Integrating orthomolecular and energy medicine: a complementary approach to treating clinical depression.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Energy medicine (Health aspects)
Energy medicine (Research)
Depression, Mental (Care and treatment)
Depression, Mental (Research)
Orthomolecular therapy (Health aspects)
Orthomolecular therapy (Research)
Author: Lee-Bloem, Alice W.
Pub Date: 12/01/2009
Publication: Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464
Issue: Date: Dec, 2009 Source Issue: 317
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 213722864
Full Text: What would induce a psychiatrist to go beyond ten years of medical and psychiatric training to learn about orthomolecular medicine and energy medicine? Necessity, and the lure of greater power in handling tough psychiatric problems. Although it is difficult to stretch beyond the biochemistry of healing to grasp the quantum physics of healing, integrating the powerful tools in both fields gives the clinician an exponential advantage in healing mental illness and handling complexities.

Orthomolecular medicine provides nutritional and detoxification support for rebalancing and optimizing the biochemical state of the body. Energy medicine heals by supporting the energy state of the individual through increasing, changing, facilitating, or reorganizing the patient's energy. Orthomolecular and energy medicine, despite having different paradigms for healing, can be interwoven in a clinical setting for rapid recovery and medication withdrawal in the healing of major depression. How this has been done will be explored. The following psychiatric case highlights certain advantages for the clinician in knowing how to integrate both fields.

Case Presentation

N. M. is a 16-year-old white male who began an antidepressant one month before he turned to alternative treatment for depression. After starting the antidepressant, he began experiencing mood swings, ranging from irritability to depression, and increased insomnia. He stated that he "felt worse than before he started." During his last appointment with the traditional psychiatrist, his antidepressant dosage was raised from 20 mg to 40 mg daily, despite his negative reactions to it. The patient and his mother chose to stop treatment with this psychiatrist in order to pursue an alternative course of treatment that would hopefully restore him to health without needing an antidepressant.

N. M. reported that he has been a worrier since elementary school, with symptoms worsening in middle school, and developing into depression beginning in the ninth grade. He began having panic attacks a month prior to treatment, leaving his job unannounced during a panic attack, and obsessively worrying about his irresponsible behavior ever since. Symptoms consisted of difficulty focusing, hopelessness, helplessness, and anhedonia. He has extreme difficulty falling asleep, a problem he has had to a lesser extent for more than two years. He wakes up 1 to 2 times per night, and feels fatigued in the morning.

Energy medicine techniques, used to access functional information on N. M.'s physical and mental health, provided 27 pages of detailed data and an analysis of his state of function before the intake appointment. The patient's physiological, biochemical, and neurological status, among other parameters, were assessed, which helped to highlight multiple contributing factors undermining his health. Among these findings were significantly inadequate functioning of the parotids, liver, gallbladder, and spleen (from 0 to 200, with 0 being completely lacking function, 100 being optimal levels of function, and 200 being excessively elevated function, these organs received 1/200). The adrenals, though limping along, received at least a rating of 50/200 on function. The patient was found to have severe hypersensitivities to wheat, dairy products, and white sugar. His detoxification system during the month prior to the intake received a rating of 10/200, suggesting that it was functioning at 10% of optimum. Toxicity levels received a rating of 200+ + + +, the highest level possible on a scale from 0 to 200+ + + + . Antioxidants met only 25% of his optimal needs, and free radicals were too high, creating a state of emotional, mental, or physical imbalance, illness, or dysfunction, receiving a rating of 200/200. With the additional data provided through techniques in energy medicine, the patient's diagnosis of major depressive disorder and panic disorder could be better understood as the result of multiple contributing dysfunctions and toxicities, at all levels of function: energetic, molecular, cellular, and physiological.

During the intake appointment, the patient and his mother were introduced to the basic principles of energy medicine. Also, the method by which information could be accessed energetically was carefully demonstrated and proved to them. After this demonstration, the results of the analysis were reviewed and explained to them. The patient received his first healing energy treatment, which he sensed as a "magnetic attractive force" when applied. His consistent ability to sense energy during every energy treatment that followed gave him greater confidence in its presence and positive effects. His reaction to the energy healing was generally one of complete relaxation, being able to sense the healing energy as a flowing, tingling sensation, or as bright light. At times he would drift off to a light sleep, from which he would easily awaken at the end of treatment. After the energy work, he continued to experience a relaxed but improved mental and emotional state, feeling calmer and stronger.

The patient and his mother were advised on how to improve his diet and which foods he should avoid. A nutritional regimen was created to support his biochemical needs, consisting of whole-food supplements, fractionated supplements, and detoxification products. This regimen was adjusted and updated weekly.

His initial nutritional regimen can be seen in Table 1.

