The Modern Physician's Practice Philosophy...

Integrative Medicine:

21st Century Health Care


   By Dr. Donald Liebell

Welcome and thank you for visiting my website.  My name is Dr. Donald Liebell.  I have been licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine since 1993.  My practice is dedicated to helping people who’ve suffered long-term chronic pain—and have been either given up on, rejected by other physicians, or have been told to “learn to live with the pain… because nothing can be done.”  My expertise in wellness and preventative health care, utilizing treatment methods provided by few doctors in the entire world.

    About My Health Care Approach

      I am a supporter of INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.  This means that ALL methods, philosophies, and treatment approaches are considered for the benefit of patients.  I do not separate health care into different factions.  There is a time and a place for all different types of treatment and diagnostic approaches. 

   In the United States, the term, “alternative medicine” refers to any healing practice or procedure that is not part of the “conventional” medicine mainstream system.  In other words, anything outside the realm of prescription drugs, surgery and traditional physical therapy is classified as “alternative” medicine.  “Complementary” medicine generally refers to “alternative” practices combined with the “mainstream” Western medical approach.  Throughout the world, the term, “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (CAM) has become standard.  What is classified as CAM, of course varies from country to country.

    Some scientists and practitioners reject the use of the term “alternative medicine” altogether.  They feel that a method has either been adequately tested and proven to be effective, or it has not.   There are indeed many appropriately labeled “alternative” health care practices that not only have not been tested, but their advocates are unwilling to even have them tested (and often deny the need for such).  These may be treatments whose results are more "urban legend" than fact.  

      I generally prefer treatment approaches that are NATURAL, but scientific.  This is not to say that all treatments that don't stand up to research conditions are invalid.  Not everything can be tested sufficiently in a double-blind research study.  Homeopathic medicine is a good example of a safe and highly effective method, which is so customized to the individual that it doesn't fit the model of standard research.

    The fact remains that there are many highly effect, scientifically proven alternatives to drugs and surgery that are used throughout the world.  These days, more Americans are seeking “mainstream” medicine for diagnostic testing, while they turn, at least in part, to so-called “alternatives” for treatment.  This is known as an “integrated” medical approach because it is a combination of “conventional” medical treatments with CAM approaches that have sufficient scientific backing.  

    This cooperative, evidence-based approach is how I run my practiceI utilize modern diagnostic technology with several drugless and non-surgical procedures, which stand up to scientific scrutiny.  I neither reject all “conventional” medicine, nor do I uncritically accept all “alternative” medicine.  I feel that medical treatment should be designed to fit the needs of the individual patient, and that ANY and ALL approaches should be considered.   

    As you navigate throughout my website, you will have the opportunity to get a clear picture of my treatment approach.  I offer a unique variety of non-surgical, drugless treatments and technologies, as well as nutritional, fitness, health and wellness advice, and product recommendations.  I use any one or more of such as your case requires.  Furthermore, my expertise includes un-biased, practical integration and referral to ANY and ALL types of medical professionals and resources.

    So relax; you won't have to feel like you're being forced to choose sides between "conventional" and "alternative” medicine.   I treat health care as ONE thing: the means of improving YOUR quality of life—doing whatever it takes to get better.  Finding and learning the best methods I can has been my ongoing top priority. 

    Every BODY is different! 

    With the “Conventional” American medical approach, the goal is generally for the doctor to quickly make a diagnosis and give treatment. It’s a necessary process to “put out the fire” for acute and emergency conditions.   Diagnosis is based upon signs, symptoms and some of the patient’s background.  But this approach is way less effective with CHRONIC conditions.  

    In my opinion, this is the root of a major flaw in the American health care system; using the acute treatment model as the basis for treatment of chronic problems.  When a doctor quickly names the condition—the diagnosis, in order to select a medication to treat that condition, what is the typical result?  Barely any attention is paid to the patient beyond the symptoms and history of their condition.  The patient’s entire health picture and circumstances don’t get investigated thoroughly within the framework of their body.   Each individual symptom or diagnosis is regarded as a separate problem, which is given separate treatment; different drugs for each problem.  

      I feel that one of the shortcomings of exclusively utilizing “conventional” medicine can be looked at with the analogy of a TREE; the focus is on the leaves and branches…but the trunk and the roots are FORGOTTEN 

    Health care systems beyond the realm of the American pharmaceutical model are typically lumped into the category of "alternative" medicine.  This is shameful, as the Unites States was last ranked by the World Health Organization as having the 37th best health care system.  We're tops when it comes to acute and emergency care, but not so hot with chronic conditions.  The so-called “alternative” practices (researched and practiced by healthier nations) must be perceived as a more effective and sensible model of health care for CHRONIC conditions.   My role is to be part of an American upgrade!   With an integrated medical approach, I consider the BIG Picture; your individual and complete “story” is of the utmost importance—not just a symptom or diagnosis

    Your body is an integrated series of systemsPain and other symptoms often have more than just one cause.  Therefore your problems often require more than just one treatment approach to provide a solution.  

