The above model encompasses our goals in the VIBRANT WOMEN program. The goals are written in the little purple circles. We work together to address each of these purple circle components.
The model is circular because each of you has a different entry point. It’s not a linear program. Some of you aren’t sleeping and we need to start there. You may be in pain and we need to start there. Most women start at multiple purple circles, and this is fine!
There are 3 Phases to the VIBRANT WOMEN program.
Every woman begins with Phase 1
Phase 1 includes a Functional Medicine blood panel, and a Dutch Complete hormone profile. In Phase 1 we also optimize the four pillars of your lifestyle. These pillars are like the four legs of a chair. If one is missing or broken, the chair will never be functional. I like to call this “lifestyle medicine,” something that’s lacking in conventional healthcare. Many health complaints are resolved with lifestyle medicine. The four pillars are:
We identify the right foods that make you:
- Feel great
- Maintain or lose weight
- Reduce inflammation
- Give you lots of energy
- Supply all the right nutrients
In this process we weed out empty foods that may be working against you. We also make sure you get the nutrients that are not in your diet, especially fat-soluble vitamins, essential for hormones.
In this day and age we are super busy. We multitask, especially during pre and post-menopause years when we are often raising children, working, and taking care of elders. We all have stress. I measure how stress affects your cortisol and other hormones. You discover how to identify and let go of stressors. You also learn stress management techniques. If needed, we use supplements to help with stress management and your mood.
Sleep often takes a nose dive during pre-menopause or even sooner, such as during pregnancies and babies. We have to get your sleep on track, it’s essential. You can’t just take pills to get good sleep. If your sleep isn’t up to par, it may require lifestyle changes. We do sleep training specifically for pre and post-menopausal women. Sometimes we add supplements, along with sleep training.
4. MOVE AND EXERCISE
You are unique in terms of the type of movement and exercise you need at any given time. From athletes to the injured to those in pain, we apply the right type of movement and exercise. I give therapeutic movement lessons for you to do at home. These are for women who are injured or in pain, or those who want to improve their performance in a sport or activity.
Here’s how Phase 1 works:
Schedule your initial appointment
Complete your intake forms online. Find out your insurance coverage for blood work.
This one-hour meeting can take place by phone, Skype or in person. During this appointment we go over your history. We target your health problems and your goals.
At the end, you get your lab prescriptions and an initial action plan. Your action plan is tailored to your needs, and will only include lifestyle changes. We need to wait for lab results to get more specific. In some cases I do include natural medicine prescriptions if we need to address symptoms faster.
Your lab orders include:
- Functional Medicine blood panel. This investigates vitamin status, hormones, and other markers beyond what conventional medicine measures. We look for disease patterns that may be at the beginning, undetected. You can get this done at your local Quest or Labcorp, and insurance usually covers it. If not, we use special practitioner low-fee cash prices.
- Dutch hormone kit. These are urine samples that you take at home. It’s really easy to do, and it gives us incredibly useful information about all of your hormones. This includes stress hormones like cortisol. It also includes your sex hormones: estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. It tells us about your sleep, melatonin, and circadian rhythms. Lastly, it tells us how you are metabolizing your hormones, which is so important for all women to know. We especially need to be metabolizing estrogen properly, to reduce our risk for cancer. This home kit is not covered by insurance, and costs $325.
When the lab results are in, we have our second one hour appointment.
We use the lab results to customize your plan in great detail. This is when we can pinpoint very specific markers that we are happy with or that we want to change. At this point we continue to use lifestyle medicine, with the possible addition of herbs, supplements, and small amounts of bio-identical hormones. I will always emphasize how to get nutrients from food first and foremost.
One month later, we have our third appointment.
We check in to see if you have resolved your problems and achieved your goals. We discuss next steps. Some women are done here. Other women move forward to Phase 2. You may also need to stay at Phase 1, with additional support. I work with women on a once-per-month basis, unless you need more frequent support.