Dr. Sara Whitney is a California licensed Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Los Angeles, CA. I was a patient of Dr. Sara and loved how she listened and worked with me to find the root cause of my disease. I wanted to share her expertise with you!
As Dr. Sara puts it, she is very good at poking people. She specializes in IV therapy and believes it is a powerful way to deliver nutrients and vitamins to the bloodstream directly. The IV bypasses the digestive system, which is especially beneficial for those with disease. Most diseases start in the gut, so when we have a longterm illness, the gut is usually compromised. IVs also give people an immediate “lift” because you can deliver the supplement at a much higher dose than taking it orally. Meyer’s cocktail is a favorite for immune challenged people. Dr. Sara loves IV therapy because it is fast and effective.
When I went to Dr. Sara, we did a lot of ozone treatments. Ozone is just three oxygen molecules, which is very natural and something our bodies immediately recognize. Most people think of ozone treatment as taking the blood out and killing whatever is in the blood. This does happen, but Dr. Sara explained that the real magic occurs when the ozone and the blood return to the body and stimulate the immune system. Lyme disease is a stealthy bacteria that can evade our immune system, so the ozone treatment wakes up the immune system to attack the Lyme bacteria.
During an ozone treatment, Dr. Sara would hook me up to an IV, and the blood will rise into a bulb that pressurizes the ozone into the blood. The blood spins around for about a minute, you can see it get bright red, and then Dr. Sara would release the blood back into my body. You can do this up to ten times, which is known as a Ten Pass. However, sometimes when people are fairly ill, the bulb’s filter will get clogged. The doctor can change it out and keep going until ten, but Dr. Sara likes to use it as a gauge of what is happening in the body. If it gets gunky too fast, this is a sign that people have a lot more going on, so she doesn’t like to push people too quickly. Ozone has a cumulative effect, so some patients will come in weekly to twice per week. Dr. Sara also recommends getting your own machine so you can do at-home insufflations more frequently. I purchased my ear insufflation device to do at home, and I love it.
Be sure to check out episode 12 of the Heal podcast with Dr. Sara to learn more about these and other treatments she uses for her Lyme patients.
Dr. Sara is a licensed naturopath doctor and she received her doctorate degree from prestigious Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Sara also focused her clinical training on IV therapy, nutrition, environmental medicine, neurological diseases, biotherapy biotherapeutic drainage, biotechnical medicine, and craniosacral therapy. She’s currently working together with Sofia Health Institute in Seattle Washington. And this Institute was founded by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt.
Welcome to the Heal Podcast for all things related to Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses. I’m Mimi McLean, mom of five, founder of Lyme 360 and a Lyme warrior. Tune in each week to hear from doctors, health, practitioners, and experts to hear about their treatments, struggles and triumphs to help you on your healing journey. I’m here to heal with you.
Welcome back everyone to the Heal podcast. This is Mimi. And today we have Dr. Sara Whitney from Los Angeles. Thank you so much, Dr. Sara for coming on today. Dr. Sara is a licensed naturopath doctor and she received her doctorate degree from prestigious Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. I’ll go on to say that Dr. Sara also focused her clinical training on IV therapy, nutrition, environmental medicine, neurological diseases, biotherapy biotherapeutic drainage, biotechnical medicine, and craniosacral therapy. She’s currently working together with Sofia Health Institute in Seattle Washington. And this Institute was founded by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. He provides patients with a comprehensive approach to healthcare and chronic disease such as Lyme disease. I have known Dr. Sara since moving out to Los Angeles nine years ago. I knew Dr. Sara before I was bitten by a tick. And then she also treated me while I was dealing with my Lyme disease. She’s definitely seen me at my worst, Dr. Sara, I knew that you were very well versed in many treatments that help chronic Lyme disease patients. So I’m excited to dive into each of these therapies with you. I know your expertise is to establish individual treatment plans to create foundational health. So I would love to talk about what a treatment plan would look like with somebody who comes in to see you who has Lyme disease.
