Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Bad For You?

I hear from patients all the time that they don’t want to or won’t consider going on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy because of how dangerous it is, or they don’t want to get cancer, some won’t even want to have their hormone levels tested. Below I want to discuss some of the misconceptions between Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). First by starting off with why many have heard that taking hormones is “bad” for you.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was pioneered in the 1940’s, grew more popular in the 1960’s, and seemed to reach a peak in 1999 for more than 85 million prescriptions written for women. In 2002 there was a study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) that sought to test the safety and efficacy of HRT. The results of those studies created panic and fear amongst women on using HRT, and for good reason. The results showed that women taking synthetic estrogen and progesterone had an increased risk of developing breast and uterine cancer, along with other dangers. The trial had to be stopped after running from 1993 to 2002. In 2003 another trial called the Million Women Study (MWS) made headlines when it stated HRT increased the incidence of breast cancer. However, a review of the study published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health stated the MWS study had so many problems with the design of the study, and that “HRT may or may not increase the risk of breast cancer, but the MWS did not establish that it does”.

Unfortunately, the backlash of these studies led to millions of women not taking any hormones.

A few of the problems with the study are:

·      The women swallowed the hormones

·      If the women didn’t have a uterus, they weren’t given Progesterone

·      All the women were given synthetic hormones

Let’s look at why these issues are a big deal. Swallowing synthetic hormones are not the best delivery method for hormone replacement. When hormones are swallowed it’s broken down in the stomach and then broken down in the liver. This isn’t how our body naturally releases hormones. When the liver starts breaking down this large amount of hormones it makes inflammatory proteins (called C-reactive protein) and blood clotting factors. Remember when you’re told if you take birth control long enough it will increase your risk of blood clotting and therefore strokes and heart attacks? This is why. So, a big issue with these studies is that the women were taking their hormones orally. The only exception to this is that it appears to be safe to take micronized progesterone made from a compounding pharmacy orally. We’ll address progesterone below.

Another issue is that the women in the trial that didn’t have a uterus weren’t given progesterone. It used to be very common for women to have their uterus removed during perimenopause. However, the body still has progesterone receptors and progesterone balances out the effects of estrogen. So, the two balance each other. Being on estrogen only can be dangerous.

A major problem with the study was the use of synthetic hormones. These hormones are made from drying out horse’s urine and then processed in a lab to make a capsule. The breakdown of estrogen produces 2-hydroxyestrone or 16alpha-hydroxyestrone. Simply put the 2-hydroxyestrone is protective against cancer but the 16-hydroxyestrone is cancer causing. So, it’s likely these metabolites from the synthetic hormones were the more cancer-causing metabolites of estrogen.

While BHRT appears to be safer than HRT when used appropriately, that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. Which is why you need to see a doctor that specializes in BHRT and have a thorough history and labs taken. Even the form of BHRT can come into play. For instance, it’s likely better for a woman to be on a topical estrogen if she’s at a high risk for heart attack or stroke.

The benefits for BHRT are a plenty. There’s research showing many changes in normal aging, such as osteoporosis, muscle atrophy/sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass), increased body fat, and sleep disorders are due to a decrease in hormones. Replacing these levels to optimal levels can combat these “diseases” associated with the aging process.

Unfortunately, many patients that do seek hormone replacement are often on an inadequate hormone regimen. Many doctors are not trained to target optimal levels in a patient’s hormones. The patients’ hormone levels are targeted to low-normal levels and the doctor, despite the patient verbalizing they don’t feel much better, will only prescribe hormones to keep the patient in the low-normal levels. The docs don’t know how to prescribe or monitor the blood tests.

Don’t wait for your levels to be below normal!

There are many benefits to BHRT besides reversing the ones listed above and staving off diseased. Women can see dramatic changes in skin thickness, texture, hydration, and tightness. Men can see more lean muscle mass added with decreased body fat. Both sexes can feeling increase in sex drive and more vitality and zest for life

I’ll be adding more articles in regard to the specific hormones and their benefits so keep checking back.

If you’re ready to start feeling better and think BHRT is right for you then reach out to us at Innate Healthcare at 602.603.3118 or email


Promising Study For Stem Cell Treatment for Osteoarthritis

A new study has provided further evidence for the safety and efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell treatments for osteoarthritis. The study, titled “Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Patients with Osteoarthritis Results in Overall Improvement in Pain and Symptoms and Reduces Synovial Inflammation.”, found that the stem cell injections were safe and likely inhibited the cells that make up cartilage (chondrocytes) from dying.


In this Canadian phase I/II trial there were 12 patients enrolled (seven men and five women) into the trial. They were aged 40-65 and had with osteoarthritis in the knee. The scientists then extracted bone marrow from the hip of each patient, isolated the mesenchymal stromal cells and grew these cells on a petri dish until there were enough cells to transplant back into the patient. Each patient received their own cells via an injection into the knee. The patients were split into four groups with each receiving a different number of cells. The patients were monitored for up to two years after injection.

Though it was a small study the findings were impressive. The researchers screened blood and urine to detect molecules associated with chondrocyte degradation. The level of these molecules remained constant over a 12-month period indicating that the stem cells may have a protective effect on the chondrocytes. The scientists also found a decrease in pro-inflammatory markers present in the knee. This suggests that the stem cells may suppress the immune responses in this tissue. The patients perceived pain was significantly better.

While this study is promising, it did not provide a control group ( a group that recieved something other than the stem cell treatment). So a placebo effect could account for some of the improvements the patients experienced.

At Innate we don’t use bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells since some research indicates the number and viability (how well the stem cell work) tends to decrease the older we get, or the longer we battle chronic disease and conditions. Our experience utilizing Umbilical Cord Tissue and Exosomes with osteoarthritis has proved very promising results in decreasing or eliminating pain, as well as improving the function of the joint. Meaning you’re in less pain and able to do the things you love to do.

Benefits of Cannabis as a Holistic Pain Management Alternative

- Guest post from Chris Weatherall of Kind Meds

            What many individuals and groups have forgotten, is that traditional medication does not always have to be the first answer for anything. Taking a tiny pain pill may be the easiest and fastest way to deal with chronic pain, but what many people fail to ask is, is it the safest? Prescription medication has helped millions of lives, but it has also done a lot of damage to many, many lives.

            Addiction is cruel. It comes fast and destroys almost everything in its path. It ends careers. It ends relationships. It ends lives. Doctors are giving out dangerous and addictive substances to patients and when they stop writing the prescriptions, patients have to turn to even more dangerous and additive street drugs. 

            There are alternatives. Getting injured or trying to manage any type of pain is already a draining task in itself. You shouldn’t have to worry about risking becoming addicted to the very thing that is supposed to be treating you. You shouldn’t have to deal with the many issues that arise when one becomes addicted to opioids. You don’t have to. There is another way for you to successfully manage your pain and go back to living a happy healthy life. It’s called cannabis (also known as medical marijuana), and it is disrupting and slowly dismantling the epidemic of opioid addictions and overmedication in the medical field today. 

What is holistic health?


            Living holistically means to strive for wellbeing in all facets of life. It means giving equal care and attention to one’s spirituality, emotional, and physical health. When one lives by holistic principles, it becomes impossible to be fully healthy without enhancing all three aspects of one’s life. Holistic living encompasses many things, and holistic health is increasingly becoming more popular in mainstream society and culture.

            Living holistically means to live naturally. A proper diet, daily exercise, and spiritual cultivation is one of the biggest parts of holistic health. What we put into our bodies reflects our energy levels, moods, emotions, and physical health. Often when a person is practicing holistic health, they will eat organically, locally, and sometimes even as vegetarians or vegans. Holistic health as a practice discourages putting toxins into the body. This includes harmful medications as well.

Holistic pain management

            Holistic pain management comes in many forms. Acupuncture aims to provide a balance to bodies physical, mental, and spiritual functions. The practice of Reiki is meant to remove negative energies from the body through light touching or hovering of the hands over the body. Holistic pain management can also include light therapy, art therapy, music therapy, crystal healing, aromatherapy, and massage. Yoga has also been an essential tool in helping manage chronic pain. Yoga stretches the body and helps to relive joint pain and increase flexibility.

