How is a holistic doctor different from a “regular” doctor? Maybe you’ve been wondering about how they work, what to expect, where to find a holistic doctor, and even if it’s worth it. I wrote this post to answer all of the questions I first had when I was looking for naturally minded health care.
After seeing a local holistic doctor for over a year, I can tell you from my personal experience that it’s SO worth it. Although it’s not cheap (and not covered by insurance in my case), it was exactly the kind of true health care that I was looking for. It’s what I needed.
Dr. Rob at Alternacare used labs, kinesiology, and in depth personal interviews to help narrow down exactly what areas of the body need support- and he walked me through every stage of my recovery. I went from being exhausted, having severe memory issues (I talk about that here), and was in a downward spiral with my health.
I had been eating healthy, but packing on weight again, and I couldn’t think clearly enough to put together what to do about my health. I *knew* it was time to get professional help with this, and I’m SO glad that I did!
Dr. Rob was able to pinpoint what was going on with my body, and I *never* would have guessed it on my own. Then week after week, he’d adjust my eating and supplement plan. There were rough times where my body decided to take a U turn, but thankfully, Dr. Rob was insistent that I check in with him at his personal e-mail address for anything that was going on between visits. And each time, we’d figure it out and get me back on track.
I’m now feeling SO much better, and even though I’m going through a stressful situation with my family, I’m able to feel good, function, and manage the stress. I *never* would have gotten here without the help of Dr. Rob. Beyond his grasp of functional medicine, he’s just a genuinely super nice guy, and cares very much for his patients. He listens, is always open to learning new things. And he gives hugs.
So I wanted you guys to meet him, and I asked him a few questions about what he does and what it looks like. Dr. Rob will also be back from time to time to write about more in depth health topics, so feel free to ask him questions in the comments below.
Meet Doctor Rob
Gwen: Hi Dr. Rob! I’ve known you for a while, but I want to give my readers a chance to get to know you some too, since you’ll be posting here from time to time on more in depth health topics. First, tell us about you as a person: family, hobbies, and one unique thing about you.
Dr. Rob: I have been married for 18+ years and have a 15 yo daughter and a 13 year old son. I love to play guitar, sing and write music especially with my daughter Elana. I love to do anything I can that my body will allow me to do that is athletic even just playing outside with my son and his friends is awesome to me but I particularly love Jiu jitsu.
Gwen: You’re a holistic doctor. Can you describe how that’s different than a “regular” (allopathic) doctor that we are all familiar with?
Dr. Rob: Sure, an allopathic doctor (what most of us are familiar with as a “normal” doctor) is trained to group different symptoms and physical signs together and then call that a disease. He then treats, or in many cases really manages the disease (symptoms) with a medication. Someone with bad arthritis will take arthritis medication forever. Someone with an underactive thyroid gland known as hypothyroidism will take some form of thyroid hormone replacement forever.
In the holistic field we are not treating disease at all. Instead we are looking for the cause to the arthritis, thyroid problem or whatever health problem a person has and then we are using dietary modification, nutritional supplementation, homeopathic supplementation and other natural forms of care to support the body in such a way where it can heal itself from the unwanted condition.
We are not “treating” the body but instead getting the body to treat itself. Remember the body can heal itself. It does this every day. When you get a cut, it heals. A broken bone will heal. Your body will recover from colds, infections and so on, and in fact is quite remarkable. You just have to give it what it needs so it can heal.
Gwen: Can you share why you got into holistic medicine?
Dr. Rob: Well my mom was a nurse and she ended up hating the profession. Not nursing but medicine. And I shouldn’t say hated but she lost trust in medicine I think primarily because of what she saw as a nurse. As a result she would had a more natural spin on things. She still brought me to doctors but understood that nutrition did have something to do with health.
When I was about 15 I injured my back playing football and my mom took me to a chiro. We went the medical route and there were no answers there. Just drugs and horrific tests, in one of which they shot me full of radioactive dye to see if I had bone cancer. Crazy! I was 15. I hurt my back playing sports, I just needed someone to help me. So we ended up at a chiro and he explained to me that the body can heal itself. Made sense.
He really helped me and got me back in the gym. It was at that moment when I was 100% certain that I was going to become a Chiropractor. And that is what I did. So in 1997 I started as a Chiropractor. It was great! Helped a lot of people but I realized the profession was limited. There were so many other health issues that needed to be addressed that were beyond an adjustment.
So in 1998 I started studying in nutrition and other natural methods. I got my first cert in 1998 in the field of sclerology, which was reading the eyes to determine organs and glands that were stressed and then determining what nutrition would best serve them.
