Acupuncture is a very modern therapy, with very ancient roots! Initially utilized thousands of years ago as a primary treatment, along with herbal medicine for almost all conditions, it is still used today by 80% of the world as one form of natural therapy. In America, for the past 35 years we have seen the introduction of this ancient healing art in the effective treatment of musculoskeletal, bowel disease, pain management, cancer and other systemic diseases. In fact, acupuncture has been used in place of anesthesia in surgery or while in labor during delivery. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, our certified physicians in acupuncture practice the basic principles, primarily for pain control. Neck and back pain, shoulder and knee conditions, and other joint problems can effectively improve as pain is reduced. Tiny sterile needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points, and then gently stimulated until natural body chemicals within the body are produced that, with repetitive treatment, often give sustained pain control. Along with spinal manipulation, physical therapy, massage therapy, and nutritional changes, patients seeking reduction in pain from many of these common conditions will greatly improve. Acupuncture is a safe, non-drug, well documented, and accepted natural therapy throughout the world and, even though considered an alternative therapy still today in the US, is among the most effective therapies available


These conditions are often lumped together as one condition, yet they are very different. ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, involves children and adults that show signs of slow learning and altered response to learning. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, while more commonly seen in children, does affect adults. Common signs include hyperactivity, inability to sit calmly, and ''Type A personality.'' The holistic physician NMD, DC and others, approach both of these conditions by improving the nutritional status and through detoxification of body systems. The solution lies in identifying the agents causing the disorder. Testing may include dietary assay, heavy metal toxicology evaluation, immune lab system testing, hair analysis, or complete diagnostic stool assessment. Upon receiving the results, an accurate determination of the irritant can lead us to a to provide natural protocols that can help improve the signs of Attention Deficit Disorder. History shows us that many children are sensitive to white sugar, white flour, gluten, artificial sweeteners, and other irritants. It is important that the patient is restricted in the use of any substance that is found to be associated as a cause. We have treated many individuals with ADD and ADHD, and the success rate ultimately depends upon those who are willing to follow the restrictions and nutritional advice that is determined to be necessary.

Adrenal Stress Testing

The adrenal gland, which sits atop both kidneys, functions in part to control stress exerted on the body. These stresses can include physical, emotional, chemical, and simply the ''daily stress of life.'' While the body produces small amounts of these hormones in the normal individual, they are sufficient to deal with these stresses on a daily basis. When stress becomes chronic or excessive, these hormones are quickly used up, and if not replenished by the body they may produce signs and symptoms of adrenal weakness. Hypoadrenia is the term given to individuals that have low amounts of these adrenal hormones and may show signs and symptoms including chronic fatigue, glucose intolerance, hypertension, hypotension, anxiety, unexplained musculoskeletal pain and poor response to simple stresses. These individuals often find that in the mid-afternoon hours they seem to ''be exhausted and want a short nap'' and by early evening have just enough energy to complete the day. This temporary loss of energy is a classic sign of low adrenal hormones. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we use laboratory and other diagnostic testing to assist us in defining if these conditions exist. And through musculoskeletal therapies, nutritional supplementation, dietary changes - including the restriction of carbohydrate metabolism - the missing hormones can slowly replenish and the person may return to their normal strength and health, often without any need for additional medical intervention.

Allergy Testing

North Carolina and the surrounding states have specific allergies and sensitivities that are routinely not found elsewhere. These sensitivities and allergies include foods, toxins, molds, fungii, grasses, and tree pollens. Additionally, patients may have chemical sensitivities to the daily products that they use or are exposed to, as well to the foods that they consume. Through the use of Blood Serum Sensitivity Testing, we often can determine if the cause of the patient's sensitivities come from any of the above chemicals, foods, grasses, pollen's, etc. These findings that are reported to the patient in writing will show, not just a sensitivity of these allergens, but also the degree or severity by which each exist. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, mild sensitivities can often be treated by reducing exposures or limiting intake to the allergens, along with dietary changes. Moderate and severe allergens, once identified, need to be removed and, if the allergy is to food, they can be very slowly reintroduced over a 6-month period of time. We find that it is often necessary to remove carpet in homes, to use hardwood floors or room ionizers, and reduce the number of chemicals, sprays, and cleaners used in the home. Proper dietary control begins with the reduction of refined processed food products, often including elimination of milk, glutens, sugars, and food additives. Over the many years, we have helped patients to significantly reduce their allergen loads. The greatest majority of these patients can improve without painful weekly allergy injections and pain medications. Then as long as they continue utilizing the information obtained through the testing many of there signs and symptoms can improve including headaches, musculoskeletal pains, fibromyalgia, congestion and more.

Alternative Chemotherapy

While many clinics offer treatments to cure cancer, it is our position to say that no physician can actually cure cancer. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we realize that cancer is a chronic process of a weakened immune system; therefore, stimulating the immune system of the body with high dosages of vitamins, amino acids, and herbal therapies has been shown in medical research to assist the body in attaining the highest level of immune stimulation. We have also learned in our many years of practice that treating cancer traditionally means ''trying to kill something by attacking it.'' We realize that only the body has the innate ability to seek out, find, and ''kill'' these abnormal cells, but it can only be done when the person's body is at ultimate health. We see many people who seek care for musculoskeletal conditions who actually have metabolic conditions including cancers. Our clinics approach to treating any patient with any degenerative disease, including cancer, is to support the body's immune system, restore their internal body health and provide the necessary therapies that will help the body to heal itself. In essence, we look at each person and determine, from their history, exam and labs, what might need to be balanced, and then come up with a specific plan to help that patient to improve their body function so they can regain their health. This can include the removal of body toxins with colonic irrigation, herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutrition, massage, or many other therapies that we offer within this clinic. Our approach is non-drug and restorative with the clear understanding that the ''bodies heals itself''. Most importantly, we do not tell people that we can ''cure'' cancer, yet so many of the people that come to our clinic do improve and feel better. We are here to help those that choose to use alternative therapies - even if they are continuing with standard conventional therapies. We understand that improving the persons immune system improves the overall health of each patient. We see hundreds of people every year that utilize many forms of natural therapies to assist them in regaining their health. If you have a metabolic disease (including musculoskeletal disease, gastrointestinal dysfunction or metabolic conditions including cancer), remember that only a well-functioning immune system will allow a person to maintain or regain a high quality of life.


