Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic Wellness Program
By Thomas A. Kruzel, ND, Robyn A. Conte, NMD
Drs. Kruzel designed a wellness program that is comprehensive, cost-effective and empowering. The Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic Wellness Program provides comprehensive testing to identify problem areas and offer solutions to current health issues, a complete physical examination, and positive coaching to achieve your health goals. This is accomplished over seven office visits during the next year to keep you on course and help implement the lifestyle changes needed to achieve optimal health.
Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic (RNMC) offers this program to alleviate the stress many Americans are facing in today’s economic crisis. Many Americans are faced with the reality of rising health care costs, especially the cost of insurance. Most employers provide some sort of health care coverage. Often these insurance plans are more expensive for employees through plan costs, deductibles and co-pays. Unfortunately, many companies are dropping health care coverage altogether due to their high cost. Corporate wellness programs, offered to promote healthy lifestyles, are often designed by human resource personnel with little or no medical training. Therefore, personnel who partake are often left to fend for themselves once the initial stage is over.
Who are the uninsured?
According to government statistics about 47 million Americans were uninsured in 2005 and continue to increase annually. Today, the roughly 50 million uninsured Americans are predominately employed adults between the ages of 16 to 65. Additionally, 8.7 million children are uninsured because their parents do not have insurance coverage.
“I am interested in getting people to use the healthcare system at the right time, getting them to see the doctor early enough, before a small health problem turns serious.”
How does this effect Americans?
Because of poor healthcare coverage and rising costs, preventive care has virtually been eliminated. Loss of preventative care allows disease to progress to advanced stages before it is discovered, requiring greater interventions and associated costs. Children are less likely to receive wellness check ups, regardless of race, ethnicity, or income status. The uninsured are 30-50% more likely to be hospitalized for an avoidable condition. For example, wellness checks often evaluate blood sugar levels. Increases in blood sugar (among other factors) can be caught in time, before a person develops Type II diabetes. Intervention in the early stages can prevent diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart disease, vision loss, and painful neuropathies.
Prevention and Wellness
Health care in America is largely a system of disease management through “managed care.” Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma and chronic kidney disease (among others) are diseases that are largely preventable, but once established are a significant drain on individual resources. In addition to the financial cost, the effects on normal activities of daily living and emotional cost to patients and their families can be tremendous.
“The society which fosters research to save human life cannot escape responsibility for the life thus extended. It is for science not only to add years to life, but more important, to add life to years.”
Piersol & Bortz
Why is prevention of disease important?
Wellness exams are an important part of disease prevention and our ability to enjoy life as we age. As we get older our “safety net” of defense mechanisms becomes smaller and we are more susceptible to disease. Our older years should be enjoyed to the fullest, not by popping prescription medicines and shuffling to different doctors weekly. On average, Americans aged 65+ now take between 8 to 10 different prescription medications.
It may be surprising to learn that most of the diseases of old age begin between the ages 40 to 55 years. This is when most of the diseases of old age begin as a sense of dis-ease, which most people ignore because they haven’t taken control of their own health. It is the low energy, weight-gain, irregular sleep patterns, digestive problems and the accepted notion that prescription medications will correct these problems and stave off illness that ultimately lead to the development of disease. Just because we are advancing in our years does not mean that our blood pressure or cholesterol levels will automatically need medication in order to regulate. By taking care of ourselves through prevention programs, we can avoid the multiple medications so commonly seen and their side effects.
“Establishing and maintaining optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone, no matter what disease(s) are being experienced. If wellness is really recognized and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given disease than direct treatment of the disease alone.”
Maureen O’Keefe, MS, PhD
What are wellness programs?
Traditional programs typically consist of one to two visits and are generic in their approach. They include basic screening, a physical exam, and suggestions on diet and exercise. Most programs developed by corporations are designed to ultimately reduce their cost in health insurance. They help employees lose weight, control blood pressure, stop smoking and decrease risk factors for heart disease. Some enterprising employers provide incentives for their employees who quit smoking or lose weight. These programs are largely employee driven and monitored and achieve varying degrees of success, depending on the motivation of the participant.
