Keeping Options Open

integrativeThose who practice alternative therapy choose to use only holistic medicine when caring for illness, and excluding any kind of modern medicine. Here at Miami Integrative Medicine, we choose to keep options open to both traditional and modern medicine for patients from Bal Harbour and other cities.

Mammograms: Are They Really Necessary?

5224604214_6381448fa2Mammograms are a special kind of x-ray procedure used to scan the breasts and take a picture so that it can be read by a radiologist to check for breast cancer or other types of breast problems. Some women get them every year as part of their women’s wellness checkups. However, some people question if getting these tests are really needed annually and if the radiation danger warrants not getting them that often.

Who Should Get Mammograms?

Health providers encourage women to get mammograms for several reasons, most especially if a woman has found a lump while doing monthly self-breast exams. Also, it is a good idea to get mammograms if there is a history of breast cancer in the woman’s family, as this can make her more prone to getting breast cancer during her life. If any woman in their family was diagnosed with breast cancer, then the women in that family should get screened for breast cancer annually, unless otherwise recommended by their doctors.

A woman or her doctor won’t be able to feel a lump until it is at least a few centimeters in size, and once that occurs, the breast cancer has already gotten to stage two out of the four stages of cancer. A mammogram, however, can find a lump long before this and so the woman would have better odds of surviving breast cancer as a result of the medical information gotten from the scan.

Women who are post-menopausal should also get mammograms at least every two years, as this procedure works well in detecting breast cancer in this type of women. They should also continue to do breast exams every month as part of her health and wellness activities. Another group of women that mammograms work well for are women who are over 40 years old.

A study done in Sweden showed that 29 percent of the women who got annual mammograms in their 40s, and 10 percent over 50, were able to have breast cancer detected early and at a stage where it could be successfully treated.Doctor_viewing_mammogram

Should Younger Women Get Mammograms?

While studies have shown that mammograms may be valuable for women over 40, it is not certain how valuable they are for women under 40. There are mixed reviews in answering this question. On one hand, women under 40 have breasts that are denser than older women, therefore a mammogram might not work as well on them as it will on an older woman.

The American Cancer Society says that women ages 20 to 40 should do monthly breast exams to check for lumps or other signs of breast cancer. The best day to do this is the day after their period ends each month. They recommend starting at 40, to get a mammogram, but if there is cause for getting one prior to this age, such as family history, it should be discussed with their doctors to see if the risk of radiation from the mammogram is worth the possible risk of breast cancer.

All women should follow a nutritious diet and exercise program and talk to their doctors about whether or not they should get an annual mammogram. Integrative medicine is a proponent of regular mammograms, especially for those with a family history of breast cancer.

To learn more about how to eat right and attain health and wellness for your body and mind, contact Dr. Jorge Bordenave today at Miami Integrative Medicine and set up an appointment for a health care consultation.


Natural Cures for Ringing in the Ears

earRinging in the ears, or tinnitus, affects nearly 12 million Americans. The noise can sound like a high-pitched hum, a roar, whine, squeal, hiss or click. For most people, tinnitus comes and goes and is not much more than a temporary nuisance. However, for more than one million people, the problem is severe enough that it interferes with their daily lives. For some, it is so distracting that it blocks out normal hearing, and they cannot work and sometimes not even sleep. Tinnitus usually occurs in people over 40-years old and men experience it more often than women do.

What Causes Tinnitus

If you have suffered from extended periods of tinnitus, you know all too well how disturbing the disorder can be. It is very difficult to block out the sounds in your head and concentrate on the ones coming from outside. Achieving wellness seems nearly impossible. If you are like the majority out there, the tinnitus will go away on its own. However, if it lasts for more than a week, check in with your doctor of general internal medicine.

Most tinnitus is caused by damage to the microscopic hair-like structures in the inner ear. The hair-like structures vibrate, sending signals to the nerves in response to outside noise and the information is translated by the brain.

jack hammer

There are multiple causes for the tinnitus. It may or may not occur with hearing loss, but
aging is the most common cause. However, a large proportion is caused by working or living near loud noise. Loud music is a very big culprit. Other reasons for tinnitus may be:

  • Excessive alcohol or caffeinated beverage consumption
  • A buildup of earwax (which blocks normal sound waves)
  • Injuries such as a blow to the head or ear, whiplash
  • Dental or mouth problems such as tempormandibular disorder
  • A fast alteration of environment, such as occurs in an airplane
  • Exercise when the neck is hyperextended, like with bicycle riding
  • Some medications, especially large amounts of aspirin or antibiotics
  • Ear infections or eardrum rupture
  • Blood flow problems such as high blood pressure
  • Nerve trouble including multiple sclerosis or migraines
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Tumor

How to Cure Tinnitus

There actually is no cure for tinnitus, but it can be treated. Harvard educated Dr. Andrew Weil, founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, suggests an integrative medicine method. Take the supplement ginko biloba for a two-month trial period: two pills of standardized extract, with meals, three times a day. Ginko can help increase blood circulation to the head and neck.

CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been shown in clinical trials to be beneficial to people suffering from tinnitus. CoQ10 is believed to energize the mitochondria in cells, which helps to prevent heart disease, as well as tinnitus. This supplement has been widely CoQ10advertised as an antioxidant and can be helpful with coronary heart disease.

Other natural methods and recommendations for helping to reduced tinnitus are:

  • Most important: avoid loud noise and protect your ears with ear plugs or muffs if you can’t avoid it
  • Add a lot of fresh pineapple to your diet for better blood circulation
  • Add fresh garlic to foods or take an odor free supplement. It increases blood circulation and reduces inflammation (also good for cardiovascular disease)
  • Eat more raw fruit and vegetables for the vitamins and minerals that can help reduce inflammation
  • Avoid salt and get high blood pressure under control
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol (these constrict blood flow)
  • Reduce or eliminate your consumption of caffeine
  • Get adequate rest
  • Use oil from cypress, rosemary, lemon and roses for aromatherapy and general health and wellness

It is important to note that if you are having ringing in the ears, you should consult with your doctor because tinnitus can be a symptom of certain diseases, or as mentioned, could be caused by some medications. If there is an underlying medical problem, treating that disorder should take care of the ringing. Be sure you provide your internal medicine doctor with all of your medical information, including any supplements you take.

Miami Integrative Medicine and Dr. Jorge Bordenave invite you to visit us and see what a difference complementary medicine can make to your health and how it can improve your life.

Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing


Intermittent Fasting

timePeople living in Miami can do this kind of fasting on a daily basis. Simply limit the number of hours you eat each day and then fast the rest of the 24 hours. A balanced diet is particularly important when you practice fasting.

Making Connections

connectionsAt Miami Integrative Medicine we are working toward the establishment of better relationships between doctors and patients in cities like North Miami Beach and Pompano Beach. When better relationships are established, health and wellness follow.

Breathing Exercises Lead to a Better You

Breathing ExerciseLearning how to manage stress, anxiety and all of the worries of life is essential to maintaining well-being.  Using breathing exercises is essential to maintaining your health effectively and without potentially toxic medications. Since everyone has stress from their job, their personal commitments and from day to day stressors, finding a way to manage and diffuse it is essential to maintain optimal health.  This article WILL help you get back to the “healthy place” that may all too often seem like a distant memory.

Hit the Snooze Button



Many of us don’t realize the pressure we put on ourselves and the ones we care about.  In middle school, some parents put their children on amphetamine salts, such as Adderall, so they can get them into honors courses in high school.  In high school, we juggled extracurricular activities and academia so we could get into college.  In college, many have to work and pull all-nighters in order to boost our G.P.A. so we could get a decent job.  At work, we “willingly” agree to overtime so we could get a promotion.  We are rushing through life, replacing healthy essentials with processed foods, prescription medications, caffeine, and anything else that will bring us from point A to point B faster than the next person.  Where does it end?  Unfortunately, it ends with a large percentage of the population dealing with serious health complications due to sleep deprivation.

Neurological Health



Chronic sleep loss can damage our overall well-being by negatively impacting the brain.  When we sleep, we are giving our brain the opportunity to repair itself, which is the key to proper learning and memory retention.  When the average person begins to lose an excessive amount of sleep, it can weaken problem solving skills, creativity, and the ability to remain focused.  Ultimately, those who are sleep deficient may have mood swings, problems with impulse and anger, as well as, depression and motivational issues.  Ironically, many students think it is more efficient to cram information into our heads in place of getting a good night of sleep.

Immune Function

It only makes sense that when your doctor tells you to get plenty of rest when you are ill, to at least get an average amount to stay well, right?  Your immune system also relies on sleep in order for it to function properly.  We are taking away our ability to combat disease by suppressing the actions of our killer T-cells when we lose too much sleep.  Recent studies have also found that maintaining a healthy sleep schedule may also fight cancer.

Weight Gain

Chronic sleep deprivation negatively modifies our metabolism.  According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested.”   Ultimately, it has been found that there is an increased risk with becoming obese with each hour of sleep lost per night, on average.

Heart Disease

Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, irregular heartbeat, imbalanced stress hormones, and other cardiovascular diseases.  According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at the University of Chicago claim that, “too little sleep can promote calcium buildup in the heart arteries, leading to the plaques that can then break apart and cause heart attacks and strokes.”  In addition, our blood pressure decreases when we sleep; therefore, we are putting our bodies at risk of incessant high blood pressure when we force ourselves to stay awake.

Where to Begin? 

While it is difficult to completely change bad sleep habits over-night, we can at least start by making simple lifestyle changes.



Reduce Caffeine Intake.

