Holistic Practitioner Spotlight with Melissa Bennett, a Naturopathic Practitioner who is Certified in Nutritional Wellness and Accredited in Predictive Health
We are speaking with Melissa Bennett, ND who has a great deal of success using specific nutritional and dietary programs with women experiencing hormonal imbalances affecting fertility and other reproductive issues.
Tell Us a Story About a Patient Whose Diagnosis and Natural Treatment of Hormonal Imbalance Greatly Improved Her Physical and Emotional Health
Nutritional programs I provide in my practice work to correct many health issues that people experience. One particular case which comes to mind is Cheryl, a 28 year old overweight female who came in with a diagnosis of Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal condition which can affect fertility. Her presenting symptoms included the following: irregular periods, acne mostly on her chin, hirsutism (excess hair growth on her body),and an increased risk for developing diabetes and high blood pressure due to her excess weight. Her abdominal area was distended. Cheryl had a lack of energy, was very depressed and had stopped attending college due to her lack of motivation.
The Source of this Hormonal Imbalance
The term “poly-cystic” may be deceptive since many women who have this condition do not have to have cysts on their ovaries. What is a common factor is that PCOS disturbs reproductive hormones which can cause the menstrual cycle to become irregular or scarce. Cheryl presented with lower progesterone levels and higher levels of testosterone (a male hormone – also referred to as an androgen). While it is normal for women to have some androgen hormones, men have an abundance of androgen hormones. It is the androgen testosterone which give men their male characteristics. With this hormonal irregularity as the barometer for her health issues, we took the first step to rebalance Cheryl’s system.
A Natural Pathway to Re-balance Hormones
My primary objective with Cheryl was making sure she was at a healthy weight. The fat she carried largely around her mid-section was not healthy. She was in a vicious cycle of not being motivated to exercise or eat properly because of her lack of energy. We needed to get Cheryl to the first step of creating self-motivation to set her own attainable goals. She needed to feel that she could accomplish something. To help her get started, we used the method known as SMART which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Using SMART goal setting helped bring structure and self-accountability into Cheryl’s goals and objectives.
PCOS patients can present with insulin resistance which means the body may not process insulin the way it should. Insulin is the hormone that balances blood sugar. I placed Cheryl on a supportive nutritional program which used certain supplements to help regulate her insulin. She needed to make sure that she was well hydrated – drinking alkaline water that was also mineralized with 70 trace minerals.
Results Sticking to A Diet According to Blood Type
I have had great results incorporating the tenets of Dr Peter D’ Adamo’s diet according to blood type. The diet is based upon the principle that foods contain diverse proteins called lectins which have agglutinating properties (to adhere or stick) to the blood and the digestive tract. So, if you consume a food containing protein lectins that are not compatible with your blood type, the lectins can target an organ or different parts of the body (liver, kidneys, stomach gut…) and affect the tissues. If you consume foods that are compatible with your blood type the agglutination does not occur.This reaction is part of your genetic inheritance.It is amazing that your immune and digestive systems still maintain favoritism for foods that your blood type ancestors ate.
Health Can Transform without Medications
Over a period of 4 to 6 months Cheryl implemented the following:
- She started consuming foods which were on her blood type O food list
- I placed her on a blood sugar support pack through a well-known reputable lab
- She consumed alkaline water – 2 sachets in 4 bottles per day
- We added in regular sessions of reflexology (I believe touch therapy is very beneficial)
- I prayed with her and for her recovery
Cheryl’s symptoms started to dramatically improve. Her menses became normalized and her acne dissipated. Her energy increased from 3 to 8 (1 being extremely low to 8 which is on the high end of normal). Over the 6 month period. Cheryl lost 57 pounds and completely eliminated the 11 over-the-counter medications she was previously using. She went back to college to become an amazing Occupational Therapist! So spectacular was her recovery that her journey back to health made the 5:00 o’clock news. Cheryl’s TV interview can be seen at www.theoliveleaf.com under the Media and TV tab.
Why and When Did You Choose the Holistic Path?
For 10 years my husband and I were owners of a Chiropractic office. On November 10th which was my 33rd birthday, I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer and given a 45 % chance of survival. I was one of the clinical trial participants for Herceptin and there is a movie called “Living Proof” on Amazon.com with Harry Connick Jr. He plays the character of Dr. Dennis Slamon (oncologist and researcher) who developed Herceptin (a monoclonal antibody drug) and his difficult struggle to provide treatment to women diagnosed with her 2-positive cancer. I personally have seen God do many miracles in my life and I believe He will do the same for those I am trying to help because I seek His direction and wisdom. I am also very balanced when it comes to healthcare and believe we can all work together, conventional as well as functional to help the patient achieve optimal wellness!
What Lessons Have Your Work and Personal Experiences Taught You?
I have learned over the past 15 years in practice is that health is a precious commodity and needs to be treated as such.
I believe personalized medicine is the most practical way of addressing the chronic health conditions we face today. I also love the concept of integrated healthcare so that conventional and functional merge to create a new model which focuses on lifestyle modification to help prevent disease. I have learned the importance of working as a team and work with wonderful people who really care about others.
What Would You Like Your Patients to Know About Your Services that They May Not be Aware of?
The primary focus of my practice centers around a health restoration program which I provide in my practice and remotely. I also enjoy testing such as genetic, micronutrient, GI and neurotransmitter which can identify markers and I work out protocols based upon this information. I love seeing patients recover from conditions by implementing my advice. I truly believe that all areas, the emotional, physical and spiritual need to be addressed to achieve complete healing. I have working relationships with other practitioners to help the patient get the answers they are seeking.
Melissa Bennett, ND, CTN, CNW is a licensed holistic practitioner and owner of The Olive Leaf since 2006. Through the American Naturopathic Certification Board, she is board certified in nutritional wellness and accredited through Emory University as an Emory health partner. She currently serves on two scientific advisory boards. Melissa is also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors through Liberty University.
A devotee of the science of blood type, she is an IfHI (Institute for Human Individuality) Master – earning her designation under the guidance of Dr. Peter D’Adamo. Melissa focuses on total wellness and prevention.
The Olive Leaf
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Visit Dr. Bennett’s Website
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