Medical marijuana (Cannabis)


            Over the past two decades, medical marijuana has been voted into over half of the states that make up America. Patients with qualifying diseases and illnesses are now eligible to obtain access to medical grade cannabis to treat their conditions. Some states have even legalized it recreationally for those over the age of 21. It remains a semi-controversial topic, but many politicians and cannabis activists have made the issue a top priority in recent legislation.

            In Arizona, the Supreme Court recently ruled that cannabis extracts are legal. This is a huge victory for residents of Arizona that have been suffering from chronic pain and had no improvement with traditional forms of medicine and conventional treatment plans. Marijuana sold and purchased for medical use was made legal in cases where patients had a qualifying condition in 2010.

Cannabis for pain

Cannabis has a healing effect on the body. Many people who use cannabis as a form of medical treatment for pain or injury management find that relief is almost instant and there are little to no negative side effects. Cannabis can be used in place of or in addition to other more traditional and conventional forms of medical treatment. Combination holistic and traditional treatment plans are common in many hospitals and medical settings across America.

Benefits of cannabis

Cannabis also provides many other mental and physical benefits. Depending on the strain, cannabis can spark creativity, laughter, and a deeper insight on the world around you. It can help in dealing with improving mood levels, decreasing anxiety, and lowering stress levels. Cannabis can be used for many medical conditions such as epilepsy, eating disorders, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, arthritis, migraines, nausea, insomnia, and more.

Cannabis can also be a tool used for treating the negative side effects of opioid withdrawal. Addicts often feel as though they are dying when going through opioid withdrawal. Cannabis can be a tool used for relief when someone is going through the painful detox process. If this hardest part is made just a bit easier, the chances of an addict relapsing goes way down. Replacing one addiction with another, safer and less addictive forms of medication can be a great way to kick a harmful habit. Doctors should always consider using cannabis when treating patients going through withdrawal, but make sure to never give anything to someone who does not appear they can handle it.

Chronic pain relief with cannabis

            Chronic pain relief can stem from many underlying conditions. Athletes can sustain permanent injuries from pushing their body past its limits. Construction and factory workers can become harmed or disabled from dangerous workplace conditions and practices. Old injuries can develop into chronic pain. Chronic pain can also be a side effect of another disease like HIV or cancer. The simple aging process can cause aches and pains from degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. And sometimes, chronic pain has no evident cause. It’s just . . . there.

            Some people search for chronic pain relief their whole lives. Pain management sounds so simple, but it is in fact much more complex. There are thousands and thousands of different treatment methods to research, sample, find specialists on, and to choose from. There is no way to know what the best option for an individual is without having at least at first a few misfires. If prescription pain medication is one of those failures, it may not be able to be taken back. A prescription pain pill addiction can last a lifetime.

Kind Meds

            Kind Meds is a medical marijuana dispensary located in Mesa, Arizona. They feature a large variety of flowers, concentrates, edibles, topicals, and more. They offer discounts and deals for seniors, industry workers, and veterans, with other incredible deals for new and returning customers. Kind Meds is open from 10 am to 8 pm every day of the week, and are ADA accessible. The employees at Kind Meds are dedicated to finding the best treatment options for each unique patient, and are willing to answer any questions or concerns.

            In conclusion, using integrative and alternative forms of medicine is a viable solution for anyone who has had trouble with other traditional forms of medicine. The many dangerous and lasting side effects that typically accompany pain medications are becoming not worth the health risk. Using cannabis as a form of holistic pain management can be beneficial in multiple areas of life. Why wait?

Ask your Innate Healthcare doctor today and see if you qualify to become a legal medical marijuana card holder in your state. Your future is in your hands, and it’s time to do something about your chronic pain.

- Chris Weatherall is a content writer for Kind Meds, a medical marijuana dispensary in Mesa, Arizona. He has been a long-time resident of Arizona since 1999 and enjoys riding his motorcycle in his sparetime. You can contact him on Twitter @roroster


Commit to a Healthy, Cost-Effective New You

There are few things in life more important than your health and well-being. When you take care of yourself, you’re acknowledging that you matter and that your life is a priority. It all translates to a longer and happier life. Even the simplest things can go a long way toward keeping you healthy throughout the year. Give yourself the gift of good health with these budget-friendly improvements to your lifestyle.

Cook at Home

Cooking for yourself has two major benefits: cost savings and better health. Why spend $20 on dining out when you could cook the same meal for under $5? When you buy fresh groceries from the market and eat meals made from scratch, you’re able to avoid additives and processed ingredients that are typically found in restaurants and pre-made food. However, don’t be tricked into thinking that anything at the store is cleaner than a restaurant menu. Packaged food, such as cereal and canned soup, is likely unhealthier than the “soup of the day” or oatmeal at a restaurant.

 It’s best to cook with real ingredients such as animal protein, legumes, whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. If it has too many ingredients, then it’s no longer whole. To make your food tastier, season liberally with herbs and spices, and skip the added sugar and salt.

Take a Daily Walk

Exercise comes with a host of physical and mental health benefits, including healthy weight and slower aging, increased energy and moods, and reduced risk of heart attacks, depression, and dementia. If you’re just getting started with exercise, get into the routine of walking every day. Walking is an easily accessible, low-impact activity that anyone can do anywhere at no cost. All you need are feet, comfortable shoes, and ground to walk on. Develop a pattern by choosing the same time each day to go for a walk, such as in the morning before work or in the evenings after dinner. If you can find ways to walk throughout the day, then do it. Every step counts.

Set Up a Home Gym

If you discover that you enjoy walking but want to step up your fitness game, then consider devoting a small section of your property to a home gym. Whether it’s a section of your garage or an unused room, you can set things up with very little stress and money. You can pick up equipment such as free weights and resistance bands for very little money — more so if you opt for secondhand gear. Also, if you want to help spruce up your space a little bit by adding flooring, hiding cords and cables, or installing chin-up bars, you can hire a contractor to tackle some of these smaller jobs for you. In Phoenix, for example, you can hire a contractor for between $138 and $444, though that number will likely depend on what job you require.

Get an Annual Physical

Not all illnesses and diseases have symptoms, and the only way to know if something is wrong is to have a doctor exam you. Preventive care can go a long way in keeping you healthy. Early detection and treatment of medical conditions can also save you money in the long run. Some insurance plans offer a free annual physical exam, which is the best way to be proactive with your health. Find out if your healthcare provider offers this free service, but include the cost in your budget in case it’s not covered.

Visit a Dentist

While a semiannual teeth cleaning is an additional expense, it’s a procedure that can prevent further costly damage and maintain your body’s well-being. In addition to oral health, a visit to the dentist can improve your mental health (if you don’t have insurance, a cleaning generally costs around $127). Mental and dental health are connected in two ways: poor mental health can lead to a drop in oral hygiene, and poor dental health can cause stress and depression. Dental health is a year-round process that can cost very little by practicing good habits: brush your teeth twice daily, floss once daily, and reduce your intake of sweets.

Volunteer with Animals

Can you think of a better way to spend your weekend than with animals? Rescue groups operate mostly with volunteers who dedicate their time caring for animals and helping them find homes. Animals benefit from compassionate humans, but emotional rewards are great for volunteers too. The animal-human bond reduces stress levels, blood pressure, and anxiety. You’ll also get more steps in when rescue dogs need to be walked. Sure, you might have to pick up animal waste and clean cages, but it’s certainly a labor of love. All it costs is your time and attention.


You don’t need to have expendable income to afford a healthy life. What you need is the desire to be healthy and the willingness to achieve it. Your well-being is your responsibility, and nobody else but you can prioritize it for you. Self-care is the greatest gift you can give yourself, but it shouldn’t cost a lot to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

- Gabriel Patel

Australian Research Shows That Stem Cell Therapy Improves Quality of Life by More Than 290% for Osteoarthritis Sufferers


PR NewswireMay 28, 2019

Check out this fascinating article on stem cell medicine and osteoarthritis. For more info on the most successful regenerative stem cell treatments in Phoenix call Innate Healthcare at 602.603.3118 to get your life back on track!