Dr. Sara: (01:45)
Yeah, sure. Thanks for having me. I’ve seen a lot of Lyme disease through the years,r and for me, I use that term like an umbrella term. So Lyme, it always includes more than just Borrelia. It’s always a combination of parasites, viruses, other bacteria, you know, there’s always, usually some other complex, you know, emotional component. People always seem to get sick. There’s like a perfect storm action that happened. You know, they were kind of at a low point in their life. Something was going on or maybe they had just gotten sick for some reason and then got bit by the tick. So it’s never just simple. You know, when, when I think someone has Lyme disease, I always try to have a consult with them about how I feel like it’s so complex. And unless it’s just something where they just picked out this tick from them yesterday, or, you know, within a few days and we can treat it acutely. That’s much more simple. But if it’s something that we think has been going on for years, I always refer to Dr. Klinghardt. He developed ART muscle testing, which is the most sophisticated form of muscle testing I’ve seen used. And I used to work at a place Infusio. And when I worked there, I was kind of creating protocols for people and using their protocols. But there I used another sophisticated machine that was a biofeedback machine. So that kind of would give me a clue of what microbes we were testing, what organ systems were not working. And without that machine anymore, I now use the ART muscle testing. That’s the best that I’ve seen. And so their doctors will come down and work out of my office. They come down usually monthly and they test patients and kind of give them a protocol that’s based individually on what they have going on, because what I’ve seen is people come to me and they’ve seen other really great Lyme doctors, you know, the ILADS trained and everybody, you know, years of experience, but most of those docs are going off of labs. They’re kind of going off of what you’re telling them in the moment. And they’re prescribing big protocols as well with IVs supplements. But I always feel like, you know, people will tell me I did 10, 10 passes and it did nothing. Well that ozone and 10 passes a great treatment, and it should have done something, but it might not have been done at the right time. You weren’t at the right layer that maybe wasn’t working because you were deficient in some, just some vital nutrients or something that you know, that doctor missed because we can’t do all this lab testing every time you come in, right? Like what vitamins and minerals are low? What, what microbes are thriving right now? Do you have heavy metals? Are you in mold? You know, and there’s just so many questions that go into it. So I found the ART to be really useful, you know, within an hour or two, they can almost diagnose kind of what’s coming up now, what’s stressing your body now and what treatments are going to alleviate it. So I do my best to convince people, to see a doctor like this. Who is going to guide us a little bit more. And then I like to come in and really see these patients more weekly, more frequently, help them kind of navigate the Herx symptoms that come when you get on a good treatment, because that’s the other thing that’s so difficult in line is once you start to treat it a lot of times, you start to feel worse. And that’s really confusing for people who are just beginning the treatment, because you think every treatment is going to make you feel better, but it doesn’t necessarily detox as hard, die off as hard. And so it’s really finding that what detox strategies are going to work for this patient versus the next patient. You know, sometimes it’s colonics is the game changer. Sometimes it’s lymphatic drainage. Sometimes it’s just getting the right binder. So I feel like, you know, I need help with that. And the art works well. And you know, we kind of, it’s a long journey. Usually if people have been sick for several years, it doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in a week or a month, but we should start to see improvement. And that is what most people need after years of being chronically ill. They just need to see some, some notion that they’re moving in the right direction.
I am a big believer in the whole person approach. I try to pass this philosophy on to my followers. I know a big part of your current practice is IV therapy. Can you tell us about Ivy therapy and how you decide which IV treatments to give them?
Dr. Sara: (06:05)
Yeah, for some reason I am blessed with being very good at poking people. So I have gotten to be known for IVs and I really love IVs because you know, they’re fast and effective and living in Los Angeles, everybody wants everything yesterday and people want to get better quickly, right? Once they figured out what’s finally going on. So IVs can do that. They’re powerful. They bypass the digestive system, which most people, most disease starts in the gut. So when we have longterm illness, you know, the gut is usually compromised from just food and environment. And so when we do the IV, we know it’s going to get into the body. So if it’s IV, vitamin C, you know, we know, first of all, it’s going to bypass the gut. It’s going to get to your cells. But then also with things like vitamin C, we can give such higher doses by an IV, then you can do orally. So that’s one of the best reasons I think too, it just gives people a sense of, they can get a lift. You know, when you take supplements, sometimes it’s just like, is this one working? Is this one not, you know, I’m trying it, it takes a while, usually with an IV treatment because it’s stronger. You can feel something, you know, that day you can feel it the next day. Like I said, sometimes it’s a Herx, so you don’t feel great immediately, but then you kind of feel a little better, you know, two days later. Some medications only come by IV. And so we use them that way, but I feel like really it’s just because they’re fast and effective.
