Happy Spring! After all that wonderful rain, it is nice to see and feel the sun this week. Amazing how our attitudes and spirits lift with this change of nature! This issue is dedicated to exploring how my practice approach works and how it can help meet your health needs and those of your family and friends.
As a Nurse Practitioner, graduating with a master’s degree from UCLA, I was trained in Western Medicine in family practice. I worked in that area for some years and obtained valuable clinical experience in the Western Medical approach to health. Yet, that model of medicine lacked effective methods to help with prevention of disease and real promotion of health. Additionally, when patients were diagnosed with chronic diseases there was little other than medication that approach had to offer.
I became disillusioned even though I had worked in critical care, ICU, ER and seen the miraculous emergency and acute care approaches that Western Medicine is capable of. But, in the long term, what hope did we have to offer those that want to stay well? And, the chronically ill?
My other masters, MPH in Health Services and Education, was the resource I drew upon to develop a focus in my clinical approach that created health and gave hope to patients. I trained in Holistic Health, then Integrative Medicine, then Functional Medicine, Age-Management Medicine and developed my current practice model incorporating all of those. I did some intense research and study in Spiritual Studies and learned more about the Mind-Body connection, effects of our spiritual (not necessarily religious) beliefs on well-being and how our connections with others impacts our health, either negatively or positively. I worked for several years with chronic and difficult cases, learning how to think outside the usual box to help them with their unique needs. For a period of time I worked with Hospice, helping to meet the needs of patients at the end of life learning a tremendous amount from them.
For the last 15 years and currently, I want to provide medical consultation services to my patients from this whole person perspective – including body, mind, emotions, and spirituality. I am positively convinced, that is where we find the best health and well-being possible.
There are overlaps in my Functional Medicine practice approach with Naturopathic medicine – my grandfather was one. I, like the Naturopathic approach, believe in finding the underlying dysfunction and helping the body re-balance with the most natural of therapies whether they be life style, diet, exercise, stress management or supplements, herbs or bio-identical hormones. I believe that the gut is the foundation of good or ill health and needs our support. I incorporate many of the fundamental beliefs and approaches of Naturopathic medicine into my practice.
Yet, I do believe in the positive aspects of Western Medicine and my training there to help me with diagnosis and management when those approaches are needed within my scope of practice. The ability to prescribe, order appropriate lab and diagnostic testing, offer procedures, understand and help patients evaluate their Western prescribed protocols are all some of the critical aspects of providing more expanded care to my patients.
I differ from my Western Medicine counter parts in that I want to be a colleague with my patients. Consulting with them, educating them, empowering them to be the expert on their body and their health. One of the most rewarding things I do in my practice is to be able to explain a medical process to a patient, like thyroid dysfunction, and help them understand why Integrative Medicine recommends what they do. That is fulfilling! Just as much as seeing patients come back feeling healthy and balanced as they use to feel years before.
Because I am a Nurse Practitioner, most all of my patients with regular health insurance have the option of submitting my charges for visits to their insurance for reimbursement. The itemized statement you get at the end of each visit has all the required codes needed by the insurance company to process your request. Only those with an HMO, Medicare, or a plan that limits providers they can see, cannot get reimbursement. Also, many patients are able to get their labs and medications covered by insurance.
Firsthand experience that often sets me apart from other clinicians is that I “practice what I preach”. A healthy diet, exercise, stress management and of course bio-identical hormones and supplements are part of what I do to maintain good health. I have used all types of hormone therapy to be sure I understand what patients are going through-positive and negative. That knowledge is invaluable as I treat patients coming for hormone therapy.
Basically, I feel that if I can help someone regain their lost balance, their self, their energy, their zest for life, motivation and joy in living, and help them positively impact their family, partner, fellow workers, and ultimately their community…then my work is achieving what I have desired and dreamed of doing. I feel so grateful to work with patients who are seeking and achieving this goal. Please share with your friends and community the good health and well-being you enjoy and how you got there.
My practice is here to support each patient seeking balanced health and well-being through use of bio-identical hormones, appropriate supplements, preventive diagnostic testing, healthy life style practices and a sense of meaning and purpose on their life path. And I am dedicated to continuing to learn and expand as the field grows with new research findings and clinical approaches to offer.
The guiding principles I live and practice by are open-hearted compassion, kindness, integrity, and honesty. I am fortunate to have surrounded myself with staff members who embrace those values too and are here with me to support the needs of all who seek our care.
Thank you for being one of them!!