Integrative Medicine

Healing is innate to our bodies and there are certain practices that enhance this natural ability. At Whole Health Austin I hone in on teaching you self-care skills that promote innate healing. We utilize concepts from Ayurveda, yoga as medicine, food as medicine, and mind-body skills groups as core parts of our integrative approach. There is no cookie cutter approach, but starting with the gut sure does help most of the time.

Mind-Body Skills

Be taught a powerful and effective combination of research-based healing therapies to help deal with life changes and stress in an intimate, supportive and highly experiential group setting. Techniques include Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Guided Imagery, Bio-feedback, Autogenic Training, Movement, Journal Writing, Food as Medicine and other approaches to enhancing the ability to respond optimally to life stressors.

BioFlex Laser

The BioFlex technology utilizes superluminous and laser diodes to energize diseased or traumatized tissue with photons. These particles of energy are selectively absorbed by the cell membrane and intracellular molecules, resulting in the initiation of a cascade of complex physiological reactions, leading to the restoration of normal cell structure and function. In short, the laser stimulates the innate ability of the body to heal.


Whole Health Austin is an Integrative and Holistic Medicine practice that provides a range of services designed to help people achieve their wellness goals using natural means when possible.  Aside from integrative medical consults and general primary care for all ages, additional services include BioFlex Laser Treatments, and Mind-Body Skills Groups.  The unifying theme of all these services revolve around the core belief that the body has an innate ability to heal, and there are ways to promote and enhance this natural built-in function.

Integrative and Holistic Medicine

HerbsIntegrative and Holistic Medicine utilizes ideas and concepts from a variety of healing traditions, ancient and modern.  Whole Food Plant Based Diets, the science of the Microbiome, tenets of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs and nutritional supplements, and technologically advanced treatments like physiologic insulin infusions that come from Western Medicine—these are all tools used at Whole Health Austin.  Based on a patient’s history, exam, and background, treatment modalities are introduced that are most likely to stimulate the innate healing response.  A typical initial consult for a new patient includes 60 to 90 minutes of face-to-face time directly with Dr. Shah.  This allows the patient to tell their story fully, receive a complete physical exam, and engage in a review of their current state of health and a discussion of their wellness goals.  For a more in-depth feel for how Dr. Shah practices, please see his blog articles under the category of Integrative Medicine.

Integrative Medicine Visit Fees

New Adult Patient Integrative Consult (60 to 90 minutes)$375
New Pediatric Patients (up to 60 minutes)$250
Integrative Consult Follow-up for Established Patients (up to 60 minutes)$250
Urgent Care Visits for Established Patients (up to 30 minutes)$200
Urgent Care Visits for Established Patients (30 to 60 minutes)$300
Visits that go beyond allotted time$250/hour

** Payment in cash or check is preferred, though credit card is accepted. For credit card transactions, a 2.9% + 30 Cent convenience fee is added.

Laboratory Test Costs (as of 10/02/2018)

Lab TestTests ForCost
Comprehensive Stool Analysis w/ Parasitology x3 (via Doctor's Data. Specimen: Stool)Acetate; Additional pathogens culture; Bacteriology culture, aerobic; Butyrate; Calprotectin; Carbohydrates; Cryptosporidium; Day 2 Parasitology, trichrome; Day 3 Parasitology, trichrome; Elastase; Fat Stain; Giardia lamblia; Lactoferrin; Lysozyme; Mucus; Muscle Fibers; Occult Blood; Parasitology, concentrate; stool Parasitology, trichrome; stool Propionate; stool Red Blood Cells; Valerate; stool Vegetable Fibers; White Blood Cells; Yeast culture; pH; sIgA;$542
Expanded GI Health Panel™ (via DiagnosTechs. Specimen: Stool and Saliva)Stool culture for yeast; Ova and parasites, two samples, pooled (stool);
Bacterial stool culture, enteric pathogens, including Campylobacter antigen and Shiga toxin; Clostridium difficile toxins A & B (stool);
Giardia lamblia antigen (stool); Cryptosporidium antigen (stool);
Entamoeba histolytica Ab, sIgA (saliva); Helicobacter pylori Ab, IgG (saliva);
Total intestinal sIgA (stool); Lysozyme (stool);
Alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (stool); Gluten (gliadin) Ab, sIgA (saliva);
Chymotrypsin (stool); Occult blood (stool); Fecal pH (stool)
Milk (casein) antibody, sIgA; Soy (protein) antibody, sIgA;
Egg (ovalbumin) antibody, sIgA; Toxoplasma gondii antibody, sIgA (saliva);
Taenia solium (tapeworm) antibody, sIgA (saliva);
Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm) antibody, sIgA (saliva);
Trichinella spiralis antibody, sIgA (saliva).