That’s great. That’s great. So when I was working with you, we used ozone a lot. Do you mind talking about ozone and if you’re still using it, I don’t even know. And like the difference between doing just like a regular single pass or doing the 10 pass that you mentioned earlier.
Dr. Sara: (07:48)
Sure. So I love ozone and ozone is just three oxygen molecules. And so it’s something very natural. It’s very effective. It’s how our own cells will kill things. So our own cells can make hydrogen peroxide and ozone within the body. So I like that. I feel like it’s something that the body recognizes and it’s not like this heavy hand coming in. One of the things I love about ozone too, is, you know, we think of it as usually we take the blood out in some way and ozonate the blood before it comes back in. And so the idea most people have is that that ozone is killing whatever’s in that blood. And I do think that happens, but really the magic comes when the ozone and blood returned to the body and then they stimulate the immune system. And so it’s really an immune treatment and it’s really trying to get your immune system back on board. That’s one of the tricky things about Lyme disease is it evades our immune system. It makes friends with it. So the body’s not trying to go after it very well. And so it’s like waking up the immune system with the ozone. So for years we were mostly doing what now we call one pass before we just to call it major auto hemotherapy or ma. And that was where we would take usually a syringe full of blood, put it into an IV bag, usually with a little saline, ozonate that, and then it would run back into the patient. Now with the German machine, I have one, it’s 10 pass machine that blood will kind of get backing up. So there’s a section that’s part of the machine. So basically you just hook up the IV, the blood will rise up into the bulb and then you switch the machine out of the vacuum and then it pressurizes that ozone into the blood. So it’s a little bit different mechanics, but overall, we let that kind of pressurize ozone go in there for about a minute. You spin the blood around, you watch it get bright red, and then you release it so that it runs back into the patient. And then this can happen up to 10 times. Some people, when they’re fairly ill, won’t get to 10, the bulb has a filter in it. It will get clogged. So sometimes you can change that out and keep going until 10. A lot of times I’ll stop though. And just, I kind of use that as a gauge of like, kind of what is going on in the body and in the blood, because if it gets so gunky so fast, I just, usually I can tell those people are, have a lot more going on. So I don’t like to push people too much, too fast, but I do see when people do it weekly, I’ve had patients do it twice a week. They can do more passes kind of as we go. So you see a cumulative effect for sure. There’s also ozone. I recommend ozone a lot to people who don’t have a lot of money and they’re trying to treat this illness. I usually recommend they get a machine for themselves. And then you’re able to do at home insufflations of ozone. You can do it through your ears with this stethoscope like device, and you can also do it vaginally and rectally. And those are very effective too, because you can do them more frequently than people can come into the office for IVs.
How often do you, cause I actually just got a machine not too long ago. How often do you and I I’ve actually really enjoyed it, but how often do you recommend doing like the ear insufflation or the other ways that you recommended? Is it daily? Is it hourly or how would you recommend that?
Dr. Sara: (11:04)
I would start with daily except you always want to take one day off a week, so you don’t want to be doing it consistently every day. You want to take a day off a week of doing it. And then a lot of times with rectal and vaginal, and even with the ear, you can work up. So you start kind of slow and then just see how you tolerate and can kind of go up in length. Cause you don’t really want to go up in the concentration because each, each kind of area has the concentration that is best. You don’t want to be doing too strong, but you can usually lengthen it. So, you know, kind of increasing by a minute, I’d say every week to just kind of working up slowly.
I love to talk about chelation. I know it’s a really big step in recovery for most chronically ill patients. Can you talk a little bit about chelation and why it’s so important?
