by Linda Sechrist
Although Wendy Warner, M.D., founder of Medicine in Balance, didn’t have it on her bucket list to coauthor a book about supercharging the immune system, she simply could not resist the opportunity when Dr. Kellyann Petrucci presented her with the idea.
“Several individuals who know about Boosting Your Immune System for Dummies have commented to me that they think it’s cool that I got a nutritionist to work with me on the book. In reality, it was the other way around,” clarifies Warner. Petrucci, who balances her thriving family-based nutritional practice with being a consumer health author, has also written two other for Dummies books.
“I had the science on immunity and autoimmunity, Kellyann had the nutrition, and we already knew each other so it seemed like a good idea,” explains Warner, whose colleagues wondered why a gynecologist was asked to write a book on the immune system. “I was surprised by their reaction because everything you do nutritionally affects the immune system both positively or negatively. Eating real food rather than processed, removing sugar and stimulants from the diet, exercising and finding ways to deal with emotional issues and stress could be in a book titled Boosting Your Anything for Dummies,” jokes Warner, who backs up her talk by incorporating yoga and meditation into her daily life.
A private practice in holistic gynecology and general integrative medicine, as well as serving on the board of directors for the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) keeps Warner, who is also a master Reiki practitioner, very busy. She jokes that she owes her husband a year’s worth of weekends as payback for writing the book. “Taking time away from my daily commitments wasn’t an option so I had to use my weekends, which is the time that my husband and I have together,” she says.
Since 2002, Warner has also enjoyed being a member of the teaching faculty for ABIHM, which certifies physicians nationwide in holistic medicine. As president of the ABIHM, she appreciates the opportunities to share her expertise with other physicians interested in this type of practice. “I am particularly grateful to do this because it gives me the chance to develop my skills through exposure to some of the brightest physicians interested in good medicine, which I define as the art and science of caring for the whole person – body, mind and spirit,” notes Warner. “This practice, which integrates conventional and unconventional therapies to promote optimal health and to prevent and treat disease by mitigating causes, is also based on the belief that unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer,” she adds.
In addition to her private practice, Warner has been the medical director of the Holistic Center at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne as well as the chair of the obstetrics and gynecology departments at Lower Bucks Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center. She produced the DVD, Menopause: It’s all about Choices, and has contributed chapters to a textbook on complementary alternative medicine.
Warner is queried frequently about her appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, in which she talked about Functional Medicine. “Dealing with his army of staff members was a bit unnerving,” says Warner. It was perplexing when she was encouraged to talk mostly about supplements despite the fact that the practice of functional medicine focuses on food, diet, lifestyle and stress management to find and alleviate the underlying causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms. Displeased with the editing of the show, Warner noted that when it aired, she discovered that her comments about herbal adaptogens for stress had been twisted into talk about weight loss, because adaptogens help to normalize cortisol production, which is often blamed for weight gain. “While I know that weight loss is what sells on TV, I would have preferred to discuss lifestyle, stress management and food,” she remarks.
Unaffected by her celebrity, Warner adds a bit of levity and discloses that although she never wears makeup, she knew it would have to be applied for the camera. “I asked the makeup artists to treat me like my male colleagues, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. David Perlmutter, who appeared on the show with me. I was told, ‘Oh honey, we can do better than that.’” When Warner returned home after the show, she waited for her husband to remark about the makeup, but he didn’t. “I finally brought it to his attention, and he said, ‘Yeah, I noticed. You can go take it off now.’”
Medicine in Balance is located at 940 Town Center Dr., Ste. F-90, in Langhorne. For more information, call 215-741-1600 or visit MedicineInBalance.com., May 2013