Our Approach to BALANCED Treatment

Mood disorders affect the whole person, from their thoughts and emotions to their family life and physical health. Today, full recovery is possible, and there are many effective treatments to choose from including medication and hormone replacement, counseling and psychotherapy, products and supplements as well as dietary and lifestyle approaches.

Not all treatments are right for everyone, and not all aspects of mood disorders are negative. These conditions also bring strengths which are important to identify so they don’t get lost in the treatment. Our goal is to help patients find the right balance between the benefits of full treatment and the risks of overtreatment.

Careful Assessment

There are many kinds of mood and anxiety disorders, and accurate diagnosis is essential to finding the right treatment.  For example, some depressions can actually get worse with antidepressants.  An accurate diagnosis can also help you find the right therapy.  Some psychotherapies work best if your depression started recently, while others work better if your depression has been long-standing.

We use research-based diagnostic tests to make sure we are on the right path.  Many medical conditions contribute to mood disorders including thyroid, autoimmune and endocrine disorders; vitamin and nutritional deficiencies; inflammatory disorders and blood sugar imbalance.  We take a whole person approach, looking for the root cause of a patient’s symptoms.

Prevention and Wellness

At Balance our goal is to optimize a patient’s health.  We disagree with the popular approach in medicine, where we wait until a patient is suffering with significant symptoms and labs and other objective measures are way out of the normal range.  We don’t wait until a patient has a full-blown disease, we listen to the body to address issues and prevent illness.  Symptoms are your bodies way of letting you know that something is wrong, and it should be paid attention to.  Our bodies have developed very complex and sophisticated systems to alert a patient when something isn’t right.  We suggest that patients listen to their bodies and we will listen to you.

Subtle changes in lab work are significant, lab reference ranges can be misleading.  Being on the high or low end of the “normal” range can signal dysfunction and certain “normal” lab values in conjunction with each other signal a problem. It takes time to look for this, a provider can’t just look for the lab values that the lab company flags, there is so much more information in the lab panel!  Anyone can diagnose illness when it has progressed to the point where it’s obvious on your lab.  A real diagnostician will investigate, look at labs in relation to each other and the patient’s symptoms, find patterns and help to identify problems before they proceed to disease.

Shared Decision Making

At each visit, you will play a key role in choosing the treatment that best fits your goals. When making recommendations, we consider both the long and short-term effects of treatment.

Family Involvement

Mood and anxiety disorders impact the whole family, and healing from these effects is an important part of treatment.   Sometimes patient’s family members will notice improvement or worsening in their symptoms before the patient does.  Patients differ in how they would like their family involved, we respect people’s need for privacy and will discuss with you what level of family involvement is best for your own situation.

Functional Approach

Many issues that patients are experiencing today are a result of the mismatch between our environment and lifestyle and how our bodies evolved to survive and reproduce.  Our Paleolithic ancestors survived because they had genes that enabled them to survive in harsh conditions.  

Now those genetic advantages are causing disease.  We’ve developed insulin resistance because it helped store fat and survive famine; anti-inflammatory resistance because inflammation helped us survive acute infectious disease and trauma and thyroid resistance because it helped us overcome stress and down regulated metabolism to conserve energy in difficult times.  

One of our treatment goals is to help patients learn to work with and not against their bodies by getting down to the basics.  We can’t change our genetics, but we can change our environment and lifestyle to provide the ideal components to fuel our mind, good mood and body.

Most of our patients come to us looking for answers.  They’ve been feeling unwell for some time and haven’t found the right provider to sit down, listen and work with them to get their body functioning right.  They know something is wrong, they feel different, but a diagnosis or acceptable treatment has eluded them.  Traditional medicine is failing patients because it has broken a patient up into different systems with a specialist treating their “system” without adequately considering the person as a whole.

We try to address the root cause of a patient’s illness- not just symptoms of cause.  We want to understand the underlying mechanisms.  Emerging medicine is providing evidence that a common underlying dysfunction can cause discrete symptoms in many systems in the body. For example, inflammation has been linked to dementia, cancer, heart disease and obesity, as well as autoimmune, inflammatory, allergic and psychiatric disorders.  

As medicine evolves, we’re realizing that the body isn’t actually what we thought it was.  It’s a dynamic complex and adaptive ecosystem that responds to inputs from the environment. We work to address this dynamic and complex system in a patient’s body.

Patient Education

We are firm believers in patient education.  It’s rare that a patient will leave an appointment without some kind of handout to help them understand their diagnosis or treatment.  We encourage patients to be advocates for their health, to do so patients must take an active role in understanding their bodies, brain and mood.  We’re here to help, please ask questions if you don’t understand something you’ve been told.  We are here to help you on your journey to wellness!

How can you help us help you?

Many medical practices today are forced to sell to larger organizations or hospital groups because of financial pressures in private practice.  We want to be able to provide care for patients as we see fit without interference from a hospital organization.  We strive to provide the highest level of care without creating a financial burden.  We know that a financial stressor will only make our job of helping you feel better more difficult.  We do our best to keep our fees reasonable, while accepting health insurance.  You can help us continue to do this by:

  • Attending scheduled appointments or providing adequate notice to cancel.
  • Ask for refills at your appointment or by requesting through the pharmacy to cut down on office calls.
  • Pay your balance at your appointment so that we don’t need to mail statements and pay for postage.
  • Buy your supplements from us!  We will price match and you can also use your health care savings card to purchase.  We will never push products on you, please ask for them, we want to sell them to you if you are interested.
  • Refer your family and friends, there is no better compliment to us.
  • If you have a great experience, tell us!  It is motivating and keeps us going.
  • If you don’t have a great experience, please don’t leave without telling your provider, Jennifer or Julie.  We make mistakes, but we can’t fix them if we don’t know.
  • Is there a product or service you think we should incorporate into our practice?  We’d love to hear about it!

A healthy mind, mood and body takes collaboration and team work from the doctor and patient for the best outcome.  Thank you for your cooperation and choosing to join me on this path of wellness.