Once a week meet a local health & wellness expert who’ll 'll share their advice, suggestions & wisdom.
This week let's get to know our local health and wellness expert Dr. Seth Osgood. Seth is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, and and Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. He is the Founder of GrassRoots Functional Medicine with locations in West Lebanon, NH and Burlington, VT.
Tell us about yourself and why you choose to go into a health field?
I was born and raised in Corinth, Vermont. My parents own an organic dairy farm there. I grew up in a home where 5 out of 6 people had intense digestive issues and we were all diagnosed for years as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). We were told there was no cure for IBS. This was just our norm and something we needed to learn to live with. So that was what we did. For years we lived off of Imodium and mad dashes to the restroom after each meal. It wasn’t until later in life that my mother found a Functional Medicine doctor who took a different approach. This doctor actually tried to find out why the digestive symptoms were occurring as opposed to placing sole focus on using medications to temporarily alleviate them. With a few dietary changes my mothers’ symptoms were gone! This proved to be true for our entire family where the best medicine was actually avoiding a few specific foods. After witnessing how Functional Medicine transformed the health of my entire family, I was instantly hooked on this approach and wanted to help other people achieve the same results, which is why I established GrassRoots Functional Medicine.
What makes you unique in your field?
I have been very blessed throughout my career with the training and patient experiences I have encountered. I received post graduate training through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) and am currently an IFM Certified Practitioner. I was also privileged enough to train and work for several years under Functional Medicine expert Dr. Amy Myers in Austin, Texas where we saw people from around the world with extremely complex health challenges helping them to reclaim their state of wellness utilizing a Functional Medicine Approach.
What question do your clients ask most frequently and how do you answer them?
What is Functional Medicine and how is it different than Traditional Medicine?
Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach that engages both the patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. As opposed to the traditional disease-centered model our current healthcare system emphasizes, Functional Medicine is patient-centered addressing the whole person and not just an isolated set of symptoms. Our traditional medical model is very reactive in nature using surgery and medications to correct problems. These methods are phenomenal and even lifesaving when it comes to acute problems, but when implemented for health prevention or chronic diseases, this model has serious shortcomings. The Functional Medicine model in contrast works to uncover and correct why diseases occur to begin with. Instead of using pharmaceuticals and surgery as foundational treatments, Functional Medicine uses nutrition and lifestyle changes as the primary modality to help the body heal.
What do you see as the greatest health risk posed to this generation?
I believe the total body burden is our biggest threat to our state of health and wellness. The immune system is a miraculous design and can handle a vast array of stressors. Despite the immune systems tolerance, the burden we place on the body in today’s society is not sustainable. Our diets are more toxic than ever before, filled with processed sugar, preservatives, dyes, artificial flavors, depleted nutrients, in addition to all of the herbicides, pesticides and various other chemicals. We are now a sedentary culture. Movement is not a routine part of life for most, but has become a chore. Lastly, stress levels are through the roof for most people. Instead of being relaxed the majority of the day and stressed during life threatening situations, the average person is stressed to the max 99% of the time. Finances, relationships, health, traffic, work, and all of the many other stressors we are faced with wear down our body, our minds, and our immune systems leaving us susceptible to so many diseases. We need to change our mindset about what is important. We need to recognize the fact that our bodies can’t tolerate this extreme burden. We need to prioritize our health before everything else so we can enjoy the many things in life we work so hard to achieve.
What’s the best health/fitness/wellness advice you ever received?
“The body is its own best healer. If you give it the fuel it needs to thrive, and remove the elements that are triggering imbalance, amazing things will happen”.
Do you have a success story of redeemed health you’d like to share?
Jack was a very pleasant young 25-year-old school teacher who came to see me with extreme fatigue, debilitating joint pain, fevers, and peculiar rashes that popped up in random places throughout his body. He was diagnosed with a rare condition called Stills Disease and was placed on high dose of immunosuppressants and steroid in an attempt to keep his inflammation under control. Through comprehensive testing we were able to identify Jack had a bacterial and fungal infections in his gut, severe nutrient deficiencies, and multiple food sensitivities. He also had emotional traumas throughout his life that were creating significant stress in his life. After correcting imbalances, addressing infections, and developing a nutrition and lifestyle plan specific to his needs, Jack is now off steroids, he feels great, has not had any rashes or joint pain, and his inflammation level (CRP) went from 15 mg/L (on steroids and immunosuppressants) to 0.6 mg/L. Jack worked hard to get these results, but he now has his life back. It is amazing what the body can recover from when powered by the right mindset, fuel, and environment.
What is your favorite area of wellness to practice?
I love healthy eating and everything that entails. I enjoy going to the local farmers markets and food stands and finding creative ways to cook and prepare the foods we purchase. During the years I lived in Texas, I became very fond of barbecuing and smoking foods. Now that we have access to a vast array of organic grass-fed meats from my parent’s farm, weekend barbecues are a routine occurrence at our house.
What are you passionate about, besides your professional life?
Any off-time I have I spend with my family. I love anything that involves the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, hiking, camping or just sitting around a campfire. Spending time in nature with my wife and kiddos is what truly fuels me!
What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
“A Healthy Person has 1,000 wishes and a Sick person has only one”. Indian Proverb
What’s one book you recommend everyone should read?
What one suggestion would you make that would have the greatest impact for improved health?
Wellness begins with having the right mindset. You are not going to achieve your goals until you believe it is going to happen.
Any final piece of wisdom you’d like to share?
There are always reasons why diseases occur. Even if your doctor can’t figure out why, that doesn’t mean a cause cannot be identified. Do not accept poor health or problematic symptoms as your norm, life is too short not to feel vibrant. You are your best advocate, do not let the negativity of the world or those around you steal your ambition and motivation to achieve your health goals!
How can people learn more about you and what you offer?
If you are ready for a comprehensive full body approach health and healing that strives to uncover the root-causes of dysfunction as opposed to solely relying on temporary symptom relief measures, visit my website www.GrassRootsFunctionalMedicine.com or call 888-644-7668. We treat a variety of conditions including autoimmunity, digestive issues, thyroid dysfunction, hormone balance, cardiovascular conditions, chronic fatigue and much more. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/GrassRootsFunctionalMedicine
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Get to Know Your Local Health & Wellness Expert is brought to you by Julie Glynn Coaching. Julie has her master's degree in Health & Wellness Coaching from Maryland University of Integrative Health. She is an Anti-Diet Coach, Body Positive Facilitator, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Health at Every Size Practitioner. She facilitates live local workshops as part of the Upper Valley Women's Workshops, She also offers individual and group virtual coaching for deeper transformation. She hosts the Facebook Group BoPo, HAES, IE Superheroes (Body Positive, Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating) as well as her Facebook Page . If you have any questions, would like to be featured in an upcoming article, or know someone who would please contact, Julie@JulieGlynnCoaching.com