Blending Modern Science with Traditional Medicine
Patients being treated for chronic neurological disorders at NorthBay Healthcare now have access to a new practice that blends the best of modern medical science with traditional natural medical approaches.
Called “Functional Medicine,” this new practice focuses on maximizing a patient’s overall health, which can positively impact a disease process, general well-being and quality of life, according to Eric Hassid, M.D.
“The way we look at it, there is a core group of issues that can impact a chronic disease such as Parkinson’s, and if we can restructure just one of those issues, we can improve on the patient’s foundation of health.”
Those core issues include nutrition, physical activity, hormonal levels, stress, sleep quality and environmental exposures. For example, “research has found that our bodies respond well to a modified Mediterranean diet, as it helps reduce the inflammatory burden of chronic illness and aging. Hormone levels are measured because as we age, levels of testosterone and estrogen fall, and that has a cause-and-effect on healthy aging, chronic illness and overall brain health.”
Dr. Hassid strongly believes in the importance of mind-body health. Research has demonstrated that optimal sleep and stress management are crucial to a healthy body and mind, as well as optimal weight loss potential. Exposure to environmental toxins such as heavy metals and plastics can also have a negative impact on our physiology over the years. “It is well known that exercise helps improve blood pressure, control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. However, research has recently demonstrated a positive link between exercise and brain health, not to mention its effect on overall well-being. Consequently, establishing a balanced exercise regimen is important no matter your medical condition,” he stresses.
Physical rehabilitation is also crucial to recovery of function from a wide variety of disabling impairments, especially stroke, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease. As a rehabilitation neurologist, Dr. Hassid also helps implement rehabilitative strategies when necessary in order to help a patient’s mobility, cognition and overall function.
Dr. Hassid firmly believes in the body’s inherent ability to be restored to good health, and he works in concert with the patient’s primary care doctor to achieve optimal health.
Board-certified in neurology and certified by the American Board of Anti-aging Medicine, Dr. Hassid has cared for patients with such neurological conditions as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and migraine headaches.
“There is a real connection between our lifestyle behaviors and exposures and our health,” he says, “and adopting functional medicine practices can make a big impact on daily living and overall quality of life.”