NCMA Family Wellness Medical Center
J. Yusuf Q. Erskine, DO, has been providing health and wellness services in Sonoma County through the therapeutic continuum of osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine and integrative homeopathy for more than 25 years. In 2019, Sunil Bhat, DO, joined Dr. Erskine at NCMA Family Wellness Medical Center to increase our capacity to treat patients with complementary and integrative medicine.
Dr. J. Yusuf Q. Erskine’s commitment to patients includes guiding and supporting each individual to achieve their full expression of health and to ease or erase their pain by promoting health and vitality. This strategy makes it possible for patients to pursue a healthy human destiny.
With a background as a residency-trained family practice Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Dr. Erskine orients his medical practice beyond a disease model approach. Using the vital resources found in osteopathic manipulative medicine and classical homeopathy, his practice focuses on stimulating the patient’s intrinsic impetus towards health and healing.
Sunil Bhat, DO’s educational path led him from a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and Master of Arts in Medical Sciences at Boston University, to molecular cardiology research at Vanderbilt University. While in Tennessee he attended a 200-hour yoga teacher training and learned about the ancient basis of the interrelation of structure and function, movement and nutrition, health and disease.
Dr. Bhat received his Board Certification in Osteopathic Family Medicine in 2017 after completing his residency training with the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority and Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, Wash. He continued on to complete a fellowship at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Ore., and received a second Board Certification in 2018, in the osteopathic specialty of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (OMM/NMM).
The osteopathic treatment is based on core philosophical tenets. Patient treatment varies depending on individual requirements as determined by evaluation. Dr. Erskine uses osteopathic techniques of various modalities, including: cranial osteopathy (cranial-sacral work), and myofascial release techniques that share a common intention to clear restrictions and restore fluid continuity, balance and freedom.
Homeopathy, a highly systematic, scientific method of therapy, stimulates the organism’s own healing process. It is useful in both chronic and acute diseases. Dr. Erskine treats the total person, not just for one part or organ.
Dr. Erskine’s Family Wellness Medical Center is the premier private practice for HIV positive patients in Sonoma County, providing state of the art HIV prevention and HIV care.
Osteopathic philosophy: The tenets
The osteopathic medical treatment for each patient will vary depending on what the individual patient requires. The techniques that I utilize share a common intention to clear restrictions and restore fluid continuity, balance, and freedom. Furthermore, as William G. Sutherland DO states beautifully, the treatments “allow physiologic function within to manifest its own unerring potency, rather than applying a blind force from without.” The palate of specific osteopathic treatment modalities is broad.
Cranial osteopathy is a specific approach within the osteopathic concept. It influences the structure and fluid surrounding the central nervous system, creating an impact on the total body and initiating the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself. Fascial connections throughout the body are contiguous with the linings around the central nervous system, including the dura and other structures. Practitioners of cranial osteopathy utilize a manual approach to accomplish these goals within the practice of osteopathic medicine.
Visceral manipulation relates to the interrelationship of the structure and function of the internal organs being just as important as among the constituents of the musculoskeletal system. Manipulation of the viscera can be beneficially used in the treatment of internal organ dysfunction and other disease states.
This procedure is designed to treat primarily the myofascial structures. In the use of direct myofascial release treatment (MRT) a restrictive barrier is engaged in the myofascial tissues. The tissue is loaded with a constant force until release occurs. In treating with indirect MRT the dysfunctional tissues are guided along the path of least resistance until free movement is achieved.
This manual procedure is designed to promote circulation of lymphatic fluids and can be used to treat various difficulties. One technique is pressure applied with the physician’s hands to the supine patient’s upper anterior chest wall. When the force is applied to the chest during its maximum expiration, the physician’s hands are removed suddenly. This increases negative pressure within the chest to assist the body’s respiratory system in moving lymphatic fluids.
Muscle energy technique
In this manual technique, the patient is directed to use his or her muscles from a precise position and in a specific direction against counter-force applied by the physician. The purpose is to restore motion, decrease muscle tissue changes, and modify asymmetry of somatic dysfunction.
The counterstrain technique is a manual procedure in which the patient is moved passively away from the restricted motion barrier, towards the position of greatest comfort. At this point appropriate gamma gain distortion within the affected muscle fibers is restored.
Somatoemotional release is based on the fact that the tissues of the body are extremely sophisticated. So sophisticated that they are capable of recording significant traumatic events of one’s life, burning these patterns into your muscle memory. Trauma includes emotional as well as physical.
