Tag Archives: medicine

Guest Post: What is Wellness FX, and Why Should I Care?

Andy Petranek is the founder of CrossFit Los Angeles. He has been inspiring people to lives of health and fitness for over 20 years. His passion for life and sport has led him in many directions – from classical music as a teenager, to the Marine Corps, whitewater kayaking, and professional adventure racing. His skills as a coach come from years spent as a student, his “beginners mindset”, and his desire to grow and learn continuously through life. He trains/coaches individuals and groups of all ages and fitness levels in nutrition, fitness, and athletic conditioning.

Do you remember your last physical?  If it was anything like mine, you spent about 30 minutes waiting for the doctor, had a PA check your vitals, had the doc with you for about 10 minutes during which he poked and prodded, looking at very general things, and asking you an entire smorgasbord of questions, most of which have NOTHING to do with your particular situation, and after drawing blood at the end of the appointment he gave you an “everything’s fine”.  MAYBE you got a call with the results of your blood test, and if you did, it lasted no longer than about 3 minutes, with either a “looks good”, or “let’s get you on Lipitor to lower your cholesterol.”  Sound familiar?

Andy Petranek not falling short at the CrossFit Games

Although your physical will possibly point out MAJOR discrepancies in your health, how does it help you take a proactive role in optimizing your health and fitness over the course of your life?  Answer… it doesn’t.  It falls short, WAY short.

Enter functional medicine.  This branch of medicine distinguishes itself from others in it’s emphasis on prevention and treating underlying causes instead of symptoms. “Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. It is a science-based field of health care.”  Personally, this is WAY more interesting to me… problem is, it’s time consuming and very expensive.

Enter WellnessFX.  As a company their mission is to empower you to take charge of your health by providing you with personalized data, giving it meaning, and then connecting you with integrative health experts who can help you interpret it.  This is all done through blood testing, laboratory analysis, and an interactive web site displaying your results.  All of this is followed by a 15-45 minute phone consultation with a doctor of your choice who specializes in reading and interpreting your results.  That last piece is KEY.  Seeing results from a lab test is one thing, but trying to figure out what to do with it / about it is quite another.  I have a hard time keeping even just a few test results and numbers straight – imagine having to interpret a battery of 30 – 125 tests!  That is EXACTLY what these doctors do… they will help you make decisions about diet, lifestyle and supplementation you might want to consider to optimize your health based specifically on your numbers.  By the way, this goes beyond “oh, just eat Paleo and take fish oil.”

WellnessFX offers several packages to suit your desired health goals and commitment. It’s truly personalized medicine designed to make you get the most of your time and effort. We’re kicking off a series of draws at CrossFit LA for anyone interested in a better way to manage your health. Join me today.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Guest Post: How to Optimize Your Doctor Visit

Carrie Rinderknecht is a certified holistic health counselor and owner of Blue Sage Wellness. She offers individual and group programs to those interested in receiving holistic support and believe in the body’s natural ability to heal. To learn more, visit her website www.bluesagewellness.com.

Problem: Given the financial system that exists in the medical world today, it’s simply not possible for doctors to take the time to educate people about their health, much less spend an adequate amount of time with the patient addressing their needs.

Solution: How to maximize your time, eliminate frustration and get answers you need at the doctor’s office.

Do you get frustrated with long waits in the doctor’s office only to be rushed through your visit? One, you are not alone. Two, it’s not necessarily the doctor’s fault that the two of you are on a time crunch. Our medical system is dysfunctional, but that doesn’t mean we have to succumb to sub-par medical treatment. There are ways to maximize your time, and to empower yourself by taking greater control over and responsibility for your health so that things don’t slip through the cracks. Your doctor is there to serve you and your best interests with regard to health and is therefore in your employ. You hire your doctor through recommendations of friends and family, you keep your doctor because he or she engenders trust, is knowledgeable or has an excellent bedside manner. The bottom line is that no one knows your body better than you (you live in it!) and you deserve to be listened to, get the testing you need and find the answers you seek – or at least an honest, “I don’t know.” If you have tried the tips below and are still frustrated, it may be time to do some doctor shopping.

Here are some tips to make the best use of your time:

1)      Before your visit collect all lab tests and reports from previous doctor’s visits (you should always have your own copy of all lab results.)

2)      Prepare a list of questions and concerns to bring with you.

3)      Do your own research on symptoms and find out what the corresponding lab tests are. Ask to have these lab tests ordered. Unless there is no connection whatsoever to your symptoms your doctor should agree. It is always better to have too much information than not enough. Check out both WebMD and the Mayo Clinic’s Health Information for further assistance.

4)      After your visit, keep a log of what was discussed. (i.e., questions you asked, anything you need to remember, recommendations of doctor, & diagnoses that were made.) Date the diary entry and record subsequent questions as they come up so you can follow up next visit.

5)      Do a quick analysis of your unanswered questions. Will they be answered in results of a lab test? If the doctor didn’t adequately answer your question, do you need to do more independent research or be referred to a specialist?

As an unbiased and knowledgeable patient (“I know what works for me and what doesn’t!”) I would definitely consider working with the team at WellnessFX. Based on the patient reviews thus far, you will be working with highly conscious, progressive and thorough doctors who are able to leverage cutting-edge technology to guide you through the quagmire of your own health challenges. The structure of WellnessFX is set up so that the steps I’ve outlined above are an organic part of their process.  The diagnostics are comprehensive, you get to “hire” your own doctor, you get personalized recommendations and you can track your progress online! As a holistic health counselor who advocates preventive health care, true healing and peace of mind, I want to thank WellnessFX for locating a need in our health care system and answering the call.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

A Day in the Life of Tim Ferriss – WellnessFX featured

Tim Ferriss visited our offices the other day along with the camera crew covering a “Day in the Life of Tim Ferriss.” His draw is featured in the first few minutes (along with our co-founder Brent Vaughan). Tim Ferriss notes “WellnessFX is taking high level medicine and putting it in the hands of the consumer.” We couldn’t agree more and are excited by the possibilities for the future.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Can the Healthcare Industry Become More Social?

