As you will see in the articles in this month's newsletter, achieving fitness encompasses more than just sweating at the gym on a regular basis. When looking at the entirety of the human organism, the type of medicine we practice at Pacific Naturopathic is more about fitness on mental/emotional and spiritual levels as well as the physical. To us, the blueprint for health is first drawn up on the spiritual plane. You'll find various levels of fitness addressed in this newsletter.
Dr. Connie starts by musing on the various ways that fitness affects physiology and presents the powerful Energization Exercises, where breath and movement promote fitness on various levels; Elijah draws a correlation between fitness and life span and continues his herbal gift giving to his patients; Dr. Marcel offers suggestions for achieving spiritual fitness; Dr. Corrine shows the part that metabolic fitness plays in overall health; and Jane Hernandez illustrates how to provoke the relaxation response to promote health.
Of note this month is the special rate offered to readers of this newsletter at our Hawaii vacation rental for reservations during the months of October and November. There are only a few openings left for these months, so if you have dreamed of staying in one of the most lovely places imaginable, now is the time to do it. Consult the reservation calendar HERE, then email Dr. Marcel at firstname.lastname@example.org with your dates and contact info.
Dr. Connie, Dr. Marcel, Dr. Corrine and your care team at Pacific Naturopathic and the Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care
Dr. Connie's Musings...
|Dr. Connie muses near the pond in Hawaii|
Musings on Fitness
When we think of fitness, we think of strength, vigor, well-being. Dictionary definitions expand that, including the quality of being able to fulfill a particular role or task, and an organism's ability to cope, survive and reproduce in a given environment.
Coping and survival, of course, require far more than physical fitness, though physical fitness has immense and obvious benefits. Promoting physical fitness by staying active and exercising strengthens the heart and the blood vessels, normalizes blood lipids and blood clotting factors, and helps to lower blood pressure. Cardiovascular health is further benefited by a reduction in insulin resistance and inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 3 or 4 times a week.
Approximately the same amount of aerobic exercise on a daily basis is one of the best treatments for estrogen imbalance and estrogen based diseases such as endometriosis. The positive effect of exercise on estrogen metabolism also diminishes premenstrual and menopausal symptoms.
Weightwise, visceral fat is reduced through aerobic exercise. Body fat is further reduced, and lean muscle is increased through strength training.
Moodwise, exercise increases endorphins. And, if it's age related mental decline that concerns you, know that regular exercise helps prevent what might otherwise be thought to be an inevitable loss of mental function.
See below in the Hernandez Center section for the effect of estrogen on preventing cancer.
All of that is just the tip of the iceberg when considering the myriad of benefits conferred by a regular exercise program. The gain in quality of life is immeasurable. On top of that, estimated millions of health dollars could be saved by the simple intervention of a life long practice of exercise.
Why then, is it so difficult to get with the program? We live in a sedentary society. Many of us work long hours on computers at desk jobs. We have to carve out extra time to move our bodies. In my other life in rural Hawaii, Dr. Marcel and I spend 3-4 hours a day traversing our hilly land, hauling, planting, weeding, watering, building. Exercise is woven into the fabric of our lives. In our California life, we spend up to 10 hours a day sitting while we research and consult with our clients.
Those long hours sitting at work leave not so many hours for the other activities that sustain us... meditation, meals, relationship and social time. Exercise becomes an add on chore, rather than a meaningful part of the day.
What simple, but impactful steps might be taken to begin to ameliorate this situation? I now stand at my desk when I am not with patients; stand at another desk, work out on an exercise bike, or balance on my rebounder when I indulge in television time. Walking/talking with friends is relationship and social time, but also exercise time. Jump roping and hula hooping are great fun for interval training. Think activities that you can easily integrate into those things you already do. Ten thousand steps a day begins with one.
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Being Fit and Living Longer
I love to read medical studies.
It is an excellent way to stay tuned to all of the new and exciting discoveries in my work world that I can introduce into my healing practice at Pacific Naturopathic.
It is no secret that I am a fitness buff. I love to do hours of extreme cardio running at the gym along with intense core training, scientific resistance weight training and deep stretching.
