What is Functional Medicine? And How Can It Help You?

 

You have not felt well in ages. You have been to doctors and specialists, who order tests and prescribe medicines. But nothing seems to help. In fact, you feel worse than when you sought out help. You are discouraged and feel defeated.

 

Can anything help you feel like yourself again?

 

A friend suggests you see her functional medicine practitioner. What is functional medicine, you wonder? How can it help you when none of the doctors could? What exactly could you expect to happen when you visit a functional medicine practitioner?

 

What is Functional Medicine?

According to the Institute of Functional Medicine, Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.

 

Many call Functional Medicine: root cause medicine.Functional medicine practitioners learn about the biochemical uniqueness of each individual, utilize a mind/body/soul approach to care and healing, and create a customized, evidenced based healing plan.

 

Mind Body Spirit
Doctor and Pills

How is that different from a traditional doctor’s method of treating your ailments?

A traditional doctor treats your symptoms. As an example, a 45 year old woman feels fat, fatigued and foggy and has felt that way for the last 10 years. She has tried the traditional medicine route to help her find out what is wrong with her. She has seen four or five doctors, who have prescribed a number of different medications: antidepressants, stimulants and antibiotics to address her complaints. None of these doctors nor the medicines prescribed have helped. In fact, she feels worse. She is concerned that her malaise is negatively affecting her job and relationships. She does not have the energy to do anything. Her self-esteem is at its lowest.

How does a Functional Medicine Practitioner help you?

A Functional Medicine Practitioner finds out the physiological needs in your body and what in your body is preventing it from working optimally. Functional Medicine works on replacing what is missing and eliminating, in a natural way, what is harmful.

Body Mind Spirit Balance

 

In our example above, the 45 year old woman turns to Calmglow, the functional medicine clinic in Modesto, California her friend suggested to her. Working together, within months, not years, of being with Calmglow and successfully following her unique health and healing protocol, she is better and back to her best self.

What is the typical process and procedure for Functional Medicine?

 

The typical process for most patients involves starting with simple labs. Mind you, not the same test requested by traditional doctors. Can’t expect to achieve different results from the same information acquired before. These lab results will reveal what is happening at your biochemical level. Armed with the knowledge gained from the test results and the information gathered from your paperwork and discussions, a fix can be found to address your underlying health issues, the root cause of your problems.

 

 

At Calmglow, helping our patients achieve their optimal health is the cornerstone of our mission statement.

 

Our Mission Statement:

Calmglow is a lifestyle/Functional Medicine clinic. It is our purpose to offer a multilayered – mind/body approach to health care. We seek to bridge the gap between traditional allopathic medicine with modern science based Integrative therapies. Calmglow provides customized Functional Medicine care through an in depth personalized method of testing each individuals biochemistry then providing “natural” treatment options for chronic medical conditions. We honor the diversity of all communities and provide the means to guide patients onto their individualized paths of wellbeing and balance.

 

 

Returning you to your best self is what motivates us.

 

 

Dianne Hinton

 

Dianne has been caring for patients for over 30 years, as a nurse practitioner and physician’s assistant in the traditional medicine and functional medicine field. In fact, her desire to be able to provide better care for her patients is what drove her to become a Functional Medicine practitioner. Many of Dianne’s patients have complex, multi-system ailments and are tired of feeling poorly when they seek her help.  After a thorough investigation, Dianne prescribes natural treatments customized for each patient, who typically respond with an overall sense of well-being and energy that helps slow the aging process, moving from fat, foggy and fatigued to fit, energetic, and sharp.

 

 

Jessica Santos

 

Jessica Santos traveled a similar road as Dianne’s. During her first decade as a nurse practitioner, Jessica was frustrated by the limits to the care she could provide. While stitches and casting broken bones helped people, she felt her hands were tied when it came to health promotion and disease prevention. She knew there had to be a better way to take care of her patients. As a Functional Medicine practitioner, Jessica can focus on the whole person and the root causes of ailments, not just the symptoms. She can help her patients achieve whole person balance and wellness. 

