Hey there! I’m so happy you stopped by to learn a little more about Integrative Health! I am excited to share with you how Ikaria Integrative Health got it’s name!
Have you ever wanted to live in a place where chronic disease is almost non-existent, communities do life together, food is fresh and exercise is simply daily movement? Well, let me tell you that these places exist and they are dubbed by Dan Buettner as a Blue Zone. Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and best selling author, has studied various places of the world where people are considered the healthiest, longest living people on the planet. Buettner discovered that the Blue Zone populations share similar lifestyle practices that contribute to their increased longevity.
“No one thing explains longevity in the Blue Zones. It’s really an interconnected web of factors—including what we eat, our social network, daily rituals, environment, and sense of purpose—that propels us forward and gives life meaning.”
I chose the name Ikaria Integrative Health based off of Buettner’s identification of Ikaria, Greece as the Blue Zone where “people forget to die.” Chronic diseases, specifically dementia, are almost non-existent in this Mediterranian location. Dementia and cancer hit so close to home to me, with a family history of both chronic illnesses.
“Our genes only play a 6 percent into our fate. 94 percent is actually controlled by lifestyle factors; the environment, the food we eat, and our microbiome.”
-Steve Gundry, MD
I had the thought what if I could combine my nursing education with my integrative health perspective in order to teach attainable ways to adopt the lifestyle practices of this place where people "forget to die."
If I could help my family and community understand the impact of epigentetics (the STRONG influence of environment on expression of genes) and that healthcare is so much more than taking your medication and seeing the doctor once every blue moon, then maybe I could help decrease the likelihood of my own family AND community developing dementia, or other chronic illnesses.
Thus, Ikaria Integrative Health was born.
The future of healthcare should be just that “health-care,” NOT sick-care. Our current model for managing disease and illness is simply suppressing symptoms rather than getting to the root cause of the symptoms. Although there is no shame in needing medication, we actively need to be looking to why we are experiencing the symptoms like fatigue, GI distress, anxiety, depression, and other chronic imbalances. We should not be left with the debilitating thought that our genetics will determine our life’s outcomes. Yes, we might be predisposed to certain genetic traits, but the most up-to-date research suggests that our day-to-day lifestyles are able to determine whether or not those predisposed genes are expressed or suppressed.
Ikaria, Greece, along with many other Blue Zones are our modern day proof that our daily choices have a direct impact on our longevity. Ikaria Integrative Health is here to help you get to the root cause of your symptoms, and lead you through sustainable lifestyle changes that enable you to restore your health and increase your longevity.