We are organic systems. Not mechanical.

Organic. Not mechanical. That means we need to think differently when trying to fix problems in the system. Repairing a mechanical system is usually a straightforward, clear-cut, logical process.

Not so with living systems, which are elegantly complex and sometimes incomprehensible. We have a capacity for emotion, interconnected body systems, and strong survival instincts. No wonder it’s challenging to zero in on one correct thing to do when you have a health issue.

Integrative Health Approach

Institute for Functional Medicine Clinical Matrix for Core Imbalance. From the Institute for Functional Medicine: Textbook of Functional Medicine. Gig Harbor, Wash: The Institute for Functional Medicine, 2005, p 100. © 2005 The Institute of Functional Medicine. Via the Cleveland Clinic

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Russell Jaffe, MD (#1 in a series: I Couldn’t Have Said It Better)

Today is the first of a series of occasional posts featuring a video or article that says something I couldn’t say as well. This is Dr. Russell Jaffe, a conventionally trained medical doctor who came to practise functional and integrative medicine as a result of trying to debunk those very philosophies. Let him tell you about it in this 5-minute video…

One of my favourite spots was when he said the essence is to live in harmony with your nature. I’d be interested in hearing what struck a chord with you.

Who is the authority?

After recently catching up on reading my blogs, a friend commented that doctors must have found me intimidating. That got me thinking. Was I? Certainly not deliberately. But perhaps there’s an inherent element of intimidation when I arrive with notes in hand. It’s quite possible they feel I’m challenging their authority.

Who is the authority?

An authority is someone who’s an expert on a subject. Merriam-Webster defines being an expert as having special skill or knowledge because of what you’ve been taught or have experienced. We live in a culture where people gain the status of expert through years of specialized training. This is particularly obvious in medicine, where doctors have been through a dozen years of post-secondary education to qualify to practise.

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Epigenetics = Empowerment

So why did I end up with an enlarged thyroid at age 41? Have a look at this picture of my mother and me.

 Mom and me thyroid jpeg

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? It was in my genes. I was destined to have a thyroid issue. It was set in motion at my conception. There’s nothing I could have done about it.

Not so. That is the old disempowering view about how genetics affect us—the belief that we are at the mercy of the genes we inherited.

Now we have new information that changes the story. But many people haven’t yet heard the updated version. I hadn’t until my first appointment with a functional medicine doctor. Continue reading

Using it well…

Access to functional medicine is a gift. Use it well. Understand its scope, find a practitioner who fits with you, and participate in the process.

4 blog im paradigm pdf to jpeg

In all sorts of relationships, it helps to have a sense of where the other person is coming from. This is particularly important when working with functional medicine doctors because their basic premises are different from those we are used to in conventional medicine. Continue reading

I found it. Thank goodness!

3 blog im puzzle pdf to jpeg

I finally had help, and could actually believe that recovery was possible. This was ten years post-thyroidectomy, eight months after a hysterectomy to remove endometrial cancer, and four months since the internist had advised me that the only answer for my struggling body was to exercise more and eat less—nothing about quality of food, just to count calories. What a relief to have just spent 90 minutes with a doctor who was on my wavelength! Continue reading