The following are not so much testimonials, as Case Studies so you can get an idea of how we work.
These case studies are from real patients (names changed to protect identity) to demonstrate the way we work so you can be confident we are the right fit for you.
Michaela came to us because she was suffering from psoriasis and it was having a significant impact on the way she was living her life. Being in her early 30’s, socialising was a big (and important) part of Michaela’s life. Going to music festivals was her outlet and most of her social interactions included drinking alcohol.
Michaela had been living with the psoriasis since she was a teenager and was already able to identify that there were some things that directly impacted her psoriasis, like stress, sun, salt and alcohol. This was great awareness, and important information.
Taking the time to really explore a patient’s history is critical for us. Because we believe that every body can –with the right conditions– heal, we need to really figure out what has been going on, and why. This is where Michaela was so great; she knew she was sensitive to chemicals because whenever she walked down the cleaning aisle, she sneezed. Her skin was sensitive to personal care products, and she got shocking hangovers. Together, this told us that her ability to detoxify was a point of concern, so straight away we had some good information about where to pay attention (the liver and other elimination channels).
Being suspicious of gluten for her, we also put her on a gluten free diet. After a month we hadn’t seen a significant change. With inflammation being a primary target, functional medicine practitioner Jabe recommended Michaela start an Auto Immune Protocol (AIP). This is one of the more intensive food protocols but is incredibly powerful when wanting to find out the role food is playing when it comes to immune interactions and inflammation. Giving up booze was tricky, as it really was the cornerstone of social life, but with Health Coach Bee, they came up with some strategies around how to navigate those social times as well as staying crystal clear about why she was doing it (big picture goals).
Once Michaela had spent some time doing AIP, it was clear that food was indeed causing an inflammatory response (expressing through her skin). After a couple of months there was a noticeable improvement in her skin, but it had not completely resolved. We dug a little deeper with a Food Inflammation Test and it turns out pumpkin and spinach were causing problems for her. This was powerful information as we weren’t likely to guess that that these were foods to be avoided!
Michaela’s skin improved further, and we learned that in addition to pumpkin and spinach, she had problems with legumes, and grains in general, but otherwise didn’t need to be as strict as AIP.
Although we were supporting her liver, and now had absolute values on which foods were showing up as inflammatory, the most significant piece to Michaela’s puzzle was stress. Working in a high stress industry, we needed to help her develop skills and habits that would support her body. Michaela leaned-in to daily journaling and gratitude, as well as building a robust meditative practice. She started walking to work so that she had some ‘empty brain’ time and worked with her Health Coach, Bee, to come up with some affirmations, which helped her navigate moments of anxiety.
During a particularly busy and stressful period over Christmas (after working with her health team for 11 months), where work was requiring longer hours, parents were visiting from overseas and she was given a leadership role at work, she told us that she noticed she wasn’t as stressed as she would previously have been. Hooray! She had taken the time to build those habits to the degree that they simply became part of her everyday routine – like brushing her teeth. As those neural pathways strengthen, so too does the physiological response, which is why, when stress pressed down on her, she displayed more resilience.
At last report, Michaela’s skin is great. She has maintained her meditative practice, eats well (the way her body likes it), and she has clarity around her thresholds for stress – and what to do about it.
When Samantha came into our clinic 2 years ago, she immediately burst into tears. Health Coach Bee sat and comforted her and could see that there was a lot of pain in Sam’s world. She was deeply emotional, crying many times a day, feeling out of control of her emotions, exhausted, out of rhythm, “just coping”. Like many of us, Sam attempted to ‘pull herself together’, but Bee recommended that in her session with Practitioner Jabe, she let it out all – be as honest as she felt safe to be. And to her credit she did.
Sam’s main presenting concern was fatigue. During the initial consult with Jabe, it became clear that her thyroid and sex hormones were out of whack along with some digestive issues. A conscientious mum of two, Sam had always worked hard and put her kids first. She is an incredibly devoted mum and wife (and friend) and consistently put others ahead of herself.
The primary focus for Sam, in order for her body to want to come back to a healthy state, was to spend more time in the Parasympathetic (rest, digest, reproduce and repair). Previously, as someone who took her phone to bed, we encouraged Sam to establish a healthy bedtime routine whereby she took off her makeup, cleaned up the kitchen (this gave her peace) and make the last hour or so before bed completely relaxing. It’s called sleep hygiene. Also, please leave your phone in the kitchen and don’t take it to the bedroom!
Ever conscientious, Sam started to implement the lifestyle strategies her team recommended.
She responded well to the introduction of the Auto Immune Protocol and the feedback was positive in a short amount of time. She told us she was still tired, but not fatigued, had no more brain fog, no more muscle aches and almost no pain with her period. Whilst it may seem like quite a simple fix, there was still some work to be done.
Sam came off the Oral Contraceptive Pill, took some supportive supplements and continued to work on her approach to life – specifically the ability to let go and put herself first (as Jabe said “Well done in prioritising yourself. Keep at it! You are worth it :-)“)
And Sam was making progress, but not without frustration – there was a time, about 9 months in, when Sam had antibody testing and it showed an increase. She had periods of increased stress which meant it was more difficult for her to stick with her new behaviours and confessed to snacking on a well-known ‘glass and a half’ chocolate brand. She had a flare up after a family member had an accident, which resulted in serious acute stress on Sam. Gently coming back on track, she soon found her rhythm again, reframed her stress and sent through a heart-filled message showing outstanding antibody and thyroid results. The body wants to heal – we need to give it the right environment.