This month I begin Medicare, and for the occasion, I just broke my one-hour and my forty-five minute all-out cardio run for distance and calories burned. I like to do this each year to celebrate that I am not getting older, but that I am constantly getting in better shape.
My training is based upon solid scientific principles that give very specific results. I am going to tell you about two very exciting medical studies that I have read that come from England. It seems the English love to do long drawn out studies that takes not just years to follow and correlate their findings, but decades.
The first I read about five or six years ago. A medical group created a study wherein they would test to find out if there was anything at all in the world that actually aided the body chemically to slow down aging. We're not talking about Botox or something surgical or cosmetic, but rather anything that would-in real time-slow down the process that makes cells in the body age and grow older.
They studied groups of people such as the long-lived Hunzas who lived on live cultured yogurt. They went to India and studied Yogis who lived on air. They went all over the world, but what they found were reasonably isolated individuals or groups that did not have anything special that could be considered their testing criteria expressed.
That is until they came back to their own back yard and checked out some of the local gym rats. And lo and behold, they found that chemically, the one group of individuals who were chemically younger on a cellular level were those folks who did a lot of resistance weight training on a regular basis for years. Who would have guessed?
The researchers found that the massive levels of hormones released during resistance training triggered other chemicals in the body that actually slowed down the cellular aging process.
The next study that I am going to tell you about came out early this year and was based once again by the English on more than a decade of observation and correlation.
They found that by time you reach your fifties, if you perform a minimum of 150 minutes of reasonably strong cardio a week, it can and does extend your life by an average or TEN YEARS.
Yes that is correct-TEN YEARS!
Imagine that. Give up a life of couch surfing-get your gym shoes on and move. And you can add up to ten years on your life.
Now if you are already in your fifties and think it is too late-nope! The study stated that if you begin while in your fifties, that you still could achieve this goal with steady work.
Several years ago, I had a near fatal heart attack brought on by a genetic condition. I was brought in with a 100% clogged artery. The doctor who operated and saved my life told me that I survived only because of the shape I was in.
All of that exercise-it was worth it. So-come on-let's go to the gym and move!
(Elijah Free offers not only just his healing specialties, but also does individual training and diet consultations at Pacific Naturopathic. Bet you didn't know that.)
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Elijah Free is a healer, specializing in pain elimination of all types, both mechanical and metabolic.
He is a master medical herbalist with numerous specialties, a researcher and product designer for his own label;
Earth Friend Herb Company
Elijah is the author of Apprentice to Angels, and a U.S. patent holder for a formula to eradicate fibromyaligia.
He is the creator of a formula to end PTSD for war veterans and civilians alike. A documentary video may be seen about the healing of PTSD in war veterans.
Elijah has been an associate at Pacific Naturopathic
for over fifteen years.
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To schedule an appointment with Elijah,
please phone 650-917-1121.
Extra Free Time and Herbal Gifts
for the Month of September
with Elijah Free
|Salmon Lilies |
photo by Elijah
For the month of September, the following specials are available at Pacific Naturopathic from Elijah Free
One extra half hour on a regular price one-hour session at no charge if the session is paid for in advance. A minimum 24 hours is necessary. This is a $60.00 value at no charge as part of Elijah's Patient Appreciation Month of September.
Buy as many as you like, as long as the sessions are completed during September. (If an emergency comes up and you cannot complete them, just let us know and we will be happy to extend them.)
Or a Free Bottle of Earth Friend Herb Co. herbal product, if you choose not to purchase the extra one half hour instead. (Neither special is offered if there are any other current discounts at this time.)
Just tell the front desk manager if you would like to purchase the extra free half hour when you make your appointment. But remember, to receive the extra time, you must pre-pay for the session a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the session.
Thank you and we hope that you enjoy our September Free Gifts from Elijah Free only at Pacific Naturopathic-of course!
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For an appointment with Elijah Free, please contact 650-917-1121
"Spirituality is not about being perfect but about aspiring to a life of heart-filled integrity. It is a journey and not a destination. When we are spiritually fit and balanced we are a powerfully exquisite blend of human fallibility and divine perfection. It is this dynamic tension that gives us our uniqueness, our power to create and our compassion." -- Caroline Reynolds, "Spiritual Fitness: How To Live in Truth and Trust"
What's the first thing that enters your mind when you hear the word "fitness?" To most of us, the word conjures up images of treadmills and sweat. But to health care providers who recognize that fitness is multi-dimensional, the physical aspect of fitness is just part of a larger health paradigm, which includes the mental/emotional and spiritual realms. With the pressing, immediate, often obvious demands of physical and mental/emotional health, fitness on the spiritual realm is often neglected when it comes to diagnosing and treating.
In her book, Caroline Reynolds poses six questions we can ask ourselves to see how spiritually fit we are: How loving and kind am I? How free am I? How honest am I? How wise am I? How at peace am I? How joyful am I?
For each of us, generating positive, life-affirming answers to these questions is not an overnight experience. Once we have chosen a path we are comfortable with, be it the practice of a philosophy, religion, or way of living, total commitment is a must. The key words here is "commitment" and "process." Spiritual fitness is a specific commitment in the moment-to-moment experience of life, not just an exercise we do for a set period of time. In this light, here are some thoughts that might assist in this process.
Commit to joy. Tune in to your moods and what creates them. Avoid people, places, and things that drain your energy or entrap you in negative moods. Allow only uplifting, positive and non-violent media into your life. Regardless of the complexity of your life or challenges you face, profound, constitutional happiness is a choice.
Commit to positive, uplifting interactions with everyone you come into contact with. It is not difficult to lift a person's spirits. Generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness can transform another person's experience of life in dramatic ways.
Commit to discover your true spiritual essence, to "self-realize." "Know Thyself" is the inscription carved into the lintel of Apollo's Temple at Delphi. To begin to understand your spiritual personality, write a list of the activities that bring you a sense of peace, connection, or joy. Look for themes in your answers, then find a practice that meshes with your themes.
Commit to a daily practice that carries your consciousness to a place of calmness and introspection. Breathing exercises, prayer, meditation, yoga and journal-keeping are some examples of simple and effective ways to connect you to what matters most. A daily practice can soften and defuse the cycles of stress, distraction, and hyperactivity that we all fall into each day.
Commit to gathering with others who share your spiritual principles. Church, synagogue, meditation groups, yoga, tai chi, singing in a choir, a contemplative walk in nature, or volunteering are examples of a weekly practice. Try to have at least one thing that breaks up the weekly cycle of commitments and reminds you of what is most important. Spiritual growth is greatly accelerated by community support and the combined, mutual momentum of others headed in the same direction.
Commit to studying with a teacher. It is the utmost arrogance in western civilization to think we can do everything on our own. Honoring the principles of self-sufficiency is one thing. Rising to a new level of spiritual consciousness is rarely accomplished without a more advanced guide to help illuminate the path. Not having a teacher or a trusted guide of some kind can lead to disaster or misdirection. The teachers who have helped me all exhibit the characteristics of honesty, humility, heart-centeredness and humor.
Commit to living with a B.I.G. attitude of Blessing, Intention and Gratitude in every moment of your life. Even if you are struggling with an issue, if you approach it with B.I.G. consciousness, the issue may not change, but you will.
As Caroline Reynolds suggests in her book, spiritual fitness is not about unobtainable perfection in the human experience but rather seeking the perfect blend between the human and the divine. It's not about what you do so much as it is who you are in your day to day dealings. Spiritual fitness helps get us there!
For more on Dr. Marcel's work click HERE.
Evaluation and Support
Corrine Wang, N.D.
Do you like to run, train for marathons or triathlons, or exercise just for optimal health? Do you feel like your performance or endurance is slipping?
Depending on your body's condition and the type of exercise you do, frequent exercise can become another stressor to your body and deplete nutrient stores. This can lead to fatigue and longer recovery times following workouts or events. There are a number of things you can do to look at the condition of your body and help you stay at your peak condition for optimal performance. Below are a few of the things we can do at our clinic to check the state of your health in regards to exercise and help you continue to perform at the level you want to.
Lab testing: Micronutrient testing
This panel can be extremely useful to check for nutrient deficiencies specific to you. It looks at the nutrient statuses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants within your body that can be depleted with extended exercise.