MELBOURNE, Australia, May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Professor Julien Freitag, the Principle Clinical Investigator in a world-leading research on stem-cell therapy in osteoarthritis, announced in Melbourne today the results of the world's largest published trial on the benefits of stem-cell therapy for osteoarthritis, the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide.

The world-first published research by Melbourne Stem Cell Centre under the auspices of the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee, shows that stem cell therapy improves the quality of life of those affected by more than to 290%.

Professor Freitag said the study, the first of its type, conclusively proves the clinical and real-world benefits of stem cell therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis and shows that stem cells can stop the progression of osteoarthritis and regrow cartilage.

Professor Freitag said the year-long study titled 'Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial' and published in the international journal Regenerative Medicine, confirms the emergence of a new era in cell therapy.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults in the US, according to the Arthritis Association. By conservative estimates, about 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, of which 31 million have the most common type, osteoarthritis.  Arthritis and other non-traumatic joint disorders are among the five most costly conditions among adults aged eighteen and over in the US.

Until now, the only treatment options available to most patients were pain-relief drugs, prescribed exercise, knee surgery and joint replacement.

The trial found:

  • Statistical and clinically significant pain and function improvement following stem cell therapy in 85 per cent of patients (observed as early as one month following treatment)

  • Trial subjects experienced a dramatic decrease in pain and a big increase in functional activity with stem cell treatment, resulting in their quality of life scores improving almost three-fold (290%)

  • Average pain improvement of 69% at 12 months follow-up

  • Significantly greater pain improvement compared to current conventional therapies, including use of anti-inflammatories, a prescribed exercise program and knee arthroscopy

  • Progression of arthritis halted in the majority (89%) of participants who underwent multiple stem cell injections.

  • Evidence of cartilage regrowth.

  • Stem cell therapy was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events.

Associate Professor Dr Julien Freitag, Head of Clinical Research at Melbourne Stem Cell Centre, said:

"This is the largest published trial of its type on the benefits of stem-cell therapy and osteoarthritis.  It validates stem cell therapy as a real treatment option."

This trial confirms that cell therapies will change the way in which we practice medicine.

Research-based stem cell treatment should not, however, replace effective lifestyle-focused, conservative treatment.

It is important for patients to follow their doctor's advice, which may be to continue with traditional methods such as exercise and weight management, which are important additional factors in achieving a healthy and active lifestyle. "

"Stem cell therapy may be one piece of the puzzle in the management of arthritis but it does not replace the proactive measures which can be achieved by patients themselves."

Professor Freitag said an active lifestyle brings all round health benefits.

Stem Cell Medicine for Parkinson's Disease

A recent presentation at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting reports some promising results for treating Parkinson’s Disease with stem cell therapy.

The study enrolled 20 participants, including 11 men, ages 45-78. All were in off state — which refers to the resurgence of symptoms due to a gradual decline in levodopa’s efficacy — and were at stage 3 or less in the Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) scale correlating with mild-to-moderate disease severity. Stage three is considered mid-stage and is characterized by loss of balance and slowness of movement.

The promising results are below:

Results: All 20 subjects have received a single IV infusion without any adverse reactions in the first 24 hours. In subsequent follow up the most common side effect was hypertension, arthralgia, and nausea (27% for each), which was mild and transient in all cases, not requiring treatment. To date, the first fourteen patients sustained a reduction in UPDRS-III motor score (OFF state) at 12 weeks follow up.

Conclusions: Preliminary findings from this ongoing small proof-of-concept study, that allogeneic MSC infusions appear to be safe and well tolerated in subjects with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. Our preliminary results warrant the completion of the study with the goal of identifying an ideal, well-tolerated dose that is associated with an improvement in cognition, motor function, and disability.

The researchers reported “To date, the first 14 treated patients showed lower (better) UPDRS-III motor scores at 12 weeks of follow-up. Allogeneic MSC infusions appear to be safe and well tolerated in subjects with mild to moderate Parkinson’s,” the researchers said. Our preliminary results warrant the completion of the study with the goal of identifying an ideal, well-tolerated dose that is associated with an improvement in cognition, motor function, and disability,.”

What Are Allogenic Stem Cells And What Do They Do?

Allogenic stem cells are stem cells that come from a source besides the person’s own body. For instance most allogenic stem cell treatments come from a donated umbilical cord, placental tissue, or amniotic fluid. Where most stem cell treatments in the past decades have come from the patients’ own bone marrow or fat tissue, in the past years stem cells from sources such as umbilical cords have shown significant results.

Stem cells have the capacity to migrate to injured tissues, a phenomenon called homing.  This occurs by injury or disease signals that are released from the distressed cells and tissue.  Once stem cells arrive, they dock on adjacent cells to commence performing their job to repair the problem. One of the biggest factors is a stem cells ability to heal surrounding cells via a paracrine action: secreting exosomes, growth factors and other proteins into the surrounding environment. These factors help control many aspects of the healing and repair process systemically.

Stem cells help modulate the immune system and regulate inflammation which is a key mediator of disease, aging, and is a hallmark of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Neuroinflammation is suspected to contribute to Parkinson’s Disease.

As central nervous system (CNS) research evolves, the field of regenerative medicine and stem cells offers the greatest hope for those suffering from degenerative diseases, conditions for which there is currently no effective treatment or conditions that have failed conventional medical therapy.

I have personally seen at least 1 patient improve so much with his Parkinson’s symptoms he was recorded by the doctor running and playing catch with a football in the parking lot.

For more information on stem cell, exosome, regenerative medicine and if it’s right for you call Innate Healthcare at 602.603.3118

Dr. Travis Whitney

How to Make Your Diet Work For Your Fitness

How to Make Your Diet Work For Your Fitness 101

By Sheila Olson (

When you’re working out hard and trying to keep going, it’s important to make sure your diet is helping you reach your goals. Eating healthy is an aspect of self-care and is good for your emotional stability. Your diet is also one of the best ways to regulate your health by controlling the microbes that beneficially live with your body. With that in mind, here’s how you can make your diet help you reach your fitness goals.

Eat Enough Servings of Fruits and Veggies Daily

The old recommendation was five servings. It’s a good place to start, but if you’re already eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, consider this: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new recommendations which claim that more matters. In other words, don’t just stop at five — make an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables every day.

Get It Delivered

Any kind of food delivery or subscription service is a good way to help you eat right. This market continues to grow as more and more millennials look for convenient home-cooked meals that are healthy. A lot of food delivery services come with fresh food that gives you the right portion size according to your personal needs, allowing you to customize what you’d like. It’s also nice if you’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to cook but still wants to eat healthily. You’ll have more options and be less likely to give into temptation.

Go for Frozen Produce

You might be familiar with this scenario: You bought a bunch of fruits and vegetables with good intentions, stored them in the bottom drawers of your refrigerator, and then completely forgot about them. The solution: frozen food. According to NPR, important studies have shown that frozen produce packs just the same nutritional value as the fresh stuff. They’re typically harvested right at the time of ripeness, which means they’re at their very best. This is a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Have Slender Shelves

Slender shelves allow you to get rid of the food that will make you feel terrible. Look at your pantry and see what you’ve got stored there. Sometimes, all it takes is looking over the nutritional information labels to get the motivation to chuck the bad stuff and leave old dietary habits behind. This also means stocking healthier options that are easier to eat 

Don’t Eliminate Any Food Groups

The American Council on Science and Health emphasizes that many fad diets can cut out entire groups of nutrition, and while it will offer short-term benefits, it’s often not a healthy or sustainable way to live. A lot of diets out there will tell you to eat low-carb or eliminate specific food groups entirely. While everyone has certain dietary restrictions, a lot of these food groups give you the nutrients you need and the balance you seek. Speak to your Innate doctor about your diet specifics.

Go for the “Good Fats”

When it comes to fats, keep it simple by avoiding saturated and trans fats. Start opting for foods with relatively more unsaturated fats. Some of the “good fats” include avocados, nuts, cheese, whole eggs, dark chocolate, fish, chia seeds, and even olive oil. Good fats can help lower your cholesterol and help you with blood clots, movement, and inflammation.

