I started Whole Family Wellness (originally Whole Child Wellness), in 2005 with a mission of offering the best holistic pediatric care possible. It was, and remains today, a true labor of love.
When I graduated from my UCSF Pediatrics Residency in 2000, I was hopeful and naïve. I thought that my training in pediatrics from one of the most prestigious academic centers in the country would prepare me to be a “good doctor,” – not only that, but a GREAT doctor, the kind of doctor that I always wanted to be.
But I quickly became frustrated with the one-size-fits-all approach that conventional pediatrics had to offer. I was tired of just putting Band-Aids on symptoms, suppressing symptoms but not getting to the root cause of why kids were unwell. In the meantime, I started to see kids with more and more chronic illnesses at younger and younger ages – autism, severe eczema, scary asthma and allergies, autoimmune illnesses like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. I was tired of slapping on stronger and stronger doses of steroids, antibiotics, medications – most without any clear longterm studies on safety for young kids. What was going on with our kids? Why were so many getting sick, and sometimes really, really sick?
That’s when I began my search for another way to practice pediatric medicine. I learned how to integrate conventional pediatrics with functional medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and essential oils – and it changed my life! It changed the way I practiced medicine. It changed the way I could help kids. It brought back the joy in my work! Now I could truly be the kind of doctor that I wanted to be.
Of course, conventional pediatrics is still essential. There are absolutely times when we need antibiotics and the big-gun medicines. But there are many times when we don’t. When what our kids need is a customized approach tailored to their unique needs. When what they need is a look at what is going on underneath the surface, to try to unearth what imbalances occurred to tip the scale towards illness, and figure out how to tip that scale back towards wellness.
At Whole Family Wellness, our goal is to identify the root causes of each child’s health concerns – whether they have food sensitivities/allergies; imbalances in the gut-brain, gut-immune or gut-hormone connections; toxic environmental exposures; nutritional insufficiencies; genetic factors; or socio-emotional stressors. We believe that each child’s manifestation of wellness or illness is caused by the unique way in which their individual biochemical and genetic makeup interacts with everything that they are exposed to on a daily basis – from the food they eat, to the air they breathe, to the water they drink, to the environmental pollutants and toxins they absorb, to the thoughts they think.
We partner with parents to help them to make the best healthcare decisions for their children and help them understand how to integrate conventional and holistic pediatrics to help their children thrive to their fullest potentials. You can learn more about our amazing practice and practitioners on our website at www.wholefamilywellness.org.