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Hey everyone. Some of you are new to my blog, so I want to welcome you sincerely. My name is Dr. Connie, an autoimmune functional medicine expert, as well as a patient. I lived with an autoimmunity condition for over 20 years. I have a unique background in my diverse education, including a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in nutrition, and a doctorate in physical therapy.

My Disease Enlightened Me

And I’ve always been the epitome of health and wellness since I was a teenager. And I was on a track to live out my passion and dream of promoting wellness and health to the world, when I received my lupus diagnosis

As I was getting ready to make my mark out of the educational system into the world. So, you can imagine what that did to a young mind. I had to question everything I thought I knew about myself, the future, my health, and everything I’ve ever known. But, little did I know back then that the fork in the road was necessary for me to be who I am today. So I’m embracing, living my truth today, with everything that I’ve got to offer.

This pandemic layered in my work today forces me to think outside the box, connect all the dots, and discipline, which I was hesitant to do in the past.

Always Curious

I have always had a curious mind. Ever since I was a little girl, I never stopped asking questions. So when I was with the limited solution for my health problem when I got diagnosed with lupus, I became obsessed with learning how to create a better future and life for myself, despite the odds against me. Because when they told me it was incurable, my life was going to change. I would be subject to living with medications. And I said, “Absolutely not. That’s not the life I envisioned. I’m going to find my way to create a better future for myself.” So I’ve been at that years now.

I began my education with psychology at first because I was fascinated with the workings of the human mind. However, when considering the option to get my Ph.D. in psychology, I wasn’t sure that I could sit and listen to everybody’s problems all day.

Combining Different Profession

They said that I would need a shrink to become a shrink. And I thought that was not something that was for me. It seems super dull for me. So I thought about combining psychology with nutrition, which was my master’s. And that would be amazing because eating is universal. Everybody has to eat, and it’s a behavior that has deep connections with psychology, and the psychology of the mind is much more important than the dietary plans. Yet, even to this day, there’s a lot of hypes in diet and nutrition. Because diets don’t work in and of themselves, it’s the psychology. The client will apply the knowledge and nutrition to have leveraged to make drastic changes in their health through nutrition. So I saw that there was a little bit of a missing gap there as well.

I quickly learned that nutritional counseling was just as dull as psychology. So when I was working as a registered dietician in the hospital and four different medical practices. I told them what the food solutions were. Still, until they applied whatever they were learning, nothing would happen. So back when I graduated, there was no internet. So all the creative things we can teach patients online with all the resources that we have available wasn’t an option.

The practice of dietetics was limited to two-dimensional thinking. And that was that the hospital doctor’s offices. If I wanted to set up my private office, I had to have my brick and mortar. And it just seemed very dull for me. Because I knew that I couldn’t make a drastic impact on the lives of the patients I served. So physical therapy seemed like a great option to demonstrate and get people to move their bodies, especially in their recovery phase.

It felt like the best of the three worlds because we applied psychology, which dictates behavior. And, of course, everybody who’s in physical therapy. So if you’re moving, you better pay attention to your nutrition to promote healing. And then, of course, the movement for healthy mobility was what I was promoting for my patients. So when struck with an autoimmune disease affected by immunity, mobility, psychology, and digestion, I had to figure out a better way. That’s when I found traditional Chinese medicine and functional medicine, yoga, et cetera. And that’s what consists of drastic education in all the disciplines because I knew I needed everything to be combined. Everything was so fragmented. Not one method worked for me. And so, I’ve been thinking about combining all the practices to serve my patients in a meaningful way, just like I need it.

Stuck on Their Limiting Beliefs

In the different industries and disciplines of health, I learned that each discipline was stuck in its linear thinking model. Their scope of practice limits, for example, physical therapists from giving nutrition knowledge and registered dieticians from providing therapeutic movements for recovery. So unless you were trained in movements like the disciplines, the system’s bureaucracies divide the professionals to take their little piece of the whole body healing of the patient. And our medical system is very specialized today. It’s very fragmented.