Among the most common conditions seen at our clinic, and the most successful to improve in symptomatology, is arthritis. Even though not curable for most patients, arthritis is treatable or controllable with natural means. Effective control of the progression of symptoms in degenerative arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid, gout, and others is initially determined by the accurate diagnosis, which is best done by a combination of laboratory and radiology. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we have decades of experience in treating the pain and disability associated with arthritis, utilizing herbal therapies, nutrition, exercise, and the most advanced manipulative therapies. Our facility has on-site physical therapy, massage therapists, and colon therapy (that can be used to assist in detoxification). These, when combined with weight reduction, exercise, and nutrition, have the highest potential of reducing pain and improving motion, even as high as those taking pain medications (without the side effects). Let us help you to help yourself without pain medications, to finally get the relief from arthritis that you desire.

Back, Neck & Disk Injury Prevention

With a truly unique approach to treating musculoskeletal conditions, our clinic applies the most appropriate and conservative approaches first. Where some clinics choose to use medications (which only cover the symptoms) or surgery (which should be only the final choice), we use highly effective spinal manipulation, physical therapy, myofascial rehabilitation, traction, massage, acupuncture, nutrition and many other approaches. Accidents and injuries from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and on-the-job injuries, can cause severe and often disabling pain. The common approach to treating these conditions is to cover up the symptoms and ignore the cause. Many patients go for months, or even years, being told that eventually the condition (or conditions) should improve. It has been our position that pain is an indication that something is wrong, and that effective treatment should show pain reduction within a short period of time. With more then 25 years and thousands of successfully treated patients, most (even those diagnosed with MRI confirmed disk involvement) have improved. Our physicians, chiropractors, naturopaths and massage therapists work together in a team approach for your health. Best yet, for those that have insurance, reimbursement is available from most carriers for these services.

Bio-identical Hormone Therapy

While most people suffer from the effects of hormone related disease at one time or another in their life, many often do not realize it is part of their health problem. There are some very important hormones in our bodies, some affecting women more then men, and some affecting men more then women. Among these hormones are Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone and Adrenal and Thyroid Hormones, just to name a few. When altered, any of these can cause tremendous and unexplained bodily changes in women or men. Women initially often seek counsel of their family OB/GYN, only to find that the doctors are too busy doing surgery or delivering babies to deal with these issues. The result of these visits is often the freely giving of synthetic hormone replacement as an attempt to treat the symptoms of the patient. These symptoms can include osteoporosis, depression, fatigue, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, weakened immune system, anxiety, and an overall ''bad'' feeling. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we seek to determine the level of each hormone with discriminative laboratory testing BEFORE we ever consider recommending any hormone alternatives. Then, when appropriate, we provide natural alternatives that the body recognizes and helps to support in hormone production and regulation. Hormone issues may prevent women from getting pregnant, cause menopausal symptoms, loss of libido, and accelerate the aging process. By using highly sophisticated laboratory medicine, we can evaluate the woman that may be at higher (family) risk of female cancers, and develop a preventative strategies as well. This strategy can include the use of safe and natural alternatives to hormones, nutritional medicine, and body detoxification that will in effect alter the potential outcome many years before serious issues may arise. In men, the primary issue with hormones may include back pain, muscle aches, loss of libido, weight gain, accelerated aging, breast enlargement, and loss of hair. Specialized laboratory testing will often show the reason as being too much of feminizing hormones or too little of male hormones. Even the risk of prostate disease and certain cancers can be predicted with hormone testing. Once evaluated, a program of hormone supplementation and nutrition may reduce the aging process, improve libido, and the overall feeling of well-being for most men. The key here is the use of ''natural substance'' that are readily available. The doctors of HMC never provide hormones treatment or recommendations for their use without evaluating aspects like age, menstrual irregularities, underlying diseases or family history of these and so many other factors. TIME is the issue. Most conventional physicians simply don't have the TIME to spend with you as a patient. Integrative doctors take more time normally and together with you, at he patient, find solutions.

Cancer Management

Most researcher now believe that nutrition and exposure to environmental agents are among the most identifiable causes of cancer. There are thousands of chemicals that we are exposed to ''legally'' each and every day including pesticide, cleansers, solvents and even heavy metals. In 2008 the US Government banned imports of toys from China because of the amount of lead they contained. In 2009 jewelry from there was also found to contain cadmium. These are among the most toxic elements in nature and added to the ones we are exposed to daily they compound the risk for this disease. Detoxification, dietary changes, chelation and life style changes can be effective in helping reduce these toxic loads. Patient who have cancer can also use pro-oxidants (high dose Vitamin C), Alpha Lipoic Acid and Glutathione, Vitamin D, Resveratrol, and WBC ''Natural Killer'' cell simulators like mushrooms and more, that will aid the body in fighting this. Men with prostate disease can use DHT blockers like Nettle and Saw Palmetto while women with high Estrogen cancers can add DIM to direct the path of Estrone elimination. Today some therapies can be done orally, while in the past it required I.V.s in high dosages to treat these issues. Our clinic evaluates each case on an individual basis prior to deciding the most effective way to help a patient, even it it means working with other physicians to receive alternate therapies. Even those who choose to use Chemotherapy can benefit because there are now ways to match low dose chemotherapy with specific agents that have been shown to be ''Specifically Effective'' against the cancer. This means using only those agents that have been shown to be effective on this type of cancer - while eliminating those that are not. Our staff clinicians work with natural agents to stimulate the immune system, detox agents that can be confirmed and help restore nutrients that are essential. While we can and do work with oncologist and surgeons who are more holistically inclined, we strive to assist our patients to regain their health, not add to the toxicity of life.


