Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine Specialist
Some people prefer herbal supplements to medications, or they seek physicians who practice alternative medicine such as acupuncture. Others want to find a doctor who supports their nutritional well-being. You can find all of those options at Southwest Family Medicine Associates in Dallas. Dr. Chrisette Dharma and Dr. Jennifer Cohen have years of experience practicing alternative medicine, assessing nutritional health, and managing nutritional supplements. Call the office if you have any questions about alternative medicine, or go online to schedule an appointment for a health assessment.

Alternative Medicine Q & A

Southwest Family Medicine Associates

What are alternative medicine and functional medicine?

Functional medicine represents true holistic care. Practitioners of functional medicine, such as Drs. Cohen and Dharma, take the time to learn about the aspects of your life that work together to cause health problems, including your medical history, emotional health, genetics, lifestyle, diet and nutrition, and environmental influences. Problems in one or several of those areas may contribute to your symptoms, and you can’t regain your health if the symptoms are treated without addressing all of the underlying issues.

Alternative medicine uses diverse therapies instead of conventional western medications. Examples of alternative treatments include traditional herbal medicine, chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga, biofeedback, and massage therapy.  Southwest Family Medicine Associates is one of the few functional medicine clinics that use insurance for the visit.

The Southwest Family Medicine team works with two nutriceutical companies to make it easy for you to obtain high-quality supplements with consistent doses of herbal products and no fillers: Designs for Health (DFH), and Metagenics.  Various products from these two trusted brands have consistently provided clinically significant results.  So many over-the-counter supplements do not contain enough product to treat your condition, so ask for the brands these doctors recommend.

What is natural medicine?

Natural or herbal medicine uses ingredients found in diverse types of plants for medicinal purposes. Active ingredients extracted from a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers are used to make supplements.

Examples of some of the most commonly used herbal supplements at Southwest Family Medicine Associates include:

  • Metabolic Synergy: a multivitamin and mineral supplement containing nutrients for balancing blood sugars; ideal for prediabetic or diabetic patients
  • Chromium Synergy (DFH): utilized for insulin function and blood sugar regulation, this product’s added cinnamon assists with blood sugar control; this chelated mineral allows for good absorption, making it very effective
  • FemGuard: promotes hormonal balance for more regular cycles, safe conversion of estrogen, healthy detoxification, and proper elimination of excess estrogen hormones; may reduce PMS and perimenopausal/menopausal symptoms
  • Water Ease: contains taurine and vitamin B6 for use as a natural diuretic, regulating water balance without causing a loss or imbalance of minerals in the body
  • HTN Complex: for patients with hypertension, this supplement acts like a natural diuretic and protects endothelial function while regulating renin

It’s important to consult experts like Drs. Cohen and Dharma before buying herbal supplements because their active ingredients may interact with medications or affect some health conditions.

Some medications decrease certain nutrients, which can lead to disease. For example, diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide decrease CoQ10, magnesium, vitamin K, and zinc. Metformin decreases CoQ10, vitamin B12, and folate. ACE inhibitors like lisinopril increase potassium and decrease zinc. And it is important not to take calcium, magnesium, or iron within two hours of taking some medications.

In order to make keeping up with your supplements easy, you can order these products online.

Visit Metagenics online to find the products that Southwest Family Medicine Associates has had good experience with, add them to your cart, and check out. Your first online order receives a 20% discount. Click here.

Why is nutritional care so important?

Your body can’t function without proper nutrition. Dr. Cohen and Dr. Dharma assess your nutritional status using Genova nutritional testing, an advanced type of testing that analyzes your levels of core nutrients and can assess genetic markers that enable personalized treatment.These tests are not typically covered by most insurances, but Genova has contracted rates with insurance that allow you to subsidize these tests to cut the cost in half.

Some of the popular advanced nutritional tests that Southwest Family Medicine Associates offers are:

  • NutraEval® Plasma, which checks your B vitamin levels, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and digestive support nutrients
  • GI Effects® Comprehensive Stool Profile, an advanced test that provides immediate actionable clinical information for the management of gut health; it looks for bacterial overgrowth, parasite infection, gut inflammation, and imbalance due to digestion/absorption issues

Your doctors use these tests to help determine the best supplements for you. The Southwest Family Medicine team believes that giving people targeted nutritional supplements that they are truly deficient in helps resolve their symptoms versus a bag full of over-the-counter supplements.

Nutritional supplement management is an important part of your care at Southwest Family Medicine Associates. Functional nutritional therapy may include recommendations for dietary changes and dietary supplements to correct nutritional imbalances.

What is acupuncture?

During acupuncture treatment, Dr. Cohen inserts hair-thin needles into specific areas of your body, called acupuncture points. The needles accomplish two therapeutic actions: balancing your body’s natural energy flow to promote healing and stimulating electrical activity that causes the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters to improve your physical and emotional well-being.

Clinical studies show that acupuncture is beneficial for many health conditions, including:

  • Chronic pain (migraines, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, arthritis)
  • Digestive disorders (colitis, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome)
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight or obesity (used with diet and exercise)
  • Psychological and emotional disorders (depression, anxiety)
  • Reproductive disorders (abnormal periods, menopausal symptoms)
  • Seasonal allergies

Southwest Family Medicine Associates offers the most cost-effective approach to acupuncture.  The staff works with you and your insurance to make sure you can use your insurance to receive the medical care you want. Contact Southwest Family Medicine Associates today for all your alternative medicine needs.

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