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Women's Medicine

DR. ALEXIS MCNEIL, NMD

TREATING WOMEN INSIDE AND OUT

Dr. Alexis McNeil NMD treats women of all ages "Inside and Out". She uses the latest aesthetic medicine techniques to keep her patients LOOKING beautiful while providing state of the art medical care to keep them FEELING beautiful too. She offers a full service Women's Health Clinic. 


Inspired by her mother's battle with breast cancer, Dr. McNeil changed career paths from artist/designer to physician. It was Naturopathic Medicine that extended her mother's life and enlightened Dr. McNeil to her passion for healing. 


Upon earning her medical degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. McNeil completed a two year residency in Acute Family Medicine and Women's Health at Centro de Salud Familiar in downtown Phoenix, Az. As a physician she has remained true to her artistic talents by incorporating cosmetic injections into her practice, truly treating women inside and out. Together with her husband Dr. Jason McNeil they formed North Valley Medical Center, a full-service primary care clinic dedicated to compassionate patient centered care. Out of the office you will find Dr. Alexis with her family and friends, doing yoga, cooking healthy organic food, or hiking with her dogs.

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Dr. Alexis McNeil uses only research based integrative medicine in the treatment of common female concerns. Read Dr. Alexis personal advice Secrets of Staying Young.

Women's Health Services

Abnormal Menstruation

ABNORMAL PAP TEST RESULTS FOLLOW-UP

ABNORMAL PAP TEST RESULTS FOLLOW-UP

Whether your problem is heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding, Dr. Alexis can diagnose and treat your problem. Women are usually offered with birth control pills or surgery. Unfortunately, conventional medicine currently doesn’t have many solutions to this common problem. 


However, these treatments may not be necessary or appropriate for some women. Dr. Alexis uses powerful herbal medicine combined with diet and lifestyle modification to regulate menstruation and restore normal hormonal function. 

ABNORMAL PAP TEST RESULTS FOLLOW-UP

ABNORMAL PAP TEST RESULTS FOLLOW-UP

ABNORMAL PAP TEST RESULTS FOLLOW-UP

An abnormal pap smear result can be alarming and scary. Dr. Alexis has years of experience managing “unhealthy cervixes” or cervical dysplasia. This follow-up includes colposcopy, along with biopsy and treatment. 


Dr. Alexis conducts escharotic treatments depending on the severity of the situation. The treatment is an herbal medicine technique that is directly applied to the cervix. It facilitates the sloughing off of unhealthy cervical cells. Unlike conventional treatments, there are no unfortunate side effects, which make it a much safer treatment option for women of childbearing age. 

ACNE AND SKIN HEALTH

ABNORMAL PAP TEST RESULTS FOLLOW-UP

Comprehensive screening

 The health of our hair, skin, and nails is often a reflection of our general health. Dr. Alexis will analyze the diet, environmental and sun exposure, stressors, and physical health conditions that could contribute to the unhealthy appearance of her patients. She will offer specific dietary and lifestyle interventions, along with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and pharmaceuticals so that her patients can look amazing! 

Comprehensive screening

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Comprehensive screening

Hormone balancing and symptom relief are very important, but quantifying risk and working to prevent serious diseases that plague the aging population are equally important. Using concentrated phytoestrogens, herbal medicine, and nutritional supplementation, Dr. Alexis helps prevents various diseases such as: 

  • Breast Cancer 
  • Coronary Heart Disease 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Uterine and Ovarian Cancer 

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy

The decision to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is complicated and difficult because the different researches conducted on this procedure can be confusing and conflicting. Dr. Alexis can help evaluate the risks and benefits that conventional and natural HRT have so that she can create a treatment plan for you. 


Some research shows that HRT can slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, stroke as well as cardiovascular and gallbladder diseases. There are important lifestyle strategies that can influence and possibly reduce the risk of these conditions. Dr. Alexis educates her patients on the safest, most effective ways of using HRT. She can also conduct hormone testing as necessary. 

Menopause

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Dr. Alexis understands that health promotion and disease prevention is paramount during this time. Menopause is an important transitional time in the life cycle of every woman, as it is a time of drastic biological change. It may include:

  • Decreased Libido 
  • Hot Flashes 
  • Insomnia 
  • Mood Swings
  • Urinary Problems 
  • Vaginal Dryness 

MENSTRUAL CRAMPS (DYSMENORRHEA)

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) AND PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Menstrual cramps affect more than 50% of menstruating women. In some cases, primary dysmenorrhea is caused by pelvic abnormalities such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, or uterine fibroids (secondary dysmenorrhea). 


