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Getting the Perfect Job Pt. 2: Mastering the Interview

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Our three-part series to help you land the perfect job as an integrative practitioner continues with an in-depth look at interviewing. If you missed our first installment on finding a position and writing your resume, click here to read more.

As with most things in the healthcare field, the interview process is often structured in two parts, beginning with a phone interview and followed by an in-person interview. Both are very important in showing your employer who you are and why you are the best fit for the position. With the proper preparation, the interview becomes a simple step to your new career.

Pre-Interview Prep

  • Research your potential employer
    Research corporate culture, values, financial stability and potential growth. It will also help to understand the interview process.
  • Have references ready
    Have a minimum of three names with their titles, company, dates you worked for them, email and phone number ready. Learn how to get the most out of your references HERE.
  • Plan your route and attire
    Know how long it will take you to get to your interview and plan to arrive 10 minutes early. Clarify where you will need to meet your potential employer. A few days beforehand, be sure to check that your professional attire is clean, neat and pressed if needed.
  • Rehearse your answers
    Look into common interview questions and have your answers ready. View a few HERE with sample answers.
  • More ideas

The Phone Interview

  • Remove distractions
    Take the call in a quiet area with minimal distractions so you can focus and your interviewer can here you.
  • Be alert, attentive and ready to answer questions
    This is your first opportunity to show your employer who you are.
  • Take notes
    Write down the name and contact information of who you are talking to ask well as any information you feel is important concerning the position.
  • Be prepared to commit to a follow-up interview
    Have your calendar on hand to take advantage of the momentum of your interview.

The In-Person Interview

  • Be prompt and thorough
    Arrive 10 minutes early and bring extra copies of your resume (or CV) and reference contact information.
  • Use examples
    Use your experiences to your advantage. Consider preparing a list of your achievements, setbacks, positive & negative attributes, and professional goals to help you guide your discussion.
  • Remember your body language
    A little confidence goes a long way. Learn more about proper body language HERE
  • Ask questions
    Yes, interviews go both ways! You want to make sure the position is right for you. For some ideas, click HERE.

Or The Virtual Interview

  • Test your technology
    At least 30 minutes before your interview, test your computer, internet speed, the camera and mic. Is your picture grainy or any echos? Being caught off guard will throw you off your game and possibly cause them to question whether you are the right candidate for the job.

  • Set up your work station
    Find a room in your house with little distractions that is well lit. Make sure everything in the camera field of vision is clean. The best background is a blank wall.
  • Remember your body language
    Even if you are at your computer, still follow the tips from above. Sitting up straight and keeping your eye on the camera when talking is important.
  • Dress professionally
    Even though you are still at home, you should look professional to show you are serious about the position.

Follow Up

  • Write a thank you
    A hand-written note two days after your interview is ideal, though email will do if necessary. It provides an opportunity to show courtesy as well as emphasize your strengths and enthusiasm. Learn more about what to include HERE.

Additional Interview Questions and Tips from The Healthcare Initiative

Tags:  career  careers  health  healthcare  hunt  hunting  interview  job  medical  perfect  virtual 

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Getting the Perfect Job Part 1: Writing Your Resume

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Job hunting is particularly challenging for integrative practitioners. You not only need to find a position in a competitive market, but one that fits your practice philosophy. In our three-part series, ACAM will provide tips on finding a position, writing a resume that stands out, interviewing like a pro and negotiating your salary.

The first step, of course, is finding a position that interests you. To help you get started, ACAM has recently launched our interactive Career Center where we only post jobs looking for integrative practitioners like you.

Click here to enter the Career Center.

The next step is preparing a resume that sets you apart from other candidates. We scoured a variety of resources to find the most applicable tips for medical practitioners and have compiled them below:

  • Tailor your resume to each position
    While tedious, this step is important to not only get through resume sorting bots, but to prove why you are the best candidate to hiring managers. Whether in your cover letter or previous job descriptions, plainly point out how you will fit into the role.
  • Read the directions
    For example, know if you should be submitting a CV or resume, cover letter, or references.
  • Include simple contact information
    To avoid confusion, only provide your name, one phone number, and a professional email address. If you do not have a personal or professional email, it may be worth starting a free one with a company such as Gmail for use during your search.
  • Address keywords
    Pay attention to keywords used in the job description and address in your resume how you meet those qualifications.
  • Be specific about your work
    This is particularly important in the medical field. From grant applications, ER service, and even non-healthcare work showing your dedication to customers or clients, every duty counts.
  • Keep it concise
    Yes, you want to be detailed, but don't repeat what you don't have to. (For example, you can lump similar positions together.) Keep your resume to one page ideally.

Additional Tips:
How to Build a Strong Medical Resume - from the healthcare educators at Carrington College
I'm Sending Out Resumes & Not Getting Any Response. What Am I Doing Wrong?

Tags:  career  early  help  im connect  integrative  job  medical  medicine  newsletter  resource  resume  sample  samples  student  template  templates  writing 

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Whole Body Effects of Poor Sleep Patterns

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 10, 2020
Through research over the last two decades, the impact of sleep on brain, immune, cardiovascular and hormonal functions has become increasingly apparent.

A recent study from the University of Rochester Medical Center(URMC) has connected sleep deprivation with inefficiency of the glymphatic system, meaning the body can't properly wash away waste and toxic proteins.

"Because the accumulation of toxic proteins such as beta amyloid and tau in the brain are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have speculated that impairment of the glymphatic system due to disrupted sleep could be a driver of the disease," the article says.

Another novel study from URMC linked sleep and microglia cells, which play a role in connections between nerve cells, fighting infections and repairing damage. The study indicates that the signals in our brain that modulate the sleep and awake state also act as a switch that turns the immune system on and off.

"This work suggests that the enhanced remodeling of neural circuits and repair of lesions during sleep may be mediated in part by the ability of microglia to dynamically interact with the brain," said Rianne Stowell, PhD, a postdoctoral associate at URMC and first author of the paper.

Sleep has also been linked to the proper function of T cells as part of the body's immune response, hormones that influence glucose regulation and appetite control and play a role in obesity, and atherosclerosis of the cardiovascular system.

Findings suggest that sleep therapy or other methods to boost quality of sleep for at-risk populations may be a potential clinical approach for treatment, a topic that will be discussed in detail at the 2020 Collaboration Cures meeting this November.

Tags:  alzheimer's  arterial  atherosclerosis  brain  cardiovascular  clinic  clinical  cognition  disease  diseases  function  functions  health  hormone  hormones  immune  integrative  medicine  microglia  neurology  plaque  quality  response  rochester  sleep  system  t cell  t cells  therapy 

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Millennials and Integrative Medicine: Why the Connected Generation is Turning to Connected Health

Posted By Guest Post by Olivia Thomason, Friday, November 29, 2019

Disruptive technology has drastically changed the field of medicine and its practices. The generation that has grown alongside digital changes has introduced their own needs and preferences––which usually gives them a reputation as lazy and entitled. These millennials are often accused of being glued to their smartphones and computer screens. This stereotype leaves them as misunderstood––however, they may have a point. They are now the generation that comprises a large number of health professionals, doctors, and trainees, and their tech-savviness may be necessary in these changing times.

Blockchain which has been used as a tool to solve long-standing problems in the healthcare industry, such as wasteful spending and unnecessarily high costs among all stakeholders. This technology is predicted to continue breaking barriers in terms of sharing data more accurately and fostering a sense of transparency integral to healthcare. It is in a similar light that technology and advanced research has had an impact on integrative medicine as an emerging trend. Former president of the American College of Physicians Nitin Damle, M.D. has acknowledged that many doctors are pursuing new guidelines in terms of nonpharmacologic treatment as well. This shift has meant pushing the boundaries of everything that healthcare has to offer.

Best practices

Studies show that 37% of millennials believe that the American healthcare system is terrible, and profit-oriented instead of patient-oriented. They have condemned 
the dishonesty of Big Pharma and are disillusioned by the pharmaceutical industry. This belief and skepticism of institutions, together with their digital tools, is what has allowed them to seek out their own solutions in terms of healthcare. The paradigm several of them have instead subscribed to is one that is more focused on wellness––a holistic approach to physical and mental well-being. Integrative medicine is one of their answers to supplement their cause. It encourages healthcare practitioners to be active participants in the process of healing together with their patients. Physical symptoms are not the only factors acknowledged, but the mind, body, and spirit are given equal importance. Integrative medicine quite literally integrates conventional and alternative methods to facilitate healing.

