We are affiliated with the American Academy of Pain Management, with over 6000 members the largest pain management group in the US. We share AAPM's understanding that a problem as complex as pain may at times call for wholistic multidisciplinary pain management. As such, at NMPM we provide options for integrating whole person natural medicine approaches with interventional approaches. The following integrative medicine methods not only complement or replace injection interventions in some pain situations, they also care for all aspects of your health and well being. Dr. Celeste Skardis takes patients of all ages for systemic, internal medicine level treatment of chronic pain, as well as for leading-edge integrative medicine for any health conditions.
The standard practice of medicine has fallen into focusing on diseases and not on the health of the patient, on symptoms instead of underlying causes. In response, we at NMPM, like many other naturally oriented physicians, are building ideals towards an approach that is called Functional Medicine. We utilize scientifically based diagnostic methods such as testing of blood, urine, saliva or hair, yet we aim to understand results not with narrow, sickness-oriented lab normal ranges, but with goals of making our patients live and function better. While standard lab tests have value for disease screening, we may also seek deeper answers about how someone is functioning by assessing levels of hormones, neurotransmitters, nutrients, toxic metals, parasites, blood quality and much more. We believe that Functional Medicine...
• is patient-centered care, seeing a whole person, not just a disease or condition
• integrates science with the best of ancient traditional medical wisdom
• seeks deeper causes
• dynamically balances hormones and neurotransmitters
• supports the immune system
• prioritizes the health of the digestive tract
• knows that health involves interaction with our environment
• helps the body rid itself of toxins
• aims for prevention
• values human relationships, emotions, the mind, and the spirit
• makes the patient a partner in working with all of the above aims.
Why infuse nutrients via IV? Because IV gets far more of the nutrients into your system.
Example: magnesium. Oral supplementation with magnesium has been shown to minimally impact serum magnesium levels, whereas IV administration can immediately double or triple serum levels.
Example: Vitamin C. Vitamin C levels in the blood's plasma can only reach 9.3 mg/dL with oral supplementation, while IV can raise them to 80.0 mg/dL.
Example: Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is famous for needing to administered by injection or IV. Why? B12 is absent in many foods and low in others. If you eat large amounts of B12 foods such as red meat, it may commonly not be processed in the stomach where a secretion called intrinsic factor decreases with age, just as stomach acid gets less effective with age and other insults to digestion. Drugs that stop stomach acid also stop intrinsic factor and the ability to get B12 from meat. Finally, some people have problems absorbing B12 in the intestines. The result is that B12 often becomes lower than ideal, blood tests for it are of questionable accuracy, and IV becomes a wonderful way to supplement this crucial nutrient.
IVMT is intravenous micronutrient therapy, a natural/naturopathic approach to supplementing periodically with a potent mixture of natural vitamins, minerals and amino acids. For decades, nutritionally oriented physicians have used variations of something called a Meyer’s cocktail for such supplementation via a brief IV push. Dr. Celeste Skardis at NMPM customizes similar IV pushes for her patients. Here are some of the possible ingredients:
Magnesium is a strong pain and spasm relieving mineral. Magnesium IV is used to treat pain at major hospital-based pain centers, particularly pediatric pain centers. Some of the below links discuss a broad deficiency of magnesium in the general population. Magnesium effects numerous functions in the body, particularly in nerve and muscle tissue – see the links below this section.
Vitamin B12 is crucial to our tissue regeneration procedures such as PRP therapy, prolotherapy, and tenotomy/fasciotomy. It is a rate-limiting nutrient for DNA replication; that means that as we grow new tissue that needs new DNA, low levels of B12 can be a bottleneck that limits or slows our results. As such, we commonly provide IV B12 before most PRP procedures. B12 may also be a key to reversing neuropathy, the breakdown of nerve tissue that we believe is part of most chronic pain. Past that, B12 is potent in heart health and much more.
Vitamin C is needed for building collagen as we repair ligament, tendon and cartilage. Scurvy is a connective tissue breakdown disease from Vitamin C deficiency. Oral supplementation over time can be adequate for this Vitamin C function, but IV supplementation in Dr. Celeste Skardis’ IV pushes insures greater, quicker dosing. Beyond this, IV Vitamin C has other functions described in articles linked below.
Other nutrient IVMT push ingredients may include such substances as calcium gluconate, Vitamin B5, B-complex, chromium, zinc sulfate, selenium, and alkalizing sodium bicarbonate.
Our patients with severe viral illnesses, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as many other immune system conditions, utilize various of our IV protocols to dramatically boost immune response and fight acute and chronic disease:
Glutathione IV. Glutathione is an amino acid with great power in immediately strengthening immunity, fighting acute viral disease, and dramatically clearing the liver of toxins.
