What does good health look like? What does it feel like?
How do you repair invisible symptoms to find good health?
Power Health of Reno knows! 🙂 (Is that a little too, “BUT WAIT! You can also get a free hedge trimmer!” Because I don’t mean it that way. And Power Health doesn’t give away hedge trimmers.)
Last December (2015,) I had had enough of my poor health and trying to manage it on my own. I had been researching for days and months and thousands and thousands of hours over the last couple of years for my health to only kind-of get better and then get worse again. I was done. I’m in a FB group for people dealing with adrenal fatigue and other health issues and I noticed that people experiencing healing and good results in their health all had one thing in common…they were seeing a Functional Medical Practitioner!
I had never heard of such a thing but once I started researching who they were and what they did, I was sold. I found this website and found some practitioners near me here. I researched the ones closest to me and made some phone calls. Originally, I made an appointment with a gal an hour and some away because she could get me in the soonest. Chase though, talked me into waiting for an appointment with Power Health. He liked that they were closer and easier for him to take me in for appointments (since I couldn’t drive more than ten minutes without living on the couch totally spent for days afterward.) So begrudgingly, I consented to waiting an extra week for my (FREE) consultation appointment.
Let me just say now…I am SO GLAD I did.
I met Dr. Rutherford and started going over my life and medical history. And wow…once he heard about my childhood, he started guessing my long list of symptoms-correctly! I had to fight back major ugly crying because finally, someone understood! I *wasn’t* crazy!!! Chase sat there with his mouth hanging open. We continued talking about my life and medical history and Dr. Rutherford made some educated guesses about my diagnosis and prognosis after going through everything.
I really appreciated how he explained my situation to Chase the way he did. Chase is a hard skeptic to win over on both the medical paradigm and the natural/homeopathic paradigm. Dr. Rutherford pointed out some physical evidence that the stress mechanism in my brain was stuck “on” and was over-firing. I connected a bunch of dots and realized I have had many of my symptoms since high-school! Crazy! It was freeing to know that there has always been something wrong with me, and maybe I’m not chronically lazy or a dramatic hypochondriac!!! So freeing!!! Most, if not all of my symptoms and pain were due to childhood trauma, long-term trauma and stress, being born hypoglycemic and then eating the typical American diet.
We discussed what the program with Power Health looked like and whether or not we would be up for the challenge. The diet is hard, and the program takes work and discipline. Well…we were sold. Chase saw the light at the end of the tunnel and was all, “Whatever it takes and costs, we are doing this!” I felt the same way! Power Health gave us answers and then hope that we could solve the problems! Hope was HUGE. I had just run out of hope that my health would ever change and I was beginning to think I couldn’t survive like this for more than a couple of years. That thought was devastating…I have five babies and a husband to live for!
We left my consultation with an appointment for a three-hour long exam and trial appointment, like 20 pages of homework to fill out and bring back, a ton of HOPE, and feeling so relieved that I wasn’t crazy or dramatic…there was in fact something wrong with me but they were going to help me heal and give me my life back!
On the way home, Chase apologized for not understanding before and for being more supportive. I really appreciated that, (and may have cried) but truly…unless you have experienced it yourself, how can you possibly understand an invisible illness? He was pretty supportive considering he had no idea what I was going through inside. I can’t say I would have been any better had the situation been reversed-I may not have been as supportive as he was even! So yes…I’m very thankful and blessed.
Anyway, we went back for my exam with Dr. Gates and Dr. Rutherford. Both very friendly and compassionate. And obviously very knowledgeable in chronic pain conditions and brain issues (to put it shortly…) The exam was interesting: balance testing, looking at the arteries in/behind (???) my eyes and other, more typical testing. Dr. Gates is *super intense* at first. (Men are kind of scary to me anyways!) He stares hard when he is thinking and typing a million words a minute and it is *really* intimidating. Give it time, (if you need it) he will win you over with his compassion and brilliance. Promise.
