Life Vibes: Integrative medicine & nutrition, a new approach to a healthy lifestyle

By Breezey Clark – 

What if eating fruits and vegetables could cure most illnesses and diseases? Instead of making frequent trips to the doctor’s office you could visit the produce section at the grocery store. According to a local physician in Stephenville, Texas, you can – integrative medicine and nutrition.

This week on Life Vibes I sat down with Dr. Linda Heflin of the Heflin Family Clinic in Stephenville, Texas, to discuss the health benefits of integrative medicine and nutrition. Dr. Heflin has been established in her practice for over 20 years and has been practicing integrative medicine for 2 years. For the past 4 months she has been involved in an integrative nutrition fellowship.

“I looked up some statistics and found that 50 percent of American people are overweight. Thirty percent of that group is considered to be obese,” Dr. Heflin shared with me regarding her growing interest in this study.

Breezey sits down with Dr. Linda Heflin to discuss the benefits of integrative medicine and nutrition. (Landon Haston, Texan News Service)

Breezey sits down with Dr. Linda Heflin to discuss the benefits of integrative medicine and nutrition.
(Landon Haston, Texan News Service)

Integrative medicine is designed to treat the person not just the disease, combining alternative therapies such as massage, yoga and other stress-reducing techniques with western medicine to treat the patient.

Integrative nutrition is the belief that there is not a “one size fits all” diet, but that each individual is different and has different needs according to their own genetic make up.

Within the study of integrative nutrition are the Five Pillars that Dr. Heflin described that impact our health.

“When any of the five pillars are out of balance, that’s when the health issues come in,” Dr. Heflin said.

The Five Pillars include:

  • Relationships with self and others
  • Work environment
  • Spirituality
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition

Dr. Heflin also shared with me that “in the last 50 years in our country as far as diet changes, food additives and stress, actually work together to go against the healing process in the body.” [quote is a little confusing]

Dr. Heflin is continuing her integrative nutrition fellowship and plans to pursue a health coaching practice in addition to her current medical practice.

From my own experience, changing eating habits and making healthier lifestyle choices gave me a better perception on my personal wellness.

Choosing to eat a predominately plant based, whole foods diet I had more energy, clarity and felt better overall.

Practicing yoga has helped me to become more calm and focused, easing physical tension and emotional stress.

Integrative medicine suggests that a person must find their balance, as mentioned in the five pillars, and it is in daily habits that create that type of lifestyle.

Breezey Clark is a senior Communication Studies student from Iredell, Texas. She currently serves as the Health/Wellness Editor for Texan News Service. 

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