What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a licensed registered nurse (RN) who has had advanced education at the graduate level, including many hours of clinical training. In New Mexico, NPs must also have national certification in their area of specialty. NPs are board certified in such areas as family, adult, acute care, pediatrics, gerontology, psychiatry, oncology, and women's health. There are almost 800 NPs in New Mexico, providing health care to patients in every part of the state. For more information describing nurse practitioners and what they can do for you, watch this short You Tube video, Nurse Practitioners and Your Health or click on the PBS News Hour link on the right for another video about nurse practitioners.

What do nurse practitioners do?

NPs provide health care for all types of health problems in patients of all ages, depending on the area of certification. For example, pediatric NPs focus on children's health issues while family NPs focus on health issues seen in families with members of all ages. NPs diagnose and treat health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, infections, or injuries. They also stress health maintenance and promotion. NPs perform physical examinations, order tests and x-rays, prescribe medications, counsel patients, consult with or refer to other health care providers, and provide end-of-life care. Because they are nurses, NPs combine nursing and medical care to give their patients excellent health care and help them make better health care decisions. NPs have a holistic approach - that is, they look at the whole person, not just the person's illness or injury.

Where do nurse practitioners work?

Nurse practitioners work in all health care settings. NPs are in private health care practices, clinics, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, student or employee health centers, and everywhere patients receive health care. NPs are often the only health care providers in the rural areas of New Mexico. The New Mexico Board of Nursing licenses NPs in New Mexico as independent practitioners, so NPs aren't limited to working where there is a physician. There are still regulations that prevent NPs from ordering some essential services. For example, NPs may not order home health care. Because these are nation-wide issues, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners is actively working in Washington to address the restrictive regulations that prevent NPs from providing some essential services to our patients.

Do nurse practitioners provide good care?

There has been much research over the last 40 years showing that NPs provide excellent health care. NPs give their patients care resulting in health outcomes as good as (or in certain situations better than) those of physicians. NPs often spend more time with patients and their education and practice is based on listening closely to patients' concerns and providing individualized care. Patents who see NPs are more satisfied with their care and say their NP is very good about giving health advice. NPs provide high quality care in a cost effective manner. For more information, download detailed reports from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners on the quality of care and cost effectiveness of NPs.

Interesting Articles and Videos About Nurse Practitioners

Links for More Information

What is Applied Kinesiology? (AK)

Applied Kinesiology (A.K.) is a system using muscle testing as a functional neurological evaluation. The methodology is concerned, primarily, with neuromuscular function as it relates to the structural, chemical and mental physiologic regulatory mechanisms. A.K., which originated within the chiropractic profession, is an approach to clinical practice, with multidisciplinary applications.

Applied Kinesiology can be divided into two distinct parts.
First, it is an aid to diagnosis. Muscle testing is used to help diagnose what is functioning abnormally. This can be a problem with the nervous system, the lymphatic drainage system, the vascular supply to a muscle or organ, a nutritional excess or deficiency, a problem with the cranial-sacral-TMJ mechanism, an imbalance in the acupuncture meridian system, or a host of other problems. Testing individual muscles is an accurate manner for determining what affects the relative strength of the muscle and, when combined with knowledge of the basic mechanical and physiological functioning of the body, this helps to more accurately diagnose the real problem.

Second, is the treatment phase. Dr. Goodheart, and others in the International College of Applied Kinesiology, have adapted different treatment methods for the problems that have been diagnosed. Nutrition, chiropractic manipulation, osteopathic cranial techniques, acupuncture-meridian therapies, myofascial techniques, nervous system coordination procedures, and some of the latest theories in medicine involving control of the vascular and neuronal systems may be employed to balance the malfunction found in the patient. Applied Kinesiology borrows from many different disciplines and, through the use of accurate, scientific muscle testing, in addition to the basic knowledge of the practitioner, helps direct the care to exactly what the patient's needs are.

 

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a patient-centered approach to health care that addresses the underlying root cause of disease. It looks at the interactions between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence health. Functional medicine acknowledges that chronic disease is almost always preceded by a lengthy period of declining function in one or more of the body systems. For example, a patient may receive diagnosis of diabetes today, but the metabolic dysfunction may have been progressing since years prior. Rather than mitigating symptoms, functional medicine seeks to restore health by restoring balance and function to the body systems involved.

