soaringsun FAQ

How long does it take to get results?

Results vary by each person. Some people feel dramatic improvement within the first month, others may take a bit longer. Our standard programs are for a minimum of 6 months. Remember, your body didn’t fail overnight. Years of stress, diet, and illness takes its toll and it takes a proper amount of time to restore. On average it takes one month of repair for each year you’ve suffered from a specific problem.

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Can my spouse, partner, and/or children all work with Dr Tammy?

Yes! Dr Tammy works with everyone.  From women who wish to pregnant (prenatal functional medicine optimization and acupuncture), men, children, the elderly, and all ages between. Dr Tammy works with couples all the time. In fact, it's much better this way because when the family improves their lifestyle, diet, and other measures together, the results happen faster and the end result is more sustainable. 

What does Dr Tammy treat?

Dr Tammy treats common and chronic conditions.

FOR ACUPUNCTURE:

  • Pain (physical and emotional)

  • Stress (worry, fear, anxiety, control, judgement, anger)

  • Sleep (trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and a racing mind)

  • Physical imbalances and musculoskeletal disorders: Repetitive strains, muscle soreness and discomfort, carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pain, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, back pain, tension neck syndrome, tension headaches, ergonomic holding patterns, TMJ, shoulder tightness, rotator cuff disorders, arthritis, hip pain, knee pain, ankle issues, sprains, fractures, and managing the healing process through an injury.

  • Reproductive and hormonal balance

  • Gut issues (IBD, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and distension)

  • Issues associated with autoimmune diseases

FOR FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE and CLINICAL NUTRITION:

  • Cardiovascular related stress

  • Digestive/ GI symptoms/ Gut Microbiome 

  • Fatigue, sleep, and stress disharmonies

  • Energy/ mitochondria dysfunction 

  • Immune Imbalances

  • Hormone Imbalances   

  • Detox 

  • Environmental toxicity

These are typically misunderstood or misdiagnosed by conventional practitioners who attempt to cover up the symptoms and not get to the root cause. Dr Tammy's approach is an integrative, holistic view that encompasses lifestyle modulation, energetic muscle testing, and lab-based natural health protocols that test and identify the presence and quantitative evidence of dysfunction in the various systems in the body. The testing is used to determine the required natural support needed to rebalance your body back to its normal state.

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What to expect from an initial functional and nutritional medicine consultation?

This includes, but is not limited too, an extensive health history, review of questionnaires, pattern recognition, systems analysis, and suggested labs.   She practices individualized medicine, as such, every patient will have a unique protocol significant to them.

How do I need to prepare for my acupuncture treatment?

  1. Please eat a meal and be well hydrated up to an hour before treatment.

  2. Please bring shorts and a tank top for access to an optimal treatment.

  3. Please have all your disclosure and intake forms filled out before you arrive.

  4. Please plan on doing the following physically demanding exercises:  running, hot or power yoga, HIIT, Barre, Cross Fit, and weight training before treatment. Gentle/ Yin Yoga, meditation, and breath work are welcome post treatment.

  5. I recommend having whole food nutrition and hydration with H20 and electrolytes post treatment.  I also recommend not having alcohol for 24 hours post treatment.  

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How is Dr Tammy's treatment style different from other practitioners in acupuncture?

Dr Tammy is able to combine a treatment style based on physical, emotional, and mental wholeness.  She shares with her patients that the body, mind, and heart want to be harmonized, if we allow for the energetic openings to create the space for healing to take place.  She creates personalized treatments that encompass mind-heart coherence, order, and wholeness for parasympathetic repair.  This is where healing takes place for the root cause of the emotional and mental components for the patient.  In addition to acupuncture, she fuses in a mixture of massage, cupping, gua sha, vagus nerve stimulation, auricular (ear) points, and breath work to facilitate the nervous system to set in calmness,  repair, relaxation, rest, and digestion through the balancing and grounding of the treatment. In addition, Tammy specializes in treating physical holding patterns, over compensations, pain patterns, and muscle imbalances that cause disturbances in the body. This allows for a well rounded treatment protocol that opens the pathways for health and healing for the patient.

Why Segue Into the Functional Medicine Matrix?