Dr. Sara: (11:49)
Yeah. Chelation is very effective for getting rid of heavy metals and a lot of us have them. The ones we usually are looking at are lead, mercury, aluminum are some of the bigger ones that we see. And I like IV just because again, it’s fast and effective when you do oral chelation you never know how much of the chelation is actually being absorbed. So when we do it by IV, we can really see the exact dose we’re giving. We can increase slowly. I’ve seen, just be really effective though. What I have seen when people do, I’ve seen a lot of people just start with chelation and feel pretty good the first or second time, and then all of them, then they kind of crash. And what I theorizing is happening there is we know Lyme and the other co-infections like to live in a bio film kind of community. And so I think the metals are all part of that as well. And when you start to pull the metals off, suddenly some of the infections kind of come out and go a little bit wild. And so when Lyme disease is kind of in the picture with chelation, I feel like you have to kind of do a dance and do a little bit of this and then, you know, make sure you’re also treating your infections because as you start to pull those metals off, I see the infections kind of, I just think they get kind of unleashed a little bit in the body. And so you have to be doing a little bit of both. When I do chelation of somebody who’s just eating too much tuna over the last several years or something and they just need to chelate. It’s much simpler and you can just kind of chelate and not really do too much else. But with Lyme disease, it’s a little bit more tricky. And that’s why I liked the ART testing too, because we can see now metals are kind of showing up, let’s treat metals for a little bit. Oh, you know, a month goes by, we’ve done some of that. Okay. Now we need to do some more Bartonella treatment or Lyme treatment. So it’s kind of a little bit harder to navigate, but it can be very effective.
What else have you, anything new since I’ve seen you that, that you’re doing, a go-to therapy that, that you’re using in your office for Lyme?
Dr. Sara: (13:48)
Well, let’s see. I still love thymus therapy. I learned that when I worked at Infusio and that I feel like is a big game. It gets the immune system on board.
What is that? I think I missed that?
Dr. Sara: (13:58)
Thymus therapy. So your thymus is a gland that’s in your chest and it programs your immune system. And unfortunately it does that when we’re young and then the gland shrivels down and isn’t as active as we get older. And so it’s a big therapy used in Europe and, you know, the clinic I worked for was in Germany. And so they were using it a lot as part of their STEM cell program too. You know, we gave thymus to kind of wake up the immune system, get it on board, and then we would do STEM cells later and try to hold it in place. But I have seen Thymus to be effective for patients getting well, just to get that immune system back on board, kind of wake it up, start getting some, some better immune response. It’s also very effective, right? When people have autoimmune conditions going on, which can overlay with Lyme disease, so helps to reorientate that immune system and modulators.
Okay, good. I actually haven’t heard about that before. I would love to talk about antibiotics. Do you ever prescribe antibiotics for Lyme patients?
Dr. Sara: (15:03)
I don’t prescribe antibiotics for longterm use during Lyme. A lot of patients who come to see myself or the Klinghardt group have tried antibiotics in the past. So that’s not our go-to for Lyme. You know, we like to use herbs or ozone or other more natural things just because of the nature of having to take them for so long. I think, you know, it ends up tearing up the gut a lot, but I do see, you know, myself and my colleagues use them for other things. You know, if all of a sudden there’s a UTI that’s happening while you’re treating Lyme or so we use them for some short courses. I see us using more antiparasitic drugs, you know, when it comes to drugs or sometimes some of the antiviral drugs, but not as many longterm antibiotics.
I know that was my biggest, I think regret in life is I remember calling you when I was away for the summer and I got bit by that tick. And I had the prescription from you and I was like, Oh, I don’t want to take it because the tick was only on me for like two hours and I was breastfeeding and I hated antibiotics. And so I was like, I didn’t take them. And honestly, I think to this day it was probably like the biggest regret my life. Cause I don’t think I would have been in the situation I’m in today if I took them right away. So I would recommend to anybody, even if the tick has only on you for an hour and the skin is broken, take the antibiotics. Right?
