WHAT IS A FUNCTIONAL APPROACH AND HOW CAN IT HELP ME TO RESTORE MY HEALTH?
A functional model to health is a science-based, holistic, and systems based approach to investigating, identifying, and addressing the root causes of ongoing health challenges.
A functional approach places much emphasis on the therapeutic partnership between client and practitioner. This approach addresses the whole person, not an isolated set of symptoms or specific condition. Individualized lab testing, much of what is completed in the comfort of your own home, is used to identify healing opportunities within the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier systems.
To restore balance to the systems of the body, a functional model uses a combination of interventions including therapeutic nutritional plans, detoxification protocols, sleep/rest hygiene, exercise recommendations, stress reduction strategies, mind-body medicine, and targeted supplementation protocols.
Many chronic, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative conditions have origins in the gut in tandem with imbalance in one or more of the five key systems: hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier.
When these systems are constantly stressed and imbalanced, the body incurs damage at the cellular level, and symptoms begin to develop. Many times, the nature and location of symptoms can be far removed from the source of the underlying dysfunction. With that in mind, our specialty is in helping people to restore their health by walking them through a step by process that includes but is not limited to:
• NOURISHING the mind, body, and spirit
• DEVELOPING daily habits that support health goals
• IDENTIFYING and REMOVING food intolerances
• OPTIMIZING nutrition, rest, exercise, and stress reduction
• SUPPORTING adrenals, detoxification, and enzyme pathways
• ADDRESSING chronic gut and intracellular infections (i.e.: Lyme and Company)
• IDENTIFYING and REMOVING molds, heavy metals, and other environmental toxins.
• REPLENISHING beneficial gut bacterial
• HEALING and SEALING leaky gut
• RESTORING HPA-axis dysfunction and CORRECTING hormone imbalances
WHAT ARE ALL MY OPTIONS FOR WORKING WITH EMPOWERED TO HEAL?
All different options can be found under our “Work With Us” tab on the top navigation bar
I HAVE ALREADY TRIED NUMEROUS APPROACHES WITH LITTLE TO NO SUCCESS. HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT YOUR APPROACH/PROTOCOLS WILL HELP ME RESOLVE MY HEALTH ISSUES?
While we are confident in the effectiveness of our approach, no one can predict how your body will respond. Nor can anyone control how well you adhere to or how much effort you put into your own healing.
We also cannot predict what ailments or challenges may arise in the process of working to restore your health. The body is extremely complex as are the mechanisms behind chronic health challenges. No practitioner can guarantee the efficacy of any healing protocol.
What we can assure you is that we will do everything in our power to guide you towards greater health and restored vitality. How each client applies the information presented to them and how their body responds to protocols is simply outside of our control.
What we can also tell you is that with 100% commitment to your healing program, trust in the process, patience, and faith in the body’s innate ability to heal, that it is very reasonable to expect to experience steady improvement in your health challenges.
The approach to healing implemented in this practice is what helped Jennifer and Todd to eventually overcome complex, chronic health challenges. It has also helped many clients do the same.
To read Jennifer’s and Todd’s personal health stories see the “About Us” tab.
WHAT TYPE OF LAB TESTING DO YOU USE?
We use a wide variety of lab tests that include but are not limited to the following:
• DUTCH (Dried Urine Total Comprehensive Hormone) Panel
• GI-MAP Stool Pathogen Test and/or Viome Gut and Metabolic Panel
• Blood Panels
• ParaWellness Microscopy Stool Pathogen Test
• SIBO Breath Test
• Organic Acids Urine Test
• Nagalase Viral Load Test
• Microbiology DX Nasal Swab Test
• NES Health Bio-Energetix Assessments
• Mineral Status Testing
• And much more!
HOW DOES THE LAB TESTING WORK?
Most of our testing will be done at home and either you will self-order or we will organize for at home test kits’ to be sent to you. For blood labs, you will either provide labs that you receive through your personal physician or they can also be ordered for you through a direct to consumer blood lab. In this instance, you will be emailed a requisition that you can then take to LabCorp in your area or a local lab that is willing to do the blood draw for you.
Once we receive your results from the labs, we will arrange a follow-up consult to discuss your results and options. If supplements or other products are required, these can all be ordered online and sent to your address.
As you can see, distance and working virtually is not a barrier to identifying the root cause of health challenges or managing your healing protocols if you choose to come on board with us.
WHAT TYPE OF HEALING MODALITIES DO YOU USE?