Dr. Alexis will determine the cause of your dysmenorrhea. She uses strong natural muscle sedatives, nutritional support, and pelvic anti-inflammatories to relieve the pain and discomfort from menstrual pelvic and lower back pains. 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) AND PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Also known as a chronic anovulatory syndrome, PCOS is associated with excessive production of male hormones and insulin resistance. Its symptoms, which can be severe and distressing, include:  

  • Acne 
  • Irregular or Absent Menses 
  • Male Pattern Hair Loss or Hair Growth
  • Obesity 


Dr. Alexis is an expert in this multifactorial disease and uses a combination of herbal blends and pharmaceuticals to treat her patients successfully. The goals of therapy are to: 

  • Induce Ovulation 
  • Inhibit 5-Alpha Reductase (Inhibit the Conversion of Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone, the More Active Form of Testosterone) 
  • Lower Estrogen and Testosterone Levels 
  • Modify Insulin Resistance 

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) AND PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD)

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) AND PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD)

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) AND PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD)

PMS can be a debilitating condition for some women. It is characterized by cyclic symptoms during the second half of the menstrual phase caused by sudden changes in hormone levels. Its symptoms, which can make a woman’s life unbearable, are: 

  • Bloating 
  • Breast Tenderness 
  • Difficulty Concentrating 
  • Headaches 
  • Lethargy 
  • Severe Mood Swings 
  • Sleep Changes 
  • Weight Gain 


Testing should be done to rule out thyroid and blood sugar problems. Aside from this, screening for concurrent disorders of depression and anxiety should also be conducted. Dr. Alexis treats this syndrome using a multifactorial approach, which includes nutritional intervention, herbal medicine, and, in some cases, bioidentical hormones. These can relieve symptoms and restore hormone balance. 

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND EDUCATION

VAGINAL INFECTIONS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIS)

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) AND PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD)

 If you need medical assistance with conception or contraception, Dr. Alexis can help. There is nothing more satisfying to her than parents finally being able to conceive a healthy baby.  Infertility in women has been the source of much heartache and suffering. Women have spent countless money to become pregnant. About 10% to 15% of couples experience infertility, and in these instances, 40% is female-related, 40% is male-related, and 20% is unknown.


Dr. Alexis will screen you for anovulation, hypothyroidism, elevated prolactin, uterine fibroids, adhesions, endometriomas, and other masses. Therapy includes correcting ovulatory dysfunction, which is a cause of approximately 45% of female-related infertility, tonifying the uterus, and hormone balancing.  For women wanting to prevent pregnancy, there are many options for birth control, such as: 

  • Barrier Methods 

              Diaphragm, Cervical Cap, and Condoms 

  • Behavior Methods

                   Periodic Abstinence, Withdrawal,    and Lactational Amenorrhea 

  • Hormonal Methods 

                   Oral Contraceptive Pills, Patches, and Injections 

  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

      Intrauterine Devices (IUD)  


Dr. Alexis understands this can be a challenging subject for couples because ideological, spiritual, and religious beliefs are integral in this decision. You can be sure that she will assess the needs of each woman and provide contraception counseling and prescriptions as needed.

VAGINAL INFECTIONS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIS)

VAGINAL INFECTIONS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIS)

VAGINAL INFECTIONS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIS)

Dr. Alexis has spent years doing community medicine and has seen any and every sexually transmitted infection. She understands how embarrassing a vaginal infection can be and is confident that she can diagnose, treat, and teach you preventive methods. 

Whether you’re dealing with yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia, Dr. Alexis can help. She uses herbal suppositories when appropriate and antibiotics when necessary. 

Well womens Exam

VAGINAL INFECTIONS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIS)

VAGINAL INFECTIONS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIS)

Dr. Alexis spends plenty of time with all her patients during the yearly well women’s exams. A head-to-toe physical exam will be done along with a clinical breast exam and a pap smear. 

Orders for an electrocardiogram, chest x-ray, mammogram, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or colonoscopy will be conducted to each individual patient based on their age, family history, and personal disease risk. Cancer prevention, screening, and education will be emphasized throughout the process. 

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Men's Medicine

DR. JASON MCNEIL, NMD

Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life.