Dr. Sara: (16:27)
I definitely, I definitely prescribe them when, you know, when it’s an acute situation, a hundred percent and I always encourage people to take them. Then I took them myself when I got bit and I pulled the tick off, you know, a couple hours later I had the, you know, a faint bulls-eye, but it was there. And I remember my husband told me, Oh, you’re never going to take antibiotics. Like, Oh yeah, you watch me. I started on the next day, I took him for two weeks and then I had the, I was lucky during those few weeks, right after I got bit, I was seeing my friend, Dr. Schaffner, who did ART muscle testing. And by the third week she said, the amoxicillin wasn’t helping me. It was breastfeeding at the time. And so I couldn’t take the doxycycline, but you’re able to take amoxicillin. So I, you know, I took it for a good two and a half weeks, and then she said it wasn’t helping anymore. But I also, you know, I had been, ART tested several times before that, before ever having any Lyme exposure. And it was, you know, the Lyme came up right away. It was showing in the muscle testing. I tested for several other kind of Lyme herbs. During that time I did ozone. I did UVI the light treatment as well on myself. I injected it with ozone. You know, the next day I did everything because I’d seen chronic Lyme and there’s, you know, if you can stop it in its tracks. And I think it’s a little bit harder when you’re in these places, you’re getting a lot of tick bites all summer long. I’ve listened to some conflicting, you know, people who don’t think you should be doing the antibiotics every time. So thankfully, you know, in California, we’re not people aren’t getting bit constantly, but you still can get bit here. And so I just had a friend call me from Northern California and he, you know, he got a big rash. He said he’s been bit several times in the past and never had it reacts this bad. And I convinced them to take the doxycycline right along with other herbs too.
Right. Cause I remember when we were, when I was with you is when you got bit hiking in the mountains. And I was like, wait, there’s actually, cause most people don’t think there’s ticks in California. If they do get bit, they don’t think of Lyme. Right. Cause it’s an East coast thing. But I mean, I think you can validate that there is Lyme in California, in Los Angeles. I’ve stopped hiking in those mountains because of it. But I mean, I would love for you to just validate that because I think most people don’t realize that that’s happening.
Dr. Sara: (18:49)
A hundred percent. I have patients here who have chronic Lyme. Who’ve never been to the East coast. You know, the animals move, you know, things migrate it’s here. It’s been here a long time. It’s much more prevalent. I think in Northern California, the people are like in Marin County and stuff. I think they see it a lot more, but I was here in Topanga Canyon, hiking, you know, at the time I had two big dogs. So of course they were running through the tall grass and you know, so, maybe I got it from, you know, my dog brushing up against me, but I don’t know, you know, a few hours later I felt the bite. I lifted up my shirt side on my rib, you know, had my husband pull it out. But you know, it, it happens. And I think, you know, Dr. Klinghardt and people say, we can get Lyme through other vectors too. You know, you can get it through spider bites and you know, some people say even mosquitoes. So I think, you know, we’re just, it’s out there and you really have to be, you know, keeping your body in as good as health every day as possible. I mean, that’s our best defense against everything is always, you know, the fundamental is always eating well and sleeping well and managing our stress because that’s always, when it gets bad for people is when there’s other factors involved too. You know, most people it’s like, Oh, I just got a bite. But then, but yeah, but if you’re worried about that bite then, and then you start to not sleep and you worry about, it’s like just treat it, you know, just treat it. Cause otherwise I tell people if they don’t want to take the doxy, then just keep that in your mind. If you start to have weird symptoms, you know, you start to have weird tingling, weird headaches, weird this that, you know, nobody is coming up with answers for it. Remember that bite because it’s going to significantly decrease your amount of time of searching because that’s what happens. You know, people start to get these weird symptoms. They, they spend, you know, people have spent up to 10 years trying to get a proper diagnosis. And that’s just so much time loss that I feel like the illness takes more control and is harder to treat. So just, you know, if people don’t want to take it, you know, I, I always tell them though, at least take there’s a homeopathic that Sophia Nutrition sells, Dr. Klinghardt’s dispensary. It’s called the Lyme Nosode I always have people take that. No, that’s just the homeopathic. I always have them take the Klinghardt cocktail. That’s just the combination of herbs. You know, if they’re, if they’re really opposed to antibiotics, at least do something for a month,
From your experience with antibiotics and Lyme patients, what do you think that window of opportunity is when you can give them an antibiotic and it might work in eradicating the Lymes disease.