Much has been written about chelation therapy for the improvement of cardiovascular disease for those not wanting conventional angioplasty or other surgical procedures. While chelation is not considered a ''standard'' method of treatment by conventional medicine, it is considered an alternative and complementary therapy for those wishing to approach improved cardiovascular health through detoxification. Chelation is a method of removing toxic substances with natural agents. Chelation should be considered a safe and effective adjunct for those patients doing nutritional therapy to improve their cardiovascular functioning. Additionally, many patients report improved cognitive ability, that may be secondary to the improvement of circulation in other parts of the body. Heavy Metal Detoxification While our food supply is generally safe it is well known that pesticides and other chemicals are being used in great abundance. Many foods, including fish and some vegetables are treated with chemicals containing arsenic, mercury, aluminum or others toxic metals. While they are not intended for our consumption they can and do enter the food chain and once in our bodies do bio-accumulate. Even things like vaccinations and the fillings in our teeth (amalgams) have these heavy metals in them. Many of them have been in our bodies for dozens of years from these sources and until we have them removed by some form of chelation - any potential poisonous side effects can occur. While some of these metals can be associated with osteoporosis, pain syndromes, cancer, ADD, and other metabolic diseases the best thing always to do first is to evaluate the body and determine if these exist and if at levels requiring detoxification. At the HMC we can do urine, blood and hair heavy / chemical metal tests and if the labs prove there are higher levels in the body requiring intervention then we can then we can offer natural (non-drug) amino acid, herbal or other agents to chelate these out until your body reaches a safer level.

Clinical Nutrition

The basic principle of clinical nutrition that most practitioners go by is ''you are what you eat.'' But how well your body digests the foods, how well it takes it into the tissues of the body, and ultimately how well it is used must also be considered. Our clinical staff understands nutrition and uses clinical nutrition daily as part of most every aspect of healthcare. While we do not sell supplementation at our clinic, we keep abreast of most recent advances in nutritional therapy and we do recommend supplements, herbs, amino acids, and foods as the primary method of assisting patients in regaining their health. We ask our patients to bring all the supplements with them that they currently take, so that we can evaluate them. We utilize live cell analysis, food allergy/sensitivity testing, blood serum testing, and other methods by which the patient can actually see the changes occurring as they improve. Many patients take too few supplements, while others take too many. It is our belief that it is the QUALITY of the supplement, rather than the quantity that the patient takes, that makes for a healthier patient response. In fact, we believe ''the most expensive supplement you will ever take is the one that doesn't work.'' We prescribe organic, pesticide free, whole food supplementation that will enhance your dietary health, can improve your bowel function, and can assist in anti-aging of the body for those that desire true holistic approaches in clinical nutrition. ''You are what you eat'' and the same goes for your general health. If you consume chemical free, organic and whole foods your ultimate quality of life may be better. The consumption of high sugar, processed and altered foods can contribute to pain syndromes, metabolic diseases and ultimately poor health. Our patients are guided in methods that help the patient regain their own health.

Colon Hydrotherapy

Often, this is called by the term Colonic therapy, or ''having a colonic.'' As we refer to, colon hydrotherapy just what is it? It is the cleansing of the lower bowel, using low pressure purified water solutions over a period of time. Conditions like chronic fatigue, chronic bowel constipation, irritable bowel disfunction, family history of bowel disease and cancers, and even parasite infections may improve with the gentle cleansing of the bowel. For over 100 years this therapy has been offered by integrative practitioners like Naturopathic and Chiropractic physicians and has been an accepted therapy in the medical community. Max Gerson MD used it as a primary adjunct for those with chronic diseases including bowel disease and cancer. The therapy was one of first ''natural cancer therapies'' approved more then 50 years ago by the government and qualified practitioners still offer it today. Over many years, people consume foods, often refined and artificial, from which the body does not get nutritional value. These ''foods'' can accumulate, like sludge and mucus, along the intestinal lining causing a reduction in the transit time of the stool from the stomach, through to the rectum. By doing so, the materials in the gastrointestinal tract are mixed with good and bad bacteria and can become putrefied, causing the waste products to leach into the blood and throughout our bodies other tissues. This slow poisoning can be improved by the reinstitution of proper bowel probiotics and by increasing bowel activity. By doing so, this can assist in improving the immune system functions of people that have been sick for many years. The use of medications, chemotherapies, and other chemicals are often retained within the body as can be demonstrated by toxicology testing. Our many years of clinical experience both in evaluating and then assisting with patient detoxification can assist those with pain syndromes, chronic metabolic dysfunction and those simply wanting to rid themselves of years of ingested toxins through this. Then with conservative non-drug care, proper nutrition, dietary change, massage along with colonic therapy, a patients general health often improves.


