Reaping the Benefits of Holistic Pain Management and Integrative Medicine by Ellen Kershner
Nov 04, 2019 09:26AM
By Michelle Vacanti
Not everyone is familiar with such treatment methods as biopuncture and homotoxicology, but Polina Karmazin, M.D., has been integrating them into her practice for almost three decades. This is only part of the picture though; she also has 25 years of clinical experience in family medicine as a board-certified family doctor, and offers patients the best of both modalities.
Even as a child, Dr. Karmazin knew that she wanted to be a doctor. She was born in the eastern European country of Moldova, and has fond memories of chasing her relatives and friends around with a stethoscope and a syringe. She comes from a long line of respected healthcare professionals: “I am a third -generation female physician in my family,” she explains. “My mom is a homeopath who practiced here in the U.S. for 35 years. One of my grandmothers was a dentist and the other was a midwife.”
After completing medical school, Karmazin spent a year studying Chinese medicine in Europe. She later moved to Philadelphia and completed her residency at Virtua West Jersey. She earned her Board Certification in Family Medicine, and now holds the same distinction in Integrative Medicine and Acupuncture. She also holds the titles of Diplomate, American Board of Family Practice and Diplomate, Clinical Homeopathy from The Center for Education and Development of Clinical Homeopathy.
In the summer of 2012, Karmazin traveled to Berlin, Germany, for the annual European Congress of Rheumatology on an invitation from Biologische Heilmittel Heel, a German homeopathic drug manufacturer, as part of a U.S. delegation of homeopathic physicians. She traveled to Lyon, France, in 2017 by invitation from the French homeopathic manufacturer Boiron for a training program focused on using homeopathic remedies to ease side effects of cancer treatments.
That’s an impressive résumé, and throughout her career Karmazin has always combined conventional and holistic medicine to treat her patients. She started her own practice in 1986, and the sign at her offices at Pavilions of Voorhees is right on target: “Holistic Pain Management and Integrative Medicine.” Her passion and experience in complementary medicine make her uniquely qualified to offer a personalized, holistic approach to health care.
Scope of Practice
Roughly half of Karmazin’s patients suffer from acute or chronic pain and are being treated using such modalities as acupuncture, biopuncture and homeopathy. “Many come to see me for pain management for conditions like arthritis, migraines and chronic pain,” she says. “Every case is different, and the characteristics of the pain and the person’s personality define how I treat that person.”
The other half are those suffering from chronic medical conditions, such as chronic fatigue, leaky gut syndrome, anxiety, women’s issues and many more.
All of the doctor’s treatment plans begin with the completion of an extensive questionnaire that traces the patient’s life and medical history; here she can often find something that happened long ago that points to the root of the problem. It could be taking excessive antibiotics, childhood illnesses or being exposed to pesticides. “These can create autoimmune reactions, food sensitivities and underlying inflammatory processes,” she explains.
The Benefits of Homeopathic Treatments
Many of Karmazin’s patients get relief from such holistic treatments as acupuncture, biopuncture and homeopathy. She finds that these help patients suffering from a variety of ailments, including respiratory, neurological, digestive and muscular disorders. They are also effective for women’s issues such as PMS, anxiety, hot flashes, depression and insomnia.
Homeopathic medicines are therapeutically active micro-doses of mineral, botanical and biological substances that stimulate body’s own defense mechanisms to help it heal itself or to prevent illness. The use of micro-doses (highly diluted substances) is gentle to the body and significantly reduces incidences of toxicity and side effects.
Functional Medicine and Being Proactive
Karmazin’s Functional Medicine approach focuses on the whole person and aims to address the root of the problem rather just the symptoms. “I use well-proven and safe holistic modalities which minimize side effects and avoid addictive substances,” she states. Continuing education is also paramount, and she often attends seminars, conferences and special training. She also has excellent advice for her patients and anyone else interesting in staying healthy:
“Being proactive is key,” she says. “It is important to address a medical problem at the beginning rather than waiting until symptoms worsen.” Employing homeopathic remedies at the beginning of illness can make a huge difference by allowing patients to avoid taking heavy duty drugs and antibiotics. They also help speed up recovery. She also advocates for healthy diets and avoiding processed foods and sugar.
Being able to treat patients on a more individual basis is very rewarding for Karmazin, and practicing medicine is not just a nine-to-five job for her; it’s a lifestyle. She puts it more succinctly: “When I graduated from medical school, I took Hippocratic Oath, which begins with ‘First do no harm’ and that became my philosophy.”
Polina Karmazin, M.D., 2301 E. Evesham Rd., Pavilions of Voorhees, Blng. 800, Ste. 219, Voorhees, NJ. For more information or to make an appointment, call 856-528-2258 or visit SouthJerseyHolistic.com.