Frequently Asked Questions
Pronounced “Lin-eh,” the name of this medical institute is a deliberate and respectful nod to Carl von Linné (Linnaeus), the famous 18th Century Swedish physician and “Prince of Botanists.”
While Carl von Linné achieved academic notoriety, this institute bears his name not for his achievements but for HOW he achieved what he did. Namely, Carl von Linné had an extraordinary ability to pay attention to subtle detail. He saw things that others didn’t. He was acutely observant and paid attention to nuance.
The shield in the logo has many levels of symbolic meaning. The oak leaves and acorn are examples of medicinal plants commonly prescribed in endobiogenic medicine. The oak bud and acorn are each used for a different purpose, but when applied to the correct patient, both can help a person become more resilient and adaptable. Our goal is to increase a person’s fortitude to stress, and the oak tree is a fitting metaphor.
The snake on the letter “L” is an ancient medical symbol which traditionally represents the rod of Asclepius from Greek mythology. However, in this case, it is intended to represent the brass serpent from the Book of Numbers. It is a symbol of healing and redemption. It is a reverent acknowledgement of our need for The Great Physician. It is also an archetypal reminder that if we look [deeply] we can live [better].
The Latin inscription on the banner at the bottom is interpreted: a sound mind in a sound body—mens sauna in corpore sano.
If there is an easy way and a hard way to restoring health, then The Linné Institute is probably the hard way in that we require the patient to take an active role in their health, and not just simply take a pill and become passively more disempowered. Nothing valuable comes without effort, and for a fundamental restoration or health, you will need to do your part. Understand that we are not merely treating a symptom: we are treating the deeper physiology that is giving rise to your health concerns.
In a world where we have been conditioned to demand immediacy in everything, it may be hard for some to accept the fact that the forces which have directed human health since the beginning of time are just as unchanged as ever. Although our treatments frequently result in rapid improvement in symptoms, we don’t offer quick fixes to correct the imbalanced physiology. We support your physiology with deep acting “training wheels” so it can re-learn how to adapt properly. The endobiogenic medical approach fails when patients are not willing to implement the treatment plan or give up on the treatment prematurely. This is why we require patients to enroll in a membership. If you are willing to put in some effort, if you are willing to trust in a process that takes time, and if you are willing to use plants, nutrition, and lifestyle as medicine (and even prescription drugs when necessary), then The Linné Institute can help guide you to a state of flourishing in mind, body, and spirit. No sham, just good medicine.
To become a patient:
- Fill out the contact form found here.
- Once you are enrolled as a patient, you will receive an email which will include a secure link to set up a user name and password for our electronic health record. Within this secure health record, you will be prompted to fill out required forms, including a patient privacy document, consent to treat document, and a health history intake from.
- After you have filled out the required intake forms, you will be instructed regarding getting your blood tests drawn. In order to make sure we get the results of your blood tests before your visit, you need to get your blood drawn at least two weeks before your appointment. Please schedule accordingly.
- Thereafter, you will be able to access all your health records electronically. After each visit, you will be emailed a new link so that you can schedule yourself for followup appointments as instructed during your visit.
Correcting imbalanced physiology is not an instant’s Act. An appropriate metaphor would be a comparison to orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth. Nobody expects a nice smile after having braces for a month. Correcting crooked teeth takes time and adjustments along the way.
Similarly, an endobiogenic treatment generally takes time and requires adjustments along the way. Certainly this approach can help shorter-term problems like acne, heavy menstrual bleeding, or the aftermath of COVID-19 infection. Generally treatment takes 6 months to 3 years or more. The average is about 18 months.
In contrast to orthodontics, however, our treatments are not glued to your face. Patients need to commit to the process, keeping in mind that the ultimate goal is to increase your capacity so that you become LESS needy on expert medical care, not more. RESILIENT, NOT RELIANT.
Have you heard of the word “genotype?” This refers to knowing the sequencing of your genes—your DNA. This is extremely valuable information in medicine. And if you want to know HOW certain diseases occur, looking at your genotype can sometimes give answers (or at least probabilities). Your genotype may tell you HOW certain medical problems occur, but it won’t tell you WHY certain diseases happen—your DNA just gives you a probability. You see, your genes need to be turned on/off, transcribed, translated, etc. This “turning on/off” of genes is done by your physiology. So, in order to understand the WHY behind certain diseases, you need to look at more than genotype. You need to look at “physio-type”—your physiologic constitution. That is what mathematical modeling is able to accomplish.