The functional medicine model best addresses the healthcare needs of today, because our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases, such as: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders. These complex conditions are not necessarily best treated by the “A pill for an ill” model. Evidence of this is the fact that the United States has, by far, the most expensive health care system in the world, based on health expenditures per capita, and yet statistics continue to rise. One hundred million Americans are currently being treated for degenerative lifestyle diseases at a cost of more than 700 billion dollars per year! Tragically, despite these alarming costs, the health of Americans is not improving.

A common misconception is ‘that disease is a part of aging’. The fact is that disease is not caused by age alone. Commonly, as we age, functional imbalances occur which eventually result in disease. This can be prevented! Functional medicine examines the following core clinical imbalances that underlie expression of disease:

Hormonal imbalances.
Neurotransmitter imbalances.
Detoxification imbalances.
Cellular function imbalances.
Digestive, absorptive and microbiological imbalances.
Immune and inflammatory imbalances.
Structural imbalances (from cellular to whole systems).

Functional medicine is not alternative medicine. It is evidence-based, clinically sound model medicine that effectively addresses the origin of disease.

The Basic Principles of Functional Medicine are:
Addressing the whole person... genetics, environment, and lifestyle.
Understanding unique biochemical individuality.
Addressing the web-like interconnections of internal physiological factors.
Viewing health as a positive vitality, not merely the absence of disease.

Functional medicine envisions longevity with an optimally functioning body. Addressing your health with this health care model can not only add years to your life, but also add life to your years!

How Is Functional Medicine Different than Conventional Medicine?
The Institute for Functional Medicine Vice-Chair, Mark Hyman, M.D., with whom Dr. Ehle has worked, explains the difference between conventional medicine and functional medicine, using the example, from his own practice, of a young girl with severe autoimmune disease. While the conventional medicine approach suppresses the inflammation in this patient, functional medicine asks and addresses the question of why the inflammation exists in the first place, and looks at the scientific drivers (causes) of the disease, which include toxins, infections, allergens, stress, and poor diet.

 

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy, which is short for “Proliferative Therapy,” is a technique designed to treat laxity (looseness) of joints, due to injury or aging of ligaments and tendons. Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bones to bones in joints. Ligaments can become weak or injured, and may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. This is largely because the blood supply to ligaments is limited, and, therefore, healing is slow and not always complete. To further complicate this, ligaments also have many nerve endings and, therefore, the person will feel pain at the areas where the ligaments are damaged or loose. Stretched, lax ligaments cause chronic stimulation of these pain fibers. This is the underlying cause of many chronic pain syndromes that do not respond to conventional approaches. This technique triggers an acute inflammatory response in the tendons or ligaments, causing them to thicken and strengthen, pulling the joints and bones back in line.
Prolotherapy is an injection treatment method used to strengthen weakened ligaments and tendons. It is also used for connective tissues that have been overused or injured by common sprains, strains, sports injuries, musculoskeletal pain, disc degeneration, or common aging. This treatment is proven to be successful in stimulating fibroblast activity which causes new collagen.
This is a non-surgical treatment, for patients who do not want surgery or to be dependant on pain medication, that stimulates the body’s own healing mechanism, resulting in the rejuvenation and strengthening of tendons, ligaments and joints. Patients with shoulder pain, wrist pain, elbow pain, and knee pain, have found prolotherapy to be effective.
This is carried out with a high concentrate solution of dextrose (sugar), which is injected into the weakest point of any of these structures… where ligaments or tendons attach to the bone. Studies have shown these dextrose injections have no effect on blood sugar, and are not a risk for patients with diabetes. There is an important difference between acute and chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is an underlying cause of most diseases, including cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Acute inflammation is our body’s natural response to infection or injury, and promotes healing. Local inflammation will cause increased stimulation, blood supply, and a flow of nutrients to the affected area. Then, it causes the tissue to repair itself. Prolotherapy produces this acute form of inflammation, which releases growth factors and induces an inflammatory reaction, which stimulates the normal repair and healing processes of the body. Chronic inflammation kills…acute inflammation cures. There is usually some increased pain for a few days after the treatment. This is treated with ice pack application and oral Tylenol. Anti-inflammatory medications should not be used after the injection. These include aspirin, Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), and other “NSAID” prescription medications. The body needs time to heal after each injection; therefore, the injections are administered, typically, three to four weeks apart.
How quickly the body responds depends greatly on individual lifestyle, dietary habits, and the severity of the injury. Smokers, for instance, may not have optimal results. The response to treatment varies from individual to individual, and depends upon one’s healing ability. Some people may only need a few treatments, while others may need 10 or more. The benefits can include a marked reduction in pain, and increased function that can last months or years.
The technique of prolotherapy was originally developed in the 1930s, and fully developed by Dr. George Hackett in the 1950s. This elegant, but simple, technique has grown dramatically in its popularity, due to its effectiveness.
You may drive home after treatment. Fees depend on the site or body part. Prolotherapy is considered experimental treatment, and is not covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare. It is usually reserved for problems that haven’t responded to traditional methods, including medication, physical therapy and cortisone injections.

