Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH)

Welcome back to the GPL Blog.  One of my roles at the Great Plains Laboratory is to inform the public that our tests exist, what they do, and what people can do with the information.  One part of this entails going to lots of conferences in our field, which allows me to experience what each has to offer.  I really enjoy the conference experience.  I always come away having met a lot of new and interesting people with lots of great questions and insight, and I always get new bits of information or ideas to implement here at GPL.     

This week I have decided to talk about my favorite conference that I go to every year which is run by Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH).  In the interest of full disclosure, GPL is affiliated with IMMH and we are very proud to be, as IMMH has built an ever growing and improving annual conference that focuses on multiple aspects of integrative medicine and how they apply to mental health and various neuropsychiatric disorders.   At last year’s conference there were talks on the roles of nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, toxic chemicals, infections, and inflammation in disorders like depression, multiple sclerosis, autism,  Lyme disease,  anxiety, eating disorders, and many more.  In my opinion, anyone that wants to practice integrative medicine would benefit from this conference.  The conference does a solid job of providing offerings that benefit those that are still learning the basics of integrative medicine and to those that have been using it for years, and based on what I’ve seen about this year’s conference so far, I think it will do that better than ever before.  Don’t just take my word for it though.  Here is a review of IMMH 2015 written by Dr. Ira Goodman, Examiner for the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and practitioner of functional medicine: (Click here to read the article)

From my experience and the feedback I get from the attendees at IMMH, the best part of the conference is how all of the speakers use their personal experiences to illustrate how they use different types of testing and how they treat different types of cases.  I personally think that IMMH has some of the best speakers of any conference I attend the whole year.  I know that the IMMH staff goes out of their way to get feedback from the community about what speakers they find the most useful and interesting, and then recruit them to speak.  Having looked through the speaker list for the conference in Washington, DC this coming fall, I can attest that this might be the best group I’ve ever seen.  Since I’ve heard most of these speakers at multiple conferences, having them together in one conference is quite a treat.  For all IMMH 2016 conference details, go to www.IMMH2016.com.

So, who are some of the speakers that I think you should be excited about?  Well, the first is James Greenblatt, MD.  Dr. Greenblatt is a prominent integrative psychiatrist who will be giving multiple lectures on tools of integrative medicine for mental health disorders.   I’ve seen Dr. Greenblatt speak several times and I’ve heard his webinars.  He is very insightful.  He has published several books about using integrative practices in psychiatry.  His talks at IMMH 2016 will focus on mood and anxiety disorders.  However, his lectures touch upon many tools that practitioners can use to help their patients.  


IMMH 2016 will also feature Kelly Brogan, MD. Dr. Brogan is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist.  She focuses on the root causes of many chronic psychiatric conditions.  She is a great person to follow on Twitter.  She has recently published a book titled A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies and Reclaim Their Lives.  She does an excellent job of explaining the biochemistry issues that can cause anxiety and depression. 


Another highlighted speaker for IMMH 2016 is Daniel Amen, MD - ten-time NY Times best-selling author and popular psychiatrist.  His SPECT brain imaging techniques have helped over 100,000 people.  This technology has allowed many patients to determine the underlying causes of their conditions.  I know of patients whose lives have literally been saved by his work.  The scan technology is useful for ADHD, behavior disorders, depression, anxiety, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, as well has many other diseases.  He is a great speaker who often leaves his audience in tears. 


Finally, IMMH 2016 will be having one of my favorite speakers I’ve ever heard, Terry Wahls, MD.  Dr. Wahls suffers from multiple sclerosis, but through her specific diet and treatment protocol that she created through her research, she has recovered from being wheelchair bound.  Her message is quite powerful.  Dr. Wahls is a professor at the University of Iowa and works in the VA Health System.  Her studies have implications for a number of chronic issues from MS and Parkinson’s to multiple other autoimmune diseases.  She uses many case studies in her talks.  One thing I really like about her presentations is that she has a great protocol, she tells compelling stories, and she has done thorough research that shows why her protocol works. 


Besides these four excellent speakers there are another fourteen expert speakers who will provide you with a variety of new tools to put into your integrative medicine tool box.  There are so many great conversations that occur during the breaks when you can network with fellow attendees, speakers, and exhibitors.  New for this year’s conference, Dr. Kurt Woeller, one of our GPL consultants who is a fixture at IMMH, will be giving a full-day seminar (optional track on day one) on how to integrate the Organic Acids Test into your practice.  Some of the best providers of testing, equipment, and nutraceuticals in the industry are also exhibiting at IMMH.  If you are available from September 29-October 2 and would like to visit the Washington, DC area, I think this is the conference for you.  I hope to see you there!