Unlock The Door To Loving Life
I come to you today with a declaration. “I LOVE LIFE”!
Every bump in the road, every mistake I have made, every right or wrong choice, has brought me to this point in time. I love that we can dream big and make those dreams reality; that we can, in fact, create that reality. One of my big dreams is to become a centenarian with a good quality of life. This drives many of my health decisions and steams the passion I have for everyone to have that good quality of life.
In my dental office, I have been asked the question many times when I start talking about health issues, “what does that have to do with my teeth?” as if that were my only focus. I want people to realize that I recognize there is a person connected to those teeth. I want to share with my patients the mantra of my functional medicine training, “Everything is connected, We are all unique, and Everything matters”.
Our healthcare system is failing us. Here in the United States, we are number one in emergency medicine, but we fall very short when it comes to chronic illness. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise. The Global Autoimmune Institute lists 160 different types, A to Z. Some of these more familiar are Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes Type 1, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Multiple Sclerosis, and the list goes on. Alzheimer’s and cancer are now being recognized as immune system malfunctions as well. These are all diseases of the immune system that manifest differently for every individual. It takes a detective to help these people. It takes time and attention that your physicians don’t have and that your health insurance won’t pay for. Most autoimmune patients see at least four doctors before getting a diagnosis and it also takes an average of three years. I find this very frustrating, which is what led me down the Functional Medicine path.
The Functional Nutrition Alliance defines Functional Medicine as a therapeutic focus on restoring the optimal function of the body and its organs, that work with systems and frameworks towards resolving the root causes of any sign, symptom, or diagnosis, with a highlight on the importance of diet and lifestyle modifications as part of its approach. Our current medical system focuses on symptoms and disregards what is causing them to begin with. Our medical schools train physicians in pharmacology so they know what drug to give for what symptom. There is no drug that is taken without side effects… oh but we can be prescribed another drug for that. No Thank You!
Our society is getting sicker, and the drug companies are getting richer! My love for life is partly due to the fact that I wake up every day pain free. Most days I have the energy of someone much younger and I am able to physically do anything I set out to do. I am not blessed with any crazy genetics. I don’t come from a long line of athletes. I simply fuel my body with what it needs and avoid what it doesn’t. When problems do arise, I become my own patient and I ask why.
In my functional medicine training, we look at all the health symptoms such as headaches, high blood pressure, Hashimoto’s, fatigue, acne, insomnia like the branches of a tree. The roots of the tree are the causes and always relate to genetics, digestion, and/or inflammation. I am here to investigate the epigenetics. According to the CDC, epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. These are the factors that bathe our genes and prompt them to express negatively or positively. We have influence over the genetic and cellular expressions that manifest as signs, symptoms, and disease states by modifying epigenetic factors such as diet and lifestyle. We call this the soil or the terrain around the roots. This is where the gap is in our medical system- the gap that I am here to fill.
Have you ever heard of the 80-20 rule? It states that for many events, 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts made. This applies to many things. Do you find yourself wearing 20% of the clothes in your closet 80% of the time? Are you unhappy in a relationship that gives you 80% of what you want because you are always searching for the other 20%? In business they say 80% of the money comes from 20% of the clients. This also applies to nutrition. People go on these cookie cutter diets, and they work 80% of the time. Diets like Paleo, Keto, Atkins diet, grapefruit diet, whatever diet you go on, all have very similar results and help 80% of the population. There are many reasons for this. I attribute this to mindfulness and what I always like to say, “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything”. The people that offer these-one-size-fits-all diets will help 80% of the people and that is a wonderful thing, but what about the other 20%? 20% of millions of Americans are chronically ill and the one-size-fits -all health care will not solve their problems.
In the next year or so my patients at Parker River Dental will have the option of receiving the whole health approach. I say option, but they will benefit from this line of thinking even in their every day dental treatment. Our patients are not just floating mouths sailing through the door. We are all learning more about breathing and airway health. My hygienist, Jackie, and I are becoming myofascial therapists to help people with breathing problems, and treating their related symptoms of TMJ, headaches, and problems related to mouth breathing. My husband, Doug, and I will be offering Functional medicine nutrition counseling to help people get to the bottom of their health concerns. There are many health issues that present in the oral cavity. Patients forget sometimes that their mouths are part of the gastrointestinal tract, which plays a big role in many illnesses. Preserving teeth is a key part of digestion which is essential for health. Patients will receive that respectful, gentle dental care they always have while being educated on the fact that “Everything is connected, We are all unique, and Everything matters”. If they want to get to the bottom of their healthcare issues, they will find themselves in the right place. A place where the time can be spent listening to their concerns and exploring the terrain, they find themselves in, and how it is affecting their health and what can be done about it.
Everyone should LOVE LIFE and live it to the fullest.
Dr. Robin Davies, DMD, CHC