• Tony-Boggess

    Dr. Boggess (Medical Director)

    Dr. Tony Boggess is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, speaker, and writer who specializes in Nutritional and... read more

Message from our Medical Director

What is ‘Precision Medicine’ and how does the approach differ from others I’ve tried?

This is a common question, and while we don’t want to leave the impression that ours is only the way to address your health concerns, we do offer something special with our education-based Precision Medicine programs. Also, most patients seeking our help have been searching for years (with the exception of our pediatric members with Autism, ADD, and the like). Therefore, we are frequently asked how we intend to approach things differently. While the answer is a bit involved, the short answer is we improve a patients constitutional well being by studying genetic susceptibilities, physiological imbalances, and a puzzle which is uniquely yours, and yours alone.

We understand that after years of symptoms and suffering it is easy to become downhearted and desperate, so we encourage patients not to give up by reframing their symptoms and illness into something much more hopeful and meaningful. Regardless if you believe you have Fibromyalgia, subclinical thyroid, adrenal or hormone disorders, autoimmune problems, leaky gut… infections such as Lyme, EBV or Candida… metabolic problems like under or over methylation, chemical sensitivity, heavy metal toxicity… Regardless if the diagnoses is Autism, Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, MTHFR, or any other hot topic, there is a next-level explanation that warrants our full attention.

Although many of the above conditions are disregarded by conventional doctors as “garbage can” diagnoses, they are, in fact, defining clues that point to something much more important. And while the doctor feels their job may be done, the patient’s job unfortunately has just begun. What follows next is usually jumping from expert to expert, website to website, searching for a solution that seems impossible to pin down. With varying need to be hopeful, yet also skeptical of what the doctors and websites are selling, people grow increasingly hopeless.

“Feeling stuck and heart broken, yet also refusing to give up, patients call our office asking how we treat this or that condition differently?”

It’s a fair question, but ‘Precision Medicine’ doesn’t really work that way. The condition or diagnosis per se is a secondary consideration. We study your genetic blueprint and the physiological details of your labs to help solve a problem uniquely yours, in partnership with you. It’s nameless at this point and the jarring truth is that ‘conditions’ such as migraine headaches, Autism, depression, autoimmunity and just about any other ‘functional’ problem, can be linked to similar breakdowns at the molecular level. What determines the exact pattern of deterioration from one individual to another is who you are, genetically.

‘Precision Medicine’ by definition requires an extensive array of diagnostic tests to identify core imbalances. We then cross reference single nucleotide polymorphisms (genetic susceptibilities) with urine, blood, and stool tests as needed; use Neuroimaging, brain electrical testing, survey assessments, and any number of tools to help us understand your specific puzzle. However, before any doctor has the right to offer any complimentary, alternative, or functional approaches they are first required to make sure your symptoms do not point to anything more medically concerning. Physicians are trained to do this with a physical examination and medical testing. Functional medicine physicians do a lot more testing then their conventional counterparts and we are also likely to interpret the results differently.

Most patients, child to senior, will also present with one or more disrupted systems, which significantly impacts quality of life. Individual genetic differences in core metabolic pathways such as methylation, cellular energy, trassulfuration will dictate how system collapse under physiological, toxic, or psycho-emotional stress, for example. Thus we are required to examine and address neurochemistry, hormones, digestion, immunity, cell energy, detoxification, self-repair and self-regulation mechanism in every patient as an essential requisite. Otherwise everything will simply unravel again.

“So what to treat first? In what order?”

Experience is the most reliable guide and the litmus test of where to begin lies in addressing what is unique about you. Every treatment plan needs to be individualized. Not one size fits all. Not one diagnosis fits all. Forget the labels if possible. Know who you are first, then know your ‘condition.’ Every patient is unique, therefore a diagnoses has to be based on a patient’s uniqueness. In order to succeed, one needs to understand the genetic cards one holds around the game-table of life and then remain specifically inline with this awareness throughout the treatment process.

Our team also believes that it is essential to address the emotional component, but not in the conventional sense. For example, reframing one’s understanding of the situation, transforming the “hopeless” to “hopeful” through group education sessions, and encouraging full understanding of one’s genetics IS, in fact, “therapeutic.” Traditional therapy and counseling have value, but there are also other approaches worth considering: Kinesiology, emotional release techniques, self-directed approaches to reversing PTSD, specific forms of neurofeedback all are worthy tools and often essential to ones overall progress.  

I’ll close simply by saying that our group, ‘Precision Medicine’ program is the crown jewel of our practice, but I do make myself available for 30-minute phone consults on a limited basis to talk with patients prior to enrolling if needed or desired for a reasonable fee. I offer this in part because I know many of you have been through quite a lot and may need to be re-inspired to keep trying. Just know we are here to help if possible and we have a proven track record of helping ‘tough patients’ get their lives back. 

Most Sincerely,

Dr. Boggess