So my preliminary diagnosis was Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an over-active sympathetic nervous system response in my brain, peripheral neuropathy, leaky gut, and adrenal exhaustion. Dr. Gates lined up some brain-based therapy exercises for me to try and see how well I responded to them. It is interesting going to the treatment room, a bunch of people on oxygen, wearing weird glasses, hooked up to machines and wires, staring at their thumbs or dots on a page or walking side to side. A little weird at first but the chiropractic assistants are very, very kind and put me at ease. They explain the process and the what, why and how. (LOVE all those ladies!)
Immediately after the brain-based therapy, my brain started hurting like a sore muscle and I felt pretty dizzy. Super interesting! But even feeling really dizzy, I did much better on the balance tests I had done at the beginning of the visit! Chase was even impressed and got *more* excited about the prospect of me healing. 😉 I was told that even just one therapy session could affect my sleep for the better. I didn’t remember having restful sleep in my entire life. I literally thought it was a myth and some people were better fakers than others. Hence the copious amounts of coffee and soda I drank for years and years (which made alllll my problems worse, by the way.) Until this visit, every night in the last couple of years especially was the opposite of restful. Many times my brain while sleeping was considerably more stressful than being awake! My brain would just go a million miles an hour. It felt like I was riding in a convertible super fast in downtown New York City, with the lights and the noise and tons of people yelling, and honking horns, flying down the streets and around corners and I would be hanging out of the car just hanging on for dear life. Sleeping was torture and yet it was all I wanted to do. I couldn’t get enough.
Well, the morning after my first short session, I found myself waking up and realizing while still mostly asleep that IT WAS BLACK IN MY BRAIN. Black. No sound….lights….thoughts…just SLEEP. It was a miracle.
So we started the program! Two weekly visits for a scheduled four and a half months. One visit I saw Dr. Gates and we would discuss changes to my treatment and how things were going, followed by brain-based therapy and the second visit was solely brain-based therapy. The process of treatment with Dr. Gates was pretty fascinating…very much like solving a puzzle a piece at a time. First we tackled the leaky gut by changing my diet drastically and whittling it down to meats and veggies mostly. Just that was immensely helpful, I had developed food allergies to pretty much everything and eating or drinking almost always made me look and feel six months pregnant. I also found the wrong foods made me tired, dizzy, gave me headaches and later, I found that it greatly attributed to my leg pain. He put me on a powdered supplement that made me feel SO much better and helped me fully digest my food. (Spoiler alert: I’m going to talk about poop…continue at your own risk or skip to the next paragraph.) While on this supplement, I literally lost FIFTEEN POUNDS of stuff that resembled black Silly Putty. For real. It was disgusting, freaky and totally amazing. No wonder I had been feeling like crap. Haha!
Oh, at the beginning of the program, you get this super nifty binder full of great information. Read it and apply it. It really is helpful! Mine stayed out and open in my kitchen 24/7 so I could access my diet info all the time and write down any questions I needed to ask Dr. Gates at my next appointment.
Also, I was treated for parasites which was a *big* help. For this, I talked to an MD who works with Power Health and he gave me a prescription. Also a really nice Dr!
I went in for lab work to get confirmation for Hashimoto’s, adrenal exhaustion and check everything else. The lab work confirmed it all plus very, very, low iron levels so we attacked that too.
It wasn’t very long into the process (maybe three weeks) where I was actually able to drive myself back and forth to my appointments 30 minutes away! We really weren’t expecting that much improvement that rapidly! It was fabulous!
I appreciated that Dr. Gates worked on one or two big problems at a time and waited to see if while those things healed, the other problems would take care of themselves. I would get impatient but I appreciated the process and in the long run it was great! Supplements are expensive so it was nice for him to take into consideration what the necessities were and go from there.
