Why New Year’s Resolutions Rarely Work

By this time of the year, there’s a good chance some of those resolutions you made have already been broken. Planning to go on a diet, exercise more, or any other self-made promises from late 2019 or early 2020 are good for our health and well-being… but are usually temporary. According to U.S. News & World Report, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.

“The key,” says Dr. Bianca Chiara from the Chambers Center by PALM Health in Morristown, NJ, “is making a long-term commitment to your well-being.” It’s not a temporary thing like quitting a diet once your weight goal is reached. “It requires an investment in time from both your physician team and you,” she adds, “to understand the root of problems your body may be suffering from — or potential problems you may be at risk for in the future.”

Consider a patient who came to us from nearby Summit, NJ, with a thyroid condition, not responding to traditional treatment. Medicines helped, but not for long. It was chronic.

So, who was it that inspired the proper diagnosis, nearly 2,500 years earlier? Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician who first stated, “all diseases start in the gut.” He was right, as it turns out — over 70% of our immune system relies on the health of the gut, where there are even more neurotransmitters than in our own brains. Yet, traditional medicine often overlooks this whole-body, science-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Instead, it treats the symptoms.

Functional Medicine: A Long-term Solution

What’s the difference? Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not a set of isolated symptoms. Unlike many of today’s “drive-through” medical practices, we at the Chambers Center take the time to examine every patient’s history, physiology, genetic makeup, and lifestyle. The mind, body, and spirit of each individual is taken into account, along with external factors such as their physical and social environment. What they may have been exposed to from an environmental standpoint in the past is also considered.

We then employ integrative medicine, combining the best of conventional medicine with complementary and lifestyle-based treatments. The prognosis: dramatic results for patients who previously received ineffective treatments.

In the case of the patient with thyroid challenges, Chambers Center providers were able to identify dietary choices that were unknowingly affecting her condition. Our clinical team thoroughly examined her genes, environment, and lifestyle — developing a treatment plan that addressed the cause, with lasting benefits beyond symptom suppression. Today, the patient is off thyroid medicines altogether, returning to her life free from symptoms, drug protocols, and potential side effects.

Functional Medicine is especially effective for difficult-to-diagnose symptoms and conditions, reversing age-related illnesses and chronic health problems that do not respond well to “traditional” treatments.

At the Chambers Center, we believe in an individualized approach to determining the causes of disease based on evolving research in nutritional science, genomics, and epigenetics. Our approach is to apply these new advances to address root causes using low-risk interventions and helping patients reverse the drivers of disease.

Sometimes, the resulting findings are surprising. Patients have discovered they were exposed to toxins in their own home or at work —molds, organic pollutants from water and food, respiratory irritants, or cleaning products. We piece together what seem to be separate, unconnected health issues into a complete story to gain a comprehensive perspective of the patient for their long-term well-being.

This unique approach provides guidance not just for treatment, but also for preventing illness and optimizing well-being. Our goal is to give clients insight into their previous life events, behaviors, and habits and to help motivate them from within to change — and participate in treatment. We identify factors that predispose, provoke, and contribute to possible pathological problems in patients and can reveal cause-effect relationships that might otherwise go unnoticed. Getting to the root of each patient’s unique situation and applying individualized treatments that address specific causes, Chambers Center physicians, therapists, and other health and wellness practitioners establish a deeper relationship with their patients, identify unhealthy patterns, and propose appropriate, personalized treatments and lifestyle modifications.

“It takes a little longer for this kind of individualized care,” says Dr. Chiara. “But our belief is that we must invest this time in order to intelligently and compassionately help our patients. Our view of Functional Medicine is that it’s a long-term approach to creating longer, healthier lives.”