Welcome to VibrantDoc! Now more than ever, your health matters.Today, many of us are looking at our health with new perspective. We are largely shut off from the health resources and activities we normally rely on, but this may be an opportunity for us all to consider that we are, in many ways, in charge of our own health.
Getting sick is nobody’s fault, but staying well is something you can do something about. Now is the time to begin looking for new ways of thinking about health, and new tools for coping with the physical and emotional impact of our current public health crisis.
So ask yourself: How am I feeling? How well am I functioning? How robust is my immune system? How strong am I right now, physically and mentally? In light of these difficult times, I’m launching this platform to bring you vital, science-based and lifestyle-driven integrative health information, to help you take your health and wellness into your own hands, access your body’s own deep wisdom and healing power, and look and feel more vibrant every day.
Wondering about something you’ve heard in the news? I’ll give you the unaffiliated and unfiltered truth. Wishing you felt better? I’ll empower you to begin building better health from the inside out, in ways that are scientifically proven, but that you probably won’t hear about from your health care provider (unless you have a functional medicine doctor). Concerned about staying healthy? I’ve got lifestyle advice that can transform you, so that you radiate health from the deepest levels of your body and mind. You have the power within you to fight off illness, reverse dysfunction, heal, and optimize your health, so that you aren’t just getting by. You are thriving.
I began my training in conventional medicine, but what I began to learn in medical school didn’t sit right with me. It seemed to me that what conventional medicine emphasizes was going in the wrong direction. It doesn’t make sense, in my world view, to just patch up symptoms without getting to, and addressing, the root cause of health imbalances. When I found functional medicine, I found a path that seemed much more logical: Look at the whole person to see what might be disrupting the human body’s formidable powers to maintain and build vibrant health. In this age of modern medicine, it can be easy to slip into the false belief that drugs and surgery are what “fix” health problems, but this is not how healing works. The body already contains an intricate and complex system to fight off microbial invaders and heal itself: the immune system. Drugs may relieve uncomfortable symptoms or force balance when your body’s internal functions are dangerously out of whack (like taking insulin to bring down a precipitous rise in blood sugar, taking an antibiotic to help get control over an infection, or taking an anti-depressant to recalibrate brain chemistry to address severe depression). Surgery can repair structures like broken bones or torn ligaments, or remove tumors, cysts, or irreparably diseased or dysfunctional organs. These are all important and amazing examples of how human ingenuity has changed the face of healthcare over the centuries.
There is no question that drugs and surgeries are necessary to save lives and rescue us from acute health situations. But…they are not a panacea. In so many cases, the underlying health dysfunction that might trigger the need for medication or surgery isn’t an acute, or short-lived and seemingly sudden, illness that can be resolved as quickly as most conventional medicine would lead us to believe. Most of the time, in our modern world, it is just the opposite.
Chronic health issues such as type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, arthritis, and even heart disease result (just to name a few) can lead to acute health crises requiring drugs and surgery, but are largely preventable through lifestyle shifts.
In most cases, chronic disease simmers for years with low-level, undiagnosable symptoms, until “suddenly” you have a disease. Drugs and surgery do not address these years of chronic disease development. They can only intervene when it’s too late for prevention.
The immune system is the cornerstone of your health, detecting illness, disease, and injury, and directing your body’s unique response. Drugs and surgery do not create immune responses. Your body does that. When you get a virus, or an infection, or you pull or strain something, or your hormones are out of balance, or your blood sugar is getting too high, or you have headaches or digestive issues, your body’s immune system is largely capable of taking care of the problem…if it has the right tools to run properly.
What are those tools? Organs and biochemistry that work the way they should, fueled by complete and clean nutrition, good working circulation and detoxification systems, mobile joints and strong muscles, and resilience to stressors, both physical and mental. A healthy body, with a strong immune system at its core, can meet challenges and grow stronger because of them. Isn’t that what we all want?
Yet, people often get in the way of their body’s natural healing actions. They load their bodies down with too much food and empty calories void of vital nutrients, and with chemicals and drugs the liver must divert energy to process, for your protection. People also inhibit their body’s natural healing power by living a sedentary life that does not properly stimulate circulation and detoxification, and by succumbing to chronic stress and its partners in crime: bad health habits like eating too much, drinking too heavily, over-medicating, smoking, and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
But the way to deep meaningful health is to support your body’s actions, rather than block them. You can do this by keeping your diet nutrient-rich and as free as possible from chemicals like pesticides and other endocrine disruptors; by moving your body and keeping your muscles strong, your joints limber, and your heart and lungs regularly invigorated; by taking natural high-quality supplements to fill in the gaps your diet may not cover; and by managing your stress and mental health state with regular exercise, purposeful calming, and continual adjustment of your own attitudes, priorities, and commitment to self-care.
The current climate of fear and anxiety, social isolation and reduced physical activity, economic uncertainty and hardship, and a higher-than-normal risk of serious viral illness has led many of us to feel powerless across so many aspects of life. In this environment, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that being healthy, feeling well, and living vibrantly, is squarely within your power and control. What better time to remind ourselves of this?
You have the power to greatly enhance your own health. You have the power to boost your own immunity. You have the power to decide what you will eat, how you will move, and whether or not you will face your stresses head on and deal with them, or ignore them and let them wage their insidious war against your health. You have the power to become resilient by supporting your body in what it does best: heal.
That’s where VibrantDoc can help. On this site, and via my social media channels, I will be bringing you the very latest news about what you can do right now to live a healthier, more vigorous, more vibrant life. I’ll weigh in on the latest health news and tell you whether or not I think it’s worth your attention. When it is, I’ll tell you how to turn science into lifestyle advice you can use right now. I’ll give you my thoughts on what foods, supplements, and exercises can help, and which might actually be harmful. I’ll keep you informed about the functional medicine perspective on health, as well as on the current crisis. And, perhaps most importantly, because I am not selling anything, because I have no conflicts of interest, and because I have an (admitted) tendency to be, ahem, straightforward in my opinions, you can trust that my advice will always be unaffiliated and unfiltered.
I hope you will return often. I will continually update this site with fresh new content that reflects what’s happening in the world right now. Let VibrantDoc be your go-to resource for health information that is powerful, actionable, colorful, and even a bit controversial…because the cutting edge always is.
Most of all, I want you to explore what I’ve got to offer. Find what speaks to you, what you want to try, and what will help you become your strongest, brightest, most energetic, most vital, most vigorous self yet. In other words, I want to help you—no matter what is going on around you—become as vibrant as possible. It is your body’s purpose, and your biological destiny.
Thanks for visiting, and I’ll see you again soon!
Yours in Vibrant Health,
Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson