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Our 40th Anniversary Year!

Michael B. Schachter, MD

Looks Back on the Center's

40+ - Year History

 

Originally published in the November 2014 issue of Inner Realm Magazine  -- http://www.InnerRealmMagazine.com

It is hard to believe that our Center has been around for 40 years. My late partner, David Sheinkin, M.D. and I started the practice as Mountainview Medical Associates in Nyack, N.Y. in 1974.

Prior to this move, both of us had worked as psychiatrists at the Rockland Community Mental Health Center in Pomona, N.Y. Both of us had developed some unusual interests for psychiatrists. Dave was fascinated by energy phenomena as exhibited by Kirlian photography and the role that psychospiritual factors played in mental health. I had become interested in the role of nutrition and nutritional supplements in helping to heal patients with psychiatric complaints.

Originally, our focus was on psychiatric patients using nutrition and supplements. We quickly learned that what we were doing had a name -- orthomolecular psychiatry -- a term coined by the late two-time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling PhD. The term "ortho" means right. It involves creating an optimal molecular environment for the brain, using natural substances (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids and herbs) in order to promote healing and repair. We also developed an interest in environmental medicine, which investigates a person's individual reactions to specific foods and chemicals. This interest led to Dave and I coauthoring a book in 1979 entitled The Food Connection. The paperback edition was published as Food, Mind and Mood.

Two years later in 1982, Dave was tragically killed in a private plane crash, a tremendous shock to me and a terrible loss to all who knew him. Mountainview Medical Associates continued on in two locations in Nyack under my sole direction, though several other physicians were employed by the practice over the years.

In 1991, we left Nyack and moved into a modern office building on Executive Boulevard in Suffern, N.Y., where we remain to this day. I changed the name to the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine. We continued the policy of Mountainview Medical Associates to evaluate and treat all kinds of patients, as we found that our approach applied to all patients, not only to psychiatric ones. My thinking had been influenced by serious health problems in my own family, including my daughter who had cerebral palsy, my mother who had brain cancer and my father who had circulation problems. These problems had not been helped by conventional methods.

Approach to Cancer Patients

In 1974, I was impressed by the book and film, World Without Cancer, which recommended a nutritional approach to cancer that featured the natural substance amygdalin, Laetrile or vitamin B17. I began to think about cancer in a different way. Conventional cancer specialists ignored the extensive medical evidence that lifestyle and nutrition could play a role in preventing and treating cancer. Cancer patients looking for a different approach contacted our office. Our approach to managing cancer patients has evolved and changed over the years. Several of my articles are available on this website. Also available from our office are DVDs of several of my lectures on a variety of cancer topics.

Our treatment strategies support the patient's own defenses against cancer. We look to improve the patient's innate cellular immunity by supplying optimal amounts of nutrients. We also treat many patients with high dose intravenous vitamin C on a regular basis.

Over the past two years, we have been recommending salvestrols, a natural supplement that consists of extracts from organic fruits. These salvestrols interact with the CYP1B1 enzyme which is present in cancer cells, but absent in normal cells. There is considerable evidence that non-toxic salvestrols react with the CYP1B1 enzyme to produce metabolites that induce cell death in cancer cells.

We see cancer patients at all stages of the disease. Some of our patients reject certain conventional cancer recommendations. One good example is a breast cancer patient who has had a lumpectomy, but doesn't want radiation therapy. For years, we have followed many of these patients who have done well after choosing this path.

We help patients make decisions about conventional treatment options based on the best available science and try to empower the patient to make each decision, rather than just accept the standard protocol as a given. An excellent book which helps to empower the cancer patient is Radical Remission by Kelly Turner, PhD. She has studied in depth cancer patients who have recovered when they were expected not to do so. I believe anyone with cancer should read this book for inspiration and to help develop a plan to successfully manage his/her cancer.

Over-Medicated Patients with Anxiety and Depression

When we opened the practice in 1974, we were not fully aware of how damaging psychotropic medications could be. Over the years it has become clear that patients with any anxiety and/or depression symptoms are immediately given anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressant medications. Sometimes they seem to help somewhat, but frequently they do not, but patients continue to take them anyway. The result is that they now have another problem, which is the damage caused by long-term use of these drugs and the difficulty getting off them because of withdrawal symptoms.

Psychiatrists and family physicians alike are reluctant to stop any psychotropic medication or, if they do, they immediately replace it with another one. Patients are not given the opportunity to see how they feel and/or function without medication at all. When patients attempt to stop medication on their own, they almost alway suffer from severe withdrawal effects. Physicians generally interpret this to mean that the underlying disorder is coming out, rather than withdrawal symptoms are occurring.

For information about the long-term adverse effects of benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and others), see the excellent monograph by Dr. Heather Ashton, which can be accessed here at http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/

The major way that we deal with helping patients get off psychotropic medications is to support the patient nutritionally with diet and supplements, and then slowly taper the medications. Patients, when off the medication, often say that they forgot how well they could feel when off medication.

EDTA Chelation Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease

EDTA Chelation Therapy for cardiovascular disease has been an extremely controversial treatment since the 1950's. Nevertheless, a significant minority of alternative health practitioners who have considerable experience with this treatment regard it as extremely valuable.

After a congressional hearing about the use of EDTA Chelation Therapy for cardiovascular disease in 1999, the National Institute of Health agreed to fund a $30 million dollar, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to see if this therapy was beneficial. Our Center participated in this Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). The study began in 2002 and was completed in 10 years. To the astonishment of the conventional medical world, the trial showed benefit for patients with heart disease, especially a subgroup that was diabetic. A second trial is being planned and our Center will again participate.

Staff and Atmosphere at the Schachter Center

Over the years, the staff of the Schachter Center has been extremely stable and a number of staff members have been with us for more than 30 years. The atmosphere of our practice is upbeat. Frequently, I hear unsolicited comments from patients about how they like to come to our office and enjoy the friendly nature of our staff.

We hope to continue in this same vein for many years to come! Contact our Center at 845-368-4700.

 
 

Important Note: You are encouraged to seek the advice of a competent medical professional
before making any decisions that could affect your health. See our disclaimer.

2016 Michael B. Schachter, M.D., P.C. 
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