Why did I decide to add Functional & Integrative Medicine to my long standing midwifery practice? I’ve been asked this question several times over the past few months and the answer is fairly simple --
First of all, midwifery philosophy is “being with woman”, empowering, educating and guiding women about their health and wellbeing through their lifetime -- this concept is central to Integrative Medicine right from the start. Integrative Medicine is the amalgam of a myriad of health modalities that offer natural, holistic healing principles. What midwife hasn’t referred a patient to a chiropractor? Yoga class? Acupuncturist? Or massage therapist?
Secondly, a Functional Medicine approach to health and wellbeing is the intelligent next step that all healthcare practitioners should be taking to begin fixing what is wrong with our healthcare system.
Functional Medicine looks beyond a patient’s symptoms to find out why she is experiencing those symptoms. Why is she craving carbohydrates every afternoon? Lying awake at night even though she’s oh-so-tired? Feeling irritated, depressed or anxious without reason? Having difficulty getting or staying pregnant? Traditional medicine offers quick band-aid solutions to what women are experiencing that are often vague or not in keeping with what she is looking for -- Follow a healthy diet, everything in moderation. Take this sleeping pill. Start this anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medication. See an Infertility Specialist.
Functional Medicine looks at the woman as a whole person, understanding that a health issue in one part of the body is a health issue in the whole body - humans are not disassembled and reassembled like cars. We are intricate intertwined living beings. The symptom that is expressed is a cry for help. Taking a (w)holistic approach to health concerns and optimizing health in general can often avoid or minimize medication and procedure use which are so often the first line of treatment in conventional medical practice. But wait, medications and procedures are not rendered useless or obsolete by any means. They absolutely have a role to play in health and wellbeing - a supporting role, not a leading role. Functional Medicine includes pharmaceuticals and medical procedures when needed. More often than not, however, these are not the first-line therapy recommended. So what are the first-line therapy recommendations in Functional Medicine?
I use the WISE-EST approach.
WORLD - What is your toxin exposure and how well does your body handle toxins?
INFLAMMATION/IMMUNITY/INFECTION - What’s making you sick?
STRENGTH - What are the strengths and weakness in your body’s structure?
ENGINEERING - How well is your body circulating nutrients and chemicals to your organs?
ENERGY - How well does your body recharge and revitalize?
STRESS - What’s happening in your life that affects your well-being?
TUMMY - What is your gut telling you?
Each of these features plays a role in devising a plan to bring you to wellness! Taking these into consideration amidst the matrix of who you are as a person - emotionally, spiritually and mindully. Focusing on just the symptom(s) will last only so long -- we need to get to the root cause of the problem, nourish from within and sustain real health and healing.
Even though it’s last on the list, TUMMY is likely the most important element in the WISE-EST approach. It all begins with food! Food is medicine, Food is important, Food makes us sick or healthy -- what’s on the end of our fork is our choice!
This is why I’m so excited to be working with Marti -- her passion and knowledge of food, her commitment, understanding and lovely way with people are exactly what my patients (any patients) need to truly optimize the food part of reaching their best health possible.
Functional & Integrative Healthcare at Schmidt Health will take you beyond the first-line therapeutics of conventional medicine (and again, those are not discounted completely). Beyond being told that there’s nothing wrong with you when you just don’t feel right. Working with me will help you learn additional or alternative ways to reach your health goals that are safe, non-toxic and nourishing. I want to help you feel whole, healthy and alive.
Email me at Susan@SchmidtHealth.com -- for a complimentary 15 minute phone consult.