The benefits of functional medicine

Doctor checking patients joint flexibility with gonimeterIn certain circles, there remains a tenuous understanding of what functional medicine actually is. While functional medicine is quickly becoming part of the mainstream medical scene, many people are still quite unaware of its benefits, with some people still considering functional medicine to be a “new age” or “hippie-style” method that flies in the face of modern science.

Of course, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Let’s address a few misconceptions.

Functional Medicine Is Only An Alternative: The term “alternative medicine” is generally burdened by ingrained preconceived notions of yogi poses and strange herbal concoctions, which, while they may fall under the genre of alternative medicine, do not comprise alternative medicine.

In fact, these days, many functional medicine providers are also credentialed, trained and experienced medical doctors. Functional medicine is designed to look at the body and illness as a whole, and not relying only on treating the symptoms. In this way, it is a positive complement to traditional Western medicine.

Science Does Not Back Functional Medicine: Our bodies have a remarkable ability to heal themselves, which has been proven time and time again in countless research papers and scholarly articles. This is something you can see with your own eyes.

Functional medicine works in harmony with your body’s natural disease-fighting abilities and is both rooted in scientific principles and utilizes some of the same advanced diagnostic tests that conventional doctors use. One of the general themes that have become popular in mainstream awareness includes diet and gut-health. Encouraging good gut-health is becoming an idea that all holistic and traditional approaches are identifying as an important element in overall health for any individual and chronic health issue.

The fact is, you can absolutely trust a credible practitioner of functional medicine to work with you and your current medical doctor rather than against you and your doctor.

By addressing your body’s needs from a holistic approach, assessing your bodies systems as interconnected and not independent, functional medicine acts as an effective complement to traditional Western approaches.

Best types of exercises for improved health and weight loss

Mature woman doing yoga exercise at homeNo one questions the efficacy of exercises to boost physical and mental well-being. However, what remains a real challenge for many people is developing an exercise routine they’ll stick with! This occurs mainly because most people do not have the patience to continue till they start noticing the results they want – whether that’s losing weight, improving sleep, or easing stress. But at its core, it’s because, to them, exercising is simply another chore. And as expected, we love to evade chores if we can get away with them.

That’s why the key to a successful workout routine is to make it fun. This can be achieved by having a more robust exercise plan that includes a mix of aerobic training, strength training, flexibility exercise, and balance exercise. This spiced-up plan will also enable you to attain the results you want more efficiently.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercises are activities that work your cardiovascular system. They get your heart rate up, making your blood pump faster. Aerobic exercise is commonly referred to as cardio. Common examples of aerobic exercises include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Jogging or running
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Playing sports like soccer or basketball.

Health benefits of cardio

  • Cardio improves the overall health of your circulatory system. It also strengthens your heart to pump blood more efficiently.
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart attack, and hypertension
  • Lowers blood pressure and improves blood-fat levels
  • Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces the risk of 13 types of cancers.

How much cardio do you need?

According to a guideline from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), adults should engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activities like brisk walking per week. For best results, experts recommend that the time be broken down to 30 minutes per day for five days every week.

Strength Training

Strength exercises are aimed at making your muscles work harder than usual. This invariably helps to improve muscle strength, power, size, and endurance. Such activities involve working your muscles against resistance.

Common examples include:

  • Weight lifting
  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Climbing stairs
  • Hillwalking
  • Squats
  • Heavy gardening, such as digging and shoveling

Health benefits of strength training

  • Increase lean muscle mass
  • Helps in weight loss because lean muscles burn more calories.
  • Helps to increase flexibility and balance, thereby reducing the risks of falls and injuries in older people
  • Increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures

How much strength training do you need?

Aim for two to three days per week of strength training. You should try to incorporate full-body workouts that focus on compound exercises like squats with a shoulder press, as well as pushups and plank with a one-arm row.

Flexibility Exercise

Flexibility exercises are activities that stretch your muscles and can help your body stay flexible. Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement in your day-to-day life, as well as for other exercise routines.

There are primarily two types of flexibility exercises: static stretching and dynamic stretching. In static stretching, you stretch your muscles without moving. Examples include:

  • Shoulder stretch
  • Side bends
  • Hamstring stretch

Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, combines stretching with movements. Common examples include:

  • High steps
  • Ankle stretch
  • Arm swings
  • Arm circles

Benefits of Flexibility Training

  • Improves flexibility, which can be important for everyday life.
  • Reduces your risk of injuries
  • Reduces lactic acid in the muscles.

How much flexibility exercise do you need?

Stretching should be included before and after your normal workout routine. Experts recommend that you do dynamic stretching as part of your warm-up before a workout. You should then do a static stretch at the end of your routine. According to the National Institutes of Health, you should hold each static stretch for about 10 to 30 seconds.

Balance Exercise

Balance exercises are activities that improve your ability to control and stabilize your body position. They help strengthen the muscles that keep you upright, including your legs and cores.

Common examples include:

  • Standing on one foot
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Walking heel to toe
  • Using a balance board or stability ball

Benefits of Balance Exercises

  • Lowers your risks of knee and ankle injuries
  • Lowers your risk of falls
  • Improves overall body coordination
  • Improves your reaction time
  • Better proprioception as you’re more aware of how your limbs are oriented in space.