While the life expectancy gap between men and women has decreased, it’s no secret that men still need to pay more attention to their bodies. Several things work against men. They tend to smoke and drink more than women. Aside from this, they also don’t seek medical help as often as women. Some men define themselves by their work, which can add to their stress. 


There are also health conditions that only affect men, such as prostate cancer and low testosterone. That is why it’s important to have regular checkups and screenings. Many of the major health risks that men face, such as colon cancer or heart disease, can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis. 


Screening tests can find diseases early, which is the stage when they are easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which preventive medical tests you need to stay healthy. 

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Men's Health Services

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

This is an abnormally large or swollen blood vessel in your stomach that can burst without warning. If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in your lifetime, ask your doctor to screen you for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. 

BODY MASS INDEX

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

Your body mass index (BMI) is a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight. It is used to screen for obesity.

BLOOD PRESSURE

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

Have your blood pressure checked every two years. High blood pressure increases your chances of getting heart a stroke or heart and kidney diseases. If you have high blood pressure, lifestyle modification, including diet and exercise programs, can cure it. However, if this does not have much effect, you may need medication to control it. 

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

From ages 45 to 79, ask your doctor if you should take aspirin every day to help lower your risk of a heart attack. How much aspirin you should take depends on your age, your health, and your lifestyle.

CHOLESTEROL

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

COLORECTAL CANCER

You should have your cholesterol checked early once you turn 35. However, if you have risk factors such as diabetes, a history of heart disease, tobacco use, or high blood pressure and a BMI of more than 30, you need to have yours checked as early as 20. This is because high blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. 

COLORECTAL CANCER

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

COLORECTAL CANCER

From ages 50 to 75 years old, you should get tested for colorectal cancer. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you should get tested at the age of 40. 

DEPRESSION

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

DEPRESSION

If you have felt “down” or hopeless during the past two weeks or if you have had little interest in doing things you usually enjoy, talk to your doctor about depression. Depression is a treatable illness. 

DIABETES

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

DEPRESSION

High blood sugar, which is another term for diabetes, can cause problems with your heart, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts. If your blood pressure is higher than 135/80, ask your doctor to test you for diabetes. 

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

This virus attacks the body’s immune system. Your doctor may recommend screening for HIV if you: 

  • Are Being Treated for Sexually Transmitted Diseases 
  • Had a Blood Transfusion Between 1978 and 1985 
  • Had Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners 
  • Have Past or Current Sex Partners Who Are Infected With HIV 
  • Have Sex With Men 
  • Have Used Injected Drugs 
  • Pay for Sex or Have Sex Partners Who Do 

LOW TESTOSTERONE (LOW-T)

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

Testosterone is a hormone that assists the male body in building protein and is crucial for a normal sexual drive, vitality, and stamina. When men reach their early thirties, testosterone can start dropping at a rate of one to two percent a year. When blood levels drop bel;ow age average, a condition known as "Low T" can be diagnosed. Approximately 4-5 million American men have symptoms of Low T. Symptoms include:

  • Anger, irritability and social withdrawal
  • Anxiety, depression and mood swings
  • Erectile dysfunction and low sex drive
  • Gynecomastia (breast tissue)
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Low bone density
  • Muscle loss
  • Weight gain
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Overall sloth


There are different causes of low-t. These include things that happen inside and outside our bodies. Our attitude also plays a significant role since it directly affects our internal hormonal environment.  

OTHER TYPES OF CANCER

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)

Ask your doctor if you should be tested for prostate, lung, oral, skin, or other types of cancer. Having yourself screened can help your health care provider find and treat several types of cancer before they even cause symptoms. 

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDS)

 Talk to your doctor to see whether you should be tested for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, or other sexually transmitted diseases. If left untreated, STDs may lead to critical health conditions. 

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intravenous nutrient therapy (IVNT)

Health optimization and detoxification with vitamin iv's

Intravenous nutrient therapy is a method of delivering fluids, vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream. In our high paced lives, there is little time to maintain a well-balanced diet containing proper amounts of nutrients. We can left deficient in some nutrients which can trigger chronic fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, slowed thinking, poor memory, and eventually sickness and disease can arrive. IVNT can be an efficient and rapid method to address and prevent some of these issues. 

