WHY YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER AMINO ACID THERAPY
Do you feel sick or run down?
Do you wake up with low energy?
Have you been told there’s nothing wrong or that “It’s all in your head?”
Do you feel anxious or depressed, and the positive effects of medications don’t work anymore…and now you’re dealing with the side effects?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, comprehensive nutritional/metabolic testing is likely to provide the data we need in order to make accurate, powerful recommendations. More about amino acids shortly...
PRINCIPLES OF DR. GERSTEN’S INTEGRATIVE APPROACH
1. An integrative approach looks at body, mind, and spirit. Physical Treatments are based on Lab Work, Not Guess Work. Physical treatments are functional medicine.
2. When we balance amino acid chemistry, along with vitamin, minerals, and amino acid co-factors, we can identify the causes of your health challenge.
3. Time-tested Mental Fitness Techniques empower your transformation through their ability to access the Mind-Body connection. These techniques include Interactive Guided Imagery, Use of the Breath, Meditation, and Mood Words. All illness has mental and physical causes. Dr. Gersten has consulted on 18 Rodale Press books as their mental imagery specialist.
WHAT IS "INTEGRATIVE' PSYCHIATRY?
Integrative Psychiatry includes Conventional and Alternative approaches. I work with medications as well as natural alternatives. My goal is to provide an accepting, nonjudgmental environment in which you feel you are "not simply a diagnosis." I want you to feel heard and understood. The first session, in particular, is about establishing connection. With that said, “connection” is a goal of all sessions. With connection comes hope. With hope people are motivated to engage in the healing process.
Healthcare generally focuses on the treatment of emergencies, and conventional medicine excels in treating emergencies. Our approach is truly holistic. The Health And Wellness Form, the blueprint for the first session, covers every aspect of your life, including body, mind, spirit, creative outlets, hobbies, recreation, social and love relationships, toxic exposure, and sense of purpose. The number 1 reason people began seeking out CAM clinicians in the 1980’s was “spirituality.” This is about your spirituality, not ours, and it has to do with what feeds and energizes “the totality of you,” who or what you connect to deeply, and what gives your life purpose.
First published in 1994, the Polyvagal Theory explains the great importance of 3 parts of the autonomic nervous system. 1) Sympathetic nervous system: flight-or-flight, which causes panic attacks and anxiety, 2) Dorsal vagus - parasympathetic nervous system. When revved up, this causes: shutdown, crash, freeze, dissociation, dread, and depression. 3) When the ventral vagus nerve is dominant, we feel safe, curious, socially engaged, and connected. Clinicians use specific techniques to stimulate the vagus nerve, which increases feelings of safe, social engagement and connection. It is not difficult to shift out of the defensive states into ventral vagus social engagement. Check out the "Vagus Nerve" link on this site.
DISCOVER THE CAUSES OF YOUR HEALTH CHALLENGE
In chronic illness, through comprehensive nutritional and metabolic testing, we discover the mental and physical causes of your illness and symptoms. Every mental/emotional problem has some biological causes. And every physical illness has some mental/emotional causes that contribute to the “Illness.”
HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD, “THERE’S NOTHING WRONG?”
If you’re seeking out medical or psychiatric help for symptoms, there “is” something wrong. The comprehensive nutritional/metabolic lab work we do will reveal numerous problems in your biochemistry that we can repair. We live in a toxic environment in which each of us is exposed to thousands of toxins every day. They are in the air, food, and water, and they play a big role in chronic illness. Dr. Gersten’s “challenge” is not about a lack of data to work with. There is so much useful information in the lab data that the challenge is about organizing all that data into a coherent whole, deciding which abnormal data are the most important to treat right now and which issues should be treated later.
DO YOU FEEL INVISIBLE?
Most chronic illness is invisible. Whether you have anxiety, depression, CFS/ME, or irritable bowel syndrome, you may look wonderful to most people. That's good news and bad news. People feel better when they make the effort to look good. At the same time, people with chronic illness are much sicker than they appear, which makes them feel misunderstood and isolated. Illness causes life to get out of balance. People lack the energy and peace of mind to fully share their lives with their loved ones...and to enjoy life. People with CFS/ME do their best to look good when they are out-and-about in the world, interacting with people. A woman will do her hair, may put on makeup and nail polish, and look for the right clothing to wear. Men spend a lot less time with these issues. A person wants to look as normal as possible when interacting with others, and that’s a good thing. Except people may look at you and think, “There’s nothing wrong with her. She looks great.” They see the outside of you, but the rest of you is invisible. It’s a challenging issue. If you've been invisible to your doctors and told that there's nothing wrong with you, you may have been emotionally traumatized by those comments. If that's the case, see if that's true for you....and then do your best to release that traumatic way of "being a patient." Keep going until you find a doctor who "sees you, who gets you." That "seeing" is the first step in the doctor's ability to really help you.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.
