Food For Thought Series: the Future of Healthcare, Part 1

One week in San Diego was nothing short of amazing. Two weeks in San Diego was transformational. It’s been a shedding of energy that no longer serves me as well as an enlightenment of a path that is so much bigger than anything I can process. I highly recommend spending some time in Southern California and opening your soul to the sun, beach and beautiful spaces and people.

Dinner at Cafe Gratitude in downtown San Diego, CA

Dinner at Cafe Gratitude in downtown San Diego, CA

I would like to take a few posts to dive into some of the research and concepts I have been exposed to at the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine Conference in San Diego, CA in the event that it may help open doors or give hope to any of my readers. The only way we can grow together is by sharing information…

First of all: loving, caring and compassionate care providers who are open to exploration of unfathomable energetic healing techniques exist within the realm of academia. There is quality data in randomized control settings and throughout many specialties in medicine. If there is anything you take away from this blog series: there are other ways to heal and cure disease beyond our comprehension and understanding of what traditional Western physicians can provide. I would encourage you to never stop looking for answers if you or a loved one is ever struck with a diagnosis you are not willing to accept.

Two big themes continue to to be at the forefront of many of the discussions and presentations of which I have been and continue to be exposed to: intentionality and spirituality. Intentionality with respect to the healing process can be one of the most profound gifts one can receive while overcoming illness. The experience of intentionality, coupled with hope in allowing the body to heal itself or be healed, may be the unmeasurable process which cures disease and illness.

Spirituality can be a difficult word and concept to approach for many of us, including myself, but I have been learning to understand what it means to me outside of the context of traditional religious doctrines. Spirituality, or having a connection with a higher purpose, brings perspective and meaning to situations which seem unfair or cruel. Taking time and space to explore the questions you can’t answer (or ones you continue to ignore) may lead to answers which hold the space for healing and healthfulness. 

If you would like to talk to someone about some of these questions in a coaching capacity, please reach out to me so we can explore what may be holding you back from connecting with yourself in these capacities.

Integrative medicine is also known as complementary alternative medicine and is the practice of using nonconventional treatment methods with and without traditional Western medicine. There are MD's, DO's, DM’s, ND’s, PA's, RN's, massage therapists, acupuncturists, nutritionists, dietitians, energy healers (ie. reiki, pranic), health coaches, and so much more who are working in this space to help people maintain their health or treat their illness.

These amazing people also get together at conferences to discuss the evidence-based medicine in their respective fields to help inspire and educate their fellow practitioners on what they are accomplishing outside of big medicine and big pharma. Data is presented, scholarly discussions are had and contacts are made so that every healthcare provider who wants access to this information may have the opportunity to do so.

Here are some summaries I would like to present to you:

Dr. Mark Hyman (director of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine) gave a fantastic talk about his research and personal experience in using diet to reverse and prevent chronic disease and illness. He contends that what you put on your fork is more powerful than anything that comes in a bottle. His research focuses on mainly whole foods, low glycemic foods and fewer carbs. He has had wonderful success in counseling his patients and building a fantastic program at a world-renowned institution and is very active in clinical trials and research in studying the efficacies of his programs. Check out one of his books here: 

Dr. Dean Ornish presented on his Optimal Lifestyle Program along with all of the amazing data he has conducted which has been shown to reverse and prevent heart disease with a whole foods plant-based diet. What's even more cutting edge is he focuses on the critical importance of social support and feelings of love when making such huge dietary and lifestyle changes. He realizes that patients are people who need to feel the joy of living and realizes that love is more powerful motivator than fear.

Dr. Ornish is one of my personal inspirations in his research on reversing heart disease with a whole foods plant-based diet and lifestyle modifications. Check out one of his books here: 

It's happening people! Physicians are on the podium talking about the importance of including mental and environmental health when counseling patients to make lifestyle changes that lead to happier and healthier lives!

Dr. Daniel Friedland spoke about conscious leadership for the future and the promotion of conscious capitalism. Physicians are realizing that they need a business model which also takes into consideration their own mental health and well being as well as a model which provides them with the tools to be mindful leaders in healthcare. As more and more practitioners come together to share their wealth of experience and talents, it's even more important they can speak without egos being bruised or triggers being pressed. He focuses on a 4 in 4 Framework which encompasses recognizing and managing reactivity, reappraising stress and self doubt, cultivating creativity and catalyzing growth. Check out his book on conscious leadership here:

Dr. Paul Mills presented on the reality that most evidence-based medicine is not reproducible and the importance of finding new models which allows for more wholistic research studies. This serves as a quick reminder to realize that research is still controlled and reductionistic and not necessarily representative of real life. Don't believe everything you read and do not be afraid to question the system or what you are told to be true. Click here if you want to learn more about Dr. Mills and his experience at UCSD and the research he conducts there.

Dr. Mimi Guarneri (the president of AIHM and medical director of Guarneri Integrative Health in La Jolla, CA) closed out the first day with the global impact of the decisions we are making from mono-crops to coal production. She highlighted how antibiotics given prophylactically to animals in the food supply have a direct relationship to antibiotic resistance in the hospital. This is a serious problem we are facing today, among many other environmental issues we all must address immediately.

Dr. Guarneri also pointed out that our genes haven't changed, our environment has. This in itself necessitates the creation of new healthcare models where interdisciplinary professional teams from all healing modalities come together to create health! If you want to learn more about Dr. Guarneri and her amazing background and work (she is a total badass inspiration!!!), check out this book:

Tune in to my post next week to continue learning about practitioners who are thinking outside of the box or who are willing to listen to the ancient wisdom of of historical people.


*Healthspiration*: Care providers are coming together to create models which optimize collaboration and utilization of safe therapies for complementary modalities in dealing with illness.

*Opportunity Discovery*: What is a new way you can think outside of the box when it comes to dealing with a recurrent pain or illness you commonly deal with? Have you considered looking into alternative treatments to treat the symptoms or prevent them from happening in the first place? What is one thing you could do today that could get you new information that might change the way you approach your symptoms the next time they present themselves?


Need help in navigating your path to wellness? Reach out to me so we can come up with a game plan on how to look into combining traditional with alternative healthcare methods in healing you or a loved one.