Nutrient Therapy Treatments

Modified Myer's Cocktail - $105

Modified Myer's Cocktail - $105

Modified Myer's Cocktail - $105

Keeps you Running at Peak Physical and Mental Performance.

The Modified Myer's Cocktail is a popular intravenous vitamin-and-mineral formula. The infusion "cocktail" consists of Magnesium, B-Vitamins, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, and Vitamin C. Its has been found to be effective against acute asthma attacks, migraines, fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome), fibromyalgia, acute muscle spasms, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergies and cardiovascular disease. Many athletes use our Modified Myer's Cocktail as a pre- and post- event treatment to maximize performance and speed recovery.

Vitamin C Infusion - $135

Modified Myer's Cocktail - $105

Modified Myer's Cocktail - $105

Fights Against Infection and Builds the Immune System.

An ultra-high dose of Vitamin C is combined with the nutrients in the Myer's Cocktail. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, meaning, our body does not make it, and we must consume it. Our body does not store Vitamin C, it is water soluble and flushes out with our urine. Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants which protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Typically our diet does not contain the high quantity of Vitamin C needed to keep us healthy. Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to:

  • Form important proteins used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
  • Heal wounds and repair cartilage, bones, and teeth
  • Fight bacterial and viral infections including the common cold and flu

Glutathione - $85

Lipotropic B-12 Injection - $35

Lipotropic B-12 Injection - $35

The Master Antioxidant

Antioxidants decrease oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by an accumulation of free radicals which cause disease and aging. We are bombarded daily with excessive amounts of chemicals and toxins. Glutathione is essential in neutralizing toxic substances from chemicals, metabolic waste and carcinogens (cancer causing substances). Chronic stress, disease and environmental toxins will deplete levels of glutathione. Glutathione is the master antioxidant because of its ability to "scavenge" free radicals, and because it actually assists in regenerating other antioxidants. Glutathione is used alone or pushed through a port during a Vitamin IV. it is used for:

  • Health problems associated with acute or chronic toxic exposures, ie mold, fertilizers, paint, hair dye, constructions materials, pesticides, cleaning products, etc.

Lipotropic B-12 Injection - $35

Lipotropic B-12 Injection - $35

Lipotropic B-12 Injection - $35

Increase Energy and Burn Fat

Vitamin B-12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin needed for several processes in the body. Vitamin B-12 is needed to help form cells, keep the nervous system healthy and properly metabolize food. The vitamin helps the body convert food into energy by breaking down carbohydrates into simple sugars and assists the body in digesting proteins and fats.


Lipotropics contain MIC (Methionine, Inositol, Choline). When combined with B-12 and a good nutritional/exercise program, these amino acids increase the breakdown, package and excretion of adipose tissue (fat). Our hCG weight loss program includes weekly Lipotropic B-12 IM injections.

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Weight Loss

The hCG Diet

The hCG Diet

The Hypothalamus controls distribution of adipose tissue (fat) throughout the body. hCG encourages the hypothalamus to trigger a hormonal cascade which increases mobilization of stored adipose tissue, particularly from the abdomen, hip and gluteal areas. This mobilized body fat is then taken to the liver and turned into glucose through a process known as gluconeogenisis (new production of sugar). For every pound of mobilized body fat, roughly 1000-2000 calories of glucose is then released into the bloodstream to be utilized by the body for energy. This is part of why only 500 calories of food are needed with the diet and why we are not hungry with this drastic caloric restriction, we are essentially living off body fat.


First, you come in to the office and consult with Dr. McNeil. A full physical exam is done and body fat % and BMI is calculated. Then we will discuss your overall goals and how you will achieve those goals. We will instruct you on how to inject hCG (don’t worry, they are tiny needles). We will also give you a B-12 shot to boost your energy and metabolism. Then we send you off to gorge for the first 2 days of the diet (the fun part!).


Day 3-28:

The calorie restriction starts day 3. We give you 7 syringes. Each morning you’ll wake up, weigh yourself and inject yourself. Dr. McNeil has designed an easy to follow diet plan so that you don’t have to figure out a 500 calorie diet for yourself. You have choices of proteins, veggies and fruit that you are able to eat on the diet, and of course we make room for a small snack in between meals!


Each week you come in, drop off empty syringes so we can safely dispose of them, receive another B-12 shot and meet with Dr. McNeil for a few minutes to ensure weight loss goals are being achieved. Then you are sent home with another 7 syringes with a stronger dose than the last week. Ultimately you will work yourself up 4 doses of HCG.