Vitamin C IV. Vitamin C is quickly administered in 5 minute IV pushes. Higher dose Vitamin C is administered by a longer IV drip. We see severe cases of bronchitis and pneumonia turn around quickly with serial Vitamin C IV’s.
Ozone IV. Ozone gas can be mixed with blood and reinfused immediately to work via oxidative medicine principles to stimulate stronger immune response.
UV Light IV. Blood can be passed through strong ultraviolet light and reinfused to similarly stimulate immune response. This method was standard practice in US hospitals before antibiotics. We believe it works well and without the side-effects of antibiotics. UV IV can be combined with ozone and homeopathics.
Homeopathic IV. The administration of FDA approved IV homeopathic medicines from Germany is another tool available for immune building and for many other therapeutic functions.
Chelation comes from the Greek word for claw. And like a claw might grasp some object, certain intravenous substances (and some oral substances) can grasp toxic metals such as mercury, lead, aluminum and others. Substances such as calcium EDTA and high dose Vitamin C may be used in longer IV’s to grasp and eliminate toxic metals that have devastating effects on body function. Testing is required initially and periodically over time, and additional oral supplementation is called for.
In summary, individually formulated IV's can have potent nutritional effects on pain, spasm, immunity, toxicity, mood, energy and many physiologic functions.
For more information on naturally-oriented intravenous therapies:
Click on the above triangle to listen to Dr. Jonas Skardis of New Mexico Pain Management, interviewed on KSFR-FM radio on the subject of Vitamin D (duration: 12 minutes, 29 seconds).
Hundreds of supplements will be considered for your individualized needs. These may include enzymes, amino acids, minerals, neurotransmitters, vitamins, anti-oxidants, oils, protein powders, greens concentrates and more.
Surprisingly, many people eat quite well. At NMPM we go beyond that to take into account your complex life style, body type, exercise needs, and pain issues to collaborate with you regarding your individual food style and together generate flexible strategies.
Hormones are among the most influential substances in the human body. They control most physiologic functions in the body and can have a profound effect on our procedures for rebuilding damaged ligament, tendon and cartilage. Your whole endocrine system is very important. Natural bioidentical hormones may be prescribed on a very flexible, interactive basis. These may include progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, adrenal and others. Some of these are applied as a transdermal crème or gel.
Based on thousands of years of experience, these medicines have an amazing array of valuable applications. Complex natural formulas can be used for needs such as pain, spasm, anxiety, sleep, emotional issues, and most all internal medicine problems - gynecological, urological, digestive, respiratory, etc.
Click on the above triangle to listen to Dr. Celeste Skardis of New Mexico Pain Management, interviewed on KSFR-FM radio on the subject of homeopathic medicine (duration: 18 minutes, 21 seconds)
In Europe some pharmacies have two entrances and two departments - one for allopathic drugs and the other for homeopathic medicines. A majority of French MD's prescribe homeopathic medicines, as do large numbers in Germany and Holland. Homeopathy is part of the national healthcare system in Great Britain. 10 million people take homeopathic medicines daily. 40% of French people take homeopathic medicine. 25% of German people take homeopathic medicines. With non-toxic effects, these established international medicines should be considered in many patients' cases.
These non-toxic, easy to take oral medicines can be effective for patients of all ages, but homeopathy can often be particularly quick and dramatic with infants and children.
Homeopathic medicines are most commonly used orally or topically; in some cases we may also consider administration by injection or IV.
We utilize gentle hands-on manipulation to correct misalignments of bones in the spine and extremities. To complement manipulation, manual or mechanical traction elongates the spine which allows for natural repositioning of compressed vertebrae. Other manual therapy methods are utilized at NMPM to relieve muscle/fascia restriction and myofascial pain.
Exercise is a crucial part of most plans to rebuild parts of the spine or peripheral joints. Bones, ligaments and cartilage make up what is called the static or architectural stabilization system of the body. This is the deepest, most important system for maintaining structural stability. Muscles and their nerves comprise what is called the dynamic stabilization system. Thus, muscles also contribute to stability. Muscle strength and balance are thus usually very important components of most programs to eliminate your pain. Most programs to repair static stabilizers (ligaments, etc.) sooner or later need to be accompanied by active exercise-based self-rehabilitation. Some patients may be able to establish their own program with guidance from our physicians. Many others will benefit from referral to select physical therapists or other doctors who specialize in analysis of posture, muscle balance, and step-by-step instruction in peripheral and core strengthening.
Stresses and emotional issues can have a definite effect on pain and other medical conditions, and various therapies are available to begin to address these factors.