal or repair tissues.
Electrical Stimulation aka E-Stim
E-Stim, or Electrical Stimulation, is a physical medicine technique that has been around since the 1960s. This method utilizes two channels of current applied to muscles in order to disrupt pain signal pathways. It is very effective in treating chronic pain and acute injury to reduce pain, inflammation, swelling, and help speed the healing process.
Ultrasound technology utilizes the vibration of sound waves that pass through the skin and affect local tissue. These vibrations promote deep heating of the local tissue that increases blood circulation. Therapeutically, Ultrasound is used to reduce swelling of acute and chronic inflammation, break up scar tissue, and speed the healing process.
Cranio-sacral therapy is a particular type of Naturopathic Manipulative Therapy (NMT) that works with the mind-body aspects of physical pain and dysfunction. It works by releasing patterns of tension and stress held in the body through light touch and guided visualization. In the same way, a good massage releases shoulder tension, craniosacral therapy can work deeper to permanently release patterns of tension. Combined with other Naturopathic treatments or Psychotherapy, craniosacral therapy can improve the effectiveness and speed of healing.
- Therapeutic exercises and stretches
- Trigger point injections
- Treatments specific to Frozen Shoulder
Cranio-sacral therapy is a particular type of Naturopathic Manipulative Therapy (NMT) that works with the mind-body aspects of physical pain and dysfunction. It works by releasing patterns of tension and stress held in the body through light touch and guided visualization. In the same way, a good massage releases shoulder tension, craniosacral therapy can work deeper to remove patterns of tension permanently. Combined with other Naturopathic treatments or Psychotherapy, craniosacral therapy can improve the effectiveness and speed of healing.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin, sterile needles into different points along the meridians of the body specific to the patient’s diagnosis. The purpose of these needles is to redirect or rebalance the flow of qi through the body. Moxibustion involves the burning of herbs producing a warming effect with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi. Cupping involves creating a partial vacuum inside glass cups, which are then applied to the skin to relieve areas of congestion, often referred to as stagnation in TCM.
Identifying allergy triggers by monitoring symptoms when suspected allergy-causing foods are eliminated and then reintroduced into the diet. This process usually requires several weeks.
As Naturopathic physicians, we utilize prescription medicine when necessary in accordance with a systematic approach as advocated by the World Health Organization to help minimize poor-quality and erroneous prescribing. This six-step approach to prescribing suggests that the physician should:
- evaluate and clearly define the patient’s problem;
- specify the therapeutic objective;
- select the appropriate drug therapy;
- initiate therapy with appropriate details and consider nonpharmacologic therapies;
- give information, instructions, and warnings; and
- evaluate therapy regularly (e.g., monitor treatment results, consider discontinuation of the drug).
Intra-muscular Vitamin Injections
With intramuscular injections, larger doses of the bioactive forms of the vitamins are administered. Bypassing the gut, they are more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and more readily available for use by the body. Injections are beneficial for those with a compromised gut function such as occur with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and with advancing age, as well as in states of increased vitamin need, such as athletes.
- Supports detoxification or cleansing
- Improves memory, and mood, and helps control addictions/cravings
- Treatment of another known vitamin/nutrient deficiencies
- Boosts fat-burning metabolism during treatment for weight loss
Traditional Prolo-Therapy with a dextrose solution was utilized for its proliferative effects on ligaments and tendons in order to diminish laxity and joint instability. Neural Prolo-Therapy is a more recent advancement for chronic pain focusing on calming neurogenic inflammation. Thus allowing nerve fibers outside of the central nervous system to repair themselves and achieve a state of tissue balance. Neural Prolo-Therapy was developed by Dr. Jeff Lyftogt, MD in New Zealand who has successfully treated many elite athletes.
What the therapy consists of: Depending on the complexity of the case, anywhere from 3 to 8 consecutive, weekly treatments will be indicated in order to have lasting pain relief. Each session consists of an office visit and injection that is immediately under the skin. Nothing is injected into the joints.
What is injected: Mannitol, an inert sugar that helps calm inflammation specific to nerve fibers. Pain patterns of Neurogenic inflammation are usually comprised of lingering pain that comes and goes even after the soft tissue injury has healed. NO cortisone or other drugs are injected. On occasion, Procaine (an analgesic) or Traumeel (homeopathic anti-inflammatory) may be used.
Who benefits: Many types of musculoskeletal pain, including osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, chronic pain following joint replacement, sports injuries, chronic tendinitis or overuse injuries, partially torn tendons, ligaments and cartilage, degenerated or herniated discs, and sciatica.