Following testing, we will have a better idea of what specific nutrients you are deficient in and can develop a supplement regimen tailored to what you need.
Lab testing: Adrenal testing
Because exercise can be another form of stress to the body, adrenal testing can often be very helpful to determine your stress response, particularly if you are noticing increased exercise fatigue.
Depending on where your stress response is, different nutrients and herbs will be used to help support your body so you can continue to exercise and prevent a decrease in your performance.
Depending on lab testing and your performance goals, we can put together a supplement regimen including nutrients, herbs, and amino acids for daily support for your workout routines, help to increase energy and stamina, and shorten recovery time.
Treatments: Intravenous (IV) nutrient therapy
This is the quickest way to build up nutrient status in the body, as nutrients are delivered directly into the bloodstream.
The amounts of vitamins, mineral, antioxidants, and amino acids can reach levels that are typically 10-100 times greater than could be achieved with oral supplementation.
Most people will notice the benefits and effects of the IV right away in terms of increased energy and decreasing recovery time following workouts.
IVs can be used prior to workouts or events to support and enhance performance. They can also be used afterwards for hydration and to speed your recovery.
For more information about how we can help maintain and improve your exercise performance or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (650) 917-1121.
For more information on how to maintain and improve your exercise performance, or to make an appointment
please contact us at (650) 917-1121.
Enhancing Fitness with Breath and Movement: Energization Exercises
As noted elsewhere in this newsletter, fitness is not just of the physical body. However, as our patients continually remind us, there are often just too few hours in a busy day to attend to the many aspects of fitness. The question then is whether there is any one thing one might do to simultaneously enhance fitness on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
When asked this question, the answer I find is that breath movement exercises fit the bill.
Breath alone is powerful. Breath is energy, life force, prana. Breathing exercises still the mind and bring one into a state of meditation, into the center of being, the source of inner peace, wisdom and intuition. These practices have profound effects on the body as well. Alternate nostril breathing is a well known pranayama practice that balances the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system.
I often recommend an even simpler breath exercise for that same purpose. Take ten conscious breaths, breathing in through the nose and allowing the breath to escape through the mouth. Do not attempt to change the breathing. Just observe. At some point during the exercise, you will find yourself falling into a deeply relaxed state of consciousness. By the tenth breath, the autonomic nervous system will be balanced, resulting in a lowering of blood pressure, in optimization of the output of digestive enzymes, and in stilling the symptoms of sympathetic nervous system imbalance.
Adding movement to breath develops concentration and focus, releases energy blockages, promotes the flow of energy to all parts of the body.
Just about everyone is familiar with some kind of breath movement exercise, with yoga, chi kung and tai chi being very well known.
The breath movement exercises I favor are the Energization Exercises, developed by the great Guru Paramahansa Yogananda. Those of you who frequent our Pacific Naturopathic office may have noticed (or purchased a copy of) the Energization Exercise instruction poster. Yogananda taught that the Energization Exercises would cure all manner of ills. In his words "Ten minutes spent with this system will yield results far surpassing those of an hour's exercise in the old way."
In the Energization Exercises, the will is used to consciously draw cosmic energy into the body, and to direct the flow of that energy to specific parts of the body. In a sequence of 39 sequential exercises, working with inhalation and exhalation and tensing and relaxing individual muscles, each body cell is charged with vital energy, restoring health to the muscles, bones and all body tissues. Increased circulation brings blood to the brain, increasing memory and brain power. Increased lymphatic flow enhances detoxification. All of that in just 10 to 20 minutes a day!
Locally, Energization Exercises are taught in the Meditation Two Classes at Ananda Sangha. A written booklet and CD instructions are also available. Swami Kriyananda explaining the Energization Exercises can also be found HERE.
Find out more about Dr. Connie's work HERE.
The Relaxation Response --
a Way to Live Longer and Feel Great
What if you could find a loophole to optimize your health by using your mind?
Back in 1976 a landmark book, The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson, M.D., came out and described that loophole - the benefits of relaxation for your mind and body - and how readily available it is.
We already know that the daily drip, drip, drip of stress is taking a slow but steady price.
Things like cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, fibromyalgia, diabetes, sleep disorders - to name a few.
