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  • Jen Miller

Why Integrative Health?

Why not try something new? Do you love the 7 minutes you get with your doctor? Or the way you are rushed in and out? Or how there is a pill for every ill? Let's talk about another way.

I started out in healthcare simply wanting to help others.

I thought this meant going to school, completing my clinical rotations, and spending a few years training alongside doctors and nurse practitioners well versed in medicine. I treated everything during that time.

warm nurse practitioner

My patients had complicated diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lifelong depression, attention deficit disorder, heavy periods, etc. The routine was always the same: patient comes in, I listen for 15 minutes (more than the average visit, by the way), order some labs, and then send in a few prescriptions. I might say something like “Eat less, exercise daily.” They would come back 3-6 months later and we would repeat the whole cycle.

I became very good at diagnosing disease and treating illness. I really liked my patients and they liked me. The problem? No one got better. Over time, things began to shift in my personal and professional life and I became really hungry for healing and health.

I began to talk to my patients about healing. Getting to the root cause. Considering what it might look like to challenge the status quo. I began to consider what it would look like for me to give generously of my time and knowledge. Walk the road with patients, friends, and family. Dive deep into the how and why of illness. I have come to appreciate how we can take modern medicine and integrate it with the whole person.

What does holistic health look like?

AMAZING WELLNESS It is not about just getting by or avoiding medications because they are scary. It means digging in and weeding out those things in health that keep a person from feeling amazing. These are the things we have control over—nutrition, sleep, stress, relationships, and spirituality. Whole wellness is wellness in all of these areas. It is evidence-based. It works!

SELF HEALING A diagnosis is not a life sentence. I believe our bodies were given all the tools needed to heal from the trauma that inevitably comes in life. This does not discount those times when we absolutely need modern technology, but it does recognize that our bodies have an amazing ability to heal and adapt. When given the right tools, we have every hope of restoring health.

CONNECTION Life is better together. When we have men and women, sisters and brothers around us that lift us up, we are stronger. Our stress is lower. We feel happier. We share the weight of life. Sometimes this means with our family of origin and sometimes it means the family we choose. Relationships—good ones—are healing and worthy of our investment. This does not have to be complicated. Connection can happen at work, through a yoga class, on a community run or bike ride, through volunteering, or a place of worship. Without connection, we are missing a major part of our wellness potential.

INDIVIDUALITY We were all created unique—body, mind and spirit. Our lives are a beautiful, imperfect, flawed patchwork of experiences. Health does not happen in a day. It happens over a lifetime. It is illogical that every person should have the same prescription for health. It is important to embrace one’s individuality when seeking health and seek a clinician that is willing to consider your completely unique needs.

THE JOURNEY At some point, we must all decide how our story will go. How will we see each moment? What would health look like if we would learn to embrace the past, be realistic about the present, honor the journey and dream about the future?

Sound good? Let’s walk the road together.

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