What’s NEW at the Waller Wellness Center?
You may have noticed changes going on here at the Waller Wellness Center. There are classes going on in the IV suite and delicious smells filling the office especially during our cooking class! If you referred a friend or family member recently, you found out that we are doing things differently. Over the past two years we have been developing and implementing a new program called the “Optimal Wellness Program”.
What is the Optimal Wellness Program (OWP)?
The Optimal Wellness Program is a curriculum-based program that provides a systematic step-by-step approach for achieving health goals and attaining optimal wellness. It includes 9 educational classes based on the “5 Pillars of Health” (i.e. Detoxification, Nutrition, Hormonal Balance, Fitness and the Nervous System) and offers an easy to follow approach guided by experienced health educators. The classes are held monthly in the evenings and afternoons to accommodate any schedule and can be taken over a one-year period. Students are given weekly “homework” assignments and lifestyle changes are gradually incorporated at a slow enough pace to fit any busy schedule. Email support and education are provided daily to supplement the educational process. Mentors and health coaches are available to help students stay on track and guide them through the process.
Why Change Things?
We developed this program after realizing that we were not providing enough support to help our patients change the lifestyle factors that were negatively impacting their health. Although our patients were experiencing definite improvements in their health they would often plateau before completely reaching their health goals. Since lifestyle factors such as food choices, stress levels, sleep, exercise, and toxin exposures etc. play the biggest role in the quality of our health (95% lifestyle vs. 5% genetics), we felt the need to do better.
How Do I Sign Up?
Before enrolling in the Optimal Wellness Program new patients must attend an educational talk to get better acquainted with our office and the way we do things. Call our office at 248-844-1414 and we will let you know when the next one is scheduled.
To enroll in the “Optimal Wellness Program” as an existing patient just call and say you would like to join as an existing patient. You will not need to attend the educational talk because you are already aware of what we do here and why!
Why Do I Need to Come to a Talk First?
As we developed this program and thought about how to introduce it to new patients, we realized that a “pre-education” process was essential. As many of our current patients have told us; when they first came to us, they had no idea what to expect. They may have thought that our office was “just like regular medicine, only more holistic”. They didn’t realize that insurance wasn’t going to pay for things or that it would take some time to see results because we were using natural therapies which are more gradual and subtler. They had no idea what “Functional Medicine” was or how it was different. They also may not have realized how important lifestyle changes were in achieving their health goals and that they were going to have to put in some effort to see the improvements they wanted. So, as we looked back over the last 10 years, we realized that we needed to do better at helping people understand what to expect in our office.
What Do You Talk About?
During our informational meetings we discuss all the things just mentioned, but we also talk about the current “Healthcare Crisis” and why the current healthcare system will never be able to give you what you need because it’s “broken” in so many ways. Here are just two examples we discuss: 1) It doesn’t address the underlying cause(s) of your health issues or teach you how to resolve them. It uses drugs to cover up and mask the symptoms. 2) The current system does not step in to do anything until a disease process has gotten so bad that there are very few options remaining i.e. “Let’s just watch that high blood sugar level. You’re not diabetic yet. Cut back on the sweets OK?”
We will explain how our approach is different and introduce the concept of the “5 Pillars of Health”. We will talk about the importance of an educational process which incorporates a systematic step by step approach to discovering and resolving the underlying cause(s) of your health issues. And finally, we will discuss the importance of having mentors who can guide you through the process and ensure your success.
These pre-educational talks allow us to find those who are willing to commit their time and effort into achieving their health goals and help us “weed out” those who are just looking for a “quick fix”. As many of you have discovered, being proactive about your health is not easy and not everyone is ready to do the work required. We make the process much easier by breaking it up into bite sized pieces and giving you support all along the way, but you still need to make the commitment.
What Happens Next?
At the end of the educational talk you will have an opportunity to sign up for an appointment with Dr. Waller. The goal of this appointment is to see if the program is a good fit for you, and to see if we can help and accept you. We will ask you to fill out some paperwork which you will bring to your appointment. Dr. Waller will review your paperwork and any labs you would like to bring. She will then ask questions about your health goals and discuss how we would be able to help you reach those goals, including your recommended treatment plan.
How Has OWP Been Going?
It has surpassed our wildest expectations! The results we have seen are truly remarkable! Lives have been changed so incredibly that we decided to make it the exclusive way that new patients can come into our practice. And we are now offering this program to our existing patients.
What Can I Expect if I Join?
There are two parallel tracts occurring simultaneously when you become a new patient. The first tract is called the “Medical Detective” tract and begins with our collection of data (“clues”) from several sources. We request your medical records to ensure that we know all about your history, then we order even more comprehensive diagnostic testing which allows us to uncover the underlying causes of your health issues. When all the results are back you will meet with your medical provider who will explain what the results mean, what is causing your problems and what your treatment plan must include to address each cause. You will continue to have these one on one visits throughout the year to provide you with individualized attention and the ability to ask pertinent questions.
The second tract is called the “Wellness Curriculum” tract. This is where we teach you about how your body works and give you the tools you’ll need to resolve your health concerns for life. You will have one year to complete the classes and may repeat any of the classes during the year if space allows. Upon enrollment you will receive your “Wellness Curriculum” binder with all your educational materials and homework assignments. You will also be scheduled for an appointment to have your body composition testing (Bio-Impedance Analysis) done, and your orientation class.
The wellness curriculum includes 9 classes (see descriptions below) and two dietician visits for individualized instruction and menu planning. Classes are held Monday through Thursday and are offered in the evenings and afternoons, so they will fit most any work schedule. They last 1-2 hours depending on the amount of material to cover and number of participants with questions to discuss. The first four classes need to be taken in order because they build on each other, but the remaining five classes can be taken in any order and at your own pace. The classes are run by Naomi Martoia RN our Program Director, but we also bring in outside certified instructors to provide you with their specific areas of expertise.
For the Fitness class we bring in a personal trainer to provide class instruction and do a fitness assessment. This allows us to give each student individualized fitness recommendations. The Stress Reduction & Sleep class includes a “gentle joints” yoga session and meditation instruction with a certified Yoga instructor. By providing you with a variety of “tools in your toolbox” we are confident you will be more likely to incorporate the ones you like into your daily and weekly routines.