The current trend in psychiatric care focuses narrowly on the brain-chemical imbalance theory. Doctors rely overwhelmingly on drugs to address almost every ailment, from ADHD to schizophrenia. Unfortunately, this trend has resulted in sky-rocketing rates of psychotropic medications, which act on the brain’s chemistry. Pharmaceutical companies seem to roll out a new drug every few months. But they often fail to relieve symptoms or result in recovery from the original problem.
But, there is hope! Firstly, research has shown the plasticity of the brain — its ability to mold and adapt and re-grow, given the right conditions. Secondly, researchers have discovered that food and nutrients are powerful moderators of our genetic expression. Yes! What is at the end of our fork has a powerful influence on our genes — much more so than what we were born with.
We also understand now that the human body-mind system is complex and comprised of interconnected systems (like a spider’s web) that are constantly communicating and keeping one another in balance. We create “symphony” when everything is coordinated and working well together (what we call “health”). Or, we can create “noise” when systems are not working well together (what we call “dis-ease”).
This means that when one system (such as the brain/mind) is manifesting symptoms of disease, the underlying problem could be within multiple other connected systems, including gut, hormonal, immune systems, etc. Holistic or Integrative psychiatry harnesses all this new information to understand mental well-being from a whole new perspective.
At Trinergy Health, we use integrative psychiatry principles to work with individual clients in a compassionate, caring setting to arrive at their particular “root cause.” We help them address healing that root cause, so they can achieve holistic wellness, health and vitality! We use our expertise in functional medicine, modern psychiatry that sometimes requires the use of psychotropic drugs to minimize suffering and to engage the person in broader lifestyle/diet change programs. But we combine that approach with our expertise in holistic medicine such as Ayurveda — India’s 5000-year-old medical system.
What does integrative psychiatry look like in practice? It starts with a thorough consultation in which the focus is not just to understand the psychological underpinnings, but also to look for physiological root causes. Then a comprehensive treatment protocol is provided, starting with diet and lifestyle changes. Psychiatric medicines are used when appropriate. Self-help skills, including exercise, meditation, positive thinking are also important facets of our approach. And Ayurvedic treatments are prescribed when indicated. Periodic follow-up and psychotherapy are offered to address faulty thinking patterns and practical tips to change such thought patterns. Patients experience true healing when both the physiological and psychological aspects of their problems are addressed.
Who is this approach right for? It’s for everyone, actually! But such treatment is truly a collaborative partnership between the doctor and the patient. There really is no “magic bullet” that can miraculously remove all problems. The road to recovery may seem hard at first but we are here to help, and the benefits are abundant!
Trinergy and Dr. Tummala are hosting an Open House event on Nov. 11 from 3–7 p.m. 7pm at their clinic, located on 12800 W National Ave, New Berlin, 53151. Meet the staff, learn about their services, savor healthy organic treats and maybe even win a raffle prize.
Aruna Tummala, MD, ABIHM
Medical Director, Integrative Psychiatry & Wellness Recovery Program, Whole Health Clinical Group; MCFI, Milwaukee
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, MCW, Milwaukee
Medical Director, Trinergy Center For Integrative Psychiatry
12800 W National Ave, New Berlin, WI 53151