You may visit www.GetProlo.com or http://doctorreeves.com for further information.

The Video below is of Dr. Fields, a physican, with whom Dr. Ehle worked with, while on a medical mission to Honduras.

Here is a video produced by Dr. Jose Barreto, another physician, with whom Dr Ehle worked with in Honduras regarding research in Prolotherapy.

 

What is Integrative Medicine?

Defining Principles of Integrative Medicine

  1. Patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
  2. All factors that influence health, wellness, and disease are taken into consideration, including mind, spirit, and community, as well as the body.
  3. Appropriate use of both conventional and alternative methods facilitates the body's innate healing response.
  4. Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive should be used whenever possible.
  5. Integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
  6. Good medicine is based in good science. It is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
  7. Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
  8. Practitioners of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.

What is Integrative Medicine? - Andrew Weil, M.D. from Andrew Weil, M.D. on Vimeo.

 

What do you treat?

We are a full scope family practice, taking care of patients from birth through advanced age.

Do you think you can help me with my health problem?

Well Life ABQ uses a systems approach to assessing and treating your health care concerns. Perhaps you have experienced being examined by your doctor, having blood tests done, x-rays or other diagnostic tests taken, only for your doctor to report back that “all your tests are normal”. Yet, both you and your doctor know that you are sick. Unfortunately, this experience is all too common.
Most physicians were trained to look only in specific places for the answers, using the same familiar labs or diagnostic tests. Yet, many causes of illness cannot be found in these places. The usual tests do not look for food allergies, hidden infections, environmental toxins, mold exposures, nutritional deficiencies and metabolic imbalances. New gene testing can uncover underlying genetic predispositions that can be modified through diet, lifestyle, supplements or medications.
Through the use of such testing, Well Life ABQ helps patients prevent illness and recover from many
chronic and difficult-to-treat conditions. Our providers are highly skilled in evaluating, assessing and treating chronic problems such as fibromyalgia, fatigue syndromes, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders, mood and behavior disorders, memory problems, Parkinson’s disease and other chronic, complex conditions. We also focus on the prevention and treatment of heart disease, diabetes, hormonal imbalances and digestive disorders.

What does a visit consist of?

Initial Consultation (Approx 1 to 1.5hours):

Comprehensive and extensive medical history review.
Integrative Physical Exam (may include Tongue evaluation and/or Nail assessment)
Customized Assessment
Individualized Herbal, Nutritional, Lifestyle and Supplement Recommendations
Printed Plan for course of treatment
Prescriptions as needed
Laboratory evaluations
Educational materials

Follow-Up Consultations (Approx 30-45min)
Includes same as initial consultation, plus reviewing recent labs, evaluating current treatment plan, etc

Annual Wellness Exams
As a membership clinic, annual wellness exams are included and highly encouraged. Except in the case of well child checks, wellness exams are seperate from initial consultations. Initial consultations focus on your history and current problems. Wellness exams focus on age appropriate prevention and screening recommendations.

What are your office hours?

Please see the Contact Us Tab for office hours.
Patient portal is available anytime of the day and questions will be answered by the end of the next business day. It is the goal of Well Life ABQ, to answer non-urgent questions mid-day and again in the afternoon or first thing in the morning.
Your provider is available to discuss urgent matters outside office hours. There is a $25 additional charge for after hours calls.

Do you accept insurance?

