Pohala Clinic Client Julie A. Fast talks about working with Julie Foster for chronic pain management help.
“Managing chronic pain is more than medications. It’s about lifestyle changes and helping a person find natural ways to exercise and work with the pain in order to have a functional life.”
I’ve worked with nurse practitioner Julie Foster as my primary care physician in Portland, Oregon for over ten years. During this time, she has helped me through a variety of sport related injuries that eventually led to a problem with chronic pain. With her help, I have regular body treatments from various processionals, have worked on my diet and eventually got my pain under control. Julie’s advice is always specific. We talk about sleep and natural treatments. We use homeopathic remedies and acupuncture and well.
She reminds me that what I put in my body will be reflected in how my body responds to injuries. I know this and am working on it daily.
I want to share my story with others who are looking for help with chronic pain so that they can hopefully work with Julie in finding a plan that works in all areas of life.
Chronic pain is with me daily. I know that without my own way of dealing with the ups and downs of energy I experience depending on my pain levels, I will have a tough time in life.
Do You Need Help with Chronic Pain?
We all need a plan to help us get on with life, even when the pain makes it difficult to get out of bed. I consider myself half way through this journey of getting my body back to where it was before I had my biking accident. This is something I love about working with Julie Foster. She gives me time. There is no judgement when I tell her I’m still having trouble with sugar and there is always a celebration when I am able to better follow her advice. Her patience with me has allowed me to find help for chronic pain that got me out of my special anti gravity chair and back in the world.
Julie taught me that chronic pain can have a life of its own. I need to be aware of what is real in my body and what is being created by my overloaded brain. Julie often says, “The body and mind often trade off. The mind gives us trouble and when we have this figured out, the body then sends us a message that there is still more work to do. Eventually, balance happens when the mind and the body are healthy at the same time.”
This is my goal. Julie allows me to be human. When I am not able to follow the diet in a way that I know will help, she reminds me that the next day is another chance to make better choices. This has allowed me to learn more about what I need. My weight has stabilized and I am now working on finding an eating plan that helps with the pain in general. This includes the following:
- Night shades such as tomatoes and chili peppers cause an immediate flare in my body. Stopping my favorite Mexican and Thai dishes has not been easy, but for now, I am very conscious of my night shade intake and it is helping greatly.
2. Movement. Chronic pains tells us that we can’t move. This is rarely the case. Even someone like myself with multiple injuries can move.
3. White sugar. Julie once said to me, “Julie, the fat that is created on the body from sugar consumption becomes its own organ. It can become yet another source of pain.” When I am free from white sugar, even for a week, my pain levels go down greatly.
4. Medication pain management. My goal is to be pain medication free. To do this, I continue to work with Julie and the other practitioners in my life who are helping me change my diet and work on my specific injuries.
Without Julie, this would be too overwhelming. With her, I am reminded that I can get my body healthy again. It takes a team and Julie is an important part of that team.
Julie A. Fast
To book a time with Julie Foster or one of our Pohala Practitioners, please call the Pohala Clinic and let the receptionist know that Julie A. Fast referred you!
🍎FOOD and the SACRED🍑
The HUMAN of the future will approach plants that are of use to them consciously; not as now when one reflects on what yields the best substances for one’s body; one will then have a vital relationship to every plant, for they will know what it is has absorbed, and what passes from food to them. Eating will not be to one as a means occupation, but an act consummated with SOUL and SPIRIT for one will know that everything they eat is the external form of something SPIRITUAL 💮
In our immediate age, when HUMANS know little about the vital inward relations between themselves and the world, all kinds of substitutes are made use of. Why have the Initiates of all ages urged people to say grace before eating? The grace should be a token of the recognition that, together with the food, something SPIRITUAL enters into HUMAN.
Rudolf Steiner – GA 105 –Universe, Earth and Man – Lecture III – Stuttgart, 6th August 1908
(I changed the gender pronoun MAN to HUMAN- as Steiner meant this with his original use of the word man.)
Pohala Nurse Practitioner Julie Foster is often asked for quotes regarding her mental health work. Julie was interviewed for the following Health Central slide show on getting better sleep when you have bipolar disorder.
From the article:
Bipolar disorder responds well to a sleep plan that respects the body’s circadian rhythm. Learning to prevent mood swings by making good “sleep hygiene” choices is an inexpensive and natural way to prevent mania and depression. Sleep changes are not always easy in our very busy world, but please know that making even a few of the changes discussed here can reduce the need for certain medications and ultimately prevent mood swings.
A note from Nurse Practitioner Julie Foster:
I accepted the Executive Committee Chair position for Nurse Practitioners of Oregon / Independent Practice Business Owners (‘Wow, that is a mouthful) this month.
With our difficult to navigate healthcare system in the United States, I am passionate about practicing medicine that is personalized and humane. Being in private practice and owning my business for 12 yrs has allowed for freedom around this process. All of the providers at Pohala are also independent providers.
