Finding Wellness at Its Source: Q&A with Virtue of Health
by Mary-Elizabeth Schurer
It’s that annual time once again, where we collectively start to re-examine our state of wellness and quality of life, then determine our health resolutions for the New Year. But as we plan ahead to embrace well-being in 2022, I propose we take a holistic “deep dive” to unearth the source of our physical, mental or emotional blockages and restore balance from the inside out.
Fortunately, we live in an area full of health practitioners, whose life’s work is to help us along that journey—so for our December Community Spotlight, I want to introduce you to one such practitioner. Dr. Christine Wildeman, MD, ABOIM, is an Integrative Medicine physician who, as of this month, will also be an official, integral member of the team at Sarasota’s Virtue of Health, owned by Dr. Jaqylin Jacobs, NMD. Get to know Dr. Wildeman in the Q&A chat below and learn how she could be instrumental in your health goals for 2022!
Natural Awakenings: What attracted you to join the Virtue of Health team, and what is your background with the particular modalities commonly used in this practice?
Dr. Christine Wildeman: I love Dr. Jaqlyn’s passion for holistic medicine and the vision she has for a more effective health care delivery system, which starts with identifying the root cause of a disease process. This includes a comprehensive assessment of each person’s elements of health, using advanced labs and bio-resonance recognition technology to determine where and why orthomolecular imbalances could be occurring within the body.
I have in-depth experience with a variety of treatment modalities: successful detoxification programs; DNA-based gut microbiome tests; intracellular macro and micro nutrient lab assessments, along with the corresponding IV treatments; biologic age monitoring with telomere tests; ozone and prolozone therapy; and regenerative medicine programs, which include customized peptide and bioidentical hormone replacements.
NA: Which types of illnesses or health conditions do you specialize in treating, and how do you work to empower your patients with the knowledge to take ownership of their own well-being, course of treatment and lifestyle choices?
Dr. Wildeman: I have a special passion for brain health. My theory is simple: the brain, like any other organ system wants to function both efficiently and effectively. However, it is not able to if there are nutrient deficiencies, cellular toxicities or neurochemically damaged neurons due to physical or emotional trauma.
As a board certified Integrative Physician, I exhibit continual success with a comprehensive neurobiologic evaluation and customizable holistic treatment plan to repair and restore optimal brain function. This treatment plan includes three tiers: removing any toxins or toxicant from the body, replacing all nutrient deficiencies, then utilizing micro-current neurofeedback sessions. The micro-current neurofeedback system is a safe, effective and drug-free solution that promotes a healing environment for the brain, which in healthier cognitive function and balanced autoneuroregulation.
During this healing journey, I also believe that a thorough evaluation of each person’s six essential elements of health is imperative. These which include: nutrition, sleep, movement, stress management, mindfulness with gratitude, and an overall sense of purpose. Helping patients identify where their health elements are imbalanced, then providing both education and support is the key to achieving optimal health and wellness for each person.
NA: What are some natural, accessible ways that people can strengthen their immune systems, both to defend against COVID-19 and as cold-flu season rounds the corner?
Dr. Wildeman: Efforts to decrease inflammation and maximize oxygenation utilization are key in order to optimize biologic cell health—no matter the viral pathogen we face. Eating a diet rich in Vitamins A, C, E, D3, magnesium and selenium, along with soluble fiber and both pro- and prebiotic foods, is essential to boost the innate immune response.
Supporting a healthy immune response also includes being consistently active, spending time outdoors, limiting exposure to Wi-Fi electronic devices, and making an effort to connect with others in a positive, meaningful way.
NA: Is there anything else you want our readers to know about the holistic approaches you use, the services you offer, or even your own experience as a practitioner?
Dr. Wildeman: I was raised in a rural Iowa town and pursued my dream of becoming a doctor, so that I could make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Buena Vista University. Then, I enrolled in medical school at the University of Iowa, where I completed a family practice residency at CRMEF and received my board certification in family practice in 1999.
In 2019, I graduated from the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine in La Jolla, California, with a two-year fellowship degree in Integrative Medicine, then achieved my board certification in Integrative Medicine in 2020.
I enjoyed a 20-year career in primary care with experience that ranged from inpatient and outpatient family medicine to the emergency room. I also led a team of therapists, nurses, dietitians and social workers, while serving as a medical director in a rehabilitation hospital system. In my medical career, I loved helping patients heal from their diseases, but over time, I became frustrated with the state of our current conventional health care system.
I began to realize the focus had shifted into more of an “ill care” system and away from a meaningful, effective health care system. I was no longer able to devote an appropriate amount of time to my patients or order the appropriate testing in order to figure out the root cause of their conditions. On the contrary, I was affirmed for seeing as many patients as possible, no matter the quality of care I was able to provide.
For those reasons, I chose to step out of that system and join Virtue of Health, a true integrative medical practice, which focuses on treating a disease process at its root. This heals and restores wellness to the whole person through assessment and treatment plans tailored to each patient, combining the best of conventional and complementary medicine.
The mission at Virtual of Health Wellness Center is to help patients understand the ecosystem that occurs within their bodies through a combination of both Integrative and Functional Medicine that delves beneath the surface-level symptoms to find the underlying cause of disease. With this approach, the Virtue of Health team can promote a healthier quality of life and optimize well-being.
Virtue of Health is located at 4161 Clark Road, Sarasota. For more information, call 941-724-6399 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.