What I have to say about treating modern, chronic illness may not be well received, but I think we all need to hear it.
We are not all unique, delicate flowers.
We are all in human bodies, living in an increasingly stressful, toxic, and disconnected world. As Americans, we are experiencing an increase in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The evidence is clear this is related to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and diets that are full of sugar, trans-fats, toxins, and lacking in nutrients.
We are also experiencing an increase in difficult-to-diagnose and treat illnesses – chronic fatigue syndromes, fibromyalgias, neurological conditions like MS, hormone imbalances, autoimmunity, skin conditions, and the list goes on. These conditions are difficult to treat with any medical model – biomedicine, eastern medicine, or functional medicine.
I know this first hand, from my decades of treating my own health issues as well as from spending over a decade of that time as a health care practitioner treating other people with these conditions myself. I also know that myself included, we love to think of ourselves as unique and special. That belief has been further cemented into me by my healthcare journey where regular treatments didn’t work for me and I kept looking for the next approach, the one that would finally ‘heal’ me.
I have realized a couple of things – first, we can never be completely ‘healed’. We can come back to a place of balance, but you can never go back to a lifestyle where you aren’t focused on managing your stress, eating well, and loving yourself. Health needs to be tended to. You have to build a new lifestyle and habits for yourself–a lifestyle where self-care comes first and awareness of nutrition and environmental toxins becomes natural.
I have also realized that our focus on how to treat our unique, special situation is not always the best way. I have worked with many types of doctors and practitioners. I have done genetic testing, muscle testing, energy work, medical exams, etc. I have found the supplement that my body needs, because of my particular SNP genetic expression, and so on… And, sometimes, it is useful to use our little microscopes to get really specific about treating our illnesses.
But, what I found to be the most effective treatment strategies for me were the ones that focused on ‘me’ as a whole person, that placed my focus on creating systems of healing, as opposed to going more and more in-depth on what is wrong with me.
This is part of what I love about East Asian Medicine and Foundational Medicine. With these modalities, I can zoom out and look at each person as a whole, complete self and support them in repairing and maintaining this holistic approach to wellness. We look at how we are similar to each other – we are all human bodies, living in the same world. We do each express imbalance and illness in different ways, yes. However, I have found that the way we re-balance, re-center, and heal our illnesses is very similar.
This is why I love the focus on rebuilding the terrain of the body with Foundational Medicine. It allows me and my patients to stay focused on improving, rebuilding, repairing, restoring, and moving forward. It focuses on how we have interconnections between our body systems, other people, and our planet.
Our interconnections – those are the juicy parts to me. How does our neurological system interact with our digestive system and immune system (a field called psychoneuroimmunology)? How can we make adjustments in our nutrition and lifestyle to affect all three and improve health?
Working with me means focusing on health and wellness. It means looking at your imbalances from an interconnected place. It means recognizing that we are all in the same human body, we all have the same terrain, and creating a holistic and integrated approach to support your long-term wellness.