Interviewer: I have with me Gary Merel who is a licensed acupuncturist and functional nutrition practitioner based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Gary, I wonder if you could explain for the folks a little bit about your practice?
Gary: A simple question. I would say my practice is focused on primarily three components. I’m an acupuncturist. I went to acupuncture school in New York, I don’t know, many years ago, and am licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. But I found over the course of my first years in practice that I was unprepared to deal with the complexity of patients’ presentations that came into my office.
I’m also an inpatient practitioner, an inpatient clinician, I like results. Also, people pay out of pocket, so, it’s not like I have an infinite amount of time. There’s usually a personal investment clients make in coming to see me. So, I started studying functional medicine, and I would say, functional medicine uses the tools of medical science, but unlike most allopathic practitioners, functional medicine, well, let me say this differently.
Allopathic medicine, for the most part, not exclusively, is really based on symptom management. You have symptoms, they have drugs or procedures to manage them. Functional medicine is really rooted in finding out the underlying cause. Symptoms don’t live in a vacuum, our bodies don’t live in a vacuum. The knee bone is connected to the shin bone.
So functional medicine uses the tools of science, which is blood work and some other diagnostic tools – saliva testing, urine testing – to help figure out why the symptoms are appearing and using that knowledge to empower my clients to own their health, and, as often as possible, resolve that underlying condition, and in most cases, the symptoms just take care of themselves.
I also use nutrition as a big part of my practice. I have a very Paleocentric practice. I use food as a primary source of healing. I do use supplements, but food always comes first. Seventy percent of our immune system is in our gut, so you need to deal with that first. I find between using the tools of acupuncture and Oriental medicine and functional medicine, I can bring the best of both worlds to help a client in the process of healing and ultimately making health a choice.
Interviewer: That’s great. It sounds like you use a wide variety of methods to really empower your clients to help themselves with their health. What are some of the techniques that you use to help you get new clients for your practice? Continue reading