The “Connected” generation

With this growing trend, 
Maryville University shares how the “C” generation is primed to make up the majority of the workforce by 2025, filling the void left by their retiring baby boomer parents. This connectedness allows them to do quick searches on symptoms, support groups for illnesses on social media, health fads, and especially with one another. Healthcare and wellness apps have sprouted out left and right to encourage meditation, heart rate monitoring, and sleep schedules. These integrative approaches are backed by science, which really is at the heart of the practice of medicine.

Do no harm

Wellness professional Stephanie Smith says that generational differences should never get in the way of healthcare. Regardless of age, all physicians take the same Hippocratic Oath that they will uphold ethical standards throughout their practice. While technology is likely to make changes for the better in healthcare, it should still be observed with a critical eye. It can, however, be the key to bridging the gap between generations of medical professionals, encourage collaboration, improved diagnoses, less invasive treatments, extensive research, and overall improved patient care. It is prevention that integrative medicine also advocates, after all.





Article written by Olivia Thomason

Olivia Thomason comes from a long line of doctors, so her parents were a little disappointed when she told them she wanted to be a writer. Still, growing up around medical books and discussions about her parents' most interesting patients instilled in her a love for all things medical science. Thankfully, she's discovered blogging as a way to marry her two great loves of writing and medical science together. These days, she blogs about the latest developments in medical technology, and she hopes someday to have enough experience to become a full-time columnist on a broadsheet newspaper.

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Tags:  best practices  Big Pharma  connected  do no harm  healthcare  integrative medicine  millennials  technology 

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Worldly Doctors Needed: To Change The Medical Paradigm

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 19, 2019

If you are a doctor practicing medicine in the USA, you probably have heard of Chelation Therapy and EDTA (Ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetate), but didn’t learn much about it in medical school.  Maybe you have read about it and are interested in learning more but don’t want to cause a problem with your medical board. Or maybe you have studied Chelation Therapy and the positive health results people experience from EDTA and would like to integrate it in your practice, but don’t know where to start.  This article is for doctors who want to make a positive difference in people’s lives and participate in changing the current medical paradigm to one that is more effective and efficient.

Chelation Therapy and EDTA have been proven to be effective in removing plaque from the arteries and removing heavy toxic metals from the body (1). The studies are there yet the current medical establishment refuses to acknowledge this amazing therapy, let alone embrace it. If you are a doctor you probably have a good idea as to why.  The current medical system here in the USA is primarily based on “pain management” and a “band-aid” approach rather than eliminating the main problem. This means that for acute and chronic conditions, medication and or surgery are the main options for treating people.

This approach is not only wrong, it’s not working. Here in America we spend the most money on healthcare and yet we have the worst health of all rich countries (2).

There are two main reasons for this:

1.      Insurance companies dictate treatment
2.      Medical Doctors are limited with their current scope of practice

If you’re a medical doctor, you most likely know the problems with the insurance model. (3) You know which drugs and which procedures are covered by insurance companies.  You also know what the “Medical Standard of Care” is for your licensure, largely prescribing pharmaceuticals and surgery. Recommending diet, supplements and detoxification therapies such at Chelation Therapy & EDTA are non-billable treatments and frowned upon in most cases, unless you are a Naturopathic Doctor (ND).

Today because of the internet and social media, the general public have access to more information and personal stories. There has been a movement gaining momentum over the past 5-10 years where people are demanding, trying, wanting more complementary and integrative medicine options. We see the demands of the people and even new research starting to impact what insurance companies are willing to cover. Take for example the VA, they have included acupuncture therapy to help Veterans manage their pain (4).

This trend is growing. People are willing and paying out of pocket for treatments they want (5).  With heart disease being the leading cause of death and cancer right behind it, people want solutions. Many Doctors are also ready for a change and are pushing for new guidelines. Nitin Damle, M.D., a former president of the American College of Physicians said in an article that he’s “hopeful that the new guidelines will move the needle forward, so there is a shift from pharmacologic to nonpharmacologic treatment.” (6)

So how can you as a doctor, be part of a shift to change the current medical paradigm to one that works for you and your patients? Education, educate yourselves and your patients on the benefits of nutrition, detox and exercise. (7) There is enough evidence-based research that backs these benefits, including Chelation Therapy.  The benefits from Chelation Therapy are massive from preventing heart disease and other life-threatening conditions such as cancer and strokes. (8) Get trained and certified in Chelation Therapy so you become an expert and minimizes your risks.


American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) offers a certificate program ideal for MD, DO, ND, DDS, PA, NP, and DC’s. This ensures proper training, which means more protection ( To help promote its members, ACAM features them on the website so that people in your area interested in Chelation Therapy can find you

Arizona offers another medical licensed to MD’s and DO’s who practice homeopathic and integrative therapies. The Arizona Board of Homeopathic and Integrated Medicine Examiners regulates physicians practicing homeopathic/integrated medicine in the state of AZ. The license provided by the board is independent of licensure provided from allopathic or osteopathic boards. Many MD’s and DO’s practicing integrative medicine in the USA, obtain the second licensure as a back-up. (

Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association (AHIMA) supports this board and provides many resources for MD’s and DO’s its members and others who are interested in becoming licensed. For more information on this please listen to this interview with Lisa Platt, the Executive Director of AHIMA. (9) (











Tags:  ACAM  AHIMA  Arizona  Chelation  EDT  Medical Paradigm 

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Why All Americans Should Know About Chelation Therapy

Posted By Guest Post by Malissa Stawicki of Natural Medicine & Detox, Friday, September 13, 2019

It’s so sad and really unbelievable that here in America today most people have never heard of Chelation Therapy. There are many reasons why people should know about Chelation and why they should get it.

Let’s start with a brief explanation of what Chelation Therapy does and how.

Chelation Therapy does two things:

1)     Remove heavy metals from the body

2)     Remove calcification/plaque in the arteries, capillaries and veins

When EDTA (Ethylendiamine Tetraacetic Acid) is injected into the blood, it binds to heavy metals and minerals in the body such as lead. Next, these poisonous materials are released through the kidneys then urine. In addition, calcium deposits (the part of plaque that obstructs the flow of blood to the heart), is also released.

So why should individuals know about Chelation Therapy?

Most people have heard about the devastating health effects of heavy metals toxicity. The list of heavy metals is long, along with the myriad illnesses they can cause. Chronic exposure can result in damaged body organs and may increase the risk of cancer. This begs the question: Could the vast exposure to heavy metals be one reason so many Americans are being diagnosed with cancer? I would say, ABSOLUTELY! Cancer is right behind heart disease, as one of the leading causes of death.

A commonly asked question is: “Where does heavy metal toxicity come from?” Heavy metal exposure can come from the very water that we drink! Just look what is happening to people affected by the water supply in Flint, Michigan. Other heavy metals are found in our food, medication and the environment. They are present in the air, dust, soil and many manmade products. Unfortunately, heavy metals can be easily absorbed by our skin and just by simply breathing and eating. 

Some common symptoms of heavy metal poisoning: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Exposures can cause heart abnormalities, anemia, behavior changes and brain dysfunction such as memory loss.

There’s currently a lot of controversy around the theory that aluminum metal is a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease. When you see how many products contain aluminum and the massive number of people effected by Alzheimer’s, it really should make you wonder.  

Even if Chelation Therapy only helped the body detoxify from heavy metals and reduced the amount of cancer cases, don’t you think that would be enough of a reason to do it?

The fact is, Chelation Therapy does much more. In addition to helping rid the body of heavy metal pollution, which many experts believe is a cardiovascular risk, it also helps the body remove build-up in the cardiovascular (circulatory) system. The heart and blood vessels consist of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules and veins. Studies have shown EDTA has reduced atherosclerotic plaque and other mineral deposits throughout the cardiovascular system, especially the hardened arteries around the heart.

There is no question, Chelation is the answer to reducing Heart Disease, the number one cause of death in America today. EDTA Chelation not only treats heart disease, it can also prevent heart attacks and strokes. Listen to this mans testimony. He had a heart attack and stent put in, and was on a lot of medications. He didn’t like how he felt so he stopped taking the medications he was on and started Chelation Therapy. Since his Chelation treatments, he has had no more symptoms or difficulties since.

Stroke and cerebrovascular diseases are the fifth cause of death in America. They can develop from a variety of causes, including atherosclerosis where the arteries become narrow. This can cause blood clot in an artery of the brain.

If you are reading this article and looking at the links I have included, you’re probably saying to yourself… “if Chelation Therapy really does so much good for one’s health, why haven’t I heard of it?”

