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Functional medicine and a healthier, happier society.

I recently had an opportunity to speak at the Knew Health Vision Tour in San Diego. This tour is a 22-city, grass-roots effort from Knew Health, dedicated to raising national awareness about functional medicine as the solution to our nation’s health crisis. It was a great symposium with terrific speakers that you can check out here. The following is the talk I gave. I hope you find it interesting, inspiring or thought provoking enough to delve deeper into Functional and Integrative Medicine.

"My name is Mona Ezzat Velinov, my patients call me Dr. Mona. I want to share a bit about my story and how functional and integrative medicine came into my life.

12 yrs ago I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. It came as a shock to me. I was young, had healthy habits—or at least I thought so at the time. I was busy in the hustle and bustle of family medicine.

I was told I would need surgery followed by radiation treatment. I asked my doctors a simple question, "why"? "Why did I have it? What can I do to help my body heal?" No one could give me the answers.

It just happened that I was scheduled to attend a vitamin and supplement conference led by Mimi Guarneri the weekend after my diagnosis. I arrived at the conference in a state of flux and open for change.

I had the great fortune to hear not only Dr. G that weekend, but Dr. Jeff Bland as well. His presentation covered the basis of functional medicine. I was astounded by Dr. Bland’s energy, enthusiasm and most of all his message. Functional medicine looks for the root cause of illness with the understanding of the body as a system. It gives people the opportunity to see a trajectory to wellness instead of disease, and the tools to overcome their health challenges.

Needless to say, I was hooked and obsessed to learn more. For my own health challenges, I felt myself shifting from fear to confidence that I had the resources and support to regain my health. I incorporated what I had learned from the conference, using visualization before my surgery to guide the best outcome. After radioactive iodine treatment, I learned about the microbiome and went to work on my gut choosing foods that supported my healing.

Functional and Integrative medicine came at a pivotal time for me and forever changed my life and practice of medicine.

Today we stand at a pivotal time in history, a time for change. It is an exciting and tumultuous time. No matter your politics, we are seeing the climate and environment changing. Obesity is at an all time high. Chronic disease is on the rise. Healthcare costs in the US are higher than any other developed nation in the world. At the same time, daily discoveries are made in genomics, microbiome, cell biology and neuroscience. Technology is more accessible than ever. Data is better than ever. With these tools, and functional and integrative medicine practitioners are leading the way. No patient has to go without hope. No patient has to go without answers.

Functional and Integrative medicine practitioners are the right group of people, in the right place and the right time. We have the capacity to change healthcare, change a generation and influence the generations to come. We can lead the way to bring healthcare costs down. We can lead companies to have more productive employees. We can lead the transformation in health that will create the society of healthier, happier people. "

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