I’m a board-certified physician assistant and functional medicine certified practitioner. And yes, I really do believe that your story – your actions, your life, your history – is intimately tied to your health.
You know by now that chronic diseases are fundamentally different from other medical conditions.
Ready to Take Charge and Start Healing?
Get strep throat? Get antibiotics. Break your leg? Cast it up. But what do you do with an inflammatory, long term, or degenerative condition that seems to have no cause and no cure? How do you deal with that? No one wants to live a life without answers. But far too often, that is what, as medical professionals, we are able to give patients – no real answers. I know firsthand the struggle and search for answers. In fact, that search was what ultimately led me to change my career (and my life) to become certified in functional medicine. You see, my whole life I’ve known that I wanted to be in medicine. I’m a caregiver by nature – and by sign. I’m a Cancer, the “mother of the zodiac” so I’m always mothering. I distinctly remember healing my brother as a young girl. He had a plantar wart that he just couldn’t get rid of. I don’t know what I did, or even how I knew what things to try – but I cured it.
Maybe I was channeling the innate wisdom of my ancestral healers, or maybe it was just sheer dumb luck, but that memory has stuck with me for the rest of my life, and helped me realize that my passion is healing people. It led me to pursue a career as first a radiologic technician, then study for my degree as a physician assistant. But I clearly recall one visit to the gynecologist, sitting in nothing more than a paper drape after my annual exam. We were chatting about life and I just remember saying- “I don’t know what is wrong with me. I have such a great life! I have a wonderful husband, my children are thriving, I enjoy my job, I have close friendships, my family is healthy, and yet I feel OFF…is this normal?” The doctor (who I adore!) kind of chuckled and told me it was normal at my age and offered a low-dose antidepressant as a “fix.” I declined, and tried to put it out of my mind. Maybe it was…normal. Maybe life was meant to be this way as we age.
I began to put on weight. Not a lot, but enough for me to be uncomfortable in my own skin. That added weight caused stress on my immune system and I seemed to catch every single little germ my kids brought home. My sleep began to suffer as I had to wake up at night to use the bathroom. I would wake up from sleeping 8 hours and feel completely exhausted- I could not wait to crawl back under the sheets and I hadn’t even left the bed yet! I felt like I could sleep for 2 weeks straight and not catch up. My hair started falling out. I had sugar cravings after every meal. I was not exercising much and enjoying ice cream a few nights every week. I began to really feel bad. I knew there was nothing clinically wrong, as my annual physicals all checked out ok, but I continued to feel OFF. I developed plantar fasciitis and had a stiffness in my shoulders. The yoga that I once enjoyed doing started becoming a real challenge. Soon I gave this up as well.
But nothing changed until my young daughter started having all the issues you probably recognize as hallmarks of many chronic conditions. The brain fog, the mood swings, the bloating, the constant tummy issues. It must have been the mothering instinct that finally triggered my mind to realize everyone deserves answers. But it wasn’t that easy. Even as a medical professional myself, I wasn’t eager to put her through a battery of tests and procedures just to end up receiving a vague diagnosis like IBS and a prescription before we were sent on our way.
There had to be a better way.
I started investigating alternatives and eventually, like so many, stumbled onto the concept of functional medicine. Our first appointment lasted nearly 3 hours and it was like that first delicious rainfall after a season of drought. We spent the time learning how every part of her diet, lifestyle, emotions, DNA, and environment all worked together to create her condition – and how we could start to fix it.
It was so nurturing, so intuitive. And all I could think of was: this is why I went into medicine in the first place.
Traditional medicine taught me to label an issue and find the “pill for the ill,” but functional medicine seemed like so much more. We identify the root causes of diseases (and there can be many) and the seemingly unrelated symptoms that stem from those roots. We spend time creating a connection with the patient. We lead them down the path toward healing. It was like nothing I’ve ever learned before.
It felt like coming home.
As I wrestled with the idea of switching careers after nearly 15 years as a dermatology PA, I was excited but scared. I had two teenagers and a full-time job – how and when could I pursue this new (and strenuous) certification and completely reshape my career? Even I, a lifelong lover of learning (as the 75 books on my bedside table can attest to), wasn’t sure if I could really make the leap. But that afternoon, my final patient of the day came into the room – only 16, newly diagnosed with Lupus, and just asked one simple question: “so how does my diet affect my disease?”
A lightning bolt shot through me.
It couldn’t have been a coincidence that just as I was wondering if functional medicine was the right path for me, a patient came and asked me the very question functional medicine answers. Truly, it was my sign from the universe that this is where I needed to go. Humbled by the fact that I couldn’t answer her question, I promised her that I would do everything I could to find out.
I want to do everything I can to partner with you in your walk towards wellness. Chronic conditions have so many roots that need to be unraveled – so you need as many resources on your team as you can get. It really does take a village to get optimal health. I love that functional medicine is rooted in science, yet leaves room to explore alternative solutions.
The body has a miraculous, innate healing ability when you remove the things it doesn’t need.
Together, we will start to untangle some of the knots that are keeping you sick. I want to learn your story, all the parts of your life that make you who you are. Your experiences, your emotions, your diet, your genetics, your environment, your stress – it all adds up to a unique picture of you. That picture is the first step into examining what is truly causing your symptoms – and how to fix them.
If you’re ready to take charge of your health and truly start healing your chronic conditions, I am here to help. Let’s partner on your walk to wellness. Schedule your FREE, no commitment, 20-minute consultation below. We will discuss how our clinic works, get a more thorough picture of what your needs are, and go over options for how to proceed. I can’t wait to help you get started! You’ve found the path – now it’s time to move forward into healing.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.