The sad reality is that America’s present medical system heavily profits from treating health problems rather than preventing them. Though Chelation Therapy has been used for many years, it has been largely suppressed due to the current medical profit model. It has only been in the last few years that it has received public acknowledgement for studies such as TACT. Yet, Chelation still isn’t covered by insurance nor offered by most MD’s (Doctor of Medicine) or DO’s (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine).

But there’s some good news: There are doctors trained in Chelation Therapy who are providing it to their patients with great success. Typically they are Naturopathic Doctors or MD, MD(H) who have a second license to practice holistic medicine. For more information on where to find a doctor in your area who is certified in Chelation Therapy, please visit

I encourage you to educate yourself on this amazing therapy. Education is key, as is prevention. Along with Chelation, some other great therapies that help your body detox include regular infrared sauna’s, colon hydrotherapy and eating organic fresh produce. We live in a toxic world and detoxifying our bodies is absolutely essential in order to live healthy and happy lives.



Tags:  chelation therapy  EDTA  heavy metal 

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How to Manage Chronic Inflammation and Pain

Posted By Featured Guest: Holli Richardson , Friday, August 2, 2019

Millions of Americans are living with chronic pain and inflammation, and while there are many different treatment options available, there is no one right way to manage the discomfort. It’s a very personal choice that can take some time to find, as the causes for inflammation tend to vary from person to person. In general, inflammation stems from the immune system’s response to something harmful, and it is actually the first sign that your body is healing. However, chronic inflammation that takes a long time to go away can lead to other issues, such as cancer or arthritis, and that’s when this issue becomes a bigger problem.

The good news is that there are many different things you can do to treat systemic inflammation, from changing your diet and taking medication to making certain herbs a part of your daily routine. In fact, cannabis has shown in studies to be effective in helping people manage chronic inflammation, so it may be worth researching when you’re ready to look for treatments.

Here are a few tips on how to manage chronic inflammation and pain.

Learn More About Medicinal Marijuana

Cannabis has shown in studies to be beneficial for many people who are suffering from various types of pain. However, marijuana comes in many forms, so it’s important to learn and understand the differences between them before you talk to your doctor. Read up on the key words and phrases surrounding marijuana for medical use so you’ll feel confident in starting a conversation with your doctor about it. Also, make sure you know about potential side effects as well.

Change Your Diet

Many people who experience chronic pain from issues such as a slipped disc in their spine have found that changing their diet is extremely helpful in managing the pain. Adding things like olive oil, dark leafy greens, nuts and berries, and fish while reducing refined sugars and red meat can have big effects on inflammation. Not only that, but it can also help you lose a little weight as well, which in itself can help you manage inflammation. Talk to your doctor about how you can change your diet for the better, and look for ways you can make substitutions for things.

Reduce Stress

Some doctors believe that chronic inflammation might be caused by stress, so if you’re suffering from pain, now is a great time to make some changes to your lifestyle that will help you relax. You might create a bedtime routine that will help you unwind after a long day so you can get quality sleep, or talk to your boss about making some alterations to your workload so you can take a break now and then. Think about the stressors in your life and how you can be proactive in reducing or removing them. That might include asking for help with things like running the household or understanding your limits so you can rest instead of overworking yourself.

Get Moving

If your job requires you to sit at a desk all day, consider investing in a standing workstation on wheels so you can move around. Studies have shown that just 20 minutes of activity per day can work wonders for pain, inflammation, blood pressure, and the immune system. It can even help individuals who are living with type 2 diabetes. So, talk to your doctor about the right workout for you, or start with something low-impact, such as yoga, swimming, or walking.

Managing chronic pain and inflammation can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. By taking care of your body and listening to your needs, you can create a plan for reducing pain and swelling that will carry you through for years to come.

About the author: Holli Richardson is a holistic health enthusiast who has experienced the benefits of the practice. She writes to share, inform, guide and introduce people to holistic health practices that can improve our lives.

Tags:  bedtime routine  bedtime routine beneficial causes chronic pain   beneficial  causes  chronic pain  diet  Holli Richardson  inflammation  manage  refined sugars  standing workshops  stress  treat systemic inflammation 

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Integrative Medicine And Substance Abuse Treatment

Posted By, Friday, May 3, 2019
Substance abuse and addiction can affect the physical, mental, and spiritual health of an individual, which is why many believe that substance abuse recovery should address these unique factors to aid in the recovery process.

Over 18 million Americans (18 and older) suffered a substance use disorder in 2017. Of these cases, about 75 percent struggled with alcohol abuse, 36 percent with illicit drugs, and 11 percent with both illicit drugs and alcohol misuse.

Integrative medicine is growing in popularity in the U.S. Across the country, the use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors has increased in U.S. adults from 2012 to 2017. Because integrative medicine provides a wide array of treatment options, many are still being researched for their effectiveness in treating substance abuse.

However, preliminary research has indicated that integrative medicine has had many positive results in treating substance use disorders, especially when there is a co-occurring mental health issue, as this form of treatment can identify and assess the needs of both issues.

Substance abuse treatment that employes integrative medicine is a personalized strategy that considers the individuals' unique conditions, needs, and circumstances, and uses the most appropriate means of intervention.

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine addresses a full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences to personalize healthcare treatment to the individual. Compared with other treatment types that only focus on curing the symptoms, integrative medicine works to restore and maintain health and wellness across a person’s lifespan.

The term integrative means multiple different methods used together, instead of only focusing on traditional medicine. However, integrative medicine is not the same as alternative medicine and has several key components, including:

● The individual and healthcare providers are partners in the healing process.
● All factors influencing health are considered including mind, body, spirit, and community of the individual.
● Providers use healing sciences to aid the body's natural healing processes.
● Natural and less invasive interventions are used whenever possible.

While complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments, such as herbal remedies and acupuncture have grown in popularity over the last decade in the United States, these are only a piece of integrated medicine.

How Can Integrative Medicine Help During Substance Abuse Recovery?

Individuals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction know how this disease can influence every part of their lives and the lives of others. Integrative medicine is helpful, not only during recovery treatment but also after treatment is completed.

Integrative medicine is inquiry-driven and remains flexible so that it can address new issues as they arise, which makes it very useful for adapting to individual circumstances. The very core of integrative medicine is to improve the individuals quality of life. The same is true for people recovering from drug or alcohol abuse.

Addiction is a long-term condition, known for periods of relapse and recovery. Integrative medicine helps address the complex needs of someone recovering from addiction, giving them a useful tool to use during their recovery.

Choosing A Recovery Program With An Integrative Approach to Treatment

Ideally, any form of substance abuse treatment an individual chooses to participate in should work together with the care of a primary care physician or mental health professional who is familiar with the pits and downfalls of addiction.

Integrative medicine is based on keeping the whole person healthy. In addition to treating the symptoms of substance abuse, it also looks at the cause of the disease to help individuals better maintain their recovery.

Different recovery programs will have different approaches to how they use integrative medicine, but it is now considered to be one of the most effective ways of addressing substance abuse recovery.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — The National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2017
National Institute on Drug Abuse — Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health — Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name?

Tags:  Abuse  addiction  alternative  healing  integrative  medicine  methods  programs  recovery  substance  treatment 

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Salmon Green Chili Omelet

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2 eggs per person

Add whatever liquid you prefer; skim milk, almond or other milk (I add water) and whisk thoroughly

2 or 3 large peeled and minced chilies

2 or 3 inch square of cooked salmon, crushed with fork

Add chilies and salmon and stir well

Pour ingredients into a frying pan heated with a tablespoon or so of grapeseed oil

Sprinkle with preferred cheese, cheddar is really good with this dish

Cook over low to medium heat until the edges have congealed and omelet has cooked through.

Carefully loosen one side and gently flip over to make omelet.

Finish cooking to degree of preference: soft, medium or well cooked!

Sprinkle with pepper and turmeric and decorate with a sprig of fresh basil.


My grandmother made an omelet envied by all. She also made the best scrambled eggs. Her secret? Leave the eggs alone while they’re cooking. She would say, “People keep stirring them while they’re cooking and ruin them!” 

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A Fall Ritual in the Land of Enchantment

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP,, Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On a crisp Saturday morning in September, lines are forming outside the wooden barrier that keeps the chili lovers safely separated from the flames of the chili roasters. From the moment you step outside your vehicle, the scintillating aroma of roasting chili captures your attention, conjuring up memories associated with this unique odor and time of the year. It is just another one of the many annual traditions in New Mexico and it brings out the diehards in droves.  My favorite stand is Wagner’s Farm in Corrales, a small agricultural community outside Albuquerque, owned by four generations of the Wagner family since 1910. Besides the fresh produce, they have hay rides, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze and a petting zoo which makes for a busy day for the children.