Fibromyalgia is an often painful and disabling condition for which women, more often than men, are diagnosed. Unfortunately many such diagnosis's are made inappropriately, and the patient suffers for many years from more common and treatable conditions. In our experience, more then 60% of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia do not have this condition (even when diagnosed by experts). We have found that most people have yeast or other parasite conditions that effect the muscular skeletal system or have other toxic issues that can be resolved conservatively with natural non-drug therapies. As a result, we have seen most will improve with a combined approach of gentle conservative care, detoxification therapies and alterations in nutrition. For those patients that do have true fibromyalgia, strict dietary changes, identification of the underlying agent(s) that may be causing the dysfunction and making sure the patient acquires the proper treatment protocol may bring control or resolution to their disabling symptoms. Yeast, parasites, chemical and food irritants, bowel conditions and other irritating factors must all be evaluated. So we look closely at each patient with laboratory, immune testing, stool analysis and other specific integrative and conventional discriminative diagnostic testing procedures. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we use adjunctive therapies that include nutrition approaches, colonic irrigation, whole body detoxification, yeast and liver herbal cleansing, massage therapy, and others, that we have seen to produce significant results. Reduction in the pain and improvement of muscle function for patients that have in the past not responded to conventional therapies can still be obtained. We believe that fibromyalgia is a treatable condition that is associated with toxicity of the body tissues, and believe that it is best treated by cleansing the bowel, improving the quality of nutrition, and reducing the chemicals that are put into the body.

Gluten/Gliadin Intolerances

Gluten is a protein that when consumed by individuals who have sensitivity, to this normal protein occurring in many grains, can cause anywhere from mild to very severe symptomatology. As late as the 1970s new graduates were being told that ''you may see one or two cases of Celiac Disease in your clinical career''. In fact in the first two years our clinic (in the 1970's) we saw the first case and within two additional years already had seen the second case of Celiac disease. Immediately the question arose as to what was this an anomaly or was there something changing? The answer came in the next few years as the number of cases seen of Celiac Disease became more frequent. It became apparent that with the further development and availability of genetically modified (GMO) ''High Gluten'' flours and grains more cases were being diagnosed in our clinic. Over the past 40 years laboratory testing has been developed that can accurately define the cause of most of the patients who have common gastrointestinal symptoms. We have found that there is another common protein in many commonly consumed processed grains that cause similar or the same symptoms as Gluten. This is Gliadin and it is found in many foods that also contains Gluten. In addition there are other ''food'' causes that produce similar or identical symptoms and these include yeast or even pathological bacteria. Specialized and common diagnostic laboratory tests (many of which are covered by standard health insurance) can accurately assist the Naturopathic practitioner in making the appropriate diagnosis prior to treatment. At the HMC our clinical providers will evaluate these agents and organisms as part of defining the reason why you may have fibromyalgia, swollen joints, autoimmune issues, pain syndromes, headaches, diarrhea, constipation or other gastrointestinal issues. In fact patients who have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel syndrome or disease who still have symptoms may in fact have gluten, gliadin, yeast or bacterial causes that still require treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy is the use of pressurized pure natural oxygen in a closed environment for the purpose of improving patient healing at an accelerated rate. This is a very safe and well tested procedure where a patient lays comfortably in a large cylinder and natural oxygen enters. Then with gentle pressure, similar to going under water 10 feet, where the body becomes more saturated with the applied oxygen it is absorbed. Since it is well known that oxygen produces quicker healing it can be useful in treating injuries, diabetic wounds that won't heal, post surgery incision, infections and has been used for fibromyalgia and much more. Integrative approaches for the use of of hyperbaric oxygen include autism, post immunization neurological injury, stroke, Lyme's disease, cancer, musculoskeletal injuries and more. While many of these uses have not been FDA approved - many thousands of patients are treated each year and attest to the miraculous results that occurred from this very safe natural therapy.

Hypertension & Diabetes Control

Hypertension and Diabetes are diseases of a ''wealthy society.'' The more we eat refined foods, the greater the risk for metabolic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. It is clear that poor nutrition along with a sedentary life contributes to a greater tendency of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. While many patients are substantially overweight and are not willing to lose weight or change their diets to gain control of their high blood pressure, many others are willing but don't have the help they need to guide them. We realize that ultimately, the improvement of any metabolic disease is dependent on the control that the patient has on the foods that they eat and these other factors. At the Holistic Medical clinic of the Carolinas, we have used a comprehensive program for many years that begins with evaluating your total health, ability to exercise, number of present medications you are taking and level and quality of your existing nutrition. We work to help our patients improve their overall health by manipulating these factors. As a result of our many years of experience we see our patients are able to reduce their dependency on powerful drugs as well. Those who choose to can learn to use natural supplementation to control their hypertension and diabetes safely and do. The decision to get well is one only a patient can make but we are here as clinicians to help guide our patients safely. It seems that people talk about diabetes as if it were a common, reasonable disease to expect as one ages. Diabetes can be a serious chronic, disabling disease that can affect eyesight, blood vessels, organs, and the quality of life when these are damaged. If a patient learns to control carbohydrate intake and metabolism while improving the quality of nutrition being taken in then many patients will be able to: a) substantially reduce their oral medications, b) substitute natural glucose regulators and/or c) even get totally well. Research shows that those that have properly functioning body systems that utilize carbohydrates efficiently are those that may maintain good body health. It is extremely important that patients learn to remove refined carbohydrates, white flours and sugars, fried foods, and other ''bad'' food products, and increase natural and organic whole fruits and vegetables, good oils, and take high quality levels of supplementation to assist them in controlling these two chronic diseases.

