Functional or Integrative Medicine and Acupuncture

Dr. Gail will be retiring from private practice at the end of 2022. She is no longer doing Acupuncture at this time due to Covid and all appointments are by Zoom or FaceTime, including those billed to insurance. She is no longer accepting new patients as it takes over a year to make good progress in Functional Medicine goals. She requires that patient’s have a primary care practitioner although she can help with certain hormones and B complex injections. She will be helping patients find other practitioners to take care of prescriptions and ongoing Functional Medicine work prior to the end of 2022. She will remain contracted with Blue Cross of Idaho and Regence Blue Shield until the end of 2022. She has not been contracted with Medicare since 2014.

Chronic Problems

Dr. Rankin finds helping people with chronic problems very satisfying. This is an area traditional allopathic medicine does not treat well and patients are often very frustrated when they arrive at the office. She starts with plenty of time for the patient to tell the story of their illness and then offers a list of suggestions for the person to begin making changes with and a list of tests that she would like to consider.  Follow up is essential because getting to the bottom of a problem is like peeling layers from an onion.

We establish a partnership in solving the problem and use the model of communicating with the body to see what the symptoms are telling us rather than covering them up with medication.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. It is a science-based field of health care that is grounded in the following principles:

  • Biochemical individuality describes the importance of individual variations in metabolic function that derive from genetic and environmental differences among individuals.
  • Patient-centered medicine emphasizes “patient care” rather than “disease care,” following Sir William Osler’s admonition that “It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has.”
  • Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
  • Web-like interconnections of physiological factors – an abundance of research now supports the view that the human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without affect on each other. For example, we now know that immunological dysfunctions can promote cardiovascular disease, that dietary imbalances can cause hormonal disturbances, and that environmental exposures can precipitate neurological syndromes such as Parkinson’s disease.
  • Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
  • Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance health span.

Food Allergies

Dr. Gail has been testing and treating delayed hypersensitivity to food for many years and she continues to be amazed at how many problems are related to our digestive tract being inflamed and irritated. These sensitivities may be genetic problems but are more likely to be acquired sensitivities from repetitive exposure to the same foods, chronic stress and antibiotics. People are becoming much more aware of what is in processed foods and how often they might be ingesting powdered milk, high fructose corn syrup and wheat flour to name a few. She uses the IgG and IgE blood test from Meridian Valley Lab. This test and the treatment of food ‘allergies’ and leaky gut with diet and appropriate supplements have totally eliminated many patient’s asthma, allergies, eczema, and digestive problems. It can also make it easier to treat other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

Hormone Balance

Dr. Rankin has been prescribing bio-identical hormones for many years and has a special interest in menopause and women’s health. She advises women on prevention, and treatment of bone loss. Each woman’s preference regarding any hormone treatment is very important and many of our patients use no hormone therapy. She sees menopause as an important change in a woman’s life – not as a disease or deficiency state. She is able to help men with hormone problems as well and do the appropriate labwork to check levels and metabolites if ongoing treatment is helpful.


Dr. Gail obtained her initial acupuncture training through the UCLA Acupuncture for physicians program in 1996.  She added training in Five Element Acupuncture beginning in 2003 with Dr. Charles Moss and Dr. Ron Puhky. She especially likes 5EA for treating complicated problems of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraine headache and finds it very useful for anxiety and depression. She continues to use other styles of acupuncture for a variety of pain and musculoskeletal problems. Acupuncture also involves counseling about lifestyle, dietary  and emotional/spiritual issues which may be causing repetitive blockages of energy or “chi” leading to many symptoms.