Statistics suggest that many participants drop out of such programs due to lack of understanding as to how to implement the program or why it’s beneficial. The absence of on-going guidance and periodic follow-ups, are cited by participants as reasons for lack of follow through.
“Both the physician and the patient must develop a team approach to the healing process and development of a more healthy lifestyle. In order to do this, the patient must be empowered to take part in his or her own health care. This requires full disclosure of treatment options, as well as possible and expected out comes, and an appropriate referral if necessary. It is incumbent upon the physician to be sensitive to patients’ needs, levels of commitment, and desire to know about their illness; not everyone is ready and willing to progress at the same rate.”
Thomas A. Kruzel, ND
Ideal Wellness Programs
Ideal Wellness Programs are individualized and tailored for each participant. A program modified to fit the individual has a better chance of success than one that is generic simply because it meets the needs of the participant and as a result, they are able to achieve their goals. For any wellness program to be successful, it must remain in place for 8 to 12 months so that the health changes can become routine. Once established as part of someone’s normal activities of daily living, on-going compliance is more likely.
Ideal Wellness Programs recognize disease markers before they become serious health problems, which averts disease and provides a significant cost saving.
How to get started with RNMC’s Wellness Program
Getting started takes three steps:
1. Commit to follow a wellness program of your choosing.
2. Identify your health goals. This can be done in conjunction with your physician at the time of initial visit.
3. Schedule your appointments.
During your visits, you will receive an individually tailored wellness program, lifestyle changes and a schedule of implementation. Your physician will continue to modify your program as needed throughout treatment.
The programs ultimate goal is to return to normal activities of daily living by reestablishing homeostasis (balance), increasing energy levels, and enabling you to take control of your health through education and support.
RNMC Wellness Program Outline
Outlined is the basic program. Modifications are made over the course of the program depending upon individual patient needs and response.
1st Visit – Initial visit for intake and blood draw.
Fasting blood draw:
Dietary Serotype Panel, CBC, C-crp, Chemistry Screen + Lipid, TSH, Total T4, Free T4, T3U, Urinalysis, Spectracell analysis/spectratox.
2nd visit – PE + review of labs, DSP and PE findings, supplement and exercise program outlined.
3rd visit – (1 month) review program, review Spectracell Analysis & SpectraTox; adjust supplement program based upon Spectracell findings, check vitals & weight.
4th visit – (2 months) review progress, check vitals & weight.
5th visit – (3 months) review progress, check vitals & weight.
6th visit – (3 months) review progress, check vitals & weight
7th visit – (3 months) repeat fasting labs, review progress, check vitals & weight.
End of program
Includes: Office visits, scheduled lab tests.
Not included: supplements, additional testing for preexisting medical conditions or to rule out suspected diseases, or referrals to specialists.
Complete Blood Count – rules out anemia and infection.
Chemistry Screen – assessment of organ system function such as heart, kidneys, liver, electrolyte balance and to screen for diseases such as diabetes.
Lipid Panel – assessment of cholesterol, triglycerides to assess coronary artery disease risk factors.
Cardiac CRP – assessment of inflammatory markers that can contribute to the development of disease.
Urinalysis – an excellent screening test for the presence of internal disease.
Thyroid function studies – assesses thyroid function which is related to energy levels.
Spectra Cell Analysis – assessment of the body’s level of specific nutrients. The analysis is a unique test that measures cell growth in the absence of specific nutrients. If growth occurs, the nutrient is present in adequate intracellular amounts. If growth is retarded or absent, then the nutrient is lacking and needs to be supplemented.
Spectra Tox – assessment of the body’s total antioxidant score. White blood cells are subjected in culture to toxins and their survival rate is a function of their ability to neutralize them. This is a measure of how the body is able to handle toxic environments.
Dietary Serotype Panel – individualized dietary recommendations based upon specific genetic markers. The panel not only helps assign a specific diet, but also determines the patient’s secretor status, a determinant of disease development, and risk factors for development of certain diseases. Dietary recommendations made help patients lose or gain weight as is needed by the individual as well as address food allergies.