Infrared Immune Therapy

Infrared therapy has been around for centuries but only in the past 50 years or so have we more clearly had the research and knowledge to understand just how and what it does. While there are various forms heat therapies as well as different forms of infrared - at the HMC we have a large modern professional low infrared sauna, where because of the size alone, patients can feel more at ease. While heat has been shown to stimulate blood supply by increasing circulation and wet saunas promote sweating, the advantage of low infrared is that it does not produce deep heating of the tissues. As a result the risk of burning or tissue damage is essentially non-existent. Instead it heats the tissues just superficially and minimally promotes sweating. More importantly it stimulates white blood cell (WBC) activity, similar to what occurs when a fever exists. This has been used to repeatedly to stimulate the Natural Killer (NK Cells) cell activity which occurs in response to metabolic diseases. Together with herbal immune stimulation and repeated diagnostic testing, patients often can see objective evidence of enhanced immune response. This natural heat therapy can be used multiple times weekly and patients can benefit from the additional response resulting from systemic detoxification of metals, chemicals and other toxic agents exiting the skin. Together with colonic irrigation, dietary changes and nutritional therapies patients often report a generalized improved sense of well being.

Integrative Gynecology

Dr. Dominique is one of the few Naturopathic physician that is clinically trained in conservative gynecology. Her interest is in helping women find safe alternatives to common gynecological problems including sexual dysfunction, chronic vaginal infections, discharge, pain and more. Many women have reoccurring infections, pain on intercourse, or other problems that continue to occur and standardized medications have not resolved the condition. Our staff may often be able to help patients when others have not. Natural Naturopathic substances, bio-identical hormones, non-invasive natural therapies and dietary recommendations are used as the first line of therapy. When complicated problems are found to exist, the information is shared with the patient and all options are considered for treatment without any pressure to accept either alternative or standardized care. We believe having the information so to make a choice on the method of treatment is essential. We provide copies of all information and testing to the patient, and clinical providers they may see, as desired.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Constipation

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a very common condition in todays world. Most physicians consider it to simply be an inflammatory bowel issues. Holistic doctors that see and treat this condition, however, more often look at IBS and IBD as more of a ''process'' than a disease. In doing so, we try to resolve the suspected underlying ''cause(s)'' rather then treating the symptoms of inflammation (with medications). Irritants including parasites, yeast, blood-borne bacteria's, irritating foods, chemicals, mental stress, and over usage of medications (cortisones and antibiotics) are a just few of the issues that must be considered when treating persons with IBS and IBD. Success depends on a clear understanding of the cause and avoidance of specific triggers. Nutritional support and cleansing of the bowel is essential part of this at our clinic. Constipation, on the other hand, should never be considered a normal process of life. In severe cases it can be associated with blockages from tumors (as an example) but more commonly it is the result of poor or improper colon (or intestinal) health. The holistic physician initially looks at what is found on the inside the colon by ordering a Complete Diagnostic Stool Assessment. In it we can see what gut bacteria, yeast, enzymes, and other organisms presently exist. By correcting these, most of our patients return to a healthier state. It should be remembered that "you are what you eat" but you also can't absorb your food if the internal environment is not what it is supposed to be. Many patients have excessive mucus and toxins in their bowel which, when they remain, often can contribute to this condition(s). All intestinal and colon conditions are evaluated and treated as important early (and late) causes of disease by holistic practioners. For life to sustain itself, ultimately the gut must work well or the body sickens. Through the use of colonic irrigation (similar to a water based enema), colon cleansing herbs, restoration of normal bacterial flora and proper nutrition, we have been able to help most patients. Symptoms that could indicate bowel dysfunction include: headaches, back pain, discolored skin, itching rectum, smelly stools, rashes, nausea, alternating loose and firm stools, belching, stomach or abdominal pain, chronic female infections, poor immune system and more. As integrative doctors we first evaluate the patient to determine if this is IBS/IBD or any other condition, including cancers. Once the cause is determined referral or treatment that is most appropriate is offered by us. While many conditions can be the result of increased or reduced stool transit time these conditions can also cause constipation and even irritable bowel disease. Since these are commonly seen conditions the evaluation is often covered under a patients health insurance plan. We often do additional specialized testing that confirms just WHY YOU HAVE THIS before recommending diet changes or treatment. So if you have questions on insurance coverages you can ask our administrative staff for information on coverage.

Live Cell Analysis

Sometimes it takes more time for a physician to do the things that are necessary to evaluate a patient. That is one of the things we do at HMC. One of the things we still do is try to demonstrate things to the patient so they have a better understanding of what we see and do. By using a conventional evaluation method most doctors learned years ago, that has all but been replaced by automation we still use microscope examination of the blood today. Live Cell Analysis is one of those procedures that, while it takes more of the physician's time, can demonstrate more about the present state of the patient's health than many of the common tests that we presently utilize. Live Cell Analysis, through the use of a specialized high powered microscope, can visualize a patient's blood and, while projected on a screen for the patient to see, will allow the internal components of the patient's blood to be analyzed. In a normal Live Cell Analysis, red and white blood are randomly spaced and free floating in a clear sea of fluid. When organisms enter the blood (yeast, fungus, bacteria, parasites) they should not be there in the healthy individual. Because we know they can contribute to damage of the blood cells and immune systems we look to see if they exist. Chronic diseases, like chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and even cancer, as well as many other conditions, can be evaluated using Live Cell Analysis. The patient will see live time images of their cell structures and what ever exists. These will be compared with examples of a normal red blood cell Live Cell Analysis and abnormal cells then. When residual particles can be seen floating in the blood (these can be bacteria, yeast, or other), they can be identified, and with proper dietary management (and when needed referral) these organisms can slowly be removed by the healing body. Following detoxification and cleansing of the body, improved nutrition, repetitive live cell analysis will often show improvement in the cell analysis. As the patient heals and as more normal cells are seen, the patient can self confirm by objective means, that they are in fact healing. This test helps patients that are feeling better to see the improvement from the inside and often explains why others don't feel well. There is a lot of truth that ''a picture is worth a thousand words'' so the extra time taken by integrative physicians to do testing like this can make a great difference to the patient.

