Last week, I attended a Functional Medicine conference on The Immune System and Autoimmune Diseases.
Three days of very intensive learning to put into place in working with those of you who are faced with the challenges gut of an autoimmune disease or its prevention. I plan to give an up-coming talk on this topic, so keep tuned for that announcement.
Auto-immune diseases are the fastest growing disease category worldwide, with life altering consequences for many. Prevention is key and focuses on keeping the gut healthy to avoid inflammation and the resultant “leaky gut”. This includes (1) the identification and avoidance of any substance or food that we are allergic to, (2) limiting exposure to toxins in the environment, food, water, anything coming in contact with our skin, and (3) managing our stress effectively because it changes the immune response and the gut’s ability to keep it functioning well.
In connection with this conference experience, I’ve had a chance to do some self-reflecting that I would like to share with you.
Why do I dedicate my life energy to this medical practice?
I offer the services of this practice because I deeply believe in the methods and outcomes I see from Functional and Preventative Medicine. Over 20 years ago, I had my own health crisis and had to admit that what I was doing at the time was not working. I had to find new ways of doing things to create good health. It was from that broken and difficult place that I made the decision to take steps to climb out and create something new for myself.
It took a lot of time, effort, dedication, money, and learning, but with the help of pioneer clinicians, good diet and exercise, improved stress management tools and spiritual growth, appropriate supplements, bio-identical hormones and sometimes other modalities, I successfully created a firm foundation for my health and well-being. These are practices that have been shown to promote health, prevent disease, and improve quality of life. This experience and all of the continuing learning since then is the place from which I meet with you and offer protocols and methods that can help you reach that goal too.
Some of us sign up for the “Tesla level” and put into our health all it takes to get the best results. Some of us may choose the “Cadillac level,” and others go for a “Ford Focus level” of commitment. Here, as in most areas of life, we can expect that we will get what we pay for and what we choose to invest in.
Sometimes I am asked why supplements are necessary – do I really have to take them?
The answer lies in which level of prevention and good health you are aiming for. Just getting by or really supporting your health optimally?
Another query is why should I use bio-identical hormones when my friends are just taking birth-control pills? When I see the dramatic results both women and men can get from bio-identical hormones and a Functional Medicine approach, I know that I am helping to contribute to their lives and the lives of their family members and the community. These are results that are supported by more and more research findings as the best way to create and maintain health.
I established my practice based on some fundamental goals, and it continues that way:
- Value our patients foremost
- Give excellent care and service
- Practice kindness and compassion for everyone
- Be in integrity with everything
- Provide knowledge to empower our patients to make better health decisions
- Keep training and learning in cutting edge Functional Medicine and Hormone Therapy so that our patients are provided the best care available – what we knew and did years ago becomes obsolete and is not enough
- Create an environment for healing – for patients, staff, and myself
My goals for my patients are:
- Improved quality of health and well being
- Effective disease risk reduction
- Less stress and more connectedness with self, others, and one’s own spirit
- Deeper enjoyment and fulfillment of life
So why do all this?
Most patients say that they want to live full and vital lives, as free of disease as possible right up to the end. I wholeheartedly join them – it’s all about living life fully with vitality and purpose, to be the fullest expression of who we are on this planet, and to make a positive contribution while we have fun doing it.
I am as committed today to these goals as I have ever been, and I welcome your reflections when we talk next time.
Sharing the journey with you, towards the best health possible with joy and enthusiasm!
Jane Kennedy, CFNP, MN, MPH