Functional medicine is an alternative approach to health and wellness that allows practitioners to diagnose illnesses before they manifest, and find and treat the root cause of a patient’s condition vs. simply treating their symptoms.
I always like to explain functional medicine like this:
Conventional medicine treats the symptoms of a patient after they’re already suffering from them. It’s like the airbags in a car - designed to help only after something goes wrong.
Functional medicine, though, can act like the rumble strips on the highway. It gives patients the opportunity to course correct and prevent something from going wrong to begin with.
The trouble with only treating symptoms
Functional medicine practitioners analyze blood work, do tissue analysis, urinalysis, hair mineral analysis, saliva hormone panels, DNA testing, and more, to understand the true root cause of a patient’s symptoms. When only a patient’s symptoms are being treated, the treatment itself can often cause other undesirable symptoms.
Hypothyroidism vs. Hashimoto's
I treated a patient who had previously been diagnosed with and was undergoing treatment for hypothyroidism. She presented with cold hands & feet, weight gain, brain fog, and migrating pain - common symptoms for hypothyroidism. But the treatment she had been receiving was causing her to experience extreme fatigue and hair loss in addition to not alleviating her other symptoms.
After an in-depth analysis of various panels, I was able to diagnose an autoimmune issue that was presenting in the thyroid, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which requires an entirely different protocol than hypothyroidism.
The patient was prescribed a 100% personalized treatment plan consisting of whole food supplements and nutrition plan. After diligently following protocol, the patient had more energy, experienced weight loss, no pain, increased energy and slept better than she had in 20 years.
Not all functional medicine is created equal
Once I’m able to diagnose the root cause of a patient’s symptoms, I prescribe a personalized treatment plan of whole food supplements and nutrition recommendations, which, when followed diligently, produces the best results for my patients.
Other practitioners may prescribe synthetic supplements or other pills, but these types of substances are not able to be properly absorbed by the body and can create a harmful buildup in the body over time.
The amount of follow-up involved in functional medicine varies widely and depends on the patient’s condition and desired health goals.
Once I prescribe a patient’s treatment plan, I follow up, requesting labs and other panels at various increments, from anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. Everyone reacts differently to treatment. This follow-up is critical and effective because it allows me to see what’s working and tweak what’s not. This personalized attention to my patients’ treatment and protocol has provided them with some incredible results.
Ready to try functional medicine for yourself?
If you’ve been to other doctors or practitioners to get relief from symptoms you’ve been experiencing, only to be told that according to your labs, there’s nothing wrong...
If your gut is (literally or figuratively!) telling you that something “just isn’t right”, and you’re looking for a doctor who will work to find the root cause of your symptoms…
Click over to our Functional Medicine page to view our Initial Treatment offering, as well as our ongoing Treatment Plan Bundles, and schedule your appointment today.
Light is one of those elements in our environment that’s easy to take for granted. It’s always around us but we seldom think about it. With many of us spending more and more time indoors, and especially during the winter months when the days are short, we’re not getting enough light, or better, we’re not getting enough of the right kind of light.
Tips And Tricks For Eating Healthy While Traveling
A lot of my patients have told me about their travel plans in the New Year. One of the biggest complaints I hear from them is how difficult they find it to stay on track with healthy eating while traveling.
So many people view getting out of town as free rein to eat whatever they want. And while it may not be the end of the world to indulge for a meal or two, consuming mass quantities of processed foods, carbohydrates, and alcohol at every single meal will have you feeling a lot more than just homesick.
Indulging in too much processed food, carbohydrates, and alcohol can cause inflammation, high blood pressure, and constipation. These symptoms are bad enough to deal with when you’re in the comfort of your own home, but if they hit while you’re away, you may have a recipe for disaster.
Plan ahead to stay on track.
If you’re driving to your destination then you really don’t have an excuse not to eat healthy foods. Without the constraints of air travel rules and regulations and without suitcase space being at a premium, you can pack a cooler for the road and stock the fridge when you reach your destination.
Pack up lots of your favorite kombucha and green juice.
Kombucha is fermented, which means it’s loaded with probiotics that help with inflammation and digestion. It also contains vitamin B and iron which may enhance oxygen flow by increasing hemoglobin in the blood, giving you an energy boost (and one that would be preferable over consuming more coffee!).
Green juices are great for supporting your immune system while traveling. They’re loaded with nutrients and provide a healthy dose of vitamin C.
If air travel is on the itinerary, you may not be able to take kombucha and green juice but you can pack a shaker and shake or smoothie powder (this one is my favorite and the sample sizes are perfect to take along on your travels). Fill the shaker with water once you’re through security and mix up a healthy shake whenever you need it.