On follow-up the first week, N. M. reported feeling noticeably better in all areas, despite being noncompliant with restricting wheat, dairy, and white sugar. He noticed that his sense of humor was back, and his concentration and focus had improved. A short, updated analysis, providing an assessment of his current biochemical and physiological function over the past week, was done during the session. The results helped the patient to understand the need for a better diet, since large improvements found in the assessment were not reflected in his antioxidant levels, catecholamines, or histamine levels. As he modified his diet the following week, these areas did improve markedly, reflecting his efforts to change his habits and reinforcing the health benefits for him personally of staying away from wheat, dairy, and white sugar.

Along with the weekly, clinical evaluation of N. M. during each follow-up session, an analysis provided additional data on his reactions to the antidepressant. Based on his clinical status and the results of the analysis, the patient continued taking the antidepressant at 40 mg per day until just before his third follow-up appointment. The day before his appointment, he developed nausea, vomiting, decreased attention span, apathy, and vivid dreams. The patient and his mother were worried that he was experiencing worsening symptoms of depression and called the holistic psychiatrist. Symptomatically, the patient did indeed appear more depressed. The holistic psychiatrist, however, believed that the symptoms were related to taking too much medication and a readiness to reduce the dosage. An assessment, using energy medicine techniques, supported her clinical suspicions. Rather than increasing the antidepressant, the medication was reduced to 34 mg that day, and a schedule was provided for a daily antidepressant taper, which was adjusted weekly over the course of treatment. The patient's condition improved immediately with the medication taper. His apathy disappeared, focus and concentration normalized, and nausea stopped. He felt good about his performance on his AP exams two weeks later.

Six weeks after his initial antidepressant taper, N. M. was off all medication. Throughout the taper, he was free from withdrawal problems, depression, or anxiety. He attended school and socialized with peers easily. During each follow-up session, he received energy work, a functional assessment of his physical and mental health status, and adjustments to his nutritional regimen and medication dosage that were guided by energy medicine techniques. One month after he stopped the antidepressant, by his request, the patient's supplements were reduced to a small maintenance dosage, consisting of five products as shown in Table 2.

These five supplements were selected based on the holistic psychiatrist's clinical judgment: the energy analysis could not purposely create an inferior nutritional regimen, whereas the holistic psychiatrist understood N. M.'s need for simplicity in order to facilitate long-term compliance. Dosing of these five supplements, however, was optimized using energy analysis. Healing energy work was provided to help with ongoing health. The total treatment duration from the first intake appointment to his last appointment in the chart was exactly three months.

The fluid interweaving of orthomolecular and energy medicine successfully met the treatment challenges in N. M.'s case. Clinical treatment of depression and other mental illnesses is like maneuvering a ship between the icebergs of the Antarctic. If done with the right captain, equipment, and ship, there is a sense of serenity as the vessel glides along the treacherous waters. Under the traditional psychiatrist's treatment, it would not have been surprising if this patient were to eventually develop bipolar symptoms, because his mood swings, irritability, and increasing insomnia since starting an antidepressant were handled by increasing, rather than decreasing, the medication. Ignoring the clinical relevance of mood instability created by an antidepressant endangers the patient's mental health and can lead to further mental deterioration. In comparison with the insights and information available within an integrated psychiatric practice familiar with both orthomolecular and energy medicine, the traditional psychiatrist's decision to increase the antidepressant seems to be based on an inadequate and antiquated understanding of depression.

In this case presentation, the integration of two fields of expertise improved the delivery of treatment in a variety of ways:

1. more data regarding the patient's functional status available immediately to the clinician, patient, and family member, whether done in the office or over long distances;

2. though the dosing of supplements and medications is a clinical decision made by the psychiatrist based on multiple factors, specific guidance with the management of supplements and medications is available;

3. weekly feedback to the patient through the analysis of his biological functioning, which helps reinforce and encourage compliance with dietary changes and supplementation;

4. improved ability to integrate highly absorbable whole-food supplements at the proper dosages along with fractionated supplements;

5. improved rate of healing when energy healing work prepares the body to be more receptive to biochemical interventions;

6. enhanced ability to determine the underlying causes of symptoms when they mimic a disorder; e.g., symptoms due to too much antidepressant medication were not mistaken as major depression, though there were overlapping signs;

7. the ability to optimize a simplified nutritional regimen for the patient's specific needs.

Conclusion

The integration of orthomolecular and energy medicine presents a complementary approach to the treatment of depression that allows the clinician to meet the many challenges with greater power and facility. Allopathic medicine is used along with orthomolecular and energy medicine in an integrated approach that allows all three fields to maximally assist in the patient's ability to heal smoothly and rapidly. Caution is advise in clinical settings, however, since much remains to be learned about the practical application of interweaving three fields of healing in an integrated approach to the treatment of mental illness. Mentoring is important in helping the interested clinician avoid clinical errors during the treatment process. Although data provided through energy medicine techniques guide and help in treatment, they are never a substitute or replacement for medical judgment and knowledge. It is hoped that this case presentation encourages further exploration of the many positive and exciting benefits of integrating orthomolecular and energy medicine in the treatment of depression as well as other mental health conditions.

