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Alternative Medicine

Restorative Health

Primary Care, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Physician located in Tenleytown, Washington DC

Alternative medicine combines modern and traditional treatments to ensure you receive the most well-rounded health care possible. At Restorative Health in Washington, DC, Ali Safayan, MD, takes a holistic approach to care. His Restorative Health team integrates the best of modern medical science into their alternative therapies with the goal of identifying the cause and eliminating the source of illness rather than simply treating symptoms. With a focus on whole-body care, Dr. Safayan can help you achieve optimal health. Call Restorative Health or book an appointment online to learn more.

Alternative Medicine Q & A

What is alternative medicine?

Alternative medicine refers to treatments and therapies outside of modern Western medicine. Rather than focusing on medication and surgery to treat an illness or injury, alternative medicine prioritizes whole-body care. 

Physicians who practice alternative medicine believe that everything in your body is connected, so you function best when your system is in alignment. This means your physical, mental, and emotional health are in balance with one another. If one aspect of your health is out of alignment, it can negatively affect your overall health.

For example, if you’re experiencing high levels of stress, it can impact your physical health. You may experience pain, digestive issues, insomnia, or fatigue. 

By addressing your stress with therapeutic treatments, rather than masking your symptoms with medication, alternative medicine can eliminate your problem at the source.

What are the benefits of alternative medicine?

At Restorative Health, Dr. Safayan uses alternative medicine to provide whole-body care. Holistic medicine can help improve your overall sense of health and well-being. Many patients seek alternative treatments to:

  • Boost energy levels
  • Improve immune function
  • Promote healthy digestion
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Relieve chronic pain
  • Wean off of opioids
  • Promote healthy aging
  • Improve sleep
  • Lose weight
  • Eliminate allergies

Alternative medicine is a safe, effective, whole-body approach to care that can help you feel your best.

What are examples of alternative medicine?

Dr. Safayan offers several alternative medicine treatments at Restorative Health, including:


Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting hair-thin needles into specific points in long channels called meridians to relieve pain and reduce stress, anxiety, and more. Unlike Western therapies, acupuncture is a nonsurgical treatment that requires no medication.

Nutrition counseling

Nutrition is the foundation of a healthy life. To provide you with the best assessment of your nutritional status, Dr. Safayan performs a complete review of your medical history, provides a physical examination, and appropriate testing to include environmental, food allergy, and sensitivity testing. After this thorough evaluation, he will refer you to Olga Afonsky, LN, his medical nutritionist, to further help you create your individualized diet plan.

Functional Medicine

While conventional medicine often focuses on symptom care, functional medicine attempts to identify and address a disease's root cause. This approach involves more detailed laboratory analysis than is commonly ordered in conventional medical care. Such studies include assessing micronutrients, fatty acids, hormonal imbalances, the gastrointestinal tract's microbiome, DNA studies for risk assessment, and more. Such care is sought after by those who are chronically ill or have not had a satisfactory experience with conventional medical care, as well as those who are healthy and want to remain so. At Restorative Health, Karen Threlkel, ND, provides our naturopathic and functional medicine care. You can contact Dr. Threlkel directly at 202-407-8888 or Dr. Safayan can provide you with a referral.

Psycho-emotional care

Our psycho-emotional state is critical to our overall well-being. There is no health concern or environmental pressure which will not affect our psycho-emotional health. Chronic pain, insomnia, poor job satisfaction, financial stress, relationship pressures, and more adversely affect our psycho-emotional stability leading to mood swings, anxiety, depression, etc. When such concerns are noted, Dr. Safayan refers to our Restorative Health Psychotherapist, Annie Miller, LCSW. She uses several modalities in her practice, including EMDR and sleep training. You can contact Annie Miller directly at 202-656-3376 or Dr Safayan can give you a referral.

Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET)

NAET uses a combination of kinesiology, acupressure, and acupuncture to reduce or eliminate allergies. When you have an allergy, your body creates obstructions that block the flow of energy and lead to swelling and inflammation. 

After exposing you to the identified allergen, Dr. Safayan stimulates acupressure points along the spine and inserts acupuncture needles into points that regulate the autonomic nervous system’s response to the allergen.

To learn more about alternative medicine, call Restorative Health or schedule an appointment online today. You can also learn more about Olga's approach to nutrition by visiting her website.