How much balance exercise do you need?

Balance exercises should be added to your routine, and there’s no limit to how often you can do them. But to improve your balance, doing three to six balance training sessions per week for 11 to 12 weeks should be sufficient. Four exercises per session should be okay.

Wrap Up

While the importance of exercises cannot be overemphasized, the key to an effective and fun fitness plan is to incorporate the four main types of exercises.

Please reach out to us here if you have any other questions or concerns.

What to do if you’re a Covid long hauler

old man cough outdoorLet us begin by clarifying exactly what a “long hauler” refers to so you will be better equipped to know if you are on or not. A COVID long hauler is a term used to refer to people who have contracted the virus, and it is resolved with or without treatment and/or hospitalization; however, the patient is left with lingering and seemingly unexplained symptoms. A range of multiorgan complications following COVID-19 infection – including respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal impairments – have been observed and are characterized by the graph to the left.

COVID-19 Long Haulers Typical Symptoms

While it would stand to reason that COVID long hauler’s symptoms would essentially correlate with that of a regular COVID patient, there are, however, a few discrepancies that supersede common symptoms and need to be underlined and understood in order to accurately differentiate between the two.

Below is a list of the most common COVID-19 long hauler symptoms to be aware of:


  1. Coughing

  2. Shortness of breath

  3. Tightness in the chest

  4. Ongoing fatigue

  5. Body aches

  6. Joint pain

  7. Loss of the sense of taste and smell

  8. Difficulty sleeping

  9. Headaches

  10. Brain fog

  11. Chills and/or sweats


It is critical to remain cognizant to these symptoms if they persist after the typical window of COVID. In other words, if you are left untreated, and these symptoms linger – you are a long hauler and need to understand what to do next in order to take accurate precautions.

COVID-19 Long Haulers Syndrome Root Causes

At Proactive Wellness Centers – as functional doctors – we look for root causes. Our research shows that any or all of the following may be the reason for long hauler’s syndrome.

  1. Viral latency: once contracted, the virus can remain dormant in your body – eluding detection by your immune system and triggering low-level inflammation.

  2. Persistent immune dysregulation: because your immune system perceives a continuing threat, it stimulates the ongoing production of proinflammatory cytokines and mediators to block that action – furthering the immune dysregulation.

  3. Mitochondrial dysfunction: as the virus hides out in your cells, it modifies the functions of your cells to better suit its own viral replication. This allows the virus to partially control cellular functions so that when combined with the regular work of the cells, the mitochondrial becomes dysfunctional.

  4. Compromised autophagy: autophagy is an intracellular biological process that removes the body’s toxins and recycles damaged cell components. When autophagy is compromised, cells become sluggish and bogged down, and this results in a reduction of cellular function that ultimately leads to fatigue and compromised bodily functions across all systems.


The combination of the above root causes leads to immunological dysfunction and mitochondrial deficits and ultimately leads to the array of symptoms seen in long-haulers.

Proactive Wellness Treatment for COVID Long Haulers

Long haulers treatment consists of clearing any remaining low-level virus and then cleaning the terrain. The latter will make a difference in the long-term health of long hauler patients. Cleaning the terrain is necessary to correct immune dysregulation, the real culprit in primary COVID-19 and chronic long haulers disease. Our Proactive Wellness treatment approach is outlined below and addresses all root causes of Covid long haulers syndrome.

Gut Restoration

Our treatment approach begins with restoring gut health by addressing the following procedural flow:

  1. Gut restoration using specialized supplements

  2. Probiotic as needed

  3. Identify and eliminate sensitive foods using food sensitivity testing

Overall gut health plays a critical role in the overall health and well-being of an individual. Treating chronic or prolonged symptoms are no different.

Immune and Autophagy Rejuvenation


  1. Ivermectin (5-7 days) to eradicate viral load. Though the patient may test negative for COVID-19, research has shown that even low levels of the virus can continue to cause immune dysfunction.

  2. Special peptide for Immune modulation

  3. Specialized supplement to enhance autophagy

  4. Vitamin D enhancement if not already optimal

  5. Zinc (25 mg daily)

Adapting this protocol to the treatment of long haulers has proven to mitigate many prolonged risks otherwise associated with foregoing any other types of legacy treatments or hospitalizations.

Next step…

Mitochondrial Rejuvenation

After effectively treating a patient’s immune and autophagy symptoms, we move to the mitochondria. The steps are as follows:

  1. CoQ10

  2. Vitamin C

  3. Specialized supplements to accomplish mitochondrial strengthening

And lastly, we treat the liver.
Liver Support

  1. Liver detox (Tudca, Kidney Liver Detox or NAC)

  2. Drink plenty of water and reduce alcohol intake

  3. Anti-inflammatory diet

  4. Identify and reduce toxic exposure using Great Plains Laboratory Non-metallic toxic test and specific detox if needed

This is a brief synopsis of the treatment we use here at Proactive Wellness Centers in order to comprehensively treat patients with lingering Covid symptoms who were not previously hospitalized. If you are ready to get started, please reach out to us HERE. We understand the confusion surmounted and readily available out there today in terms of COVID-19 and we are here to help you effectively wade through your options in order to properly treat the symptoms you are presenting.

