UNM Center for Life Provides Alternative Specialties

Preventive and Integrative Medicines Clinic

Getty Images/Zave Smith

The UNM Center for Life started in 2007, offering integrative medicine as a healthcare alternative model to local residents. The center provides preventive services and medical care, folding together conventional medical arts with complementary medicine to create a more holistic alternative specialty clinic.

The clinic is spearheaded by Dr. Arti Prasad, a University of New Mexico physician. The integrative medicine at the clinic is healing-oriented and takes into account the whole person, to include mind, body and spirit. The relationship of client and clinic is therapeutic and makes use of conventional and complementary therapies.

The Center is growing. They have added a medical director and have two M.D.s, a certified nurse practitioner, a licensed professional counselor, licensed massage therapists, a chiropractor, and several Doctors of Oriental Medicine.

Clinical Services

  • Integrative health and wellness consultation
  • Acupuncture and Chinese medicine consultation
  • Comprehensive chronic pain consultation
  • Psychological consultation
  • Comprehensive stress reduction consultation
  • Nutrition consultation
  • Ayurvedic lifestyle consultation
  • Cosmetic acupuncture (mei-zen) consultation
  • Myofascial trigger point needling
  • Myofascial therapy for muscle pain and dysfunction
  • Visceral/neural manipulation for internal synchronization of organs
  • Massage therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Energy medicine, healing touch and Reiki
  • Curanderas and other traditional healers

Flu shots are given and follow the University of New Mexico Hospital schedule. Get your flu vaccine for the winter, usually at the end of October or early November.

Patients have to be referred to the Center for Life by primary care M.D.s or D.O.M.s. This is necessary whether insurance carries coverage for services or not.

There are exceptions, however. Referrals are not necessary for services such as massage, Ayurvedic lifestyle counseling, hypnotherapy, or classes.

Insurance coverage varies depending on what services are provided. Insurance and Medicare cover some of the services provided, and many services are covered by third party insurers. There are times, however, when insurance does not cover certain services.


The center has classes and workshops that feature wellness as a way of life. Class topics include:

  • mindfulness stress reduction
  • healing touch
  • weight management
  • empowered aging
  • reducing pain and inflammation naturally
  • yogic therapy
  • gentle ways to detox

Annual SIMPLE Conference

In addition to classes and workshops, the center along with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, offers annual in-depth, multi-day workshops at the SIMPLE conference. The annual symposium has a different topic every year. One year, Dr. Andrew Weil was the keynote speaker. For 2017, botanical and culinary medicine will be the topic. In 2016, the theme was "Retreat and Rejuvinate" and the conference was held in Taos.

Kids Supporting Kids

Another annual event run with help of the program is the Kids Supporting Kids pediatric care annual fundraiser. Since 2014, a variety show that features kid performers takes place so that funds can be raised for kids undergoing cancer care at UNM Hospital. When a pediatric patient receives chemotherapy or radiation, they have to deal with a level of sickness and pain that is not helped with conventional care. These patients can receive help through acupuncture, massage, healing touch and other complementary and alternative medicines, such as nutritional counseling.

 These alternative methods assist the patient in the healing process.  

Very few university hospital settings have an integrative medicine program, and UNM's goes into the hospital setting to work side by side with medical students, residents and attending doctors. The brainchild of licensed massage therapist David Lang, the Kids Supporting Kids program raises funds that help cover the cost of bringing those alternative therapies to sick kids in the hospital.

If wellness and treating the underlying cause of your illness is of importance to you, UNM Center for Life offers that via the integrative medicine model. 

UNM Center for Life
4700 Jefferson Blvd. NE
Suite 100

Go to UNM Center for Life to learn more.