Frequently Asked Questions

1) I’ve heard that a lot of what you do involves complex chronic illness, like autism or auto-immune conditions.  I’m not sure my (or my child’s) problem is all that complicated.  Can I still consult with you?

Yes!  Chronic health conditions often share many similar features, whether they are severe or mild.  Our task is always to look for the root or roots of your condition and avoid approaches that merely suppress symptoms or help you tolerate them.  Whether your condition is severe or mild, you will need to identify what is out of balance in your body and find ways to restore balance, and I can help you do that.  I will say that children with autism have been some of my very best teachers to date.  Why?  Because they are often so very sick, with multiple systems out of balance; and they often can’t tell us about their symptoms.  I think my work in autism has made me better at sifting through the - often more subtle – influencers that operate in other chronic conditions. 

2) My problem has a long history.  How much information should I send you before we speak for the first time?

It is entirely up to you how much information you would like to send me in advance of our meeting.  That said it is often extremely valuable for me to review the history of your problem, including older laboratory results, prior treatment approaches, etc especially if you have been struggling with this problem for a long time or if you have already seen a number of health professionals in your attempt to solve it.  I am a detective at heart.  The details are important.  A thorough review may help us achieve a better understanding of where you are and how you got there, particularly when certain approaches were not successful (or only partially successful) in the past.  

3) Do you follow a set protocol for healing and recovery from chronic illness?

No.  Each person is a unique individual.  In my experience there is no one-size fits all protocol that can be helpful to each person.  That said there are certain principles that guide my approach to each problem and my understanding of which things may be helpful to do in which order, as well as which things it may be wiser to avoid altogether.

4) Will you tell me what I should do about my problem?

No.  I find it disconcerting when health practitioners insist that their own approach is the only approach that could ever work.  As a coach and consultant I will always encourage you to cultivate and refine your own deepest instincts because I think that skill is a fundamental and oft-overlooked piece of true health.  Unfortunately, many people override their misgivings about a course of action if a doctor or other expert is the one who recommended it; or they take a possibly promising idea off the table if someone respectable critiques it; or they assume that if something worked for someone else it will definitely work for them.  As a coach and consultant I may ask you to look closely at how you make decisions about your health.

5) You seem to do a lot of work with laboratory results.  Do you order labs for clients?

I will often make suggestions for both routine and specialty laboratory testing but as a consultant and a coach I do not order labs.  It is always up to you to either ask your doctor to order lab tests that you wish to have or, in states that permit the direct to consumer purchase of labs,* to follow some simple instructions and place the order yourself.  If you are working with a doctor, it may be helpful to ask him/her to order some of the tests recommended, particularly if they are standard measures that should be covered by insurance.  Either way, if your situation calls for laboratory testing, as a consultant, I can walk you through the options available to you. [* At this time, the states of Maryland and New York restrict the direct to consumer sale of labs and Massachusetts has some restrictions around direct to consumer blood work.  If you live in one of those states you may need a doctor’s authorization for laboratory testing.  In all other US states you are free to order lab tests on your own]. 

© 2015 Integrative Health Strategies

6) Can you help me decipher my MTHFR, 23andMe or Yasko results?
Absolutely.  See “Methylation Consult” for more details.  I have been consulting around methylation profiles for more than a decade.  More people and more health professionals are becoming familiar with the need to support MTHFR mutations, and that’s great.  However there is much more to methylation than that SNP.

7) I want to detoxify myself or my child.  Can you help me?
Yes and no.  If you are looking to implement a specific detoxification protocol then I am probably not the right practitioner for you.  I may be able to point you to qualified or licensed practitioners in different disciplines or to different resources.  I am also happy to discuss with you some pros and cons of the different things you are considering.  My own approach involves optimizing the body’s natural ability to release what it is holding while rectifying certain imbalances.  This is not to say that other forms of detoxification cannot be helpful or necessary at times.  However, detoxification is demanding, especially if the body is already in a depleted, imbalanced, and nutrient poor state.  Some people are so eager to detoxify that they misjudge the severity of key deficiencies and this rarely turn out well.  

8) Do you work with ‘non-responders’ and ‘tough nuts’?
If you have been in the world of chronic illness for very long, you have probably encountered the phrases ‘tough nuts’ and ‘non-responders’ used to describe people, often children, who don’t seem to improve as easily as others.  Where a problem is complex, people may find themselves attempting different protocols and treatments, visiting multiple specialists, and feeling lost when something that has worked for someone else does not make a difference in their situation (or worse it backfires).   I don’t believe in ‘non-responders’.  In my experience there is always a rational intelligible explanation for a situation even if that explanation is difficult to identify and unwind. For that reason I always enjoy working with ‘tough nuts’ and ‘non-responders.’ Even if I am unable to help, there is someone, somewhere who can. 

9) Do you recommend any specific diet and can you help me implement a special diet such as GAPs, SCD, Paleo, etc?
I follow a truly bio-individual approach.  I recommend an immune tolerant diet of whole foods to everyone but people will have different requirements depending on their genetic and other predispositions, lifestyle, life phase, biochemical strengths and weaknesses, digestion, food allergies and sensitivities, and specific nutrient deficiencies or excesses.  During our time together I will make recommendations based on your individual situation and since I believe food is medicine, it will play a role in many of our consults.  However if you would like to implement a specific diet plan (such as GAPS, SCD etc) there are people better suited to help you do that.

10) What is the Documenting Hope Project and will you still be able to consult with me when it launches?
The Documenting Hope Project is an exciting pilot recovery project that is currently under development.  You can learn more about it at  After the project launch I will stop accepting new clients until the program is complete (a period of 18 months to 2 years).  If our consulting relationship is already underway when the project launches, our work will not be interrupted.