Direct Contact Information
Click here to contact us on our quick contact form, and someone will get back to you shortly. If between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, feel free to call us now at 703-822-5003, and our Clinical Intake Coordinator will answer any questions you have and get you started. If you know this is the program for you, then click here to begin the online enrollment process.

All you need to know about a stroke

Senior woman with elastic bandA stroke occurs when there’s a reduction or blockage of blood supply to the brain. It can also result from the rupture of a blood vessel within the brain. This blockage or rupture prevents the supply of oxygen to the brain tissues. Consequently, the brain cells begin to die within minutes.

Sustained periods of stroke can be fatal. That’s why stroke is considered to be a medical emergency. If you’re with anyone experiencing a stroke, call 911 to seek prompt medical attention. In this article, we explore all you need to know about stroke.

What is Stroke?

As noted earlier, a stroke occurs when blockage or blood vessel rupture hinders the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain cells. According to CDC, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 795,000 people yearly.

Common Symptoms

Once the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted, brain tissue damage kicks in. Notable symptoms become visible in areas controlled by the damaged region of the brain. Some of the common symptoms of stroke include:

  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Slurring speech
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one half of the body.
  • Trouble walking
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance and coordination.

Once stroke kicks in, the sooner the person gets medical attention, the better their chance of recovery. Every second count! Failure to act promptly can result in:

  • Brain damage
  • Long-term disability
  • Death.

Call 911 if you notice someone exhibiting symptoms of stroke!

Types of Stroke

Strokes can be classified into three main categories:

  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Hemorrhagic stroke.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

Sometimes, the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted by a blood clot. This results in a mini-stroke, technically called transient ischemic attack. While TIA exhibits symptoms of a full stroke, these symptoms typically disappear within a few minutes to hours.

More often than not, a full stroke is usually preceded by TIA. Unfortunately, statistics by the CDC show that more than one-third of people who experience TIA and fail to receive medical attention end up having a full stroke within a year.

Ischemic stroke

Ischemic stroke is caused by the narrowing or blocking of arteries that take blood to the brain. While this blockage is primarily caused by a blood clot, it can also be caused by atherosclerosis breaking off and blocking the blood vessel.

There are two main types of ischemic stroke: embolic and thrombotic stroke. In a thrombotic stroke, a blood clot forms right in the arteries supplying the brain with blood. On the other hand, in an embolic stroke, the clot is produced elsewhere in the body and transported to the brain. According to the CDC, ischemic strokes make up about 87 percent of strokes.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This occurs when an artery in the brain gets cut and leaks blood. As blood escapes from the artery, it increases the pressure within that localized region of the skull. This causes the brain to swell, which eventually damages brain cells and tissues.

Hemorrhagic strokes are broadly classified into two: intracerebral and subarachnoid. In intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, blood directly fills the tissues surrounding the brain when the artery breaks open. In subarachnoid hemorrhagic stroke, blood simply fills the space between the brain and the tissues covering it. An intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke makes up the vast majority of hemorrhagic strokes.

Causes and Risk factors

Different types of strokes have different potential causes. However, certain risk factors significantly increase your risk of having one. Some of which include:

  • Unhealthy diets including foods high in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • An extended period of inactivity
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Personal background like family history, sex, age, and ethnicity.
  • Prior medical conditions linked to stroke, like high blood pressure, a previous stroke or TIA, high cholesterol, sickle cell disease, diabetes, and heart disorders.


Because a stroke can cause rapid deterioration, immediate medical attention – preferably within three hours of observing symptoms – is needed to obtain the best outcome. Some of the major methods of diagnosing stroke include:

  • Physical examination

Physical examination is carried out to observe muscle strength, reflexes, vision, sensation, and coordination. Similarly, the doctor may check your blood pressure, examine the blood vessels at the back of your eyes or listen to the carotid arteries.

  • Tests

Several tests can be carried out to determine if you’ve had a stroke. Some of which include:

Blood tests, CT scans, MRI scans, cerebral angiogram, carotid ultrasonic and echocardiogram


Stroke treatment is highly dependent on the type of stroke you experience. Here are some common treatments based on the types of strokes:

Ischemic stroke and TIA

  • Antiplatelet and anticoagulants
  • Clot-breaking drugs
  • Mechanical thrombectomy
  • Stents
  • Surgery

Hemorrhagic stroke

  • Medications to make your blood clot
  • Coiling to restrict excessive blood flow
  • Clamping to prevent additional bleeding
  • Surgery

Wrap Up

A stroke is a serious medication that requires immediate medical attention. Incorporating certain lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your chances of having a stroke. Some things to bear in mind include:

  • Quit alcohol and smoking
  • Watch your weight
  • Eat healthy diets, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes
  • Exercise regularly
  • Undergo regular medical checkups for sugar and blood pressure levels.

Contact us today for more information.