Dr. Aruna Tummala
Photo credits: Trinergy for Shepherd Express

Dr. Aruna Tummala, an Integrative Psychiatrist and the Medical director of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry in New Berlin, treats her patients with a holistical approach by blending Ayurveda, India’s 5000-year-old medical system (which focuses on the mind-body balance through detoxification, natural herbs, diet and lifestyle changes) with Western medicine.

The holistic mental health premise is that mental illnesses can have an origin anywhere in the body—including the brain—and even in organs removed from the brain. There is no compartmentalization within our system, rather our organ systems interact with each other to keep us healthy.

“When this fine communication system goes awry for whatever reason, you see problems manifesting in any system of the body. When I do evaluations, whether one is depressed or anxious, disease was manifesting in the gut or other places that we typically don’t associate with mental illness,” she says.

Dr. Tummala uses food as medicine, and recommended a variety of herbal and nutritional supplements to her patients.  Additionally, massage and detoxification is all part of the process that she recommends to cleanse a patient’s mind and body, bringing their system back into balance.  One other key treatment that Dr. Tummala recommends is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a pressurized chamber in which the patient steps into and breathes in purified air or 100% pure oxygen. That pressure helps deliver more oxygen to plasma and tissues. The increase of oxygen concentration can help reduce inflammation and stimulate stem cell growth.

Tummala is certified in HBOT. “Hyperbaric medicine was started to treat decompression sickness and wound care,” she says. Practitioners then explored how HBOT could treat traumatic brain injury, stroke or autism. They found that wherever there is inflammation, whether outside or inside the body, oxygen helps decrease it.

Tummala uses HBOT to treat many conditions, including autism. She has seen significant improvements in children, particularly with a seven year-old child whose motor skills improved after less than 20 HBOT sessions.

“I think HBOT is going to be a game-changer, especially for families with autism,” she enthuses. “My job satisfaction has skyrocketed since I went to an integrative model of psychiatry because there is so much more I can do. It’s not a miracle treatment, but if patients invest in their own health with consistency and commitment, results will follow.”

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