A passion for women's health mixed with a desire to go beyond traditional Western medicine sparked a practice that now also helps men.
Rana A. Colaianni, nurse practitioner and owner, started New Beginnings Healthcare for Women, 1017 Washington Blvd., Suite B, after working in family practice.
"Six years ago, there was a stirring in my soul to create a practice that honored a deeper level of healing," Colaianni said. "Traditionally in medicine, they barely scratch the surface. I knew to help people in a deeper level, you have to spend the appropriate amount of time with them."
She recently has seen a change in who occupies her reception room. While women still make up the majority, men also have started coming for integrative medicine.
"When I opened up New Beginnings for Women, it was dedicated as a women's health practice, frankly, because it was women seeking that kind of care," Colaianni said. "Men are catching on."
New Beginnings focuses on the mind, body and spirit to look at what could be affecting the body.
Some of the bigger concerns Colaianni treats are fatigue, inflammation, thyroid disorders, hormone imbalances, mood disorders, basic gynecology, bladder issues and digestive concerns.
Integrative healing plays a large role in her practice.
For example, someone diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome may receive a prescription to treat it at a regular doctor's office. Colaianni said integrative healing is not opposed to issuing prescriptions, though she will prescribe the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.
Rather than just look at the physical symptoms, Colaianni looks into the patient's emotional and spiritual components, which also could affect his or her health.
In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, Colaianni could test for food allergies to see if that is affecting the patient's health and if there is an inbalance in the intestinal bacteria, which could be caused from stress, alcohol, new medicine or the wrong diet.
"The treatment has to be different than mine," she said. "There's a one-size-fits-all (mentality) in Western treatment."
The reason for looking into all aspects of a person is because everything is connected.
"When you don't have balance in one area, it's going to trickle down to the other areas," she said.
Some of the suggestions she gives her patients include a maintaining a low-sugar diet, eating anti-inflammatory foods, managing stress, controlling weight and being physically active.
Before treating anyone, Colaianni starts with a consultation that could take between 90 minutes to two hours to find out about the patient's life and see what could cause problems.
"We're all stressed," she said. "Most don't realize how stressed we are."
Bodies usually notice stress before people do, she said. The intestines have their own nervous systems.
"When we're stressed, the gut knows before we do," Colaianni said. "The body knows what's going on."
One of the questions Colaianni asks a patient is if she happy where she is spiritually, which is not the same thing as being religious.
"I meet people where they are with their spiritually," she said. "Sometimes that includes religion and sometimes it doesn't. I work with their belief system. A broader definition of 'spirituality' is our relationship with ourselves, others, nature and with the Divine One."
New Beginnings Healthcare for Women LLC serves women and men 12 years and older, or younger on referral by a practitioner.
For more information, visit the website at www.newbeginningsforwomen.com or call 329-2273.