Dr. Sara: (21:21)
I think that the antibiotics are in that acute moment. I would say within a few weeks, you know, days to weeks that you’re better off getting it started. I think after that, you know, if it’s five years later and you’re discovering Lyme typically, then if you start antibiotics, you have to stay on them for quite some time. And that’s when I see it better to just start doing the herbs, start doing the ozone, you know, doing the other changes and you know, treatments, because then I feel like you have to be on the antibiotics so long. Typically if we get it right in that first moment, you know, some people say two weeks is enough. I usually say three to four weeks, but I also am recommending several other treatments. If they’re here in my area, I have them coming for ozone and UVI light treatments. Because again, you’re not just getting a bacteria, you never are just getting that Borrelia. You’re always getting other stuff too. So you have to be doing other things that treat other things. So like high dose vitamin C, you know, that’s just, anti-microbial, it’s not just an antibiotic.
I’d love to now talk about supplements. Do you think they work with Lyme disease?
Dr. Sara: (22:27)
A hundred percent they work. It’s just a matter of how well are you digesting them? How much digestive fired you have? Are you able to break those down and absorb them properly? Or do you have terrible leaky gut and so much inflammation in there from eating the bad diet? So it’s really, I think when you’re going to be doing oral treatments, you have to make sure that you’re also doing the diet, right? You have to find the diet that’s right for you. That’s not causing inflammation and that’s different for everybody. You know, food allergy tests are helpful. Elimination challenge diets are helpful. Figuring out based on your constitution, where you are, time of year, you know, different foods that going to be better. But if you’re doing oral treatments, you have to have a decent digestion, but then it’s all about the quality of the supplement. So supplements that are being sold at grocery stores typically, or, you know, normal pharmacies, most of these are unregulated and it’s unfortunate. They can write anything on the label. There can be whatever in the bottle and nobody’s checking it. So you really, this is where, you know, the cost is actually a big factor. You know, typically that’s why they’re more money from the doctor’s office through supplements, because those are the companies that have their own private testing. They are using labs. They’re verifying. If you know what they’re saying on the label is actually in it. So that’s where you want to spend the extra money. You know, just like, you know, organic food is worth the cost when you’re really trying to get better because there’s so much junk in food and there’s junk in supplements. So, you know, when people start to buy their fish oil at COSTCO, it’s like, well that might actually have mercury in it, you know, because nobody’s actually cleaning it and testing it and making sure it’s good. So you want to make sure you’re trusting the brands of supplements you’re taking. And then, you know, if your digestion isn’t great, you can use more liquid ones like tinctures or herbs or even herbal teas, you know? So there’s a lot of ways to get good medicine in orally, but it’s just all about quality and then all about your digestion, I think.
Well, that’s good to know. I am definitely a believer in supplements. I mean, I do think it helps build up my immune system. So it helps fight other viruses that are in my body besides the Lyme.
Dr. Sara: (24:41)
Right?! Epstein, BARR, virus, you know, the herpes virus, you know, they stick around and it’s all about stress and people always ask me if I do IVs and I really don’t, you know, on a weekly basis for one, you know, I want to get home to see my kids when I’m done with my day. So I don’t want to sit and give myself an IV, but otherwise I, my main focus is my sleep and my diet. Those are the ones that I really, you know, monitor. And then I take supplements kind of as needed and when I need, but you know, I use IVs as kind of my last resort. If I’m come down with some acute illness or something like that, then sure I’ll get myself an IV, but I don’t use them for weekly maintenance for myself. You know, I have patients who do, but they don’t take care of their diets and they don’t sleep. And you know, they live here and live the lifestyle, kind of go, go, go. And I being a naturopathic doctor, I really, that was part of our training. It’s your foundational health that keeps you well. And you know, that’s your sleep and just doing things you love and spending time in nature and things like that, where you’re really grounded and connected to good things. And that keeps your health good, I think
Dr. Sara, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for coming on and learning about everything that you are doing at your practices. You can find Dr. Sarah at Roxbury Institute and the Holistic Home Health. Roxbury Institute is in Beverly Hills and Holistic Home Health center is in Orange County area. Again, thank you so much, Dr. Sara for coming on, this has been so informative and I really do appreciate your time.
Dr. Sara: (26:12)
You’re welcome. Have a great day.
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