From a young age, Dr. Marc Bittan knew he wanted to be a veterinarian — but little did he know he would wind up as a lead practitioner in the field of holistic medicine for the treatment of animals. Calling himself a skeptic of acupuncture at first, he tried it after suffering back pain and was quickly impressed. Then, after a miserable sore throat, Bittan visited an acupuncturist again and said he was relieved of pain in a matter of seconds. That eureka moment changed Bittan’s veterinary practice, as he immersed himself in the study of acupuncture for animals as a student of pioneers in the field.
Now with a 30-year practice, Dr. Bittan is an expert in not only acupuncture for animals, but other holistic treatments including Chinese herbs, chiropractic, laser therapy, homeopathy, whole food nutraceuticals and gemmotherapy, which is derived from plant stem cells. Bittan’s practice is unique because, while other veterinarians may use acupuncture, most don’t use all these techniques in what he calls his “arsenal of treatments to make pets better.”
Now, Dr. Bittan is helping people get better as well, explaining that homeopathies are human formulas. They’re strictly over-the-counter and non-prescription. He explained that over the years, pet owners would tell him that their pets were doing better and asked if there was a treatment for themselves.
“I made sure they knew I’m not an M.D. I’m not diagnosing, but if you tell me the problem you have, I can give you an herb formula that will help,” Bittan said. “I want to be people’s health quarterback like I’ve been for animals.”
Bittan’s Malibu pharmacy carries one of the largest selection of treatments sourced from the world over. He is currently offering free half-hour consultations for people.
“It would be like going into a pharmacy for advice,” Bittan explained. “People can tell me what their problem is and I can put together a program for it, or if they’re taking pharmaceuticals and ask if I have anything else to help them and I can pick an over-the-counter remedy and they do better.
“All the different things I have in holistic medicine are over-the-counter,” he continued. “I’ve used these products for 25 years with no placebo effect. So, when a dog stops limping, for example, he’s not trying to impress me. I know these products will work with people because they are people products that I’ve been able to use for all these years on animals and observe their great response.”
Bittan said his willingness to combine various techniques to achieve optimal health is the strength of his practice.
“People who go to acupuncture school do acupuncture and herbs,” he said, “but I use chiropractic and all these other practices. I don’t rush people in and out. I listen to their story. I like taking my time with patients and owners and figuring it out and talk about healing. When I talk about asthma and allergies in cats, I’m not talking about covering them up. I’m talking about getting rid of their allergies and asthma. We don’t talk about that much in Western medicine. My cancer patients simply live longer than any textbook says they should because I have more techniques in my arsenal. I don’t do anything mystical or magical. I just have things my colleagues just don’t know about.”
A grateful client, Trish Suhr took her three-year-old lab to three other veterinarians when the dog started acting strangely, hiding in corners and not interacting with the family. Bloodwork and X-rays didn’t reveal a problem and the vets told her the dog was depressed.
“I reached out to Dr. Bittan and when I brought her in he actually spent an hour with us, watching how Maggie behaved,” Suhr recalled. “He was the only one who had the foresight to refer us to a neurologist. Unfortunately, our worst fear was true — that our otherwise healthy dog had a brain tumor.
“We were devastated,” she continued. “When I told Dr. Bittan they said it was inoperable, he offered a protocol that had worked on a similar case. I am happy to report that Maggie is back to her old spunky ways and is our girl again! We do currently have her on daily protocol and she’s thriving! We adore Dr. Bittan, not only for saving our Maggie, but for being so educated on both Eastern and Western medicine and using all that knowledge and patience to make his patients and their owners believers. He’s the best of the best.”
Dr. Marc Bittan is located at 22775 Pacific Coast Highway. Contact Holistic Veterinary Health at 310.231.4415. MaliBusiness is a sponsored business column.