Useful for looking at gut health, the microbiome, parasites, markers of inflammation, and antibodies to milk, egg, and wheat (gluten).
Fecal Calprotectin (via DiagnosTechs. Specimen: Stool)Fecal Calprotectin. Useful in monitoring status of inflammatory bowel disease like Ulcerative Colitis.$150
Zonulin, Stool (via Doctor's Data. Specimen: Stool)Fecal Zonulin. The level of the zonulin antigen in stool can provide a noninvasive indication of intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”).$120
Adrenal Stress Index™ (via DiagnosTechs. Speciem: Saliva)Measures cortisol rhythm (Cortisol x 4); DHEA & DHEA-S; Insulin x 2 (fasting, non-fasting); 17-OH Progesterone; Gluten (gliadin) antibody, sIgA; Total salivary sIgA. Useful in assessing for adrenal fatigue.$300
Temporal Adrenal Profile™ (via DiagnosTechs. Specimen: Saliva)Measures cortisol rhythm (Cortisol x 4). Samples taken at various times during the day. Useful for monitoring people with adrenal fatigue who have begun treatment.$160
Food Panel™ (via DiagnosTechs. Specimen: Saliva)Tests for: Milk (casein) antibody, sIgA; Soy (protein) antibody, sIgA; Egg (ovalbumin) antibody, sIgA; Gluten (gliadin) antibody, sIgA; Total salivary sIgA.

Useful to look at whether there is antibody production to common allergens, which is frequently seen in people who have ezcema, asthma, recurrent post-nasal drip, and seasonal allergies.
Urine Iodine Loading Test With Iodine/Iodide (via Doctor's Data. Specimen: Urine)Assesses for whole body sufficiency for iodine. iodine/iodide loading test. There is evidence that a large percentage of the United States population is iodine deficient, based on NHANES data for the US compared to World Health Organization statistics for other countries.$100
Urine Iodine, Pre & Post Loading With Iodine/Iodide (via Doctor's Data. Specimen: Urine)Same as above, but this test is useful for those patients who have already been taking iodine but still want to do a loading test.$175
Urine Halides; Iodine, Fluoride, & Bromine. (via Doctor's Data. Specimen: Urine)Checks for excretion of toxic halides such as fluoride and bromine, relative to iodine.

Can be of use in patients with thyroid dysfunction, fibrocystic breast disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Urine Halides; Pre & Post Loading. Iodine, Fluoride, & Bromine. (via Doctor's Data. Specimen: Urine)Same as above, but tests for iodine, fluoride, and bromine before and after a standardized iodine/iodide loading dose.$300

** Test prices listed may not be reflected of the most updated pricing.  Quoted prices are to be used as estimates of cost.

Mind-Body Medicine

While in residency training I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga, which began my education on how certain practices can help reduce anxiety and stress. This led me to search for other creative ways in which to tackle the problem of stress. I have since found a very effective and meaningful model through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and share the techniques I learned in small group settings. In my personal life, the Mind-Body Skills I have developed have significantly improved my ability to be present and enjoy life, with the side effect of keeping me more healthy and happy. Stress is the most important risk factor for chronic disease that we can do something about in our lives, and developing skills to reduce stress is the most important medicine we can give ourselves today.

For the patients and the community at large, Mind-Body Skills Groups are offered through Whole Health Austin.  These groups are between 8 to 12 people in size, and are typically run over 8 to 12 weeks, with 2 hours per week dedicated to learning proven techniques that help decrease stress.  Participants will:

  • Learn to recognize the ways in which your mindful self is always within you.
  • Leave with skills that will transform the way you live in and experience the world, leaving auto-pilot behind.
  • Be taught a powerful and effective combination of research based healing therapies to help deal with life changes and stress in an intimate, supportive and highly experiential group setting.
  • Participate in and experience highly integrative techniques such as Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, Guided Imagery, Bio-feedback, Autogenic Training, Breath Work, Movement, Journal Writing, Drawing, Food as Medicine and other approaches to enhancing the ability to respond optimally to life stressors.

BioFlex Laser System

flexible arrayLaser therapy, also known as low-level laser (LLLT) or light therapy, is a treatment that utilizes specific types of light to interact with tissue. It is used to eliminate pain and promote healing for a variety of medical conditions.  This type of treatment has been scientifically validated in over 4000 scientific studies done over the past 20 years, from cellular research to animal studies, to human clinical trials with sham controls.  During this time, no adverse effects have been recorded, which cannot be said for any other treatment.