Would you consider that a “treatment plan” could help you feel better than you felt before you got sick? “Better than your best normal?” Consider it. You may have had extensive standard lab work, but standard lab work can't provide information that's very useful in treating anxiety, depression, CFS, or most chronic illnesses. When I review the lab results with you, there will be a great deal of useful, treatable information, and that data will usually form one coherent whole. Whether you are seeking help for anxiety, indigestion, pain, exhaustion, or 75 other symptoms, that symptom is the tip of the iceberg. The root causes, the rest of the iceberg, are disturbances in total body biochemistry, or what I call “Metabolic Chaos.” You may have 1 – 20 (or more) symptoms, but they are the tip of the iceberg.
The human body has about 70 trillion cells. We are treating all of them. Obviously, the goal is to alleviate suffering. I want to help you with the thing that is bothering you most. My experience of 39 years in private practice is that, when we resolve one symptom, 50 others are usually going to improve. If you're exhausted and can't function, obviously, we need to get to the bottom of that and help restore your energy. Without energy everything in life is difficult. Healing involves bringing your life into balance on all levels. Most chronic illness is triggered by reversible causes.
MENTAL FITNESS FOR THE MIND AND THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION
The mental/emotional work we do is targeted and strategic. I work with mental fitness techniques - meditation, interactive guided imagery, mood words, breath work, and BCTR (body-centered-trauma resolution). I write few prescriptions for psychiatric medications but there are times when they are needed, and I do write them. Many people come to me to get off psychiatric medications like SSRI antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Before I suggest tapering medication, we need to find out what is wrong biochemically, especially with neurotransmitters. We need to bring key neurotransmitters into balance. Then we can start to taper your medications…very slowly. “Slow” is the key.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AND CFS
Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be they food." Natural remedies include key nutrients we usually can get in our diet: amino acids, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids. Natural remedies Dr. Gersten utilizes include vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acid co-factors, as well as nutrients that support mitochondrial function. We can include many other natural remedies: deep breathing to increase oxygen perfusion and decrease stress, exercise, yoga, rest, massage, and barefoot contact with the Earth's bioelectrical field. Add to this list non GMO, chemical free food.
WHAT MAKES DR. GERSTEN’S APPROACH UNIQUE?
1. Dr. Gersten battled a severe case of CFS in the 1980’s before the term “CFS” existed. A big part of his cure had to do with amino acid therapy. Dr. Gersten is nationally recognized as an expert in amino acid therapy, and his healing journey took him through dozens of different modalities. Apart from developing a systematic approach to his own healing, he knows first hand what it’s like to live with CFS. He knows what it’s like to have an invisible illness, and to look 100 times better than he felt.
2. Amino Acid Therapy. Our body is two-thirds water. When we subtract water from the equation, we are about 65% amino acids. Protein is made up entirely of amino acids. Nearly every neurotransmitter is made of amino acids. (Serotonin is made from the amino acid L-tryptophan. Dopamine and norepinephrine are made from the amino acid L-tyrosine). About half of our hormones are made from amino acids. Dr. Gersten has been on the cutting edge of amino acid therapy for decades and has worked with people from around the United States as well as from foreign countries.
3. Dr. Gersten takes the time to get to know the person who has an illness, not just the illness who has a person. Listening in an accepting, nonjudgmental way is essential in developing a solid doctor-patient relationship. That relationship is vitally important to your healing. If you’ve worked with healthcare practitioners who dismiss you, don’t believe you, or who have a cookbook approach to treatment, you know what it feels like when you are not being heard and understood. A doctor can and should inspire hope.
HOW DO WE MAKE SENSE OF THE LAB WORK
AND THE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?
“I spent years developing a cause-and-effect Health Map that I use to understand all lab data and all treatments. Here’s a brief explanation of the 4-steps of the Health Map.
Level 1: Primary Causes
I identified 38 categories of primary causes. The more common ones are infections, toxicity, stress, genetics, and protein deficiency. Chronic health issues generally have more than 7 primary causes.
2. Toxic Effects
We’re exposed to thousands of toxins daily. Toxins all have “general” effects as well as "specific" effects.
3. How the Body Responds to Primary Causes
The body responds to all primary causes through inflammation, the stress response, and mind-body adaptation (the mental/emotional adjustments to primary causes).
4. Metabolic Chaos
This involves disturbances of total body biochemistry. Since the body is 65% amino acids by dry weight, most of metabolic chaos involves disturbances of amino acid chemistry.
Thank you for checking out drdavidgersten.com. There’s a lot of useful information within these pages. Here’s wishing you positive changes in your healing journey!”
– Dr. David Gersten