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Introduction-Dr. Kapadia

Introduction by Dr. Kapadia

From my earliest exposures to health care, I have been drawn to a more natural way of healing rather than relying on quick-fixes and pharmaceuticals. Although I am still early in my career, I have had the opportunity to learn from some truly inspirational integrative medicine practitioners who showed me a different way to approach health and illness. The concept of functional medicine and its guiding framework in addressing almost all symptoms and illnesses has been key in my personal development of the knowledge to help people beyond superficial symptom based prescriptions. While I believe allopathic medicine has a definite role in certain situations, I find that it often fails in adequately treating chronic illness. By addressing the key “root causes of illness” discussed in the second half of this book, I believe many patients can start to understand the factors that can lead to “disease” and dysfunction, and how addressing them can help to restore function and reduce symptoms through a natural approach.

My own personal health challenges motivated me to seek alternative solutions to allopathic medicine. Starting over a decade ago, I began to suffer from severe headaches/migraines, among other symptoms. After seeing some of the best specialists that traditional medicine could offer, I had at times lost hope for recovery and a normal life. For several years, my quality of life was severely affected, and my daily activities consisted of just trying to “get through the day.” It became difficult to make plans as I had no idea how I would feel from one day to the next, and when the next severe headache would strike. I was fortunate enough to gain exposure to integrative medicine through a physician that became one of my mentors in medical school. As I sat in with him, and other CAM practitioners in our community, I learned of new concepts such as dysbiosis and toxicity. I soon realized how my diet, my history of recurrent courses of antibiotics, living in a moldy apartment, and exposure to heavy metals were all contributing to my symptoms. In a quest to heal myself and to look for a better way to treat patients, I read and studied everything I could find related to these concepts. As I started to see more of my own patients in my residency training, I realized that quite a few of them were likely suffering from the same sorts of root causes as I was. I was no longer satisfied to hand out a prescription for each different symptom that they described. My goals for patients changed from making symptoms tolerable with medication to figuring out the cause of symptoms so they could be addressed, resulting in an automatic improvement in symptoms and overall well-being. I have seen how making lifestyle changes and discovering the causes of symptoms can result in significant improvement in the long-run. I have learned the importance of treating my mind/body/spirit with care, including the food I eat, the environment and people that I surround myself with and the thoughts that go through my mind. While staying balanced and healthy in our world today is quite a challenge, setting the intention to make this a priority is crucial to all of us.

As part of my ongoing educational journey, I had the good fortune of attending a seminar with Michael Lebowitz DC about 2 years ago. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to observe his practice for the past year and see how the techniques he has developed over the past 20 years can result in significant improvement in, if not complete remission from, symptoms ranging anywhere from an infant with colic, to a teenager suffering from Crohn’s disease to an adult suffering from fibromyalgia. I was able to see first hand that natural therapies combined with lifestyle changes can result in improved health and quality of life for numerous patients.

My intent for this book is for it to serve as an educational tool for those who are suffering from some sort of ailment, as well as for those who are healthy, in an effort to educate patients about the causes of illness and what can be done to correct/avoid them. The second half of the book could also be viewed as an introductory lesson in functional medicine concepts for the practitioner who is curious to find a better way to address his/her patients’ concerns.

I would like to thank Dr. Lebowitz for sharing his knowledge with me and for helping me improve my own health with his techniques; I hope to be able to offer patients’ hope for recovery and help them overcome health challenges as he is able to do on a daily basis in his practice. I would like to thank Cynthia for her kindness and encouragement as well as her numerous creations of healthy, allergy-friendly eating options that should soon be available in the Body Restoration Cookbook. I would also like to thank my parents, my brother Sheil, my sister Seema, my brother-in-law Justin and my friend Lydia who have always been there for me and encouraged me to pursue what has become my passion in holistic medicine.

Finally, I would like to offer hope to those who have lost it, and let them know that, regardless of your “diagnosis,” it is possible for your body to restore itself with effort, time and perseverance.

Wishing you good health and happiness,

Ami Kapadia MD