Preventive care is essential to staying healthy, but what are the first steps we should take to prevent illness and disease? We asked founder and CEO of PALM Health, Lauren Munsch Dal Farra, MD, for her advice.
Q: What is the first step to preventive health?
A: Know yourself! Have you ever taken time to have a comprehensive review of your personal health risk factors? There is no single diet, exercise program, or stress management formula that works for everyone. We are each unique in our genetic makeup, family history, environmental exposures to toxins and pesticides, lifestyle habits such as nutrition, sleep, and exercise, and levels of stress, inflammation, positive emotion, and hope.
At PALM Health, we take a whole person approach to assess your individual health risks and protective factors. We then develop a comprehensive health plan for you.
Q: Do you have primary care doctors at PALM and offer annual preventive health exams?
A: Yes. All of our primary care doctors are board-certified in internal medicine or family medicine. Plus, they have additional specialty training in functional medicine. Functional medicine utilizes a complex, systems biology approach to help our doctors determine how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.
Q: What is a key factor in preventing illness?
A: Reducing inflammation. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Inflammation has long been known to play a role in allergic diseases like asthma and arthritis. We also know that it is a catalyst for many illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, weight gain, and memory loss.
A poor diet, stress, minor food allergies, a sedentary lifestyle, or inadequate sleep can contribute to chronic inflammation. Instead of taking medication to reduce joint pain or lower cholesterol, we are often better served by reducing inflammation in the body through a whole person mind-body approach.
Q: I am motivated to reduce stress and inflammation this year. What does PALM Health offer?
A: At PALM, we have a myriad of services and amenities that focus on stress reduction. A few key services include:
Meditation Classes: Our classes rotate through practices that focus on intentional meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative approaches. Our techniques allow you to calm the tensions and struggles in your thoughts, become more aware of your senses, and help you to experience an increased sense of well-being.
Cardiac Coherence Sessions: These sessions teach you breathing techniques to balance the autonomic nervous system. The result is better emotional control, decreased stress and anxiety, and enhanced healing.
Food Allergy Testing and Nutrition Counseling: We can help you identify triggers and reduce foods that contribute to inflammation such as corn and soybean oils, pasteurized dairy, refined carbohydrates, conventional meat, sugars, and trans fats.
PALM Signature Stress Reduction Massage: We use a combination of deep tissue massage, myofascial release, gentle strokes, and stimulation of acupressure points. This assists in letting go of tension and helps regulate your energetic balance.
Salt Room (Halotherapy): Our Himalayan salt room is infused with purified ionized salt particles. Studies show this promotes relaxation and may reduce inflammation and mucus in the lungs, improving respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinus congestion, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Cryotherapy: This rejuvenating cold therapy safely provides ultimate anti-inflammatory properties for the skin, joints, and body, releases endorphins, and increases metabolism. Elite athletes and professional sports teams regularly use cryotherapy for recovery and joint pain.
Fitness: Personal training and classes offer a variety of strength, cardio, Pilates, yoga flow, and deep stretching options.
We also offer intensive 8-week programs focused on stress reduction and inflammation.
The Resolve Inflammation Program is designed to help individuals resolve conditions linked to inflammatory processes (i.e. digestive issues, fatigue, autoimmune disorders, skin conditions, etc.).
The Stress Management Program helps individuals work towards their mental health goals (i.e. reducing anxiety, managing depression, decreasing fatigue, improving calmness).