At the end of the program you will meet with Dr. McNeil for another consult, this is where we give detailed instructions on Phase 2, “The Maintenance Phase”. In Phase 2 we teach you how to eat to maintain your weight loss results. This phase lasts about 12 weeks and is so important to reset the body at its new weight. Weight loss slows down in phase 2 but most people continue to lose weight during this period. Sugars, starches, trans-fats, artificial sweeteners and nitrates (processed foods) are not allowed during this phase. Patients can be cycled back on the hCG diet after Phase 2 if there is still more weight that needs to be lost.


More Americans are becoming overweight or obese, exercising less, and eating unhealthy foods. According to the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 63.1% of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese (36.6% are overweight and 26.5% obese).


  • 59.2% of obese Americans exercised at least one day per week, compared to 69.9% of overweight people, and 73.8% of normal-weight people.
  • Obese people are less likely than people in every other weight category (overweight, normal weight, underweight) to have eaten five servings of fruits and vegetables on at least three days of the past seven.
  • Obese Americans also are less likely to say they ate healthy “all day yesterday.”


Body mass index (BMI) is a common measure of body fat based on height and weight. A BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese, overweight if it’s between 25-29.9, normal if it’s 18.5-24.9, and underweight if it’s less than 18.5. People who are obese are far more likely to report being diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or to have had a heart attack. The survey says that African-Americans were among the most likely to be obese, at 36.2%, compared to the national average of 26.5%. The obesity rate among Hispanics, at 28.3%, is also higher than the national average. Asians are far less likely to be obese, with only 9.6% falling into that category.


The survey also reports that:

  • 18.3% of young Americans are obese, compared to 27.6% between ages 30-44 and 30.6% among 45- to 64-year-olds. Of people 65 and over, 24.2% are obese.
  • Men are more likely than women to be obese, 27.8% compared to 25.2%.


So, what are we to do?


The simple answer is move more and eat less. Our modern society has geared us toward inactivity and convenience food. So, if you want to deal with being overweight or obese, if you want to immediately increase your quality of life, sense of well being, health, and appearance, then you must fight against the sedentary quick fix status quo.


Here at NVMC, our primary approach is education. We provide the knowledge necessary to make educated changes. For those that already have the knowledge, we also provide programs to help get you motivated and headed in the right direction.

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Pain Management

What is pain?

Pain is an evolutionary trait helping us protect damaged tissue by warning us with a feeling of distress, suffering, or agony. Pain induces the sufferer to remove or withdraw from the source of pain. The body recognizes tissue damage through chemical substances released by damaged tissues. These substances stimulate pain receptors and/or cause damage to the nerve endings. Nerves send signals to the brain for interpretation and subsequent action. Perception of pain is complex and individualized, and can be influenced by a variety of external and internal influences. In addition to neural signals and sensory input modulation, pain perception can be influenced by psychological and cultural responses to pain stimuli. There are theories related to physiologic control of pain. Pain impulses are mediated by internal systems such as neural pathway gates, the opioid system with endogenous analgesics enkephalins and endorphins, and the stimulation of large sensory fibers extending from the tactile receptors in the skin thus suppressing the transmission of pain signals from thinner nerve fibers. This last internal system eludes that nerve pathways to the brain can accommodate only one type of signal at a time, thus superficial tactile sensation trumps pain sensation. Endorphins and the inhibition of pain transmission by tactile signals has provided a reasonable scientific explanation for the success of relaxation, massage, application of liniments, and acupuncture in the control of pain and discomfort. Pain is generally a subjective phenomenon. The person reporting personal discomfort or pain is the most reliable source of information about its location, quality, intensity, onset, precipitating or aggravating factors, and measures that bring relief.

Objective signs of pain can assist in verification of a patients subjective reports of pain:

  • Physiologic signs of mild to moderate superficial pain are responses of the sympathetic nervous system, also know as Fight or Flight. These objectively measurable signs include changes in respiratory patterns, pallor, sweating, increased heart rate, increase blood pressure, dilated pupils, and muscle tension.
  • Physiologic signs of severe deep pain are responses from the parasympathetic nervous system. These objectively measurable signs include decreased blood pressure, decreased heart rate, pallor, nausea and/or vomiting, weakness, and syncope.

