Healthcare with an alternative view

Osteopathic physician opens integrated medicine practice

The divide between western medical practice and eastern health strategies may be a step closer to harmony with the opening of a new integrative medicine practice under the leadership of Erin Martin, D.O., M.P.H.

The newly opening TrueMed Institute, located at 506 Cascade Ave., will provide patients a combined perspective on healthcare, according to Martin. A visit to the new facility confirms this is no ordinary doctor’s office.

Take, for instance, the teaching kitchen placed at the center of the consultation rooms.

“Everything is connected. Our minds are not separated from our bodies,” said Martin in a recent interview on her practice philosophy. “I take a western approach and look at other approaches as well, including osteopathy, ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, acupuncture and naturopathy.”

Trained in a more “functional” western medicine model as a doctor of osteopathy, Martin hopes to expand on preventive interventions instead of simply treating diseases “downstream.” Martin had worked in Hood River before as a primary care provider with La Clinica Del Cariño.

“I just completed a two-year fellowship at the University of Arizona with the Center for Integrative Medicine, under the directorship of Dr. Andrew Weil,” said Martin. “It was amazing; life-changing and career-changing for me.”

According to Martin, this fellowship has led to new goals in her practice, including expanding the western practices beyond procedures and pharmaceuticals — including offering nutritional cooking classes in her office.

“I want to help patients become part of their own healthcare and take ownership of their care.”

Martin is joined in the new practice by her husband and business partner Casey Weeks, a certified health counselor, who will work with patients through nutritional and lifestyle counseling.

Working with other local primary care providers, Martin hopes to provide consultations to referred patients as well as for walk-in individuals. She hopes to serve patients with chronic disease as wells as high-performance athletes.

Reporting that her typical consultations with patients will involve initial meetings between 60-90 minutes, Martin sees her interventions as comprehensive across disciplines.

For the elite sports enthusiasts she and Weeks hope to assist, the focus will be on assessing body composition and targeting nutrition for high-intensity performance.

Weeks and Martin know a bit about that side of their practice on a personal level — both are triathletes themselves.

“In our culture, getting older is equated with getting sick,” said Martin. “I don’t believe the two are synonymous.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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