Eat Enough to Give You Energy

We all know that indulging in a huge post-workout meal can negatively impact the benefits of working out, but not having enough food before you work out can also be a problem. Cutting out a lot of calories can get in the way of having effective workouts. You’ll become lethargic and won’t be able to perform at your best. If you’re looking to cut calories, do it in small increments. Always make sure you’re eating enough to help you throughout the day.

A good, solid diet will help you stay healthy and happy. You don’t need to completely give up all unhealthy things, but do try to incorporate more of the good stuff into your life and learn how to swap out the bad food for the good. It’ll make your fitness regime even better.

Why everyone should love IV Therapy

What is IV therapy?

Intravenous therapy (IV) is a therapy that delivers liquid substances directly into a vein. The intravenous route of administration can be used for injections or infusions (commonly referred to as drips). The IV route is the fastest way to deliver medications and fluid replacement throughout the body because the bodies circulation carries them.


Why is IV medicine so effective?

Have you ever been on hold for customer service and after about 10 minutes of getting bounced around, you just want to talk to a human? Don’t you wish you could just have direct phone numbers to the people that can help you with your issue? Well, IV Therapy is like having the personal cell phone of the CEO of a company. When you introduce nutrients directly into the bloodstream, it does not have to be broken down in the stomach and then absorbed through the intestines. This bypasses problems like leaky gut and poor digestion. The nutrients can then get to the organs and tissues immediately. It’s fast, effective, and efficient at healing the tissues that need it the most.

Why are nutrients in IVs so important?

I like to think of the human body as an automatic restaurant. If you have ever worked in a food establishment then you know how the roles and responsibilities each person needs to get food to a customer. There are people to order and cook the food, take the customers order, wash the dishes, and many people in between. Your organs and tissues need vitamins (food) and things called cofactors (think of them as restaurant staff) to be able to run the necessary operation. Every nutrient has different properties and they all have different roles in the body.

When you have a poorly functioning system, there is a problem with absorbing the nutrients and it makes it even harder for the body to continue to function. Think of it as a broken stove or dishwasher. This is where IV medicine can really help. It’s like hacking the system; it can deliver nutrients directly to the source of the issue.


What is a Myers’ Cocktail?

If you have had IV therapy then you might have heard of a myers cocktail. Myers' cocktail is an IV nutrient mixture invented by Baltimore physician John Myers. It contains magnesium, calcium, various B vitamins and vitamin C that is claimed to be beneficial for a broad range of conditions. (1) It is the most common IV therapy offered because of it as a Mega multivitamin. There are many ways to improve on this formula but it is a basic nutrient IV that most physicians offer because it can help a broad range of issues.


What are the benefits of IV therapy?

Quite honestly, the list is endless. Depending on what the body is lacking, it can make a huge difference in your quality of life. For instance, at Innate Healthcare, we offer a variety of IVs depending on what your symptoms are. Everything from fatigue, brain fog, weight loss, skin complaints, dehydration to detox and hangovers. Most people that try IV therapy report having better energy levels, clear cognition, better sleep, improved immune response, among other benefits. The possibilities are really endless.

Are IV nutrients right for you?

Some people do not like needles and they are nervous about trying IV therapy. There are amazing tools out there that can be utilized to make IV placement painless. So don’t let the “poke” of a needle deter you. Every human being needs vitamins and nutrients to run their bodies. I employ you to check it out if you feel like you would like to try it. Speaking from personal experience, it is a therapy that is something everyone should try once. For more of the pros and cons check out this article



Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for Pain

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for Pain

Pain is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor (skin disorders is the most common, another reason you should see Dr. Faith Coats). Unfortunately most of the conventional medical community hasn’t had a lot of success with treating the most common presentations of pain, such as back and knee pain due to osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. I’ve seen hundreds of patients that have been through the same process: over-the-counter (OTC) pain pills, prescription pain pills, physical therapy (PT), steroid injections, nerve ablation (destroying the nerves), and finally, surgery. While some do have success with surgery, it’s expensive and the recovery is long, and unfortunately many end up with not having much pain relief after. Many have said that if they could so it again they choose not to have surgery done.

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

So what other options are there? Enter the world of prolotherapy with platelet rich plasma (PRP). Prolotherapy is basically a therapy aimed to proliferate tissue, or make it grow more. For more info on prolotherapy go here. With PRP we’re using the bodies’ own platelets to stimulate the growth of cartilage, connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. The procedure involves drawing some of the patients blood, and after some simple steps in the lab, extracting the plasma portion of the blood that’s rich with platelets and injecting it back into the damaged tissue. The amazing results comes from the concentrated solution of platelets, rich with growth factors. PRP treatment has been around since the 80’s, first used with maxillofacial surgery.

PRP is successful at treating multiple joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. This means PRP is used for back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, anywhere on the body there’s pain in the joints. There’s also research showing it can heal neuropathy. Such as pain and numbness from peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes, chemotherapy, drugs, aging, or and idiopathic cause (meaning we don’t know what caused the problem).

A study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science recruited 102 people with grade 3 knee osteoarthritis. The participants were divided into 3 groups and given one, two, or three PRP injections. All three of the groups improved in their levels of pain, stiffness, and functional scores. The group that had three injections improved significantly better than the group that had one, and the authors concluded that a minimum of two injections is appropriate. From my years of administering prolotherapy injections I’d also recommend a minimum of 2 or 3 treatments.

At Innate we offer PRP at a fraction of the cost that many other clinics charge for PRP. The procedure has proven to be very effective in treatment of joint pain, and is promising for nerve and muscle pains, for years. PRP is having amazing success in skin rejuvenation and hair growth as well. Athletes have utilized PRP for years to treat injuries and keep them at the top of their game. Why shouldn’t you be able to utilize this effective treatment for your chronic and debilitating pains so you can get back to living without pain and doing the things you want to do?

— Dr. Travis Whitney

Photo by  Emma Simpson  on  Unsplash


Alderman, Donna, and Robert Alexander. “Advances in Regenerative Medicine: High-Density Platelet-Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Prolotherapy For Musculoskeletal Pain.” Advances in Regenerative Medicine, Oct. 2011, pp. 49–90.

Jubert, Nayana J, et al. “Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis.” The Orthopedic Journal Of Sports Medicine, vol. 5, no. 2, 2017, doi:10.1177/2325967116689386.

Kavadar, Gulis, et al. “Effectiveness of Platelet-Rich Plasma in the Treatment of Moderate Knee Osteoarthritis: a Randomized Prospective Study.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, vol. 27, no. 12, 2015, pp. 3863–3867.

Laves, Rubina, and Ramon Gilmat. “ A Review of Platelet-Rich Plasma: History, Biology, Mechanism of Action, and Classification.” Skin Appendage Disorder, vol. 4, 6 July 2017, pp. 18–24., doi:10.1159/000477353 .

Malahias, Michael, et al. “Platelet-Rich Plasma Guided Injections: Clinical Application in Peripheral Neuropathies.” Frontiers in Surgery, vol. 1, no. 41, 13 Oct. 2014, pp. 1–4., doi: 10.3389/fsurg.2014.00041.

Miller, Larry, et al. “Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Symptomatic Tendinopathy: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Injection Controlled Trials.” BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med, vol. 3, 25 Aug. 2017, pp. 1–11., doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2017-000237 .

Mishra, Allen. “Treatment of Tendon and Muscle Using Platelet-Rich Plasma.” Clin Sports Med, vol. 28, 2009, pp. 113–125., doi:10.1016/j.csm.2008.08.007.

Cannabis and Crohn's Disease (IBD)

Cannabis and Crohn's Disease (IBD)

In a study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology researchers looked into the beneficial effects of THC on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The researchers concluded:

"Although the primary end point of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved, a short course (8 weeks) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 10 of 11 patients with active Crohn's disease, compared with placebo, without side effects. Further studies, with larger patient groups and a nonsmoking mode of intake, are warranted."