Psychosocial aspects include our personal tolerance and reactions to pain. Due to a varietal plethora of psychologic and cultural influences, psychosocial aspects of pain tend to be much more complex and less identifiable than physiologic responses, thus harder to modify. One’s degree of attention to and distraction from painful stimuli can also affect one’s perception of the intensity of pain.


Types of Pain

Acute Pain: Pain that is caused by traumatic injury, surgical procedures, or medical disorders; clinical symptoms include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, shallow respiration, agitation or restlessness, facial grimaces, or splinting.

Chronic Pain: Pain that is persistent, lasting more than six months; clinical symptoms may be the same as for acute pain, or there may be no symptoms evident.

Bearing-Down Pain: Pain accompanying uterine contractions during the second stage of labor.

Cancer Pain: One of the three categories of pain established by the International Association for the Study of Pain, denoting pain associated with malignancies and perceived by the individual patient; there are various scales ranking it from 0 to 10 according to level of severity.

Pain Disorder: A somatoform disorder characterized by a chief complaint of severe chronic pain that causes substantial distress or impairment in functioning; the pain is neither feigned nor intentionally produced, and psychological factors appear to play a major role in its onset, severity, exacerbation, or maintenance. The pain is related to psychological conflicts and is made worse by environmental stress; it enables the patient to avoid an unpleasant activity or to obtain support and sympathy. Patients may visit many health care providers searching for relief and may consume excessive amounts of analgesics without any effect. They are difficult to treat because they strongly resist the idea that their symptoms have a psychological origin.

False Pains: Ineffective pains during pregnancy that resemble labor pains, not accompanied by cervical dilatation; braxton-hicks contractions. Also called false labor.

Growing Pains: Any of various types of recurrent limb pains resembling those of rheumatoid conditions, seen in early youth and formerly thought to be caused by the growing process.

Hunger Pain: Pain sensed within the GI tract and perceived as a need for food

Intermenstrual Pain: Pain accompanying ovulation, usually occurring 10 days after termination of menses.

Labor Pain: The rhythmic pains of increasing severity and frequency due to contraction of the uterus at childbirth.

Lancinating Pain: sharp darting pain.

Phantom Pain: Pain felt in an absent or amputated limb or organ.

Psychogenic Pain: Symptoms of physical pain having a psychological origin.

Referred Pain: Pain felt in an area where it is not caused. Referred pain typically originates in a visceral organs and is felt on the skin or in another area deep inside the body. It’s hypothesized that referred pain occurs because pain signals from the viscera travel along the same neural pathways used by pain signals from the skin. The person perceives the pain but interprets it as having originated in the skin rather than in a deep-seated visceral organ.

Rest Pain: A continuous unrelenting pain due to ischemia of the lower leg, beginning with or being aggravated by elevation and being relieved by sitting with legs in a dependent position or by standing.

Root Pain: Pain caused by disease of the sensory nerve roots and occurring in the cutaneous areas supplied by the affected roots

How we treat pain

Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a method in which very fine needles are used to stimulate the body’s natural healing. After careful assessment the acupuncturist can identify energy patterns that are disrupted and insert needles into specific anatomically defined locations to help restore the energy patterns to their optimal state. As such, the acupuncturist is using needles to assist the body’s own self healing response. Some conditions may call for additional electrical stimulation to enhance the effects of the needles. They may also use heat therapy by burning a specially processed herb next to the needle.


What does Acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture has been used as an effective medical modality for over 2000 years. It has been recognized by the World Health Organization to treat over 300 conditions. In the US, people commonly seek treatment for the following conditions:

  • Digestive disorders: gastritis, colitis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, weight loss.
  • Respiratory disorders: allergies, asthma, sinusitis, sore throat, chest infections, colds & flu.
  • Neurological and muscular disorders: migraines, neck pain & tension, bursitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, acute trauma.
  • Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems: infertility, pre-menstrual syndrome, prostate, problems.
  • Emotional disorders: insomnia, addictions, stress, detox for chemical dependencies, PTSD.


What can I expect during my Acupuncture session?

Your treatment begins with an extensive conversation about your medical history, current health and lifestyle. Many first-time patients are amazed at how comfortable they feel during an acupuncture treatment. When the needle accesses the flow of Qi, a slight tingling, a heaviness, or a tugging sensation may be felt. Acupuncture needles have been scientifically proven to release endorphins giving patients a pleasant experience.


