WHO IS “DR. THALIA”?
And why is she on the team?
As a “weekend” fitness boot camp trainer in San Francisco, I meet quite a bit of active, busy people who are doing phenomenal things in this world. From directors of non-profits, to successful entrepreneurs, to students doing cancer research, they are all committed to feeling strong, energetic, and ready to take on anything that comes their way.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of chatting with one of my students after a body-boosting sweat session, Dr. Thalia Farshchian. It didn’t take us long to hit it off, as we immediately connected on holistic wellness, our passion around healthy food, and our shared belief in proactive health. Plus she’s just fabulously stylish and bad-a$$. Dr. Thalia is extremely bright, fun, nurturing, and takes the time to educate her patients on their bodies (from the inside out) – all qualities that we knew you would enjoy as well. How do I know? Well, I obviously became one of her patients. And yes, I can testify, she is truly healing.
She’s not just an ordinary doc. Her passion for wellness and caring for her patients goes well beyond an annual visit. She’s driven, hard working, and CONSTANTLY connecting with other wellness professionals, chefs, and entrepreneurs as she continues to expand her practice. No, she won’t be the dry, scary doc you dread seeing, but rather quite the opposite. Dr. Thalia will be answering questions and feeding you helpful knowledge all around our bodies – of course in a fun, light, and to-the-point kind of way.
What’s your name?
Dr. Thalia Farshchian
No, we mean the name that all your close folks call you?:
Thal to my friends/fam, Dr. T and Dr. Thalia to my patients
What exactly is a naturopathic doctor?
A naturopathic doctor is a medically trained doctor, like a general family practitioner – educated both in drugs and alternative therapies like herbal medicine, nutrition, intravenous therapy, and physical medicine. The therapies are safe and effective, but the defining factor lies in the naturopathic approach. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes treating the cause of symptoms and having your doctor serve as your teacher, so you walk away with a better understanding of health.
What inspired you to go this route?
As a child I had always wanted to be a doctor. In high school, I had my first serious medical experience via my father’s cancer diagnosis. I was disheartened when I observed the lack of attention, oversight, and lack of compassion throughout the process. Going into undergrad, I decided not to go into medicine as it was not as I envisioned. While in college I started having my own health challenges affecting my hormones that sent me straight to the doctor.
After every scan and blood test under the sun, I didn’t have cancer and my hormone levels were normal. I asked my doctor about the next step and she offered me medication. The treatment did not make logical sense as everything showed up normal. I asked, “why?” And her response was, “it’s just what we do.” I denied treatment and explored other perspectives in search of the “why.”
I was referred to a holistic doctor who spent two hours being present and listening to my story. After specialized lab testing, we learned that the pathway that detoxifies hormones in my liver was sub-optimal. I was given one herbal supplement derived from broccoli and I started seeing relief within one month and complete relief after just two months. Beyond relief of symptoms, I felt assurance in understanding why and empowered by being an active participant in my healing. Who knows what would have happened if I had masked my symptoms with a medication?
After my second visit I asked my naturopathic doctor, “what do you do and how do I do it?” Since then, I never looked back.
Describe the common obstacles that your patients encounter and your approach to healing them?
I have a general practice with expertise in autoimmune, hormonal, and digestive conditions. The most common problem for my patients is that they lack cohesiveness in their care resulting in a feeling of being overwhelmed by their ailments.
For example, a woman came to me for fatigue, depression, acid reflux, and weight gain. Conventionally, she was given anti-depressants and antacids as treatment. This treatment is compartmentalized and symptom oriented. My job as the body’s Sherlock Holmes is to use the symptoms as a clue to the cause.
A little history – she had a two-year course of steroids followed by one year of antibiotics. This was the pivotal time in her childhood where her symptoms started. I mapped her complaints on paper and connected the dots leading me to focus on the gut. The year-long antibiotic course wiped out natural gut bacteria, which can cause bloating. The good bacteria that she was lacking are responsible for 80% of our happy brain chemical, serotonin.