Healthy snacks for air or car travel
If you’re craving something crunchy, don’t be tempted by the convenience and allure of vending machine Cheetos or peanut butter crackers!
Opt for nut chips or organic rice cakes instead. (Adding a little almond butter to organic rice cakes is one of my favorite satisfying snacks!)
And before leaving home, head to your nearest health food store (or order online) and stock up on raw, organic nuts and seeds - but make sure they have nothing on them! Flavored or salted nuts are usually processed with hydrogenated oils which contain trans fats that can lead to arterial plaque buildup, among other things.
Dates are a fantastic, whole food alternative to any of the processed, sugar-laden snack you might reach for. Plus, they’re high in fiber and antioxidants and are just as sweet as any candy.
My family is also a big fan of Granny Smith apples dipped in raw, organic cashew butter, and since it’s not something we usually eat at home, it feels like a treat. Granny Smith apples are the lowest glycemic index apple which will help when it comes to keeping your blood sugar stable.
Grab a bag of cut carrots and your favorite hummus for a satisfying snack on the go. Hummus is a great, protein-packed alternative to other unhealthy dips. Made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and lemon, it’s loaded with healthy fat and fiber.
Olives are another great snack. They’re easily portable if you’re out and about and are a great source of heart-healthy fat and antioxidants. My family loves these handy travel pack olives.
Once you’ve reached your destination
Whether you’re a guest in someone’s home or staying in a hotel, feel NO SHAME for maintaining your healthy diet while traveling! Prioritizing your health is something you should be proud of!
Drinking hot water and tea are great ways to help those toxins flush out and help soothe your digestive tract, especially when enjoyed first thing in the morning. Plus, you can find hot water anywhere!
A good rule of thumb for healthy eating whether you’re traveling or not is to opt out of carbs and processed foods and opt in to whole foods.
This can feel tricky, especially if you’re staying in someone else’s home, but one of my favorite things to do in this situation is offer to help prepare a dish. “I make amazing brussels sprouts” or “I have this great salad recipe” allow you to be a wonderful, helpful house guest while also reaping the benefits in the form of having at least one, healthy, whole foods dish to enjoy. And even if you’re just a guest at someone’s home for dinner, I always let the host know that I’m bringing a salad to pass for this very same reason!
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the change in routine, different foods, and different environmental factors can cause constipation. If that happens, I highly recommend taking a plant-based, multiform magnesium supplement daily, and increasing the dose if you still can’t go.
Eating healthy foods can be more challenging when you’re away from home, but with a little planning, “I can’t eat healthy when I travel” is no longer a valid argument. Take a vacation from work and the everyday stressors in your life, but don’t take a vacation from healthy eating.
Welcome 2019 with a Detox
We’re in the final days of 2018, and while we hope you’ve been experiencing your best health yet, you may still be struggling with a few lingering issues that you probably don’t want to invite into 2019.
Unexplained, chronic fatigue, frequent headaches or migraines, difficulty losing weight, are just a few of the MANY REASONS why it’s a good idea to do an annual system detox.
Each year Well Balanced Body offers a supervised purification program to both clear and support the systems with proper nutrition, so you can start the New Year feeling your best.
Our bodies are constantly exposed to external or environmental toxins as well as internal toxins that are due to challenges like poor digestion, certain enzyme deficiencies, and more.
Our bodies are designed to eliminate toxins with the help of the liver, kidney, bile, colon, lungs and lymph system, but if you’re not supporting your body with proper nutrition, your body’s own detoxification systems can no longer properly eliminate toxins. The toxins in turn accumulate in the tissues causing a whole host of annoying symptoms, like poor ability to shed excess weight, brain fog, acne, muscle tension, joint pain, and decreased organ function (like infertility) to name a few.
Even worse, toxins cling to fat cells, connective tissue, and organs like our brain, which can lead to a toxic body and brain. Yikes!
But won’t a detox make me feel like crap?
Most purification programs focus solely on eliminating the bad stuff. You’ll lose a few pounds, sure. But then the headache and sluggishness start.
If your purification program doesn’t incorporate proper nutrition, the toxins that release from your tissues can’t be properly eliminated from your system.
You’ll either end up putting back on every single pound you’ve lost, or you’ll keep the weight off but continue to feel like toxic garbage.
Our program is different
Well Balanced Body’s supervised purification program is a simple, whole food detox that supports your body’s entire detoxification system. Toxins will release from your tissues and be properly eliminated through your body’s own detoxification system with the support of proper nutrition.
No headache. No digestion issues. No feeling like garbage.
