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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Lessons from a personal health care journey

| May 24, 2023 1:00 AM

Like many other health practitioners, one reason I was attracted to the profession was to deepen my understanding of my own health challenges. While no one enjoys wrestling with health problems, it arguably can make a practitioner more sensitive to the struggles their own patients face, and a more effective practitioner. What are some important lessons I learned along the way?

First, it’s important not to be dogmatic. Let me explain. I believe the basics of dietary requirements is the same for all humans. Three decades of exploration on myself and others has led me to believe that high quality protein and fat (preferably from pastured and grass-fed animals) should comprise most of the foods we eat, with fruit, vegetables and properly soaked or sprouted grains, nuts and seeds added as tolerated for nutrients, carbohydrates and fiber.

However, the psychological component of eating is important and when acknowledged and integrated into health plans this will positively affect patient success. As an example, I have observed that long-term vegetarianism has significant negative effects on digestion and hormonal health in many. This was reinforced by my own decade-long experience with vegetarianism in my 20s. Yet in practice if someone largely free from serious illness desires to eat, or reports feeling better on, a plant-based diet, then that is the diet that should be supported.

Second, healing the gut is critically important for most if not all degenerative disease, including diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, heart disease and allergies. The gut when laid out flat is the size of a tennis court, and this vast surface is required for the proper assimilation of the nutrients that the trillions of cells in our body depend on for sustenance and repair. This delivery of nutrients cannot happen when the gut is in a chronic state of inflammation, experiencing an ongoing assault from processed foods, stress hormones, alcohol, sugar, NSAIDS, birth control, antibiotics, pesticides and countless other insults.

Also, fully seventy percent of our immune system lines the gut. Where do we think our modern epidemic of autoimmune disease is coming from? My own health journey started after I had an emergency C-section (abdominal surgery). In the years following, I suffered intermittently from joint pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, acne, abdominal pain, and bloat. I discovered so-called “healthy” foods I was eating both caused and intensified my symptoms and spent a decade exploring healing the gut through diet. I was eventually diagnosed with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and possible lupus, a serious autoimmune disease. It was through diet alone that I was able to completely regain my health.

At Vital Health, we don’t just treat your symptoms. We ask as many questions as we need to understand your health picture and combine that with functional nutritional testing to put the puzzle pieces together. We then devise treatments including targeted diet, nutritional supplements and acupuncture to fix the root cause. We are here because we share your journey and because we care.

Want to hear more from Vital Health? Check out our podcast. Search for VitalHealth4You on your favorite podcast listening app or go to

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Darcy Greenwald holds a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, and is a Licensed Acupuncturist. She is additionally certified in Western Herbalism and massage therapy. She has more than 20 years of experience in natural medicine. Greenwald is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Greenwald is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.

Visit our website at to learn more about Greenwald, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Greenwald can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.