Many of Calmglow’s patients were referred by a friend or family member (just like in our example!). As a thank you, Calmglow established an unlimited referral program (as in there is no limit to the number of referral for which you can receive credit). A $50 in office credit, good for in office service, is awarded for each referral received. This is Calmglow’s way to pay you for all of the hard work you have done with your word of mouth recommendation of Calmglow. 

 

What is Functional Medicine? An individualized, patient and science based, get to the root of the issues, best way to care for our patients, approach to health care. We look forward to helping you recover your healthy, best self.

 

To your health,

Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

 

Dianne Hilton Bio Card

Thrive In Uncertain Times

In March 2020, governments responded to the rapidly spreading coronavirus by shutting down the world. Schools closed. Non-essential businesses locked their doors. Travel was restricted.

Essential workers (doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, police officers, postal workers, truck drivers) faced exposure while everyone else sheltered at home, either alone or with direct family.  Many workers were furloughed or lost their jobs as bars, restaurants, non-essential retail, hair salons, hotels, and more ceased operation. Others quickly learned the technology required to work remotely.

Closed sign
Woman Working at Home with Kids around her

Many parents of school age children suddenly had to both work from home and homeschool their kids. Many parents have developed a new appreciation for their kids’ teachers!

 

Normal flies out the window and in its place is fear of getting a serious illness, working in a different way or unemployed in an uncertain economy, with children constantly under foot or being completely isolated.

Over the months, the number of cases and deaths have grown. Rapid opening leads to spikes in case, followed by spikes in deaths. 

 

Fear for our physical and economic health plagues us.

 

Can you say stressful?

Handling Emotional Stress

How did you handle the swirl of stress and emotions? Is a newly found passion for baking treats and enjoying those creations helping to sooth the anxiety (emotional eating to the rescue)? Since the gyms are closed, has exercise ceased (motivation to move disappeared)? Have you caught up on all of your favorite shows and discovered a number of new ones (couch potato time)?

 

Having an emotional temper tantrum is a reasonable response to these extraordinary circumstances. Eating without concern for calorie count or health helped many handle the relentless pressure. Cocooning on the couch compensated for the disappearance of their routine.  Watching amusing entertainment provided many the needed escape from the frightening daily reality.

Did emotional eating and other less than healthy coping methods help you to navigate these first few months of living in the middle of a pandemic? Now, over four months later, is the realization that this is our new normal dawning? The understanding is growing that our lives are not being upended for a short stretch, but instead we are in the middle of a marathon.

Baking Cookies

Surviving (Maybe Even Thriving) Today

 

What do we need to do to survive living with this potentially deadly disease in our world and communities for the duration? 

Coronavirus Health Guidelines

Continue Following Health Guidelines

First step, we all need to follow the medical guidelines to wash our hands, wear masks in public and maintain a physical distance from each other to reduce the spread of this virus.

Dust Yourself Off

Second step, time to stop having an emotional temper tantrum and embrace a healthy response to the constant stress, unease, and uncertainty. Don’t strive for perfection or make “a chocolate will never pass these lips again” declaration. Time to pick yourself off the floor and move towards a healthier response.

Moving Matters

 

The goal here is a healthy balance. A funny comedy followed by a dance party in the living room. Want to feel better? Move it! Start or end the day with a gentle yoga routine and/or stretching and/or cardio and/or strength training. There are wonderful online yoga and exercise classes. Many gyms have created virtual exercise classes. Call your gym to see if they have online classes. 

Here are some resource to give you an idea of what can be found to help you get strong, flexible and in shape (let them know that Calmglow told you about them):

Moving Matters

A Little Zen

Moving your body helps release stress and other stress management techniques such as journaling, meditation, and taking a moment to breath deeply are great help towards reclaiming a healthier you. A moment of calm can even help you sleep. And with a solid night of sleep under your belt, you can handle so much more!

You Are What You Eat

 

Next we turn our attention to what’s cooking in the kitchen. After all, food is the foundation of our health.