We use a multi-therapeutic approach that addresses all pillars of health: diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation (D.R.E.S.S.). These include but are not limited to:
• State-Of-The-Art Functional Lab Testing
• NES Bio-Energetics Assessments
• Nutrition recommendations and dietary plans to address imbalances
• Natural supplements
• Antimicrobial and herbal protocols
• SIBO anti-microbial gut protocols
• GI Pathogen and Leaky Gut Protocols
• Comprehensive detoxification protocols that support methylation and serve to remove molds, metals, and other toxins (True Cellular Detox®)
• Therapeutic diet plans such as low-FODMAP, Paleo, SCD, GAPS and others
• Diet suggestions for specific food sensitivities, including gluten, dairy, egg, etc.
• Personalized comprehensive gut healing protocols
• Exercise recommendations
• Sleep hygiene recommendations
• Stress reduction techniques
• Mind-Body Coaching and Neurosculpting® Facilitation
• Wellness and Transformational Coaching that implements: positive psychology, appreciate inquiry, motivational interviewing, and non-violent communication techniques
And much more!
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE APPROACH YOU TAKE IN HELPING PEOPLE TO RECOVER FROM MOLD RELATED ILLNESSES AND OTHER CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS?
See answer to previous question and in question #1.
DO YOU IMPLEMENT THE SHOEMAKER PROTOCOL FOR MOLD ILLNESS IN YOUR PRACTICE?
While we are very familiar with the Shoemaker Biotoxin lab panels and often use them as guides to help create custom healing protocols, we do not implement the Shoemaker protocol. Dr. Shoemaker is medical doctor that utilizes a specific RX drugs as part of his protocols to address CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome).
We are not medical doctors nor are we trained in the Shoemaker protocol and therefore are not able to recommend or use RX drugs. We are Functional Health Practitioners that implement all natural and holistic interventions for CIRS/mold related illnesses.
If we feel that a client needs the support of RX drugs or medical intervention, they will recommend a consult with a licensed medical professional.
HOW LONG DO HEALING PROTOCOLS LAST?
Every client and every condition is different. However, for most clients, their healing protocols fall into three distinct phases.
The first is creating a solid foundation by optimizing nutrition, sleep/rest, daily movement, and stress reduction. The second is removing or addressing any internal and external stressors that are keeping your body out of balance – i.e. lifestyle barriers, dietary stressors, parasites, yeast and bacterial overgrowths, food sensitivities, dysbiosis, mold toxins, heavy metals, etc. The third involves healing and sealing the gut and restoring balance to the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier systems.
There is no way to say how long each phase will take as everyone is so different and the body heals at its own pace. For longer term, chronic issues, healing the gut and restoring balance to the systems of the body can take anywhere from 12 months to 2 years; sometimes longer. For extremely complex and long standing health challenges, the general rule of thumb is 1-3 months of healing for every year that one has been unwell.
Once again, however, there is no way to predict with any certainty how long the healing process will take you. The healing process is also largely contingent on the amount of commitment and effort that you invest. It also depends on your willingness to address the stressful aspects of your life that may have contributed to your current health challenges.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO HAVE CONSULTS/COACHING SESSIONS?
This varies from client to client, plan to plan, and is dependent on things such as: how acute or chronic your symptoms or condition are, the healing protocols that you need, test results, etc. We will assess this on an individual basis and ensure that it suits your needs.
If the mental/emotional aspect of healing, stress reduction, and cultivating the mindset for healing is something that you need extra support with, then we suggest weekly coaching sessions in the beginning.
HOW DOES AN ONLINE ONLY FUNCTIONAL HEALTH PRACTICE WORK?
Empowered To Heal is a 100% virtual based practice only. All consultations are done via Zoom Video conferencing. Each time you schedule a consultation, you will be provided with a ZOOM meeting link that you will use to access the online consultation.
You will need to have access to a computer with high speed internet for each consultation. It is not advisable to use cell phones or tablets.
During your consultation, resources and visual aids will be made available to you via screen sharing in real time.
An internet only based practice comes with many benefits:
• Clients who relocate or travel can still maintain their momentum and a consistent approach to healing without having to find a new practitioner.
• It also allows clients who aren’t feeling their best, to have their consultation in the comfort of their own home, without having to travel and wait in a clinic.
• And, if you aren’t feeling up to it, you don’t even need to turn on the video function.
• It also means that the money saved on real estate premises can be passed on to you to ensure the cost of consultations are as affordable as possible.
WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP AFTER THE INITIAL FREE CONSULT?
The Discovery Session is the next step after the initial FREE consult. It precedes all healing programs. This session is scheduled through the website, the same way you scheduled the initial FREE consult.
Prior to this consultation you will complete detailed intake documents and lab work. Please allow 2+ hours for this session. During this session, we will review your health history, your initial lab work, lab work that you provided from other practitioners, and the responses provided on your health intake questionnaires.
This will allow us to obtain a greater understanding of why your health is the way it is today and to identify potential underlying causes. We will also discuss your health goals and listen to you and your needs to ensure you are 100% satisfied with the plan moving forward.
We will also determine any functional lab testing that will be helpful in helping to further identify underlying dysfunction. Finally, we will discuss action steps in the areas of diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, and supplementation that you can begin implementing right away.
Following the session, we will email you all the documents that were presented in the Discovery Session along with next steps for moving forward with functional health and lifestyle coaching services.
CAN ALL LABS THAT YOU THINK I WILL NEED BE DETERMINED IN THE FREE CONSULT, ORDERED, AND COMPLETED BEFORE THE DISCOVERY SESSION? I WOULD PREFER TO GET STARTED ON A HEALING PROTOCOL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
No, all labs can’t be ordered prior to the Discovery Session. The Discovery Session has been carefully thought out and it is used as a starting point to determine the best plan for moving forward. Prior to the Discovery Session, you will complete a comprehensive functional health questionnaire that will better help us assess your needs moving forward
You will also supply recent and basic blood work that you may already have or you can also order it direct for additional fees when you schedule the Discovery Session. All recommended lab work is listed underneath the description of the Discovery Session; on the website. We will do an in-depth functional assessment of this preliminary blood work to help determine which functional labs will be the most useful in helping to further identify your underlying stressors.
We can surely understand your eagerness to identify root causes and get started on a healing protocol but we cannot and will not rush the process. Everything needs to be done in a logical and systematic sequence.
At the end of the Discovery Session you will be presented with some action steps that you can implement right away to get started on the healing path. And, if you decide to come on board with one of our healing programs, there will also be coaching sessions dedicated to helping you create a foundation for health in the areas of diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, and targeted supplementation while we wait for lab results to come in.
HOW ARE FUNCTIONAL HEALTH COACHING SESSIONS STRUCTURED?
The first several sessions are often used to help clients create a solid foundation for healing in all area of DRESS: Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction, and Supplementation.
Results and Recommendations Consultation:
This consultation will be focused on providing you with feedback on your functional lab test results and education about what these mean for you.
During a results session, you will be presented with a customized D.R.E.S.S. Healing Protocol. This protocol will address diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation.
Recommendations will be focused on addressing both your short-term and long-term health goals, as well as any symptomatic relief recommendations, if necessary.
During this consult, Jennifer may make suggestions for nutritional and/or herbal supplements you may need to purchase, either through her or other suppliers.
Subsequent Coaching Sessions:
These consultations will be a chance to review your protocol, ensure your health is progressing, address any other symptoms or concerns as well as any challenges you face implementing your D.R.E.S.S. Protocol – e.g. meal planning, supplement titration, stress reductions, etc.
These consultations can be booked as you feel they are necessary. Some clients, based on the plan they signed up for and their unique needs, will check in weekly, some biweekly, and others will only check in once a month.
The content of these sessions is decided based on what I need to cover with you (lab results, protocols, etc.) and input you provide in a short intake when you schedule the session. Coaching sessions are meant to address your needs and support you with any challenges you are experiencing in your healing journey.
CAN WE WORK TOGETHER IF I AM CURRENTLY UNDERGOING OTHER MEDICAL TREATMENT?
Yes. The benefit of most natural therapies, when implemented correctly by a qualified practitioner, is that they provide a safe and complementary addition to conventional medicine. In our experience, the two can work synergistically to enhance the effectiveness of conventional treatments.
We will ask that you detail your current medications on your intake forms to ensure there are no contraindications between the nutritional and herbal supplements we suggest and your current medication.
We may also request consent to communicate with your other Medical Practitioners. In our experience, working together as a part of a multi-disciplinary team ensures the best outcomes for my clients when they are seeing multiple practitioners.
DO YOU WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS?
Yes. All consultations are done by internet video conferencing. This is the way Jennifer communicates with clients living throughout the U.S. and Internationally.
