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Recently, I attended a workshop for business owners and website development. Let's face it, it is seriously not something they teach you in nursing school. AND... even in the MBA coursework, there was little to NO education on starting your own business. So, when I listened to the workshop leader trash my website, let's face it, I really didn't want to hear it.

However, I tried to take it all in, and I really listened, and what she was saying made sense. So, I began to work on the website, and as I have been making all these changes, I thought about how this whole experience parallels what YOU, the client experiences in health coaching.

Dr. Brooks RN, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Functional Medicine Nurse Coach
DR. Brooks RN

Yes, I get it! I too, had multiple visits with my providers and never came away feeling much, if any, better. My labs were normal, so it must be all in my head, or in the words of one orthopedist, "I can't fix your ankle" and in the words of a neurosurgeon about my three-way disc herniation in my neck, "I cannot fix your pain". So, humor me here and allow me to ask, what in the wild world of healthcare am I suppose to do? I work, I have insurance, I pay your copays, and yet, you tell me you cannot fix me.

Well, I consider myself pretty independent, and pretty intelligent and therefore, over the past several years, I have been walking away from conventional medicine that leaves patients with pills and more ills, and I have been studying Functional Medicine. During my workshop, the leader stopped and said, "Well, I don't even know what that is!". So THERE'S the problem, I thought! I can advertise that I am a Functional Medicine nurse, I can be working on the certification from a reputable educational institute, but if people don't know what Functional Medicine is, well, I might as well pull down my shingle and go fishing!

So, Functional Medicine is taking a root cause approach. All it means in the most basic sense of vocabulary, is that let's say you have a toaster. Now, in the morning, you get up and you really want a piece of toast. You can almost smell the bread toasting away, you can almost see the butter oozing as it melts over the warm slice, and maybe you might be grabbing the jam to top it off. But WAIT! You go to the toaster and there is the bread, cold and untoasted. So you begin your investigation. You check the little lever, right? Up/down/up/down/ - no, that is working. Then you say, well, maybe the cord is not plugged all the way in, hmm. Nope, the plug looks good. Well, what about the ground fault? No, that is working. Ok, now we have to trudge off to the power box and inspect the breaker. Yup, it was the breaker. We flip the breaker, and Ta-Dah! We have toast.

All this to say that when you are not feeling well, most likely something is not working. I could give you a number of examples, but the majority of my complaints were "vague". I am tired, lack energy, can't sleep at night, gaining weight. When I would go to the doctor, I was met with the most likely #1 answer, "Let's check your thyroid". I can't tell you how many labs I had to check a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). So they draw a TSH (note here, that this is not your thyroid hormone, which actually is responsible for your energy and running all your metabolic reactions, it merely tells the thyroid to work).

Where Functional Medicine - or root cause- comes in, is that it says let's look at what is going on. How are you sleeping, are you getting enough? How are you eating? What is your diet like? What do your relationships look like? Are you under a lot of stress? Are you getting enough exercise? This sounds so elementary, but I will tell you that it works! We begin to target lifestyle factors and help you modify them to improve your overall health. It is amazing to find out just what other symptoms you actually had when you start to feel better.

So that is a little run-down of exactly what it is that I do. I began researching root-cause because I was trying to run long distances, but I have always suffered from chronic pain, even as a teenager. I was called a hypochondriac, and to this day, I will never agree with a client that it is all in their head. Through some functional testing, such as looking at my organic acids testing, I found that there were some issues in my nutrition. I ran a genetics blueprint which helped me find out I am missing two major detox genes, I have the celiac gene (approx. 30% of people do). As I continue to make little changes in my nutrition, and some supplements to help me get back to running long distances faster, I am working on those lifestyle factors. I monitor my sleep, my nutrition, and I make sure I get a lot of quiet time and spiritual wellness with my bible and prayer time. I am slowly building back up in my mileage, and I know that I will be back to running ultras (any distance over a marathon) hopefully by next year.

So, if you are feeling stuck, tired of feeling tired, not getting answers, then let's look at all the things we can do to get you to your healthiest self! I am your cheerleader, and you are the STAR player! We will win!

Training for my 50-mile trail run, before life came to a crashing halt.
Training for my 50 miler in 2022

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