During the healing process, Sam started to uncover the real her – the woman she hadn’t previously had access to when so busy helping other people. She told Bee “I’m still emotional, but that’s who I am. I cry for things now but it’s not the same. I even tell the kids about some of my experiences”. She found her niche, her menstrual cycle regulated, her energy stabilised and she told Health Coach Bee “The greatest gift I was ever given was 4-7-8” (a breathing technique we encourage our patients to employ). She understood that stress was one of her greatest triggers, that this had a downstream effect on her wellbeing, and that she now has a robust spiritual practice that keeps her well. She told Bee “My biggest thing is that I have the tools. It is my responsibility to instil them.”
We worked closely with Sam and her GP to make sure we were tracking her sex and thyroid hormones and making any necessary adjustments. Sam’s willingness to reassess who she is, meant that her progress was ongoing and her health continued to trend in a positive direction. Her energy improved such that she no longer experiences fatigue and is intimately aware of her upper levels of exertion. Her monthly cycles have settled into a stable rhythm and she finds herself setting healthy boundaries in her life as well as having deeper emotional connections with her loved ones.
When Tony first came to us, his diet was pretty ‘clean’ (he followed a Paleo template) and he described his primary concerns as a lack of energy and a history of gut problems. He had lived in the tropics previously and had blastocystis, dientoemeba and had also been exposed to mould. He was so fatigued, in fact, that he had quit his job because he simply couldn’t function.
By the time he came in, Tony was ready to do anything. He was so sick of being sick. Jabe asked him to really focus on recharging the body as we continued to get clarity around his picture.
It was established in the four-hour initial consult that it would be important to address all key elements of life with Tony, including sleep, diet, stress management and support with supplements. Practitioner Jabe directed him to some apps to help introduce Tony to meditation, as well as some podcasts that would help Tony access some concepts of philosophy and take some of his attention away from such a strong health focus (because attention is good, but too much attention can become detrimental).
Simultaneously, Tony saw a jaw specialist who was treating him for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues, in order to lessen his headaches and improve sinus issues.
We wanted to encourage Tony to change the way he interacted with his world. He told us that he had always gone at lightning speed, had always been spontaneous and whenever, in his recovery journey, he saw times of improved energy, his inclination was to go go go! Recommending that someone change how they think, react and move through their world is a very long game. It was clear that Tony was invested in the change process.
Two months into working with Tony, with regular meditation, plenty of rest and a refined supplement prescription, he had a period of rapid improvement. In fact, he told us it was the best month he had had in a long time. He decided that he didn’t have a need for close coaching and felt confident that he could ‘go it alone’. During this time, Tony was excited and so let some of the foundation behaviours slip. He stopped meditating and let his yoga practice go as well as significantly increasing his social commitments.
Shortly after, when chatting with Health Coach Bee, he recognised that the few things that had slipped had, in fact, made a real impact on his recovery progress. He had started taking on more events socially, and he told Bee “I’m disappointed with myself for going back to old behaviour”. This is the very nature of human behaviour. There can be a strong drive away from a pain; the motivation is clear – to not be in pain. As that pain begins to resolve, we revert back to who we are (or were). Conceptually, it’s why shake diets so often leave people gaining more weight – they are not taught how to behave in a new way (in this case, healthy cooking/eating). Bee and Tony chatted about the benefits of creating a meditation practice – one in which he became present more frequently (strengthening those neural pathways) and then in the future, when his energy is consistently better, he is more likely to make appropriate choices about how he spends his energy.
Several supplements had a significant impact on Tony’s energy and sense of wellbeing. On writing this case story, testing is still underway to understand what underlies the fatigue. We’re looking at both mould and heavy metals, but we’re happy to report we have an engaged patient who is open to settling into a new way of being. He is self aware and has already seen great improvements to his wellbeing.
Joanne came to Melbourne Functional Medicine with a goodie bag of health worries. She was chronically fatigued and struggled to push through her training commitments, she had bloating, anxiety and sleeping problems. Joanne felt wound up and under energised.
In working with Jabe they were able to identify a number of important lifestyle choices that were compounding her symptoms. Jabe prescribed a specific nutrition protocol to address her underlying digestive issues and to support her energy levels. Bee came on to support Joanne in a health coaching role and developed a tailored meal plan for Joanne with recipes, a shopping list and had a number of phone conversations with Joanne to ensure she understood the protocol and felt confident.
Within two weeks Joanne reported (excitedly) that by eating more regularly and making congruent food choices her energy levels had skyrocketed.
Her training had improved and her friends and family were all commenting on her elevated energy and attitude.
Her bloating had also resolved. When talking with Bee she seemed most excited by the absence of anxiety.
This alone can be a taxing and socially alienating experience so to overcome this so quickly was valuable.
At MFM we’ve worked hard to overcome any possible roadblocks for patients. Part of this solution involves an app that we ask patients to join us on so we can monitor their nutrition, hydration, movement, sleep and other critical trackers. Not only do we get to see how you’re tracking, we can seamlessly communicate with each other as an extra (and very efficient) channel of support. John (not his real name) came to see Jabe as he’s in training to participate in a marathon and he needed some guidance around energy metabolism, athletic programming and nutrition to support him in his training. He said this about the support he receives through the Nudge app
“…it’s great – pretty sure it got me started back, not sure I would have without it. It’s not the app that gets me, it’s the app, combined with knowing who is at the other end of it, plus having an appointment booked for another catch up – those three together keep me really honest – cheers”.