At the AC Clinics we practice a novel model of medicine based in the principles of "lifestyle" and "functional" medicine. Lifestyle Medicine involves a non-drug, evidence-based approach to treating, reversing and preventing symptoms and disease through natural diets, exercise, sleep, stress management and the avoidance of risky substance use. Functional medicine focuses on the interaction between the human body and its environment with an emphasis on the major role environment plays on illness, healing and health. Together, they blend the modern (bka 'conventional') and traditional (bka 'alternative') medical arts into one that is integrated, resulting in a beautiful combination of western, eastern and natural practices.
At The AC Clinics we apply these practices further to the emerging study of the function and dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system, the field of Endocannabinology. Through this application, lifestyle and functional medicine become lifestyle and functional cannabinoid medicine. Given the innately functional nature of the ECS - the state of which depends heavily on one's lifestyle - saying "lifestyle," "functional" and "cannabinoid" together is rather redundant. For this reason, we formally call this unique practice of medicine Integrative Cannabinoid Medicine.
We believe Integrative Cannabinoid Medicine will play a pivotal role in the future of the healing arts and sciences, and wellness at large.
In a nutshell, Integrative Cannabinoid Medicine is:
Integrative. It combines the best of modern science, ancient medicine and natural practices.
Lifestyle. It emphasizes lifestyle modulation as the foundation of all therapies, and incorporates cannabinoid therapeutics into lifestyle routines.
Functional. It addresses symptoms by focusing on root causes of problems. Therapies aimed at the underlying cause of disease leads to more effective and efficient healing, and achieves results that are more likely to stick. It also appreciates the dynamic relationship that exists between the body and its environment, and recognizes the importance of these epigenetic connections and how they contribute to both health and disease.
Personalized. It focuses on patients as separate individuals with unique problems, lifestyles, diets, emotions, stressors, prescription drug lists and varying degrees of endocannabinoid system dysfunction.
We are also committed to providing care that is:
Evidence-based. It's based on the latest research from systemic research and peer-reviewed medical journals.
Patient-centered. Treatments are highly individualized based on patient needs, not on the disease.
Holistic. It recognizes the body as an interconnected whole, rather than as separate and unrelated systems.
Safe. Any treatment recommendations have mild or no adverse and unwanted side effects.
Participatory. Patients are respected, educated, supported and encouraged to play active roles in their healing processes.
Restorative. Any tests or treatments recommended are designed to promote optimal function, prevent and reverse disease, and improve quality of life.
Preventative. People should not need doctors to be well. Practices that are safe enough to restore health can and should be applied to prevent illness and disease in the first place.
Organic.It's uncorrupted by corporate and political interests.
IS INTEGRATIVE CANNABINOID MEDICINE RIGHT FOR YOU?
You will have to decide for yourself, but here at The AC Clinics we believe the answer is a resounding YES. The reason why is the pure and simple fact that you have an endogenous cannabinoid or endocannabinoid system. We'll call it the ECS for short. Hardly unique to humans, the ECS is common to most complex vertebrate animals, and is composed of cannabinoid (pronounced “kuh-nab-in-oid”) receptors, cannabinoid molecules (lipid-derived ligands known, formally, as endocannabinoids) that bind to those receptors, and the enzymes that create and break endocannabinoids down. That might sound confusing, but the most important thing to know is that the ECS is a powerful communication system that drives the survival and homeostasis (or internal balance) of the body. This powerful, natural system has been running in your body your entire life.
The roles of the ECS are frequently and briefly summarized as “relax, eat, sleep, forget, and protect.” Indeed, the ECS is involved in body processes as varied as pain relief, mood management, movement, blood pressure control, appetite and feeding, blood sugar control, sleep cycles, extinction of traumatic memories, inflammation, immunomodulation, neuroprotection, cancer immunosurveillance, and, yes, even more. If our organs and organ systems make up the body’s symphony, the ECS is the maestro conducting the harmony. The health of the ECS has a trickle down impact on the health of every other system in the body, right on down to the cellular level (cannabinoid receptors have been found on the mitochondrial membrane!).
You can see why the health of the ECS is of prime importance - it's function is vital to our very survival. Any root cause of disease has to first cause ECS dysfunction. Lifestyle, dietary habits, stress, chemical exposures, prescription drugs, medical procedures, and physical and mental injury influence the state of the ECS. These areas must be addressed in order to restore ECS function and conquer disease.
Cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics fit in here. In short, cannabis makes its own cannabinoids (called phytocannabinoids) that mimic the actions of the endocannabinoids made by the body. Cannabis also produces a variety of other medicinal molecules, such as terpenes, that, together with cannabinoids, produce myriad other unique, medicinal effects as well. Whether using the whole plant, cannabinoid rich extracts, or a range of other cannabis-based products, phytocannabinoids can address endocannabinoid deficiencies and other forms of ECS aberrancy, promoting balance and restoration of physiological function.
Do you know the current state of your ECS? Chances are that the symptoms or disease you are dealing with are related to ECS dysfunction, and an Integrative Cannabinoid Medical approach is the right approach in addressing it.
WHO ARE OUR PATIENTS?
We treat patients with a wide range of health problems, including chronic health conditions. We do not have any age restrictions, and care for patients from birth to the end of life.
Patients who do best under our care:
Want to change and improve their quality of life
Don’t want to rely solely or in part on drugs and modern medical intervention for the rest of their lives
Are interested in discovering the underlying cause of their problems, rather than just covering up symptoms
Are motivated to play an active role in their own healing process
Are willing to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to support health and well-being
HOW DO WE WORK WITH PATIENTS?
We start by learning who our patients are. We use a variety of tools of investigation, including detailed questionnaires, a thorough medical history and examination, and even comprehensive laboratory tests (blood, urine, stool and saliva testing) if deemed necessary.
Getting to know each patient is critical to identifying and addressing the underlying cause of an illness, rather than just suppressing symptoms.
The application of cannabis and cannabinoid therapeutics is based on the individual and the individual's condition(s). Particular care and attention is given to align the appropriate chemical profiles to the patient, and determine dosing initiation and ongoing management needs.
In addition to cannabis and cannabinoid medicine counsel, we use nutritional therapy, detoxification strategies, natural supplements, stress management, fitness and other lifestyle changes to both treat symptoms upfront and eliminate triggers in order to restore proper function and balance.
We teach patients how to maintain a lifestyle of healing by teaching how the body's systems are connected, and how they can be harmed or healed in concert through our daily routines. Long-lasting and perpetual healing are only possible when the underlying causes of illness have been appropriately and adequately addressed, and re-addressed on a routine basis.
WHAT CONDITIONS DO WE TREAT?
The human body is one whole and interconnected system, so have you ever wondered why there are doctors for every separate part? We have neurologists for the brain and nervous system, cardiologists for the heart, orthopedics for the bones, gastroenterologists for the digestive system, and ophthalmologists for the eyes. And if you've been a patient in the conventional system, you might also recognize that our doctors don't always agree on how to treat the body, or may not even be aware of how their recommendations might impact other areas of the body, for better or worse.
As a patient at The AC Clinics you might come to us with a singular disease or many; with one diagnoses or more. In working with you as a patient, we look at your body as a whole, and look for common features in your life that might explain you singular disease, or that might link to all the health conditions that you might be experiencing. Identifying commonalities and patterns is crucial because we can offer interventions that affect multiple pathways, helping you recover your health faster and more completely, than if we attempted to target your symptoms one by one. Because of this, Integrative Cannabinoid Medicine can address a variety of health problems, including (but not limited to):