In endobiogenic medicine, the results of your blood tests are evaluated not just at as individual results, they are also studied in mathematical relationship to each other — as ratios, then as ratios of ratios, then as ratios of ratios of ratios, etc. We are able to generate over 300 mathematical indexes which allows us to infer and extrapolate a global “map” of your body’s physiology. By doing this we can begin to understand the complex interactions of the entire system as a whole, not simply the individual parts of the system.
As humans, we are not just a bunch of individual parts in a bundle (brain, nerves, lungs, kidneys, nerves, hormones). And yet, that is how we tend to be evaluated in medicine (brain and nerve problems are evaluated by a neurologist, lung problems by a pulmonologist, kidney problems by a nephrologist, and hormone problems by an endocrinologist). Looking deeply at one organ system is important, and we are indebted to thoughtful medical specialists across the spectrum. However, through mathematical modeling, an individual becomes more than just the sum of their parts—all the complex interactions in your body across organ systems are able to be evaluated as a whole. It would be absurd to try to understand opera by focusing on the individual notes played by individual instruments in the orchestra section. Humans are much more complex than even a Wagner opera. In Endobiogeny, our depth isn’t achieved by going lower and lower into the physiology. Our depth is achieved by going higher and higher in re-connecting the complexity of the physiology.
Not exactly. At The Linné Institute of Medicine, we practice integrative physiology (or more precisly, re-integrative physiology), but not “integrative medicine” as is commonly advertised by other physicians. This can get a little confusing and deserves an explanation. What is the difference?
“Integrative medicine” is the preferred name among academic physicians for what used to be referred to in the past as “complementary and alternative medicine.” It gets even more confusing because there are various iterations of integrative medicine which are variously referred to as “functional medicine,” “regenerative medicine,” or “anti-aging medicine” (to name a few). Integrative medicine, as an academic discipline, seeks to expand the number of medical approaches to include all therapies that have scientific evidence to support their use. It “integrates” medical practices traditionally outside of Western medical approaches into practice if there is sufficient scientific evidence. This is commendable, and this approach has its value and successes. Be advised that in practice, many (or even most) integrative medicine physicians have taken a “medical spa” approach, and typically offer a long list of different treatments and therapies that commonly include things like laser facials, botox, stem cell injections, intravenous vitamin treatments, fat removal procedures, “bioidentical” hormone therapy… and so on.
At The Linné Institute, this approach is not rejected (in fact, we often prescribe plants commonly used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine), but we are simply not in the same tradition as integrative medicine, and we are not a “medical spa.” Rather, The Linné Institute follows an endobiogenic philosophy which re-integrates physiology. Modern medical scientific research reduces understanding to the smallest knowable level (molecular, DNA, atomic, etc) within a particular organ system (heart, lungs, brain, etc). Endobiogeny re-integrates this information back into understanding how the complex system (body) functions as a whole within its environment. It offers a way of understanding the interrelatedness of different complex processes occurring in the body simultaneously. This is done first through a theoretical reexamination of scientific methodology and the philosophy of Life, and second through the use of mathematics.
To highlight a philosophical difference between some in the “integrative medicine” community and the endobiogenic philosophy, we reject the idea of “anti-aging” medicine. We view anti-aging medicine as Promethean and an archetypal story of Icarus from Greek mythology. Graceful aging? Yes, definitely. Longevity? Absolutely. But anti-aging? Nope, sorry. Too far. We view the subject of “anti-aging” as belonging to the jurisdiction of theology, not biology. At The Linné Institute, we honor the natural biological stages of life, which ultimately includes the de-installation of life (i.e. death).
