Chatham Health Tour aims to promote medical practitioners who help patients ‘feel heard’

Chatham Ch@t | Dr. Roxanne Hollander

Posted 10/11/19

Chatham Ch@t | Dr. Roxanne Hollander

Dr. Roxanne Hollander’s practice of Integrative Functional Medicine combines contemporary and advanced diagnostics with personalized health care. She uses a …

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Chatham Health Tour aims to promote medical practitioners who help patients ‘feel heard’

Chatham Ch@t | Dr. Roxanne Hollander

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Chatham Ch@t | Dr. Roxanne Hollander

Dr. Roxanne Hollander’s practice of Integrative Functional Medicine combines contemporary and advanced diagnostics with personalized health care. She uses a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities including Chiropractic, personalized nutrition programs, and lifestyle modifications to achieve optimal health for her patients. She established her Pittsboro practice twelve years back moving from northern Idaho where she opened her first Chiropractic clinic in 1990. She has been in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years, incorporating a European naturopathic approach to the functional medicine side of her business. Her daughter, Megan Ribbing, is an adult geriatric nurse practitioner that currently works for UNC Hospice in Pittsboro. You can view Dr. Hollander’s website at www.IntegrativeFunctionalMedicine.com.

How did the Chatham Health Tour come about?

Over the many years of my practice in chiropractic and in functional medicine, I have listened to the frustrations of patients who have felt unheard, isolated and afraid of conventional medicine because it has become so fast-paced, bureaucratic, and driven by technology and insurance. In the past, medicine was much simpler. We did not have all the advanced diagnostic tools and life-saving techniques we have today, but people had a family doctor who knew them and spent time understanding their specific health care needs. Patients felt safe and cared for.

Today, most doctors see up to 25 patients a day and barely know them beyond the symptoms they present. Many doctors are quick to prescribe medicines and other treatments that have can have formidable side effects, and they tend to focus on the symptoms, not the underlying causes.

Listening to the fears and concerns of my patients, I began to wonder: How can people with health concerns find the support and answers they are seeking? How can they find and learn about various options that are available? How can I support their journey to find quality alternative health professionals? That’s how the idea of the Chatham Health Tour popped into my mind.

I have been to some wonderful practitioners myself, and I have also been to some I certainly would not want recommend to my patients. Based on patient and personal experiences, I wanted to create a health tour to introduce health care consumers in Chatham County to traditional, complementary and alternative health providers who would help them feel heard and treat them in a more holistic way, realizing that the body, mind and spirit are all important in a person’s overall health and well being.

What are the goals and objectives?

This Chatham Health Tour 2019 is an opportunity for individuals, as well as traditional providers, to explore what our community has to offer in support of an individual’s health. The written mission of the Chatham Heath Tour is to educate the community in the area of health and healing, which is what we hope to do. One of the problems we face being complementary and alternative practitioners is that many people do not know who we are, understand what we do or know how to find us. Patients also do not know how to add complementary care to their conventional care. They wonder, should they let their medical doctor know they are seeing other practitioners and will there be consequences to their care if they do? Complementary and alternative health care can enhance and support conventional care. However, most doctors don’t have time to know what is available outside their scope of practice.

Let’s talk about the differences between conventional health and alternative or complementary health care treatments and philosophy…

Conventional health care, aka allopathic care, is a system that diagnoses based on one’s symptoms. The body is viewed and treated similar to how a mechanic looks at your vehicle, each part as separate. Relief from symptoms in this system is considered a successful remedy. Treatments involve the use of drugs, radiation and/or surgery.

In alternative practices the philosophy is that the body is self-healing when given a healthy internal environment. We are looking for the root cause of the problem. This is why one might work with several practitioners to assist them one at a time or throughout the healing cycle. Complementary treatments include lifestyle changes, exercise, supplements, diet, body therapies and mental and emotional therapies. Complementary and alternative medicine, known as “CAM,” may also include acupuncture, the Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, yoga therapy, biofeedback, chiropractic medicine, herbalism, holistic nursing, homeopathy, hypnosis, massage therapy, meditation, naturopathy, osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT), Qi gong (internal and external Qigong), reflexology, Reiki, spiritual healing, Tai Chi and traditional Chinese medicine.

In general, how can we look differently at this idea of health and healing and what it really means?

Before medicine became an industry, the doctor-patient relationship was one of counselor to the patient. Sickness was viewed as an opportunity to make changes in your lifestyle, and something to learn from.

Today that is no longer the norm. More often than not, people take a pill to relieve the symptom, ignoring the underlying cause that created the condition in the first place, which usually starts with a life out of balance or perhaps a physical or mental trauma. Long before the symptom emerges, subtle changes, such as a decrease of energy, fatigue, headaches, changes in weight, the sleep cycle and perhaps even depression, are occurring. This is where the idea of functional medicine comes in. How our bodies function is quietly changing before the symptoms occur.

I am amused when patients tell me they are healthy even when they might not be sleeping or are having headaches, sore joints and high blood pressure or cholesterol. It’s just the way we have been educated to think about our health, rather than feel what we are feeling.