Ristras are red chilies hung from twine, which serve a dual purpose: to keep a ready supply nearby that one can simply pick off the rope and also to offer a bright visual that is a work of art. They are strung across the face of the farm stand in different sizes, casting a welcoming banner. Inside the “stand,” which is really a full sized building, there is bin after bin of fresh produce, from corn, squash, peaches, pumpkins, okra, green beans, cucumbers and jalapenos to melons, varieties of apples and of course a whole wall of chili options from the mildest to the extra hot, in either bushel or standard burlap bag size. If you have the freezer space and want your chili to last all winter, most folks grab the large burlap bag, throw it into the cart, pay for it with cash or a check, (no credit card accepted), and take it outside to the roasting area to await their turn. Today the line is long and the customers take this opportunity to catch up with each other on the local news.

These farm stands are all over New Mexico during the chili harvest season, well known throughout the world as simply the best chili there is. Even next door in Arizona, the taste cannot be compared to the crop that is harvested in the Land of Enchantment. Fortunately today, those who live far away need not be deprived as many varieties can be bought on the internet. However, the experience of getting your chili freshly roasted is truly a treat. The aroma will stay in the vehicle for several days and it smells just wonderful. Once home, the chili must cool down so the sack is opened and allowed to cool to room temperature. Some like to peel their chilies before freezing, which makes it easier when you want to use them later. Others freeze it with the skins on as the chilies are easily peeled as they are defrosting at a later time. I use both quart and gallon bags to allow for a more appropriate amount for any given dish. A gallon bag would definitely go into a large green chili stew; several from a small bag would go into a batch of scrambled eggs.

One of my favorite breakfasts is a salmon and green chili omelet. My favorite chili is the Sandia hot variety, which has a nice warming effect on the tummy without an actual burning sensation. If I have a grilled salmon steak for dinner, I put some aside to put in an omelet later. Along with two or three chilies and some melted cheese on top, it is a wonderful meal to start off the day.

Buen Provecho!

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Tags:  Carol Hunter  recipe 

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CardioRetinometry Solves Many Deficiencies

Posted By Dr. Sydney J. Bush [paid advertisement], Monday, September 25, 2017


In 2002 Prof Steve Hickey declared with Dr Hilary Roberts in their book "Ridiculous Dietary Allowance" that...CardioRetinometry represents a new and quantifiable method for derivation of vitamin C requirements. The following papers reveal the evidence for the need of an urgent and total revision of vitamin C needs now exposing the origins of a vast variety of fatal diseases associated with different degrees of deficiency and never suspected of holding the key to almost all non-violent premature deaths.

The recent SUN paper produced in Spain shows over 50% of cardiovascular deaths to be so linked.

Published less than a month ago, Nutrients 2017, 9(9), 954; doi:10.3390/nu9090954  Article "Vitamin C Intake is Inversely Associated with Cardiovascular Mortality in a Cohort of Spanish Graduates:" The SUN Project [Nerea Martín-Calvo, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González] proves over 50 Direct correlation reduction of heart events with small supplements of vitamin C in 13,421 participants in their 40s.

This wealth of data supports Sydney Bush´s finding that over more than a decade in his contact lens clinic, dispensing 200 gram pots of sodium ascorbate powder, that there were no deaths at all from CHD and the only myocardial infarcts and deaths were amongst those who rejected the advice to supplement with it.

 The evidence for reduction of CHD by ascorbate is now overwhelming and the new science iof CardioRetinometry enables its precise derivation of individual biological need by direct quantification effects on the retinal vasculature.

 If vitamin C had been killing people like Vioxx, the debate would have long been over. It is now appropriate for me to inform everyone of the original statements made in the Hull University thesis on  CardioRetinometry that was published by Paul Francis BSc.

 He talks of a paradigm shift in medicine that is fully supported by the thesis of Dr. Sam Wallace DO, that I sent you yesterday that will be published in an `open access´ journal before the end of the month. I think you will agree that the language of both researchers leads to the conclusion that we are indeed observing a paradigm shift in health  care. It is worth mentioning, before I quote his words from his thesis, that Francis himself was astonished at the degree of atherogenesis caused by his stress with the task of researching CardioRetinometry, and the happy outcome when, under direction, he accepted the nutritional supplementation that he was able to record showing the recovery of his own arteries"

The quoted section below is precisely as he wrote it and members should now be in  no doubt whatever that with this supporting evidence, they are obliged to take note and offer the new prevention which represents the greatest advance in medicine as they suggest since Helmhotlz enabled fundus inspection and removes guesswork from treatment by observation of precisely measurable cardiovascular pathology.

"Accurate measurement of vessel structures in retinal images plays an important role in diagnosing cardiovascular diseases. (CVD). This paper presents a method for the direct quantification of vessel geometry and texture in retinal images associated with increased oral intake of vitamin C.

Using models of vessel intensity profile presented and applied across a series of time lapse images, results are presented for their variation.  The developed methods were used to analyse retinal vessel variation across images taken over a 6 month period of a healthy white male taking oral supplementation of vitamin C.

This study found that direct quantification of variation across images was achieved using the models of vessel intensity profile, and that variation across images was affected by machine accuracy, image capture and vessel segmentation techniques.More accurate quantification of the changes witnessed requires the enhancement of existing instrumentation and diagnostic techniques to facilitate the increase in accuracy in the measurement of arterial deposits via retinal image analysis.

A limitation however may be the natural resolution of the human eye which deteriorates with age. Automated analysis of sequential images is envisaged with the evolution of the system to produce graphed predictions of life expectancy corresponding with degrees of regression of atherosclerosis achieved coupled with rates of change, quantification, possibly using ocular coherence tomography in absolute terms of the volume of plaque removed, with brief periods of reversion to the earlier diet and supplementation (or the lack of it ) in order to assess rate of regression.

These elements factored in from data gathered during the phase of retolysis are expected with suitable refinement to produce three graphs

 (1)The previously expected ‘normal’ life expectancy at each age.

(2) A graph superimposed on the first, showing the actual gain of CV life expectancy achieved by arrestation of atherogenesis.

(3) A graph above the others predicting total life expectancy factoring in the rate of regression which is anticipated to increase with age.


METHOD. Sequential fundus imaging ideally not less than biannually; Manual scanning by rapid alternation of images that would otherwise superimpose, allowing quick judgment of increase or decrease of retinal and atherosclerosis, retinal and papillary perfusion changes, curvilinear, blood - flow and lumen changes.

RESULTS: Informal study of images captured in 1998 were noted in 1999 to have started showing consistent atherolysis claimed by patients to have resulted from either extra vitamin C, dietary or lifestyle improvements. A hundred claimed in writing that they attributed the improvements to one or the other, a high proportion insisting that their sodium L - ascorbate or vitamin C tablets had effected the transformations.

CONCLUSION: After 150 years,a new system of healthcare has been revealed which may finally bring to mankind the full benefits of Helmholtz’ 1851 invention of the ophthalmoscope.

A multitude of nutritional and medical challenges to the retinal vasculature might now be evaluated for improving health, e.g.individual assessment the ideal duration of treatment with statins, Because of the dramatic effects seen and the removal of guesswork from the controversial correlation of blood fats and cholesterol to actual atherogenesis, urgent evaluation of this discovery is recommended for the establishment of better healthcare and real cardiovascular life extension in what might be the first paradigm shift in medicine since Pasteur"


The next course for the Diploma in  CardioRetinometry starts in October. To learn more contact Professor Sydney J. Bush at or visit  

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Chilled Cucumber Soup

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Friday, September 15, 2017


4 large cucumbers

½ cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup fresh dill

2 tablespoons dried tarragon

1 avocado (optional)

6 scallions, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 cup vegetable broth

1/8 cup virgin olive oil

1/8 cup lemon juice

1 cup Greek yogurt

Sea salt and pepper to taste


1). Peel, split lengthwise and remove seeds. Then chop into small pieces.

2). Chop the parsley, garlic cloves, dill and scallions.

3) Add to blender: olive oil, lemon juice, and broth. Then add the cucumbers, parsley, garlic, dill and scallions. Then add the Greek yogurt and the avocado. ( Save a bit of dill for top dressing)

4) Blend well on medium speed until veges are pureed, then run on high until mixture is well blended and creamy.

5) Chill either overnight or make it first thing in the morning so it has a good 8 hours or so of chilling time before dinner.

6) Decorate each bowl with a few slices of cucumber, topped by a handful of small chopped purple onion and a sprinkling of extra dill.