Actually, a survey of doctors reported that 90% of office visits stemmed from stress.
What Dr. Benson found out in his Harvard research is that we engage the "fight or flight" response more often than ever now. This is an ancient mechanism hard-wired into our brains, which is designed to protect us from bodily harm. But we no longer have to fear a wild animal in the bush that can jump out suddenly and do us great harm. However, in the course of our daily lives many things that we perceive as threats, even if they're not so immediate, confront us. And now we hold these threats in our minds as worries.
We worry about our jobs and family and health and relationships and finances and, you name it. The fact is, your brain sees these worries as real and immediate threats. Just these thoughts can trigger a stress response in your body even if it isn't about life and death. The body starts preparing to meet a threat to survival and the fight or flight response becomes harmful when elicited frequently. But here's the good news...
The Relaxation Response is the opposite of fight or flight.
Research has shown that regular use of the Relaxation Response can help any health problem that is caused or worsened by chronic stress such as gastrointestinal ailments, hypertension, fibromyalgia, insomnia, cardiovascular problems, anxiety disorders and many others.
So how to access the Relaxation Response? Well, one of the best ways is through hypnosis. It works and it feels great.
Creating a mental and physical state of relaxation is one of the greatest benefits of hypnosis. You can use it to lessen or even eliminate anxiety, improve sleep, relax more easily, eliminate mental blocks, correct limiting behaviors, create positive changes... mentally and behaviorally.
Want another incentive? Well, the findings of neuroplasticity have shown us the ability, over time, to change the brain's structure with mental exercises.
Just think about it...perhaps you have a knee-jerk anxiety reaction whenever you have to talk to your son about what he's doing outside the house every night. How about doing it without the obvious anxiety? Believe me, he'll notice the difference in your reactivity, and so will you.
Learning self-hypnosis is easy. Once you learn to do it, you have one of the most powerful tools for self-control. And when you feel a greater sense of control, you experience less "stress."
Please email me and I will send you a free hypnosis session for learning the Relaxation Response. ( email@example.com )
What's not to like?
Read more about Jane Hernandez's transformative work HERE
Breast Thermography at
- fitness and breast health -
The well being (fitness!) of breasts, as of our bodies as a whole, is positively influenced by movement.
Underwire bras restrict movement and constrict tissues. Thermography detects resultant inflammation. Lymphatic breast massage moves the lymph and helps the blood circulate. Often we see improvements in the risk ratings on sequential breast thermography after a person has either received a series of lymphatic massage treatments, or has followed a protocol of self lymphatic massage.
Movement of the body as a whole influences the metabolism of estrogen, promoting anti inflammatory and weaker metabolites and discouraging the formation of proliferative metabolites. On breast thermography, we then see favorable changes in the hormonal grade rating for the breast tissue, as well as in the risk ratings.
Read more about
Pacific Naturopathic here.
Pacific Naturopathic Hawaii:
October and November Discount!
Check Future Openings
(then click on "Calendar")
Imagine yourself walking in this park-like setting,
grazing from the fruit trees!
Fitness is easy in Hawaii. Touching in with the elements of earth, air, water, fire and ether is inevitable. Options abound with white, black and green sand beaches; waterfalls; rainforests; volcanic landscapes. It's all there for your fitness pleasure: surfing, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, biking, zip lining.... or simply traversing the landscape helping yourself to tropical fruits, feeding your soul with the fragrance of exotic flowers.
October and November are great months to visit. Temperatures tend to be ideal. Crowds have dispersed as children are back at school. Airfares are down. (We like the Alaska Air flight out of San Jose direct to Kona.)
At Pacific Naturopathic Retreat Center, we are offering a 20 percent discount for these two months for readers of this newsletter when you contact us directly to book. Please check the availability calendar HERE and email Dr. Marcel (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, dates you are interested in and your phone number.
Isn't it time you treated yourself to a magical experience?
Come, enjoy, rejuvenate and reinvent yourself.
Openings available from May.
The Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care
News and Commentary on Cancer Topics
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What We Offer at the Hernandez Center
for Adjunctive Cancer Care
Our cancer patients often ask us to give them an estimate of the effectiveness of therapy at the Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care. We respond that
our entire focus is on helping our patients stay healthy, upbeat and positive.