I feel the deep need to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and see how we can bridge that gap to make the practice more whole. So let me explain to you that we’ve got speech therapy specializing in the muscles for speech and swallowing within the therapeutic discipline. So they work closely with the dieticians who handle the foods for the patients. And this is in the hospital setting.

We have occupational therapists who only handle fine motor involving the upper extremity, your hands, writing, and like tying shoelaces, putting on makeup, and things like that, more falls with occupational therapy. And they’re not allowed to help patients with walking or gait training or anything involving the lower extremity. So do you see how this can be so confusing, and it’s not as effective because everybody adheres to their disciplines with their specialties. There comes a problem because the patient is on the whole. And so we have these interdisciplinary meetings where all the specialists come together, including pharmacy. If the patient has lung issues, low long doctor, hormone doctors, or immunological doctors, infectious disease, they all come with occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and dieticians to talk about the cases about the patient.

And nobody’s allowed to go outside of their scope of practice to recommend certain things. So here’s this one patient with lots of experts in that discipline. That works may be in an acute setting in the hospital. But, still, you can see in the outpatient setting where we’re in our regular lives and especially in this pandemic, we’re stuck in our own homes. So this poses a massive problem, in my opinion.

I think you would see it’s like common sense to think you can’t break pieces of the whole together thinking that you’re going to put this person on the whole or back as a whole being with fragmented approaches to health and wellness. So physical therapy can treat the whole body and its motor functions. And yes, there’s overlap in the practices between occupational therapy, upper extremities, and the lower extra. But, still, we have to adhere to the scope of practice guidelines to not step on each other’s discipline.

Then, the massage therapist can manipulate a massage soft tissue passively, but it gets tricky if they want to help patients with movement. But think about this, you can incorporate movement for these specialists with less education. That’s not a license. Like purse training, Pilates, yoga, just to name a few movement techniques that you can incorporate. And so patients want somebody who can be well-versed in all these things. So there’s a lot of personal trainers who give nutritional advice, teach patients how to be fit and do all the things. And then Pilates and yoga are the same way.

What is Functional Medicine

Functional medicine is all about lifestyle medicine. If you pull out a functional medicine, it’s all about teaching patients how to live day to day. Still, because the practitioners are mostly physicians who want to get out of the broken medical system practices, they complicate the discipline into microscopic, biochemical examinations, that claim to get to the root cause of the health crisis.

We’ve got the overall big picture of the patient, and then we have to get all the way down into nitty and gritty. So while there’s some benefit to looking at the body, there’s the yin and yang to things. But sometimes, I see the irony between the disciplines is there to kind of fail, to see the big picture when you are focused so much on the smaller picture. And then, in each discipline that we’re a part of, we’re validating the very discipline. So we have a system where it’s very fragmented. If you’ve been in the medical system as a patient, physician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or even as a nurse. You know how broken things are because you’re trying to get all these experts to agree on something.

You’ve got the patient who wants to heal. So this is what prompted me to create this blog and the Alkaline Method™. Because the system is set up for failure, it does not consider the body as a whole being in many disciplines like functional medicine talks about individualized treatment and addresses the patient on the whole.

Most practitioners still get lost in the science, and our didactic training is so vast, deep, and intricate that there is no way you can hold all that knowledge in your head. Because everything is so detailed that you will fail to see the big picture. So you’ve got to pair the yin, and the yang is the big picture. Yin is microscopic awareness and understanding. So I believe science is super important. An evidence-based approach is fundamental, no doubt, but I also think in our human body’s ability to heal.

And I want more healthcare practitioners to recognize this simple fact and healing is an inside job. We can’t do the healing for the patients or the clients. So the very paradigm of each discipline severely limits all practitioners. The insurance to the mix kind of poses another problem because you’ve got these third-party payers telling the experts exactly what they will pay and what they will not pay. We’ve got consumers who have access to just about every discipline on the internet. They are getting confused because all the theoretical disciplines in science on health and wellness are interconnected. And a lot of the time, these experts focus on the small component of the bigger picture, and they put their whole work on that little microscopic solution.