7) Voila! Your fresh garden soup is ready. Don’t be afraid to experiment with proportions. Some people like more Greek yogurt, some less like me! Don’t expect to taste the avocado as it gets lost in this recipe, but it contributes to creaminess and nutrition!

Bon appetite!

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A Digital Blackout Day

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Friday, September 15, 2017

One of the things I love about blogging is featuring people and their businesses that I believe are making a contribution to the betterment of the human race in one way or another. A note of caution is that there are many who are doing just that outside my frame of reference or understanding, so to those physicists out there, I apologize. Over a year ago I came across Darren Hardy, a psychologist. I would call him a motivational speaker with a genuine ability to connect with others.  On one particular day he talked about taking a break from the digital world. I stopped and thought about how important this was. After all, I was just like everyone else, waiting in the grocery checkout line, checking my email messages on my phone. And checking them again in the doctor’s waiting room, and oh yea, the vet’s waiting room, as my dogs paced around me. Yes, feeling connected to everyone on the rest of the planet is good but like everything in life, it can be overdone to the point where you have trouble relaxing, where you now have a chain around your neck, and it’s heavy.

My designated day was Friday because I have it off, so I gave some thought as to how I would proceed. Hmmm, sometimes Friday is the only day I get a chance to talk to my daughters, when they are busy with their weekend plans. Some work related topic invariably comes up on a Friday. Medication refill requests and other telephone and paperwork requests keep cropping up, reminding me of scooping out a shovelful of sand on the beach, only to have it immediately fill up with water. As fast as I can address the issues, more take their place. I pondered how I would accomplish such a feat. Here is what Darren Hardy said and I really love his words:

Disconnect Day
A day for undisturbed creative production or rest and recovery
A day when my grand intentions will not be squandered in the vortex of reacting to the solicitations of other people’s agendas

I will declare a Disconnect Day to avoid the siren call of the Matrix
I will have a day unencumbered by the demands of the digital world
I will be free for 24 hours -

His words are worth thinking about. How would you go about setting aside such a day? I haven’t found it to be easy, but I have found it to be a very worthwhile goal. It definitely helps to plan ahead. First, how are you going to spend this precious, unencumbered time? Face to face time with family and friends are most likely number one on the list, but a little alone time never hurts. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to paint? To play an instrument? To take your dog on a full day’s hike to that picture of the quiet lake in your brain?  What about the opportunity to take on that project around the house you’ve been putting off? Mine is painting the patio furniture. Don’t forget about some pampering like a massage or bath in essential oils. Any time spent outside the digital grid is good and nourishing to the soul. I believe that this sacred time helps to shore up our defenses against the inevitable stress of daily life. Life will always be throwing curveballs at us and yesterday was a good example. My automatic gate did not close all the way and despite the small gap, all three of my dogs squeezed through and decided to go on an adventure. Thankfully, they hadn’t wandered very far and were busy sniffing bushes, but I hate to think how that would have played out had I not been home. So, grab a bowl of fresh, delicious cucumber soup and get started on your digital checkout day. You’ll be glad you did.

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Happy Summer 2017!

Posted By Carol Hunter , Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 1, 2017

This month I am just couldn’t resist a recipe for a summer desert. But first the history! When I was 21, I baked my first soufflé. You see, my parents in law were European and they served meals with artistry and finesse and expected the same from their young daughter in law. When they visited from Austria, I was at full attention, doing my utmost best to impress them. Sometimes that worked, as it did with the “chicken in aspic” which, much to my surprise, turned out to look just like the pictures and tasted good. Other times it was a complete disaster and the disaster was a soufflé. I had decided to bake a cheese soufflé and had the recipe, the soufflé dish and the determination. I remembered once during my growing up years, we had a chocolate soufflé for dessert and it was heaven. But I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I made that fateful decision.

The day of the dinner for my parents in law, I had everything assembled and was ready for the task. I started the preparation and then I came to whipping the egg whites. I whipped and I whipped and I whipped again, but the glossy peaks never formed. Not having any idea what was wrong, I put the batch aside and began with a fresh bunch of eggs. That didn’t work either and I started fretting about the cause because dinner was right around the corner. Believe it or not, I gave up after a dozen eggs had been vigorously whirled without forming stiff peaks. I was forced to ditch the beautiful result in my mind and accept reality. OK, so what can we have for dinner for your lovely parents without them knowing my distraught state? I can’t even remember what we ended up having for dinner because my mind was nestled in that failure.

Fast forward to the game of life where things still don’t always go as planned. Much later I realized the problem had been the egg whites. They don’t like to be whipped when they are cold. Many recipes fail to provide the advice to set the eggs out so they can go to room temperature. What a difference that makes! Take the eggs out hours ahead if you can. One hour will not be long enough. Then you will get that beautiful result in which the glossy peaks form. Souffles are a spectacular dish to be cherished and eaten quickly.

A couple more tips. Your soufflé dish will not be tall enough so put a collar of foil around the sides so that it can rise up as high as it can. While cooking, place it in another pan with water to have a water bath; it needs the moisture. Another thing is that you can make a soufflé out of just about anything, from cheese, to chocolate to fruits. It can be a main course with a salad or a dessert.

Since it is summer and peach season, my recipe calls for fresh peaches. The  better quality peach, the better the results.

I wish all of you a wonderful summer: drinking slushies under a summer sun, strolling on a boardwalk along the coast, lying in a field of clover and watching the moon just for the fun of it; waterskiing on the lake; relaxing in a hammock reading another great book; barbecues with family and friends; and my favorite, seeing my vegetables blossom into an edible, luscious crop!

                                                Georgia Peach Souffle by Chef Virgina Willis. I used this recipe as a base, but substituted some of the ingredients.


3 tablespoons unsalted Earth Balance buttery spread, olive oil

3 large fresh peaches

Juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

7 large egg whites, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ organic coconut palm sugar (replaces sugar in 1:1 ratio)

Confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter six 8 ounce ramekins or a one quart soufflé dish. Set aside in a small pan filled with water.

In a food processor, add the peeled and chopped peaches, the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and puree until very smooth.

In a heavy duty mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt on medium speed for several minutes until foamy. Add one tablespoon of sugar and beat on high speed until the whites hold soft peaks, one to two minutes. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on high speed until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted.

Add about a quarter of the beaten egg whites to the peach puree and gently fold it in until well mixed. . Pour this mixture over the remaining egg whites and fold them together as gently as possible.

Spoon the mixture into the dish(es) and surround the dish(es) with a piece of foil that extends the height of the dish. Set it in a dish of water and put in the oven.

The directions said 8 to 10 minutes but that was not nearly enough cooking time. I kept cooking in five minute increments until the top was golden brown and the top of the soufflé was above the top of the dish. I cooked mine about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with the confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.

Bon appetite!

Tags:  dessert  healthy living  summer 

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Remembering Dr. Warren M. Levin, MD

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 27, 2017

The staff and leadership at ACAM are remembering and honoring a pioneer in Integrative Medicine, Dr. Warren M. Levin, MD, in light of his recent passing last Friday at the age of 79. 

Not only did Dr. Levin open the first alternative medical center in NYC in 1974, but his landmark defense of his medical license in NY culminated in a 1994 decision in his favor, which paved the way for the continuation and advancement in the field throughout the country. He touched countless lives with his vision for health and well being long before it was commonplace to think in those terms. He is survived by his loving wife, Susan; children Beth Galan, Julie Levin (Marc) and Erika Needleman (Matt); brother Joel Levin; grandchildren Dave & Chris Galan, Karina Rahardja & Emi Daigle; Binah, Mindy & Chaim Needleman.
We are so grateful for his groundbreaking work in Functional Medicine and would not be where we are today without his invaluable contributions to the field. He was a revered doctor to his patients and a pillar of the integrative health community at large.
ANH-USA has established a memorial fund in his name to honor and continue his work in Integrative Medicine. All money raised through this fund will go directly to the advancement of Integrative/Functional Medicine. Please donate today and help ANH-USA honor his legacy. 

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What is Assisted Outpatient Treatment?

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Saturday, July 1, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017

There are many family members who struggle with trying to manage a love one with mental illness. I have watched this heartbreaking problem over the last four decades and finally we have a solution that applies some teeth to the issue. It is called Assisted Out Patient treatment and it is a court monitored program of the severely mentally ill who meet certain criteria. One such criterion is that the person must have been hospitalized at least several times over a certain span of time. This program has become law in almost all states but there are a few holdouts. My own state of New Mexico has been slow getting on the bandwagon and to date, we only have one city participating in AOT.  AOT is a result of Kendra’s Law in which a young woman was pushed in front of a train in 1999 by an untreated schizophrenic in New York.

