Community Spotlight: Welcome to Your New Year Reset with Dr. Laura Korman
by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
The events of this past year took a physical, mental and emotional toll on most—if not all—of us to at least some degree. Of course, there was the invisible but continual threat of COVID-19, but even beyond that, we also had an undercurrent of both societal and personal stress to contend with almost daily. Stress can lead to acute and chronic issues in the body such as heart conditions, hormonal imbalances, gastrointestinal pain, inflammation, autoimmune diseases or high blood pressure, the American Heart Association points out.
While 2020 is finally in our rearview mirror, the residual impact of this stressful year remains, so it’s crucial to prioritize the health of our bodies as we enter 2021. Circumstances that generate a stress response are often inevitable and out of our control, but when are bodies are strong, healthy, active and resilient, we can manage the outcome of stress more effectively. We can endure the situation without compromising our physical stamina or wellness.
So how can we shed the remnants of 2020 from our systems and reset our bodies for optimal health in the New Year? Dr. Laura Korman, owner of the Korman Relief and Wellness Center in Port Charlotte, is here to explore that question. As a chiropractic physician, functional medicine doctor and nutritional consultant, Dr. Korman teaches her patients how to combat weight issues, chronic pain, illness or fatigue with sustainable, holistic lifestyle changes. Dr. Korman is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Northwestern College of Chiropractic and the American Functional Neurology Institute.
She has also completed a 300-hour post-doctoral Diplomate in Nutrition certification from the American Clinical Board of Nutrition. During her 31 years in practice, Dr. Korman has created INNATE28, a 28-day metabolic reset program, and GEARED2bewell, a six-week inclusive online program which delves into the roles of stress, mindset, stress, nutrition, exercise and sleep in treating various forms of chronic illness. So on this note, allow me to introduce Dr. Korman in our first Community Spotlight of 2021.
Natural Awakenings: After a stressful year in 2020, what are some practices or modalities that we all can use to help reset our bodies at the start of 2021?
Dr. Laura Korman: The message I share with my patients right now is, “Get healthy before you get sick,” because the best defense is always our own defense. So with that being said, here are three ways to reset the body and strengthen immune resistance.
First, I recommend that we all practice gratitude and resist the fear saturating our world right now. Whether real or perceived, fear has a negative impact on our health, and I believe it can lead to more detrimental effects than being infected by this virus in the long-term. A thankful attitude and a focus on what truly matters in life—family members, friendships and community—can lower our stress response and optimize immune function.
Another defense is to eliminate refined sugars and reduce processed carbohydrates including those which contain gluten. Void of real nutrition, these “junk foods” are highly addictive, promote inflammation and lower the white blood cell response. But on the other hand, consuming “live” food, which requires refrigeration and is found primarily around the perimeter of the grocery store, can fuel our bodies with most of the nutrition they need to resist diseases and maintain optimal health.
Finally, I recommend more outdoor activities in the New Year such as walking, biking or gardening, for example. This allows us to oxygenate our bodies and brains, reduce the effects of stress, and increase our Vitamin D levels which are directly correlated with immune health. Research has shown a sedentary lifestyle to be as detrimental to health as smoking. Not to mention, with more of us working from home now, excessive sitting is a real problem which contributes to increased mortality rates due to various causes.
NA: Could you describe the basis of functional medicine, how it can provide more benefits than conventional medicine alone, and what motivated you to practice it?
Dr. Korman: Functional medicine, also known as “root case medicine,” is a whole-body treatment approach that focuses on why someone exhibits certain symptoms, and then seeks to treat the whole person through lifestyle and nutritional intervention. This differs from traditional medicine where the primary focus is to diagnose isolated symptoms, then suppress them with medication and other invasive procedures like surgery.
Although both methods have their place in healthcare, conventional allopathic medicine works best in acute situations such as trauma, heart attacks, strokes and infections. Functional medicine, however, is better able to care for those with long-term, chronic illnesses such as digestive disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and auto-immunity.
NA: Finally, what health and safety measures are you taking in the midst of COVID-19?
Dr. Korman: We strive to facilitate both cleanliness and social distancing as much as possible in our practice for the safety of our patients and staff. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the office, and we ensure that all common areas are clean and sterile. As always, patients who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms are asked not to come in.
Currently, we do not have a mask mandate in our office, but we encourage patients to wear one if they or a loved one is immuno-compromised. Our staff members wear masks if interacting with patients in a confined room or in close proximity.
Please join me in thanking Dr. Laura Korman—and all of our local healthcare heroes—for her commitment to preserving the wellness of our community. Whatever this year might hold, it’s important to ensure our bodies are able to function optimally in the midst of stressors that come our way. So if now is the time for a physical reset, Dr. Korman has you covered.
The Korman Relief and Wellness Center is located at 16954 Toledo Blade Blvd., Port Charlotte. For more information, visit DrLauraKorman.com. To schedule an appointment, call 941-629-6700 or email [email protected]
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer is the Managing Editor of Natural Awakenings Sarasota–Manatee. She also works as a freelance writer, blogger and social media marketer. Her personal blog HealthBeAHippie.Wordpress.com features tips for embracing an active, nutritious, balanced and empowered lifestyle.