Along with this timeline, I segue into filling in the “matrix.” The matrix charts the patient's story by graphing it to retelling the story through mediators, triggering events and antecedents. I then share on the matrix how the story is organizing the patient's clinical imbalances. This idea is determined with the following: spiritual, emotional, physical, physiology, and functions. This idea is then broken out into the following systems in the body: assimilation, structural integrity, communication, defense and repair, energy, biotransformation, and elimination and transportation.


Now that I have built the trust of the patient, I can recommend modifiable lifestyle factors, which may include the following: sleep and relaxation, exercise and movement, nutrition, stress and healthy relationships. As a doctor of acupuncture, this idea is where I've seen it shine for patients... Acupuncture is a beautiful adjunct to these modifiable lifestyle factors. It becomes a balance card because it allows the patient to have a parasympathetic nervous system response of calm, relax, digest and relax signals going from body to mind and vise versa.  I pay extra attention to the patients that have a high ACE score, because their level of trauma may have raised cortisol and have underlying PTSD, which can leave a patient with a maladaptive stress response that has led to chronic sympathetic nervous system dysregulation. This idea can be caused by the mismanagement of emotions, and the hormones of stress which can create their condition. Acupuncture and breathwork are profound healing enhancements for this, as I do believe that your nervous system is the apothecary for healing.    I believe that chronic, maladaptive stress is the elephant in the room. Acupuncture may also help with sleep and relaxation, which is complement to the FM modifiable lifestyle factors. Acupuncture may root and ground the energetic synergy to transform the patient for healing to take place.  

 

What else is included in the first FM consult? I perform a full body exam, to the scope of my practice, in the initial consultation. It may include the following: anthropometrics of body composition, body type and blood pressure, clinical indicators of the hair, nose, mouth, tongue, gums, teeth, skin and nails, and a neuro exam using monofilaments, vibratory sense, balance and motor. I may suggest labs depending on the system imbalances.  This idea may include biomarkers and micronutrient tests.  If I suspect dysbiosis, I’ll perform a comprehensive stool analysis to check markers for parasites, bacterial dysbiosis, microbiome diversity, absorption and inflammation in the gut. I may perform additional labs for infectious load or toxin burden at this time as well.  The intake forms ask about genetic predispositions, but may I inquire about 23andme, Genetic Genie or I may ask to perform a genetic raw data blood draw.   I discuss the modifiable lifestyle factors.  Healthy relationships, exercise/ movement, sleep, stress and nutrition.  

 

If I start with nutrition as our goal for that month. I may recommend an elimination, vital food reset, by taking 30 days off from the following: dairy, gluten, soy, alcohol, caffeine, corn, eggs and avoiding all processed packaged foods.  Which will lead to focusing on eating an abundant amount of organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grass fed, pasture raised meats, game, foul, swine, and poultry and drinking filtered water.  I could also recommend another lifestyle plan as the following: cardiometabolic, core food plan, low fodmap, candida, or gluten free to name a few.  For patients, new to this way of eating, I give them food recipes, journals and charts to follow.  This response will help the inflammation to dissipate all over the body along with much needed repair and natural detoxification.  I suggest these measures for the best improvement. I will also recommend books, blogs and podcasts to help them on their journey towards optimal health. I follow up with the patient after the 30 days, because changes can be felt both mentally and physically in about two weeks.  With that, they become motivated to complete the 30 days. After 30 days, we review the clinical findings, modify and tweak protocols, supplements, and I may recommend new labs.  

 

I share with my patients, "Whatever age you have come in for your initial consultation," an example would be 45, I’d say, “You have 45 years of wear and tear on your body, we need time to nurture and repair it.” They understand this issue is not an overnight sensation turnover.  Changing behaviors, addictions, mental and emotional triggers and lifestyle takes time and patience to obtain optimal health. We are a team that works together down the journey toward optimal health for the patient. This response is the beginning of the process; it takes time for the final outcome to come to fruition.

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What Can You Expect From Functional Medicine?