Social media has become part of all of our daily lives – just look at the number of smartphones issued, tweets sent and lives lived out on Facebook. Americans spend nearly 25% of their time online on average. We live in an unprecedented time for open and effective communication among health practitioners sharing knowledge, and doctors communicating directly and broadly with patients.  So how has the changing consumer landscape impacted the health industry?Consumers are better informed about their own health. For the first time in human history, it’s easy for anyone to access information about myriad health topics and to be in touch with others about these issues via social networks. The many available options include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, comments posted to a blog, YouTube, wikis, chat rooms, and other social networking sites in addition to a host of health information sites.

There is an expectation among consumers that they can use social media to connect with hospitals and healthcare professionals just as they do in every other part of their lives. Also, today’s patients are more empowered to use social media to take charge of their own health and to join online health communities in this endeavor. A spokesperson for the online physician learning collaborative QuantiaMD said most physicians were not familiar with online patient communities but those who were saw them as having a very high impact on patients and viewed them positively.

The medical community has had a mixed reaction to this demand.  Doctors are already some of the most social media-friendly members of society.   According to a survey by QuantiaMD, 87% of physicians make personal use of social media, and a slightly lesser amount, 67%, use it professionally.  Experts say high social media use among physicians is probably related to their rapid adoption of smartphone and mobile devices.

But regulation has been difficult. Mainly, the medical establishment has been slow to get on board because of the risks involved.  Primary among them is the well-founded fear of violating strict patient-privacy laws otherwise known as HIPAA.

A few years ago at a couple hospitals, situations arose in which patient confidentiality was either breached or potentially breached which led to a crackdown on social policy usage.  In 2009, New England Baptist Hospital and other Boston-area hospitals banned staff from social media sites, citing HIPAA compliance, patient privacy fears and concerns over workplace productivity.

Last year, Dr. Alexandra Thran, 48, was fired from Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island, reprimanded by the state medical board and banned from working in the emergency room for posting information online about a trauma patient. Partly as a response to this incident, an editorial was recently published by the Annals of Internal Medicine which recommended that physicians not communicate directly with patients through social media, and that they rely on email or secure portals instead.

Today, most hospitals have generally stepped up to create guidelines for their staff’s conduct with respect to social media.  Most are open to their doctors and other health practitioners being part of professional or peer-to-peer networks in order to share expertise and further their education.  But they are not as open to doctors sharing information with clients or patients.

Recently, Stanford University deemed that doctor participation in Internet “chats or consultations” would be treated as the practice of medicine and governed by the Rules of Practice for the Physicians and Psychologists in the School of Medicine. This ruling has many implications for how Doctors practice medicine in an increasingly digitized world. One where Doctors are the ones using social media and their smartphone perhaps more frequently than their patients.

Hospitals are rightfully concerned about protecting the privacy of their patients, but there seems to be a push from both the doctor and patient side to allow some level of interaction. The medical industry will need to evolve with the changing times to figure out how to serve consumers demands and support Doctors’ use of advanced technology and communication methods. The health industry needs to get more personal.

Clearly, social media is here to stay. The healthcare establishment is starting to get onboard, and over time one hopes it will create regulations that allow freedom of information, useful interaction and simultaneously protect people’s privacy.  Who knows what Social Media may look like in the future but in the meantime, these new ways of communicating seem to be rapidly becoming an integral part of the healthcare system.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

The Future of Consumer-Directed Healthcare

The trend toward greater health and wellness has led to consumers paying greater attention to what they do, how they eat, and why they might carry certain health risks from their genetics. This growing health awareness is creating demand for a more comprehensive solution to managing personal health. Not only do consumers want to know why something is good for them, they want to see and measure results.

While we have seen technological innovation in every industry from entertainment to printing (not to mention medicine), we have yet to see a true impact in the field of personal healthcare. Much of the current consumer healthcare technology lags sorely behind the consumer web.

Entertainment portals, social media and GPS seem more advanced than any technology to manage personal health. While these platforms have built sophisticated algorithms and incredible user interfaces to serve consumers with relevant  information, healthcare technology is barely addressing most consumer needs.

But consumer demand and technological advances have come to a juncture which has made the next step possible. We believe our integrated medical service will revolutionize personal health.

Today’s consumers are accustomed to being overwhelmed with information. Healthcare is no exception. There is a wide array of actionable information, such as diagnostic, nutritional and health supplement data, as well as specialized devices such as Zeo, Fitbit and Nike+ available to manage personal health. Faced with an overwhelming amount of information and competing platforms, consumers struggle to tie the various sources of information together to understand what is right for them and their families.

What is missing is an integrated web solution to support consumer needs and desires through managing the wealth of their personal health information.  Consumers are increasingly accustomed to managing their lives digitally – from banking to relationships to shopping. In the next few years, we believe everyone will be able to manage an aspect of their health online.  This solution will be a consumer-directed product that combines data (personalized like your Netflix recommendation or Facebook feed) with ways to take action.

A solution will addresses this consumer demand and synthesize the major healthcare trends of today.  It will harness the power of technology by combining the convenience of electronic health records with individualized and integrated medical programming.  It will enable a consumer and his or her healthcare provider to craft a health and wellness plan that is based on scientific data and truly made-to-order.

We look forward to seeing this revolution unfold.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.