Depth of Penetration of BioFlex Laser
Depth of Penetration of BioFlex Laser

The BioFlex Laser System is a specific LLLT system that was developed over 20 years ago in Toronto, Canada, by Dr. Fred Kahn, a vascular surgeon.  Since that time the system has been revised and refined over the course of hundreds of thousands of patient encounters.  What makes the system unique and effective, are the protocols that have been generated over the course of Dr. Kahn’s experience serving hundreds-of-thousands of patients.  Different illnesses and different tissue types require different amounts of energy for optimal healing to occur.   The BioFlex System protocols incorporate the sum of over 20 years of data utilizing light therapy for treating various conditions.  A three stage approach is used, with stage 1 and stage 2 utilizing a large, flexible superluminous diode array to saturate tissue with red and infrared light, at 660 nanometers and 840 nanometers wavelengths respectively.  Stage 1 penetrates light energy 1 to 2 cm into tissue, while stage 2 penetrates up to 5 cm.  The final stage utilizes a class III B laser to achieve a higher depth of penetration and intense focused delivery of energy directly to damaged tissue.  This three stage approach is very successful at saturating tissue with light energy and accelerating healing at an optimal rate.

Benefits of Laser Therapy

Laser therapy offers patients a safe and effective therapy for a wide range of medical conditions, including soft tissue and sports injuries, arthritic conditions, repetitive stress injuries, wound healing and an extensive number of additional medical problems. BioFlex light therapy systems are available for personal use in the comfort of your home or you can get treatment from a healthcare professional who uses BioFlex Laser Therapy.

Benefits of Laser Therapy

Clinical Benefits

  • Eliminates pain
  • Reduces the need for pharmaceuticals
  • Restores normal range of motion and physical function
  • Non-invasive
  • Non-toxic
  • No known adverse effects
  • No drug interactions
  • Often makes surgical interventions unnecessary
  • Provides a treatment alternative for patients that have not responded to conventional therapies

Physiological Effects

  • Increased production and release of:
    • Endorphins – naturally produced analgesic
    • Cortisol – precursor of cortisone
      Growth hormone – instrumental in tissue repair
    • ATP – improves and regulates cellular metabolism
  • Increased protein synthesis – collagen, DNA, fibroblasts
  • Venous and lymphatic flow facilitated
  • Increased angiogenesis – elevation of oxygen saturation
  • Enhanced immune response, etc.

BioFlex Laser Fees

Focused BioFlex Laser Medical Consult (required at first visit)$100
BioFlex Treatment from 0 to 30 minutes$60
BioFlex Treatment from 31 to 45 minutes$90
BioFlex Treatment from 46 to 60 minutes$120
The average number of treatments typically needed is 10, but this will vary based on what the issue is, which is determined at the initial consult.

Reversing Chronic Disease

Diabetes is an example of a common chronic condition that can be significantly improved or even reversed in some cases.  At Whole Health Austin, Dr. Shah works with helping patients adjust their diet and lifestyle as part of a comprehensive strategy designed to reverse or significantly improve disease in those with pre, Type I, and Type II Diabetes, as well as those with Metabolic Syndrome.  Targeted supplements such that support mitochondrial function and the citric acid cycle can significantly improve conversion of glucose to ATP — this is a common area that conventional endocrinologists ignore.  If you are tired of just being prescribed more prescription medicine, or having your insulin dosage increase, perhaps it is time to go deeper.

From a Whole Health Austin perspective, a comprehensive approach starts with understanding the problem, which is metabolic derangement.  In diabetes, cells are not getting the necessary energy then need to function properly.  Taking medicines can modulate insulin production and sensitivity, but it does not alter or improve the machinery inside the cells that actually help turn sugar into energy, which happens at the level of the mitochondria.   The next time you are at your doctor’s office, ask them to help you better understand your mitochondria.  For example, you can ask “What can I do to improve my mitochondrial function?”  If they take time to answer your question, I would try to stick with them.

Continuing, energy production at the cellular level is significantly influenced by hormones.  Thyroid function, adrenal function, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone all affect what happens to sugar in our bodies.   Simply focusing on blood sugar misses the boat in the majority of cases.  At Whole Health Austin, Dr. Shah will use diagnostic testing to identify hormonal  imbalances contributing to metabolic failure. In cases were deficiencies are found (either by history or by testing) bioidentical hormones can be used to help reduce insulin resistance, increase bone density and muscle mass.  Brain, bone, heart, breast, and prostate health also improve,  which combine to improve quality of life and well-being