 

Getting creative in the kitchen

One of the benefits of working remotely is that we have more time to spend in the kitchen creating tasty, healthy food. While many turned to experimenting with baking and desserts when the lockdowns began, let’s now challenge ourselves to make delicious, healthy, comfort food. The Mediterannan Diet is one of the healthier diets with an added benefit that it is not based on elimination of a category of foods, such as carbohydrates.

The Mediterranean diets incorporated the traditional foods enjoyed in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. While most are more familiar with the foods of France, Greece, Italy and Spain, there is inspiration to be found from each country: Morrocan Tagine, Turkish Chicken Kebab, Lebanonese shawarma bowls and more.

When you are planning your cooking adventure, think about adding a rainbow of color to your plate: red peppers, purple cabbage, orange sweet potato, green broccoli, and yellow squash.

You can make your diet more Mediterranean-style by:

 

  • eating the rainbow of color of fruits and vegetables (organic, if possible)
  • eating whole grains and legumes 
  • eating lean proteins (fish, chicken, plant-based)
  • eating less meat and dairy products
  • choosing healthy fats, such as olive oil and nuts

 

To enhance the flavor of your meals (and the fun of your culinary adventure), add fresh herbs and spices. A tip: before starting on this kitchen adventure, purge your spice cabinet of old spices. Spices lose their flavor as they age.

 

A tip: watch your portion sizes. Too much of even a good thing can undermine your efforts.

A Mediterranean Feast

 

You have finished with your emotional temper tantrum. You are shaking your tail feathers, finding zen moments in the midst of COVID chaos, and dining on delicious (maybe even homemade!) dishes. One more area to improve: the home in which you are sheltering-in-place.

 

Pictures of rooms in a home

Make Your Home A Comfortable Nest!

Surround yourself with the objects that bring you happiness. Clear the clutter and the chaos. Play music that brings you joy or soothes your soul. Fill a vase with fresh flowers. Diffuse citrus, floral or spicy oils. Open the windows. Put a bowl of summer fruit on the kitchen table. Chill a pitcher of water with slices of cucumbers and mint to enjoy when the temperature rises. Toss a soft throw over the back of the sofa so you can wrap yourself in warmth on a cool morning. Place twinkle lights inside to enjoy once the sun sets.

 

Your home is your sanctuary and now you are spending more time there than usual. Make it a place you hate to leave.

Do not plan to change everything at once. Let go of your emotional temper tantrum. Make changes to bring balance back. Consistent, small steps create huge improvements. Create the health lifestyle that supports you during this new normal. 

 

To your health.

Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

 

Dianne Hilton Bio Card

Super Smoothies

Smoothies are ubiquitous and can be a healthy meal replacement. They can be found at fast-food restaurants, airports, malls, grocery stores and more.

Are all smoothies created equal? Not at all.

 

The smoothies found at fast-food establishments contain ingredients such as artificial flavors, cellulose powder, sugar, and modified food starch. Smoothies created at juice bars or establishments known to be healthier are better than those found at fast-food if you order carefully (such as adding organic fruits and vegetables and avoiding additions such as ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbet).

 

Chemicals in test tubes

The best smoothies meal replacements are those made at home and can help make “food as medicine” delicious and nutritious. Why? You know what ingredients are in your homemade smoothie and can add herbs and spices, whole fruits, seeds, and other ingredients to increase the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidation properties, and provide other health benefits. 

Smoothies are simple to prepare at home. Here is Calmglow’s Super Smoothie recipe.

