Heather Tallman Ruhm is a Certified Family Physician and an Integrative Medical Doctor who takes a system’s biology approach to health, wellness and disease. Whether you struggle with blood pressure issues, constipation, anxiety, headaches, an autoimmune condition, or chronic infections, she tries to help you understand the root causes of your health challenges. She finds that most health issues are improved with better attention to diet, lifestyle and tools that lower body burden.
ROOT CAUSES and COLLABORATION
Dr. Heather explores the root causes of a person’s signs and symptoms. Signs are what others notice (like heat, scars, redness, a distended belly, or a swollen ankle). Symptoms are people’s own feelings (tired, anxious, painful, foggy, tingly or bloated) and are not necessarily visible. Taking a thorough history, reviewing environmental factors, and running special tests when indicated empowers the doctor and her patients to better understand the source of their concerns and prioritize treatment.
Exploring and addressing root causes is an on-going, active collaboration. To identify the best plan of action and track progress, patients are asked to fill out a detailed intake form before their initial visit. Prior lab work (usually within six months of the visit) serves as a baseline or may indicate the need for further testing. Patients are encouraged to share their medical records from the past six months if possible. For subsequent visits, patients submit an updated short symptom survey.
HOLISTIC and CONTEXTUAL
Systems biology incorporates a holistic overview of the connections between multiple systems. Conventional medicine often uses a more reductionist approach (treating body parts as independent or unrelated systems or offering a pill for an ill). Dr. Heather’s style is like an expanded version of the childhood rhyme: the knee bone is connected to the hip bone, connected to the intestinal tract, connected to the immune system, connected to the nervous system, and to the cardiovascular system.
The optimization of systems working together is contextual. Dr. Heather respects the body’s innate power to work for us, within the right context. No-one is simply a diagnosis (an autistic, a manic depressive, a diabetic, or a cancer patient) but rather a unique individual in a specific context - connected to a personal history, and certain habits and beliefs, and environmental exposures within the context of a family or community that supports or impedes their progress toward better health.
DOCTOR with PATIENT
Dr. Heather has provided direct patient care in integrative clinical settings for over 15 years, collaborating with a diverse network of health care providers. She takes her own education seriously, attending workshops, webinars and lectures from experts across many disciplines both conventional and holistic. She particularly relies on functional, bio-regulatory, and energy related medicine for techniques to investigate root causes, provide education, and create meaningful treatment plans.
As patient, you enter into an active partnership, sharing enough input before and during visits to allow Dr. Heather to guide and support your journey to better physical, mental and emotional health. In this way, she is able to offer sensible tips and tools for lifestyle or dietary changes or recommend specific supplements or modalities from other providers that make sense for each patient’s specific needs.
Appointments are fee-for-service and generally last 45 minutes. Initial visits can take up to 90 minutes. Proof of care is available upon request if patients wish to submit their own receipts to their insurance plan for reimbursement. If you are interested in booking an appointment, please fill out this brief health survey and we will call you back within 2 business days to make further arrangements: synergyoflife.livingmatrix.com/self_register_patients/new. If you need to leave a message with Dr. Heather’s assistant, please call 978-435-0493.