Homeopathy is a highly systematic, scientific method of therapy which stimulates the organism’s own healing process. Useful in both chronic and acute diseases, homeopathy is a rejuvenation of an ancient concept of health and disease, based on deep understanding of the person as a unique whole. Treatment is for the total person, not just for one part or organ.
It is important to understand the symptoms are a sign of the organism trying to heal. The task of the homeopath is to gather as much information as possible in order to understand all the ways in which the person’s healing forces are already acting. A homeopathic medicine is sought which is similar to the patient’s symptomatology and will stimulate those healing forces.
Homeopathic medicines are prepared from more than 2,000 mineral, plant, and animal sources. Each medicine has been experimentally tested on human beings in order to determine which type of individual responds most strongly to which substance. A complete picture of symptoms is compiled based on the precise physical, emotional, and mental responses of each subject. This picture represents the resonance between a person and the medicine. The task of the homeopath during the interview is to match the total symptom picture of the patient with the experimentally determined symptom picture of one of the medicines.
Homeopathic medicine promotes health in its unique way. Through an interview process, which is called ‘case-taking’ (and can be extensive if the patient’s health issues are complex), the homeopathic physician ‘takes the case,’ bringing into view the full picture of the patient, especially the symptoms and sensations and their congruence with the patient’s state of being.
The breakthrough in the promotion of health that came with Dr. Samuel Hahnemann’s discovery of the science of homeopathy is that this “symptom-sensations-state” has been found to possess a resonance with a specific homeopathic remedy. For more than 200 years, homeopaths have researched, studied and compiled this homeopathic materia medica. This compilation of homeopathic remedies and their applications towards treating disease continues to evolve as homeopathy matures as a healing discipline and as illnesses transmute their expressions.
The homeopath selects the appropriate homeopathic remedy, determines the potency, and optimal dosing schedule. The homeopathic remedy stimulates the vitality of the patient to shed symptom patterns and move into health.
In follow up consultations, the homeopath and the patient discuss the changes since last seen, review current and prior symptoms, look at family susceptibilities toward disease expressions and work together in the pursuit of health. Homeopathic medicines are reviewed and doses are adjusted or remedies are changed as indicated through the case taking, patient feedback, and homeopathic analysis.
We are proud to be the premier private practice for HIV-positive patients in Sonoma County. We provide state-of-the-art HIV Prevention and HIV care. In this era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the art of HIV care is becoming increasingly complex. We integrate HIV pharmacotherapeutics into our holistic model to treat the patient, not just the virus.
Dr. Erskine at NCMA’s Family Wellness Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare for people living with HIV. Individual treatment plans are designed to enhance wellness.
A thoughtful selection of treatment therapies are provided including:
- Comprehensive anti-retroviral medical regimens, with thoughtful monitoring of laboratory indices;
- Hormone balancing;
- Antioxidant nutritional supplementation;
- Nutritional and wellness counseling & provide referrals;
- Regular exercise;
- Appropriate use of holistic modalities such as osteopathic manipulative;
- Treatment, homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture, and massage;
- Stress reduction, and
- Psychospiritual interventions and referrals.
What do we mean by gender-sensitive care? Medicine continues to evolve as our knowledge of health and the associated sciences of physiology, biology and chemistry grows. But this evolution of medical advancement develops within the context of human culture. This culture is rapidly diversifying as it becomes increasingly global. This cultural impetus encourages each person to be a complete human being.
This process has generated an incredibly rich society if one appreciates diversity. One area where this diversity is demonstrable is in the spectrum of sexual identity. Now, one cannot read the newspaper or turn on the television without seeing stories reflecting our attempts as a culture to accept each individual’s sexuality. At the touch of a mouse we can connect with people from all walks of life and from all over this globe. An impetus is evident which encourages each person to seek individualization.
As we evolve through the 21st century, medical care needs to move forward to keep in step with these changes. While physicians in the process of providing care have always had to address the sexuality of their patients, physicians, as a rule, have reflected the values of the society they have practiced in. Our society is evolving in its sophistication of the human experience.
In our practice we try to create an environment where people can obtain quality healthcare and not fear that they will be ridiculed or experience discriminatory behavior. Our increased sensitivity to these issues and related aspects is what we mean by “gender sensitive” care. Basically, whatever your sexual orientation is, you can comfortably obtain medical care at NCMA’s Family Wellness Medical Center—whether you identify yourself as straight, gay, lesbian, transsexual or uncertain.
Our goal is to provide quality healthcare, not to be judgemental of people’s lifestyles. If you have further questions, please feel free to discuss them with our healthcare providers.
NCMA Family Wellness Center
Closed daily: noon–2 p.m.
Monday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
Wednesday: varying hours for previously scheduled appointments only
Thursday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.