Sierra Clinic ~ Oriental Medicine

Functional medicine and integrative health care

Dennis R Tucker, Ph.D., L.Ac.

An Integrated Evidenced Based Program for Preventing Disease and Optimizing Health and Wellbeing

Evidenced based preventive health care is based upon three principles: diet, exercise, and restoring the healthy brain/mind. These lifestyle changes are more effective when practiced together but even relatively small changes, like adding more veggies to your diet or walking for exercise, can improve health outcomes. Every little bit counts, but when practiced together, there are far greater effects on health and wellbeing. We are all inundated with information constantly and the tendency is to give it the once over and forget it. Do me a favor and read through this introduction carefully. I think you will be genuinely surprised and, I hope, motivated.

Although this program was designed specifically for use in my clinic, much of this information can be used immediately by anyone. Since I have implemented this program, I have been heartened by how well it has been received and the degree to which patients have benefited; marked improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight are common. But of equal importance are the preventative effects on your future health.

The incidence of the chronic diseases that are the leading causes of death — cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes — continue largely unabated and yet we now have a broad scientific consensus that lifestyle modification and simple interventions can dramatically reduce risk. If all of the lifestyle changes i will be discussing are implemented, your risk reduction, based upon thousands of studies and leading experts in their respective fields, could be 80% or more. Of equal importance, you will have a better quality of life.

My task is to help restore health; your task (should you decide to participate) is to be a partner in optimizing and maintaining your health and well being.

If you are currently under my care, I may have suggested that you review these three links on my webpage. Many of my patients already practice some form of preventive health care. But I would encourage all of you to review these short, easy to read sections that distill the science and the practical guidelines. If you are currently under care, start with Diet and Health and we can discuss these recommendations in terms of your thoughts on implementing the program. You may just want to make a few changes you may be interested in optimizing your diet. There are inevitably questions and some transitional steps involved in making these changes and it is often necessary to tailor the program individually to your needs. I’m here to help you. Once you are comfortable with these changes, and if you don’t regularly exercise, please read my suggestions in the Exercise and Health section and again I will assist you in developing a program. The same process is involved in Brain/Mind Health. If we go through this process step by step, you will have time to adapt and settle in to a routine that can aid in restoring and maintaining your health, functionality, and well being, now and in the future.

Oriental Medicine is the grandfather of preventive medicine. The specialized use of acupuncture, and the other treatment and assessment modalities that comprise my approach to health care, are as important for prevention and wellness as for the treatment of the specific health issues that you bring to me. Stimulation of immune function, down regulation of the stress response, selective stimulation of organ function and balancing the autonomic nervous system are all integrated into your care in addition to the specific problem(s) that you bring to me. By integrating evidence based preventive medicine into your care, you will respond more quickly, and if you are being treated for chronic health problems, often achieve a better outcome. You will also have a far greater chance of maintaining your health at a high level as you (we) age.

Many of you are already on the preventive health care band wagon but, even for those of you who think you are eating a healthy diet, I ask that you review the diet section which covers the basics. If you are already aerobically exercising the equivalent of 30 minutes a day (or more) and doing some form of mild strength training, you can skip the exercise section. If not, please review the exercise section which is specifically designed to help those of you who are not used to exercising to develop an inexpensive, home based program. If you have pain, disabilities, or health issues such as high blood pressure or a heart condition, I ask that you confer with me on how to begin. The recommendations I have provided for you involve inexpensive equipment that are easy to move and store and can be used at all levels of fitness in the comfort of home.

The last component in preventive medicine is stress reduction and brain/mind health. Please read this section.

Do you believe that most disease is considered to be partially stress related? The scientific literature states that between 60% and 90% of health disorders are, at least partially, stress induced (The Center for Disease Control 75%). Often chronic health issues create chronic stress which then feeds back into the disease process. Conversely, the low grade anxiety, worry, and tension that many of us commonly feel, can actually lead to disease. Learning about this and the evidenced based techniques for breaking this cycle has been a real eye opener for many of my patients. Breaking this cycle can be critically important in optimizing your response to treatment as well as improving the quality of life and reducing risk.

Because I find that this is the least understood component of improving and maintaining wellness, I have created a program that is directly integrated with your care. Please read the section on the Body/Mind Connection before I begin to work with you. I think you will find the science and health implications fascinating.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video; it will help you understand how an integrated approach to preventive health care can not only prevent but actually reverse disease. If you do not have high speed internet, once you click on the link, hit download and view it later. I think Dr. Ornish will persuade and inspire you.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you,

Dennis Tucker, PhD, LAc