The truth is that the botanical and nutritional therapies we offer (including intravenous vitamin C), although 'adjunctive' in nature, have powerful documented actions in decreasing inflammation, reducing tumor load and attacking cancer stem cells.
Our mind/body approaches are focused on transformation of experience. And our bodywork approaches help reduce muscular pain, resolve lymph drainage problems and relieve stress.
The hope we offer is not that of a miraculous cure, although we are definitely open to miracles, but the hope of a life lived to the fullest in dignity and understanding, for however long that may be.
Fitness and Cancer
Connie Hernandez, ND
Studies indicate that a combination of diet and exercise can cut in half the risk early stage breast cancer patients have of dying of breast cancer.
That would include at least 5 servings of vegetables daily, along with walking 30 minutes 6 days a week.
Even the Center for Disease Control recognizes that maintaining a balanced diet and engaging in physical activity reduces the risk of disease. The American Institute of Research publishes a list of dietary and fitness recommendations which relate to cancer prevention.
The fitness recommendation is that adults weekly engage in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, and that they be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. The dietary recommendations are to avoid sugar, to limit red and processed meats, salt and alcohol, and to balance the diet with fruits and vegetables.
Interested in finding out more about the adjunctive cancer treatment at the Hernandez Center?
Please phone us for an appointment at:
New Drug Prevents Chemotherapy
Induced Nausea and Vomiting
Marcel Hernandez, ND
Among the many side effects of chemotherapy are nausea and vomiting,
symptoms that can last for days after chemo treatment. Of course, Big Pharma has come up with a response. The FDA has approved a new drug, Varubi (rolapitant), that claims to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The drug is approved for use in adults in combination with other antiemetics or drugs that prevent nausea and vomiting.
According to the study run on 2,800 chemotherapy patients, the drug acted better than placebo when used in combination with other drugs (granisetron and dexamethasone). The most common side effects in patients treated with Varubi included neutropenia (low white blood cell count), low red blood cell count,hiccups
, stomach pain, reduced appetite, urinary tract infections, mouth sores and dizziness. The manufacturer (Tesaro) says that this is not a complete list of side effects.
In addition, the drugs that are combined with Varubi (granisetron and dexamethasone) have their own litanies of side effects.
Already weakened by chronic illness and harsh drugs, the last thing a cancer patient needs is more side effects to deal with, especially when non-toxic, safe options for the nausea of chemo are available.
Intravenous Vitamin C infusions are extremely effective in addressing chemotherapy side effects, especially right after a chemo treatment. Medical cannabis is also a safe, effective therapy for nausea and vomiting. Why are these approaches not suggested by oncologists? I don't know the answer to this question. Perhaps the complex, institution-supported approach overwhelms the simple, obvious solution by propaganda and sheer brutal force.
The lesson here is obvious: Cancer patients have enough to deal with without imposing another host of problematic side effects upon them. The simplest solution is often the best solution.
Please phone us at 650-917-1121 for more information about adjunctive cancer therapies
Other I.V. Therapies Offered at Pacific Naturopathic and the Hernandez Center
Corrine Wang, N.D.
Many people have already heard about intravenous vitamin C as a complementary cancer therapy to help stimulate the immune system as well as being directly cytotoxic to cancer cells. We are often using this therapy at the Hernandez Center for our cancer patients. What people may not know is that we also have many other IV therapies that are also very helpful in supporting our cancer patients depending on their symptoms and what they need.
We often give a nutrient IV in between IV vitamin C sessions, which helps to provide more energy and rebuild our patients that may be feeling fatigued or have low blood counts.
We also have other anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer therapies like IV curcumin (turmeric) or IV silibinin (from milk thistle).
Another IV treatment that can help cancer patients from losing more weight or to help them gain weight is an infusion that includes a variety of amino acids.
These are just a few of the protocols we have for our cancer patients. For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact us at the Hernandez Center at (650) 917-1121.
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The Hernandez Center
for Adjunctive Cancer Care
2570 W. El Camino Real, Suite 111
Mountain View, CA 94040
650-917-1121 (v) * 650-917-1127 (f)