First, it is important to address the issue of medication nonadherence, sometimes called noncompliance. It is due to a psychiatric phenomenon called “anosognosia” whereby an afflicted person lacks the insight to realize that they have serious mental disorder. Due to this process, it is common for people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to stop taking their medication. While the act itself of stopping the medication is willful, the insight to make a logical decision is absent; therefore, there is no blame assigned to these disordered individuals. They simply don’t see the need for it and often blame their resistance on side effects. While side effects are certainly a valid issue, we prescribers use every available strategy to minimize such events. Stopping the medication results in a decompensation into psychosis, characterized by hallucinations, delusions or mental disorganization, such that the afflicted person often becomes a danger to self or others in the community.

I am clearly a proponent of this new federal program simply because I have witnessed the desperation of family members far too often. Family members often are in fear for their lives in the middle of the night and commonly have to put away all sharp and potentially dangerous objects in the household. They struggle to help their loved one as best as they can, locking up medication and administering it, volunteering to be a court appointed treatment guardian and learning all they can about the illness from organizations like NAMI (National Association for the Mentally Ill.) However they can’t do this alone and need as much community support as they can get from prescribers, therapists, community support workers and psychosocial rehabilitation staff. They also need the court system and I can verify that patients often listen more closely to judges than their doctors.

 I have served as an expert witness in many competency hearings for both adults and children and when I was teaching, I would regularly take my students to the courtroom to observe the proceedings. I have personally witnessed patients with schizophrenia on an inpatient unit mumble to themselves in the morning, responding to the voices in their heads, and several hours later, answer questions appropriately by a judge. The patient is represented by an attorney usually with a degree of expertise in the mental health field and the physician/provider is there to represent the state. While most physicians/providers put forth a logical and convincing argument for treatment, the judge is paying close attention to the behavior of the defendant. If he or she is able to convince the judge that they are of sound mind and judgment, he or she will be discharged and free to discontinue their medication without further monitoring. Down the road, the cycle begins again when the person decompensates and is either hospitalized or incarcerated.  Sometimes they are deemed competent because they are responding well to the current treatment; sometimes they are able to put forth their own convincing argument because they have learned what buzz words to use in front of the judge. 

I have recently experienced this phenomenon myself. After having worked very hard to persuade three of my schizophrenic patients to take the long acting antipsychotic injectable medication that eliminates oral medications, all three decided to discontinue after having shown noticeable improvements in mood, behavior and functioning. Since there is no AOT program in this community, the family and I stood helplessly by and watched the inevitable process of decompensation begin. This is a tragic and unnecessary cycle that should be stopped.

While opponents to this program cite violation of civil liberties, statistics have shown that due to the effectiveness of AOT, the capacity of the mentally ill to exercise civil liberties is restored and there is a reduction of incarceration, hospitalization, suicide, homelessness and victimization. (

If you are facing this devastating challenge in your own family, find out if AOT has been instituted in your state. If not, write to your representatives and ask why not. The internet address above is a great source of information on the topic. Inform yourself, then get involved and make your voice heard. No one can speak to this issue as well as a family member. 

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Cooking ahead for the week.

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Saturday, July 1, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017

One of the challenges we all face with our diet is having the time to prepare a nutritious meal. If we wait until the last minute at the end of the day to think about what we will have for dinner, chances are we are tired and want to avoid standing, chopping, stirring, etc. One solution to this problem is cooking something for the week ahead that provides a foundational source of nutrition that can then be varied.

I like to promote products that I think will be useful to my readership and one that I have tried for the past year has proven to be tried and true. It is the VERSA 8-in-1 Multi-Cooker and it is a combination pressure cooker and slow cooker. It also allows you to saute, brown, simmer and steam. It comes with a recipe book that his handy. I absolutely love this cooker which comes in different sizes.

My typical preparation on Sunday is to combine two whole grains of my choice, adding in different vegetables and often legumes. You can prepare a delicious meal in minutes with the pressure cooker feature which includes a button for brown rice, white rice, yogurt and risotto.

So here’s an idea of a dish you could prepare in advance and then vary it by combining different greens:

Place 3 to 4 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in bottom of liner and push saute button, then start button. You have 30 minutes of saute time while chopping and adding your vegetables and grains.

Add ½ cup chopped carrots

Add ½ cup chopped celery

Add one medium chopped onion

Add a cup of chopped mushrooms

Add ½ cup chopped bell peppers

Add 1/8 tsp ground cardamom

1/8 tsp fennel seed

1/8 tsp whole cumin seed

1/8 tsp celery seed

½ tsp tumeric

Saute all vegetables until translucent, then stir in:

 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup of millet for approximately 5 minutes

Add in 5 cups of vegetable broth( 3 for rice, 1 each for veges and millet)

Then hit stop button. Secure pressure cooker lid and follow safety directions. Hit the “brown rice” button, then hit Start. The timer will not start counting until the proper pressure has been reached. Cook time is quick, 20 minutes. Once the pressure has been released and the lid opened, do not be alarmed if you still see water. It will absorb if you keep the lid closed for another 10 minutes or so. You need to experiment a bit with the amount of water to add. If I am adding in a cup of beans, I will add in one cup of water for the beans.

You can put some chopped kale or other green on top of the grain dish and it will steam by the time you sit down to eat. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. The grain dish can be used for breakfast with an egg on top or tofu crumble. Experiment with other healthy grains like quinoa and lentils. This Sunday preparation has been a life saver throughout the following busy week. But the time Thursday arrives, I am a bit tired of it and ready to think about the next dish!! Next on my slow cooker agenda is homemade chicken soup- good all year round!! Bon Appetit!


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The Foundation of Health

Posted By Carol Hunter , Friday, May 26, 2017

I have written about vitamin and mineral supplementation before in The Link, but for those of us who provide healthcare services, we are very aware of its importance as a foundational step towards excellent health.  In our practices, we confront the consequences of subclinical malnutrition, the inadequacy of our current mainstream diet, the ongoing riptide of pesticide sequelae, and the established medical resistance towards supplementation on a daily basis. Most importantly, we are challenged by the lack of financial support for preventive services and that includes supplementation. We have made a bit of progress as now many multivitamins, vitamin D and sometimes melatonin are covered by Medicaid. That is more important than I can say because although many of my patients are willing to follow through on supplementation, they cannot afford to do so unless their insurer cooperates. The lower socioeconomic groups need these supplements the most. I know because I follow them from one hospitalization to the next. 

My job is to keep them out of the hospital, at least in terms of their mental health.  But who is to say that the 35 year old young woman who was hospitalized with serious suicidal ideation wasn’t deficient in iron, vitamin B6 or vitamin C or D? Since we do not normally test for vitamin deficiencies, we may not discover the underlying culprit for those life threatening thoughts. Iron deficiency can result in poor concentration and lack of energy, symptoms that are complained about frequently in mental health. B6 deficiency can also lead to depression and anxiety, causing decreased amounts of serotonin, the feel good hormone, dopamine, and melatonin. Decreased melatonin can produce all types of sleep disorders from trouble falling asleep, to middle insomnia, to early morning awakening. Of all the complaints I hear every day from patients, the number one complaint is inability to cope with stress. Aside from the psychologic component that reflects inadequate coping skills, there is a physiologic basis for this as well. Vitamin C is stored in the adrenal glands and how often have we heard that term “adrenal exhaustion?” Some blame poor adrenal response on consuming too much coffee, but vitamin C deficiency would be a better guess. Vitamin C is crucial in producing many important hormones and neurotransmitters in the body and when norepinephrine, thyroxin and dopamine are depleted, it takes its toll on a person’s ability to fight daily stress.

Our lifestyle today is largely unhealthy. Picture this: after a poor night’s sleep and awakening in an irritable mood, a person fights the stress of congested traffic to arrive at work to put in 8 hours or more under fluorescent lights in an artificial environment with too much noise, not enough time to eat, relax, and oftentimes even use the restroom. The pace of the work world does not wait for those who can’t keep up with its demands and these demands can become overwhelming. When the usual coping mechanisms no long seem to work, a host of unhealthy responses can set in, from shutting down and falling into a serious depression in which a person struggles to even get out of bed to becoming irate and flying into a rage that puts others at potential risk. Another response is to consume excessive alcohol or any of the many illicit substances that are so easy to come by today but which wreak complete havoc on a person’s life.

