I am a functional medicine doctor practicing in New York City. This means that I focus on getting to the root cause of disease rather than just treating the symptoms using cutting edge science and principles of natural and holistic health.
I have a bigger tool kit than the average doctor. I use diet, exercise, lifestyle, stress management, nutrition, herbal medicines, and natural remedies wherever possible to help reverse chronic disease and reduce reliance on pharmaceutical drugs.
Ultimately I want to help you be the architect of your own health. I am just a guide on your journey to being well.
I went to medical school at Columbia University, trained in internal medicine at Mount Sinai hospital, and studied functional medicine with Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, and with the Institute for Functional medicine. I am also a certified yoga teacher, and have studied Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India.
I live in New York City with my husband and our dog Wallis. I love to travel, as far away as India or just up to the Hudson Valley on the weekends. I’m a bit of a tech nerd too, and am really passionate about how digital technology can help make it easier for all of us to live a healthier life.
The Best Medicine Combines East and West
The best medicine cherry picks from the best of east and west. Western medicine offers powerful life saving treatments and sophisticated diagnostics that help people every day in ways that even a few years ago were unimaginable. Eastern medicine offers a paradigm for managing chronic disease using diet, nutrition, herbal medicines and lifestyle change that is focused on the whole person and is a recipe for lasting wellness.
Together they are an unstoppable force for healing, which is why you should settle for no less than the best of both worlds.
Social Threads are More Important Than Genetic Threads
Humans thrive on social connections, like love and companionship and partnership, and these social connections are powerful forces determining your health. For example, a person’s chance of becoming obese increases by 57% if a friend in their network becomes obese.
While today we know more than ever about how your individual genetics impact your health, the fact is that the people in your life are the greatest influence on your choices, and those choices are determining how your genetic information is playing out in real time. As a doctor, I can’t pick your friends, but I can help you be aware of how your relationships are possibly setting you up for being well or being sick.
Health Happens in the 99% of Life You Are NOT at the Doctor’s Office
It’s funny that most people don’t really think about health until they get sick and they find themselves sitting in a doctor’s office. The reality is your health is determined by how you live your life every day. Which means that every choice you make, no matter how small, from what you eat to who you spend time with to how you handle stress, is an opportunity to feel well.
My job as a physician is to go beyond helping you manage your symptoms in the short run. I am also here to help you become aware of the infinite ways you are in the drivers seat, so that you can create your optimal health.
The Simple Solution Is Your Fork
Nothing has a bigger impact on your health than what you eat every day. Fifty years ago the average American ate 20 pounds of sugar each year. Today it’s 130 pounds, and you can see the damage done in the amount of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease we are facing.
The happy news is you may never have to face any of these diseases if you choose whole fresh foods that you cook yourself every day. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and grass-fed, respectfully-treated meat may be all the medicine you ever need.
It’s easier said than done. There is a lot of bad food out there that is high calorie, low nutrient, biologically addictive, industrial junk. The first step is learning how to shop and how to cook good food. It’s simple and it could be the most transformative step you ever take.
Nature Is The Best Pharmacy
Do not underestimate the power of nature. Not only do some of our most important medications, like aspirin, come from plants, many botanical medicines, also known as herbs, offer powerful healing properties without the extreme side effects of synthetic drugs.
Nutrients like vitamins and minerals can also be used therapeutically to help alleviate symptoms and support your immune system. And now, most excitingly of all, new research has shown that the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut are critical to everything from absorbing food to fighting off infection – and even to setting your mood.
So, I recommend you get outside, play in the dirt, and appreciate the plants. It may be just as important to your health as anything else you do.
Health Happens on Five Levels
The body is so much more complex than medicine makes it out to be, and that’s saying a lot because medicine makes it pretty complex. I have seen how the most lasting healing happens on a physical level when the mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual parts of a person are on board.
If this is sounding too woo-woo for you, consider that 95% of the serotonin if your body is in your gut, aka your “second brain,” and that studies have shown how practices like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness improve outcomes in everything from breast cancer to surgery.
It all starts with checking in. If you set aside just a few minutes each day to practice meditation or breathing to focus the mind, you will open the door to awareness. From there you will begin to see how the mind and emotions can get in the way of getting better, or how blocked energy contributes to the development of disease. You don’t have to go live in a cave for a month. You just have to find a couple of minutes every day to check in.
Functional Medicine is the Future of Medicine
The diseases most of us face today are chronic diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hormonal disorders, and dementia. All of these diseases are heavily influenced by diet, lifestyle, environment, and genetics and they happen along a continuum, not a black and white on or off.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine, also known as western medicine, doesn’t do a great job of addressing these kinds of chronic moving targets. Western medicine is great at diagnosis – meaning giving a name to a problem – and at treating the symptoms acutely. If you are really falling apart, the hospital is a great place to be. But chances are you were slowly getting sick for a long time before you needed a powerful drug or a major surgery, and that’s where functional medicine comes in.
In functional medicine, rather than waiting until all the wheels fall off the wagon, we assess how well you are functioning as an organism along the way and investigate the root cause of your symptoms, even if they aren’t so bad that we would give them the name of a particular disease.
We look at your life as a continuum, pinpointing the factors that have set you on the course you are on, and helping you to right the ship.