Clear Path Wellness : Trains Clients to Make Informed Health Decisions
May 24, 2017 01:38PM
● By Carrie Jackson
Dr. Laurie Goldman
In more than 18 years of treating patients, Dr. Laurie Goldman has used holistic treatments, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, alternative medicine and lifestyle modification to promote health and wellness. As a functional medicine doctor and medical director at Clear Path Wellness, in Arlington Heights, she specializes in holistic, integrative and lifestyle medical approaches with a compassionate, thoughtful and individualistic manner.
Goldman is a traditionally educated medical doctor who specialized in psychiatry and has maintained a private practice since 1999, but after learning more about integrative health, she realized the old model wasn’t working. “Conventional medicine is really just disease management and treating symptoms, often with pills and other short-term fixes. Functional medicine puts the emphasis on identifying the root causes of a disease so you can prevent it in the first place,” says Goldman. She opened Clear Path Wellness in 2015 to offer patients a person-centered approach that incorporates alternative therapies in a supportive and positive environment.
Goldman treats patients with a variety of emotional and physical conditions, including depression, anxiety, thyroid disorders, insomnia, hormone imbalances, obesity, nutritional deficiencies, diabetes and memory loss. Many patients come to Clear Path Wellness after being told by other doctors that they are fine or their symptoms aren’t real. “Patients will say that their lab tests are normal, but they still feel bad. They might be lethargic, depressed, have memory problems, suffer from joint pain or be developing diabetes. We look at a variety of factors that could be affecting their health, such as diet, exercise, stress and sleep patterns,” explains Goldman. She uses alternative treatments such as biofeedback, neuro-biofeedback, meditation, and breathing exercises.
Functional medicine focuses on preventing illness before it begins. “I spend a lot of my time educating my patients on how to understand, and then improve, the quality of their health. Many people have problems that they don’t know exist, or they know something is wrong and they just don’t address it. Our quality of life is directly related to our overall health and wellness and how we’re functioning. Most diseases don’t happen overnight. Conditions like cancer and dementia take years to grow, and there are changes we can make every day to reduce those risks,” notes Goldman.
The doctor focuses on the five key elements of health and how they all work together to support overall wellness. She looks at nutrition, movement, detoxification, hormones and the nervous system, and advises, “Diet is key, especially with so much of our food these days being over-processed and full of toxins. We need to put whole, nourishing food into our body to give it energy. Exactly what that food is and what quality it is varies from person to person, but I work with my patients to find an eating plan that’s right for them,” she says. Clear Path Wellness has a health coach and a nutritionist on staff that meet with patients individually and in groups.
Clear Path offers lifestyle and wellness programs on mind/body renewal, detoxification and brain focus. The programs last from three to 12 months and can be individual or in a group. “Many people like the classes because they allow patients to develop a community and feel supported, both of which are extremely beneficial for success. They have a sense of connection and accountability which are often missing from our lives these days. In spite of social media, we are actually more isolated than ever, and may not even know our neighbors, even though we pass them on the street every day,” says Goldman.
Many patients complain of symptoms brought on by poor diet and lifestyle choices. Goldman sees sugar, gluten, dairy, stress, lack of sleep and not enough exercise as culprits for a number of problems that manifest physically and emotionally. “Stress these days is out of control and comes from so many sources. It affects every system in the body and exacerbates the disease process. Many people are in a constant ‘fight-or-flight’ state because their nervous system never feels safe. This can raise cortisol and insulin levels, lead to weight gain, induce anxiety and depression, and make people feel generally unwell. The key is understanding stress and finding healthy ways to cope with it,” says Goldman.
She acknowledges that true patient-centered care may include a range of modalities, and often collaborates with specialists, primary care physicians, psychotherapists, naturopaths, advanced practice nurses and other clinicians to establish the right course of treatment for a patient. “I want to give my patients the education and tools to be an advocate for their own health. At the end of a program or a session, they hopefully understand their body and their own physical, social, emotional, nutritional and mental needs, so they can make informed decisions to be healthy now and further down the road,” says Goldman.
Clear Path Wellness is located at 1655 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Ste. 202 E, in Arlington Heights. For appointments, call 847-686-6666. For more information, email [email protected] or visit LaurieGoldmanMD.com.
Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect with her at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.