Alice W. LeeBloem, MD, ABHM

4108 Alfalfa Terrace

Olney, Maryland 20832

www.holisticpsychiatrist.com

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

by Alice W. Lee-Bloem, MD, ABHM

Dr. Alice W. Lee-Bloem is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, board certified in holistic medicine, who combines orthomolecular and energy medicine in the treatment of psychiatric disorders and psychotropic medication withdrawal. She received her training in adult psychiatry from the University of Maryland Medical System, and her Child and Adolescent Fellowship from Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Table 1: Initial Nutritional Regimen for N. M.

                                        Dosage

Supplement/Meds/        Day 1            Day 2             Day 3
Energy Med.

Filtered Water           100              100               100
(total 02. per
day)

Energy Breaths         10/0/10          10/0/10           10/0/10

Antidepressant 40       1/0/0            1/0/0             1/0/0
mg

(M) Aloe Juice         1 Tbsp           1.5 Tbsp          2 Tbsps

(M) Life              1/2 teasp         1 teasp         1.5 teasps
Extension Mix w/o
Cu

(M) Magscorbplex      1/2 teasp         1 teasp         1.5 teasps
(Vitamin C)

(M) Cell Ready         1 Tbsp           1.5 Tbsp          2 Tbsps
Minerals
cran-grapefruit

(M) Zinc Stat         1/2 teasp         1 teasp           1 teasp

(M) Hemp Protein      1/2 teasp         1 teasp         1.5 teasps

Lithium drops          10/10/0          10/10/0          10/10/0
sublingual

Fish Oil with      1 Tbsp/1 Tbsp/0  1 Tbsp/1 Tbsp/0  1 Tbsp/1 Tbsp/0
Vitamin D

Glutathione/R           2/0/2            2/0/2            2/0/2
lipoic cream
(squirts)

Black Currant           1/2/0            1/2/0            1/2/0
Seed Oil

Niacinamide 500         1/2/0            1/2/0            1/2/0
mg

DMG w/ folinic          1/1/0            1/1/0            1/1/0
acid and B12

NH4 Redox               0/1/0            0/1/0            0/1/0

Perque Digesta          1/1/0            1/1/0            1/1/0
Guard Forte

F. Boich              1 w/meals        1 w/meals        1 w/meals
(Digestive
Enzyme)

Calcium Lactate         1/2/0            1/2/0            1/2/0

TravaCor                0/0/1            0/0/1            0/0/1

Castor Oil Packs        every          other day          60 min

                                                   Dosage

Supplement/Meds/Energy Med.                Day 4            Day 5

Filtered Water (total 02. per day)          100              100

Energy Breaths                            10/0/10          10/0/10

Antidepressant 40 mg                       1/0/0            1/0/0

(M) Aloe Juice                            2 Tbsps          2 Tbsps

(M) Life Extension Mix w/o Cu           1.5 teasps       1.5 teasps

(M) Magscorbplex (Vitamin C)            1.5 teasps       1.5 teasps

(M) Cell Ready Minerals                   2 Tbsps          2 Tbsps

cran-grapefruit

(M) Zinc Stat                             1 teasp          1 teasp

(M) Hemp Protein                          2 teasps       2.5 teasps

Lithium drops sublingual                  10/10/0          10/10/0

Fish Oil with Vitamin D               1 Tbsp/1 Tbsp/0  1 Tbsp/1 Tbsp/0

Glutathione/R lipoic cream (squirts)       2/0/2            2/0/2

Black Currant Seed Oil                     1/2/0            1/2/0

Niacinamide 500 mg                         1/2/0            1/2/0

DMG w/ folinic acid and B12                1/1/0            1/1/0

NH4 Redox                                  0/1/0            0/1/0

Perque Digesta Guard Forte                 1/1/0            1/1/0

F. Boich (Digestive Enzyme)              1 w/meals        1 w/meals

Calcium Lactate                            1/2/0            1/2/0

TravaCor                                   0/0/1            0/0/1

Castor Oil Packs


Table 2: Final Nutritional Regimen for N. M.

Supplement/Meds/Energy Med            Dosage

Water (total oz. per day)              80 oz.
Energy Breaths                         0/0/10
(M) Magscorbplex (Vitamin C)          1 teasp
Fish Oil w/Vitamin D                1 tsp/0/0
Life Extension Mix w/o Copper tabs      1/0/0
Perque Digesta Guard Forte              0/1/0
Calcium Lactate                         1/1/0
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