Massage and Lymphatic Drainage

Over the past 20 years, most states in the United States have begun to regulate massage therapy as a legitimate, limited healing science. It should be important to note that there are many forms of massage therapy though. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we offer therapeutic massage for the treatment of many body conditions. Massage therapy at our clinic is used as an adjunct in the treatment of chronic stress conditions, fibromyalgia, body detoxification, blood circulatory conditions, and even with chronic metabolic conditions (cancer). Conventional medicine, even at major cancer centers, recognize and use massage now as part of cancer care. In our clinic we have treated individuals with a form of massage therapy known as lymphatic drainage For many years. This form of massage has been shown to improve circulation in patients whose chronic metabolic conditions (cancer, lymphomas, etc.) have left their bodies highly toxic. Many of these patients complain of severe muscle pains, cramping, chronic tingling, numbness, and other symptoms, not just in the spine, but also in the extremities. Our professional massage therapists work directly with our doctors in an attempt to improve the total patient outcome. Along with massage therapy, nutritional herbal and detoxification programs are often recommended that can assist the patient in regaining their health. Too often, patients are told that they must simply ''live with the pains that they have''. But we have found that cleansing the body with massage and lymphatic drainage is an effective way of reducing toxins and regaining the patients health. Spinal disorders, muscle conditions and systemic diseases can have beneficial effects using conservative, non-drug, massage therapy. Our independent licensed massage therapists who work at HMC work together as part of our integrative team to provide a more complete holistic approach to healthcare.

Medicine Withdrawal

A major issue in medicine today is the over utilization and the interactions from the use of many medications applied at one time. In the almost 40 years of clinical practice, our staff has found that many patients take, not just excessive numbers of medication, but duplication of medications that are often causing the signs and symptoms for which they are in fact being treated! At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we evaluate every patient and discuss all of the medications they take upon accepting any new patient. So many of these individuals are already showing signs of declining health, like elevated liver enzymes and declining kidney functions. Many physicians see this and now consider this normal. Why would anyone consider declining function and health normal? At HMC we evaluate to determine the cause(s) and when possible the patients often slowly remove themselves from duplicating or symptom causing medicines, always keeping in mind those that that are essential must be maintained. We find many physicians are more then willing to help remove patients from their duplications or symptom causing drugs. In fact the Chiropractic and Naturopathic professions actively encourage reduced medication, and particularly pain medication removal. More people die from the side effects of physician errors, OTC medications, and narcotics then any other cause of death. The USA consumes 90% of all opiate drugs that are produced in the world each year yet we make up less then 10% of the worlds population. At HMC we continue to find that the less medication a patient takes, the more efficient the body functions. Certain organs of the body, including the liver and kidneys, act as filtering systems for the toxins that we place into our body. These toxins can include the foods we eat, as well as the chemicals that we put into our body (medications and poisons). Often, we will make recommendations including diet, detoxification, and improved nutrition that will improve these functions, while helping the patient to obtain better health overall. The use of colonic irrigation, while reducing duplicating and unnecessary substances, often produces an improved state of health for the patient. It should be important to note that, for any patient wishing to withdraw from medication, the patient must change the lifestyle conditions that have brought about the disease process, so that the medications can be removed by them and/or with their prescribing medical practitioner. This will include improving diet, restricting patients from known allergens such as food dyes, milk products, yeast, and other toxins. Over short periods of time, we have seen the signs and symptoms of the patient's disease(s) slowly reduce, effectively reducing the need for unnecessary or additional medications. When necessary and possible, natural forms of herbal and homeopathic treatments, acupuncture, myofascial release therapies, and others can often be substituted. These are done commonly while introducing conservative musculoskeletal therapies and naturopathic approaches. While not always possible, the doctors at the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas makes every attempt to use these more natural forms. Remember that there are many good things that can be obtained from proper use of any substance. In acute and life saving conditions a patient should not attempt to remove vital substances. The same goes for essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. We believe the proper and essential balance of what is needed is the key.

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine, while not yet licensed as a separate healing profession in North Carolina, is among the oldest healing arts. Essentially, it has been around since man learned that foods and herbs could be natural medicines. The principle our clinic uses in treating our patients is to always select natural substances, that may include herbs, tinctures, homeopathic substances, foods, diet, hormones and the like, to improve our patients health. Most medicines have a natural alternative and while they may work slower they also most often carry much less risk in their use. Our many years of clinical experience in treating patients with Naturopathic care has helped many people with chronic debilitating conditions, constipation, ADD, yeast and fungus, so many other problems. We still use the most modern diagnostic testing to evaluate bowel, blood, urine and other systems and many of these standardized tests are often covered in part by some insurance. The use of modern diagnostic procedures along with time tested natural Naturopathic therapies is a very effective way to get healthy or stay healthy.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone is a gas (natural substance) that contains extra oxygen in its make up. When it is released into its surrounding environment it has the ability to release this extra oxygen. It has been shown that by doing this it can displace other molecules. The changes that can occur because of this can cause a reactive change in surrounding cells, particularly those that are weak or fast growing. People with metabolic conditions often use these therapies that release these ''reactive oxygen species - (ROS)''. In fact increased ROS production is used in many conditions as well as cancer. Chemotherapies use the same principle to destroy cancers but at very concentrated rates and often with significant side effects. Ozone is used is small quantities by naturopathic practitioners and is significantly less toxic, yet effective. At HMC we provide this natural therapy as an adjunct in the treatment of patients when appropriate.

