Stewarding Life Wellness, PLLC (Keller, TX)
A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CLINIC
The apostle Paul famously said, “ I have become all things to all people…” In an effort to not be a stumbling block for the gospel to go forth, Paul made it his mission to “become all things to all people.” In the field of medicine and health and wellness, this could be a dangerous mission. Our functional medicine practice in Keller, Texas, will attempt to do what we do very well, even if it is not for everyone. We will focus on 3 main body systems: Neuroendocrine, Digestion, and Detox pathways. Most health concerns can be traced back to problems in one or more of these areas in the body. We will use functional lab testing to discover these areas and then facilitate the body’s natural healing capacities with nutritional, lifestyle, and supplement based protocols. Follow-up lab testing will be used to confirm balanced hormones, no further gastrointestinal pathogens, and improved detox pathways as needed to end most programs. Our goal is not for every patient to be on ten supplements for the rest of their lives, but to eventually only need a multivitamin after a year or two.
Stewarding Life Wellness will not function as a primary care provider (PCP). This is an area where we will not try to be all things to all people. Every patient we see will need to have seen their PCP within the past year and had their basic labs done. In some cases, it may also be requested that they return to their PCP and have additional labs/testing done before moving forward with any functional testing. This will be case by case and under the discretion of the functional medicine provider. A most recent copy of your labs will need to be brought in with you to your initial consultation.
Lab Based Protocols
Trying a supplement to fix a symptom may work some of the time. However, our providers have been trained under a model that holds to the motto, “Test. Don’t guess.” This allows us to know exactly what type of supplements and lifestyle changes will be most effective at improving your overall health. There is no perfect world and our bodies will all respond differently, but high quality functional lab testing gives you the best opportunity to address the root causes of your symptoms. As mentioned above, 3 main tests will be recommended the majority of the time to address your stress response (adrenals), hormone balance, digestive health, and detox pathways. This will be in the form of saliva, stool and urine respectively. Other testing may be recommended, but most people will not need to look much further than these 3 tests to provide ample healing opportunities.
Food As Medicine
One driving philosophy at Stewarding Life Wellness is the body’s amazing ability to heal if given the right signals. Some of the most important signals are sleep, exercise, stress management and nutrition. When these signals are poor or broken, chaos in the form of an inflammatory cascade in the body ensues. In this part of the country, significant healing can occur if the food we intake daily changes. This may seem overly simplistic, but we have seen a simple dietary makeover change everything in numerous people. Because of this, we will have a heavy emphasis on food being one of your most potent medicines or slow poisons. It is amazing that our bodies can survive on the amount of processed food-look-a-likes we give it, but that is only a credit to our Creator; not to our personal resilience. On the other hand, it is also amazing how much healing can occur with nutrient dense real food diets. We are have a team of functional nutritionists starting with Brittany (aka "Lillie") as the lead nutritionist that will grow over the next several years. This is where lives will change for the long haul. Nutritional counseling will be recommended in nearly all healing protocols and will have the option of in-person or phone consultations.
Whole Person Philosophy
No one is a only a physical being. Though many will disagree (and that is fine), we are all spiritual beings and our spirits will exist forever. Our lives here on earth are temporary. Though for some, it will be eternal. If we were to only address the physical component of health, we would not be doing justice to anyone. Though we will not attempt to be counselors, we will address the critically important nature of the spiritual. Our Christian worldview will not allow us to do otherwise. We will NEVER try to force anyone into our faith, but will happily discuss the doctrines of Christianity to anyone who has an ear to hear and we will pray with every patient that will allow us to. Helping someone reach a place of “health” while leaving their soul without a place of refuge from the judgment of our Creator would be a travesty. It is important, however, to note that the level of care a patient receives will not vary one bit according to their personal religious preference.
Is SLW for you?
So here is the million dollar question: Are we a good fit for you? Maybe. Maybe not. Do you have a PCP already? Do you have any nagging symptoms that haven’t been explained yet? Fatigue, brain fog, hormone imbalances, weight issues, digestive issues? If yes to any these, then we are confident we can help. Most symptoms will not disappear over night, but what if you could possibly be free of them in six months or a year? Would it be worth the investment in your health? I hope so. We want each of you to spend the last two to three decades of your life chasing grandchildren or traveling the world, not lying in a nursing home. Our cultural drift will end us up with most Americans there if something does not change now. Let us help. Contact our office here to see if this is what you are looking for.
Why do We not work with insurance companies?
This is a common question and rightfully so. Summarized, we do not take insurance because we do not want insurance telling us what we can and cannot do for our patients. A respected functional medicine physician in Colorado has these few paragraphs on her website that go into more detail on why clinics like SLW do not bill insurance:
When clinics bill insurance companies directly, the doctors are required to become participating providers. The doctors must sign a contract that allows the insurance company to determine which services they will and will not provide, and how much they can charge for those services. In general, insurance companies are not focused on any preventative or wellness services. They are heavily invested in the conventional model of health care that too often relies on drugs and surgery. We are committed to the functional medicine model that addresses the underlying causes of your symptoms with specific nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.
A participating provider must agree to accept the fees the insurance company establishes, regardless of whether the fees are reasonable or applicable to that practice. In general, these established fees cover the actual cost of the briefest (and we believe the lowest quality) care. Doctors who are participating providers are required to accept discounted fees for their services. Therefore, the clinic must write off the difference, often as much as fifty percent or more of the doctorʼs fee for service. Our office cost to provide high quality care has increased dramatically over time, making this a very difficult situation. You may be aware but in todayʼs health care environment, the actual cost for doctors to provide services continues to rise, while the percentage of reasonable fees that insurance payments cover is declining.
Most doctors and clinics cope with the requirements of being participating providers by keeping their office visits very brief, so that they can see many patients within a given time frame. When the clinic becomes unprofitable, it will need support from another institution. Most primary care medical clinics are not self-sustaining financially, and have had to merge with hospitals whose expensive high-tech surgical and diagnostic procedures are priced to keep the clinics afloat.
SLW as a business has been set up with the lowest possible overhead as to provide the most reasonable pricing, yet still make profit in order to stay in business. Profit is not a bad thing when serving people is at the core. Profit turns bad when profit becomes more important than people. We will seek to keep our prices as low as possible in the years to come. Some people do have a flex spending account of some sort that will allow them to use it on non-conventional treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic care, supplements and labs. In this case, please check and see if you would be able to use your health savings account or flex spending account to cover some of your visits, labs and supplements. Some of the labs we use do offer pre-pay options for those with certain insurance companies and can receive a lower cost of the test occasionally. Patients will be notified if this is a possibility and instructed on how to proceed. We can also provide a super bill and itemized receipts by request that patients can then submit to their insurance to attempt to be reimbursed. We are here to serve you and will do all that we can to help.