I believe it’s all about recognizing the need for change. Change in the way we practice medicine and practice wellness. We need to do a better job of promoting health and wellness. It requires you to have a better understanding first and foremost of how our body, mind, and physiology work together to have a strong foundation of the internal pillars of the mind-body to move towards stability in the external world.

And that’s the only way we’re going to survive this chaotic world today. So I believe yoga is the ultimate practice that allows us to bridge the gap between the self and the world, health and sickness, the yin to the yang, the full spectrum of health. So looking at health is not in parts but in some of all factors that converge to make the body whole, mind, body, and spirit. And this is the true essence of healthcare that is missing in our world today.

What Can Yoga Provide

What yoga is? The Sanskrit root “yuj” means to join or to unite. So yoga is the ultimate path to self-realization. According to yoga scriptures, the practice of yoga leads to the union of our universal consciousness moving towards perfect harmony. So internal consciousness with the external macroscopic microscopic to the macroscopic, yin to the yang. It’s the merge of the two. And it’s the mind-body and the man and mother nature. So yoga provides the ultimate strategy to obtain mind and body mastery, which leads to self-mastery, which leads to health mastery, which leads to whatever else, business or even life mastery.

Our current pandemic today will be destructive. And is already destructive. And it will be destructive to just about any industry. We’re moving to our homes, the office spaces became empty. It’ll never be complete because people recognize that it’s unnecessary to commune together and have an efficient workspace. There will be a big shift once people realize that they are productive at home like they are in the office. And there’s a shift, even in the yoga industry. I have a wellness center, a nice, beautiful, hot yoga studio. The practice of yoga is going virtual.

Business During Pandemic

I keep thinking about the experience for me of the hot yoga experience that can only be replicated in my studio. So I know that there will be a time to merge back into the studio. But for the time being, the best defense for you to protect your business is to have a clear understanding of needing to have the hybrid model of business. Do what you can do online, but also be ready when the market shifts back. The world opens up when we’ve got a good handle on this COVID pandemic.

We have a choice to put our head down and keep doing what we’ve always done, hoping for things to go back to normal, or be proactive in really predicting what the change will be. And that you also know that change is necessary. And we need to meet the market when the world opens up again. But this is a time to be positioned in ways where you can be second to none and leverage this time that you’ve got at home to educate yourself and gain the capabilities to meet the market where they are. So every discipline teaches us the same tactics. Like in physical therapy, we learned manual therapy techniques, therapeutic modalities, like yoga. We learned how to do yoga. But how-tos the tactical work never gets anywhere because everybody who’s, somebody is popping that same thing.

Driving Your Business Online

As I said, yoga teacher training teaches us how to do yoga in a very superficial way. Yoga teachers are flooding the internet, trying to gain the market and share teaching everybody else. Teaching is how to do yoga, and functional medicine docs are struggling with the same. We learned a particular tactic in functional medicine, and they’re deep and wide, but never the business model. That’s quickly changing right now.

Everything’s shifting to the online. Are you ready for that shift And many of the functional medical doctors, sometimes they put their career, or they hang their expertise on specific things like micro bio or gut health is everything. Some people are just about brain health, a particular type of diet. Like it’s all about fasting. But if you know that that’s a good, savvy way to market, you also have to know and expand your mind to incorporate all things that make up health in a drastic way to have an exponential impact in the lives of the patients and clients that you serve.

Everyone speaks on the same proprietary language for every discipline taught by the institutions, whatever institutions in physical therapy. So it’s very different dietetics. It’s very different from yoga. It’s very different Pilates, very different functional medicine, very different. So I have this unique ability to kind of sit and think about what is the thing that ties in, how can I bring the best of all worlds to bring it so that we can teach human beings how to access their longevity and health—in the long-term, not talking about the tactical work.

I’m talking the deep dive, critical thinking of being very strategic in how you’re going to drive your business. Ways you’re going to help and look at health differently to blow your mind and expand your thinking. To incorporate physical movement, physical therapy, functional medicine, nutrition, all the mindset stuff, all the spiritual stuff, all the things that make human beings optimize their health.

