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Open and exploring a way forward

Wow, a ribbon cutting ceremony. I can't believe it. I've never opened a business before; why am I doing this? Have been juggling putting this space together with my full time job at the hospital and suddenly we were open! What the heck am I doing?

Today I was able to get home early and had a chance to start catching up on my reading. I'd been waiting to get to Psychedelic Psychotherapy: Building Wholeness Through Connection by Gita Vaid , MD and Barry Walker, MEd. It starts by reminding me that novel uses of psychedelic medicines are attracting attention in psychiatry as effective treatments for an ever widening range of psychiatric conditions, treatment resistant depression, major depression, PTSD, anxiety related to terminal illness, and a variety of addictions. Healing / healthful feelings and emotions such as compassion, empathy, social connectedness, and deeply relating to nature are common after a psychedelic experience.

Psychedelic therapeutic sessions with a trained therapist may provide an opportunity to process emotional experiences and allow effective reconnection with disavowed aspects of one's self. This work can allow for greater personal integrity and resilience.

Amazing stuff, being the lead hospitalist at LAMC these past couple years with COVID I've developed trouble sleeping and concentrating. I worry about my patients and hope I'm intelligent enough to save the critically ill. I remember making desperate calls trying to transfer the sickest, and the look in the family's eyes when there was nothing more I could do. It didn't happen to me nearly as intensely as it did in the bigger cities, but the hurt still set in.

I get to the heart of the paper when I read, Fundamental to this treatment approach is the belief that we are all intrinsically perfect and dis-ease and distress are secondary to being in alignment or balance. So there is nothing intrinsically wrong with me, but I have become out of balance. An associated core tenet I later read is the concept of inner healing intelligence. Somewhere deep in me, I know what I need to heal. For me this inner healing presence is often hidden behind incessant and intrusive thoughts.

Meditation practices have been demonstrated to provide a valuable tool for healing, wellness and for a variety of physical and mental conditions. In similar ways guided psychedelic experiences allow for expanded access, discovery and presence that is often received with awe and deep gratitude.

This touches me. I recently met with a psychologist to discuss how we might be able to bring the promise of this experience with ketamine safely to our local community. As a hospitalist physician I have prescribing authority, advanced cardiac life support training, and experience using ketamine. Perspective clients would need a referral from their psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health professional. I don't need a prescription for the medication, just a written agreement that you know about the treatment, agree with the use, and are willing to work with your client to help them integrate the experience. Our electronic medical record can send regular mood score measures so any benefit can be measured. The clinic is designed for partnership, I openly encourage therapists to call or email me and come sit with clients.

Next I'd bought the book The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough written by New Mexico's own Burt Berkson MD, PhD. This is an amazing read and what a pioneer Dr Berkson is. For those of you who don't know, he is still practicing medicine with his son Dr. Arthur Berkson at the Integrative Medical Center down south in Las Cruces.

The book starts with Dr Berkson as a medical resident in the 70's using Alpha Lipoic Acid as a research medication to treat toxic mushroom poisoning. Turns out our body makes Alpha Lipoic Acid in decreasing amounts as we age and its lack is believed to contribute to aging and disease. The book goes on to describe our often nutrient poor diet and chronic exposure to environmental toxins as a cause of disease and shortened lifespans.

This also resonates with me and was the impetus to offer our Olympia Compounding Pharmacy line of nutrient infusions including Alpha Lipoic Acid. We initially offered these infusions to some of our close friends and family. To date people have been amazed at how good they feel often for days after the infusion.

I'm looking to offer a bit of a different way toward good health. I want to create a space where we foster healing through partnership. I have stepped down from my position as the lead hospitalist effective in June so that I can spend full time building this crazy dream on my personal way to wholeness. Call or e-mail me. I can't always get back to you right away, but I will get back to you. Let me know how this little infusion clinic might be able to help you on your journey to wellness.

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