Yesterday (Sunday) I attended an all-day Functional Practitioner’s workshop held by Dr Leslie Stone and Dr Michael Stone, who run a clinic in Oregon and an online site http://growbabyhealth.com/

8 hours, preconception through to toddler.  There was a lot about how each trimester affect outcomes not only for your baby, but for your baby’s genetics, which means that your pregnancy impacts future generations (astounding!)

The importance of Preconception healthcare, natural vs Caesar babies, preterm births, birth traumas, the 1st 1000 days, mom’s health, genetics, diet and stress, medications, traumas and so on, a lot of which happens to a lot of us.  Many adults are dealing with consequences of events that were not understood in this context at the time of our births, right?

The Drs Stone highlighted 5 areas in which all humans should thrive, at age-appropriate levels: Physiological, Cognitive, Emotional, Physical, and Social.  Altered function in any of these areas should be addressed, and for this 1st blog we’ll take the example of a physiological imbalance, and use eczema, atopic dermatitis and skin issues as the example. Because it’s the skin, it’s a ‘barrier issue’.  What does that mean?  Skin is a barrier between your body and the outside world. Your other barriers include the intestinal wall, lung lining and blood-brain barrier.  We know from Functional Medicine that what affects one barrier affects all barriers.  The Stones don’t suggest starting with expensive allergy testing but rather to consider a Therapeutic Probe – in other words, eliminating common triggers and/or adding supplements at therapeutic doses and observing changes and responding accordingly. Please don’t try this at home – it’s always best to work with a Functional Medicine Practitioner, our resident herbalist or Health Coach. 

If you do want to run some tests, vitamin D, A, zinc and magnesium levels are ‘barrier nutrients’ and should be optimal (these levels vary depending on who you talk to and your health coach or Functional Dr can help you wade through data).  You can choose not to test and go ahead with a therapeutic probe, working with a health coach or Functional Medicine Practitioner – adding the supplement and observing over time at gradually increasing doses.  Removing common allergens like dairy and gluten, making sure there’s little in the way of plastics, bleach, soap, chlorine and other household chemicals, and pesticides (if possible).  A huge benefit to barrier function exists in the Peyers Patches in the small intestine and I was so excited to hear that because I know an ancient and easy way to work these patches back to healthy activity!  Broth from a very long cooked whole, free-range, hormone-and-antibiotic-free free-range chicken including the skin, supplemental vitamin A (or foods high in carotenoids) and probiotic specific treatments…

Making changes to physiological functions requires focus and dedication to the task.  Our bodies heal at their own pace, so patient perseverance is required to achieve positive outcomes.  I have been through this process with my own child and later on, through my health challenges I have done it again.  It’s profoundly beneficial and the positive physiological outcomes very sustainable.

Our next blog in this series will deal with another of the 5 Areas of Wellness.