WHAT ARE JENNIFER’S AND TODD’S QUALIFICATIONS/CREDENTIALS?
You can read a detailed description of our qualifications, education, and background under the “About Us” tab.
We are NOT licensed medical doctors or mental health providers. We do not diagnosis, treat, cure, or manage medical conditions.
The services provided by Empowered to Heal, LLC are not intended to replace an established, one to one relationship with a licensed medical or mental health professional.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FUNCTIONAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER AND A MEDICAL DOCTOR?
Functional Health Practitioners are trained to use only natural products, dietary interventions and lifestyle changes (what we call the D.R.E.S.S. framework) to bring balance to the systems of the body.
Additionally, they are trained in functional lab testing and functional and nutritional interpretation of that lab testing. They implement minimally invasive, holistic based healing protocols geared towards helping clients create sustainable wellness.
Functional Health Practitioners offer very different services and work with clients in a very different way than Medical Doctors do. Functional Health Practitioners do not replace the role of a medical doctor.
The role of a Functional Health and Lifestyle coach is to bridge the gap between conventional medicine and the client that is experiencing escalating chronic health challenges. Functional Health and Lifestyle Coaching serves to provide clients with a road map, support, and collaboration through a step by step process of health restoration.
ARE THESE SERVICES AND/OR FUNCTIONAL LAB TESTING COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is "No". Functional Health and Lifestyle Coaching along with functional lab workups are considered elective care.
Sadly, none of us can rely on health insurance to cover what we need to regain our health; especially when it comes to chronic illness and conditions that are poorly understood by the current medical paradigm.
If one does rely on health insurance for all their health care needs, they will be limited to what type of care they receive. The standard of care often involves medications, some type of therapy, and/or surgery.
The healthcare system was designed to manage acute medical emergencies and conditions. It is not well-suited to helping people learn and sustain new health-promoting habits and behaviors. The focus on prescriptive and expert approaches to help people adopt health-promoting lifestyles has shown very limited success (Frates and Moore, 2013).
Although wellness care and a functional approach to healthcare is an invaluable and often necessary component for optimal health, insurance companies do not offer much, if any, coverage for these types of services.
Functional Health and Lifestyle Coaching helps you to address the root causes of ongoing health challenges, empowers you to take control of your own health and wellbeing, and be responsible for the type of care and testing that you want and need. Relying on a healthcare system that is not designed to help people achieve sustainable wellness is setting yourself to stay unwell and stuck in rut.
Some lab testing may be reimbursable in your country, if ordered through your personal medical doctor.
WHAT PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU ACCEPT?
Payment for all packages and appointments is made at the time of enrollment/booking using PayPal or Credit/Debit card.
HOW DO I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?
All sessions will be booked via our online scheduling system which is found on the "Schedule" tab.
YOUR RATES SEEM SO EXPENSIVE; WAY MORE THAN GOING TO A DOCTOR AND ONLY PAYING A COPAY. WHY IS THIS?
Functional Health and Lifestyle Coaching is a highly customized and personalized service. Much goes into providing quality functional health coaching services well beyond the time spent in coaching sessions.
When we are not meeting with a client, we are working hard behind the scenes on reviewing case files and lab work, doing research, planning for consults, writing up custom protocol sheets, ordering lab and specialty products, doing administrative work after a coaching session, providing ongoing email support, and the list goes on.
Additionally, there is much emotional, mental, and spiritual energy that goes into being a mentor for somebody on their journey to overcome chronic health challenges.
If clients could obtain this level of service from the medical community/their doctor, then there would not be a market for the services, support, and expertise that we provide to our clients.
Most people; especially one’s suffering from chronic health challenges, realize that our current medical paradigm is failing miserably in helping people to restore their health and create sustainable wellness.
IF I ENROLL IN ONE OF THE PROGAMS OR PACKAGES, AM I LOCKED IN AND DO YOU OFFER REFUNDS IF I NEED OR WANT TO WITHDRAW FOR ANY REASON?
After purchasing a coaching plan or package we allow clients 3 days to change their mind and receive a refund; minus fees for any time spent on the case. After the 3-day grace period refunds are no longer available for any reason. We do, however, allow clients to put coaching programs on hold for up to 6 months or gift any unused services to a friend or family member.
I DON’T CURRENTLY HAVE A DOCTOR. DO I NEED ONE IF I AM GOING TO BE WORKING WITH YOU?
We encourage and prefer that all clients have a medical doctor as part of their team. The services we provide are not a substitute for medical intervention.