Dr Ehrlich wasn’t initially interested in medicine. She spent seven years teaching outdoor education, mostly in wooden boats with adolescents, traveling for 12-days at a time in the islands of the Pacific Northwest. She learned a lot about health and the power of being active, outside, and having purpose and community to inspire the behavioral choices that create health- but she didn’t see a lot of this in the practice of medicine.
Her introduction to Dr Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1999, changed that for good. Ayurveda’s insights into personalized medicine offered a unique way to align body, mind and spirit with practical, daily interventions that fostered life-long sustainable health, even in the face of chronic disease. She began to evolve a mission of instilling true health into our healthcare systems.
Following a year of intensive Ayurvedic training and nursing school at Drexel University, she worked 8 years of inpatient nursing focused on the underserved population of inner-city Seattle. She returned to the University of Washington for her Doctorate in Nursing Practice in order to effect larger systemic changes in the practice of medicine. Functional Medicine became part of her practice with certification in 2014.
In every patient visit, she is committed to hearing the full story and treating the root cause of disease, dysfunction and discomfort to ensure the most capable citizens can contribute to a generous and mindful society. We know that 90% of health is determined outside the clinician’s office with diet, lifestyle, mental patterns and economic equity. We also have plenty of evidence that more of the same traditional care will not improve our health outcomes. How do we institutionalize true health, empower systems to meet us where we are at and transition our health to a better place? This is the next revolution and to participate, we each need to be healthy enough to contribute.
We start healing in whatever shoes we currently stand, and we are all capable, and actually hungry, for growth. By diving deep and reviewing a whole life history, we can get at the underlying root causes of distress (mental, physical, social and spiritual) and resolve them at their core. This is transformative medicine done from joining the lenses of conventional (‘western’) medicine, functional medicine (www.functionalmedicine.com) and ancient Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system of India. Treatment plans are collaboratively determined; when a person finds their own resilience and direction, revolution is limitless. Our health can be our most valuable asset and a determinant for our liberation. We rise and/or fall together; I’m here in service to better health for all of us.