Dr. Abram Hoffer,
Pioneer of Orthomolecular Psychiatry
Imbalances in any one of these areas can lead to problems manifesting as symptoms in any or all of the
other areas. Though your chief complaints may be mental or emotional symptoms such as anxiety,
depression, fear, anger, biopolar, or schizophrenia, the root cause of these may be physical issues such
as nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, hormonal or neurotransmitter imbalances.
Likewise, an imbalance on the mental, emotional or spiritual level may be the root cause of a physical
illness. It is rare for patients suffering from a mental or emotional disorder to NOT have a physical
illness at the same time, and these are ALWAYS related!
Additionally, interactions between the individual and the environment may also have an affect on health.
For example, heavy metal toxicities (discussed below), from the food, air, or water, can be the root
cause of many mental and emotional symptoms.
Holistic assessment starts with recognizing that the mind and body cannot be separated - they are simply
different aspects of the human organism. The physical body, along with our emotional, mental and spiritual
aspects are completely integrated as a holistic interconnected whole.
Dr. Linus Pauling,
Founder of Orthomolecular Medicine
Pauling became especially fascinated with vitamin C in the mid-1960s and quickly recognized that
the intake of this vitamin and, consequently, its concentration in the body, significantly influences
health and disease.
One of the first and still leading proponents of the Orthomolecular approach to mental illness was Dr.
Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD. He pioneered the use of vitamins and minerals in the treatment of Schizophrenia
and other mental disorders. Orthomolecular medicine emphasizes the use of Essential Nutrients such as
vitamins, minerals, essential lipids and amino acids to re-regulate body chemistry, including
Neurotransmitter imbalances, which can be at the root of many mental-emotional problems.
This approach is based on the concept of essential nutrients.
(see the Nutrition page).
If the body is missing crucial ingredients, our function can be compromised, and symptoms develop
in every aspect of our mind and body.
The term "Orthomolecular" was first used by two-time Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling in 1968.
Originally used specifically with respect to psychiatry and brain function, it later was expanded to include
all aspects of medicine. Pauling defined Orthomolecular medicine as "the preservation of good health and
the treatment of disease by varying the concentrations in the human body of substances that are normally
present in the body and are required for health". He also expressed the underlying principle as
"...the adjective orthomolecular is used to express the idea of the right molecules in the right
Toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum and others have no normal uses in our bodies -- they
only function as poisons. Many heavy metal symptoms are mental and emotional. Testing for the presence
of heavy metals is done via provoked urine testing
(see our lab testing page).
If you have heavy metals in your body, an appropriate
detoxification program will be included in your treatment program.
Many mental and emotional symptoms can be related, either directly or indirectly, to food allergies.
If you are allergic to something you are eating, it can cause inflammation in the lining of your GI tract,
disrupting the absorption of all nutrients, leading eventually to deficiencies in essential nutrients.
Other substances such as food additives, preservatives and artificial colorings can have a direct
allergic affect on the brain itself. Finding and eliminating these foods and other substances, and
replacing them with a healthy, whole food nutritional plan, can have a tremendous beneficial impact on
Many people suffering from mental and emotional symptoms are extremely sensitive to medications,
supplements and herbs, which can make treatment difficult. Fortunately,
Homeopathy is a system of
medicine utilizing highly dilute medicines which have few side effects. In particular, Constituional
Homeopathy had been of tremendous help for many people with suffering from mental and emotional
conditions. A Constitutional Homeopathic remedy may be prescribed at some point in your treatment.
Many times, patients report some type of spiritual disharmony as part of their overall symptom picture.
It may be an overwhelming sense that there is something they are supposed to be doing with their lives
and haven't yet figured out what it is, or simply a recognition that spiritual issues are part of the
pattern of disharmony in their lives.
Esoteric Acupuncture is a particular type of
acupuncture intended to balance the higher energetic structures, making it easier for you to achieve
a spiritual connection via whichever spiritual system works for you.
Developmental Disorders (Autism, Aspergers, etc.)
Abuse Survivor Issues
Eating & Food Issues
Grief & Loss
Post Partum Depression