When I first started this blog, I was super passionate about practical application of food as medicine. I tried to stick to the benefits of a whole food eating and wrote about recipes and detox programs. But through the years, I have noticed a less tangible theme in my practice with patients. I have seen that no matter how many tools, lists, recipes and in-person food changes I recommend, there is a more complex reason for illness and disease.
Most of my patients come to me with physical ailments. They complain of chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain, numbness and tingling, brain fog, constipation, acne, insomnia and on and on. There are a few throughout my 12- hour day who will require acute intervention that I treat immediately or send off to the ER, but most require much more than just a pill- or an injection.
All disease has a physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and environmental component. When patients show up with a physical disease that doesn’t require immediate assistance, I usually delve into their lives in an attempt to determine the true root- cause. Most of my patients, primarily the female ones, will open up and really allow themselves to be vulnerable about the possible underlying issues. Many of them feel like they’re living just to work. Others lack fulfillment and purpose. Many of them feel trapped and frustrated with their lives. Most are depressed and/or anxious about their circumstances, but the thought of change and getting out of the safety and security causes more fear, so they make the choice to stay.
I have found that teaching them a few stress-relief techniques through breathing and essential oil therapy is more profound than giving them a list of foods to follow. That praying with them and allowing them to cry is a powerful step towards transformation. That active listening and infusing love into the exam room can often allay their worries, calm their physical pain and foster hope for a better life. I’ve also found that discovering with them their true passions, interests and dreams helps them to feel more optimistic about the possibilities.
So I’m going to leave the nutrition, movement, sleep as medicine aspects of SHP to the experts. The ones who have been studying and practicing this stuff as their dharma. I love food and I will always use food as way to optimal health and will continue to pass on nuggets of wisdom about nutrition. I love yoga, I will always use movement and yoga as a stress-reliever and will pass on the benefits as they come to me on this website. And of course, I love sleep and will continue to share the research surrounding the monumental importance of using it as medicine.
But my plot twist will take us to a deeper place, the more psychospiritual and emotional aspects of health and wellness. I will talk about breath, the science behind the vagus nerve and its ability to connect the heart and mind. I will write about meditation and mindfulness like its going out of style, because it has saved me from the brink of many terrible things. I will share what I learn about play and community and the powerful health effects they have on our minds and body. I will talk about human connection and collaboration as I try to get you all to realize, we’re really just one big huge dysfunctionally beautiful family, all 6.5 billion of us.
My site will be moving towards a more spiritual toolkit, since we are just spiritual beings having a human experience. I will write about all the ways that disease is the absence of health, not the other way around. I will talk about grounding and the scientific benefits of digging your toes into the dirt to increase your serotonin and dopamine. I will write about hugs and the oxytocin release they deliver. Plus I will write about all the magnificent healing that I witness on a daily basis in practice and in life. The stories that come out of my experiences with other humans are truly heart-opening and awe-inspiring.
I hope you’ll still join me, but if it’s not your style, I understand that too. Thank you for following along and being part of the Shiny Healthy Family the past four years, it has been a heck of a ride. Let’s do this!!