Although the primary end point (induction of remission) was not achieved, it's still impressive to see 10 out of 11 patients receive benefits and 5 of those have complete remission. Surprisingly, as the authors mentioned in their conclusion, the delivery method was smoking and not an edible. I would bet a more direct delivery method to the intestinal tract might improve results. 

To find out more on the study you can read it here:

MIC for Fat Loss: What MIC Is And How It Helps Cut Fat.

MIC for Fat Loss: What MIC Is And How It Helps Cut Fat. 

If you've been trying to lose fat for awhile, rather as an athlete or just to be healthy, then you've probably heard of MIC. MIC injections are called lipotropic, meaning they burn fat. It's grown popular in the athletic and celebrity community for it's fast fat busting effects, when combined with the proper nutrition and exercise program. If you've never heard of it then you're about to learn all about it.


MIC stands for the three ingredients it's made up of: Methionine, Inositol, and Choline.

Methionine is an essential amino acid that acts as a lipotropic agent which: assists in the breakdown of fats within the liver; helps to lower cholesterol thereby preventing excess fat buildup in the liver and throughout your body’s circulatory system; is helpful in preventing and relieving fatigue; lowers triglycerides, and is useful in some cases of allergies by virtue of its ability to reduce histamine release.

Inositol is a lipotropic agent that helps your liver to remove fat from your body. It promotes the health of cell structures and nerve synapses; aids in the metabolism of fats; helps reduce blood cholesterol; and participates in the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to control mood and appetite.

Choline is an essential nutrient that helps to support the liver in its processing and excretion of chemical waste products. Moreover, it is required for the transport and metabolism of fats and cholesterol, which is important for the healthy support of the endocrine, cardiovascular, and hepatic systems. Choline prevents fat and cholesterol from accumulating on one part of your body and uniformly distributes this fat to various regions in the body where it can be metabolized to produce energy.  

MIC is typically combined with other vitamins to synergistically enhance its fat burning abilities. These include Vitamin B12, B-complex, and L-carnitine. 

Vitamin B12 is a key ingredient in so many of our bodies processes. B12 plays a significant role in the replication of DNA, the normal functioning of the nervous system, and the formation of blood cells. The vitamin B-12 injection has been shown to provide these key benefits: boosts energy and overall metabolic rate; assists in the burning of stored body fat; detoxifies the body; increases red blood cell production; maintains a healthy liver; helps regulate sleep, mood, appetite and energy; works synergistically with other nutrients to improve health; and slows aging.

Carnitine works by shuttling fatty acids directly in the cells mitochondira to be used for energy. Ideal for those that have cut carbs and their body is now using fats for energy. Carnitine is an amino acid which is required for the transport and breakdown of body fat for the generation of metabolic energy. Studies show that oral L-Carnitine supplementation can decrease fat mass, preserve muscle during exercise, and reduce muscle fatigue.

  • Biochem J. 1938 Jun;32(6):969-75. The action of cystine and methionine on liver fat deposition. Channon HJ1, Manifold MC, Platt AP.
  • Biol Trace Elem Res. 2007 Winter;120(1-3):179-94. The influence of methionine, selenomethionine, and vitamin E on liver metabolic pathways and steatosis in high-cholesterol fed rabbits. Birkner E1, Zalejska-Fiolka J, Kasperczyk A, Kasperczyk S, Grucka-Mamczar E, Stawiarska-Pieta B, Birkner K.
  • J Lab Clin Med. 1948 Sep;33(9):1123-32. The effect of choline, methionine, and low fat diet on the life expectancy of patients with cirrhosis of the liver. Wade L, Neudorff L, et al.
  • Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998 Apr;22(2):352-8. Free methionine supplementation limits alcohol-induced liver damage in rats. Parlesak A1, Bode C, Bode JC.
  • Biochimie. 2013 Oct;95(10):1811-27. Potential role and therapeutic interests of myo-inositol in metabolic diseases. Croze ML1, Soulage CO.
  • Tex State J Med. 1954 Dec;50(12):814-8. Cholesterol metabolism; evaluation of polysorbate 80-choline-inositol complex (monichol) for the management of hypercholesteremia. Albert A, Albert M.
  • J Am Med Assoc. 1953 Jun 20;152(8):682-6. Hypercholesteremia; effect on cholesterol metabolism of a polysorbate 80-choline-inositol complex (monichol). Sherber Da, Levites Mm.
  • Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2013 Jul;33(5):659-71. The protective effect of myo-inositol on hippocamal cell loss and structural alterations in neurons and synapses triggered by kainic acid-induced status epilepticus. Kotaria N1, Kiladze M, Zhvania MG, Japaridze NJ, Bikashvili T, Solomonia RO, Bolkvadze T.
  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 May 30;103(22):8528-33. Postsynaptic inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate signaling maintains presynaptic function of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses via BDNF. Furutani K1, Okubo Y, Kakizawa S, Iino M.
  • Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. 1989;30:205-12. Adequacy of vitamin supply under maximal sustained workloads: the Tour deFrance. Saris WH, Schrijver J, van Erp Baart MA, Brouns F.
  • J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1744-50. Provision of a school snack is associated with vitamin B-12 status, linear growth, and morbidity in children from Bogota, Colombia. Arsenault JE1, Mora-Plazas M, Forero Y, López-Arana S, Marín C, Baylin A, Villamor E.
  • J Nutr. 2002 Nov;132(11):3353-5. Increases in blood folate indices are similar in women of childbearing age supplemented with [6S]-5-methyltetrahydrofolate and folic acid. Venn BJ1, Green TJ, Moser R, McKenzie JE, Skeaff CM, Mann J.
  • University of Maryland Medical Centre. 2002.
  • Stephens, F.B., Constantin-Teodosiu, D., and Greenhaff, P.L., New insights concerning the role of carnitine in the regulation of fule metabolism in skeletal muscle, J. Physio., 581(pt2), 431-444, 2007.
  • Slonim, A.E., Borum, P.R., Tanaka, K., et al., Dietary dependent carnitine deficiency as a cause of nonketotic hypoglycemia in an infant, J. Prediatr., 551-556, 1981.
  • Helms, R.A., Whitington, P.F., Mauer, E.C., et al., Enhanced lipid utilization in infants receiving oral L-carnitine during long term parenteral nutrition, J. Pediatr., 109, 984-988, 1986.

Want To Change Your Health...Change Your Environment

Want To Change Your Health...Change Your Environment

When a Flower....jpg

I love this quote, it's perfectly encapsulates the root of naturopathic medicine. I DID NOT inherit my mother's "green thumb", she's an amazing gardener that can grow anything. My houseplants have tended to not do as well until I started to focus on the soil. I'd exhaust options of amount of light, too much water, too little water, but it wasn't until I focused on the plants environment that I was able to succeed. This quote eludes to the foundation in healing, for plants AND humans.

In states of disease, injury, and/or illness, there has to be a change made to your environment. Your "soil" needs improvement. This is where your "gardener", in the form of your doctor or healthcare practitioner, comes in. Our environment can be complex regarding our health; there's our diet, exercise, supplements, pharmaceuticals, environmental toxins, mental health, spirituality, emotions and much more that goes into our health. The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself, so if you're stuck there's probably some missing piece of the environment that needs tending. That's why it's important to have a doctor that knows how to address all these factors! Innate doctors are trained just for this!

If you're curious how we can help you bloom, call 602.603.3118 to find out more.

Medical Marijuana (Cannabis) for Pain, Cancer, Insomnia, and....?

Medical Marijuana (Cannabis) for Pain, Cancer, Insomnia, and....?

Cannabis has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine in India and China, and was introduced into Western medicine in the 19th century. 

Cannabis (typically called Medical Marijuana or MMJ for short, I don't like the term so I use its real name) has developed an excellent reputation as a medicinal herb, especially for treating pain and insomnia. Due to it's long term classification as a Schedule 1 Drug, little medicinal research has been done over the years on cannabis. That's starting to change as more states legalize cannabis and more people are finding such great success with it. Now looking through peer-reviewed cannabis studies can be exhausting due to all the research out there.


