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Natural Awakenings Boston

Visions HealthCare: Treating the Whole Person for True Vitality

Jul 30, 2012 11:09PM ● By Kim Childs

 

Four years ago, Visions HealthCare opened its doors in Wellesley with a mission to offer patients a comprehensive array of services for treating the body, mind and spirit. This fall, Visions will open another facility in Dedham, and future plans include creating dozens more satellite offices throughout New England. Natural Awakenings spoke with Dr. Wendie Trubow, a practicing physician and quality director at Visions, to learn more about the company’s integrative approach to health care.

What makes Visions HealthCare different from other doctors’ offices?

In Massachusetts, the current average wait time for a primary care physician is three months. Many of our doctors have wait times of under a week and, while we provide primary care appointments, we also provide something called functional medicine. For us, that means addressing health as the interplay between five core areas: the physical, biochemical, emotional, energetic and spiritual. Most doctors examine the physical body or the biochemical makeup, but a significant imbalance in any of those five areas can lead to “dis-ease.” The dis-ease can build over a period of years, manifesting as things like fatigue, difficulty losing weight or the inability to bounce back from stressful events in reasonable amounts of time. We spend an hour with each new patient, really listening to their health goals and challenges and learning about the conditions of their lives.

How do you evaluate a patient’s health after the initial consultation?

Our doctors perform comprehensive evaluations based on the patient’s complaints and concerns. We’ll often examine their diet for possible food allergies, the most common of which are wheat, dairy and soy, and we may look at a person’s intestinal functions, which is an important step in assessing someone’s immunity and inflammatory response for such conditions as arthritis, fatigue and migraines. Depending on the patient, we may also look at their blood, stool, saliva or urine, or send them to one of our other providers to evaluate their emotional or spiritual condition. We’re about to add a psychiatrist and a behavioral health specialist to our staff as well.

Do you accept insurance at Visions?

We accept nearly all insurances and we deeply believe in accessible, affordable care. Our goal is that the entire health-care experience is sustainable for the patient, the payer and the physicians. Approximately 50 percent of our services are covered by insurance, and the other 50 percent are things that people typically pay for out of pocket, such as massage, craniosacral work, reflexology and acupuncture.

Can you share some patient transformation stories with us?

One woman came to me with a long list of medical issues, including obesity, arthritis, hypertension, fatigue, insulin resistance and a history of blood clots. After an initial evaluation, we recommended that she begin our month-long detoxification, which is physician-supervised and run by our registered dieticians. She eliminated all of her allergenic foods, lost weight and later transitioned into our First Line Therapy program. That’s a three-month lifestyle plan and modified Mediterranean diet that’s been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. When I saw this patient for follow-up a few months later, she had lost even more weight and said, “I was hardly able to get off the couch before and now I put on Zumba music and dance around my house.”

I also saw a 27-year-old runner who was in good health but experiencing some fatigue. It turned out she was allergic to gluten. When she eliminated it, the fatigue resolved and she even shaved 25 seconds off her mile. Other patients may be eating well and exercising but still feeling unwell. We might offer them a stress reduction plan if they’re not managing their stress well, or refer them to one of our providers who work on healing energetic imbalances or clarifying and strengthening life purpose, which can greatly affect health. We work as a team here and share patient information, through a secure medical records program, to offer the best possible treatment plan. We’re about transforming health care and helping people get to an amazing place in their lives so they can go out and contribute to the world.

Visions HealthCare is located at 170 Worcester St. (Rt. 9), Wellesley, with a second Dedham location to open in the fall. For more information, call 781-232-5400 or visit VisionsHealthCare.com