by Linda Sechrist
Locating the proverbial needle in a haystack today might just be easier than finding a medical doctor, doctor of chiropractic medicine and a thermographic specialist that collaborate for the overall good of the patient. Fortunately, individuals in the Albany area don’t have to waste time or energy looking for this unique and collaborative effort that is destined to become the future of integrative functional medicine, because it already exists.
Pioneers of a path to restoring health, as well as a plan for weighing and measuring the progress of prevention and wellness to maintain it, Stuart Erner, M.D., founder of Capital Region Progressive Medicine and Longevity Practice, Dr. Joseph S. Gulyas, DC, founder of Northeast Spine and Wellness, and Dr. Muhammad Jamil, founder of Thermal Eyez offer medical practices and protocols that complement each other. As “brothers in medicine”, as they call it, the three men prefer their similar perspective on an optimal wellness model of integrative and functional medicine over the conventional medicine model, which is focused on sickness and disease.
Using complementary medical protocols, good nutrition and supplementation as the basis of health care, Erner and Gulyas offer patients opportunities to polish their priceless pearl of good health on a regular basis. Erner, who has been in practice for 37 years, doesn’t write many prescriptions. “I prescribe medications only when necessary,” says Erner, whose practice has been growing consistently since 2000 when he began focusing on lifestyle medicine that begins with in-depth, 90-minute to two-hour-long initial consultation. “Since I’ve been applying what I learned from studying integrative and functional medicine, as well as anti-aging medicine and environmental medicine, my practice has become patient-focused, which is why I talk with the patient about their entire medical and personal history. This in-depth conversation reveals the clues and insights I need to begin resolving their health challenges,” he advises.
A mutual patient introduced Erner and Gulyas. “One of my longtime patients was seeing Dr. Gulyas for a back problem. He thought that Joe and I would hit it off since we had similar holistic ideas about healthcare. He was right. When we met, I discovered that Joe was looking to rent secondary office space closer to Albany. I had space available to sublease. As we came to know each other better, we began referring patients and working together as a team. We now share a number of patients,” explains Erner.
“When I’m performing a spinal alignment in my Clifton Park office and I know that my patient can benefit from Dr. Erner’s medical expertise, I refer them to him. The two or three days a week when I’m in my Albany office, I can simply walk my patients over to him so that we can get his opinion on their particular health challenges. Subleasing office space in Dr. Erner’s location has proved beneficial to all the patients that we share,” advises Gulyas.
Throughout his 29 years of experience in practicing chiropractic and holistic healthcare, Gulyas has found that the biggest challenge for individuals that want to use lifestyle medicine is their lack of knowledge about the right complementary methodologies, supplementation, diet and body cleansing to apply for their specific need. “The other problem they encounter is looking for a knowledgeable medical professional who knows about integrative medicine and what supplements or herbs can be taken with their prescriptions. Regarding trauma and emergency care, no one has any questions, because in this area we have medical centers and hospitals. Our conventional medical system really needs to do better for individuals with chronic health problems, as well as those who want to achieve optimal health,” explains Gulyas, who feels a great sense of personal reward in spending quality time with patients.
Erner and Gulyas agree that a nutritional supplement used in appropriate dosages and time intervals may act similarly to pharmaceutical agents, and that any physiological changes can take a period of weeks or months.
“On follow-up visits, patients often bring me a bag of 20 to 40 different supplements and herbs that they are taking. In the majority of cases, I reduce 50 to 80 percent of their supplements because they don’t need them. Also, a lot of ingredients are replicated in the variety they are consuming. I always smile when patients tell me, ‘Hey doc, you’re saving me money,’” notes Erner.
Keeping track of inflammation, the root cause of all illness in the body, is essential to keeping a patient healthy, as well as tracking their healing process. Erner and Gulyas rely on Jamil’s thermal imaging, which shows areas of blood flow, heat emission and circulatory quality on both sides of the body. By utilizing thermal imaging, more information becomes available to assist physicians, chiropractors and therapists in the treatment of chronic pain-related problems and heart disease. Also, early detection of arthritis can allow doctors to address and prevent the root cause of joint damage, deformity and disability that often arise as a result of the condition. In short, thermal imaging is a great tool to help improve health and wellness.
Erner and Gulyas are passionate about the example they are setting. Pioneers who are creating a healthy legacy for their communities, they emphasize that integrative and functional medicine doesn’t mean individuals have to live a pure lifestyle. Both agree that they need to eat a little cleaner, which translates into eating more organic and whole foods rather than processed and sugary foods and drinks. They also advise that the body needs exercise to keep joints lubricated and to improve the cardiovascular system. More sleep and less stress also make a measurable difference.
“The problems in health care are going faster than individuals are learning about the alternatives to conventional medical care. While there are doctors such as Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Andrew Weil, who are nationally known for the type of medicine that we are practicing, what they are doing hasn’t trickled down fast enough to the local level, so we are taking the lead for the benefit of our patients metabolic health,” concur Erner and Gulyas.
Capital Region Progressive Medicine and Longevity Practice, PLLC, 1873 Western Ave, Ste. 101, Albany. For more information call 518-452-4910 or visit DrErner.com.
Northeast Spine and Wellness, 1873 Western Ave., Ste. 101, Albany; 1741 U.S. 9, Clifton Park. For more information call 518-371-4800 or visit DrGulyas.com.
Linda Sechrist is the Senior Staff Writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect with her at ItsAllAboutWe.com.
This article appeared in the December 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine. Click to read more.