Why a Pharmacist became an Integrative Health Practitioner...
Sit down, grab a latte, and let’s chat. Wouldn’t that be nice.
I’ll try to shed some light on this in this blog post. First, let me just say, that this was never my plan. Do you resonate? Sometimes life takes us on the most beautiful, unexpected journey. And a place of regret or confusion can actually launch you into the best job possible. I’ll share a bit of my story and then go more into the IHP program.
If you are in healthcare, you likely can agree that the system is broken.
If you are a patient, you likely can agree that the system is broken.
I’m not saying that the health care system doesn’t save and help MANY people. It absolutely does, and within the broken system, there are absolutely amazing providers out there. This blog post and my mission is not to say there aren’t some awesome docs out there. BUT, I am here to say, that after working as a pharmacist on a macro level, that most people in healthcare absolutely agree that the system is broken. And the patient can get lost in the mix. From my personal perspective, the system is not ultimately set up to help a person ACTUALLY HEAL and get to the root cause of their symptoms — and address those so that they can heal in a sustainable, life-long way, that is independent of pharmaceuticals if possible.
As a pharmacist, I was trained: patient gets a diagnosis, and then they get a treatment, based on their condition and symptoms. Usually always that treatment ends up being a pharmaceutical product. Sometimes these products silence symptoms. Or divert them. Or redirect a pathway. And create a ripple effect in the body. One system affects another. And so forth. And then a patient gets on another med to deal with side effects from the first med. You know the story. Additionally — after about a decade of getting “drug alerts” in my email inbox, it’s crystal clear that evidence is ALWAYS changing. When a drug is coined as “safe” or “benign”... months, years later.... more comes out. A new black box warning. Or its associated with onset of a chronic condition. Or cancer. Etc. Etc. Etc. No drug is truly benign. Our bodies are intricately connected and complex. And we don’t even fully understand the ramifications of these drugs, often.
So, from my perspective, patients were getting put on loads of medications — that were often silencing symptoms and not addressing the *root cause* and also were causing a host of NEW issues for patients to deal with. Layer upon layer, without actual healing. I was able to have a career focused on improving safety on a macro level (I worked with many healthcare professionals, leaders, chief medical officers, physicians, etc.) — and at the end of the day — I felt like I was working within a very small box and restricted by ”this is just the way things are”. The influence of Pharma and insurance companies is there, as well as quality incentives that drive safety measures. But at the end of the day - was the patients HEALING truly at the center of attention? To me, getting to the root cause of symptoms was absolutely not the norm. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen! It’s just not the norm, in my opinion.
I also found it interesting as a pharmacist how often pharmaceuticals were coined as “safe” simply because they went through the scientific process (large RCTs, etc.) and holistic alternatives were often brushed under the table and the general sentiment was that they were not only ineffective, but dangerous. So medicines that humans have used for generations and generations and are truly “traditional” became “alternative” and the pharmaceuticals, which to me are actually alternative to traditional remedies, became “traditional” medicines. To me, the drug industry drives a lot of western medicine. Yes, I am thankful that we do have western medicines available. We do need them at times — I am not talking about those times here. But personally I think that pharmaceuticals are way overused and divert people from true healing, when possible! I also think that pharmaceuticals have actually harmed many people, rather than helped them. History has proven this. History has also proven that most Pharmaceutical companies have a history of fraud and corruption. Sadly.
I also want to take a moment to address root cause and healthcare. In my career, I helped a lot of health systems and hospitals minimize medication error. The absolute BEST way to do this is to get to the root cause of an error, after it happens. You can’t just blame an employee and move on. Or shut down an aspect of health care and move on. You have to get to the root cause (or root causes) of what caused the error, otherwise you KNOW it will happen again. And again. I had a light bulb moment a few years ago when I realized that when it comes to people’s HEALTH, we are terrible at getting to the root cause of symptoms! Rather we diagnose them (name the system or condition) and then treat with a pharmaceutical (most of the time). That approach does not get to the root cause, which is why people just aren’t getting better! And sometimes just continue to get worse and worse.
SO, what’s a girl to do? After a decade of seeing all this, learning, and also being exposed to corruption (this is a looong rabbit hole and I won’t go into it here), I knew it was time for me to make a living outside of the system. I had managed to find unique jobs that aligned with my passion (safety and quality), but still I was operating within the system and felt like I had hit a glass ceiling. Ultimately, I was left frustrated and misaligned. I spent at least a year researching and praying. What next? I started with my blog and an instagram account, and continued to search and pray for next steps. On hand, I had the “dream job”. I was a Director of Safety and Quality and working on a statewide and regional level. I had flexibility. But it lost my heart — I knew that God had more for me — in a way that was aligned with what I hoped for patients.