Well Life ABQ does not accept insurance in the traditional sense.  However, your membership fee is an ASSURANCE that you have a provider available to keep you well and treat you when ill.

Well Life ABQ is a great option for High Deductible Health Plans with or without an Health Savings Account. Your membership fees can be paid from you Health Savings Account. Since routine visits are included and acute visits have a small charge, you are able to keep your costs down.

As insurance premiums skyrocket, all patients without insurance or those looking for alternatives are encouraged to research Liberty Direct Insurance. After your deductible is met, your membership fees, supplement costs and procedures can be submitted for cost-sharing. This insurance model is exempt from Affordable Care Act penalty and it is a perfect partnership for patients that are committed to staying healthy.

How much is a visit?

All New Patient Visits include one follow up visit.
Specialty testing package prices include one follow up visit to review results and finalize your treatment plan.

After the no obligation visit, if the patient decides to become a member, the first month of membership is half-price.

Please see the 2017 Price List for a complete list of prices.

What do I need to bring with me at my first appointment?

All medications and supplements.
Recent labs results.
Recent visit notes from other providers.
Recent imaging reports.

How can I order the supplements I need?

Our team has researched the highest quality products available that meet independently verified standards of effectiveness, quality and purity.

Supplements are available for purchase in the office or online. After your first appointment, you will be sent a link outlining your recommended supplements. Members will receive 10% off all supplements purchased online through Well Life ABQ or in office. Unfortunately some manufacturers have strict restrictions on the sale of their products. These brands will only be available in the office.

Prescription Refill Request

It may take up to 72 hours to process prescription refill requests. Please plan ahead to avoid any interruption in your medications. Prescription refill requests can be faxed to our office by your pharmacy. Our fax # is 806-340-7975.  Most pharmacies are also able to request refills electronically. 

What happens if I need to go to the hospital?

ONLY Well Life ABQ members should name Well Life ABQ as their primary care provider when asked by the hospital. Well Life ABQ only provides consultation to non-members and is therefore not their primary care provider. Members should contact Well Life ABQ as soon as possible after discharge (preferably before) for a post-discharge coordination visit. We will see you in a same-day or next day acute visit slot for the small acute visit charge.

After-hours Contact and Patient Portal

After-hours calls should be limited to urgent issues and will incur a $25 charge.
If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Members may ask non-urgent medical questions as needed via their patient portal.

Non-members may only ask clarification questions related to a recent visit. More extensive questions require a follow-up visit at the non-member rate.

By sending a patient portal questions, you acknowledge and agree that a prompt reply is NOT required, expected, or contemplated. Most importantly, never delay emergency treatment.

Emails are for administrative questions only. Emails with medical questions will receive a response with directions to the patient portal. This policy if for patient privacy and continuity of care. Email is not secure and is not attached to the patient chart.

Late arrivals/cancellations

Our time is reserved exclusively for your care during your scheduled visit. We have limited visit appointments during the day due to the fact that we believe in quality care and spend an extended amount of time per patient. Keeping this in mind, it is important to ensure the best use of both your time and ours. Please try to cancel any scheduled appointment 24hours prior. This opens the slot for someone else.

Email Policy

E-mail is a convenient and efficient way to communicate. However, Well Life ABQ can not control the security of incoming messages. Email communication is not connected to the patient's chart which can lead to confusion. It is for these reasons that Well Life ABQ will only communicate medical questions via the patient portal.

For administrative questions, issues, concerns, please send email to hello@welllifeabq.com.

Test results

Well Life ABQ is able to order a variety of specialty and conventional labs. Some labs are take-home kits and some are drawn in the office. It can be frustrating, but we are not able to control the turnaround time of the various laboratories. We are also not always aware that a patient has submitted a take home test. Therefore, follow up appointments are made once lab results are in. We are able to track lab orders that we have processed. However, if you have sent in a sample and have not heard from us in about three weeks, please email us at hello@welllifeabq.com stating you sent in a sample to "_______" lab and have not heard back.

Members may opt to review these via video calls, telephone or in person. Non-members must make a follow up appointment to review their labs. Most specialty testing costs have the follow up appointment cost built in.

Medical Records

Upon request, a paper or electronic copy of all or a portion of your medical records can be provided to you. There is a $10 charge and will be provided electronically on a CD.