Treatment included specific botanical and nutritional supplements, diet modifications, and physical manipulations. After 6-weeks, she was down to 2 cups of coffee in the morning from 9 cups prior, energy increased, mood improved, weight was down, and no need for antacids. After 3 months along with her psychiatrist, we were tapering her antidepressants successfully.
The beauty of being a general practitioner is the ability to tie all of the pieces together. My job is to find the common thread between multiple conditions and offer solutions to create balance. It is my favorite part of what I offer people.
How do you work with other physicians, doctors, and healers (or do you)?
I am happy to work with other physicians, doctors, and healers and find it incredibly important to have a wellness team you trust. At my current practice, Discover Health, our primary care providers, pediatricians, and myself work together for truly integrative care under one roof. I prefer this model vs. practicing alone because coordination of care is far more effective and provider communication is key to our success. Medicine encompasses numerous specialties and perspectives, which is advantageous to customizing care to an individual’s unique needs.
What else do you love? We obviously wear multiple passion hats over here at Wake the Wolves™ and hate the “you must live in one bucket” perspective on life, so tell us some of your other hidden passions/hobbies/obsessions?
A major driver to live a healthy lifestyle is to stay active and the experiences in this life that I want to get into.
Travel is a passion of mine. My trip to Havana, Cuba last year was unreal. It was incredible to disconnect from devices completely, feel the warmth of Cuban culture and dance all day, every day. Since Cuba, I have kept up dancing and a couple I met on the trip got me into sailing.
Like most of us, I am a lover of good food and San Francisco always seems to deliver.
I balance my work week with a healthy dose of movement. I like to keep it interesting with hiking, scenic runs and lifting. In 2015, I really want to tack boxing onto my workout routine. What better way to stay on your toes when life throws its curveballs?!?
What fuels you on the daily? What gives you the juice to wake up and do the “damn thang” every day? Any foods? Particular daily rituals?
People and furbabies fuel me and get me out of bed.
- Hiely Lucullus – Avignon in South of France
- Kokkari in San Francisco
- Saint Frank’s Coffee (Amazing Almond Macadamia Nut Latte)
We are all perfectly imperfect, so can you reveal to us any challenges/struggles you have in living healthy? I mean, I’m sure we can relate.
I think everyone can relate to this one… time. I get life FOMO (fear of missing out) and I try to do it all. Sometimes, I outdo myself and fall off of my routine.
If healthy living is (or is becoming) a priority for you, it is crucial to carve out the time. I’m getting better at sticking to a realistic capacity. When I stick to my guns, my productivity improves and my capacity expands. I no longer measure my success by my “winning” streak of being “perfect.” When practice actually becomes a habit, true success is how fast you get back to your healthy, steady course.
What’d you eat for breakfast today?
Honestly, unlike many people breakfast is not my favorite meal of the day. Life moves really fast in the morning and I need something quick and easy. This morning I made a protein shake (vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, sea salt, homemade macadamia nut milk and ice).
We LOVE us some music. Ok so any thing on replay that your dying to share?
As I’m writing this, here is the rotation:
Blank Space by Taylor Swift
Juicy by Nortorious BIG
I Hold On by Dierks Bentley
U Don’t Know by Jay Z
The Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney
Problem by Ariana Grande
Wrapping it up. If you had a chance to school a younger Dr. Thalia on living healthy, what would you tell her?
- It’s truly incredible how accessible information is (thank you internet). But once you start dipping your toe into a new way of life, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the information and details (thank you internet).
- It is important to set goals and understand what you truly want for your life. Once you have that understanding, you can figure out the path to get there. It may be a curvy path, but with determination anything is possible.
- Break it down into digestible successful bites, learn from where you faultier, and revel in your successes.
Kale. All Day. Err Day.
Kale. All Day. Err Day.