NUHS grad works with functional medicine at multi-disciplinary practice
When Ashley Lederman, DC, MS, graduated from NUHS in 2016, she wanted to work at a multidisciplinary practice that, like many today, offered chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy all at one location. Alongside those fields her current practice, Aligned Modern Health in Wheaton, also offers functional medicine.
Like other forms of alternative medicine, functional medicine offers an individualized approach that tries to solve the root cause of the problem by identifying genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. It’s a type of treatment that patients are becoming more interested in.
“Functional medicine is certainly becoming more popular, and the people that come in generally have an idea of what it is,” Dr. Lederman said.
Since she entered the practice, Dr. Lederman’s own interest in functional medicine has been growing too. Dr. Lederman said she usually recommends functional medicine for patients who come in with gastrointestinal complaints, hormonal imbalance, weight loss or nutritional needs.
“What interests me most about functional medicine is how it enables patients to take control of their health. It is a game changer for patients when they realize simple lifestyle and dietary changes can alleviate their symptoms,” she said.
What makes functional medicine successful is that the treatment isn’t limited to a single type of treatment, Lederman said. The functional medicine doctors at their practice use actual lab data to make educated, evidenced-based decisions to help people treat their complaints.
As a DC, she mainly uses mechanical diagnosis and McKenzie therapy as her primary form of assessment as well as rehabilitative exercises that support their directional preference. She also utilizes massage therapy for pain management and acupuncture for pain management, GI complaints, depression, anxiety, and fertility.
One benefit of a multi-disciplinary practice is that providers are easily accessible for patients. It’s also helpful for providers to work together on patient cases.
“I have always been drawn to multidisciplinary practices. I really like collaborating with other providers and learning new approaches to health care,” Dr. Lederman said.
By offering programs in chiropractic medicine, acupuncture and massage therapy, NUHS helps students prepare for the practices that offer these kinds of treatments in one place. Dr. Lederman said NUHS also provided her with superior diagnosis skills
“When it comes to deciding the right course of care for a patient, National’s emphasis on clinical nutrition and internal medicine really helped prepare me,” she said.