Ingredients and equipment

  • Blender
  • Spice grinder (coffee grinder used solely for grinding spices and seeds)
  • Cheesecloth and Kitchen twine or spool of thread for sewing or a tea ball
  • 2 quarters cold tap or spring water
  • Herbs and spices (personal preference combination of the following):
    • Two tablespoons of Gotu Kola leaf  
    • Two tablespoons of lemon balm leaf  
    • Two tablespoons of dried hawthorne 
    • Two tablespoons of dried elderberries  
    • Two tablespoons eluthero (Elutherococcus senticosus or Siberian ginseng) 
    • Two tablespoons of white willow bark 
    • One tablespoon powdered ashwaganda root 
    • One tablespoon powdered shatavari root  
    • One tablespoon slippery elm bark powdered 
    • One tablespoon of fresh rosemary chopped 
    • One teaspoon of fresh ground turmeric  
    • One-half teaspoon of fresh ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick
  • Tea (one of the following: Green tea, Nettle tea, Licorice tea, Detox tea or Herbal tea)
  • Three-quarters cup of organic berries or one-half cup of  organic berries and one-quarter cup other organic whole fruit (pineapple, banana, peach, melon, pear, mango or organic, unsweetened applesauce)
  • Two-four oz of chilled, pomegranate juice, unsweetened purple grape juice, acai juice or other “just” juice (preferably organic)
  • One to two tablespoons of whole golden flax seeds (not brown, which are bitter), ground in the spice grinder
  • Protein (two tablespoons or recommended portion of whey, pea or rice protein powder, or one-half cup of non-dairy yogurt or kefir, or whole oats soaked in non-dairy milk overnight in the refrigerator)
  • Recommended portion of PhytoGanix
  • ¼ cup of crushed ice, if you like your smoothie cold

 

Equipment and Ingredients for super smoothie

Healing Sachet

Adding a Healing Sachet to the brewed tea will accentuate the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties in the smoothie, balance blood sugars, offer adrenal gland support, and positively affect the ability of your body to heal and rejuvenate.  A Healing Sachet is created by cutting a square of the cheesecloth, adding your personal preference herbal and spice combination from the list above, and tying it together with kitchen twine or thread or putting the herb/spice/tea blend in a tea ball.

 

If you are using loose tea leaves, add 4 tablespoons of tea leaves to the Healing Sachet.

Directions

Healing Sachet tea liquid is made by adding the Healing Sachet (and 4 tea bags, if not using loose tea leaves in the sachet) to two quarts of hot water. Simmer in two quarts of hot water for 10-15 minutes then cover and turn off the stove and allow it to cool 20 minutes or so. Strain and discard the loose tea. Store in the refrigerator. This stays good for a week to ten days. 

 

Change the flavor of the Healing Sachet liquid by changing the tea and/or spice/herb combination, which will add taste variety to your smoothies.

 

Use 4-6 oz. of the chilled Healing Sachet liquid for your smoothie. Place it in a blender. 

 

To the blender add the juice, berries or fruit & berries, ground flax seeds, protein, Phytoganix, and crushed ice (if using). 

 

Blend until it is of the right consistency for you. 

 

Enjoy!

 

To your health.

Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

Berry Smoothie
Dianne Hilton Bio Card

Path For Changing Habits

You have vowed to start making healthy changes in your life. You rid your pantry of anything not healthy.  You joined the local gym. You bought supplements and promised yourself eight hours of sleep. You started out with great determination. 

 

Weeks later, you have lost that momentum and are back where you began.

 

Why?

 

Realize that change is not easy but is possible. Your habits, good and bad, are engrained because they serve a purpose and are done repeatedly.  The definition of a habit in the Oxford Dictionary is a thing that you do often and almost without thinking, especially something that is hard to stop.”

Person in the mirror

 

Start with the person in the mirror

 

What are your thoughts on changing your habits? Do you feel that habits can be changed or that habits are permanent? Mindset is powerful. You create what you believe. If you believe that habits are permanent, changing habits will be impossible. Each habit is first created and then retained by repetition. As a baby, you did not feel the need to brush your teeth daily.  Most adults brush their teeth daily. Between birth and adulthood, the habit of brushing your teeth daily was created and is retained by daily repetition. Replacing a bad habit starts with creating a good habit and repeating the new habit until it is engrained. Simple but not easy.

 

All habits serve a purpose 

 

List all of the healthy habits you want to adopt and the bad habits you want to eliminate.  A list to create a healthier life could include diet rehaul, daily exercise, regular meditation, drinking enough water, more sleep, and spending more time with friends and family. A list of bad habits could be drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, too many drive-through meals, craving sweet treats, and too much coffee and soda.

