This Integrative Physician Practices Holistic and Ayurvedic Healing
Dec 23, 2015 01:50PM
● By Carrie Jackson
Philippa Norman, M.D.
In 25 years as an integrative physician, Philippa Norman, M.D., has focused primarily on holistic treatments for mental and emotional health, and her interest in healing started at an early age. As a child, she had a knack for creating remedies out of herbs from the backyard and loved to read about the ancient healing practices of other cultures. Both of her parents had a Western medical background, and Norman attended a traditional medical school, but felt that there was a key piece missing—communication with the patient. A few health concerns of her own led her to take a deeper look into chakras and a holistic approach to treatment, and Norman was convinced.
Norman is trained both in ayurvedic and integrative medicine, and uses a number of modalities to treat her patients. “Each person’s brain is unique. I like to use an orthomolecular approach, which looks at people’s body types and their nutritional needs. For example, a patient might be exhibiting signs of depression when actually they have a condition called pyroluria, which leads to a zinc and vitamin B6 deficiency. Most clinics will never test for that, but it can easily be treated with nutrient therapy,” says Norman.
Norman also incorporates hypnotherapy, Reiki and energy healing into her practice. She treats a wide variety of conditions, including digestive issues, depression, anxiety, adrenal stress, food allergies and addiction. In ayurvedic medicine, the three body make-ups are pitta, kapha and vata, and they have different nutritional needs. “A vata type usually responds better to warm food, while that might aggravate a pitta type who does better with cooling herbs. Sleeping, eating and activity patterns for these three are all different. Many people incorporate ayurvedic practices into their daily lives by cooking with spices and herbs like black pepper and turmeric,” says Norman.
Staying connected with her community is very important to Norman. She hosts fireside chats—there is a real fireplace—at her office inside Healing House, in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, with topics such as Meditation for Healing: Using Mind/Body Techniques to Tap Into Your Inner Potential, Energy for the New Year: Five Ways To Overcome Fatigue, and Anti-Inflammatory Diets: 10 Ways to Reduce Inflammation and Promote Brain Health. She also speaks at Beverly Yoga Center on subjects ranging from seasonal depression to menopause. Norman recently held a workshop with a group called Young Chicago Authors, an organization that helps give young people a voice to their emotions through poetry.
Norman believes that the most important thing people can do to stay healthy is to practice mindfulness. “Meditation restores brain health and strengthens neurotransmitters. It helps you stay grounded, centered and feel like you have a buffer around you to deal with the drama and chaos of everyday life. It also allows you to truly connect and be in tune with your body so you are aware of daily changes. Just 15 minutes a day will make a big difference,” she says.
Norman’s office is located at 9415 South Western Ave., Ste 113, in Chicago. For more information, call 773-337-3880 or visit PhilippaNormanMD.com.
Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.