    In my practice, I treat PEOPLE… not conditions.  

     You must be evaluated and treated as a whole—an integrated system that can have multiple blockages or interferences to your normal function (homeostasis).  I treat PEOPLE who have conditions; not the conditions.  There’s a huge difference.  Multiple approaches to diagnosis and treatment are necessary to accomplish this.  My job is to ferret out the reasons your body is not functioning, and find out how to restore that function to get you out of pain and promote better health.  I am proud to have received individual training from several doctors who are the tops in their respective fields. 

    I combine several critical methodologies and approaches so that “no stone is left unturned” when it comes to your health. The key is to get behind the causes of your symptoms and provide your body with the missing tools it needs to defend against it.  Lifestyle factors, injuries, and diet all have an impact on your individual situation. You can’t go back in time and change the past… but you can promote a better, healthier future right now.  International science supports the so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” approaches I take.  But the bottom line is that great results support these procedures.

    In order for me to thoroughly evaluate your condition and your health status, I will consider (and treat as appropriate) several key components… various blockages (interference) to normal function.  These blockages are:

1.    Structural: mechanical problems with bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, other connective tissues

2.    Energetic blockages: European and Asian medicine has long approached this aspect of health.  Modern 
science has validated many “Eastern” health care approaches. 

3.    Electromagnetic Disturbances: Computers, cell phones and other technology can create energetic 
interference to your body—resulting in pain and disease

4.    Emotional Stress: always a factor in pain and illness

5.    Nutritional Imbalances and Deficiencies: must be considered in all cases

6.    Immune System: sensitivities, weaknesses and allergies can be a factor in many painful conditions

7.    Heavy Metal and Chemical Toxicity: can be one of the root causes of pain and illness

      My procedures are geared towards promoting wellness by addressing these blockages using several holistic methods—as opposed to a “single-cure” approach (which I consider to generally be a closed-minded approach).  In addition, treatments should not work against your body’s energetic systems.  Treatments are most effective when they support what your body’s systems are already trying to accomplish—by strengthening your immune system and all your organs and systems.  

      Instead of merely NAMING your condition (diagnosis), I am critically concerned with answering questions like:

1) What and Where are the CAUSES of the symptom?
2) Is that location a PRIMARY focus? Or is it secondary to another cause somewhere else in the body?
3) What is making this problem chronic?
4) Is it a structural problem?
5) Is it a neurological problem?
6) Are there energetic disturbances or blockages?
7) Are there nutritional problems?
4) What other areas and systems of the body are involved?
5) What can be done to break the cycle of dysfunction that the patient is stuck in?
6) What types of treatment are likely to be most helpful?
7) Do your case require the expertise of other physicians or diagnostic tests?

    Obviously a whole new diagnosis and treatment perspective is required to answer these questions. We need the whole story, not just the basic surface facts—the symptoms.   Investigation of the various imbalances within the body is the key to discovering, and properly treating the underlying causes of pain and disease. 

sure you’ll agree that integrated medicine approach is clearly the most advanced, scientific and complete model of health care possible.  Plus, integrated medicine is NOT the property of any faction of health care.  It’s not “alternative” nor is it “conventional.” It is a comprehensive model of health care that requires doctors to think critically.  With a cooperative spirit, it requires doctors of every discipline to be open-minded and informed; to be receptive to ALL and any treatment methods—not just their OWN specialty.   When doctors of all disciplines learn to recognize this; the most effective treatment plans can be created. These are treatment plans that consider MULTIPLE approaches and options. These are treatment plans that integrate all healing arts, philosophies and science from around the world.  

In the integrated medical world:

All types of practitioners are equal and important, whether they are a traditional medical doctor, chiropractor, neurosurgeon, naturopath, osteopath, herbalist, acupuncturist, etc.   

 We recognize the need for every type of practitioner and method to help people get better and stay better…all without the interferences of personal ego…without attitudes of superiority…and most importantly without ignorance of the methods of others. 

 We as practitioners, evaluate patients and select the appropriate treatment methods from a greatly expanded “toolkit.” We are not limited to merely one approach—perhaps a technique we have mastered, trying to make patients fit that particular technique. There’s an old expression, “If you’re a hammer; all you see are nails. We must avoid that mindset at all costs.  

