The year 2020 brought changes to all our lives. A global pandemic ushered in unprecedented worldwide uncertainty. It also triggered a global awareness of health.
In my personal journey through this time, I experienced the loss of my father; the stress of having my daughter become a brand-new RN — with her first placement on the COVID-19 unit at the University of Minnesota; the stress of sending a child back to college only to see him return home for distance learning; and a shutdown of my chiropractic practice to institute new practices, training, and safeguards.
I also turned 50 during the first wave of shutdowns and saw my long-planned trip to Italy with family cancelled. And, I listened to the concerns from patients, friends and family; some of whom experienced life-changing events during this period. All of these events led to my body changing.
Many, if not all, of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about. We have known for a long time that stress and uncertainty is not good for the body or mind. After ticking through my various “go-to fixes” without improvement, I turned to trying to find a solution to help me deal with my changes. I simply needed to find answers to what was occurring in my body.
While change in our bodies is a normal process, during this time I experienced an exaggerated change in my menopausal symptoms — going from nearly zero to 100 in a very short period of time. I began having hot flashes and night sweats — at a level that did not seem to be objectively “normal.” I simply didn’t feel good, and I did not like how I felt.
In addition to the frequent daily hot flashes (even the short-lived ones were mighty), I experienced difficulty sleeping and gained weight around my abdomen. I noticed mood shifts and, at times, wondered if I wanted to be around myself. My joints, particularly my wrists, thumbs and my hands — the tools I use for the practice I love — were inflamed and achy. I needed something.
My Search for Health Answers
I became a practicing chiropractor more than 26 years ago and, throughout that time, I treated patients dealing with menopause using adjustments, acupuncture, and supplements. However, I never personally dealt with these symptoms — it is one thing to treat, it is another to experience. I tried the methods I previously used, and they helped; but I wanted to know more. I made the decision to further my education.
I made an appointment with my OBGYN. We discussed treatments and I realized the treatment options we discussed were very similar to the hormone therapy my mother used 30 years ago. These methods may provide some relief and work for some, but I wanted to see what else was out there. I spoke to female patients going through similar transformations. I heard the same stories and decided to formally explore female health issues.
Like all licensed health professions, chiropractors are required to take continuing education. Fully motivated by a desire to learn, I joined a functional medicine series on hormones and this series ignited a spark to learn — learn so I could help my patients and help myself. The more I listened, the more I discovered many women wanted information and choice.
What Is Functional Medicine?
What is functional medicine you ask? The functional medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s complete health history including genetics, lab results/testing, and lifestyle factors pulled together by the patient and then assessed by the practitioner and then a personalized treatment plan is laid out and discussed with the goal to improve patient outcomes.
I am thrilled to bring functional medicine to our patients at Live Well. It’s another option for us to look at your health in a holistic way and support you in feeling your best and functioning at your highest potential. Please ask me about it at your next appointment or contact us to set up a consultation.