After a bit, we started supplements for my adrenals. That was amazingly helpful! It was also around that time that I had a pretty huge PTSD episode during the end of one of my treatment appointments. Kinda funny, but one day while there, I took a good look at the oxygen machine I was hooked up to and I realized it was identical to one my step-dad used when he was home. My whole body quaked and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to hurl all the oxygen machines through the brick wall out into the road outside or fall on the ground in the fetal position and weep. I knew the noise they make was bothering me at every visit but hadn’t put my finger on it until then. Really weird. I just froze and stayed calm and finished my last couple of minutes and got the heck out of there. I emailed Dr. Gates about it and got permission to not use the oxygen. He offered me my own treatment room away from the machines so I wouldn’t have to hear them and while I probably should have taken him up on it, I don’t like being by myself and feeling quarantined. I appreciated the community in the treatment room. Even if we don’t talk much, it is nice to not be the only one going through this and working to get better. 🙂 So anyway, I stayed in the treatment room and brought headphones and rocked out on Pandora during my therapy to drown out the machines. At first, as soon as I would walk in the door I would just sweat head to toe…eventually just my palms would sweat. And when going through these kind of situations, I tend to chant in my head weird hippie stuff like “I am safe, I am secure, I am healing, I am loved, I am smart.” Those blasted machines tend to tell me the opposite so I focus on truth. 😉 I still hate the machines and occasionally fight urges to kick and hit them with baseball bats but I handle it okay. Can you tell? Lol!
Dr. Gates is really great at helping with the diet, finding substitutions and making suggestions for new things to try that are on plan.
One thing I found frustrating with him at first but then figured out after awhile is that sometimes if you tell Dr. Gates about a random symptom, he will respond with an intensely thoughtful “Hmmmmmmmm….” and then sometimes move on to the next thing. For awhile I thought that maybe he didn’t know why I was having that one symptom and so was just moving on to something else, but I eventually figured out that he knew all about that symptom and it was either normal for that point of the healing process, or he knew it would resolve itself or he would get back to it later on in the process. So if you find yourself thinking that maybe he doesn’t know or care, ask and find out what he is thinking. He answers all those questions very well if he knows you have them! 🙂
I found that I was sleeping SO WELL once I fell asleep but was having trouble falling asleep still. So we worked on that with a new temporary supplement.
We tweaked my brain exercises when some of them would make me dizzy.
Overall, the whole process would be three steps forward, and one or sometimes two steps back. One thing would get better, and new things would be uncovered. I have talked to others in the program and that is really normal. I was glad I trusted the process and was patient. These guys know what they are doing. I found that I wasn’t researching my symptoms and treatments for these symptoms anymore. I watch the videos from Power Health and realize just how stinking much my Dr’s know and their knowledge runs circles around all the wisdom I have seen on these topics during my full-time job of research for years! I stopped worrying about what other people and doctors said and groups on the internet and just gave myself to the process. I’m thankful I did. I’m not saying to check your brain in at the door- I do ask questions and try to take in the information, I find it all fascinating and they don’t seem to mind explaining it all (hence the tons of hours of videos and such. :)) I am SO beyond confident that I never could have fit all these pieces together on my own. Everything is SO inter-connected in our bodies that you have to see how it all works together and can’t *just* work on your adrenals or gut function or thyroid…you have to see the whole puzzle and fit it all together methodically. This is what these doctors DO and are devoted to doing.
Eventually, we started adding foods in slowly and watched for reactions. My diet got a little broader! Happy!
We weaned off of some supplements, added a couple more for a different puzzle piece and kept going.
My sleep greatly improved! I now don’t need anything to fall and stay asleep and sleep well. My energy is SO GREATLY improved and getting better all the time. I have lost 20 pounds so far and expect to keep losing…I even got rid of a bunch of clothes that don’t fit well anymore.
I eat without pain and exhaustion and actually digest it well. My leg pain is usually completely gone and only comes if I eat something I shouldn’t accidentally (or rarely not-so-accidentally!)
My hormones are balancing, my brain fog is lifting and I am getting my memory retention back. My anxiety is GREATLY reduced and I can handle day to day life without hiding from the world for a bit every day.
Another plus is managing my hashi’s without meds! Actually, I am on no meds right now! We took more labs and everything looks SO MUCH BETTER!
I’m cooking and cleaning for my family and enjoying being a Mommy again. I’m also enjoying being a wife again and being able to help my husband in his work.
I was actually crying about it to Chase the other morning-I spent two days cleaning my house and loving it. This sounds crazy but I have always been OCD about house cleaning but had no energy to get it done and was overwhelmed by it all. I resigned that if I couldn’t get the baseboards to the top of the fridge dusted and cleaned than there was no sense in cleaning. I was overwhelmed and hoarding and a big fat mess. I had friends come help me clean and teens from church would come pitch in even. I knew how to clean and I knew I should clean for my family and Chase but just couldn’t manage to get it done. I was exhausted. Even in my single days, Chase would come visit me and clean my house and do the dishes. And I felt guilty about it then, too. It just got worse.
