(Published in Detroit News, June 12, 2002, copied from http://detnews.com/2002/wayne/0206/12/c03-512574.htm)

More doctors mix traditional medicine with therapeutics
Complementary methods among fastest growing today

By Delores Patterson / The Detroit News

Alternative medicine facts
   * Four out of 10 Americans used alternative medicine therapies in 1997. Total visits to alternative medicine practitioners increased by 50 percent from 1990 and exceeded the visits to all U.S. primary-care physicians. By the year 2010, at least two-thirds of the population is expected to use alternative methods.
   * Eighty percent of medical students want training in complementary and alternative medicine therapies.
   * Seventy percent of family physicians want training in alternative medicine.
   * Sixty-nine percent of Americans use unconventional medical therapies.
   * Sixty-seven percent of health maintenance organizations offer at least one form of complementary alternative care.
   * Sixty-four percent of U.S. medical schools offer courses in alternative medicine.
   * Sixty percent of physicians have referred patients to alternative medicine.
   Sources: Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine; the Health Education Alliance for Life and Longevity

Local clinics
   Here are local medical practices, spas and businesses that offer anthroposophical medicine, homeopathic remedies and other therapeutic treatments.
West Village Ob/Gyn
   22074 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
   (313) 565-5870
Oakwood Healthcare Center-North Westland
   Complementary & Alternative Medicine Center
   36555 W. Warren Road, Westland
   (734) 414-9003
Patricia's Wellness Room
   400 N. Liberty No. 2, Belleville
   (734) 699-6945
The Fruit Cellar
   23822 Ford Road, Dearborn Heights
   (313) 561-6610
Zerbo's Health Food
   34164 Plymouth Road, Livonia
   (734) 427-3144
   DEARBORN -- Elizabeth Pierce was destined to take antibiotics for the rest of her life to treat a hair follicle problem she acquired as a result of radiation and chemotherapy for breast cancer.
   Conventional doctors suggested that the 61-year-old Wyandotte resident also have her gallbladder removed to relieve the pain she was experiencing. Worried about side effects, she instead turned to alternative medicine.
   Pierce's problems ceased when a physician at Oakwood Healthcare Center-North in Westland prescribed homeopathic remedies that included herbal treatments based on anthroposophical medicine -- an internal medicine practice that focuses on the mind, spirit as well as the body.
   "I love and respect my regular doctors, but they are not tuned into anything except the normal everyday treatment. I think more doctors should explore alternative and complementary medicines. It really does work, and the focus is on treating the whole person. I'd recommend it to anyone," said Pierce, who has used alternative medicines for more than a year.
   More local physicians are blending non-traditional healing methods with traditional medicine.
   Two Dearborn doctors recently opened West Village -- a medical spa that uses therapeutic treatments as a part of obstetrics and gynecology services.
   And two Ann Arbor physicians are working on plans to build the first anthroposophical clinic in North America. The proposed $5-million clinic will be run by Drs. Molly McMullen-Laird and her husband, Quentin McMullen. The couple have operated an outpatient anthroposophical practice for four years. The new clinic will offer in-patient care.
   Anthroposophical medicine combines traditional medicine with a range of alternative treatments, including homeopathic remedies, nutrition, artistic and massage therapies. It was founded in the early 20th century by Rudolf Steiner.
   "Conventional medicine looks at people as merely biochemical machines that happen to have consciousness," said Dr. Leo Greenstone of Oakwood's Complementary and Alternative Medicine Center in Westland. "This model believes people are more. Everyone has a body, mind, spirit that work with the physiological and all these things have a connection to nature."
   For example, a cancer patient may receive normal surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but their fear, anxiety, or feelings of non-control also need to be addressed. Anthroposophical medicine focuses the emotions in a positive and constructive way, Greenstone said. Treatments could include artistic therapy such as painting, drawing or visual arts to allow patients to express themselves.
   "It helps ease some of the concerns and allows people to carry on," Greenstone said.
   Some patients also are treated with a mistletoe preparation called Iscar, a liquid injection. Some studies have shown that Iscar helps to boost the immune system, inhibit cancer cell growth and replication and generally enhances the patient's mood.
   According to the Health Education Alliance for Life and Longevity, complementary and alternative approaches to health and medicine are among the fastest-growing in health care. Approximately one-third of the U.S population used alternative care in 1990. And the organization predicts that by the year 2010, the number will increase to at least two-thirds.
   Oakwood's three-year-old center sees about 2,500 patients annually, according to practitioners.
   "People are interested in trying to be and stay healthy. And alternative medicines allow people to take a more active role in their health and not be passive in a way that honors whatever their beliefs might be," said Greenstone, who has practiced internal medicine for 12 years and alternative medicine since 1995.
   "I'm not saying that you'll be cured but it helps. ... It's holistic rather than merely putting a bandage on things."
   Patricia Gray, owner of Patricia's Wellness Room in Belleville, also believes alternative methods are more cost effective with the rising costs of health insurance.
   Non-traditional medicines are typically out-of-pocket expenses that range from $55 an hour for acupuncture to $30 for a massage.
   "It takes a little bit of reading and understanding, but (alternative medicine) allows you to get at the root of the problem and clears up symptoms that some traditional drugs just seem to suppress," said Gray, who has been using herbal remedies since the 1970s.
   Currently, many doctors receive their training overseas in Switzerland and Germany, which have hospitals that specialize in alternative medicines. Only a few places in the United States, mostly on the East Coast and in the Midwest, provide training, said Diana Clark, an administrator with the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine in Ann Arbor.
   "The future of treating the entire human being is unlimited," said Dr. Bruce Rochefort of Dearborn's West Village Ob/Gyn. "If a person comes in with discomfort during their pregnancy, we want to be able to help them in whatever ways they feel most comfortable and sometimes that goes beyond medicine."
   You can reach Delores Patterson at (313) 561-8146 or dpatterson@detnews.com

Click here for the page of Anthroposophical Medicine and Therapies (in Portuguese)
Click here for the home page of the Anthroposophical Society in Brazil (bilingual)