Because if they don’t synergistically have that stability in all aspects of their lives, it’s going to be very limiting for them to live the best life. So the only way to win in this market share is to be the best in the industry. And that’s how by thinking differently, really expand your mind to incorporate all these things. Knowledge is power, but applied knowledge is more powerful people today don’t need any more knowledge. How much of that can we retain? It’s when I’m able to go and create some white space for myself. And I do have that time now, and I’ve been doing a lot of that. Only then can I merge the different disciplines to create something new and better. And that is drastically different from the herd mentality of just doing the same thing that we learned.

Expand Your Mind

And so I need you, if you’re reading to this, you’re a yoga teacher. Some of you are functional medicine doctors, some of your physical therapists, occupational therapy, registered dietician, or even health coaches, massage therapy, whoever, and whatever you are. You need to think differently. Be responsible for the information that you’re sharing. Don’t get into another tactic.

There are so many different methods. There are so many other shared tactics, but when you adopt a tactic, you have to do that thing, but you’re limiting yourself by just following this way and not combining all the other aspects of it to provide value for your clients. And the only way you can do that is by thinking outside the box outside of your discipline. So I want you guys to think about caring more for the outcome of your clients than other doctors, therapists, yoga, teachers, all your competitors, care more about their outcome.

You’ll win big this way. And to provide the best service, we must be intimately aware of the market’s needs, needs of your consumers, your clients, and get busy serving those that need your services. But before you can do that, you must also know your target market or customer. What are their struggles, and what’s your solution that’s fixing their problem and demonstrate in your own words. When you’re marketing to them, you have to feel their pain and explain their pain better than any of your competitors. Finally, have a program complete program with an end in mind.

Those of you who are yoga teachers, don’t be just another yoga teacher, teaching them how to do yoga. It’s not about the poses. Think of the end in mind. Please think of the result that they’re getting. Is it weight loss? A hormonal reset? Maybe postpartum body reboot? Or is it pelvic for strengthening? Can be also eliminate urinary incontinence? Like getting specific for those of you functional medical doctors, what is it that you’re serving.

Don’t be a functional medicine doc that addresses everybody’s problems, getting to the root cause of everything. Because when you do that, you become a generalist, and you’re not speaking the words of your ideal customers, and the better you can be focused on the solution for those who need your specific program, the better you can be. The only trusted advisor that your clients think of when they think about their problem. Because you’re putting into their situation is and what that solution will look like. So, limit yourself from thinking yoga. I’m a yoga teacher, or I’m a functional medicine doctor.

Think Differently

And then you speak about what the Institute of Functional Medicine tells you to talk about. If you’re a physical therapist, you’re orthopedic or pediatric, whatever that physical therapist is, it’s a profession given by somebody feels. And then if you’re an OT who handles a lot of, you know, upper extremity issues or massage therapists. These are all professions, very linear thinking, model, the scope of practice. It keeps us separated. I was hoping you could think outside of that and think about the life-changing program you’re providing.

So I want you guys to consider using yoga as the bridge between your profession is or what’s before the gap between the limits of your profession and healthcare and address the gap. It’s thinking on your terms. It’s almost like you have to create space to think about this on behalf of the clients you are serving.

Getting stuck in one way of doing things is very limiting. We must rise above thinking linearly and think outside the box, combining the different disciplines and lifestyle factors that help clients gain traction towards their health. And I’m talking about what they do, or they can do every day to create momentum and results.

That’s why I’m talking about yoga. Yoga is the path because it combines movement, energy, psychology, spirituality and enhances metabolism, detoxification, and elimination, just this practice alone. And most people think it’s just a fitness routine. It’s not you guys beyond this. So think about what your clients need before, during, and after the yoga practice. To enhance their health, wellness, and longevity. And that’s where you can find if you’re a functional medical doctor, you can find all the bits and pieces that are outside that are not being pooled, really when we’re getting educated.

