What does integrative medicine mean to you?
Integrative medicine combines expertise from different disciplines of healing both mainstream and complementary and uses this expertise to establish the root causes of illness and disease. Integrative medicine considers all aspects of a patient’s health including the emotional aspects. Efforts from these different disciplines can then be combined to help guide a patient on a journey back to optimal health.
What is your area of interest?
I see patients with a wide variety of issues outlined below, but I am particularly interested in gut health, weight management and body composition, chronic disease management (can be anything for example diabetes or chronic fatigue), gene testing to establish personalised exercise and nutrition protocols, optimising sports performance naturally without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs and helping healthy people stay well and optimise their current level of health.
Treatment of all problems will always revolve heavily around good nutrition, appropriate exercise and patient education. Education will focus on the fact that most diseases have the same fundamental upstream causes and can be traced back to one or more of these. Therefore, the same methods can be applied to almost any problem despite any area of interest I may have. I will see patients of all ages (including children) and I am particularly interested in seeing 25-50 year old age group with a view to staying well and preventing ill health or to help with positive changes in their lifestyle.
What areas do you specialise in or treat?
- Genetic testing to aid chronic disease management, improve general health and help guide nutrition
- Gut health
- Chronic disease management
- Weight management and body composition
- Exercise programs (in conjunction with PT’s and other members of the Elevate Team)
- Hormonal health including thyroid disorders
- Men’s Health
- Women’s Health
- Functional and anti-ageing medicine (NOT aesthetics)
- Optimising sports performance (in collaboration with personal trainers, all other members of the Elevate team and with the aid of gene testing and nutritional strategies)
- Lifestyle Change
- Preventative health
What led you to Elevate and what do you appreciate about working here?
I have worked in General practice for over 14 years both in Australia and the UK. Working in standard GP clinics is time-restricted and it is almost impossible to deal with or manage chronic illness in such short appointments. Dealing with these cases requires time to listen to a patient’s concerns and explore their own health beliefs, time to address these beliefs in the context of the presenting problem and time to set in place a management plan and provide ongoing education. Elevate provides the perfect setting to be able to accomplish these things within a timeframe where patients do not feel rushed and are able to absorb the information they’re receiving.
My own personal struggles with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and my weight, started me on my journey to practicing Integrative Medicine. I soon found out that mainstream medicine can sometimes fall short of providing any long-term solutions to chronic health problems and that ultimately the real solutions lie within ourselves and simpler, more natural approaches to health. Everyone involved with Elevate is on the same page when it comes to how to achieve good health.
What are your core beliefs about health and wellness?
Health is not simply the absence of disease. It is a state of optimal wellness.
Disease states do not just appear overnight by random chance. The body goes on a long journey before it starts to show symptoms and develop disease. There can be a long period of time between good health and the onset of symptoms/disease and there is plenty of opportunity during this time to see where you are with your health and make simple changes which can arrest and sometimes reverse the process.
Often disease results from years of poor health practices such as poor diet, lack of exercise, poor sleep and stress and the combination of less favourable genetics with these poor lifestyle choices. Our bodies are a complex combination of multiple systems which all work in harmony and not separately from each other.
What mistakes do patients make?
Patients often follow generic food and exercise protocols from the internet, mainstream media or elsewhere which may not be suitable for their individual situation and genetics. Lack of personalisation of a program can lead to failure and frustration.
Patients often view weight as something that is controlled by calories and energy balance alone when in fact there are multiple factors that can influence weight including genetics, hormones, food allergy or intolerance, gut health and the type and frequency of exercise.
Some patients do not continue treatment for long enough to get the best results. Lifestyle change and chronic disease management requires a significant amount of discipline and patience. Some do not incorporate exercise as a regular and lifelong part of their routine or take the wrong type of exercise for their own unique situation.
Patients with families often try to change their own lifestyle while other family members may not. This can be a big barrier to change. Some don’t view lifestyle change as a long term lifelong process.
What key health lessons do you like to impart to patients?
Good nutrition and exercise and a positive attitude, discipline and patience are the key to optimal health. Everything else may help but is secondary. Lifestyle change is for life and not just for a week, a month or a year.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I derive a great deal of satisfaction watching people improve their health and actually being able to demonstrate scientifically how they have done this rather than just base it on subjective feelings or opinions.
I am passionate about educating and empowering my patients with the knowledge to look after their own health, ultimately reducing and eliminating the need to consult Health Professionals.
Tell us a little about your credentials?
- MBBS (London 2001)
- MRCGP (UK)
- A5M (Australasian Academy of Anti-ageing Medicine)
- Accredited Fitgenes Practitioner
- AIMA (Australian Integrative Medicine Association) Member
- Charles Poliquin Biosignature Modulation Levels 1 and 2 (This is a technique used mainly in the fitness industry which involves the measurement of body composition and its relationship to possible hormonal imbalance in the body)
- Awaiting Diploma in Nutrition.