According to data from Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon, the most common condition cannabis is used for is severe and chronic pain, followed by muscle spasms, nausea, cancer, and PTSD. The only reason insomnia or anxiety isn't first, second, or third on that list is because most (or all) states don't consider insomnia or anxiety as "treatable conditions" for Medical Marijuana. Insomnia and anxiety are not qualifiable conditions for your MMJ card in Arizona, but from the thousand plus patients I've certified I can tell you cannabis improving sleep and anxiety is definitely an "off label" benefit of the medicine. I've also repeatedly been told cannabis as been a "miracle" for those suffering from seizures. 

From the book Marijuana as Medicine: The Science Beyond the Controversy (2000), "Peripheral nerves that detect pain sensations contain abundant receptors for cannabinoids, and cannabinoids appear to block peripheral nerve pain in experimental animals. Even more encouraging, basic studies suggest that opiates and cannabinoids suppress pain through different mechanisms. If that is the case, marijuana-based medicines could perhaps be combined with opiates to boost their pain-relieving power while limiting their side effects."

You're probably well aware of the opioid crisis in America. For acute pain, such as the discomfort that follows surgery, doctors typically prescribe opiates: narcotic drugs derived from, or chemically similar to, opium. For chronic pain, however, opiates rarely bring relief. As evidenced by a recent JAMA article that reported opioids brought little to no relief. Even when they are effective, opiates often cause nausea, sedation, constipation, and a general feeling of uneasiness that becomes a burden to the long-term user. And of course there's the issue of becoming dependent and addicted. At the very least, people with chronic pain develop tolerance to opiates over months or years and so must continually increase their dosage. 

I personally have seen a dramatic decrease in patient's use of opioids and other prescription pain medications once cannabis use is started. Many of them proudly brag that they're no longer on narcotics, and there's no way they would ever go back to using prescription pain medication again now that they've found cannabis. While I'm not a user myself, I can objectively say that the vast majority of patients that use cannabis report benefits with little to no side effects. While one will hear plenty of praise for cannabis' positive effects I'll point out that there are some safety and side effect concerns. Which is all the more reason a patients doctor needs to be involved.

Since there's so much controversy surrounding cannabis as a medicine few doctors want to be involved with patients using MMJ. I've had multiple patients tell me their doctor gave them ultimatums, "either stop using Medical Marijuana or stop being my patient". I can also say most of these individuals chose the cannabis over those doctors. However this leaves many patients uneducated in how to use cannabis as medicine. In states where you receive a State issued card, like here in Arizona, you typically go to a certification center where a doctor will approve you for the card but you receive no further care or guidance. You're just left to experiment on your own. 

At innate we like to be more invested in our patient's health. We certify patients for their Medical Marijuana Card and encourage our patients to continue care here so we can help them utilize cannabis as an effective therapy while also treating the root cause of their condition.

If you or someone you know in Arizona think cannabi might be right for you, give us a call at 602.603.3118 and ask for Dr. Travis for a free 10 minute consult.

Qualifiable conditions for Medical Marijuana Cards in Arizona are:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
Crohn's disease
Alzheimer's disease
Hepatitis C
Pain (severe and chronic pain)
*** We only accept medical records showing a diagnosis and/or treatment for a condition causing severe and chronic pain. The pain needs to be older than 3 months to be considered chronic.***
PTSD (must show documentation of current treatment)
Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis

For more info go to:

Artificial Sweeteners and The Risk For Stroke and Dementia

Artificial Sweeteners and The Risk For Stroke and Dementia

We've all heard the same thing for years now. Too much sugar is bad for you. And for good reason, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and so many more conditions are linked to excessive sugars in our diet. So then drinking and eating foods with no sugars and artificial sweeteners must be healthier for you right? It turns out artificial sweeteners may actually be worse for you!

A 2017 study published in the research journal Stroke looked at the consumption of sugar ladened beverages and artificially sweetened beverages in 2,888 participants over the age of 45 for incidence of stroke and 1,484 participants over the age of 60 for dementia. 

The participants that drank beverages with artificial sweeteners had 3 times the risk of developing an ischemic stroke or Alzheimer's diseases compared to those that had no beverages with artificial sweeteners. Overall they found artificially sweetened soft drink consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia.



That doesn't necessarily mean you should rush off to drink more sugary beverages. Research finding negative health effects of sugary beverages and beverages with artificial sweeteners isn't new. The Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study reported that greater consumption of sugar and artificially sweetened soft drinks was each independently associated with a higher risk of incident stroke over 28 years of follow-up for women. They had a great sample size of over 84,000 participants and followed 22 years of follow-ups for the men (which represented over 43,000 of the participants).

Another study, The Northern Manhattan Study, reported daily consumption of artificially sweetened soft drink was associated with a higher risk of combined vascular events (diseases of the arteries and veins). 

In todays health food market theres so many products claiming to be healthier for you by being sugar free. So what constitutes artificial sweeteners. The author of the Stroke study defined artificial sweeteners as saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, or sucralose. Furthermore artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause glucose intolerance in mice by altering the healthy gut bacteria in their intestines. Hopefully more natural alternatives, such as Stevia, will prove to be safer options in moderation. It might depend on how processed it becomes. 

- Dr. Travis Whitney

Anti-Aging With Cosmetic Acupuncture

Anti-Aging With Cosmetic Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form Chinese Medicine, over 2,500 years old, that promotes healing and rejuvenation in the body. Acupuncture is growing more and more popular, both in mainstream society and medical research, for its efficacy in treating conditions such as pain, insomnia, headaches, and a huge list of other ailments.

The insertion of thin needles into certain points on the face produce an increase in circulation, oxygen, and collagen to the area, as well as a release of endorphins. The result is an a reduction in wrinkles, fine lines, a lifting of sagging skin and improved skin color and texture. As reporter Frances Childs says after 3 treatments, “My skin is rosier and clearer, my cheeks plumper. The lines around my mouth are less visible, and my forehead unfurrowed.” In addition to feeling more relaxed overall and sleeping better.

Cosmetic Acupuncture has been gaining a ton of popularity over the years, especially with stars Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston utilizing it to for their youthful glow.

A person’s exterior, including their face, is affected directly by the overall health of their internal organs. So a typical Cosmetic Acupuncture session not only involves inserting fine needles on the face to tone and beautify the skin, but also the insertion of needles inserted elsewhere on the body to heal the internal organs.

The procedure is relatively painless, with most needle insertions feeling like a tingling sensation. It’s a great alternative for those that just don’t want Botox, or if someone is already utilizing Botox then cosmetic acupuncture can compliment it. As one cosmetic acupuncturist put it, “Botox targets specific fine lines and wrinkles, where cosmetic acupuncture improves the look and health of your skin.”

Most results are seen within 3 – 5 treatments. But most facial acupuncturists recommend a series of 10 successive sessions (every week or twice a week) with monthly follow-up sessions for maintenance. Each session lasts about an hour.

If you're interested to know more or want to schedule an appointment you can reach Dr. Whitney on our Contact Page

- Travis Whitney, NMD, MSc


Developing Childhood Immunity - Microbes, Not Antibiotics

Developing Childhood Immunity - Microbes, Not Antibiotics

It's that time of year again. The time of year where everyone starts catching flus and colds. Hand sanitizers and antibiotics are generally overused, but around this time of year they are particularly. Antibiotics are one of the most misused medications and this has contributed to the emergence of resistant bacteria. Many child doctor visits end with an antibiotic prescription for a viral infection. It's important to wash our hands and teach our children proper hygiene. But what I'm discussing is the liberal use of hand sanitizers, antibacterial soaps, and antibiotics.

Antibiotics are well known for killing strains of harmful bacteria. However they also kill the life of microbes (gut flora) inside our digestive tract that are responsible for lots of beneficial reasons. Our healthy gut flora is known to:

  • Neutralize toxic by-products of digestion

  • Reduce harmful substances (i.e. toxins and carcinogens)

  • Discourage 'bad' bacteria and yeasts

  • Stimulate the digestive process

  • Aids in absorption and produces nutrients, such as Vitamin B and K

Constant use of antibiotics and antimicrobials can have a profound effect on our child's immune system. According to many immunologists and microbiologists we're raising our children in a hyper-hygienic environment, and it's contributing to an increase of ailments, including allergies and obesity. Furthermore, by not exposing our immune system to bugs we're not allowing our cells to learn how to kill them.