We’re all getting like a fire hose hydrant. Like it’s just coming at you. How much of that are you retaining. Because at the end of the day, your clients are waking up with pain and suffering. We lose them with our expertise because we are thinking about our proprietary ways of thinking the root cause of the problem. When you focus too much on the problem, you’re not thinking about the solution. And sometimes, the key is essential fundamental principles of health. So will eating a certain way using supplements, meditating, journaling helps. And how about starting with those things? That will help you do those things, but teach your clients to do just that think about your clients. Why do they seek yoga, functional medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, whatever your profession is.

Everyone who has a chronic illness is recommended to do yoga and meditation. You guys know that. And so, how elevated can you make this practice be. I started to talk to more of my functional medical colleagues and realized you guys talk about, do yoga, do meditation. We all know the scientific journals cause we’re evidence-based practitioners.

Applying Yoga

But how many of you guys are helping patients do the thing you are the brand by which your patients seek you? How differently can you be by actually teaching them yoga? Teaching them different aspects of yoga and yoga can incorporate the physical therapy part, therapeutic exercises, functional medicine, part of addressing trauma and emotional health, stress management, physical therapists. You know, what about the post-rehab. That’s where you can bridge that gap. Massage therapists can incorporate yoga and do therapeutic interventions that way, utilizing the practice of yoga to you see where we’re going with these occupational therapists.

I know a pediatric occupational therapist does well with attention deficit. For example, lots of kids who need your services have different compensatory mechanisms in their brains. How about if you use yoga as meditation for kids. There are simple things that you can incorporate. It’s what brings you together. Because in every given discipline I know personally, there are different programs out there like killing the market. They create something so successful that they now are training healthcare professionals to do personal training, for example, or buy into an uncertain individual training method. And it’s the same way in every discipline. I need you guys to think outside of your profession to see what more I can add to my clients before, during, and after. What more edge can I have.

Think Outside the Box

You are not just being in your practice and continuing education for physical therapy, occupational therapy, functional medicine, and yoga. But how about if you expand your mind and think beyond what’s possible. So how elevated can you be as the question, if you’re a functional medicine doc, how high can you be? Can you show, not tell them don’t hide behind your lab coat, but get down on the floor, start where you are, and start to teach them meditation, yourself, teach them the yoga, and you get to heal and be the embodiment of the change that you want the patients to make. And that’s more impactful. Yoga teachers, can you incorporate more healing, be more responsible, Give your students a little more therapeutic intervention, know precisely how to handle the herniated discs. Postpartum up post-rehab is what you’re going to get a lot of.

If you think about who comes to yoga, it’s not always the 20 somethings who want to learn how to do the splits. You want to be the yoga teacher who teaches them how to properly gain flexibility, not just end all being the final expression of the poses. We need the yin to the yang. Education is necessary, but it provides the clients with what they need. Use yoga as functional medicine. It’s the ultimate healing modality to help clients transform.
So if you want to learn how you can use this pandemic time to catapult your career by helping people in a meaningful way, because that’s what people are seeing, they’re seeking those practitioners, who they can trust, who can provide them with the security. And then they want those people that are in the business that helps other people.

These three traits in the marketplace are what people are looking for right now. Anything that used to like any Instagram, people that were promoting like lifestyle, travel and just doing yoga in their expensive yoga outfits. Now people are saying no to that. They want something that’s going to help them survive. Because they’re in this fear mindset, they want health and wellness in a meaningful way. So in any obstacle, there’s a huge opportunity. Now is the time to think differently and gain new skills. To serve the market when it opens up because it will open up. You have the opportunity to speak the language that the market needs to get your clients to so that you can help them in a big way. It’s all about serving them first, getting to fall in love with the clients first and foremost.

Join Us

And in this time, don’t be reactive, be proactive. Go towards your goals because you know what now is your time. If you’re ready to make drastic changes in your profession. And want to do something meaningful by gaining clarity, focus, and knowledge. Then join us in our Alkaline Method™ Certification Program for Health Practitioners.
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