Harmony Medicine weathering the pain storms

Dr. Richard Adkins, founder/CEO, Harmony Medicine. (photo: Deborah A. Culp)

Dr. Richard Adkins, founder/CEO, Harmony Medicine. (photo: Deborah A. Culp)

As the weather changes and the temperatures drop, countless people will do all ethically possible to weather physical pain storms. It is certainly safe to acknowledge that all human beings feel pain. The myriad of reasons for pain runs the gambit. From our first tumbling or outward falls as children to injuries sustained from work to accidents and illness—or the pain following a natural procession of the years, thanks to that good old fashioned aging clock. Unwanted as it is, pain is a dependable part of our lives, and each of us all get a turn.

With the national and worldwide epidemic of opiod based and other types of prescription or non-prescription medications running amuck, it is increasingly hard for physicians to comfort and treat their honest and dishonest patients. The regulatory commissions with necessary rules and laws sometimes seem to be changing too fast to keep up with.

For a good many years now, patients have been referred specifically to pain management clinics to be treated specifically for pain and suffering by a physician, often with a team in place. Patients are asked dig deep and under the advice of said trusted physician to try various medications, injections, physical therapy, yoga, spiritual outlook cleansing, and revamp their nutrition and exercise plan. There is no ‘one way’ to tackle that awful and invasive visitor known as ‘chronic pain.’

A brief interview with Dr. Richard Atkins, founder/CEO of Harmony Medicine, revealed a great deal more than imagined. The handsome, soft-spoken, green eyed, dreadlock sporting anesthesiologist spoke truthfully and candidly—immediately squashing some pain management facility myths. Dr. Atkins works closely with his patients, allowing them time to explain their symptoms and speak in-depth about their pain, including: how long it’s been going on, the level of suffering they’ve experienced, medications taken or suggested and what (if any) side effects have arisen as a result of those prescriptions. He and his qualified team of medical professionals literally go the extra mile to ease suffering and help each patient with their treatment plan. He addressed pain management, effective sleep, nutrition and all workable options.

Atkins’ multi-faceted team includes: Dr. Richard Atkins; Christie Tucker, FNP; Gail Adkins, RN; LaTisha Harmon, RT (R) (ARRT) (AAS); Emily Cleveland and others (names not available at press time). The Harmony Medicine team runs with or without Dr. Atkins like a well-oiled coordinated machine. They keep their patients’ needs and comforts first, while protecting their HIPPA rights through confidential documents and consultations.

Dr. Adkins is a proud graduate of the University Of Florida College Of Medicine where he received his medical doctorate. After graduation, he completed an internship in Internal Medicine at University Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. His residency in anesthesiology was at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. At VUMC he served as chief resident in anesthesiology from 1988 to 1989. He is a member of multiple organizations, including: the American Society of Anesthesiology, International Spinal Interventional Society, and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. Dr. Adkins is also an active member of the American Academy for Obesity Medicine.

He has found a piece missing in the healthcare system and fills it with a holistic approach. Dr. Adkins believes we should look at wellness medicine to try to help patients have an overall healthier way of life. Dr. Adkins also completed his fellowship in cardiovascular, pain management and regional anesthesiology at Vanderbilt, and later received his board certification in ‘pain management’ in 2001.

Harmony Medicine Group is centrally located near major highways, right outside of Nashville, Tenn. on the cusp of Brentwood, Tenn. at 5552 Franklin Pike. Some balk at the distance of the clinic venue. Others are seriously pleased that such a place exists, especially if they’ve transferred from another pain management facility. Patient care and service reign and distance does not a concern them at all. Dr. Atkins prescribes pain maintenance medications, prolotherapy treatment and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and other methods. They treat pain and fatigue with an integrative health approach and multidisciplinary staff.

Harmony Medicine also invites their patients (and the general public) to ‘get social’ with them. They are equipped with interactive and informational social mediums. Their Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Linked-In, Google, a Blog, a website and a Pinterest profile are all kept up to date. Dr. Atkins and his team are staying up to date on the ever-changing technology wave.

Harmony Medicine also has an informative newsletter. Upon signing into the clinic for their appointment one of the questions on the check-in questionnaire asks: “What does your treatment here allow you to accomplish? Answers: A) work; B) enjoy life better; or C) function better. It’s just another proven method to improve each visit, ultimately enhancing the quality of living with illness and chronic pain.

Harmony Medicine, Dr. Atkins and staff have taken the science of pain management to a whole other level. Sometimes prescribing specific pain medications to a patient is justifiable, and the group must be responsible for safety and legal distribution. Knowing that places such as Harmony Medicine exist and are ethically functioning can be a refreshing choice in allowing the patient to make better care decisions.