Most of us have a cup of coffee before work every morning, some of us have two, maybe even three by the end of the day.  No big deal, right?  Well, what about the additional cup of tea, chocolate bar, soda, or occasional energy drink?  All of these products contain caffeine, which as all know, is a stimulant.  While mainstream media encourages you to buy the latest energy drink, in addition to promoting alleged health benefits from drinking coffee, we tend to lose site of the term “in moderation.” A study conducted in 2002 at Duke University found that, “The effects of coffee drinking are long-lasting and exaggerate the stress response both in terms of the body’s physiological response in blood pressure elevations and stress hormone levels.” Lack of sleep is already dabbling with your hormones and blood pressure; submitting yourself to excessive amounts of caffeine can add to those health issues while taking a toll on your physical appearance and increasing anxiety levels.

Keep your Diet in Check

When we are drained from constantly rushing and working, we sometimes forget to eat properly.  We end up reducing ourselves to processed meat, lack of vegetables, and items on the “healthy” menu at fast food chains.  Start by reserving Sunday nights for family and friends; take the time to make a balanced home cooked meal.

Chronic sleep loss can damage our overall health-wellness by negatively impacting our weight, cardiovascular health, neurological functioning, and immune system.  Most importantly, lack of restful sleep results in increased levels of inflammation, which is the underlying cause of many of our current chronic illnesses.  Sleep loss education, healthy role models, and proper medical information could change the way the next generation of students and professionals maintain a healthy balance between well-being and the pressure to succeed.  Relax every once in a while – Hit the snooze button.


“Caffeine’s Effects Are Long-Lasting and Compound Stress.” Duke Medicine News and Communications, n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <>.

“Importance of Sleep : Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep.” Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publications, Jan. 2006. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <>.

Park, Alice. “Lack of Sleep Linked to Heart Problems.” Health & Family. Time, 23 Dec. 2008. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <,8599,1868406,00.html>.

“Why Is Sleep Important?” NHLBI, NIH. U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <>.

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Incorporating Breathing Exercises with Your Integrative Medicine Treatment

Breathing ExerciseAs Integrative Medicine incorporates a full body approach to well-being, exercise is another effective and necessary piece of the complete “prescription.” Learning how to manage stress, anxiety and all of the worries of life is essential to maintaining well-being. Take some time after reading this article to digest and fully understand why and how to apply breath exercises to your Integrative Medicine treatment.

Using breathing exercises is essential to maintaining your health effectively and without potentially toxic medications. Since everyone has stress from their job, their personal commitments and from day to day stressors, finding a way to manage and diffuse it is essential to maintain optimal health. If left unchecked, stress over time can have negative effects. Experiencing symptoms of anxiety, which include an elevated pulse rate, tightened muscles, and increased stress hormones levels, among others, keeps your body’s immune system from functioning optimally. Over time, your body’s reactions to daily stressors from life, leads to diminished levels of energy and potentially an emotionally burnout and total exhaustion. Therefore, it is essential to know how to moderate your daily stress levels.

The first exercise to do is to quiet your body and mind. People who have recurring anxiety and nervous tension are filled with negative thoughts and “self-talk.” These people are always thinking, talking and fantasizing about their problems – this “mental movie” of one’s problems and worries is emotionally and physically draining. This constant stress and the racing mind must first be quieted.

Quieting the mind is quite an easy process and has many immediate and long-term beneficial effects. Pick anything of personal intrinsic value – it can be a piece of jewelry, a picture, a plant, etc. The next step is to inhale and exhale slowly for two minutes while looking at your chosen focusing piece. If you feel any anxiety or feelings of nervousness, re-focus on the object. This might not work the first time, the second time or even the third time. If you keep doing this, eventually your mind will become relaxed and not let competing and racing thoughts cloud your psyche.

The next exercise is to meditate. Meditation helps you feel organized and centered. Many people who experience anxiety, no matter the level, often feel disorganized and ungrounded. Meditating, preferably before starting your day, or anytime, enables you to focus your energy and be more efficient in completing work and personal obligations. Meditation begins by sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply and rhythmically. Block out all thoughts and sensations except for your breathing.  Sometimes there is an audio coach, a live coach or your inner conscious guiding you to focus on your breathing and your breathing only. Repeat until you feel very relaxed.

Along with the main type of meditation, there are variations of meditating to center one-self. The next method of relaxing is to release muscle tension. This can be accomplished by lying on your back, letting your arms rest naturally. Similar to meditating, develop and maintain a steady breathing cadence. Clench your fists, tighter and tighter, for 15 seconds. During this process, let the rest of your body relax and visualize your fists becoming tighter and tighter. After the 15 seconds, let go and let your body relax for 30 seconds. Do this same exercise with other tense parts of your body for 15 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Doing this, along with visualizing your relaxation will help you let go of tension naturally and effectively.

Performing these exercises will enable you to manage your stress and anxiety effectively, efficiently and without traditional prescription medication. Over time, your body will be more accustom to manage stress and anxiety better and you will be able to diffuse it better in the future.

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