Integrative medicine and health:
“Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.” —Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with a current membership of over 70 academic medical centers and affiliate institutions.
As part of our commitment to this, we have joint M.D.-N.D. medical directorship. We are able to provide specialized medical evaluation and management, genetic and metabolic testing and interpretation, physical medicine, mental health care, phytomedicine, individualized IV therapies, acupuncture, supplementation, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, and detoxification.
Integrative and naturopathic oncology:
Integrative oncology physicians are trained to use natural and supportive therapies to reduce side effects, to help optimize conventional care and prevent recurrence. Combining naturopathic and conventional medicine supports the pursuit of best possible outcomes for patients. Integrative oncology care at AIMS Institute provides state-of-the-science therapies based on genomics, anti-cancer immunity, individual biochemistry and psychospiritual status. We provide phytotherapies, immunotherapies, physical medicine and mind body therapies based on current practice and research and provided by medical experts. We work closely with medical oncologists to provide truly integrative care. Committed to investigation and improving patient outcomes, we conduct and publish our clinical outcomes studies.
Each of the treatments commonly used is designed to influence some aspect of tumor inhibition including anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-angiogenic, or anti-metastatic activity. Our therapies are based on state-of-the science molecular biology, genomics, immunology, pharmacology and mind-body medicine. The core approaches used at the AIMS Institute include nutraceutical therapy, dietary, botanical therapy, as well as physical and psychological rehabilitation and specialty palliative care after primary cancer treatment. NDs are important advisors in this collaborative approach, offering safe, evidence-informed guidance for patients and their conventional providers about options for natural and supportive care.
Patients who seek integrative oncology will be evaluated by Dr. Standish’s team to evaluate the anti-cancer, immunotherapy and mind body therapies needed for healing.
The basic philosophy of integrative oncology is that modalities such as acupuncture, nutrition, psychological counseling, and some specific botanical and fungal ‘supplements’ can improve quality of life.
The basic philosophy of naturopathic oncology is that
1) the natural world and its medicines, both known and unknown, is able to provide safe and effective treatments for cancer patients to improve high quality survival;
2) cancer is also a mind-body problem and requires psychological interventions;
3) Our fundamental view of the human being is in keeping with 21st century physics. Vis medicatrix naturae is an old expression of what we now know about elementary particles that make up the human body.
The goals of advanced integrative oncology in cancer patient care includes improve chemo sensitivity, decrease dose-limiting toxicities of chemotherapy, reduce risk of recurrence after
primary cancer treatment, and palliate symptoms and improve quality of death and dying.
From the 2018 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting Science Program:
Integrative Medicine is a medical approach that preferentially uses therapeutic lifestyle interventions, stress-reduction, and behavioral interventions as adjunct therapy for chronic medical conditions. A growing body of literature confirms that diet modification, physical activity, and mind-body interventions can improve outcomes for patients with neurologic disease.
Integrative and transpersonal psychiatry and psychotherapy:
Integrative Psychiatry “is an emerging discipline that not only bridges the existing disciplines of psychiatry [and] psychology, but provides a scientifically-based framework that synthesizes the rest of physiology, biochemistry and other health dimensions such as social support and spirituality, which collectively contribute to brain and body health and overall well-being.” (From Integrative Psychiatry and Brain Health, Second Edition, published by Oxford University Press, 2018).
Transpersonal, meaning beyond the personal, refers to development beyond conventional, personal, or individual levels. Transpersonal psychiatry is psychiatry that seeks to foster development, correct developmental arrests, and heal traumas at all levels of development, including transpersonal levels. It extends the standard biopsychosocial model of psychiatry to a biopsychosocial-spiritual one in which the later stages of human development are concerned with development beyond, or transcendent of, the individual (Textbook of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychiatry, eds. Scotten, Chen, Battista 1996). Transpersonal psychotherapy is informed by harm reduction and utilization of non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Integrative rehabilitation medicine:
Rehabilitation medicine is focused on improving health, functional performance, and participation in life’s activities for people who have disabling conditions and diseases.
Integrative medicine “exemplifies the physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) philosophy through its focus on whole-person integrated approach to medical care and emphasis on physician-patient therapeutic alliance to improve and maintain health, wellness, and optimal function.” We provide this integrative medical care with coordinated in-house co-management of patients with a rehabilitation medicine specialist alongside a naturopathic medicine physician.