I recently listened to Dr. Tieraona Low Dog’s webinar on “Silent epidemic: the Hidden Dangers of Nutrient Deficiencies” sponsored by Emerson Ecologics. By the end of the presentation, I was in tears confronting the possibility that in my efforts to help patients by prescribing potent medications, I could have actually worsened their condition. The medications we utilize in mental health are like all prescription medications, they are extremely potent. Dr. Low Dog talked about the effect of the anticonvulsant drugs depleting vitamin B12 and folate. The anticonvulsants are one of two classes of drugs that we use as mood stabilizers. Along with the SSRIs and SNRIs, there are many medications that contribute to osteoporosis. The only thing that made me feel a little better is the fact that for as long as I can remember, I have recommended a multi vitamin/mineral supplement for ALL my patients and over the years, vitamin D3, fish oils and melatonin are also on the list. For those who feel that they can’t cope, a high stress vitamin B complex with 100% of the recommended amount of each B vitamin, is suggested. I am happy to say most follow through and I like to think that overall, my patients get better.

Dr. Low Dog also addressed the true origins of our deficiency syndromes, the lack of soil quality in which our food is grown along with the extensive use of pesticides today. I would add that another factor is well meaning but incorrect dietary advice from the medical community, pushing us to eat egg whites and throw out the perfect yolk, containing all nutrients to sustain life except vitamin C. Poor dietary habits along with small daily exposure to those nasty “endocrine disrupters” have most likely contributed to a burgeoning number of children with attention deficit disorder. Instead of examining the true cause, we throw more potent medications at these children and although I am licensed to do just that, I have my serious reservations about it. I have lived long enough to know that when I was growing up, there was no such thing as ADHD. Why has the inability to concentrate in so many children reached epidemic proportions today? I think we need to take a closer look at the physiologic origins of the problem.

With the deleterious consequences of poor nutrition in mind, it is inspiring to come across an agricultural business that is “safe for people, plants and pets!” I get a lot of catalogues and one that definitely caught my attention is “Spray-N-Grow,” a trio of organic plant foods developed by a chemist and father, Bill Muskopf, from Rockport, TX. There are three different products that when combined in a spray delivers the “Perfect Blend.” Rather than targeting the root system, these nutrients are sprayed right on the leaves where they make their way down the stems to the roots. The catalogue states that “foliar feeding is up to 10X more efficient than root feeding.” The first product is the fertilizer in “a perfect ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.” Next comes the second product, the Spray-N-Grow Micronutrients that are “like vitamins for your plants” and contain calcium, zinc, copper, iron, sodium, magnesium and other compounds. The third part of the trio is the Coco-Wet, which is a nonionic wetting agent that assists the other products to stick better to the leaves for better absorption and is made from all natural coconut oil. I think I have discovered my new approach to developing a beautiful, nutritious garden and look forward to trying out these unique products this summer. There are other products as well for natural pest control and animal repellents. Order a catalogue by phone: 800-323-2363 or go online to

If you haven’t done it thus far, get started on your vitamin supplements and a good quality multi is a good place to start. The information out there is overwhelming and can be confusing, so seek out a trusted professional to guide you through the process. 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding

Posted By Carol Hunter, Friday, May 26, 2017

As summer approaches, we look forward to more fresh fruit selections put together in interesting and nutritious ways. While I love presenting my own recipes, I also love to give credit to those who have offered a unique recipe and this one by “eating” filled the bill. Including a healthy grain in a dessert is a great way to boost nutrition and please the palate at the same time. I always avoid using sugar if I can and substitute with maple syrup; otherwise I stayed with the original ingredients. This fruit combination of strawberry and rhubarb is one of my very favorites and always reminds me of the great pies at our New Mexico State Fair. Bon Appetit!


1/3 cup quinoa

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

¼ cup organic maple syrup plus tablespoon

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation time: 20 minutes active; 1hour 45 minutes until ready

1). Combine 2 cups water in a medium saucepan with rhubarb, strawberries, quinoa, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and lemon zest. Whisk cornstarch with the remaining ¼ cup water in a small bowl. Stir into quinoa mixture, return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly for one minute.

2) Remove from heat. Divide the pudding among 6 bowls and refrigerate until cool, about one hour.

3) Just before serving, combine yogurt, vanilla and the remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup in a small bowl. Top each serving with a generous dollop of vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries, if desired.

Nutrition information: calories per serving: 151; serving size: about 2/3 cup; nutrition bonus: 33% daily value of vitamin C.


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Cannabis Drug Reduces Seizures in Severe Epilepsy Cases

Posted By Maggie Fox & Lauren Dunn - NBC News, Thursday, May 25, 2017

A compound taken from marijuana greatly helped some children with a severe and often deadly form of epilepsy and completely stopped seizures in a very few, researchers reported Wednesday.

It's a rare success in a field suffused with more hope than facts — in which advocates clamor to have marijuana and compounds taken from the herb legalized for free use, while government rules limit use and researchers struggle to prove what works and what doesn't.

In this study, the researchers enrolled kids with Dravet syndrome, a very rare and often deadly form of epilepsy caused by a genetic mutation. These kids have multiple, prolonged seizures that cause brain damage.

There's no treatment.

"It's hard to portray how serious and devastating this is," Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, told NBC News.

Devinsky and colleagues around the country tested a cannabis derivative called cannabidiol — CBD for short — on 120 Dravet syndrome patients.

Half took it for 14 weeks and half got a placebo.


"Seizure frequency dropped in the cannabidiol-treated group by 39 percent from nearly 12 convulsive seizures per month before the study to about six; three patients' seizures stopped entirely," the team wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"In the placebo group, there was a 13 percent reduction in seizures from about 15 monthly seizures to 14," they added.

"Quite remarkably, 5 percent of the children in the active treatment group with CBD were completely seizure free during the 14 weeks of the trial," Devinsky said.

"And these were kids who were often having dozens of seizures, if not many more than that per week."

The kids who got CBD were more likely to stop the trial because of side-effects. "Side-effects were generally mild or moderate in severity, with the most common being vomiting, fatigue and fever," Devinsky wrote.

But those who have been helped have been transformed, he added.

"There's no doubt for some children this is just been an incredibly effective and game changing medication for them," Devinsky said.

"These are some of the children I care for [who] were in wheelchairs, were barely able to open their eyes in an office visit and really showed no emotion and … now they come in, they're walking, they're smiling, they're interactive. It's like a different human being in front of you."

He said it's not quite accurate to called CBD "medical marijuana."

"Cannabidiol is the major non-psychoactive compound present in cannabis or marijuana," Devinsky said.

"In this study, we were giving a compound CBD which has no high-producing or psychoactive properties."

It's highly processed to strict standards. A British company, GW Pharmaceuticals, is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for the product under the brand name Epidiolex.

"The drug we gave was derived from cannabis or marijuana but it really should not be confused with the medical marijuana that would be obtained from dispensaries in the 44 U.S. states that have approved it. Those typically contain combinations of THC with CBD and many other compounds," Devinsky said.


It's not clear precisely how CBD works. It appears to attach to brain cells, he said.

"The CBD binds with a novel receptor in the brain and thereby dampens down too much electrical activity," he said. "It seems to be a relatively unique mechanism of action that's not shared by any of the existing seizure medications."

Doctors are interested in trying CBD on autism, anxiety, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, Devinsky said.

It may help people with other types of seizures, as well. Jack Ziokowski, now 13, has been taking CBD for more than two years.

His seizures started with a viral infection, said his mother Jenny Ziolkowski, who lives in Stamford, Connecticut.


"We got a phone call from the school saying that Jack had had a massive seizure on his first day of first grade," Ziolkowski told NBC News.

"He was having seizure after seizure and they couldn't stop the seizures, and they couldn't figure out what was causing them so he was just hooked up to all these machines and wires," she added.

"He couldn't walk, he couldn't talk, he couldn't feed himself and he couldn't do any of those things."

Jack recovered somewhat but could never be left alone. "The post-illness Jack is not much like the pre-illness Jack," his mother said.

But once Jack started taking CBD, he went six full months without having a seizure and now rarely has one, his parents said.

"That was like a miracle. I mean ... we were actually able to see him grow and make progress," Ziolkowski said.

"He got a skateboard for his 13th birthday three weeks ago."

Australian epilepsy expert Dr. Samuel Berkovic said much more testing is needed. "This trial represents the beginning of solid evidence for the use of cannabinoids in epilepsy," Berkovic, who works at the University of Melbourne, wrote in a commentary.

Devinsky is hopeful.

"For 3,800 years, healers and physicians have been prescribing cannabis and documented that use to treat epilepsy," he said.

"After nearly 4,000 years we for the first time have vigorous scientific data that a compound from cannabis works to treat epilepsy."