Course of Treatment

Initial treatments take approximately 2 hours in which a full history and overview of patient health is assessed. Follow-up appointments generally last between 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Patients need to eat at least 20 to 30 minutes prior to their treatment.  The length of the course of treatment depends upon several factors such as age, severity of condition and length of disease. Everyone reacts differently to acupuncture and will respond at different rates. Typically, acute cases resolve more rapidly than chronic cases which may take of course of approximately ten acupuncture treatments. Many people continue to use acupuncture to maintain good health by keeping the body’s immunity strong and emotions balanced.

PROLOTHERAPY

Definition

Prolotherapy is the treatment of connective-tissue damage through the use of injections. The injections instigate delivery of collagen and growth factors to the damaged tissue thus stabilizing the joint and decreasing pain. The term prolotherapy is derived from the word prolo, short for proliferation, as the therapy is intended to proliferate tissue growth in the damaged area.


Origins

The idea behind this therapy dates back more than 2000 years to Hippocrates, who used it to treat soldiers with injured shoulders. Instead of injections Hippocrates used a hot poker, which he speared into the shoulder joint, causing inflammation and stimulating the body to repair itself. Prolotherapy was derived from a treatment developed by H.I. Biegeleisen called sclerotherapy, used to treat varicose veins. In the 1950s, George Hackett, often called a pioneer of prolotherapy, was experimenting with and touting the benefits of the procedure.


Benefits

Prolotherapy has been used to treat chronic neck and back pain, joint pain from arthritis, headaches,fibromyalgia, sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and partially torn tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It’s a low cost, effective, non-surgical outpatient procedure, saving patients from undergoing anesthesia and surgery followed by a long recovery period. Patients can walk out of the office and go straight back to work.


Description

In prolotherapy, a doctor injects a mix of concentrated dextrose and lidocaine into the damaged ligament or tendon at the point where it attaches to the bone. The injection produces an inflammation, which increases blood flow, swelling, and pain. The body then launches a course of healing and stabilization known as the fibrosis of repair. The inflammation mimic’s an injury, the body responds by sending in cells called macrophages that ingest and destroy damged tissue, they clean up the area. The body then sends in fibroblasts, which are cells that help build fibrous tissue. The fibroblasts excrete collagen, a protein that makes the ligaments denser and stronger. The stronger ligaments provide more support for the joints, often alleviating the pain. The same process happens when we cut ourselves, notice a scar is tighter and less sensitive than the surrounding tissue. The length of treatment sessions varies and depends on the area being treated. For example, treatment of an injured elbow involves injections only in one site, whereas treatment of larger areas, like the neck and back, involves more injections. Treating an elbow may take only a few injections, whereas the back may involve up to 50 injections for one treatment. The treatment generally involves several sessions, usually three to six, occasionally more, Treatment sessions are separated by three to 6 week intervals depending on patient healing time and budget, both of which can vary from patient to patient. Another solution used in prolotherapy is Platelet Rich Plasma/PRP. Blood is drawn from the patient and centrifuged to derive a platelet concentrate that is then injected into the damaged area. This platelet concentrate is basically what we are trying to proliferate with standard dextrose prolotherapy. Both solution accomplish the same goal, PRP just does it quicker. The entire procedure is done in office and take around 90 minutes.


Preparations

Analgesics and sedatives may be given before treatment to reduce discomfort. Many patients, however, forgo sedation because they cannot drive home afterward. Many doctors use topical freeze sprays, ice packs, oranaesthetic cream to reduce skin sensation. It is recommended that patients drink plenty of water in the 24 hours before the procedure because it helps with cell hydration.


Precautions

As with all procedures, there are risks. Patients are asked to sign a consent and waiver. Since the treatment involves inserting a needle into the body, there is a chance of puncture to arteries, nerves, or even lung tissue, depending on the area to be treated. Although extremely rare, some patients may have allergic reactions to the substance injected.


Side Effects

The most common side effects include pain during the injections and soreness/stiffness afterward. Patients are reminded not to take any anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, because these will impede the healing process prolotherapy aims to set in place.

Platelet Rich Plasma


Definition

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a volume of autogenous (meaning your own) plasma that has a platelet concentrate above the body’s normal level. Normal platelet concentrates in a person’s blood tend to be in the range of 150,000 and 350,000. Scientific proof has unequivocally demonstrated drastically improved bone and soft tissue healing using platelet rich plasma injection therapy with concentrations of 1,000,000. The clinical applications of platelet-rich plasma are many and varied. It is used in denistry, orthopaedics and other areas.