As time went one, I got better about it and habit making and enjoying the accomplishment of having things clean and bit by bit I have become a better housekeeper but still just had so much left undone.
Well….now I clean every day and get things accomplished and enjoy it! I am tackling all those little things that make me crazy like wiping down picture frames, vacuuming out the corners and crevices, reorganizing and throwing lots of stuff out. So I was crying, telling Chase that I am actually *becoming* the person I always wanted to *be*!!! I knew there was a clean-freak inside me somewhere! And a more hands-on Mom, a more helpful wife and a healthy person.
So now I am working on one last puzzle piece and am otherwise in maintenance mode with the program! I go in once a month when needed and see Dr. Gates to discuss my diet and tweak anything that needs tweaking. We are weaning off the supplements and I am doing a little brain therapy at home every day. I actually really miss going in and seeing everyone in the office, not to mention my relaxation therapy which included a foot bath, massage chair and then a water message bed….my life will never be the same. 😉 The only negative thing I can say about my experience is the music they play. LOL! It had gotten better my last couple of weeks there, but still…that weird jazzy elevator music makes me want to murder someone. Everyone survived only because I was listening to my own music to drown out the oxygen machines. 😉 So really, if you are like me…bring some headphones. 😉
I love the videos they post every week that keep me learning and encourage me to stick with my program. I’m learning about steps to take to help my kids not develop these kind of health problems and feed my family the best I can.
Also, I really appreciate that if I have any pressing questions about anything program related, I can email and get an answer in between appointments.
So overall, do I recommend the program??? Ummmm duh. Call them and set up a free-consult, wherever you live and commit to the program and your health. This isn’t cheap but they have many payment option plans. They really could be charging considerably more for what they do, too.
Also, I have a friend who went through the consult and wanted to start the program but she and her husband were working hard to get out of debt and didn’t want to add more. They decided to wait and pray about it and the *next day* her husband got a completely unexpected bonus at work that covered the cost of her treatment!!! LOVE IT. 🙂
One thing I and other mothers have mentioned when we chat is that we feel guilty spending all this money on ourselves. Well, let me just speak into that now that I have finished the program…
YES. The money could totally be spent on gymnastics lessons and new shoes and a great backyard or be put toward their education or whatever, it really could! BUT. None of those things gave my kids their mom back NOW, while they are still little. If you were to ask my kids to choose between playing sports and having me be able to walk them to the park, I would win. They would choose me sitting out and reading to them and teaching them how to cook over me hiding in my bed with PTSD symptoms, even if that means they didn’t get the play-set in the backyard this year. Mommas, they want YOU. Give them YOU.
One thing we didn’t do that we should have in hindsight was to budget for the supplements. They do get pricey and add up quickly. They are definitely worth it and always helped. I haven’t used any yet that I felt were a waste, but it is a bit much some weeks and it got tight when weren’t prepared. On the other hand, before I came to Power Health I was probably spending about that much on books and supplements that were maybe, kinda-sorta helping!
So yes, the Dr’s, the staff, and the program are fabulous and I highly recommend them for your chronic pain and health needs! We honestly, quite literally feel like Power Health is one of the reasons we were called here to Nevada (in addition to a position in a wonderful, loving church!!!) We (and those who have watched me up close during this process) literally use the word “Godsend.” I’m not confident I could have received this care to this level of expertise anywhere else in the world.
We are so very thankful for Power Health!
If you get accepted into the program, stick with it and work hard. It is definitely worth it! If you are a patient with Power Health and have questions about my diet or anything I can possibly help you with, let me know!
Also, I should note that I’m in no way being compensated or get any kickbacks for this review. This is just how we feel and I felt compelled to share so you, too can experience your true, healthy self.
One of my favorite videos, here is when a local news team came in and did a quick overview of Power Health https://www.facebook.com/PowerHealthReno/videos/10153829565279876/
To watch their Hangouts and other videos check this out
To learn more and contact them go here