Reference List

Cancer-Step Outside the Box Ty Bollinger, ISBN#0-9788065-0-6 Age-Defying Diet Robert Atkins, ISBN#0-312-31607-0 Blood Sugar Blues Miryam Williamson, ISBN#0-8027-7610-8 Mad Cowboy Howard F. Lyman, ISBN#0-684-85446-5 Sex, Lies & Menopause T. S. Wiley, ISBN#0-06-054233-0 Ageless Suzanne Somers, ISBN#0-307-23724-9 Breakthrough Suzanne Somers, ISBN#978-1-4000-5327-8 Knockout Suzanne Somers, ISBN#978-0-307-58746-6 Evidence of Harm David Kirby, ISBN#0-312-32644-0 Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery Bradley Hennenfent, ISBN#0-9717454-1-2 The China Study T. Collin Campbell, ISBN#978-1-932100-66-2 Secret History of the War on Cancer Devra Davis, ISBN#13:978-0-465-01566-5 What Your Doctor May not Tell You About Premenopause John R. Lee, ISBN#0-446-67380-3

Sleep and Natural Brain Chemical Therapies

Among the more common conditions patients report to integrative practitioners is sleep difficulties, brain fog, anxiety, depressive episodes, progressive loss of memory, and even conditions like ADD, ADHD, and issues associated with toxic substances including heavy metals, plastics, chemicals, pesticides and more. Many of these patients know they have exposure issues and others feel their ''brain issues'' are from deficiencies. At HMC, we look at potential underlying causes of these sleep imbalances, "brain deficiencies," or risks associated with exposure to brain chemicals. In finding and removing chemicals that can impede ones wellness, we are able to restore balance.

Smoking Cessation

In our many years of clinical practice, we have seen very little that we consider more important than helping people to quit the dangerous habits they have acquired. Among these habits that have a definite adverse effect on the body is smoking. While most people feel that this addiction is not easy to resolve, we do find it ultimately essential for those wanting to improve their overall health. Our Smoking Cessation Program has helped many patients, but none more than those that truly have the desire to quit. The problem we see is that many who ask for help have not made the personal commitment to quit. They come to our clinic and want us to simply ''make it go away''. We understand this, and know that no smoking cessation program will help those who do not make the sincere effort to quit. With this in mind, we work with each patient to identify the methods that will be most effective in helping them to initially reduce the urge to smoke, and then quit completely. We do have means to assist our patients that are having greater difficulty quitting. The methods used in this clinic include the use of acupuncture, stress reduction, aversion therapy, and nutritional therapy. Acupuncture is used to control the desire placed on the body by nicotine abuse. The method of aversion therapy used is, by direct association of the agents with the body, causing the patient to resist the desire to smoke. Stress reduction includes the use of massage therapy. By relaxing the muscles of the body, bringing the patient to a more pleasant state, this allows the effects of the addicting chemicals to be reduced. Massage therapy also stimulates circulation and detoxification, which aids in the reduction of the toxins in the body. Nutritional therapy, through the use of homeopathic and naturopathic herbal formulations, assists the body's ability to detoxify more quickly. We have found that a patient needs constant monitoring when there is an addiction of any type (food, drugs, medication, smoking or other). Our staff makes sure that the patient is followed closely enough during the initial periods of care to prevent relapse and failure when it is the highest. In dealing with all addictions, the aspects of psychological issues must be resolved as well if they are complicating the addiction. Those patients identified with higher stress levels that use smoking as a method of relaxation will see one of our doctors for consultation, where time is allotted, just to help them so that they may discuss and deal with their issues. If there are also physical problems in their health, we will work to correct these problems and as their health improves, their need for smoking will subsequently decrease. In almost all case, we have found that it is necessary to change diet and add the appropriate natural supplements that will help the person make withdrawal as easy as possible.

Sports Medicine

While many clinics treat a few athletes, our clinic treats many athletes, and when we do, we treat the "whole athlete." By this, we mean that a new patient is initially evaluated through complete orthopedic, neurological, physical and strength testing, along with nutritional and biochemical evaluations. Then, following a consultative report of findings, our clinical staff explains to the athlete the cause of the injury or condition and 1) how we can help them to get them well and/or 2) how we can get them back into sports more quickly. We have been team physicians for local schools and are very proud that when an athlete who had comes to us gets back into their sport faster. We work to do this faster and without the dulling effects of medications. Why? Because of our multi-specialty approach to treating injuries we have been more successful in helping athletes to improve. We use a combination of healing methods including manipulation, physical therapy, rehabilitation, nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, massage therapy, and/or other conservative therapies that may benefit the patient athlete. While most clinics use a ''standard approach'' of anti-inflammatories and pain medicines - we don't cover up the symptoms. And with many years of experience doing it, we do it well.

Stress Reduction

While stress is an everyday part of many peoples lives, we find that often just taking time away from the office or other offending stress helps. We know that each patient needs to be evaluated as an individual to determine if the increased levels of stress they have are associated with personal, social, work related or due to combinations of some of these. In the 1970's a Nobel prize winning author documented that ''stress kills''. Since then, medical science has done a lot to develop medications that alter moods and feelings. In the severely affected person, these drugs can even often save lives. But in the majority of individuals, these only mask the underlying problem. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we look at the patient's hormones, diet, family life, work environment and much more. Then we discuss our results and make the patient aware of what we see, as often others see things more clearly than the patient in these matters. Consideration is given to each patient as to their nutritional needs, along with prescribing therapeutic measures that may assist the patient in reducing stress. These may include massage therapy, energy therapy, manipulation, physical therapy, counseling and/or natural (herbal) supplementation to reduce stresses. One clinician is assigned to each patient to help follow them through the stress reduction process. When possible, if medication reduction is accomplished, then with natural remedies, many persons problems resolve. We are not a psychiatric clinic. We are a clinic that deals with the whole person and we realize that if the mind is not well, the body is not well.