No. In fact, no doctor can really provide “bioidentical” hormone replacement, even if they claim they do. Molecularly-identical hormone replacement would be a more accurate description, but “bioidentical,” as claimed, is impossible. In a living organism, hormones are produced and released in a very complex manner orchestrated according to things such as the demands of life, circadian rhythms (day/night changes), and cosmic rhythms (seasonal changes). Additionally, the release of hormones is “pulsatile” (brief bursts or pulses of hormone release that vary in size and duration according to need, time of day, time of month, time of year). When physicians replace your hormones, that variability in hormones levels will never approximate what happens in natural biology. That makes a difference. So the word “bioidentical” is inaccurate and misleading. Additionally, many hormone replacement clinics give higher than normal levels of hormones, which is hardly “bioidentical.” Still, there is a roll for hormone replacement therapy in the right patient.
There may be rare occasions when we recommend hormone replacement therapy, but not typically as a first resort, and never as a stand-alone therapy without also addressing other measures to properly re-adapt the global physiology of the patient. This is the thing: there are relatively few conditions where a patient absolutely cannot make enough of a hormone, in comparison to a very common situation where a person makes an insufficient amount of a hormone due to an improper physiologic adaptation to an aggression on the body or mind. At The Linné Institute, the focus is on helping the body adapt properly so that sufficient hormone levels are produced naturally. In the event that a patient is already on hormone replacement therapy of one form or another, usually there can be a reduction in these treatments and dosing once other areas of the physiology become properly supported. When hormone therapy is absolutely needed, higher than physiologic doses are avoided, which is a philosophical approach very different from what is practiced in most hormone replacement clinics in the United States.
Consider the following analogy: Which group of individuals would you rather have building your house: four highly experienced master carpenters, or twenty completely inexperienced high school kids who are looking for a summer job? Answer: The masters, no contest. Yet, technically they are both “builders” (of sorts), and one group outnumbers the other 5 to 1. When we measure testosterone, for example, all we see is “number of builders.” We get no information for how capable the “builders” are at their job. By doing mathematical modeling, we can determine how effective hormones are. This helps us better understand situations when, for example, someone with a low testosterone level may, in fact, have testosterone functioning just fine. To give testosterone replacement in this case could lead to unintended negative consequences.
Using this same analogy, through modeling, we are also able so see how the “builders” work cooperatively with the metaphorical subcontractors, architect, designer, homeowner, etc. Sometimes the problem isn’t with the builders, even though they are few in number. Sometimes the problem is with the supply chain, or the homeowner who isn’t paying, or subcontractors who aren’t showing up on time. AND other times it is because there are too few “builders” for the scope of the project. It’s tricky like that, Life. Time to look at the big picture.
Measuring blood hormone levels simply tells you how much of a hormone is circulating in the blood at the moment the blood is drawn—it tells us how well your body is producing hormones. But by doing mathematical modeling on your blood results, we are able to measure how effective those hormones are working on the cells and tissues where they are needed, regardless of the circulating level.
In general, herbalists and naturopathic doctors use plants similarly to the way a physician uses pharmaceutical drugs—they prescribe based on a certain set of signs and symptoms. The endobiogenic approach pays attention to signs and symptoms, but uses mathematical tools to determine the physiology that is giving rise to the symptoms. Rather than treating the symptoms directly, the endobiogenist treats the imbalanced physiology, and then the symptoms go away as a natural byproduct. Ten individuals with the same symptoms could each have different physiologic imbalances giving rise to the symptom. As such, they would each get a different treatment.
To be fair, there are a handful of naturopathic doctors and herbalists in the world who have become trained in the endobiogenic approach, which expands their ability to treat root cause of illness. At The Linné Institute, medicinal plants have “pride of place” in treatment offerings, but they are generally prescribed differently than a traditional herbalist or a naturopathic doctor would.
Additionally, because Dr. Johnson is a medical doctor, pharmaceutical drugs can be prescribed when necessary and appropriate. Because Dr. Johnson understands both pharmaceutical drugs as well as the deep physiologic actions of plants, he can council you regarding plant-drug interactions even in complex medical situations.
No. If you are concerned about the use of medicinal plants and only want a pharmaceutical drug as part of your treatment plan, we can do that too. However, plants are most commonly prescribed simply because they can influence the physiology in ways that no laboratory designed drug ever could. We have co-evolved with plants for over 400 million years. Your body is complex, adaptable, and intelligent. Plants are also complex, adaptable, and have a degree of intelligence. As such, plants are a good match in supporting your physiology on many levels.