Pittsboro and Chatham County are uniquely blessed with a myriad of alternative treatment providers. Why do you think that is, and what does that mean for Chatham County residents?

Chatham County is a unique community. We have many eclectic people here including our health care practitioners. In organizing this event with other practitioners, I have been surprised by the many different therapies available in Chatham and I have been practicing in Pittsboro for 11 years. For the public, there is a rich resource of information from these professionals, and of course easy access to treatments that can only increase their health and healing potential.

What can people who take part in the Health Tour expect? What will the experience be like for them, and why should people attend?

Well, I can’t speak for their personal experience. That comes from how open-minded they might be. The more than 25 practitioners we have on this inaugural tour will open their offices so people can come meet them, ask questions and learn about their work. In some offices I believe there will be demonstrations for the visitors. This is very generous of our practitioners. We work usually five days a week, so I want to thank each of them for their commitment to their work and for making themselves available. One of the other ah-ha’s for me in putting this project together is that I have come to realize that the heart of healing, which has been lost in the commercialization of health care, is very much alive in the complementary and alternative healing community here. I have a new respect for these practitioners as a result, and I am grateful and proud to be part of this aspect of health care.

What kinds of questions should participants expect to be able to ask?

I believe they can ask anything they would like to ask. They may ask what health issues we address and do we have experience with their issues. Or what methods or techniques we use and how do they work? Or how much our services cost and does insurance cover them? Or how will they feel after holistic treatment and how soon could they expect to see results? They may also ask if there are any risks involved. Two of our practitioners are hypnotists, so questions for them might be, can I be hypnotized, what is it like, will I lose control and can you help me with my issue? That’s just one example. People may also want to know how our services will complement other care they may be receiving, or if they need a referral to us.

 

What might be some surprising differences between conventional providers and the kinds of providers who will are participating in the health tour? What kinds of assurances or things might you say to someone who’s never been exposed to alternative health care?

Overall, practitioners in the health tour are caring individuals who are looking out for people’s best interest. They are focused on helping others heal and become truly well. Many of them have been called to work in their respective areas because they themselves have faced a health crisis and have found a particular mode of healing that has helped them. They all practice within their specific scope of care, having gone through rigorous training. They work with people in a very holistic way and spend time understanding the needs of each person they see.

Some, like massage and bodywork therapists, work to help a person achieve more optimal health through touch. Others, like our acupuncturists use needles, heat or pressure to activate the body’s self-healing mechanisms, while our movement, yoga and physical therapists use exercises and movement to improve health.

Sound healers use aspects of music and frequency to improve physical and emotional health and well being.

We also have psychologists and hypnotists who work with the underlying mental and emotional aspects of an issue. They are trained to be attuned to the mind-body connection.

Our Reiki healers offer a kind of spiritual healing that works by channeling positive energy into the body.

As a chiropractor working with functional medicine, I am qualified to diagnose and treat patients, but if practitioners on the tour are not licensed physicians, they will address concerns only within their scope of practice and refer clients to other practitioners as needed. That is another great benefit of the tour. By coming together through the tour, Chatham County health practitioners are expanding their knowledge of each other’s skills and talents so we can effectively refer people to other providers who may be better prepared to help them.

 

What activities are planned as part of the tour and who is involved?

First, everyone should mark their calendars for two Saturdays, Oct. 19 and 26. These are the two days when they can visit practitioner offices from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The tour will actually begin the Friday evening before, with a free open reception from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at Joy of Movement at 480 Hillsboro St. in Pittsboro.

This inaugural health tour, modeled after the Chatham Art Tour, will give the community a chance to meet and learn about our 25 plus health practitioners, movement studios and vendors who specialize in functional medicine, chiropractic, kinesiology, massage, craniosacral, acupuncture, hypnosis, Reiki, CBD, physical therapy and postural restoration, psychotherapy, yoga, ayurvedic medicine, aromatherapy and more.

Maps for the self-guided Saturday tours are now available at various places around town and will also be available at the reception. The maps list 25 of our practitioners operating out of 11 locations in Pittsboro, Siler City and northern Chatham County. Since we printed the map, several other practitioners have joined the tour, and their information will be available at the reception and on our facebook page @ChathamHealthTour. As the map indicates, some practitioners will be available only on one of the Saturdays.

On both Saturdays, New Horizons West will offer guided nature walks at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. And on the first Saturday, Oct 19, Joy of Movement will offer six free classes from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on the half hour. Also, that evening, from 6:30 until 8,

Heart2Heart will present a free sound healing at Joy of Movement.

I also want to mention our incredibly generous sponsors who are helping us in various ways, including financially, with publicity such as this, with food and a location for the reception, with free events and with their valuable input. Our sponsors are:

Abundance NC, Amma’s Breath, Angelina’s Kitchen, Chatham Marketplace, Chatham News & Record, Gourmet Plus, Heart2Heart, Joy of Movement, New Horizons West, and Studio 17.

For an online Tour Map, more details about the Joy of Movement classes and our practitioners, people can visit our Facebook page @ChathamHealthTour or contact Edwin Nothnagel, 919-349-3914 / ednothnagel@gmail.com.

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