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Seventh Balance

How Dr. Diana Castiblanco is Empowering Generational Health for Women Through Lifestyle Medicine, One Life at a Time

Article by Arliss Veldhuizen

Photography by Kristi Lynn Photography

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

In 2023, we are living in an age where women are flourishing in the business world and are
making a powerful impact on their communities and society as a whole. It’s exciting to witness as opportunities for women abound and woman-owned businesses emerge, displaying the diverse array of skills and innovations they have to offer. As a female executive herself with thirteen years of experience, Dr. Diana Castiblanco is committed to supporting these ambitious women to be as successful as they can be in their roles in a vital and unique way. Her goal? To empower generational health for women, one life at a time.

For Dr. Castiblanco, her passion for health began brewing at a young age. As a little girl in
Bogota, Colombia, she remembers noticing discrepancies in the healthcare system that
triggered complex questions in her young mind.

“...as a little kid, I noticed...why do we have to go to this clinic while other people are able to go to the other clinic that has all the things available?” she recalls

As Dr. Castiblanco’s awareness of this challenge grew, so did her passion for improving health outcomes for all—no matter who they are. This vision remained unchanged as the years passed, and upon moving to the United States at age ten, Dr. Castiblanco was determined to work in the science field. She wasted no time finding her path. As the first of her family to pursue a college career, she knew there was much to learn in order to navigate the college environment; so she joined a program offered by her school called Upward Bound that did just that. Dr. Castiblanco then pursued an agricultural program offered by the Pennsylvania State University that was available to minority students—and this is where she unexpectedly discovered her passion: the immune system.

As part of this agricultural program, Dr. Castiblanco took a microbiology course, and the more
she learned, the clearer her path became. Her vision remained the same: to give people the
best chance at their best, healthiest lives. But now, she knew exactly how to achieve it.

“...I just loved the idea of microbes. But I knew that I wanted to understand it in the context of
humans, because it was really important for me to understand how we help people have better lives.” Dr. Castiblanco explained. “...I knew that’s what I needed to study. I don’t just want to study science; I don’t just want to study biology. I want to know this specific thing because it’s so interrelated with how we...become healthy...”.

And so with laser focus, Dr. Castiblanco went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Immunology and Toxicology at The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D in Immunology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has since worked in a wide variety of roles within the biomedical field, spanning from research to translational science to executive leadership—each adding another layer of expertise to her experience. Along the way, two specific discoveries set her course to Seventh Balance. The first? The consistent finding that the outcome of certain diseases are most impacted not primarily by genetics but by environmental factors—namely, health habits.

“...throughout the course of my biomedical career over the past 13 years, one of the things that has been consistently demonstrated over and over is that our genetics make about ten to fifteen percent of the disease itself; but it is really what we call epigenetics—or the environment—that ultimately modulate the severity and the outcome of that disease,” Dr. Castiblanco explained. “...we know from epidemiological studies that the higher risk factors that are associated with disease progression or disease severity are not at all genetic. They are actually environmental...” This realization fascinated her, prompting her to take a deeper dive into lifestyle medicine and finding a way to connect it to her work.

The second realization came from Dr. Castiblanco’s work with women as executive leaders at
various companies. As she dove deeper into her mentoring role, she grew more and more
passionate about enabling her staff to reach their full potential as individuals, businesswomen
and leaders. But while Dr. Castiblanco knew she could achieve this to some extent through a
traditional business leadership role, she realized she could put her knowledge and experience to work in a way that could make an even more significant impact in these women’s lives—and many others.

“...because stress is an aggravator, and women are twenty percent more stressed on a
day-today basis, then we know for sure that there needs to be something else happening for
women,” Dr. Castiblanco explained.” And how could she change that? That’s where Seventh
Balance comes in.

At Seventh Balance, Dr. Diana Castiblanco and her small but mighty team are transforming
women’s lives in a lasting way; and while still fueled by her lifelong passion to improve health
outcomes, her vision has grown exponentially.

“I would love to be able to create generational health for women by ultimately helping them to
gain and understand what health really is so that they can be better leaders in society,” she
shared.

Focusing on female executives, Dr. Castiblanco draws on her years of experience, extensive
knowledge and built-in compassion to employ a thoughtfully designed Lifestyle Medicine
Program to help her clients overcome irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems.
She works with each woman to craft a tailor-made plan that hones in on lasting habit change in order to produce real results, specifically targeting sleep, nutrition, physical activity, stress
management and social connection.

Another key component of Seventh Balance is mentorship. This means that while the program lasts for two to three months, each plan is crafted on a week-by-week basis in order to accommodate for each week’s specific challenges. Clients also meet with Dr. Castiblanco
bi-weekly and have access to her at all times through the private health portal for additional support and questions. A lot of work for Dr. Castiblanco and her team? Absolutely. But they
would have it no other way.

“I’m very passionate! I wake up in the morning knowing that every day, I get to wake up and I
get to transform women’s lives,” Dr. Castiblanco shares

And the passion shows as she and her team have yet one more crucial aspect of their business: community-based service. Dr. Castiblanco and her team have been busy proposing grants to carry out lifestyle medicine programs designed specifically for the Latino community. With Seventh Balance only having its beginnings in February of 2023, they have already successfully implemented one of these programs and have been approved to begin another program in 2024. The goal of these programs? To support the Latina women in our community by teaching them the various facets of lifestyle medicine, ultimately equipping them to improve their quality of life themselves by changing their habits and perspectives. They’ve already successfully done this for ten phenomenal Latina women in our community, and they’re aiming high with the goal to reach at least fifty women through the upcoming program.

“We are not in the business of making money. We are in the business of changing habits, of
transforming women’s lives and of building generational health for women. That’s what Seventh Balance is about.” But her vision isn’t confined to her work through Seventh Balance. This is her vision for her family as well. She and her husband share two beautiful daughters, Isabelle and Eva, whom they are raising intentionally to understand what true health is and how to achieve it. Dr. Castiblanco also invests in the generational wellbeing of her family by sharing her home with her grandparents—a way to support them as they supported her so faithfully throughout her career journey, and also to enable generational connection between her children and their great grandparents.

Dr. Castiblanco’s vision is big, and through Seventh Balance, she is already making waves.

SeventhBalance.com

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