Collectively we share the vision of a healthy planet with healthy people.
When I went out on my own, I answered an inner calling and found myself in the position of being a health care provider and an entrepreneur. Many nurse practitioners and natural providers are also in the business of medicine.
I have learned and grown endlessly. I love medicine and discovering all the ways we HEAL as individuals and as the collective.
Nurse Practitioners are smart, emotionally strong and as warmhearted as needed during the most wrenching life events for those we serve.
This new position with the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon / Independent Practice Business Owners Group allows me to stay in touch with the changes in our health care world. It is my goal to give back to the community and work with fellow nurse practitioners to create healthy individuals and communities empowered to live into their purpose.
Julie Foster, nurse practitioner at Pohala Clinic in Portland, Oregon was recently interviewed by writer Lisa Ellis for PsyCom.net on the topic of medical marijuana, psychosis and schizophrenia. As more states and countries legalize cannabis, it’s essential that all sides of the marijuana story are told. What helps many can also cause unwanted and difficult to mange symptoms in others. Julie addresses this topic in the article Medical Marijuana for Schizophrenia: Weighing the Risks and Benefits.
“As medical marijuana becomes legal in more states, experts fear it will be used to treat more conditions although data is lacking and health could be harmed. But when it comes to schizophrenia, is cannabis safe, even if it is “medical”?
A growing number of people today are turning to medical marijuana (also called medical cannabis) to manage a host of health problems. But for those with schizophrenia, a chronic brain disorder that causes periods of psychotic symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and trouble focusing, marijuana—in any form—can actually worsen the symptoms, according to Julie Foster, a family nurse practitioner who also serves as Medical Director of Pohala Clinic, a center for integrative care and alternative medicine approaches located in Portland, Oregon.
That’s why she and many other experts recommend that people with schizophrenia or a tendency toward psychosis steer clear of all forms of marijuana.
What is Marijuana?
Click here to read the rest of the article.
Many of you know how my daughter was over-trained as an gymnast and ended up grossly underweight (BMI 14.5). Within a few months already thin she grew 3′ and did not gain weight. This is called the Female Athlete Triad:
- No Menses
- Less intake than expended
Over the years I have educated myself, treated and coordinated care as a primary care physician with local eating disordered clinics, nutritionists, mental health providers. How humbling that I would have it happen to me even as a thoughtful vigilant medical provider.
My daughter’s experience brought a very personal eating disorder awareness to my practice I would not have had otherwise. I would like to share my journey with you to let you know that I am here to help all members of the family who want to find balance around food and a healthy body.
Eating Disorder Behavior in My Family
I realized that disordered eating and thinking is not as overt as what I had thought in the past. As a result, I painstakingly reviewed my relationship and family history with food throughout my life. I realized that both my mother and father had eating disorders as well as other members in my family. In order to be present to the needs of my daughter, I also had to look at my own relationship with food.
I was naturally skinny most of my life, often accused of being anorexic when I was a competitive runner. I became a nurse, health conscious, and have bordered on orthorexia (an obsession with healthy eating) with good intentions. I personally was frightened to have gained 80# with my 1st pregnancy and wondered if I would ever lose it. Four years ago as I grieved my grandfather’s death, I found myself severely iron deficient with heavy menses. I was so fatigued, I stopped running.
Simultaneously we worked to re-feed my daughter. Her stomach had shrunk so much it could take over an hour to finish a meal. I sat with her and ate more as I worried about her eating. It was then that I realized I binge eat myself and had been covering it up with my running. I live with social or personal anxiety and without the running to deal with this as well, I turned to food and gained 15 pounds.
I felt my thinking pulled on a track of craving food. There is a positive outcome here. With the help of my counselor, naturopath, mindfulness, & self kindness…. balance returned. Compassion for myself and our society for what we face in our times has helped me find compassion around my own eating.
What I Have Learned
1. It is not simply the parents fault (old theories blamed the mother) when a child has an eating disorder. Epigenetics play a role, like a flipping of switch.
2. Be suspicious of weight loss in any child.
3. What we say to children about food and bodies can trigger an Eating Disorder such as binge eating disorder. Teachers should never make a chart of students weight and BMI for others to see.
4. Once an Eating Disorder such as anorexia is in place it creates a state of mind that cannot change unless the person is re-fed with real food, correction of brain chemistry.
5. Striving to be healthy can lead to an extreme, as an illness. This is called orthorexia and is often referred to as an obsession with clean eating.
6. With the right help Eating Disorders can be HEALED.
Vera Vos family nurse practitioner and myself excel in recognizing and supporting patients with Eating Disorders, present and past. If you want a provider who is conscious with their approach in words and deeds, we are here.
Visit our Pohala Clinic contact page to make an appointment.