Dr Doni Wilson’s Gift for Every Busy Practitioner & Stressed Patient
By Kimberly Lord Stewart
Interview with Doni Wilson, ND, licensed naturopath and author of the Stress Remedy
Whether you and your patients embrace December holidays with joy or dread the overzealous pace of shopping, entertaining and visiting relatives, it’s simply exhausting. A little stress is expected. But for some, the physical and emotional stress can trigger chronic disease flare-ups including adrenal fatigue, autoimmune conditions and mood disorders.
Celebrated naturopathic doctor, author and stress expert Dr. Doni Wilson believes every practitioner should have a tool kit to help patients get through the stressful holidays. In this webinar, she will tell you how to support your patients through dietary guidance and adrenal support and offer tips for 15-minute stress reduction.
Best of all, she presents this information in a low-stress format that even the busiest practitioner will find easy to remember AND easy to apply to their practice. The holidays are just around the corner. Make sure you have all the resources you need to help your clients make it through the holidays smoothly and healthfully this year.
KLS: How often do you find patient health issues are related to stress?
DW: Many health issues are related to stress, so much so it can often seem that you are putting out fires when you really want to get to the underlying causes. Either way, they are all caused by stress. It’s easy to get distracted by the fires. And, it’s common to feel that you need a new approach to getting to the deeper causes as well. That’s what I plan to cover in this webinar.
KLS: What health issues are related to stress, especially during the holidays?
Common symptoms are anxiety, depression, sleep issues, weight gain and bloating. It is very common for patients to backtrack during the holidays and not just from emotional stress, but also stress from exposure to more sugar, alcohol, food allergens and cold weather viruses, as well as disturbances to normal sleep patterns.
KLS: Is there a particular health issue that you’ve seen improve greatly by addressing stress?
DW: Whether it’s infections, foods or toxins – each input stresses the body’s system. Stress exacerbates existing health issues and susceptibility to disease, including cancer, diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure and the many other lifestyle related diseases.
The most significant health issue related to stress is autoimmune conditions. They are multifactoral and affect multiple systems and organs. No one case looks like the other. And, because they are so complex, they are often misdiagnosed and the medications prescribed to address individual symptoms only exacerbate the condition.
Rather than taking a piecemeal approach, you can address multiple symptoms by addressing the one single common denominator – stress. And, ideally if one addresses each kind of stress – emotional or physical – then one can see steady progress that decreases the autoimmune response.
KLS: As you say, autoimmune diseases are extremely complex. What are some of the wrong turns that you see by the time a patient crosses your practice threshold?
DW: There is a tendency to capture these diseases into one umbrella term, called autoimmunity. However, treatment protocols can vary significantly. Most practitioners see at least some form of autoimmunity. Frequently I see a patient whose doctor has opted for immuno-suppression treatment protocols, rather than get to the underlying cause. This can mask the underlying cause and lead to further complications.
I describe autoimmunity as a confused immune system. A patient’s genetics and individual response to stress leaves them susceptible to particular autoimmune disease manifestations – lupus, leaky gut, gluten sensitivity or celiac, pain and weakness – the list is long. However, when you look deeper, there is usually a common trigger caused by an internal or external stressor.
The confused autoimmune system responds by attacking healthy cells. Stress leads to an internal state of confusion, whereby instead of looking for something foreign, the body attacks itself. The result is a string of inflammatory processes that interfere with the body’s healthy state of functioning.
It can be fixed. I see in my practice every day that it goes away. One’s genetics do not predetermine a person to constantly live with autoimmunity and this bombardment of damaging reactions.
KLS: If genetics are not the-be-all, end-all of autoimmunity, how can this be stopped?
When we break the pattern of cytokines, hormones and neurotransmitters that are perpetuating the autoimmunity, we facilitate change. The cytokines, hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances are spreading the message of stress through the body. When we turn off that stress message, then system corrects itself.
The best way to turn off the stress message is yes to decrease stress, but even more so to provide opportunities for the body to correct and rebalance the stress response. It is not just about decreasing exposure to stress, but it is also about increasing exposure to stress balancing. This is not often taught, so practitioners are often in need of a toolkit for how to do this.
It is up to the care provider to rebalance the body’s stress response – it can’t be eliminated entirely – but we can make the body more responsive. This is how we can help patients get through the roller coaster of stress and ultimately recovery.
KLS: How did you get to this specialized approach?
DW: I find this the best way to help patients achieve their health goals. If I can help patients understand how things “fall apart” and how to get them back on track again, they can begin to work with me to restore their body’s back to the place where they belong. We are living in human bodies after all. By gaining awareness for how we are affected by stress, and how to support our bodies under stress, we can prevent health issues, which is truly preventive medicine. I share my approach and tips for how to implement in the webinar “Decompression Tool Kit” that is now available ondemand.
Watch Webinar On-Demand
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.