According to microbiologists Marie-Claire Arrieta and Brett Finlay, co-authors of a book called Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World, "When we’re born we do not have any microbes. Our immune system is underdeveloped. But as soon as microbes come into the picture, they kick-start our immune system to work properly. Without microbes our immune system can’t fight infections well." By keeping our immune system from being exposed to microbes we're not allowing it to train and build properly. And research shows this is contributing to a host of problems. 

Epidemiological evidence shows that kids who are growing up on a farm environment have way less chance of developing asthma. Kids born via C-section, which doesn't expose them to the microbes of their mother's vaginal flora, are at an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and allergic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. Studies have also shown that cleaning everything that goes in baby’s mouth increases their chances of asthma. The incidence of developing asthma is decreased if the pacifier is cleaned in the parent’s mouth. 

The microbiologists conclude that, "we should not stop washing our hands, but we should do it at a time when it is effective at preventing disease spread — before we eat and after using the restroom. Any other time it is not necessary. So if your child is out in the backyard playing with dirt, you do not need to remove that dirt. There’s no benefit from doing so. There has to be a balance between preventing infection, which is still a real threat in society, but also promoting this microbial exposure that is healthy."

Author's of a separate study summed up an approach nicely as to decreasing these risks associated with being hyper-hygienic: "Evidence suggests a combination of strategies, including natural childbirth, breast feeding, increased social exposure through sport, other outdoor activities, less time spent indoors, diet and appropriate antibiotic use, may help restore the microbiome and perhaps reduce risks of allergic disease."

So get outside and play with your kids! You'll bond more and it'll help out you and your child's health in the long run.

Travis Whitney, NMD, MSc

Stress and Anxiety Management

Stress and anxiety is something all of us experience and typically gets a bad wrap. For the most part the stress we refer to is self-induced and inherit in the way we live. We're fast paced, tend to prioritize work, eating fast and hurried, are success oriented, worry about our health and the health of loved ones. And that's all fine and good, many times stress comes from the rigors of being healthy and productive. Like taking care of kids or working hard on our fitness and eating healthy by preparing all your meals. 

Stress isn't necessarily bad. A tree grows stronger branches and deeper roots if it's constantly barraged from wind. Our muscles grow bigger and stronger when stressed with exercise. So there's good and bad stress. As Douglas Malloch wrote in his poem "Good Timber":

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
— Douglas Malloch

If there's an emergency and your bodies flight-or-fight response kicks in, that's a good response to stress. The issue comes when the stressor is chronic, or perceived as bad stress, and we have the wrong response to it. I say "perceived as bad" cause what is good stress for one may not be good stress for another. The stress of a few rounds of boxing sounds fun to me but my mother would not like that stress at all! 

Anxiety is a sensation in the body that something isn't right. Resulting in a chemical cascade produced the body that causes a general feeling of uneasiness, rapid heart beats and rapid, shallow breathing, a choking sensation, tightness in the chest, and many more symptoms. Just like stress, anxiety can be normal. Standing up to talk in front of a crowd can cause anxiety. According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America. Anxiety disorders occur earlier in women versus men, and women are more likely to have multiple psychiatric disorders during their lifetime. The most common occurrence with anxiety is depression.  

Stress and anxiety are completely manageable, even without one of the 84 or so anti-anxiety medications. A unique perspective from Jacob Teitelbaum, MD on healing applies especially well to stress and anxiety. He states there are 4 key domains to healing and complete healing is unlikely to occur unless all areas are addressed:

  1. Biochemistry: Herbals, nutrition, and medications
  2. Structural: Physical manipulation, surgery, breathing, and exercise
  3. Biophysics: Acupuncture, yoga, chakra work, qi gong, tai chi
  4. Mind-Body-Spirit: Understanding how the body is a metaphor for what is occurring at a deeper level

I love this perspective cause this is where I approach and treat stress and anxiety. Because I KNOW it works. I emphasize "know" because I like to point out how we know something. We say we know something cause we experience it or we've heard about it from an authoritarian source. You know what grass is cause you've seen it, touched it, smelled it, experienced it. You may say you know Saturn is a planet, but have you seen it, touched it, smelled it, or experienced it? Likely not, but you've heard it from an expert of some sort so you know it. My favorite way of knowing is combining both of these, experiencing something and having validation from an expert. I KNOW these approaches to managing stress anxiety work cause I've experienced them work on myself and patients, and have spent countless hours reading research on them.

Chronic stress wrecks havoc on our bodies biochemistry, elevating cortisol which leaves it depleted to do other functions and levels to low can trigger anxiety attacks. Chronic stress and anxiety are known risks factors for so many conditions, including heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, stroke, decreased immune function, and even cancer. 

So what are these slayers of stress and anxiety abolishers? Interestingly I've noticed everybody responds a bit different to stress and anxiety therapies. I use a combination of herbs, nutrition, exercise, and meditation as my go-to approach. Sometimes it takes a little more digging to unmask the culprit. Balancing one's biochemistry can by an overt issue, such as balancing thyroid hormones, progesterone in women, testosterone in men, and addressing adrenal fatigue. Improving blood sugar levels can have a profound effect on anxiety. There's been numerous studies on exercise being just as or more effective the pharmaceuticals when treating anxiety. There are many, many herbs that treat stress and anxiety, both on a biochemical level and energetic. Herbs can help us adapt to many stressors. Meditation studies have shown it balances the hormones and neurotransmitters that cause us to feel anxious and stressed. There are so many natural ways with far fewer side effects compared to drugs prevent stress and anxiety wrecking havoc on our health.

If you or a loved one experience bad stress, anxiety, panic attacks that are difficult to get under control then set up an appointment. 

What approaches to stress and anxiety have worked best for you? Comment below on your stress success. 

Travis Whitney, NMD, MSc



What Makes Us Happy?

What Makes Us Happy?

Before you go any further, think about the question for a bit. Just take a second or two and ponder what you think makes you happy. It could be something you have now. Or something you want more of. There literally is a science of happiness and researchers have been studying, for years, what makes us happy.

The following is a lecture I adapted from Chris Vedeler, L.Ac. of Oasis Acupuncture in Scottsdale, AZ and my own research. So hopefully you've spent a bit thinking about what makes you happy. Some of the research you may find surprising, and some not so much. 

First we'll look at things that do NOT make us happier (that we think might) and then things that DO make us happier. 

What does NOT make us happy (that we think should)

1.     Money

Yeah, you're reading that right. Money DOES NOT make us happy. Kinda. What researchers found was that at around $75,000 our happiness ratings leveled off. If you look at the chart below you'll notice there's a steep curve from $0 to $20,000. Duh, right? If you have absolutely no income and you jump to $20,000 you're going to be pretty happy about that for a bit. Money can give us a quick happiness but not lasting. But our society tends towards a "the more money you make the happier you are" mentality. And that's what this research showed to not be so true. Look at the difference between $30,000 and $130,000. There's only a ONE point difference between making $100,000 more dollars. 

While some of the research looked at happiness, others have looked at decreasing negative emotions, like nervousness, hopelessness, ore restlessness. According to David Clingingsmith, author of the paper and associate professor at Weatherhead School of Management, "We know from the results that changes in family income are impotant drivers of people's emotional lives". Similar to the happiness reports above, the difference the marginal dollar makes in reducing negative emotions starts to fall off around $70,000, is very low around $160,000, and hits zero around $200,000.  

When one woman was interviewed after selling her company to Microsoft, for 35 million, she was ecstatic. A year later she was interviewed again and report that she was no happier than she was before she made the deal. Many will say that if I have money I can by "X" (material thing) and it'll last longer then doing "Y" (some experience; a trip to somewhere). However experiences actually provide more lasting happiness and value. We adapt to the material possessions we have and then just need new stuff. 