At this point in my life, I was not interested in going back to school to get another degree. Yes, being a naturopath would be awesome. But I wanted to work remotely from my home, be able to home/adventure school my kids, AND have a career I could do at my own pace on the side. And one that I aligned with and was passionate about, for that matter. I also wanted to not have to spend loads of $$$ to get a cert or degree, and I wanted that degree to be able to not only give back to future clients, but also to my family. I wanted it to be a fool-proof business opportunity, if I ran it well.
After doing lots of research, the program that felt most aligned with my goals (1. Affordable, 2. Effective, 3. Healing focused, 4. Business opp is strong), was the Integrative Health Practitioner program through Dr. Stephen Cabral. I dare you to read The Rain Barrel Effect and not feel crazy inspired by Dr. Cabral. He is changing the world! He is FOR HEALING. Like actual healing. Through integrative health. And he makes it so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel!
The program is SUPER comprehensive and he SETS YOU UP for success! To me, this is super important. You don’t just want the information. You also need the tested and approved way to run your IHP business so you can help as many clients as you can (well) and also have a successful way of making a living! Did you know as an IHP, you can make just as much money (or more) than in your traditional healthcare job? I can’t say this for all jobs (because salaries vary), but yes it’s absolutely true for many.
These are the 7 Disciplines of the Program:
Ayurvedic Medicine – The Science of Life.
Bioregulatory Medicine – The Science of Self-Healing.
Traditional Chinese Medicine & Herbalism – Using the power of herbs and energy practice to enhance overall wellness.
Eastern Philosophy – Using the Mind to Heal the Body.
Traditional Naturopathy – Using “Right Living” to Rebalance the Body.
Orthomolecular Medicine – The Right molecules in the right amounts.
Functional Medicine – Helping people at a functional – not disease level.
Here is what is covered in IHP Level 1: (Over 40 hours of video lessons plus 115+ hours of additional resources!)
Personalized Meal Plans
Stress Reduction Techniques
Functional Medicine Detox Protocols
Resetting Sleep Patterns
Shutting Off Fight/Flight
Developing a Success Mindset
Creating Your Own Practice
Here is what is covered in IHP Lever 2: (Over 68 hours of video lesson plus 80+ hours of additional education!)
Food Sensitivity Testing
Parasite & Bacteria Testing
Organic Acid Testing
Adrenal Hormone Testing
Thyroid Adrenal Hormone Testing
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
Gut Healing Protocols
Heavy Metal Protocols
Hormone Balancing Protocols
Lab Consults & Case Studies
Developing Successful Client Packages
Create a Career You Love!
You also do NOT need to be practicing in the health or fitness field to become a certified Integrative Health Practitioner. Over 50% of IHP members have no previous health field experience! However, if you are in one of the fields below, this certification will help you take your career to the next level: nutritionist, registered dietitian, naturopathic doctor, nurse practitioner, medical doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, personal trainer, yoga instructor, Pilates or dance instructor, psychologist/psychiatrist, physician assistant, and obviously many more.
I share this, because YES I am a pharmacist, but I don’t need to be to be a successful Integrative Health Practitioner!! The content that Dr. Cabral offers in his courses is SO GOOD. So very thorough. And he gives you the roadmap to SUCCESS. How to actually see clients, do it well, and make an awesome living! And you can do it all from your own home. Or wherever life has you at any given moment. That’s the beauty of IHP.
Want to learn more? Email me at email@example.com or send me a message over on Instagram at @awholehealthlife. I would love to empower YOU to change the world with me! There is room for you at the table. Many patients are left yearning for more. They aren’t finding the answers or help they need from the standard system. This is why it’s SO hard to get in to see a naturopath (hello wait lists). It’s because people are looking for answers, and holistic ones when possible. As an IHP health coach, you can help clients get there! No, you aren’t their doctor. But you are empowering them to be their best doctor and get to the ROOT CAUSE of their symptoms. And heal. What is more beautiful than that?!
ARE YOU READY to be an Integrative Health Practitioner?
March enrollment is happening NOW!
Make sure to write my name down (Meg Kilcup) as how you learned about IHP, so that I can become aware and send you a welcome gift to the most amazing journey ever. I’m just at the beginning of mine, and I have absolutely ZERO regrets.
Please use this link, if you don’t mind! It helps me know who I connected to this, so I can stay connected with you! And of course send you goodies.
And if you want to grab virtual coffee (or in person if you live near me ;), let me know. I’m more than happy to connect with you on this! This is something that sets my soul on fire — empowering others to find true healing AND to empower others to be a leader in this, also.
More to come on this, if the demand is there! Send any specific questions my way.
Cheers friends! To health and healing.
Meg Kilcup, PharmD, IHP