and Functional Nutrition
with Dr. Rachel Tourjee and Erica Brooks
Dr. Rachel Tourjee is a Doctor of Chiropractic with a Master’s in Science in Nutrition and Human Performance. Erica Brooks is a nutritionist with her Master’s in Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College in Applied Clinical Nutrition. They have both done training from Dr. Kharrazian Institute in topics such as thyroid health, hormone balance, leaky gut, brain/gut barrier, SIBO, Anemia, Liver detox, Blood Sugar Handling, and Holistic Health.
*Dr. Rachel does not have prescription rights. If you need hormone replacement please see your primary doctor. We are more than willing to co-treat with them.
Why should I see a Holistic Health and Functional Nutrition Provider?
The United states is ranked 37th in healthcare by the WHO (World Health Organization). We have more hospital admissions for preventable disease than comparable countries. We also take more drugs than all other countries combined. Clearly our western medicine approach to healthcare is not working. Our life expectancy is actually decreasing. We need to make some changes in how we view and treat disease. One alternative medicine approach we practice is holistic health and function nutrition. Holistic health is a different philosophy on healthcare.
Holistic health differs from traditional in the approach towards the body; it looks at a person as a single entity, and it believes that everything is interconnected.
Holistic health attempts to find out the root cause of the ailment, it analyses the triggers that led to the present condition and pays specific attention to the characteristics of the patient so as to provide a personalized remedy. For example, Dr. Rachel has many patients with digestive dysfunction. Each one does not receive the same treatment protocol. Some need help with carbohydrate, some with protein. Some have leaky gut, others simply have brain based issues. Each person is too different in the root cause and their needs to simply have a cookbook approach.
Getting to Know You
Holistic health pays specific attention to the patient’s history; it tries to track the origin of the disease. Any chronic condition starts much earlier than it is reported. Most researchers recognize that diabetes exists at least a decade before being diagnosed, and same is true for neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers firmly agree that chronic diseases are the result of faulty lifestyle practiced for years or even decades. Many patients will act like their condition just came out of nowhere. That is only because they ignored the red flags the body was trying to wave for them. With the diabetes example, Dr. Rachel would find pre-diabetes in blood work or recognize symptoms such as headaches in the afternoon, light headed, crashing after meals and insomnia as early signs to address before disease develops.
With the diabetes example, Dr. Rachel would make nutrition recommendations, evaluate for certain deficiencies, coach on exercise, or see if some other imbalance is causing the diabetes. Each individual is unique, living and interacting with unique micro-environment, having a unique lifestyle and influencing factors.
A word on genetics:
Family history is useful in identifying pathologies to which an individual may be predisposed.
HOWEVER, you body is not a machine, it is a complex ecosystem.
Ecosystems change and evolve due to environmental stressors, machines do not. Therefore, you control what genes your body expresses based on what internal and external environments you create. Epigenetics has taught us that genes have on and off switches determined by environment that discourages the activation of pathological genetics. Therefore, if you think you are doomed by your genetics, fear not. Dr. Rachel can test for most genetic nutrition factors and give supplement recommendations to overcome them.
Food for Thought
Why do doctors not all work this way?
There are many reasons that typical physicians are restricted from practicing similar to holistic medicine. One, insurance companies dictate care/cost and coaching takes too much time. Two, pharmaceutical commercials brainwash patients into asking for quick fixes from their doctors so their doc cannot coach properly on lifestyle changes. Therefore, doctors that wants to do Alternative Medicine end up getting out of the insurance world in order to create the time and freedom to treat their patients in this manner.
Holistic Medicine is not something that is against modern pharmaceutical drugs or allopathic medicine. It tries to compliment it, providing the best of various systems. Thus, it tries to mitigate diseases through lifestyle modification, exercise, dietary changes, use of high-quality food supplements, and even pharmacological drugs when required.
Modern allopathic medicine is excellent at acute care, while alternative medicine is about disease prevention, finding the root causes of the diseases, detoxification, metabolism correction, and disease reversal. Thus, if a person had a heart attack, allopathic medicine would help to save a life, but once the condition has stabilized, alternative medicine can help to identify the causes of worsening cardiac health, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and help to correct the faulty lifestyle or nutrition and assist in disease reversal. It can greatly help with the treatment of diabetes, asthma, food allergies, celiac disease, autoimmune diseases, mood disorders, and much more.
What do you do in a visit?
It is always intimidating to meet a new kind of doctor. When seeing a, Dr. Rachel, you do not have to fear that they are going to come at you with magic wands or dream catchers. Although, I do think my patients expect me to bust out the magic wand sometimes with the supernatural progress they expect to make in one visit.
There are six things these doctors will use to diagnose or treat you.
Why do I need this type of care or when should I seek it?
Our ideal patients is those that:
1-are trying to avoid future ailments by optimizing lifestyle
2-those that have “tried everything” and nothing works
3-those that are slipping through the cracks of the medical system because they feel bad but their lab tests are “normal”
Not having a diagnosed disease does not mean you are healthy or that you cannot be helped!
We have so many patients that feel relieved when they get into our office simply because we care to get them back to THEIR normal, not normal defined by medical standards. We have patients break down crying in our office on a daily basis before we even treat them. They cry because we listen and we believe them. We value the information they give and use it to help them get better. We do not just waive off their symptoms as hypochondriac nonsense. We also help the patient understand WHY they are having the symptom in the first place. For example, insufficient protein intake leads to overall muscle weakness. This simple fact is often overlooked by traditional medicine. This person will likely be given some nonsense diagnosis like fibromyalgia, when really they just need to add eggs to their morning routine. We have had patients with this complaint admit that they have not eaten protein in 4 days (not even vegan patients). If we did not have protein for a week we would probably be bed-ridden. It is an essential nutrient. If it is missing, there are consequences and usually in muscle seems muscle is made of proteins primarily. It is simple physiology such as this that your Dr. Rachel and Erica can help you understand. Of course there are much more complex cases that exist between genetics, multifaceted histories, and injuries but that at least should give you an idea of what Holistic Medicine does for a patient.