    It’s tough to think clearly when you’re in pain.  That’s why millions of Americans seek the fastest pain relief they can get their hands on… and think about side effects later (if at all).  The pharmaceutical companies understand this psychology all too well.  It’s easy to believe what the drug commercials say.  They’ll quite skillful at painting a wonderful picture—a world that’s free of pain, suffering and disease. Their commercials are packed with beautiful pictures, emotional music and a grand message of hope.  The problem is that they are selling an “illusion” of health, not the reality. 

      Obviously, there are times that drugs can save your life, or get you through a painful crisis.  The fundamental principle of  conventional “Western” medicinal pain treatment is to BLOCK or suppress pain signals with drugs. I appreciate and applaud medical developments to make this possible, however my goal is to promote your body’s ability to eliminate pain without drugs.  I never advise patients to cease taking medication (this do that on their own, in conjunction with the prescribing physician).  In my practice, I seek only methods that UN-BLOCK interference to your body’s energy systems.  

      If I am able to accept you as a patient, it will be based on evidence that any one or more of my treatment methods are appropriate and likely to benefit you.  You may click on any of the links below to learn all about each of them.

Complex & Comprehensive Homeopathy: Homeopathic medicine, also known as the "Royal Medicine," has been used successfullly and safely for over 200 years.  Its safety is unparalleled as a tremendously effective support for holistic treatment programs.  There are several homeopathic approaches.  In my practice, I use the science of Auricular Medicine to determine homeopathic treatments.

Ear Acupuncture, Electro-Acupunture & Acupressure (3-Phase Auricular Therapy): A fascinating European, evidence-based approach to treating health conditions through evaluation of electrical energy disturbances on surface of the outer ear.  This remarkable form of bio-energetic treatment was initially introduced in France in 1956 by Paul Nogier, M.D.  It has been researched and internationally and is recognized by the World Health Organization.  

Atlas Orthogonal: A sophisticated mathematical approach to detecting and correcting the cause of nerve and vascular compression and blockages stemming from the upper neck.  Upper neck imbalance can cause numerous painful conditions throughout the body.  Atlas Orthogonal is a specialized form of chiropractic, developed in the United States, which has been published in medical journals and recently showcased on television’s “The Doctors.”

Manual Postural Structural Correction: A sequence of precisely-targeted spinal corrections, performed by hand.  This system of spinal treatment is geared towards improving upright posture, and increasing joint ranges of motion. 

Bio-Energetic Testing
: I utilize a specialized evaluation approach based upon the work of world-renowned neurologist and researcher, Paul Nogier, M.D. (1908-1996).  It's purpose is to determine your body's needs using a highly sophisticated energy medicine approach known as Auricular Medicine.  It is used to determine specific treatment regimens for each the individual patient.  If the energetic systems of the body have blockages to normal function, many problems may arise.

Cold Laser Therapy
: Cold Laser therapy is a high-tech Bio-energetic treatment that addresses the causes of pain on the cellular level.  It was originally developed in Europe, with thousands of research papers reporting remarkable success and unparalleled safety.  Click HERE for the remarkable story of cold laser therapy, which is used to safely decrease inflammation, restore energy communications and enhance healing.

Manual Therapies: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a rehabilitation procedure that was developed in the 1940s and 1950s.  It involves a series of various alternating contractions, relaxations and stretching of muscles and connecting tissues.  PNF began usage in health athletes in the 1980s.   In addition to the Atlas Orthogonal correction of the upper neck, some patients require traditional chiropractic spinal adjustments performed by hand.  I also use a hand-held instrument for some chiropractic structural corrections.

Liebell TMJ Protocol: The jaw joints (temporomandibular joint = TMJ) are a very important area of your body that may be overlooked, under-diagnosed or even misdiagnosed in relation to your condition.  Many conditions of the body can have a TMJ component that is not considered.  I have developed my own protocol for TMJ evaluation and treatment, with the cooperation of dental specialists when appropriate.

Kinesio-taping:  This amazing method has revolutionized the sports medicine world. Its purpose is to improve range of motion and stimulate flow of reparative lymph fluid, to enable natural healing.  You may have seen many elite athletes on television, at the 2012 Summer Olympics with Kinesiotape on their bodies.  

Quit Smoking Naturally Protocol: You can’t expect pain-free, optimum health and wellness if you smoke.  I utilize a remarkable protocol that has been effectively used worldwide. Click HERE for Details on how to quit smoking.

         Ask Me Questions

Although I receive lots of questions daily, I do respond to all of them (in the order received), usually within 48 hours.  Please understand that my answers are for general information only.  I cannot provide specific medical advice via email; that can only be provided through proper evaluation in my office.  For appointments, please call my office.  

   Your email address or other information is confidential; I will never share it with anyone, nor will it be used for any form of solicitation.   I look forward to your questions! 

                                                     - Dr. Donald Liebell


Dr. Donald Liebell
D.C., B.C.A.O, B.A.

477 Viking Drive Suite 170
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 631-9799