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ANH Founder: Food IS Medicine

Posted By Alliance for Natural Health, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The founder of the Alliance for Natural Health, Dr. Robert Verkerk, spoke this past weekend at the Natural and Organic Products Europe conference in London during what is clearly an important time for big ideas, given the changes occurring there.

The potential impact of “Brexit” (the United Kingdom’s “divorce” from the European Union passed by referendum in June 2016) was a focus of the panel discussion. Dr. Verkerk made this all-important point :

One of the biggest problems we have is the intersection of food and medicine law. The reason we have a roadblock, with products being taken off the market, is because medicinal law imposes itself far too often on food law….We’ve now got a very different scientific environment to the one that this regulation grew up in. We now know that food is medicine, we know that exercise is medicine, and therefore we need to re-frame the way that foods can be used for therapeutic benefit, and I think that will yield a fundamental change. I believe we need to review the whole of medicinal law in relation to the use of therapeutic foods. And that could create a possibility of a third route.

Of course, Dr. Verkerk is alluding to the fact that, by law, only government-approved drugs (in the US, only FDA-approved drugs) can claim to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent diseases, even if there are mountains of evidence to show that a natural vitamin or mineral can help with a disease. And because such approval commonly costs billions, only patentable, new-to-nature molecules fit the system. Food, food supplements, and exercise are totally excluded, even though we now know that they are often the most powerful medicine we have.

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VIDEO: Why Other Countries Don't Want American Food

Posted By Alliance for Natural Health, Wednesday, May 24, 2017


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How AMHA Can Meet the Needs of You and Your Patients

Posted By Alexander Lopera, American Health Alliance (AMHA), Monday, May 22, 2017

Far too many people face a debilitating illness such as cancer, Lyme disease, or other conditions that require more energy than normal to fight and endure treatments. But unfortunately, they also face a need to maneuver through the complexities associated with a very complicated insurance and health system. Long-term or grave illnesses often involve recommended treatments that are not covered by insurance or seeing providers that are out-of-network. Or, perhaps conventional treatments and medications are not working. As a result, some patients are seeking alternative, holistic, or naturopathic treatments. However many of these treatments, both overseas and within the U.S., require payment upfront.

As the need for medical help continues and the complexities of dealing with insurance companies becomes an epidemic, more and more patients need someone to help them evaluate every aspect of their hospital stay, possible treatments, and appointments. Not just any help, but someone who will evaluate and assist in the preparation of those billable medical expenses for reimbursement.

Alexander Lopera realized the need for this service. With years of experience working within the insurance and health fields, he founded AMHA - a company that helps remove the stresses of dealing with insurance companies from those who need to save their energy to fight their illness.


The Alternative Myth
Patients are under the assumption that treatments received at alternative clinics are all non-approved; however, that is not the case.  Ancillary services such as lab tests, radiology, diagnostic imaging, consultations, and more, are billable services. AMHA has a team of billing experts who will thoroughly review a patient’s medical bill to identify which aspects of their treatment and medical care are billable. However, each item needs to be properly coded in accordance to rules set forth by the American Medical Association.

In addition, some facilities will give patients a basic bill with a few codes. Thinking that this is enough, the bills are submitted to the insurance company, hoping for a reimbursement. But, when it’s insufficient, as it often is, it will either be delayed or denied. AMHA has worked with providers to help them create a billing template that itemizes the various treatments a patient receives so a claim is submitted with all the necessary information to properly process it.


How the Process Works
Prior to treatment, perspective clients can complete an AMHA patient information form, and then return it to AMHA’s office so it can be evaluated by the trained staff, free of cost. Even though they cannot make any guarantee of coverage, they will have a much better understanding on what coverage the patient may or may not have after evaluation. With this valuable information, they can then instruct you in the best manner to proceed.

After the treatment, the patient will submit a completed AMHA patient information form, along with the medical bill and proof of payment to AMHA’s office. Upon receiving the completed paperwork, the billing staff will determine which treatments and services provided are FDA approved. They will then note them with the appropriate codes and submit the claim for processing. The claim will be followed by AMHA throughout the entire processing stage, until a final decision is made.


 How AMHA Benefits Patients
With the help and expertise of AMHA, many patients can now afford to receive more medical care, due to successful reimbursements by the insurance company. Working on a contingent basis, AMHA will only get paid if they can obtain a reimbursement for a patient. So, there is absolutely no risk in utilizing their professional services.

 Here are some of the services AMHA provide:

  •  Free verification of patient insurance benefits
  •  Professionally and accurately prepared coded claims
  • Certified CPT/ICD10 coders
  • Electronically submitted claims
  • Secondary insurance billing
  • Insurance follow up in a timely manner
  • Level 1 appeals

Alexander Lopera has over 20 years of experience, and has an experienced and dedicated team to help you in your needs. If you feel as though you could benefit from AMHA’s team, or want more information, give them a call at (281) 580-1423 or visit

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Kentucky Derby Pie

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2017


2 eggs

2 TBSP oil (grapeseed)

1 TBSP Kentucky straight bourbon

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup flour (garbanzo bean, gluten free)

4 TBSP pure maple syrup

1 tsp organic blackstrap molasses

½ cup dark brown sugar

8 oz organic buttery spread

1 and a half cups pecan pieces

12 oz package of semisweet chocolate chips

One bottom dough crust (Pillsbury, premade)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Beat eggs in an electric mixer until fluffy

Add oil, vanilla extract, the maple syrup, the molasses and the bourbon until blended.

Beat flour and dark brown sugar into mixture until smooth

Beat in butter until creamy and smooth

Hand stir in the pecan pieces and the chocolate chips

Mould the dough into the bottom and sides of a deep pie dish

Gently stir-fold in the ingredients

Place on a cookie sheet in the 2nd rack of the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until golden brown on top.

Decorate with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Basic recipe courtesy of Thank you 1000 top recipes for this wonderful recipe BUT I just had to make it a bit healthier!!

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“Oh, the sun shines bright…”

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On the first Saturday in May, the “longest two minutes in sports” takes place at Churchill Downs. This May 6th will be the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Truly, there is nothing quite like it in the racing world, as it has evolved into the premier race of the year. Whether you love the beauty and power of the magnificent horses in the field, the splendor and vibrancy of Southern charm, the signature feature of colorful hats and mint juleps or the prospect of choosing the winner, there is something for everyone. In addition, the Barnstable Brown Gala is a charity event that in the last 10 years has donated $13 million to the University of Kentucky's Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center.

For a horse to get to the top 20 contenders, it’s a long and strenuous road. Most all have won a derby somewhere along the way or other prominent race. Some have been undefeated and never lost a race; others have done poorly, suddenly rising like a phoenix out of the pyre. As the race looms closer and closer, the leadership board is constantly changing and horses create their odds. Experts and racing pundits spout their words of wisdom based on formulas, angles, odds and statistics. Some of the experts really do seem to possess the algorithm for success and have a proven track record for calling the winners. Some are talented at identifying the pretenders, the ones who are destined to struggle to keep up. Regardless of all the strategic commotion, there is one basic truth and that is that the race is always unpredictable. The leaders in the field with the most points have the odds in their favor of course, but it’s the dark horse that keeps everyone on their toes. The horse who overcomes such great odds that it brings the house down in buckets of cash. One such nondescript bay pulled off this monumental upset in 2009 when Mine that Bird overcame odds of 50 to 1 to win the Kentucky Derby. Not only did he win the first race at Churchill Downs, but he nearly became a Triple Crown winner, coming in second place at Preakness Stakes and third at Belmont Stakes. The unusual circumstances of his life, from his early failures to the long journey in the trailer from New Mexico to Kentucky, to his incredible win after having been last in the field became worthy of a movie, 50 to1, released in 2014.

Are there lessons to be learned for humans in all of this risky but lucrative business? We humans struggle to control as much as we possibly can in our lives. To do otherwise and drift along in a sea of nonchalance and passivity is anxiety provoking. But sometimes it is the things we know we cannot control that offer the biggest attractions. The thrill of competition and victory, whether in sports, the stock market, in careers or relationships, propels us forward and gives us the perseverance, the stamina and the resolve to put forth our best, much like a field of racing horses.  In the starting gate, the competing horse is a culmination of thoughtful breeding, inherent talents, excellent training and above all, the spirit to win. The unpredictability of it all lays down a perfectly equal playing field. The same is true for us and we’ve all heard the stories of how some have overcome the most drastic odds for achievement or success or even survival.  So when that monster anxiety grabs you and you start to fret over your lack of control, take a deep breath and learn to relish the unpredictable moments, developments and outcomes in life. They might just bring a smile to your face. 

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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.