I then went on to studying, CRA (contact reflex analysis) a form of kinesiology, herbology, restorative endocrinology, Naturopathy, homeopathy and the list goes on and on. Ultimately the reason for this and my continued quest for knowledge was really quite simple. I love to help people. I want to do the best I can for every patient. I hate when people are sick and I want to do everything I can to help. So I just keep wanting to learn more and more.
An impetus behind this continued quest to help people get well and overcome their health and weight issues was definitely what I experienced as a young child. My mom got breast cancer when I was in 6th grade. I still remember the day I was sitting in Sister Mary Cosmos’s class and I was really acting up. Much more than I normally would. She didn’t know what was going on with me and she called me out of the class and started yelling at me.
I broke down crying saying, “My mom is going to die, she has cancer!” It was a tough pill to swallow. I saw her fight through a radical mastectomy, rounds of chemo, to later develop bone cancer and die shortly after my 18th birthday.
My dad developed bladder cancer when I was in 8th grade. I remember that day clear as anything too. We were boxing and I hit him with a good shot in the belly. He went to the bathroom and started peeing blood. I thought I did something horrible to my dad and felt so terrible to only later hear from my parents another cancer case.
My dad had chemo and was ok for a few years until my junior year in high school which is when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For the next 1.5 years he was so sick. Like something I’ve never seen before. It was much worse than my mom’s breast cancer, this was bad.
He’d inject himself with morphine several times a day, lost a ton of weight but never stopped fighting. He was a brilliant man as well. Worked from home until about 2 months before his death as an accountant. He died my senior year in high school a few months after my 17th birthday.
So seeing the two people I loved the most in life and I really loved my parents, to see them suffered on and off for a long time was devastating and was certainly part of my drive to move into the holistic field. Not to treat cancer but just helping people to heal and become the best they can be. Helping people to maybe never develop this or other horrible diseases because they have kept their body healthy. (wow that was a lot of words……lol)
Gwen: What is your degree in? What are your specialty areas and areas of study?
Dr. Rob: I went to school for chiropractic and then naturopathy. I practice under my chiropractic license which I have had since April of 1997. There are a lot of fields of study but I’ll try to just hit some of the big ones:
- Functional Medicine: The use of holistic and complex laboratory analysis to determine what is behind a patient’s weight and health issues and the use of natural noninvasive therapies to support their body’s ability to lose weight and get well. The understanding that the body is a complete unit not individual systems.
- Restorative Endocrinology: A system designed to use natural therapies to support the healing and rebalancing of the hormonal systems of the body.
- Nutritional Response Testing: A specialized technique originally brought from Germany that uses nutrition and whole food supplements to improve the health and function of the body.
- Clinical Nutrition: The use of specific supplements to support damaged organs and glands.
- Homeopathy: A healing system designed to utilize very small doses of herbs, minerals, vitamins and other naturally occurring substance to help the body heal itself.
- Herbology: The use of various whole and liquid herbs to help support the body in the returning to optimal function.
- Kinesiology/Muscle Testing: A method that incorporates the use of the acupuncture points and resistance testing to determine organs and glands that may be week and then uses nutrition to support those week areas.
And I’ll be done there
Gwen: Can you describe an average patient? What types of problems do your patients come to you for?
Dr. Rob: The average patient is a women who has a health or weight issue and needs help. To elaborate, women with hypothyroidism, stubborn weight loss, chronic fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes, anxiety/depression, food cravings, reduced sex drive, brain fog and GI symptoms would be my most common cases.
However, I’ve seen and worked with everything from Lyme Disease to Autoimmune conditions (RA, Sjogren’s syndrome, hashimoto’s, Lupus, MS and many, many more) to Diabetes to High Blood Pressure and just really everything.
I’m even one of the featured doctors in a Hailey Hailey Disease support group which is a chronic genetic skin condition and I just have a knack for helping these people heal from this condition. So there are just so many.
Gwen: Can you share a couple of the most rewarding cases that you’ve helped with?
Dr. Rob: Wow, there are sooooooo many. Here’s a couple good recent examples of patient feedback and before after photos:
I was “led” , perhaps even divinely so, into Alternacare in Sharpsburg, Georgia in May of 2015. I was in tears and did not know where to turn! I had seen every doctor in Newnan, clear up to the north side of Atlanta for help and answers. Unfortunately, I received neither. I literally thought that I was dying and that this was “the end” for me.
I had chronic yeast infections that would not get better. I was taking daily doses of oral Diflucan for yeast along with yeast creams for months without improvement. I was told by numerous doctors and emergency room physicians that I also had a bacterial infection running rampant through my body. Strong antibiotics were prescribed for me for a period of a year and half.