Thyroid Control

Among the most common things we encounter as holistic practitioners is the substantial over use of common thyroid medications for healthy individuals. For so many different reasons, clinicians are giving thyroid medication today as frequently as doctors did tonsillectomies in the 1960's, diet pills in the 1970's, and anti-depressants or cholesterol lowering medications more recently. All of these have a need in modern medicine, yet when unnecessarily prescribed problems develop, where none may have existed prior. Women, more then men, seem to have thyroid deficiency. Among the signs and symptoms of the loss of this important hormone is alterations in energy, mood changes, heat and cold sensation, weight gain, joint and muscle pains and much more. At the Holistic Medical Clinic of the Carolinas, we look at the entire person through physical examination, consultation, laboratory medicine, nutritional evaluation, and more. Then, we make determinations if the thyroid is the only or the major problem, or if there is a combination of issues producing the patient's symptoms. Often then entire endocrine system needs to be checked as the thyroid, hormones, and adrenals all work together to stay harmonized. If we find an imbalance in one area, it will impact the other, so our job is to identify the primary issue and begin a reboot from there. We use a stricter range of control values on laboratory testing (compared to many other clinics) that allows for earlier diagnosis and control. By doing this, we don't wait for the person to get sick; we are proactive and try to you prevent the sickness. Then, when diagnosed early, many patients are able to supplement their thyroid deficiencies using natural means, instead of medications. This allows for more fine tuning and, for most patients, a better feeling of well being. We do see patients that feel sick from taking medications and ask us to evaluate them to determine if they can be reduced on their present medications or even removed off of them. For many, this is possible as their practitioners are advised of our finding, and often results in the ability of the individual to be supplemented naturally. All of this is done under strict repetitive evaluation, supervision and laboratory monitoring (much is often covered by insurance). Thyroid disease is more common than Americans think, and with proper evaluation, early intervention and nutritional treatment, most will improve and can feel well again.

Weight Loss

Most people have a fair knowledge of nutrition, but need assistance with the understanding of the different diet control measures available. Since pain, weakness, high blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides are often key factors that ultimately make people desire to lose weight, our patients initially go through a very complete health profile prior to determining the best method to take to resolve these issues at this clinic. Our health and wellness profile consists of a lengthy history, complete physical, orthopedic, neurological and laboratory examinations. Once all the information is accumulated, a second consultation is scheduled with one of our doctors and the findings reviewed. If the patient is able to participate in exercise activity, these will be included. If not, a diet is tailored so the patient can still burn calories and lose weight without stressing the system. Many patients do well with our very successful high protein, low carbohydrate programs. Others do not metabolize these as well. There are also vegetarians who have health issues, and lifestyle changes can be made which encourage them to increase metabolism while reducing the level of available carbohydrates. All patients are monitored on a frequent basis which assures that the occasional straying from the designed program is more easily corrected. As time and progress is seen, we monitor the patient less. We do this because we have come to realize that simply giving a person a diet does not work; it requires a ''lifestyle change'' that includes a diet for long lasting health effects. To improve the results, we often use natural supplementation to reduce desire to eat or stimulate metabolism. Therapy may include acupuncture, massage, colon cleansing and other forms of therapy. But when the right combination is found and weight loss begins, we find our patients health improving and them obtaining an overall better feeling.

Yeast (Candida), Fungus & Parasites

While considered as uncommon causes of illness by many physicians, holistic practitioners consider yeast (candida), fungus, and parasites as important agents of many other more serious conditions affecting people with chronic illnesses. Ask any woman that has had a yeast infection if yeast is disabling to her and she will tell you that it can cause chronic fatigue, weakness, muscle pains and itching, just to name just a few symptoms. When treated with common creams and medications, the signs and symptoms often improve in the short run, but return with greater strength and increased symptomatology. Conditions that may include chronic fatigue, chronic allergies, bowel disease, constipation and diarrhea, fibromyalgia, lupus, and even chronic metabolic diseases like cancer, can have a direct association with yeast, fungus, and parasites. Our approach is different than many clinics. First, we evaluate the history of the patient, including frequency of antibiotic use, strength of immune system, history of other infections, quality of diet, and much more. Then, if the clinical signs are there, we order specialized blood or stool testing that may show the causative organism, where other tests have not. If yeast or parasites are discovered, our approach is not to try to kill them with repeated antibiotics or local antifungals, since experience shows that they are resistant to most of these drugs. Instead we use safer natural agents to change the pH of the bodies environment and increase the natural probiotic levels in which these organisms live. Eventually, these bad organisms can no longer live there and they will disappear. While adults are more commonly seen with yeast conditions, children are at a higher risk for parasite infestation (but adults are not immune). Once identified through specialized testing, we can implement a natural course of treatment that can rid the body of these organisms, and once accomplished the person will see increased stamina, vitality, and a desire to assume normal activity. These organisms simply drain the average individuals vitality and without proper treatment they can live within you for your entire life. We have treated a multitude of complex problems, from simple infestations to those patients who had to take long term use of antibiotics, cancer medications, cortisones, or other medications. Each patient's case must be looked at individually and is followed at our clinic by a doctor until completely resolved.