The Circle of Life
I find it interesting that so many things in life are cyclical.
Even our stages of life. Our lives come full circle if we live long enough, from babies to elderly.
We have become so technologically advanced yet crave the simple.
I would much rather be curled up next to a fire with a good book than zoning out to Netflix (although I have been known to do that, too).
I would rather get my produce from a reputable organic/regenerative farmer than an industrial farm.
I would rather take a road trip than go to theme parks.
I would rather cook a nutritious meal at home than eat fast food.
I would rather work on something crafty than play a video game (sometimes). At least I feel more rewarded when I do something crafty vs. play a video game.
I would rather take a walk in the woods than on a treadmill.
Well. Maybe I'm in the minority. Maybe people like the busy city life vs. the quiet countryside.
I used to want the “city life”. I wanted to be a part of all that business. I used to eat fast food regularly and binge watch TV while eating ice cream and cookies.
Our health system has made so many advancements in treatments. If you see your doctor with a laundry list of symptoms, there is usually a pill or procedure to alleviate those symptoms. Yet, it seems for all their advancements, they are missing a simple question.
Why is this happening?
What are the underlying causes of the symptoms? If you ask your healthcare providers, they won’t be able to tell you. With all the tests, treatments, procedures, most of the time the why is unknown (or called idiopathic).
But a Functional Medicine practitioner is taught to look deeper than symptoms. They are taught to see how the patterns of symptoms are related. They are taught to look for answers in simple things like gut health, nutrient deficiencies, and food sensitivities. Functional Medicine can look at modern labs and see root causes for the symptoms you are experiencing. Functional and Integrative Medicine brings the old-world methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine to Modern Medicine. Just because it is "modern", that doesn't mean we just discard the old teachings or traditional methods.
For all the technology that modern medicine brings to the table, it still cannot get to the underlying causes for disease. It glosses over the most important factor for health: lifestyle. Food is medicine! You are what you eat!
I cringe when I see so many fast-food places going up. That is just more sugar-laden, carbohydrate-heavy, processed foods available to the masses. Those foods are going to kill you. We see obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer on the rise and modern medicine is not helping.
We need to start educating people on the importance of the foods they choose.
We need to test for nutrient depletions before starting a prescription medication.
We need to focus on gut health and the quality of our microbiome before prescribing antibiotics.
We need to realize that being on multiple prescription medications is not okay…being 100 pounds overweight is not okay…feeling so drained and bloated after eating is not ok…feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed every day is not okay…eating fast food every day is not okay.
We need to reset our idea of what is acceptable from our healthcare system. Our country spends the most on healthcare and yet, we are some of the sickest humans on the planet. That is not okay!
I was taught conventional pharmacy (a pill for every ill), but I am working on closing the circle to incorporate old world ideas into modern medicine. I am working on helping people choose the right foods, the right supplements, discover nutrient deficiencies, work on their gut health, incorporate exercise and purposeful movements, use adaptogens to cope with daily stressors, and become the healthiest version of themselves.