The infection would NOT clear up! I was in chronic pelvic pain due to the infections and was told that I may have to live with my situation. The doctors did not know why I was in chronic pain. I suffered with insomnia and chronic headaches. The doctors kept me on high doses of narcotic pain medications and would send me on my way!
I had developed a severe case of acne on my entire body. It was embarrassing and I did not want to be seen in public! My body was toxic, swollen, and overweight by 15-20 pounds. I had high blood pressure and was on medication for it. I became extremely depressed and was put on antidepressants and anxiety medications. It was quite disturbing for me to discover that my liver and intestines were not functioning properly and were compromised (damaged). I was a complete and total wreck!!!!!!!!!!!
I was not able to be the wife I needed to be, nor the mother that I needed to be to my five precious sons. In August of 2015, three months later, I have NO yeast or bacterial infections in my body! My chronic pelvic pain is completely gone!!!!! I am off all prescription drugs….eight total. I have NO high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, anxiety/depression and my skin issue (acne) has cleared up completely!
My intestines and liver function have returned and are healing.. A surprise added bonus for me is that I lost 18 pounds along that three month journey. Thank you Dr. Rob for restoring my health…you and your team! I have the utmost respect and gratitude for you and your healthcare team. I will forever be thankful that I walked through your door!
With sincere LOVE and THANKS,
I can’t say enough about my friends at AlternaCare! I was heading into Pancreatic Cancer and Diabetes if I hadn’t have found these people!!!
I have lost 42 lbs. in 6 months…I am off my prescription medication for anxiety, depression and for high cholesterol. I feel again like I did in High School!
I have been married for 13 years and I’m back in my blue jeans that I wore on my first date! I went to my medical doctor because there was no reason for me to be so overweight! I had been eating right and exercising for a long time and nothing worked.
UNTIL ALTERNACARE WAS AN ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS!
THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Please go see Alternacare they can help you!!
Gwen: What if a person is on medications, or is working with a regular (allopathic) doctor…do you have patients that work with you in these types of situations? Can you describe the benefit of adding in holistic care?
Dr. Rob: Typically it works like this. They will take the holistic route and as their body gets healthier and healthier their doctor’s will reduce and often eventually remove their medications as they are no longer needed. When your body is healthy it doesn’t need these drugs. Drugs manage disease. If the body is healthy there is no disease that needs managing J
Gwen: Are all of your patients local, or can you work with people long distance. Can you describe how that works?
Dr. Rob: I have patients that live in 30+ other states and 14 other countries. I was actually doing a video call with Korea of all places the other day for a patient I have there. You can learn more about working with Alternacare long distance here.
The way it works is this: we do a very, very comprehensive consultation with them and they fill out a health survey as well. That gives us a pretty good clue as to what organ or gland in their body is breaking down.
We then will recommend labs that help us understand what might be wrong with-or what might be stressing -that week or damaged organ or gland. We send a lab kit to their home and they perform the lab from the comfort of their own home. They then send the lab kit in and their samples get analyzed.
We then have more of an understanding as to what is wrong with their body and where their symptoms are coming from. We review the lab findings with them and then create a customized, one of a kind treatment program for that patient.
They then start the first step on their program that will often have a few nutritional supplements and an eating program in it. We will follow up with them in a few weeks and then discuss their progress and the next step to their program which may contain an entirely different eating program. Since each person is unique it is their own personalized program.
Gwen: I want to let you have the last word. If you wanted people to know ONE thing about natural health care, what would it be?
Dr. Rob: Your body can heal! It does this every day. A broken bone can heal. A cut in your skin can heal. Your body has healed from colds, stomach viruses and flu. So why isn’t your body healing? Why are you having trouble with losing weight and keeping it off once and for all? It’s because there is something wrong with your body that is blocking your body’s natural ability to heal itself and lose weight.
You see, your body actually has the ability to lose weight and be healthy there is just something stopping it from doing so.
It’s not, “Lose Weight to Get Healthy” it’s “Get Healthy to Lose Weight.” And remember a symptom is a sign from your body that a problem is present. Managing that symptom with medications is good but the problem is still present, you are just covering it up.
Find the problem, give the body what it needs to heal itself from the problem and you have a healthy body with a good healthy weight. YOU CAN BE HEALTHY! Don’t settle for anything less.
If you’d like to contact Dr. Rob or speak with the awesome staff at Alternacare, you can reach them through their website at www.Alternacare.inc
Do you have a question or topic that you’d like to hear from Dr. Rob about? Let him know in the comments.