Dr. Craig Koniver of Summerville thinks many patients have become frustrated with conventional methods of treating illnesses.

Koniver runs Primary Plus Organic Medicine, which offers patients options in organic medicine. Many patients with ailments are going to doctors and getting prescriptions without considering alternative forms of treatment, he says.

"Western medicine is very disease-oriented," Koniver says from his medical office off Dorchester Road in North Charleston.

A third-generation doctor originally from Delaware, Koniver was led to study organic methods of treating illnesses after having his first child.

"We wanted to raise our daughter in a very natural way," he says.

At Primary Plus Organic Medicine, Koniver frequently treats patients who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and diabetes.

While he writes prescriptions for pharmaceutical drugs, he encourages patients to consider alternatives such as chelation therapy, which can help thin the blood, and amino-acid therapy, which can help regulate chemical levels in the brain.

Koniver received his undergraduate degree at Brown University and his medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Koniver made his way to the Lowcountry after living out West for several years. He opened the doors to his family practice in 2006.

Koniver remembers treating a runner in his 30s who had joint pain. After participating in the ALCAT test, which measures the body's sensitivity to foods, Koniver found that the man's body was reacting to olives.

For another patient, the ALCAT test discovered a reaction was linked to shellfish.

A cornerstone of his practice is taking the time to listen to his patients, Koniver said.

"Patients want to be validated and made to feel that what they are experiencing in their bodies is real," he says.

Tomme Hilton, business manager for Primary Plus Organic Medicine, has found that many patients come to Koniver after having lost confidence in traditional medical practices.

"We're restoring people's confidence in a practitioner," Hilton says. "Restoring that confidence level is crucial."

Koniver tries to emphasize total wellness and encourages patients not to focus on feeling sick but to think positively about the prospect of feeling well. He maintains that there is a link between what one thinks and how one feels.

"I tell people to visualize more and think less," he says. "I like to look at things holistically."

For information, call 767-7650 or visit www.primary-plus.com.