To see what’s included in this program, click here. (hint: no supplements, just shakes and REAL FOOD)
Is a detox right for me?
‘Detox’ can be a buzzword this time of year, but just because it’s on-trend doesn’t mean you should do it, especially if you’re not planning to do it correctly (i.e., without the support of proper nutrition).
So, let me ask you a few questions:
Bottom line: Your diet is not supporting your detox pathways and your body is depleted of nutrients.
Alright already, I’m in!
Our 28 day supervised purification program begins this year on Thursday, January 10th. If you want to start off 2019 feeling like your best self, call or text 916-936-5528, and get 10% off your detox order! Place your order today, so you'll have everything you need to start with us on the 10th.
Ready to really take your health to the next level in 2019? Join me for Functional Flow Yoga each Friday in 2019 at 4:30pm aka "Happy Hour" Yoga. Hope to see you there!
Happy New Year!
Your lungs + smoke
The devastating California wildfires have been affecting communities throughout the State. Some families living directly in their path have lost everything. Others who are further removed, like those of us in the Sacramento and surrounding areas, are experiencing symptoms like lung inflammation.
In my work I’ve treated numerous firefighters, and have seen firsthand the effects that smoke has on their bodies, specifically the lungs.
Most recently, the wildfires near us have been contained (thankfully!), but many of our patients are coming in with lung inflammation and trouble breathing. Those inflicted with asthma are especially feeling the affects.
Here are my top 5 tips to keep your lungs healthy:
Get Adjusted By Your Chiropractor
Positive clinical outcomes - increased chest expansion and oxygen rate post-adjustment - are seen in my office daily, not to mention the increased healthy immune system response that has been proven with Chiropractic adjustments.
For even better results, see a Chiropractor who specializes in Applied Kinesiology. They are able to dive deeper into respiratory function, looking at diaphragmatic control and neuro-lymphatic drainage of the lung.
Chiropractic also can address possible misalignment of cervical vertebrae which transmits nerve impulses to the diaphragm, which in turn, helps the diaphragm (your primary breathing muscle) function optimally.
Lung inflammation can also be linked to the consumption of inflammatory foods.
The top 5 inflammatory foods to avoid in order of priority are:
Need more specific recommendations - check out my healthy eating guide
There are also a few things you can consume that help with lung function:
1.Vitamin e rich oils, olive oil, wheat germ oil. Please note: wheat germ does not contain gluten, so calm down!
2. Fatty fish- salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies.
3. Nuts and seeds (all organic).
4. Veggies. Lots of them! The main vegetables to be sure to include in your diet are garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc).
5. Drink more water than usual. Recommended daily intake is half your body weight in ounces. I would add an extra 40 ounces to that with lemon and lime.
Take Whole Food Supplements
The Number One supplement I recommend to allow for better lung function is wheat germ oil.
Cold processed wheat germ oil is a gluten-free concentrate made from the germ of the wheat kernel and provides the WHOLE vitamin E complex. Vitamin E is not just alpha tocopherol, which is ONLY the antioxidant or PROTECTOR of vitamin E complex. Vitamin E complex works together to support hormone precursors, support integrity of the tissues, and maximize oxygen levels. Wheat Germ Oil is the most concentrated, natural source of the complete vitamin E complex in the world.
WGO is also a source of octacosanol, a nutrient that can increase your endurance and physical performance.
A close second to WGO is vitamin E, which is good for vascular health, promotes cardiovascular health, prevents heart disease and age-related macular degeneration.
I recommend taking this supplement to all my firefighter patients, anyone trying to increase muscular endurance, and to those who go to places of high altitude. Plus, people that have a personal or family history of cardiovascular health complications.
WARNING: Do not consume synthetic OTC vitamin E - as it most likely ONLY contains the antioxidant portion of the vitamin E complex. Make sure you only consume whole food natural wheat germ oil. This supplement can be purchased through your natural health care provider who supply’s Standard Process Supplements.
Diffuse essential oils
My favorite oil blend to diffuse for lung health is Breathe by DoTerra. Lime and lemon are also great options to diffuse in your home.
And last but not least…
Check out a local yoga studio that will help you breathe better during class.
Yoga teaches us specific breathing techniques that are always beneficial, but are especially so when we’re dealing with the effects of smoke in the air.
Be sure to check out our next class functional flow this coming Friday (tomorrow), 11/30 at 430pm. The style of this class is vinyasa flow with an emphasis this week on opening the lungs - including the rib cage and thoracic spine (mid-back) taught by yours truly.
Lastly, those of you who have been asking me about how to help. Check out Cal Fund