2.     Sex (physical sex)

This may be one of those surprising ones, but research shows having more sex doesn't always mean more happiness. Simply having more sex doesn't equate to more happiness, partly because increased frequency leads to decline in wanting sex and enjoyment of sex. 

"Instead of focusing on increasing sexual frequency to the levels they experienced at the beginning of a relationship, couples may want to work on creating an environment that sparks their desire and makes the sex they do have more fun," said Krishnamurti, a Carnegie Mellon research scientist. 

3.     Education

Education doesn't always mean more happiness either. You'd think more education would lead to a lot of things that would make you happier like a better job or being smarter then people. Inspired by the strong association between mental illness and poor education, researchers from Warwick medical school looked at education levels and reported happiness. They found the odds of happiness were equal through all levels of educational attainment. Great! I'm glad I found that out after 5 degrees. I'm still happy though!

4.     High IQ

Interestingly being clever or smart doesn't make you happier either. This one may seem similar to the one above, but remember even a D student can graduate with a degree and be considered "educated". This one looked at actual IQ scores and found that individuals with high IQ's were no happier than others. If you're interested to know more, David Robson of the BBC did an extensive article titled "The Surprising Downside of Being Clever". 

Bell Curve showing IQ's and percentages of people (Note: this is not a IQ and happiness graph)

Or you can predict IQ and happiness from this highly scientific graph

5.     Youth

Can you guess what age happiness peaks at? According to research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and other research, the peak age of happiness is around 74 years young. Notice, this isn't "being happier makes you biologically younger". Which is a whole other article. But it is interesting since many ads and trends, in America especially, point to people having to look and feel young in order to be happy. 

Now we'll look at what does make us happy, and further down, what we can do to adjust our happiness. I won't elaborate much, but let you reflect on them on your own. 

What DOES make us happy

1.     Genetics

According to some we have a "Set Point", a genetically determined point to which we always return to happiness. Similar to our bodies weight, we develop a set point that requires extra attention to adjust. We may get super happy from something, a raise, marriage proposal, birth of a child, but we tend to revert to out happiness set point after. Similarly we get sad for a bit, death of a loved one, a failure of some sort, The Bachelor not picking the girl we wanted him to pick but after awhile we return back to our set point. Research of twins separated at birth showed that no matter their environment they shared a set point for happiness.  

We'll look at what to do to change this "Set Point" below.

2.     Having a community

Need people around us that are similar and share ideals.

3.     Friends, Intimacy, and Love

We talked about sex earlier not truly making us happier. But what we really want is sex-intimacy. We find more happiness involved with sex when there's more intimacy with another. 

4.     Helping others/Gratitude

If you think you’re unhappy or having a problem, then go visit a pediatric burn unit, or a child in a cancer unit. 

5.     Having survival needs met

This one seems a bit obvious. Take away somebody's basic survival needs and their happiness levels drop.

6.     Religion or spiritual practice

Many religious and spiritual practices fulfill the other listed items. Such as having a community, helping others, making friends, and even providing the survival needs of others.

7.     Sense of purpose, meaning, and respect

Sense of why you’re here. Having a sense of purpose makes it easier getting through the storms of life. This one is strong for me. I've noticed during times of unhappiness I often find myself questioning my sense of purpose. Meditation helps me immensely with this.

Speaking of mediation, let's look at what we can do to move that "Set Point" discussed in the above genetics section. 

How do we move our set point?

1.     Gratitude

There’s always something to be grateful for.

2.     Meditation

There's a myriad of ways meditation can make you happier. You could meditate on gratitude for instance. Meditation balances your hormones, producing more serotonin and decrease out stress hormones. Another way that's less heard of is conditioning us to react appropriately.  Leading to less anger, hatred, judgment, and poor decisions that result in unhappiness. Similar to Skinner's Box made famous by the father of Operant Conditioning B.F. Skinner, we tend to react immediately to a stimulus, with little control of our response. The discipline and intent of meditation buys you the space to control your response.

3.     Give up anger and judgment

“Anger is like grabbing a hot coal to throw at somebody, you’re the one getting burned."

Anger is a poison to happiness.

4.     Give up desire to be perfect

Attempting to be perfect is the road to unhappiness. If you want to set up a path to being miserable then be a perfectionist. When we fail as a perfectionist, the self-judgment is overwhelming. Perfectionist repels connection.

And perhaps the greatest roads to happiness is a path we seem lost on, our connection we have to other living beings.

Thanks for reading. Share with others so we can all be connected and happy.

Travis Whitney, NMD, MSc 

What do you think? Were you surprised by some of the research? Would you add anything to any of the lists?

Prolotherapy for Healing Pain

Prolotherapy for Healing Pain

Have you noticed a decrease in your game as an athlete? Are you rehabbing an injury that just doesn’t seem to heal? Many injuries are very overt, they come while playing or training in our sport of choice or from accidents. Some are not so easy to recognize, like ligament laxity or osteoarthritis. This article is dedicated to all the golfers and others experiencing pain, as well as other athletes looking to improve their sport or quality of life. 

Significant athletic injuries that hinder a person in playing their sport are almost always ligamentous or tendonous in nature, not muscular.  Ligaments and tendons are called connective tissue, they’re tissues in our body that connect parts together. Our Ligaments connect bones to other bones and tendons connect muscles to bones. When there is an injury, even a small one, the injured ligament can often not repair itself as fast as we’d like or fully heal, since connective tissue doesn’t have a rich blood supply bringing healing components like oxygen and nutrients. And while some pain is caused by too much activity, some can be caused by too little. Ligament laxity is when our ligaments become to loose from not enough movement and strengthening. When this happens our body’s nerve cells in the ligaments send pain signals to the brain if the ligaments are stretched to far. 

Prolotherapy (sometimes referred to a "prolo") is a method of injection treatment designed to stimulate healing and regenerate tissue.  Many different types of musculoskeletal injuries and pain lend themselves to prolotherapy treatment including low back and neck pain, chronic sprains and/or strains, whiplash injuries, tennis and golfer’s elbow, knee, ankle, shoulder or other joint pain, chronic tendonitis/tendonosis, and musculoskeletal pain related to osteoarthritis. Prolotherapy works by raising growth factor levels or effectiveness in connective tissue ligaments and tendons to promote repair or growth. It works by causing a temporary, low-grade inflammation at the site of ligament or tendon weakness thus “tricking” the body into initialing a new healing cascade. Prolotherapy lends itself very well to sports injury and pain because most sports related injuries involve ligaments and tendons. Prolotherapy can be used years after the initial pain or problem began, as long as the patient is generally healthy.  


The most common injury reported by the amateur and professional golfer alike is in the low back/lumbar spine/sacroiliac region pain. Second most common site of injury is the wrist and hand, third is shoulder for professionals.  For the amateur, the second most commonly injured area is the elbow, followed by the wrist or hand, and then the shoulder. Knee, ankle, elbow, shoulder, and low back are all common areas of pain related to sport injury, chronic use, exercise. These areas are also the most highly treated areas for prolotherapy. The American Academy of Pain Medicine reports low back pain as the most common type of pain. So not only does prolotherapy treat pain from direct trauma such as sports injuries, automobile accidents, or falls, but it also treats pain from conditions such as age related joint loss and osteoarthritis. 

The most common types of prolotherapy are Dextrose, Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and Stem-Cell with typically increasing costs and efficacy (sometimes) in that order. Although many practitioners and patients get great results from Dextrose prolo, usually a complete resolution of pain and increased function, PRP is becoming more popular. You may have heard of prolotherapy from back in 2008 when Pittsburgh Steelers  wide receiver Hines Ward received PRP for a medial collateral ligament tear (knee injury) and got him back to playing through the playoffs and Super Bowl. They went on to win the Super Bowl that year. Ward credits the PRP allowing him to be able to return so quickly. Many athletes, including Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, and many others use prolotherapy to recover from injuries, pain, and improve in their sport and stay healthy. 

Check out these prolotherapy before-and-after X-rays:

Go over to the Contact page to reach Dr. Whitney for any questions you may have regarding prolotherapy. Leave a comment if you've have any experience with prolo!

By Travis Whitney, NMD, MSc