Advantages of Platelet Rich Plasma

  • It’s safe. PRP is a by-product of our patient’s own blood; hence, disease transmission is not an issue.
  • It’s convenient. Platelet rich plasma is processed under strict sterile conditions.
  • It allows for faster healing. The super saturation of the wound with PRP produces an increase of tissue synthesis and thus faster tissue regeneration.
  • It’s cost effective. Platelet rich plasma harvesting is carried out with only a small amount of blood in the doctor’s office. The patient does not incur the expense of the harvesting procedure in the hospital or at the blood bank.

Trigger Point Injection

What is a Trigger Point?

Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They produce pain locally and in a referred pattern and often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Acute Trauma or repetitive microtrauma may lead to the development of stress on muscle fibers and the formation of trigger points. Patients may have regional, persistent pain resulting in a decreased range of motion in the affected muscles. These include muscles used to maintain body posture, such as those in the neck, shoulders, and pelvic girdle.


How do I know if I have a Trigger Point?

Trigger points may manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, decreased range of motion in the legs, low back pain, and pain referring into the shoulder, arm or hand. Palpation of a hypersensitive bundle or nodule of muscle fiber of harder than normal consistency is the physical finding typically associated with a trigger point. Palpation of the trigger point will elicit pain directly over the affected area and/or cause radiation of pain toward a zone of reference and a local twitch response. Trigger point injection has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment modalities to inactivate trigger points and provide prompt relief of symptoms. (Am Fam Physician 2002;65:653-60. Copyright 2002 American Academy of Family Physicians.)


What is used in a Trigger Point Injection?

The severity, duration, and location of the Trigger Point dictates the solution used. We use a customized solution of vitamins, minerals, anesthetics to include lidocaine, procaine or marcaine, and even NSAID’s.


How many treatments will I need?  

It depends on the condition. The most common ailment treated with Trigger Point Injections is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). TOS is pain, numbness and/or tingling referring into the shoulder, arm and even the hand secondary to Trigger Points within the major upper thoracic and lower cervical muscle bellies. Tension headaches are often secondary to this condition. Successful treatment indicates 2-4 sessions, once weekly.


Will the Trigger Points come back?

Over time, if the situation that caused the Trigger Points is not identified and corrected, the pain will return, typically within 3-12 months. To help avoid this, Dr. Mcneil prescribes deep tissue massage, physical therapy and lifestyle modification.

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Medical Marijuana (MMJ)

NVMC is Proudly Offering Medical Marijuana Certifications for Qualifying Patients.

In order to obtain a MMJ card, you must show care from a doctor within the past 12 months that verifies the qualifying diagnosis. There are a few ways to obtain medical records. You can bring records with you to the visit OR NVMC may contact your doctor to obtain medical records for you OR NVMC can create a new medical record for you.


After a visit with the certifying doctor, the office will file all of the necessary paperwork to complete the application through the Arizona Department of Health. NVMC strives to make the process quick and easy, the process is the same for both newly qualifying patients and renewal patients. The state requires MMJ cards to be renewed every two years.

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Qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana:

Qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana:

Qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • ALS
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spams
  • Severe nausea
  • Cachexia (severe weight loss and wasting syndromes)
  • PTSD (Records must show other active forms of medical care for treatment of PTSD, ie. counseling, psychotherapy, prescription drug therapy, etc.)

Unfortunately anxiety, depression, and insomnia are NOT qualifying diagnoses in the state of Arizona.

FAQ: "WHAT DO I NEED FOR MY VISIT?"

Qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana:

Qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana:

1. Medical records verifying your qualifying diagnosis and that you've sought treatment in the last year. This can include a copy of a recent visit from your primary care physician, chiropractor, oncologist, rheumatologist, etc. It can also include lab work, surgical report, X-ray, MRI, or CT scan showing abnormalities related to your diagnosis.


2. Arizona issued I.D. card / driver's license, or U.S. Passport (only accepted if you have an AZ residential and mailing address) Out of state I.D. cards are NOT accepted.


3. Two separate fees are required for the MMJ card:

  • Office visit: $150 with records, $225 without records.
  • Arizona Department of Health Services: $150 (Visa and MasterCard only, unfortunately HSA cards are not accepted)