Wellacopia Interview with Dr. Payal Bhandari
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Dr. Payal Bhandari:
"When people are empowered they often pay the favor forward by positively impacting other people's lives."
• What is/was your profession? Integrative Functional Family Physician specializing on cellular health and the impact of the microbiome, nutrient deficiencies, and toxin overload.
• What is your illness(es)? Chronic eczema
• Where do you work/what’s your business? Owner and senior physician of integrative medical center, SF Advanced Health in San Francisco, CA
• What types of patients/conditions do you work with? Patients with either a chronic disease or no diagnosis with debilitating symptoms who have already been evaluated by many different medical physicians and other healthcare specialists but unfortunately are not getting better.
1. What makes your approach to care unique? I give people as much time as necessary to truly understand the full picture and discover exactly where their problem lies on a cellular level. I can then define an effective personalized treatment plan which drives results quickly and empowers the patients to use tools they easily have access to.
2. How did your illness shape your career? The persistence and intensity of my chronic eczema throughout my life has never responded or resolved with all the treatment options offered by conventional western medicine. The debilitating nature of my skin disorder would cause severe itching, skin bleeding, anxiety, and poor sleep. When my youngest daughter also began to develop variants of eczema in the form of idiopathic hives by age 2 and my oldest daughter required an emergency oophorectomy at age 6, I became determined to find real answers. I couldn’t accept that my daughter’s and my health issues were idiopathic (aka., without a cause) as we were always informed by our doctors.
I began doing aggressive research outside of allopathic scientific research, and discovered how intertwined nutrition, gut function, the nervous system, and environmental toxins are with one’s health. I realized that all acute symptoms and chronic diseases are actually caused by cell dysfunction and poor neurotransmitter signaling caused by environmental factors. These discoveries led me to shift my perspective on how I lived my life, cared for my family and patients.
I began shifting away from being a traditional family physician who just treated patients’ symptoms with pharmaceuticals loaded with side effects or recommended expensive tests and invasive procedures which did not necessary address the underlying cause. I began integrating from many different schools of thought in order to understand exactly how the body functions on a cellular level. I now specialize in discovering the root cause of any chronic condition by blending the best in evidence-based Eastern and Western Medicine. Patients are now given personalized treatments utilizing tools they already have and hence, feel empowered. Significant results occur within weeks.
3. What do/did you do when you don’t know what to do about a patient? I have built an amazing team of healthcare professionals both within my integrative medical center and within the community which I reach out for guidance in helping care of my patients.
4. Are/were you open about your illnesses with your patients? Always! When practitioners connect with patients on the same level, we humanize the experience, and built trust and confidence with our patients.
5. What does “trust” mean to you in the patient-practitioner relationship? Everything! Without trust, there is no confidence, faith, and hence, no relationship.
6. What are you most passionate about in regard to your work/helping people? In touching as many people's lives as possible in innovative ways and transforming their lives. When people are empowered they often pay the favor forward by positively impacting other people's lives.
7. How do/did you handle flares while at work? By staying calm and not getting overwhelmed while also increasing hydration, and decreasing how much food I consumed and eventually eliminating certain foods.
8. How do/did you handle being a practitioner, patient and your personal life? My work has always been intertwined with the rest of my life and who I am. When I continue to embrace how best to care for myself, I give my best to all aspects of my life. When hiccups come along, I have had to take a few steps back and reassess where I needed to own myself in order to get back on the right path.
9. Do you tell your patients what you tell yourself/do you practice what you preach? YES! I can’t recommend treatments I haven’t tried myself. It is the only way I know exactly how to help patients and exactly what is going to help them get better.
10. How do you research conditions? By attending educational conferences, staying in close touch with laboratory and supplement companies in order to understand the latest developments in diagnostic and medication research, being connected to other integrative holistic practitioners, keeping up with the latest research through extensive readings.
10A. How do you convey this knowledge to patients? In the most concise, simple, comprehensive way which connects with each patient
11. How have you found care? Did you find good practitioners? What was your experience like? Through word-of-mouth; My experience has been that people are very open to help and to be a part of a collaborative community focused on taking amazing care of clients and professionals simultaneously.
12. Tell us about a special experience with a patient that you found to be inspiring: I recently saw a patient with debilitating psoriasis which covered her entire body and causing severe constant itching. It had led to increasing isolation and poor self-esteem. We uncovered the root cause of the patient’s skin disorder and began making some dramatic changes in her diet and overall lifestyle. The patient initially was surprised to lose all of her excess weight and start breathing more comfortably. She eventually saw the rash completely resolve. Her confidence dramatically improved allowing her to begin dating and becoming more physically active, desires she had had for years but found impossible to obtain.
13. If you had one message to send out to every chronic illness patient out there, what would it be? Love is all around. You just have to stop isolating yourself and know that you have never been alone or will be alone on your journey. Hope will always help you find a way to heal.
14. Where can the audience find you in terms of social media, website, etc.?
****How to learn more from Dr. Bhandari:
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and connect with us on social media. You can keep up to date with the plethora of education material we post on our weekly blog, monthly video and podcasts, along with new services and cutting-edge technologies we utilize on our website. For instance, we are offering digital thermal imaging also called thermography at our center starting this June so that we can detect inflammation 10 years earlier than any other diagnostic scan and hence, be able to more effectively treat and reverse any chronic disease. We will also be launching the German technology BEMER mat to remarkably improve blood flow to the arterioles and nutrients to the cells.