Integrative palliative care:
Palliative care is an interdisciplinary medical specialty—often involving doctors, nurses and counselors—that is concerned with impeccable symptom management and supportive care inclusive of family members for patients facing serious and life-limiting illness at any stage. It focuses on the amelioration of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual suffering. Serious illness is best defined as a health condition that carries a high risk of mortality and either negatively impacts a person’s daily functioning or quality of life or excessively strains his or her caregivers. While generally this is thought of as cancers, organ failures such as heart or kidney failure, or neurodegenerative diseases, it should be noted that several epidemiological studies have shown significantly increased all-cause mortality in patients with chronic pain, depression and anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The use of complementary and integrative medical approaches in palliative care is well-supported in the field, with training programs and academies including training and education on integrative modalities such as meditation, acupuncture, and use of phytomedicines and supplements for palliation. Palliative care specialists are skilled in pain and symptom management, advanced care planning; goals of care discussions, end-of-life care; and POLST (Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) and DWD (Death with Dignity) form completion. We provide this integrative medical care with coordinated in-house co-management of patients with a palliative medicine specialist alongside a naturopathic medicine physician and mental health specialists.
Ketamine-assisted integrative psychotherapy:
Ketamine is an extremely interesting compound invented in 1962 at Parke-Davis. It has been used in clinical practice around the world for over 50 years and is on the WHO list of Essential Medicines. Its primary use has been as a general anesthetic, but also it has been used to induce procedural conscious sedation, as a potent non-opioid analgesic in acute and chronic pain, as a neuroprotective agent to prevent brain damage, as an anxiolytic to control pre-operative and end-of-life anxiety, and as a rapid-onset antidepressant to treat chronic depression and other treatment-resistant mental health conditions. Like many psychedelic substances, it can be used to enhance psychotherapy sessions, to help to facilitate therapeutic trances and persistent transformations to overcome chronic pain, depression, anxiety, existential anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic and complex trauma disorders, and for spiritual and psychological growth and deepening somatic awareness (The Ketamine Papers: Science, Therapy, and Transformation, eds. Wolfson & Hartelius, 2016). Our team has collectively 100’s of contact hours of accredited training. Our medical doctor has been utilizing ketamine in practice for 5 years and has completed 86 hours of accredited training in Ketamine: Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (Ketamine Training Center, 30 hours), KRIYA Ketamine Research Institute (16 hours), Orenda Institute Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (40 hours).
Our terms “therapy” and “clinic” and our symbol of medicine with a snake wrapping around a staff all originate from the activities of the Aesclepian healing temples in Ancient Greece. They practiced healing through trance induction.
We are offering this treatment through prescription of compounded lozenges and via intramuscular injection. We create a comfortable and soothing environment via relaxing music, eyeshades, aromatherapy, and soft lighting. We prescribe lozenges for patients to take home for further sessions. We offer this as part of individual and group medical visits and integrate psychotherapy throughout the course of treatment. We are extremely interested in integrating this therapeutic approach for patients facing serious illness to track any improvements in palliation and/or disease-modification that could be correlated or directly reported by patients.
Medical cannabis education:
The integrated bioscientific study of how cannabis use affects human physiology and health has led to the discovery over the past few decades of a major molecular signaling system, widespread in the human body and present for 600 million years in living organisms. The system, known as the endocannabinoid signaling system, plays a critical homeostatic role in normal physiologic function, regulating mood, appetite, memory, inflammation, pain perception, movement, immunity, neuroprotection, bone formation, tumor suppression, and other functions. Disorders and deficiencies in endocannabinoids and related components are thought to contribute to disease, and naturally occurring cannabis compounds (cannabinoids) have been shown to target this system. THC, CBD, and other Cannabinoids, the key molecules produced in the resin made by the female flowers of the plant, likely evolved as a protective response to increasing UV radiation from sunlight at higher elevations it was exposed to during the geological uplift that created the Himalayas mountain ranges 50 million years ago.
The WHO has acknowledged the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids including antidepressant, appetite stimulant, anticonvulsant and anti-spasmodic, and identified cannabinoids as beneficial in the treatment of asthma, glaucoma, and nausea and vomiting related to illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. Cannabis, given in whole plant extract form, has been shown in randomized controlled clinical trials involving hundreds of patients to significantly reduce untreated pain in advanced cancer patients who were also maximally taking morphine-like pain medications. Many positive outcome randomized controlled trials have shown benefit of whole plant cannabis preparations in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes, such as those that occur due to damage and disruption of nerves. The adverse effects of cannabis use are quite low when compared to other medications. There has been no recorded case of overdose in its thousands of years of documented use.