Leads to Functional Medicine
From Humble Beginnings
April's story is one of many humble beginnings. Her bumpy health journey continues to lead her right back to functional medicine. Functional medicine is the whole body approach, not only looking at isolated symptoms of disease.
I grew up on a little farm in Southern Alberta, one block outside of the village limits. We lived only three blocks from the school where my dad was the principal. My mom kept busy raising her 12 children of which I was number 10.
I was surrounded by noise and people, as you can imagine. We walked to school and played outside everyday. I participated in school sports, read books, and spent all summer at the local swimming pool. My mother limited TV time and sent us to school with whole grain sandwiches and an apple. On the contrary, my friends had the luxury of consuming fruit snacks and white bread. I felt extremely hard done as a child.
April's Story: A Bumpy Start
The beginning of April's nursing career was bumpy start. It seems to be a rite of passage for most functional medicine practitioners. There is a yearning to heal and not just treat symptoms.
I applied to the nursing program on a whim, uncertain that it was the right choice for me. During the entire entire 2 year program, I continued to question this choice. Looking back, I can't believe how much I enjoy it now!
I started my nursing career in a geriatric long term care facility, after graduation. Getting to know the residents gave me so much pleasure but felt I was not having an impact when it came to patient outcomes. It was difficult to see residents suffer with chronic and progressive conditions. They were even taking medications to treat the side effects from other medications! I was disheartened to work in an environment where many residents had very little control over their health decisions.
Only One Way to Go is UP!
April decided that the only way to go was up, a bit to the north that is!. This was for a new opportunity in Calgary. Sometimes change needs to come from without, to come from within.
I began working with Dr. Murfin who introduced me to Functional medicine. Functional and integrative medicine made complete sense to me. This approach looks at the person as a whole and examines all contributing factors to a person’s health. Therefore, putting the control back in your hands and empowering you to move forward.
I realized that I love being a nurse at right about this time. My absolute passion is supporting people and providing treatments that truly make a difference in their health and well-being. I returned to school for a bachelors degree in nursing from the University of Calgary. I became a Registered Nurse just in time to open up the IV clinic at LMMD!
Hitting Too Close to Home
This was hitting way too close to home now. April's story continues with the sudden changes in her family's health and their resolution through functional medicine.
I have seen how functional medicine brings health back to people during my 8 years working with Dr. Murfin. This is especially true for my own family. Two of my sisters received diagnoses of celiac disease, my father with cancer, and my mother with type 2 diabetes (a strong genetic predisposition).
My sisters experienced terrible pain and suffering for years. Their systemic symptoms were never connected to gut health. When the connections were made through the lens of functional medicine, they were tested for celiac disease, began gluten-free diets and their symptoms miraculously resolved.
My dad's diagnosis with cancer was followed up with information from a comprehensive nutritional panel. Consequently, they shed light on his nutritional needs and backed him up before and after surgery. He credits his phenomenal recovery to the supportive IV treatments that he received. My mom successfully changed her pre-trajectory toward type 2 diabetes through dietary and nutritional interventions.
April's Own Health Journey
When April takes a look back through the lens of functional medicine, she is truly grateful for the lifestyle choices her family instilled. She appreciates the active lifestyle, the minimally processed foods her family introduced, the freedom to spend time with nature and prioritizing sleep. They were extremely blessed to have daily meditative prayer and prioritize family connections their our home. These were engrained into her from such a young age and follow her still today.
Functional medicine gave me the unique opportunity to dive deeper into the root causes of my own health challenges. Where mainstream medicine failed to give any solid answers, functional medicine found many issues with my body. These were subclinical hypothyroidism, lead exposures, HPA axis dysregulation, food sensitivities, and chronic infection in the GI tract. Through integrative medicine, I have been able to continue on my own journey to better health and well-being.
Grateful for Functional Medicine
I will forever be grateful for the introduction to functional medicine. Dr. Lynne Murfin has been a game changer, inspiring me, coaching me and supporting my learning. She continues to mentor me in the lifelong learning that is functional medicine.
At LMMD, I have been fortunate to focus my work on women’s health, prenatal care, intravenous and ozone therapies. My certifications are in Lifestyle Education, Chelation Therapies, Ozone Therapies, Cervical Cancer Screening, Functional Nutrition, and Precision Nutrition coaching. It is wonderfully fulfilling to watch patient's energy levels soar after a series of intravenous treatments. I love implementing new IV protocols and ozone therapies. It is especially satisfying to support people continuously through their healing journeys.
I'm also passionate about creating a positive experience during clinical procedures and empowering people to address their own health concerns. My incredible privilege of exploring the faucets of mind-body connection have given me great success addressing these in my own life. I use modalities such as the Demartini method®, EMDR, positive psychology, mindful meditation, Heartmath, and vagus nerve activation.
Nurse Practitioner & Functional Clinician
After 3 years in post graduate school, I earned a Master of Nursing and Nurse Practitioner designation. This has been another dream come true. As a licensed autonomous clinician, I can order tests, diagnose, make referrals, prescribe medications, and recommend complementary therapies.
I am training for a Functional Medicine Practitioner certification through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Both my nursing background and functional medicine training emphasize digging deep to find root causes of symptoms which empowers with the knowledge and tools to take action. There is nothing more satisfying than providing people with the knowledge, tools, treatments, and confidence to take hold of their health and be the best they can be.
The best part of working and learning in functional medicine is witnessing the difference this approach can make in the lives of people. What speaks to me most in functional medicine is that it does not discount the effect of the mind on physical health or the effect of physical health on the mind. It is a systems approach to medicine that takes all aspects of health into account. Acknowledging and examining one’s health from many angles and addressing all contributing factors is the most empowering way to do medicine.
It's Not In Your Head
You will never hear me tell you that “it’s all in your head,” or “this is a normal part of aging.” Functional medicine, Dr. Murfin, and my experiences with patients teach me every day that symptoms are signals and that we need to dig deeper.
Organizing LMMD 10-day group detoxes, incorporating dietary and lifestyle interventions, has also been extremely satisfying. Each detox group has proven the effectiveness of functional medicine interventions. Amazing transformations occur among every group with significant reductions in a wide range of medical symptoms and remarkable improvements in body composition.
April's story continues with LMMD as a clinician and will focus on bringing new and exciting treatments to the clinic. Functional skin care and PRP (platelet rich plasma) are next on her list!