 

Look at the habit you want to change. These habits serve a purpose. What purpose do they serve? Does the daily glass of wine help to reduce stress? Do you find exercise uncomfortable? Is the fast-food meal the quickest answer when hungry? Were sweet treats a reward for childhood accomplishments?

Hitting boxing bag

 

 

Once you understand the underlying purpose, a different solution can be found. For example, instead of a glass of wine to reduce stress, take a boxing class.  Imagine your annoying co-working while hitting the heavy bag.

 

Hook a new habit with an existing habit

To increase the likelihood of success, link a new habit to an existing habit. Say you want to start to take supplements, have the supplement bottles and an empty glass next to your toothbrush.  Add taking your supplements (new, desired habit) at the same time as brushing your teeth (established habit). 

Toothbrush in bathroom

 

Celebrate Incremental Progress

Break the new habit into incremental steps and celebrate the achievement of each step. Starting a new exercise program could include these incremental steps:

 

  1. Picking the exercise program to start
  2. Pulling out (or buying) the clothing and equipment needed
  3. Blocking the time on the calendar for the exercise program
  4. Dressing in the exercise clothing
  5. Doing the exercise program the first time
  6. Doing the exercise program the next day
  7. Doing the exercise program for a week
  8. Doing the exercise program for a month
  9. Returning to the exercise program after being sick
Lacing shoes

Eliminate Obstacles and Plan for Triggers

Set yourself up for success by eliminating obstacles and plan for triggers. An example of eliminating obstacles is to remove from your house any foods which are not on a healthy eating plan, before starting a healthy eating plan. If you know that going to a movie triggers the desire to have a big tub of popcorn, have a plan in place before you walk into the movie theater (maybe buying a small bag of popcorn or go to the movies after eating, when too full for popcorn).

Accountability and Tracking Progress

Having an accountability partner will increase your odds of success. Knowing that someone is supporting you along your journey can help you navigate some of the challenges inherent in adopting a new habit or eliminating a bad habit. In addition to updating your accountability partner, tracking your progress can help you acknowledge how far you have come.

 

Accountability Partner

 

Realize that any regression does not mean complete failure.  Creation of a new or recommitment to a stalled good habit can start any day. Each time a new habit is performed makes it closer to that habit becoming engrained.

 

What healthy, new habit will you start today?

 

To your health.

 

Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

 

Dianne Hilton Bio Card

What our
patients
are saying

Always get clarity and understanding…

Dianne has always help me understand the complicated issues of hypothyroidism, understanding the symptoms and long term effects. She has helped with my dietary needs and overall well being. Highly recommend if you are still feeling the symptoms even if your on traditional medications.

—- MC

The best part of talking with new patients…

I have worked with Dianne Hinton at Calmglow for 4 years. I receive calls from new patients every day. I think the best part of talking with new patients is that I give them the knowledge and hope in knowing that I–like all of Dianne’s staff–was her patient before her employee. I think that says a lot about Dianne as a practitioner. She is very compassionate and caring towards each individual patient.

— Cindy Toste

Diane Hinton saved my life!

After over a year of traditional doctors misdiagnosing and mistreating my illness, Diane immediately got it right. She identified the root cause of my illness, and I went from being chronically ill to healed and healthy in less than a year. Diane listens to and cares for her patients like no one I’ve ever known. I highly recommend her for diagnosing the true health issues, rather than just treating your symptoms.

— Sarah Hayes

My husband and I just love Calmglow …

Just what is Functional Medicine?  Simply put…. I call it getting to the “cause” of a health issue. Rashes, High Pressure, Arthritis, Obesity, Insomnia, and Fatigue are a few of the issues she’s helped us with.  But what I really like best is; she doesn’t say “here, take this pill” and it’ll “treat the symptoms”.  She treats the “cause” of those symptoms so they truly go away without requiring “pills”.  Our bodies are healing, and the we feel we’re the healthiest we’ve been in a long time! What we’ve discovered about the manner in which our bodies “had been” functioning previously, from the in depth tests she recommends, was pretty astounding. We’ve learned so much since starting to see her as our practitioner, I would never choose to go back to an Allopathic doctor!