It starts with a timeline... I share with patients that I'm on their health journey as a consultant for their health based on their history, a maladaptive stress response, lifestyle, current concerns and lab results. I am not a medical doctor, nor a substitute. Dr. Tammy works as a functional medicine consultant in conjunction with your current health care team. All patients are required to have a primary care physician or medical care team for emergencies, routine care and screenings.  You can expect a detailed understanding of your genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors. I can leverage that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

Why Choose Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is looking at the upstream effects that could be causing the signs and symptoms. Remember the kinked spoke, bent rim, wobbly wheel, which equals not being able to ride the bike. It takes looking at the person from birth until the day they walk in your office with their current concerns for the detective to start the investigation. Patients are seeing me after going through numerous doctors and specialists, and they still are not getting better. They may want an alternative to medication, or may be sick of being sick and tired. Some patients are looking for more than just a “pill for an ill” option. The usual concern is not knowing the long-term side effects. When permissive and working with the patient's medical team, patients may be able to mitigate medication.  They have heard that nutrition, lifestyle, and genetics are new on the integrative front for helping chronic complex diseases. These patients then come to my clinic as a last resort, hence the last resort doctor.  Complex chronic health conditions may include the following: autoimmune, cancer, immune deficiency, cardiac issues/ metabolic syndrome, brain fog, GI issues, stress and thyroid disorders but by no means is this the complete list. These patients have gone through the Western medical paradigm of immunology, endocrinology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, neurology, and oncology but are still not feeling well.  I believe in collaborative and integrative care. What I am saying is, “Who is looking at what could have happened in this patient's life journey for the systems to become awry.” I am there to help them figure out what may have happened in their story to have “this,” meaning the health issue, turn on in their bodies. My patients ask, "Why is "this" happening to me?," and I want to give them the clues on the map. Our genes have not changed, but the environment, nutrition and lifestyle have. I love the saying, "The genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger." 

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How Does Functional Medicine Work?

I work closely with the patient to address the underlying causes that could be triggering the body to respond negatively. We look at patients' genetics, nutrition, biochemical profile, lifestyle, stress and chemical and infectious load to look for causes and conditions that would be addressed. (1) By becoming a detective for the root cause, and not the symptomology, one can put the magnifying glass on the patient to show the full complexity of the disease. I investigate each patient utilizing coherent systems' medicine, not by not breaking apart each system. In Western medicine, we separate the medicine into specializations. Whether one has an issue with GI, we go to the gastroenterologist. One has an issue with the thyroid, we go to the endocrinologist. And if one has an autoimmune condition, we go to the rheumatologist. Western medicine separates and designates these fields as if they thrive on an isolated island. The body communicates within itself, and when we isolate the systems, we miss the synapse of energy from one system to another. FM dials in the philosophy that the systems related to each other, and they work in collaboration with one another, to create a synchronicity for a healthy body, heart, mind and spirit.  FM has systems, but instead of looking at them separately, we look to distinguish the patterns and anomalies that would cause one system to malfunction, then refer to the next system, towards a downward spiral. Think of the systems as a wheel in FM. The wheel needs all the spokes for the rim to turn and run smoothly and properly. If one of the spokes on the wheel is kinked, then the wheel would wobble and bend the rim on the tire and the bike would not perform optimally. The more the spokes are kinked, the more the rim will bend, the tire would then wobble, and the bike would not be rideable. The same is true for how we look at the human body system mechanisms. In FM, we are using system related medicine by looking at the following: Hormones, Gastrointestinal (GI), Bioenergetics (Energy), Environmental Health (Detox), Cardio (Cardiometabolic) and Immune. We understand they cooperate; one system needs the other to function properly. (2)

References:

  1. IFM (Functional Medicine Matrix: Organizing Clinical Imbalance) (2020)
    (https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/toolkit-functional-medicine-matrix/ )

  2. IFM (2020) (https://www.ifm.org/functional-medicine/ )

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine (FM) may be the best foundational tool for optimal health and wellness. FM is looking at the whole person which is personalized to each patient to find the underlying causes of the dis-ease in the body. I frame the words dis and ease separately to show that the body is in a state of dis-ease, meaning not harmonious, which can cause symptoms to arise. FM determines why the body is showing signs and symptoms by becoming a detective for the patients' health and well being. The body is an amazing mechanism, and it has an innate wisdom of showing us signs and symptoms as a warning. This response is letting you know that something is not coherent in the matrix of the body of systems. Think of a rash, that is the body showing the patient that something is amiss. 

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