Integrative Wellness Center Promotes Natural Healing
by Susan Post
Traditional medicines are often prescribed as a treatment to cover up or eliminate symptoms without then digging deeper into the actual cause of an ailment. This is not the case at Leaves of Life. The professionals at this holistic office work to combine naturopathy, herbalism, lifestyle modifications, functional/integrative medicine and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, together to promote wellness in their patients.
“We’re looking to fix the underlying cause of the illness, not just cover it up or suppress the symptoms,” says Patty Shipley, Naturopath, R.N. and Leaves of Life founder. “It should be a more lasting solution because we’re addressing the underlying cause.”
Shipley discovered naturopathy through her own personal experience. Suffering from migraines, clinical depression and a chronic skin condition, she sought treatment at the Beechwold Clinic. After a detox and some changes in her diet, “Within a few months my symptoms were gone,” Shipley says. “I felt fantastic.”
While feeling better may have been the goal, it ultimately led her to a new career. “I’m analytical,” Shipley says. “I just needed to understand why it worked.”
Her approach to building the business started out small, by offering tidbits of advice to others.
“The people that did listen often got better,” Shipley says. That is when she realized she was on to something. The development of the practice was a natural progression. First, it was managed around her full-time job. Then, she had to take her job down to part-time before branching out on her own and opening Leaves of Life about 15 years ago.
Starting as a one-woman show, Shipley has added other practitioners over time. Together they bring different elements to the practice that can help patients dealing with a variety of issues.
Shipley’s own focus is on naturopathy. “It’s recognizing that the body has its own inner-healing wisdom,” she says. “Supply missing nutrients and remove roadblocks and the body will heal itself.” She feels it is about asking the right questions until discovering what is going on that is keeping a patient from experiencing optimal health. Those questions often focus on sleep patterns, bowel movements, stress levels and eating habits.
Shipley works closely with Francie Silverman, who has a Master’s in Human Nutrition. “I find that nothing truly helps to heal the body better than diet changes,” Silverman says. “It’s amazing how many symptoms are related to diet alone. These symptoms magically go away when we remove foods that create inflammation.”
Shipley and Silverman practice under the supervision of another Leaves of Life practitioner, Deanna Osborn, Doctor of Osteopathy. With a focus on functional and integrative medicine, Dr. Osborn treats both children and adults. Dr. Osborn says, “Discovering what is at the root of the patients’ symptoms is really what we do best. It’s exciting to work with a patient who has oftentimes been to see several specialists without resolution and be able to figure out what is at the root of their symptoms.”
She shared a recent example where a teen struggling with patchy hair loss. According to Dr. Osborn, “She’d seen a dermatologist and had steroid injections into the bald spots to stimulate growth. We did a complete nutritional panel as well as genetic testing. Hair loss can be caused by many factors but we discovered hers was a copper deficiency. We also discovered some B vitamin deficiencies and genetic fragilities. After supplementing her with exactly what her body needed, she not only had a reversal of the hair loss, but she also saw a dramatic improvement in school performance since the nutritional deficiencies were also impacting her cognitive abilities.”
Rounding out Leaves of Life’s services is pharmacist Bob Wood. Wood specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement, primarily in women, though he also sees some men.
“Treating a patient for these issues and symptoms is not just about giving a hormone,” Wood says. “Hormones are messengers and, as such, they work in concert with each other. These hormones are affected by many inputs, from stress, fluctuating blood sugar, constipation, belly fat and many other factors. It is very important to look at the whole patient when replacing hormones.”
It is profound outcomes like helping a patient with MS symptoms lose 60 pounds and get off her medications or seeing a woman suffering from chronic hives experience complete relief that show the power of practitioners working together to heal a patient in a more natural way. The Leaves of Life practice also sees many individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, skin problems, fatigue, and issues with weight loss or weight gain.
Supplements are often an important part of treatment plans as well. Leaves of Life has developed a carefully curated supply of top-quality supplements that patients can purchase in-office. Instead of a patient having to search for something that their practitioner recommends on their own, a proven, reputable product is readily available.
Through all the questions, treatment plans and supplements, the goal is ultimately education.
“We like to educate the patient,” Shipley says. “We’re not just telling them what to do; we’re explaining why they need to do it and helping them to understand how to make day-to-day decisions so they won’t always need us.”
Location: 7720 Rivers Edge Dr., Ste. 121, Columbus. For more information, call 614-888-4372, email Info@LeavesOfLife.com, or visit LeavesOfLife.com.
Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at Susan.Post.email@example.com.