That said, any treatment, may be recommended as long as they are applied thoughtfully with a deep understanding of the physiology intended to be influenced, and a rational understanding of how that intervention will positively influence the physiology.
No. While “bio” and “life-hacking” are hot topics in the blogging and podcasting worlds these days, historically in medicine, a “hack” was a very pejorative term. No physician worth their salt would endure being called a “hack.” No good ever came from hacking anything – bodies or computers. In medicine, the word “hack” connotes an imprecise, messy, destructive process (it is not an “elegant solution” to a problem the way modern computer programers like to use the word; and physicians were using the word well before computer programers). Most people think of a “hack” as a short-cut. At The Linné Institute, we don’t believe in short-cuts to health.
Really the only good thing to hack is firewood (and there are few things more satisfying than splitting a dry pine or fir round for firewood; it is the type of experience Norwegian poets write about). But when it comes to medicine, we offer no hacks, tricks, or gimmicks. Just ancient holistic wisdom traditions combined with modern principles of physiology. Pure, authentic medicine.
The price of the supplement prescriptions are not included in the membership plan. That said, you will NOT leave The Linné Institute with a grocery cart piled full of supplements. We can be much more thoughtful and precise than that. Most patients will be offered customized mixing of various medicinal plants specifically selected to match your physiology. Two patients with the same symptoms will often be prescribed different plants, because they may have different physiologies that are giving rise to those symptoms. Prescriptions are most commonly offered as a customized tincture blend, which typically includes plants, fungi, and ingestible, medical-grade essential oils. Other forms may include encapsulations or tisanes (herbal teas). The average cost of customized tinctures is approximately $75 – $90 for a 240mL (8oz) bottle, which will generally last 4-6 weeks. Most adults will require 2 bottles of tinctures at a time (so average $150 – $170 every 4-6 weeks). This estimate is for general reference purposes only. Actual costs may vary significantly based on complexity.
If you are truly dissatisfied with the customized tinctures, we will refund you a reasonable portion of the cost if your complaint is legitimate and has merit. FYI, “The tinctures taste bad” is not a legitimate complaint. We guarantee that the tinctures taste bad, but we have tricks to make it so that even children can take them.
The price of the lab tests are built into the price of your membership plan tier. This includes all the blood tests required for the mathematical modeling data.
There may be other blood tests which are not required for the mathematical modeling, but which could be important in your care. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. These additional tests will be billed for separately, but we will discuss with you prior to ordering and charging your account. We are committed to getting the required lab tests while extending to you our discounted pricing.
Yes, BUT… This is a tricky one. If you have a relatively high-deductible insurance plan, you will probably pay A LOT more out of pocket to get your bloodwork done trying to use your insurance than if you just let us take care of it through your membership plan. It will also be more hassle for you as well. For example, a lab panel that costs us $300 may cost you $1,200 if you are trying to use your insurance and you have a $2,000 deductible that you haven’t met. Keep in mind, we extend to you OUR pricing.
Lab tests need to be obtained from an LabCorp patient service center (the closest LabCorp facility to you can be found HERE). You will need to fast for 12 hours prior to your blood draw (water is okay), and no strenuous exercise for 24 hours before lab testing.
Getting lab work done elsewhere besides a LabCorp facility will NOT be covered in the price of your membership. This is discouraged, but special arrangements can be made if absolutely necessary.
Dr. Johnson will want to know the results of any other lab tests performed through your primary care provider or specialist. Those results can be uploaded to your medical record through your patient portal.
No. Health insurance companies pay physicians to perform procedures. They don’t pay physicians to spend hours thinking about a patient. Most insurance companies will only pay for a brief consultation, which is why most physicians are constrained by time. Dr. Johnson spends many hours before and after each consultation carefully studying each patient to determine the best treatment plan. This involves analyzing over 300 mathematical indexes. This is why the pricing is structured the way it is. However, you can certainly pay using an HSA or FSA account. You can also pay with a regular credit card.
Neither. This is a specialty medical consultation practice. This is not a primary care practice and not a concierge medical practice. We require that you maintain regular care with your primary care physician and other specialists. However, Dr. Johnson is happy to coordinate care with your primary care physician if desired.