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Getting to the Root of Good Health

Dr. Vince Sferra Discusses an Educated Approach to Managing Your Health Care

In the 25 years since Dr. Vince Sferra founded Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation in Somerset, he has seen people become less interested in treating their symptoms with medicine and increasingly asking intelligent questions about the root causes of their issues—and how they can be addressed naturally. 

Since suffering an immune response from a ruptured appendix 30 years ago, Dr. Sferra, a chiropractor in business for nearly 40 years, embarked on postgraduate education, studying autoimmunity and clinical nutrition to better understand the interconnectivity within our bodies and how that contributes to disease. 

Today, Dr. Sferra treats patients using functional medicine. The practice seeks to determine how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the mechanisms that cause the disease or disorder. 

“In conventional medicine, there’s a disease classification and identification of the one cause and the one treatment. However, with chronic diseases, that rule almost never applies. You cannot just patch up a symptom and solve the problem,” he says.

“Our healthcare system is designed for disease care: Determine the symptoms, suppress them,” he continues. “Patients should be alert for red flags, such as a doctor not spending much time learning the patient’s history during the consultation. If a doctor is just looking at old bloodwork you had that you faxed over, that’s falling short. Also, you want to feel comfortable asking questions and getting thorough answers. Patients did not go to medical school, so they may not know all the nuances of why the care plan is being recommended. But they have every right to have questions answered.”

A skilled functional medicine doctor will look at factors such as the person’s constitution, habits, diet, blood sugar and ability to temper stress in order to understand why the problem was created in the first place. They spend a lot of time with patients, in assessing their condition, educating them, reviewing tests with them and developing a treatment plan that encompasses many different factors.

Dr. Sferra’s practice engages a number of other practitioners—such as doctors, neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, women’s health clinicians, endocrinologists—as an integrated network to treat the whole patient. 

“We put a little twist on the chiropractic/physical therapy/rehabilitation model. Our patients learn about things like the causes of inflammation, nutrition that supports the metabolism and tissue repair, diet supplementation and lifestyle changes,” he says. “The goal is to give a person a different perspective on their overall health, not just treat their back. We are seeing clients who want to maintain their metabolism, hormone balance, gut health, brain health and blood sugar regulation through lifestyle. But they have to be ready to do the work. They have to be ready to change habits.”

Consistency is key to healthy aging. “People get stuck when it comes to staying on course, like with nutrition. They are stressed to the max and not getting enough rest and recuperation,” he says. “You need to work with your doctor to determine good habits—then stay consistent.”

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